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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219 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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238 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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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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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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501 views

Is The King (2019) historically realistic?

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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323 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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264 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
518 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 ...
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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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227 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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222 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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183 views

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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131 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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329 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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361 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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703 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
198 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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68 views

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
160 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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244 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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947 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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151 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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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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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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472 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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834 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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740 views

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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394 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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509 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
352 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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702 views

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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320 views

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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228 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 (see the BBC article Dry weather reveals ancient site in Meath's Boyne Valley). I searched the ...
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4k views

What is this flag?

The following flag is worn by Princess Isabella when she meets William Wallace. Actress Sophie Marceau as Princess Isabella in Braveheart
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552 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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379 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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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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542 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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223 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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