During the hundred year's war, Étienne Marcel did not recognize Charles V as a king and led an opposing power in Paris. Given that Charles V managed to settle his legitimacy later, how come France named a street and a metro after him, and even has a statue of him? Since he lost, I would have expected him to be considered as a betrayer.

The street was created in the second half of the 19th century, the métro opened in 1908 and the statue is from 1888. Also, there is a street Étienne Marcel in Tours. So even if he was a hero in Paris at that time, that's a lot of recognition from France, more than five hundred years after his death.

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    I think this is answered by the Wikipedia article. He was a traitor to the French monarchy (although not necessarily a traitor to France) but he was a hero to the bulk of the people of Paris. – KillingTime Dec 31 '17 at 21:01
  • @KillingTime I added some explanations on why I still find it surprising. I would have understood if the street had been named shortly after his death, and persisted through five centuries. – anderstood Jan 1 '18 at 15:29
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    I mean, I don't think it's necessarily surprising that people remember history. When the French overthrew their monarchy, it's logical for historical figures perceived as being against the monarchy to become popular. – Semaphore Jan 1 '18 at 17:34

Naming a street after a historical personality is not uncommon in France, as in all democratic countries, no matter the political and historical (sometimes controversial) implications. (For example, in Paris and France one can find names of streets or metro stations like Robespierre, Stalingrad, more rarely Lenin, and - much more discreetly - even Stalin.)

Étienne Marcel was a important enough figure, and he is especially important for the history of the city of Paris, which enjoyed a long tradition of autonomy in the middle age (as did many cities in France and Europe) contrasting with the relatively more recent absolutist royalty.

The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century is an important period for the French republic, when in spite of a persisting conflict between old and new, a large republican consensus is established, one where people were looking for symbolic historical precedents.

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