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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 ...


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 ...


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. ...


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 ...


8

I can find a literary reference; I have no idea whether the depiction of the anecdote is accurate. The reference is in the notes to La Gastronomie by Joseph de Berchoux, which was somehow famous in France in the 19th century and coined the word gastronomie. The poem was first published in 1801 (the edition I link to is from 1819). The notes look like they ...


8

The answer lies, I believe, in the obscure end of the Merovingian epoch and is quite hard to understand from a modern perspective seeing that the geopolitical entitles involved disappeared completely under the Carolingians (at the risk of being off-topic, I still remember fondly reading these stories as a child and not understanding a word, so foreign seemed ...


8

According to this source by the Treaty of Bärwald: Richelieu, however, turned against the Habsburgs young Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, paying him a subsidy of a million livres a year by the treaty of Bärwald of the 23rd of January 1631. Wikipedia states: The treaty obliged Sweden to maintain an army of 36,000 troops, and France to fund the Swedish ...


8

It wasn't a kingdom. The idea is that there existed a Jewish principality in the Frankish realm, vassal to the Carolingian kings. Their leader wasn't a king but rather a Nāśī. It is mostly advocated by a certain Arthur Zuckerman, as you have noted. His theory has been widely dismissed by historians in general. Zuckerman's claim is that the Jews of ...


7

Let's split that 20 year period up into foursegments and address the key factors at play in each one: 1792-1799 (approximately Valmy through Napoleon becoming First Consul) 1800-1802 (approximately Heliopolis through Peace of Amiens) 1803-1805 (Camp at Boulogne) 1805-1812 Valmy through First Consul: The French are winning consistently through this ...


6

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first use of the word "van" in print to refer to "A covered vehicle chiefly employed for the conveyance of goods" was in 1829. These were not motor vehicles as we think of vans today, just horse-drawn wagons. See the Wikipedia page for Pantechnicon van for information and a photo of a particular type of English ...


6

They were assigned to the Musketeer's unit. Unit names rarely designate the actual weapons - for example, there was a regiment of Fusiliers in the UK army in 1962, but they didn't use flintlocks (Fusilier is a word that means "flintlock shooter"), nor do the Grenadiers fight exclusively with grenades. And the Horse Guards... Or to choose another example, ...


6

A passage from Medieval Jewish Civilization: An Encyclopedia discusses the history and importance of Narbonne as a center for Jewish thought in the western Mediterranean. You can explore this book in more detail on Google Books. In this book, the following passage discusses Charlemagne’s association with what were known as “The Jewish Kings of Narbonne”: ...


4

Balancing the Budget is very different from eliminating the National Debt. A Balanced Budget simply means that a country made a decrease, no matter how small, in the National Debt over the specified time period (usually a year). Given the horrendous expense of running Louis XIV's court, it is easy to see how the Budget might have improved simply in ...


4

Thomas Nashe's 1592 work Pierce Penilesse, His Supplication to the Divell implies a use of wigs to hide the indications of venereal disease: "Men and women that have gone under the South pole, must lay off their furde night-caps in spight of their teeth, and become yeomen of the vineger bottle: a close periwig hides al the sinnes of an olde ...


4

As surprising as this may seem, there is some truth in these allegations, but of course this does not change in any way their antisemitic character. Why there is some truth The French Triangular Trade was conducted primarily from the harbor of Nantes, from where departed almost as many slave-carrying ships as from all the other French harbors combined. ...


4

They are termed camp followers and have followed armies since before Ramses II at Kadesh. Modern armies travel with long tails of official logistical services - cooks, tailors, smiths, armourers, teamsters, nurses, physicians & surgeons, etc. - that in earlier times were provided by civilian camp followers, but wives, children, mistresses and others ...


4

There isn't, and never has been, a French equivalent of the Victorian Era in the sense of moral rigidity and the dominance of the bourgeoisie. As evidence I submit the concept of the French Postcard (warning - adult content beyond link) which nearly every Victorian gentleman traveling on the Continent would send to his male friends for their amusement. The ...


4

As for the symbolism of the white color, Wikipedia has a couple of explanations : White had long featured prominently on French flags and is described as the "ancient French colour" by Lafayette. White was added to the "revolutionary" colors of the militia cockade to "nationalise" the design, thus creating the tricolour cockade. And also The ...


3

The May 1968 protests was in no way a revolution. It started as a student protest against various issues at the University of Sorbonne, and escalated when first the university leadership and after the conflict grew, the government, tried to solve the issue by calling in police. After this many other unions in France went on strike in sympathy. So it was not ...


3

The most important bit of background information here is that Britain spent that period dedicated to thwarting France (particularly its continental ambitions). This was the basic diplomatic split in western politics. In the USA, the Democratic Party tended to be very suspicous of England (for various reasons, the most practical of which was the clash of ...


3

Italy was an ally of Germany, not an occupied country (except for the North in 1943-1945, which was not, technically, occupied). They made, e.g., Fiat_G.55 in Turin which saw action against the allied air forces. In general, Germany had the full use of the whole of French, Czech &c industries (except for those which were destroyed by allied bombing ...


3

There were multiple reasons why Algeria was so important to French: Algeria was French military colony since 1834. and, by the constitution of 1848 to be an integral part of French territory and divided into three French departments (Algiers, Oran and Constantine). Also, as Tom said, Algeria was backdoor of France and it was very possible route to invade ...


3

Napoleon abolished the revolutionary calendar in 1805. It was never very popular. Catholics disliked having their saints' days dropped, and having a day of rest every 10 days instead of every seven probably made it a tough sell. The Cult of the Supreme Being never caught on. Much of France's population remained Catholic during this time, and many of the ...


3

I believe that the author is referring to William Pitt the Younger, who was at various times Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister during the end of the reign of George III and then during the Napoleonic Wars. He was a strong advocate of free trade policies as advocated by Adam Smith. There is a story where Pitt and other dignitaries refused to sit ...


3

An alliance with the Sardinia-Piedmont was a good way to weaken the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and to win an potentially strong ally on the Alpine south-east border of France, betting on the unification of the Italian peninsula by the kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont. A weak Sardinia-Piedmont Kingdom meant that France could be threatened by an invasion from the ...


3

Under the Ancien Régime, the judiciary of France was divided into several local bodies known as parlements. Despite the similarity of their names to the modern parliamentary institution, the Ancien Régime parlement were quite different. They formed a powerful component of the French judicial system, serving as the highest courts of appeals for their region. ...


2

You have to be very careful about films about the Napoleonic Wars. First off, there aren't that many, unless you include the Richard Sharpe made for TV series and various TV miniseries, about which I will speak later. Of the actual feature films, I think War And Peace has been made twice, the only one worth watching being the Bondarchuk version. Bondarchuk ...


2

It depends on which part of the novel you're talking about. Part of it is set in 1815 (either under Napoleon I or Louis XVIII), part is set in 1823 (Louis XVIII) and part in 1832 (Louis-Philippe I). The rebellion depicted in the novel has nothing to do with the French Revolution of 1789, but it is related to the July Revolution of 1830, in which Charles ...


2

Churchills triumph, a novel by Michael Dobbs gives the best explanation for this. With Poland and Eastern Germany lost to Russia, France had to be built up as a bulwark against communism


2

In 17th century France, the top of the judiciary hierarchy is the King, who is an absolute monarch. Therefore, only a direct order from the King himself would be "legally" allowed to bypass laws and judges; it is called a lettre de cachet. We can see, for instance, Louis XIV issuing a bunch of them during the affaire des poisons (1677 to 1682) as an attempt ...



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