Questions tagged [france]

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

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0answers
66 views

How to travel from Koblenz (Germany) to Paris (France) in May 1805?

I'm trying to fill in some blanks in my family history. In May 1805 an ancestor of mine traveled from Koblenz (Germany) to Paris (France). He left most likely on May 16 or 17, maybe a few days later. ...
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Which mountain collapsed in France in 1820/21?

In his commentary on Job 28:7, Rabbi Meir Leibush Malbim (1809-1879) writes (my translation): In 5581 (1820/21) a tall mountain in France collapsed, and left behind a deep chasm full of water. This ...
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What ancient manuscripts were lost when the Huguenots destroyed the Cluny Abbey library?

I've heard that the destruction of the great Cluny Abbey library (in the Burgundy region of France) both by the Huguenots (1562) and later during the French Revolution meant that a massive number of ...
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Did Louis XIV flee from the Louvre or the Palais-Royal on 5th January 1649?

When visiting the Louvre once with a guide, she mentioned that the young Louis XIV, on the night of 5 January 1649, actually escaped from Palais-Royal and not from the Louvre as it is usually ...
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287 views

What were French collaborators specifically accused of after the Liberation of France in WWII?

I came across the title of a book, 'France: The Tragic Years, 1939-1947' by Sisley Huddleston, which struck me as odd, as I supposed France's tragedy to have ended with the retreat of the Germans in ...
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38 views

How did private property work in medieval France?

Were you required to purchase a land deed to get permission from the ruler of the area, or could you build wherever you wanted? If the latter is how it worked throughout Europe for the most part, I ...
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When was fire breathing banned from Paris Métro?

I see on youtube that fire breathing was allowed or tolerated in Paris Métro in 1982. However, I have never seen any fire breather between 2000 and now. When was fire breathing banned from Paris ...
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1answer
298 views

Did any “tanks in front” tactic exist during WW2?

I am searching for a tactic that would be in service in the British and/or French army during WW2. It would consist in placing the tank on forward position of other elements, especially in front of ...
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1answer
117 views

What was the age of majority in France and Belgium in 1945?

What was the age at which a child became an adult, for purposes of executing a legal document, in France and Belgium at the end of the Second World War? I cannot find a site that gives a history of ...
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What was the point of horse armour?

From my knowledge (and please correct me if I'm wrong), horse armour wasn't very thick (0.4mm-1.9mm) according to the paper in the link: How thick was late medieval horse armor? Even without ...
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3answers
473 views

Why was there no “Atlantic Wall” equivalent on the Mediterranean coast of France?

During World War II, Germany built the Atlantic Wall, a series of fortifications covering the Atlantic coasts of France, the Low Countries, Norway, etc. But that effort didn't seem to extend to the ...
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1answer
361 views

What language did Nazi German occupying forces speak in France?

I am watching the TV series "Das Boot", playing in La Rochelle in occupied France during the second world war. Partially, the German occupying forces are speaking English when working together with ...
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280 views

What is the original source of this 16th century image of a French town holiday with musicians in a tree?

Several sites have this image below but none give any information about the original source. Image source: fineartamerica. The same image can also be found at Granger and (on various items such as ...
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Are there any portraits of Joseph Lagrange made during his lifetime?

I have seen several portraits at Google Search, but it seems some of them are just modified copies of others of dubious origins. Like this seems to be a "manlier" copy of this.
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Does anyone know of a good source on French folk customs?

I have been looking into French culture and was wondering if anyone knows of a book or collection of documents, etc... That contain prayers, customs, etc... That the French practiced. Kinda like a ...
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9k views

Was it possible for a message from Paris to reach London within 48 hours in 1782?

I used to have a paperback copy of Diplomacy of the American Revolution by Samuel Flagg Bemis, but now I can't find it. I seem to recall that American diplomats in Paris in 1782 (Franklin, Adams, Jay) ...
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680 views

What are the “sexual causes” for the French Revolution cited in Wikipedia?

In the Wikipedia article on the causes for the causes of the French Revolution, among the causes listed in the earlier revision (I've changed it for now) was: Sexual: Amongst the lesser known ...
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1answer
599 views

Is The King (2019) historically realistic? [closed]

The King (2019) by Netflix is about king Henry V. A few aspects of the movie struck me as either unbelievable, or contradicting what little even I know about history. In no particular order: The ...
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2answers
668 views

What are specific parts of this 19th century dress called?

Src: Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva So this a the Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva in which she is wearing a white and green gown. I just need a really simple explaination of what the separate ...
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274 views

Does anyone know anything about this poem

My near 80 year old mother remembers having this poem recited to her by her mother as a young girl. She remembers a great deal but there are some gaps. Is anyone able to place it in context or ...
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1answer
533 views

What was the extent of France's material support during the American Revolution?

Though it is a recognised fact that French support for the American revolutionaries was vital for their success against the British empire, the exact details are less clear. The most obvious source is ...
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1answer
1k views

Who said “one can be a powerful king with a very small sceptre”?

Anne McElvoy, senior editor at the Economist, wrote the following in a recent column: As a mistress of Louis XIV waspishly remarked, one can be a powerful king with a very small sceptre. The quote ...
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Why did the negotiations between Henry V of England and France fail?

Before Henry V of England resumed the Hundred Years War against France, he and the French government acting for Charles VI who was mentally ill were negotiating for a peace treaty where Henry V would ...
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1answer
265 views

What uniform is my ancestor wearing?

Can anyone identify this uniform? I believe this man is an ancestor of mine, the picture was shared with me by my father 2nd cousin - whom we found through DNA matching. She does not know his name. ...
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1answer
269 views

Can anyone help identify this French military uniform?

Can anyone help identify this French Military Uniform? The picture belongs to a woman – my father's 2nd cousin found through DNA matching – and she says it's her grandfather, who was a Frenchman. ...
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How were noblewomen named/titled in Medieval France, c. 11th century?

I was reading through some articles on Wikipedia and long story short I ended up reading about 11th century dukes of France. I noticed that a lot of their wives had names such as, e.g. Adelaide of ...
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1answer
329 views

Did Antoine de Saint-Exupery have any offspring?

Looking through the wikipedia > Antoine de Saint-Exupery, I see he had a number of partners, one of them was Consuelo de Saint Exupéry (the character who probably inspired the rose in The Little ...
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2answers
355 views

How could the 4/5 devaluation of Franc Poincaré in 1928 end the financial crisis France was going through?

In June 1928, the French government ran by Raymond Poincaré decided to devalue the country's currency by 4/5. Thus, if I understand correctly, it created a new currency called the "Franc Poincaré" ...
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468 views

How were the day-to-day activities of the French Resistance financed?

Fighting a war, even as loosely-organised or underground force, is expensive - you need places to stay and keep things; you need to feed and equip people; you need to obtain, maintain and fuel ...
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1answer
739 views

What do these terms in Caesar's Gallic Wars mean?

In his Comentarii de bello Gallico, Ceasar writes this on first page: The Belgae rises from the extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the river Rhine; and look toward the ...
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1answer
211 views

Who were the police of Vichy France?

I'm starting a small project with some friends, but before I got started, I wanted to make sure I had all my facts straight. My question is about France in 1940, during the Second World War. When ...
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1answer
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Does anyone have information about a pre-1859 church in Villers-Bretonneux?

The current church of Villers-Bretonneux, Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Villers-Bretonneux was built after WWI. Before this was a church built in 1859; here is an historic photo. There was a church ...
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1answer
169 views

Does somebody know anything about the original “Tour de Croy” tower?

In Chatillion one can find today this tower. Before this, there was the Biret tower, built in 1870. Before the Biret tower there was the Croy tower (tour de Croy). A short history of the towers The ...
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249 views

Were communists opposed to Jews in France?

After reading the very insightful question to what extent were the Jewish persecuted during the Soviet Union and its first two answers reminded me my high school History classes to the extent that the ...
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1answer
2k views

Did Napoleon III reserve a special set of aluminum cutlery for special guests?

Slate (2010): the minor emperor Napoleon III reserved a prized set of aluminum cutlery for special guests at banquets. (Less favored guests used gold knives and forks.) I see the above claim (or ...
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1answer
155 views

Are there any reliable documented records of members or operations of the French Resistance during World War 2?

I am working on a research project in which a Polish World War 2 veteran has received a number of medals from France. These medals are as follows: Commemorative Medal of the War 1939 - 1945 War ...
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Are there any sources on the Tempestarii?

The Tempestarii were weather mages in the Frankish Empire Recorded and were recorded on by Agobard of Lyons. I read the text he wrote on them but I cannot find other texts on them that go into more ...
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86 views

Source material for a tale originating from the Middle ages: “Falling off a church and surviving by falling on someone”

I'm looking for the original story of a tale I've been told years ago back in high school by my history teacher. A worker in France was working on a church and lost his balance and fell. He landed on ...
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103 views

For the French Army under Jean Martinet (d1672) how and why were cavalry used instead of infantry?

For France's army of the period of Jean Martinet (d1672) in the Early modern, how and why were cavalry used instead of infantry? In European warfare the default company is the infantry company. This ...
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500 views

Were there any elections under the Vichy regime?

My question is as in the title: during the Vichy regime in France, from July 1940 to, say, June 1944 were there any official election of any kind - for mayors, lawmakers, etc? If none, do you have a ...
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The WWI Christmas truce of 1914 resulted in no consequences, in spite of clear warnings against such beforehand - why were there no courts-martial?

British and German Soldiers photographed together during 1914 Christmas Truce. Source: The Daily Mirror, Friday January 8, 1915. Question What factors led to no courts-martial charges being pursued ...
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896 views

Did anyone face consequences (charges / court-martial) for the 1914 Christmas truce in WWI?

A copy of the Daily Mail from Dec. 31, 1914 reports on the Christmas truce. Source: The Star As a follow-up to this question about impromptu football / soccer games between troops from opposite ...
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Is that armistice wagon photograph authentic?

The armistice on November 11th, 1918, was signed between 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM, french time (which was at this time UTC+0, one hour earlier than today). Wikipedia has a photo of the event, presumably ...
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Had the French in Paris started to learn German before their liberation in 1944?

One of Donald Trump's recent tweets states: Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two - How ...
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Were the names in Les Miserables ever common?

Victor Hugo used a variety of unusual names in Les Miserables. Lets look at some of the major characters. Jean (Valjean) - One of the historically most common masculine surnames Javert Cosette - Her ...
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411 views

Why did King Arthur have such a great influence in Brittany?

King Arthur, according to its literature, was a British leader. However, its influence in Brittany is huge. The Brocéliande, the mythical forest where Merlin was buried, is there, lots of family names ...
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555 views

How did Thomas Jefferson's time in France influence his views of women?

Jefferson seemed to believe for some time that women were consigned to domestic duties while men were tasked food, shelter, protection, public debate, and politics. He went so far, in 1816, to declare ...
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Why was France's birth rate low from 1800 to WWII?

Inspired by this lemma on Wikipedia as well as a few paragraphs here and there in Piketty's Capital in the 21st century I'm asking the question how the low birth rate in France between 1800 and WWII ...
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1answer
355 views

Why conceal the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus?

If Alfred Dreyfus was innocent and the people in the general staff knew it, why did they try to cover it up and protect the guilty man? Weren't they concerned that there was still a mole present?
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Did Jeanne d'Arc really tell a woman that she couldn't serve on the battlefield?

When I was browsing TV Tropes today, I came across this interesting tidbit of information on Jeanne d'Arc's Useful Notes page: "Also, Joan has been attributed with feminist and/or populist views, ...

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