75 votes
Accepted

Why did a young George Washington sign a document admitting to assassinating a French military officer?

Short answer George Washington relied on the translation of a mercenary he knew well and who had previously acted as his translator, Jacob Van Braam, and did not think he was signing a document in ...
35 votes
Accepted

How did slavery become permissible in the French West Indies when it was forbidden in France?

Louis X's decree in 1315 did not abolish slavery. That's a historical myth. First, the ordonnance did not say anything about slaves, and explicitly mentioned that it was applicable to persons "...
  • 96.4k
17 votes
Accepted

Ports Used by French Navy in 1792 and Strength of Fleet

I don't have details for 1792, but the following are from James' Naval History for January 1793 (so probably good enough to get an idea of the relative strengths of the fleets). These cover the ...
  • 18.6k
13 votes

During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

The French revolution was truly revolutionary, it replaced the monarchy with a regime based on popular support. A king had to hire mercenaries, the revolutionary regime could draft patriotic citizens ...
  • 16.2k
12 votes

During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

The French Revolution was more empowering than debilitating. Put another way, it awoke a sleeping giant. At the time of the Revolution, France was the second most populous country in Europe (after ...
  • 103k
12 votes

Why did the French insist on reclaiming Indo-China after WWII?

There is something to BrotherJack's answer but just considering it an “irrational” urge for greatness and prestige is a little short-sighted. A few other factors: France had a huge colonial empire, ...
  • 2,180
8 votes

Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

This poses an extraordinarily simplistic question. The histories of different 'colonies' are so utterly varied in their type and circumstances that it would be almost impossible to find useful ...
8 votes
Accepted

How did the British and French train their troops during the colonial eras?

as all battles in the period were decided by one side giving way and giving up the fight by running or fleeing, the men were not robots and morale was a very important factor and it soldiers failing ...
  • 2,096
5 votes

During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

The French Convention decreed a levée en masse on 23 August 1793 to resist the anti-French coalition: From this moment until such time as its enemies shall have been driven from the soil of the ...
5 votes
Accepted

Was it viable to continue the battle of France in the French colonies in 1940?

tl;dr: not really. Viable to whom? To you and me? Sure: we know who won in the end, and we risk nothing, having been born long after the war. To Churchill? Sure: he was committed to fighting to the ...
  • 26.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Why did the French return all the Dutch Colonies to the Netherlands in Paris Treaty?

France was just being a good ally. A number of formerly Dutch holdings had been captured by Britain, and recaptured by France, who turned these islands back to the Dutch. France had been worried ...
  • 103k
3 votes
Accepted

In the French Empire, what was the difference between french colonies éphémèras and comptoirs français?

An "éphémère" is something that was "ephemeral," and disappeared quickly or early. France's "American" colonies fall into this category. These had only 80,000 settlers in 1750, even after 100 years of ...
  • 103k
3 votes

Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

As someone who studied in Indonesia (former colony of Dutch) and Singapore (former colony of British), I can say very well the difference lies in the education investment made by the British. This ...
2 votes

How did the British and French train their troops during the colonial eras?

In typical European armies, troops were trained on a conscription basis. The training is a mix of the general background of the soldiers and what was expected of them in a battle. However, there ...
  • 1,499
2 votes

During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

The introduction of conscription was a direct result of the dissolution of the monarchy. All the other monarchies saw France as a threat to their way of order, as they feared similar uprisings. In ...
2 votes
Accepted

Historiography and the uses of history in the Second French Empire?

Of the three countries, Britain, France, and Germany, France was the least dynamic economically in the late 19th century, and hence the least likely to hearken back to Rome or other classical ...
  • 103k
2 votes
Accepted

Post world war one mandates model

In essence, the system of mandates was a compromise between the Allies’ desire to retain the former colonies of Germany and Turkey, and their prior acceptance of President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen ...
  • 76.7k
1 vote

Was it viable to continue the battle of France in the French colonies in 1940?

Yes, pursuing fight from French colonies was viable. The "proof" for that is that some of those colonies rallied to French Free Forces and fought other French colonies that were "loyal&...
  • 5,486
1 vote

During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

Complex question. Resources. France was large, rich and Populous country. Around 40 million to Austria's 20 million or Prussia's 10 Million, Russian was about the same 40 million, but well behind in ...
  • 2,096
1 vote

Napoleon's medals

As Emperor of France, Napoleon established the following medals. The National Order of the Legion of Honour (1802). The Legion of Honour continues to be awarded, and as of last year, 94,807 in total ...
1 vote

Is there a correlation between the colonial power and the stability/success of the post colonial state?

The Portuguese colonies were amongst the most developed. It was the scramble for their mineral resources, namely Angola's oil, which led the superpowers of the time to destabilize them, leading to ...

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