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50

Before answering, just to take issue with the premise of the question. Yes, France received a permanent seat on the Security Council, not to mention her own occupation zones in Germany and Austria. But France was not accorded a status anything like the "Big Three" in most other respects. From May 1943 De Gaulle was operating independently from French ...


33

The sale of Louisiana was a FIRE SALE for France, and specifically, its self-appointed ruler, Napoleon Bonaparte, for these reasons: 1) France had gotten "burned" with her earlier misadventures in North America. The French and Indian war cost her Canada and all of her other possessions on the east bank of the Mississippi. (She had managed to save ...


31

The Phoney War (Sitzkrieg, Drôle de Guerre, etc.) seems destined to remain one of the great mysteries of history. It is difficult to comprehend now, after the fact, how such an astonishing combination of missed opportunities, wishful thinking, and indecisiveness on the part of not just one, but two great powers, could have carried on for more than half a ...


20

Because this question has been edited many times I have to clarify that I am answering the version that asks: What caused the Iranian 1979 revolution to become Islamic? Short Answer (more suited for causal conversations in bars): It was easier to portray the Shah as anti Islamic ruler in league with the Western powers bent on destroying Islam in an Islamic ...


18

In short: It was true until 2006. Now he can still run for president of France, but through the standard way : he can acquire French nationality through naturalization (like anyone) and run for president as a French citizen! More precisely : This article (Sorry, Bill Clinton. You can't be president of France or Ireland) explains deeply why : Clinton ...


18

The main reason for the status of France after the WW2 was Churchill's position. Soft power and colonies are important, but nothing prevented the US & SU (both with strong anti-colonialist sentiment) from breaking up the French colonial empire. The war contribution of France was mostly in denying Germany the use of the French navy. The rest ...


18

Many French may have borne arms for the Axis, but it was very soft support; not many of them ever fired a shot in anger for the Axis. Even in October/November 1942 with the Axis at flood tide, Vichy North Africa rapidly switched allegiance after the Torch Landings at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers, despite some initial confused opposition. Following the ...


15

What you are referring to is commonly known as the "French Column". I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that English movies and the English version of Wikipedia are pretty dismissive of it. After all, that was the opinion of everyone's favorite English General, Wellington. And he was certainly able to back it up. The first thing you have to realize is that ...


14

It is unfortunately far easier to prove the presence of seats than their absence. The newspapers worldwide covered the Eiffel Tower in great detail and I decided to check what they wrote about the elevators (which where obviously a particular point of interest). The National Library of New Zealand puts historical newspapers online and makes them searchable, ...


12

First, Belgium wasn't created by uniting the Walloons with the Flemish, but by secession from the Netherlands. This event is known as the Belgian Revolution. According to the linked Wikipedia article, one of the reasons for the revolution was that many future Belgians, even Flemish, "regarded King William I's rule as despotic". Moreover, Belgians are ...


12

Here is the map of colonial possessions by 1945: The French possessions are in blue. As you can see, France controlled a territory comparable to the US, USSR, British and Chinese. Adding them meant adding representatives of a large portion of the world's population to the security council.


11

First of all, France's goal is not to "undermine its relationship with Turkey" as you have implied. Instead, this is a product of France's policy of recognising what happened during WWI as a genocide. I believe the most important part of your question is why has France been the most assertive when it comes to recognition of the Armenian genocide. This comes ...


11

Khomeini was in France because he had been expelled from Iran and then Iraq, and his aides had advised him to go to Europe, and because France granted him political asylum. He was at the time an aged and relatively obscure religious figure, a target of political persecution who had not been to his home country in well over a decade. They probably saw him as ...


10

First off the wikipedia page that you cite to is based on the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index ("EIUDI") which is not an academic source. The methodology used to assemble the report is not known, but that doesn't mean that it is not useful. With that in mind from the EIUDI 2011 Report: Flawed democracies: These countries also have free and ...


10

Napoleon loved forward momentum - and he got it with the heavy column. The formation forced his infantry forward, the front ranks constantly pushed to the fore by the ranks behind them, and made opponents break formation to get the hell out of the way. This worked, because Napoleon was an artilleryman - he would disrupt opposing line formations with ...


10

Yes, all guillotines have been dismounted. Public executions are no longer popular, and even the memory of them is not something most people want to face. While executions were originally public, they gradually became less so: execution times changed over the 19th century to happen in the dead of the night, then at dawn; in 1939 (a lot later than in most ...


10

I remember from reading Churchill's memoirs that in September 1939 it was pretty much the consensus among western generals and politicians to take the defensive strategy. Everybody remembered costly offensives of WWI and preferred to count on the Maginot Line.


10

You might want to reivew the history of the NATO alliance, Charles De Gaulle, and the special relationship. In particular Immensely patriotic, de Gaulle and his supporters held the view, known as Gaullism, that France should continue to see itself as a major power and should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national ...


10

I'm not into proscribing a lot of collective guilt onto modern peoples for acts of their cultural ancestors. In fact, its damn silly. However, if someone else is trying to do this publicly, they should be really careful, because when it comes to slavery almost no culture on earth has clean hands. This includes Muslim society, and local Negro1 cultures. ...


10

Pieter Geerkens answer is excellent and should be selected, but I want to add a few well-known facts which show that the "brutal statistic" is actually wrong by an order of magnitude. Western Front 1940 More than 2,200,000 French soldiers fought on the Western Front in 1940. This alone dwarfs the total number of any kind of military personnel under ...


9

At the moment of his election (1641), it seems that Mazarin was in minor orders - so called "lay cardinal". After that, there seems to be little consensus and pretty much no primary sources, but if anything, he was a cardinal-priest. By the process of elimination, he was a cardinal-priest: He was definitely not a cardinal-deacon. From "The Cardinals of ...


9

If one interprets this question as Why were the Merovingians so reviled at the peak of their power?, then the answer is easy: they weren't. At the peak of their power, the frankish kingdoms were the most powerful geopolitical entities in Western Europe, were recognized as such and their kings were treated accordingly. The early Carolingians reviled the ...


9

First of all, Monaco was annexed by revolutionary France and was part of it from 1793 to 1814. Before 1793 and from 1814 to 1860 it was surrounded by lands belonging to House of Savoy. (So for that specific timeframes, it would be pretty hard for France to annex Monaco without annexing Savoy's lands). Monaco is surrounded by France from 1860 as a ...


9

From Wikipedia, you can found this: Il fut, dès l'origine, composé de cinq membres permanents, les États-Unis, l'Union soviétique, le Royaume-Uni, la France et la République de Chine, à la fois, parce que ce sont les principaux vainqueurs de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, et parce que représentant à ce moment-là la majorité de la population mondiale (en ...


8

In the middle ages, Belgium and the Netherlands belonged to an area called the "Low Countries". In 1384 this area came under the dominion of the Dukes of Burgundy, starting what is known as the "Burgundian Netherlands". These domions were merged into the Spanish crown as a result of the political marriage of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I to Mary of ...


8

As far as I know, the main issues in French foreign policy of the period were: Friendship with USA, with which France shared common ideological ground. In particular, the United States Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and United States Bill of Rights much influenced the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and ...


8

According to Cardinal Richelieu's Wikipedia page he was a cardinal priest until December 4, 1642, the day of his death. Mazarin is difficult to find specific information on. According to his Wikipedia page, Jules Mazarin succeeded Richelieu. Since I cannot find any information on which kind of cardinal Mazarin was, I can only assume that he was a cardinal ...


8

In the late part of 1858, Count Charles Montalembert of France was put on trial and prosecuted by the French government for writing an article titled "A Debate on India in the English Parliament". The French government took the position that certain passages of this article were "seditious and an outrage upon the existing Government" of France. (This link ...


8

Preparing for war takes place over a matter of months, if not years. This is true physically, logistically, and psychologically. Basically, the Germans were ready for war in September 1939, the Allies were not. One advantage enjoyed by the German army was the "practice" it had obtained in the occupation of both Austria and the modern Czech Republic ...


8

I believe the greatest allies mistake was made before Poland, during Munich treaty. Allies left Czechoslovakia to Germans in exchange of promised peace which never came. Czechoslovakia had a great defence line, better tanks thank germans, same quality airplanes and totally awesome and modern artillery which Germans totally missed. If the allies supported ...



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