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

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Why did the French insist on reclaiming Indo-China after WWII?

After WWII France was in rebuilding mode, and yet they insisted on trying to reclaim Indo-China. It would seem that in the new world order this did not make much sense for a country that was trying to ...
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0answers
69 views

Why does the rooster symbolise France? [on hold]

The Gallic Rooster is widely used as a symbol of France. However, there are a number of conflicting sources on how it originated. The French embassy in the USA states that the rooster originated ...
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2answers
118 views

When was the first secular society?

When was the first attempt to create a secular society? (a society that was intentionally separate from religion). Was the French Revolution the first to discard religion as an legitimizing force and ...
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1answer
71 views

Diaries or writings of Cathar Perfecti in 12th Century France

The Cathars were a Gnostic sect of southern (Languedoc) France in the 12th Century. "Perfecti" were individuals in the sect who followed the most extremely austere lives, renouncing worldly pleasures ...
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228 views

What was the average size of French families during the Middle Ages?

My question takes place in at the beginning of the middle-ages in France. Let's focus on small villages and ordinary people (peasants, craftsmen, etc.). I would like to know how many people used to ...
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2answers
463 views

What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...
9
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2answers
1k views

What did Richlieu mean by his “six lines” quote?

Cardinal Richelieu is frequently quoted as saying, If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him. What I've never seen ...
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3answers
291 views

Curious office hours of Topographical Bureau where Napoleon served in 1795?

In his new biography Napoleon the Great Andrew Roberts reports about Napoleon's stint in the Historical and Topographical Bureau of the war ministry in Paris between mid-August and early October 1795. ...
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1answer
415 views

Did Napoleon write an elegy to Imam Hussain?

In this YouTube video, noted Pakistani scholar, Allama Zamir Akhtar Naqvi claims (in Urdu) that Napoleon wrote a letter or poem in honour of the historical figure Imam Hussain, during a war between ...
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1answer
58 views

Presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807

who were the presidents of the French Tribunate from 1799 to 1807? the French wiki only has an undated list of names (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribunat): Pierre Daunou Jean-Nicolas Démeunier ...
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3answers
966 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 ...
6
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1answer
126 views

How did the French word 'familier' become associated with the concept of Magical Familiars, historically?

How did the word 'familier' (French) become associated with the concept of Magical Familiars, historically? Or do we not know? Proof for the concept being from French, first.
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7answers
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Painting of a French man in a red jacket around 1850, who is this man?

This is a painting from near 1850 that depicts a (famous) French man, possibly noble, in a park, maybe Paris. Is he a Minister? King? Military? Whoever he might be, I consider he is important, since ...
4
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2answers
273 views

Did the USSR have a more positive relationship with France than other west european countries after 1945?

France and the USSR were allies before World War 2. A number of things intervened before then and 1945, not limited to the war itself. After the war, did Soviet officials publicly (or privately) ...
7
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2answers
264 views

Why was Germany unified in Versailles not Berlin?

Why did Wilhelm I (or Bismarck) decide to perform official Germany unification in France? In my opinion, if the ceremonial was to honour the Prussian king and be a tribute or allegiance to him, it ...
8
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1answer
416 views

What was the need to call the Estates-General of 1789?

I read that in France at the time of the French revolution, the monarch did not have the power to impose taxes on his will alone. Rather he had to call a meeting of the Estates General which would ...
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3answers
3k views

Why wasn't Monaco unified with France?

Why wasn't Monaco unified with the Kingdom/Republic of France during the unification? I understand France used to be a very decentralized kingdom with many areas ruled by vassal or smaller rulers, and ...
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6answers
6k views

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

England (and its succeeding states) were at war with France for close to 1000 years. First it was over land, then they competed over religion, then they competed over colonies. For much of that time, ...
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0answers
96 views

What were the names of the weapon manufacturers in France in the late 1700's

What were the names of the companies that manufactured hand weapons in France in the late 1700's and who were the most productive.
4
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2answers
253 views

What was the final result for France after the Napoleonic wars?

What I'd like to know is if the final outcome of the wars was ultimately beneficial for France. In territorial terms. Did it manage to keep some territorial gains? If the question isn't clear be ...
7
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1answer
204 views

What was the reaction to English monarchs using the title “King of France”?

After the Hundred Years War (or "wars") the English had been wiped off France, but English monarchs kept using their official title "King of France". As I understand, this was to legalize their claims ...
4
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1answer
153 views

Ports Used by French Navy in 1792 and Strength of Fleet

I am currently writing series of young adult novels about the European Conflicts beginning in 1792. Where were the major and minor French Navy ports and yards, and what was the relative strength of ...
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0answers
126 views

What does the case of Louis Napoleon tell us about the passport regime in 1830s Europe? [closed]

Here is a more specific question about passports and borders. The Wikipedia entry on passports describes how for several decades leading up to WWI, the system for checking travelers' identities when ...
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2answers
530 views

Why was France given such a lenient peace after Napoleon was defeated?

For two decades revolutionary France had attacked and conquered many nations in Europe. Millions were killed. But when the allies finally defeated France, the peace was very lenient. France didn't ...
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3answers
850 views

Why did the French nobility adopt Calvinism?

The Wikipedia article on the French Wars of Religion says that the Calvinist form of Protestantism, in particular, spread into the nobility. Now, I'd like to know why is that, and not Lutheranism for ...
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2answers
251 views

How did Napoleon I succeed in France despite his shortcomings in French?

TL;DR. My question: The following sources onfirm that despite Napoleon's industry and perseverance, he never refined his French to the level of a native fluent speaker. So how did he succeed in ...
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2answers
494 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 ...
8
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1answer
372 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 ...
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4answers
378 views

Why are only the Normandy landings referred to as D-Day?

Thinking about the anniversary of the Normandy landings, I was struck that the terms D-Day and H-hour were used to denote the start time of all allied military operations. Are there any specific ...
5
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1answer
164 views

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

In 1858 during Italian unification, the Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, Cavour, entered into an alliance with France. In return for French aid against Austria, Cavour ceded Savoy and Nice to ...
8
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2answers
223 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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2answers
267 views

France vs Germany in 1940: equipment vs. organization [closed]

Many times I heard that in 1940 France had more tanks than Germany and that French tanks were better than German ones. Is it indeed so? What about airplanes?
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53 views

What is the usage of a small wash-house in Versailles during Louis XIV times?

I was searching for the usage of a small construction on the edge of the Versailles Castle gardens (the stone thing on the left on the picture below, one of the gates (Saint-Antoine) is on the right): ...
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2answers
112 views

Napoleon's exploits in 1785

Napoleon Bonaparte being commissioned Second Lieutenant at the age 17 in French Artillery, returned to Corsica. Given his French Allegiance, why did he join the resistance movement while still ...
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1answer
127 views

Napoleon's Height [duplicate]

I have heard from some scholars that Napoleon was actually average sized. The only reason everyone thinks he is short is because of the difference in English inches and French inches. Is this true?
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10answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
145 views

What happened to the french overseas colonies during the beginning of the french revolution?

While I understand that Paris and then most of France got swept up in revolutionary fervor. What happened in its far flung colonies, such as the Antilles, India, North America, Africa and even ...
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291 views

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 their (patrilineal) ancestry as far back as possible. Well, the Bourbons are ...
6
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2answers
502 views

John the Fearless: John I or John II? Can the French and the English agree?

I am comparing the English and French wikipedia articles about John the Fearless: The English article has him as "John II of Burgundy" while the French article says he's John I of Burgundy: ...
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695 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 ...
4
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1answer
634 views

Flag of Paris: Why blue and red?

The flag of Paris is blue and red. What was the red chosen for? What was the blue chosen for? I have heard that blue identified with Saint Martin, and red with Saint Denis, but the Wikipedia pages ...
2
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1answer
318 views

What happened to the French soldiers evacuated at Dunkirk and elsewhere in 1940?

How many of them fought on in the Free French Forces and how many of them simply repatriated back to France?
0
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1answer
259 views

Did Jaques Chirac say “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power”?

This article claims that Jaques Chirac stated in March 2008: “Without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power” This is significant because it implies France is ...
5
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0answers
216 views

Was Napoleon's own strategy the cause of his downfall? [closed]

I've been reading Rothenburg's The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon and Parker's Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800, and while I realize there were a ...
11
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3answers
974 views

Why was Khomeini in France? Who allowed him to leave and why?

I never knew that Khomeini was in France until I saw What was President Jimmy Carter's role in the Iranian Revolution?. Why was Khomeini in France? Who allowed him to leave France and why?
9
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2answers
326 views

What is the current location of the “Cauldron of Trun and Chambios” from August 1944?

I am trying to document my grandfather's participation in World War II, and have come across a letter written by a German military official informing my grandfather's parents that their son is missing ...
3
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1answer
227 views

Did De Gaulle really say “I am France” (Je suis la France)?

My great grandpa always told me WWII stories and he always told me De Gaulle said that, however, I can't find any reliable source for it. I have a book stating that supposedly he wrote that in a ...
12
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485 views

How did Napoleon evade the British fleet and return to France?

After the defeat of the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in 1798, Napoleon's army was cut off in a far away and hostile country. One year later, after eluding the British fleet, he made it safely ...
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2answers
236 views

Were there any Frankish/French kings who probably had no extramarital sexual relations?

I was listening to Dan Carlin's podcast about the start of Merovingian dynasty, and he made a snide quip about the early Merovingians (starting with Clovis) and even Carolingians not exactly being ...
2
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1answer
565 views

When did the French Revolution end?

Is there a consensus among historians on when the regarding when the French Revolution ended? Google results including Wikipedia names Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1799 as the end of the French ...