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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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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
279 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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Why did General Dupont surrender in the Battle of Bailén?

General Dupont's had, from my inexpert view, quite a superior army when he fought the Spanish forces at the Battle of Bailén. This battle was in fact the first defeat in open field of the Napoleonic ...
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Why are Quebeckers different from Acadians?

These two French-speaking peoples of Canada are quite distinct, both in linguistic as well as historical terms. How did this difference arise? Did they arrive at different times to Canada? Do they ...
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135 views

Has the drought also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland?

I was wondering whether the drought has also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland (e.g. like https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44801939). I searched the net but couldn't ...
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What is this flag?

The flag is worn by Princess Isabella when she meets William Wallace actress Sophie Marceau as Princess Isabella in Braveheart
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415 views

Was there risk of revolution in France at end of World War I?

Germany was forced to finish World War I with signing peace treaty on very humiliating conditions for them. That's because in 1918 in Germany there was active fifth column of communists who were ...
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190 views

Did Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Finance Minister of Louis XIV, sanction mass executions for reasons of economic policies?

In his book, The Mystery of Capitalism, author De Soto claims that Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Finance Minister under Louis XIV, had people executed for economic reasons. Colbert is still a widely admired ...
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195 views

Why were eighteenth century financial inventions only patentable under French law for 21 months?

This Tontine wikipedia article says, Financial inventions were patentable under French law from January 1791 until September 1792 Why did that practice stop after less than 2 years?
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In what contexts did male friends kiss in Europe in the 1700s?

In Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon, there's an scene where the title character's mentor, Captain Grogan, is gunned down by French troops. As he lies dying he asks Barry to "kiss me, my boy, for we ...
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283 views

Which Kings of France visited England?

Every English King from Edward the Confessor (d. 1066) to Edward IV (d. 1483) was in France at some point during their lives, almost all during their reigns, and some were born there. These 'visits' ...
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Was a passport needed to travel between UK and France in 1972?

In Hitchcock's 1972 film Frenzy (at about the time 00:54:55) a character says: We can get a day trip to France. You don't need a passport. (He is a commoner, no diplomatic status etc, in fact a ...
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190 views

What are these cubbies?

My brother-in-law sent me these pictures from Vitrolles, France. They would have been taken somewhere with in a two hours drive from there. We were both wondering why in the interior of this tower ...
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294 views

Did the Zone Rouge in France and Belgium make a difference in WWII?

WWI left a huge impact on the European landscape - thousands of miles of trenches, torn-apart earth mixed with unexploded ordnance and chemical weapons fallout, and other nasty surprises from the "...
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1answer
115 views

Which king of Burgundy sheltered two Robertians?

I am having trouble retrieving this information. A duke or king of Burgundy took custody of, I'm pretty sure, Odo and Robert, sons of Robert the Strong. It's possible that it was some later Robertians,...
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156 views

In which estate were the soldiers prior to the French revolution?

In which estate did the soldiers come prior to the French revolution? In my book it is written "peasants had to serve in the army..." and "army was not open as I was not a noble by birth"
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Where can I find information about women who worked in French military brothels in WW1?

Although I have found memoirs from serving men who used brothels, I cannot find equivalent first hand accounts from the women.
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124 views

In France, 1916, would a soldier who was invalided out of the army, e.g. as an amputee, still get his army pay?

In France, the law providing ex-servicemen with an army pension did not come in until 1919, so if wounded soldiers were unable to fight, what did they live on?
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385 views

Was Marshal Foch predicting WW2 20 years in advance just a coincidence?

The Allied Supreme Commander at the end of WW1, Ferdinand Foch, seemingly predicted at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles hostilities with Germany recurring in the future. His prediction for the ...
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1answer
2k views

What are the dates of these panoramas of Paris?

As part of a personal project I've been looking for period etchings, engravings, and black and white illustrations of Paris as it might have looked during the French Revolution of 1789. Those who are ...
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314 views

During WW2, why did the USA occupy Clipperton Island?

Clipperton Island is a little place southwest of Mexico. It is a very small island, owned by France, but I'm not sure if anyone inhabited it at the time of WW2. Wikipedia says the US occupied this ...
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What happened to these buildings near the Seine?

I was looking at these before after images and was concerned what happened to these beautiful buildings near the Seine in Paris. Were they destroyed in a war? Has there been any attempt to reconstruct ...
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91 views

What was this major foreign policy reversal by the Vatican in the Middle Ages?

I made a note about something, but now I can't find it. It was a major shift in the political situation of Europe in the late Middle Ages. Initially one country was the hegemon and the pope organized ...
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1answer
95 views

Did the Vatican punish France for rejecting Tordesillas?

The Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) divided up all new discoveries between Portugal and Castile, so establishing the position of Brazil. Pope Alexander VI's deal excluded the other Catholic states. ...
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254 views

Why was the Kamchatka Regiment sent?

About 1800, Major-General Andrey Somov headed a regiment sent from Irkutsk to reinforce Kamchatka. Soldiers were to take up positions in about five garrisons around the peninsula. Feeding them was a ...
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Can you identify this uniform?

Can anyone identify the uniform in this portrait? Presumably French. The portrait was handed down through unknown generations within the deBoissoudy family in the South of France. Latest family ...
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Which of Ben Franklin's grandsons was blessed by Voltaire?

I've seen this image and I was curious if anyone knows which grandson of Ben Franklin's this is receiving Voltaire's blessing: https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Franklin-Descendants-1
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1answer
324 views

How many keys to the French Bastille are still in existence?

France's national day on July 14th is called Bastille Day in English. The day commemorates when a mob of people on July 14 1789 took a medieval castle, a symbol of Bourbon Royalty, in the opening ...
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1answer
277 views

Identify the caricatured countries in an illustration about the XYZ affair

I've been reading about the XYZ affair and I've found this cartoon, in which a woman representing America is stripped by a group of Frenchmen in the presence of John Bull and other anthropomorphic ...
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1answer
5k views

Why did the population of Descartes, France increase by so much in the 1960's?

The population of Descartes in central France increased by upwards of 150% from 1962 to 1968 after a general negative trend over the preceding seventy years. Why was this? All I can find is that the ...
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1answer
1k views

What type of military uniform is this?

I'm researching a CDV I bought this past summer and am having great difficulty finding what type of uniform this is. I have it narrowed down to a French military uniform, likely post 1900. I was able ...
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1answer
225 views

Why did Paris name a metro station and a street after Étienne Marcel?

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 ...
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437 views

Why did the French Army melt film during WWI?

I have just watched the film Hugo which is in part a telling of the life of Georges Méliès. Part of the film is that he sold his films which were then melted down to make heels for shoes. I did some ...
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Do any historians consider superior German airpower as the most important factor in the Battle of France?

In the Battle of France, the Allies and Germans had roughly equal number of divisions and troops, and the Allies actually had more artillery and tanks. But the one area where the Germans had a clear ...
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1answer
91 views

Can the Cassini maps of France be found online?

I am looking for online versions of the Cassini maps (i.e. "the first general maps of the territory using a measuring apparatus were made by the Cassini family during the 18th century" from https://en....
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683 views

What did Winston Churchill mean by this quote?

What did Winston Churchill mean by the quote below? The Almighty in His infinite wisdom did not see fit to create Frenchmen in the image of Englishmen.
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Why did France surrender so quickly during ww2? [closed]

A few of my students were making fun of France's surrender to Germany during WW2. So this made me wonder why France would surrender only after a week. They had a pretty good army. They could have put ...
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1answer
203 views

Why didn't France do a better job of “politically” protecting franc-tireurs during the Franco_Prussian War?

After France lost the battle of Sedan, some of the best defenses of French territory were conducted by franc-tireurs, or what we would call snipers, operating "American Revolution" style, civilians ...
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1answer
243 views

What was the impact of race in the French Foreign Legion in the 20th century?

Lately I've been interested in the French Foreign Legion and found that it's somewhat difficult to find information about racial topics on the subject. Were for example blacks allowed to serve, and if ...
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How direct was the Enlightenment's role in the French Revolution?

John Thomson, in his book "Europe after Napoleon", argues that the Enlightenment had little direct role in creating the conditions for revolution. Neither the thinkers prescribed revolution nor the ...
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1answer
374 views

Why did physicians recommend curing the “dancing plague” with more dancing?

The Dancing Plague of 1518 was an event in which nearly 400 people in Strasbourg danced for days on end, some even dying of exhaustion or other causes. One section of the Wikipedia article has me ...
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1answer
214 views

In regards to Vichy vs Free France, what was the status of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy?

The wikipedia article for Vichy France has a pretty good map, a low-res version of which I'll put here: The map shows which territories were originally Vichy, and when they changed to Free French ...
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Why did the Allies lose the Battle of France (1940)?

I know for a fact that Allied forces were slightly inferior to German forces on some points. I know that the Ardennes was ill-protected on the French side. The defenses were poorly constructed, and ...
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492 views

Why are Vikings singled out for raids in Britain and Ireland when records may indicate most raids were by local rulers?

The main (original) sources for the evidence cited here were written by monks and priests who have usually been cited by modern historians as being biased against Vikings. However, recent research ...
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2k views

Did French people in 19th century not bathe every day?

I am currently watching Ikoku Meiro No Croissant episode 4. In this episode, Yune tried to take a bath, but it didn't work out nicely. So in the next morning, Claudel-san said that: Only rich ...
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254 views

Why didn’t the Franco-Belgian accord of 1920 lead to extending the construction of the Maginot line along the Belgium-Netherlands border?

The Franco-Belgian Accord, which lasted from 1920 until October 1936 when Belgium declared itself neutral, included an article which 'discussed greater integration of frontier defenses' (according to ...
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Was Voltaire actually present at the British Raid on Lorient in 1746, which was attended by David Hume?

Voltaire wrote a satirical account of the raid at which Hume himself was personally in attendance with General St Clair. However, it is difficult to find out if Voltaire was actually an eyewitness ...
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321 views

Please outline how Philip II gained Normandy from the Third Crusade

I saw a video which summarized this, but now I can't find anything close to it. I believe that Philip made some type of agreement with Richard Lionheart before they went on the Crusades. Phillip came ...
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255 views

Are there equivalents of the Domesday Book for other (French or German) duchies?

Is the Domesday Book a one-off census in the wake of the Norman conquest? One can imagine that William wanted an accurate feudal picture of his new kingdom but was it the norm? Did other dukes and ...