Officially the French Republic is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands

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What is the ancestry of the Robertians, progenitors of the Bourbon dynasty?

The countries Spain and Luxembourg are currently ruled by kings from the House of Bourbon, so I thought I'd try to trace back their (patrilineal) ancestry as far as possible. Well, the Bourbons are ...
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8answers
4k views

Why didn't France and UK invade Germany September 3rd 1939?

On September 3rd 1939, when UK and France declared war on Germany, both ordinary Polish people and government officials became enthusiastic. There were spontaneous demonstrations of support for the ...
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523 views

“More Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War”?

True or false? This is claimed by Andrew Roberts in The Storm of War. Quote: As more Frenchmen bore arms for the Axis than for the Allies during the Second World War, it is unsurprising that ...
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5answers
865 views

Why did France put so many resources into fighting Algeria in comparison to its other former colonial holdings?

Why did France put so many resources into fighting Algeria in comparison to its other former colonial holdings? Was there anything unique about the French-Algerian relationship. On Wikipedia it says ...
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2answers
263 views

Jewish King of Narbonne

In today's edition of Le Monde, Marek Halter mentions something about Jewish Kings in Carolingian France, recognized by Charlemagne. Probably using Arthur Zuckerman 'Jewish Kingdom in feudal France' ...
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226 views

Why are the “Three Musketeers” called musketeers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Musketeers_%281987_TV_series%29 They fight with sabres all the time. No musket. So why?
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9answers
3k views

Why was France granted an equal status among victors of World War II?

How is it that France emerged from World War II with a similar status as the U.S.A., Britain, the Soviet Union, and China in terms of possession of a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, ...
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1answer
188 views

How did lower classes with aspirations to high social standing greet each other in the Paris of the 1630's?

I am running a game of En Garde over on the RPG Stack Exchange. For purposes of verisimilitude, we're wondering about station-specific greetings in Paris in the 1630's. What would be an appropriate ...
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1answer
99 views

Were commandos brought in to break the Grand Mosque siege French or Pakistani?

In December 1979 some miscreants occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca. I have read the Wikipedia article regarding this, but i am still unclear who broke this siege. Were they Pakistan army commandos or ...
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1answer
456 views

Did the syphilis epidemic start the 16th and 17th century wig craze?

I've read that one reason that the nobility attending royal court in the 17th century had a passion for wigs, powdered faces, and gloves was the then prevalence of syphilis. By this reasoning those ...
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1answer
146 views

What mistake did abbot [Jacques?] Delille make when eating an egg at the Court of Louis XVI?

Stendhal's Scarlet and Black has a curious passage where the main character observes that even the eating of a boiled egg "reveals the progress one has made in the godly life" To support this it ...
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Did Louis XIV actually say “The State? I am the State.”? Could he have said it?

In "The French Revolution, A History" Chapter 1.1.II, Thomas Carlyle reports that Louis XIV once proclaimed: "L'État, c'est moi" - The State? I am the State (Carlyle's rendering into English) ...
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1answer
93 views

Moving day in Paris, France in the 19th century

Is it true that rental agreements or leases in Paris France all used to start/end on the same day? I think this would have been in the mid/late 19th century or earlier. I know Quebec, Canada had a ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Furniture van in 1848 France

In Alistair Horne's Seven Ages of Paris, he gives a description of France's revolution in June of 1848. He says, Killed, too, were no fewer than five of Cavaignac's generals, as well as hundreds ...
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2answers
122 views

Tricolore: Why have the colors been chosen that way?

The French flag, the Tricolour, was installed as France's national flag shortly after the Revolution in 1790. Its colors are Red and Blue - which are the colors of the flag of Paris - and White - ...
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1answer
66 views

How much did it cost to maintain Gustavus Adolphus' army? How much of it was paid by Richelieu?

I know that Cardinal Richelieu subsidized a large portion of Gustavus Adolphus' Protestant forces during the 30 Year War - despite France, ironically, being a Catholic power (citation obviously ...
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3answers
138 views

Why did France make an alliance with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the 1850's?

It is clear why Cavour wanted the alliance, but what benefits would France have from allying itself to a relatively weak (as far as I know) kingdom?
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1answer
400 views

What happened to all the french guillotines?

Quoting Wikipedia: "The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer ...
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2answers
412 views

What is the equivalent in France of the “Victorian era”?

By Victorian era I mean the moral rigidity and the dominance of the bourgeoisie. We had the same culture in France but I can't find the proper term to phrase it. For example how would you translate ...
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3answers
537 views

What was the foreign policy of 1791 France?

Having done some research on my own had yielded little to no results on pre-radical revolutionary France regarding foreign policy. I am specifically looking for arguments during the constitutional ...
4
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1answer
41 views

Quesnay, Adam Smith, and Pitt

I am now reading the book Decadent Societies by R.M. Adams and on pp.66-7 he writes: Quesnay's ideas, which fell on stony ground in France, showed their basic vitality when picked up by Adam ...
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3answers
191 views

Why were the Merovingians so reviled?

I'm interested in the state of the Frankish kingdom at the time of the Merovingian peak, before they were deposed. I have heard hints of lavish lifestyle, but I take this to be much the same way ...
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1answer
129 views

Who were the “tyrants” that Charles Martel “crushed”?

The second chapter of Einhard says: It was this Charles that crushed the tyrants who claimed to rule the whole Frank land as their own, and that utterly routed the Saracens, when they ...
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2answers
192 views

Legacy of the May 1968 Paris riots

As you may be well aware, France has had a notable number of riots, uprisings and revolutions in the last 250 years or so. I believe it the Fifth-Republic has been in existence for approximately 50 ...
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3answers
257 views

Who were the traders involved in the triangular slave trade? [closed]

There is currently a big polemic in French news media about antisemitism. A French comedian is accused to propagate antisemitic ideas in France. I have no intention to propagate this polemic on this ...
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1answer
80 views

Why did the July Monarchy dispense with Montgaillard's services?

This guy, Count Montgaillard, seems to have switched allegiances as often as he used to breath - he was an aristocrat and en emigre who then served the Republic, the Bourbon princes, again the ...
5
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1answer
97 views

Civilians in Napoleon's Grand Army when he invaded Russia

It is fairly well documented that Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in 1812 was somewhat slowed by the large amounts of civilians following the army. My question is - where did these civilians come from ...
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1answer
202 views

What were French actions against Germany during September 1939?

In Poland "Phoney war" is treated as betrayal by UK and France, who only declared war against Germany and did not perform any other actions. This combined with Soviet attack on 17th September is said ...
5
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1answer
142 views

Is there support for the theory that the 1918 influenza resulted from churning up microbe-laden French soil?

Margaret MacMillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 contains the following: In the first years of the peace, fresh afflictions fell on European society: the influenza epidemic ...
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2answers
162 views

Les Misérables historical setting

What is the period in French history portrayed in Les Misérables in the early 1800s? Also, who was the French King at that time - the restored King? I thought the French Revolution was in the late ...
9
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1answer
209 views

Did France & Italy continue to develop and manufacture sophisticated military hardware once under German control?

Both France and Italy were designing and building advanced vehicle engines, motorcyles, aero engines and airframes through the 1930s and early 1940s. In the case of those advanced economies of ...
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1answer
136 views

How did France balance the budget by 1738?

I recently read (Citizens by Simon Schama) that France had a per capita debt of two-thirds of the annual income of a carpenter or tailor in 1714. By 1738 France had managed to balance the budget ...
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264 views

Did the French Revolution help produce French military “elan?”

In earlier wars against the British and Germans (e.g. the Seven Years' War of 1756-1763), French armies did not particularly distinguish themselves, even with a numerical advantage. Yet during the ...
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8answers
3k views

What's the advantage of the infantry column formation in the Napoleonic Wars?

In movies/books set in the Napoleonic Wars, the British are normally deployed into lines and the French into columns. The columns are usually the advancing ones, charging into the line as the line ...
12
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2answers
329 views

How did Allies secure southern flank during “Race to the Rhine”?

As I read about western front during the WW2 there is usually big topic about the "D-Day", then clearing Normandy (capturing Cherbourg), then liberating Paris and then authors quickly move to "Race to ...
4
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2answers
198 views

Epoch of an item marked with anchor symbol with the letters N and D

I found in an antique shop in France the item seen below and would like to know more about the age and origin and material based on the logo/mark. The seller told me it is from the Napoleon III epoch ...
4
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1answer
93 views

How did opinions of France and Britain affect American foreign policy up to 1820?

I'm doing some research on this topic for my American Studies class, and I'm having a little trouble with this. I would appreciate a brief overview of this, or possibly some primary sources for me ...
7
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1answer
292 views

What became of the French Revolutionary Religion and Calendar?

During the height of the French Revolution, there was a complete revamping/retooling of French culture and religion: A new calendar based on the metric system and marking the significant events and ...
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3answers
318 views

Was there any mention in historical articles regarding Joan of Arc's physical appearance?

Modern media seems to portray Joan of Arc as a very attractive girl. I don't quite buy this interpretation of her as it would also suggest plenty of suitors and could be counter productive in a camp ...
7
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1answer
189 views

How did the French take the Republican Calendar?

I've been wondering what the reactions were in France to the new Republican Calendar. When I learned about it in school, it seemed ridiculously overzealous to me, and this notion hasn't left me since. ...
5
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0answers
77 views

Did Palmerston contribute to Louis Philippe's downfall?

I am reading this book and have come across a slightly puzzling passage on p. 154: [Palmerston] kept on good terms with Louis Philippe of France until he felt, in 1846, that Louis was taking an ...
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4answers
5k views

Why are the democracies of France, Israel and India rated “Flawed Democracies”? [closed]

What does the term "Flawed Democracy" actually mean? Why are some of the world's successful democracies like France, Israel and India rated "Flawed Democracies" by the Economist Intelligence Unit?
12
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1answer
441 views

What effect did the Attack on Mers-el-Kébir have on Great Britain's international relations during WW2?

The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir/Battle of Mers-el-Kébir was an action that took part between the Royal Navy and the French Navy on July 3rd 1940 that was a result of Winston Churchill ordering that the ...
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1answer
282 views

Who said “Lafayette we are here!”? [closed]

My sister has been saying this quote for about a month and says it has historical significance. After searching I can't find anything. What famous person said "Lafayette we are here!"?
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2answers
217 views

Why the six hour gap between British and French declarations of war?

In Britain the story (and the audio) of the events of 3rd September 1939 are so well known and Neville Chamberlain's moving broadcast so cherished that the it's strange that the French declaration of ...
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1answer
401 views

Why did France just give up without a major fight in WW2? [closed]

Why did France give up when Paris was taken in WW2? They could have kept fighting just like the Polish did.
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1answer
93 views

What is the relevance of the Confession of Augsburg to the Colloquy at Poissy?

According the wikipedia article Colloquy at Poissy Catharine [de' Medici] appointed a smaller committee of five Calvinists and five Roman Catholics. Their task was to devise a formula on which the ...
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2answers
474 views

What sort of Cardinals were Richelieu and Mazarin?

Cardinals can belong to one of three orders: Cardinal-deacon Cardinal-bishop Cardinal-priest. What were the ranks of Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin?
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234 views

How did Quebec transition from French Law to English Law?

When Britain conquered Quebec at the end of the Seven Years War, Quebec began a transition between French law and English law. How did that transition occur?
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2answers
141 views

In the French Republican calendar: were Quintidis holidays?

I did some research on the French Republican calendar and found some contradictory information on weekly (or decadian?) holidays. Wikipedia (and most other articles I found) mention: The ...