TLW's Francescope™ (France Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: June 27, 2017. Last Update: Dec. 1, 2019.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to France's history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The Germans just can't get along? In 496 C.E. 30-y.-o. Clovis (Louis) (Chlodwig) (Ludwig) (OG "renowned fighter") I (466-511), pagan king of the Germanic Franks fights the Germanic Alamanni (Alemanni) tribes of Alsace and N Switzerland at the Battle of Tolbiac (Zulpich) in Germany 24 mi. from Cologne, and is almost defeated but rallies and kills their last king and forces them to acknowledge Merovingian sovereignty; after Theodoric, who married Clovis' sister Albofleda intercedes, the Big As are allowed to retain some of their own institutions and manners, and continue living in his domain until 506; Quick, whip out the digital camera? after he either promises his orthodox Christian wife Clothilde that if he wins he will convert to her God, or resorts to invoking the Christian God when the battle is going wrong and is talked into it by Clothilde's confessor St. Remy (Rémy) (Remigius) of Reims (435-533), or is converted by St. Genevieve after she inspires the Parisians to resist him, 30-y.-o. Clovis I is converted to orthodox (Athanasian) (Three-Leaf-Clover) Christianity, then baptized by St. Remy in the Cathedral of Reims on Dec. 25 (after a holy vial is flown down by a white dove?) along with 3K of his subjects, followed by the entire Frankish nation, becoming the first Roman Catholic (orthodox Trinitarian) king of France, founding the Merovingian Dynasty (ends 751); St. Remy utters the baptismal formula: "Bow thy head humbly, Sicambrian, revere what thou hast burned, and burn what thou hast revered"; this all conveniently prevents the Arians, who had pretty much controlled the Gothic arm of the Roman army from finishing off the Athanasians and their priestly nerve center in Rome, the makings of yet another conspiracy theory, esp. when their alleged claims to be descendants of the Jewish Tribe of Benjamin are thrown in? - (Gibbon, Ch. 38) (messing up the French people for 1.5K years? Who did the pope pay off?); unfortunately, his understanding of Christianity is tainted by his savage paganism, and Clovis I comments on the Christ story that "Had I been present at the head of my valiant Franks, I would have revenged his [Christ's] injuries"; "For me, the history of France starts with Clovis, chosen as king of France by the tribe of the Franks, who gave their name to France" (Charles de Gaulle).
In 511 Clovis I dies, leaving four sons, who proceeded to split his kingdom up like a casino, with Theodoric (Theuderic) (Thierry) I (484-534) getting Metz, Rheims, and Austrasia (NE France), Chlodomer (495-524) getting Orleans, Childebert I (497-558) getting Paris, and Chlotar (Clotaire) (the Old) I (497-561) getting Soissons. Ever after, France is plagued by lack of unity, and even when a monarch succeeded in uniting it, the heirs of the other former mini-kings, now calling themselves dukes (an old Roman title), rock the house like John Goodman as King Ralph and combine to keep the king couped up on the tiny tracks-of-my-tears Ile de Paris.
On Oct. 10, 732 Charles Martel "the Hammer" (686-741) becomes the greatest hero in French history when he stops the Muslim Moor takeover of France at the Battle of Tours-Poitier, although it was too late to do anything about their takeover of Spain from the Visigoths in 711, and it takes until 1491 for Catholics Kings Ferdinand and Isabella to finally expel the last of them.
In 743 Pepin III the Short and Carloman finally recognize Childeric III (717-54) (son of Chilperic II?) as Merovingian king of all the Franks (until 751), becoming the last; when Pope Gregory III later seeks his help against the Lombards, he bestows on him the title of "Most Christian", which French kings use ever afterwards.
In 751 Charles Martel's son Pepin III the Short (714-68), mayor of the palace of Paris gets Pope Zachary to agree to let him dethrone the whimpy Merovingian king (since 743) Childeric III, and he is elected the new king of the short, er, Franks (first Carolingian king) at a gathering of Frankish nobles in the Merovingian capital of Soissons, and anointed and crowned at the Abbey of St. Medard, officially deposing Childeric, who is packed off to to the Monastery of Saint-Bertin next year with his son Theuderic (Saint-Omer and Saint-Wandrille?); for the first time bishops attend with a rank equal to secular nobles; annointing with oil superseded the right of blood descent?; he founded his own Carolingian (Carlovingian) Dynasty (House of Pepin) (ends 987), with the remnants of the Merovingians going underground and plotting a comeback (until ?); it has its own Carolingian Cross. Pepin III the Short's giant 7-foot son Charlemagne (742-814) spends his life not only fighting the pesky Muslims in Spain but crushing the remaining pagans in Saxony, Frisia (Netherlands) and Norseland, adopting the Muslim tactic of forced conversion, and building an empire in western and central Europe, for which Pope Leo III crowns him the first Holy Roman Emperor (HRE) on Christmas Day of 800. Too bad, his Sword and Cross technique backfires when the riled-up Norse take to their long ships and become pagan pirate Vikings, terrorizing the Christian coasts at will, and go on to make it their lifestyle for centuries, which cause France and the rest of Europe to go into a defensive under-siege mode called feudalism, see any Road Warrior movie, how many arrests in twenty years, zero point six? Honorable mention should be given to Charlemagne's nephew Roland (-778), who became the subject of endless hero stories.
In 781 Charlemagne's son Louis (Ludwig) I (the Pious) (the Fair) (the Debonaire) (778-840) becomes king of Aquitaine, followed in 813 by HRE, and in 814 by king of the Franks. Too bad, under the weight of Viking raids the Holy Roman Empire becomes kaput by 924, and when it is finally revived in 962 it was German king Otto I the Great who does it, showing how the wheel has turned in 500 years.
In 817 Louis I the Pious' 3rd son Louis II the German (806-76) becomes king of Bavaria, followed in 843 by the first king of East Francia, which is called Germania by the Romans. Until then the Franks were all probably speaking a mix of fractured Latin and German, but now French began its split from German, if you think Washington is a mess I'm asking you for your vote.
On May 5, 840 as Charlemagne's son HRE Louis I the Pious (b. 778) is returning from battle he sees an eclipse, frightening the superstitious dude to death, and he falls ill on an island in the Rhine near Ingelheim and died on June 20; he was succeeded by his eldest son (by Ermengarde of Hesbaye) Lothair (Lothar) (Lothaire) I (795-855), whose brothers Pepin II (797-838) of Aquitaine and Louis II the German (806-75) of East Francia, and half-brother (by Judith of Bavaria) Charles II the Bald (Chauve) (823-77) of West Francia starts a civil war over succession that lasts until 843 and ends up splitting Charlemagne's Frankish kingdom into three smaller franks (the future France, Germany, and Low Countries, with Burgundy acting as a sauce?); in the first inning, Charles II the Bald and Louis II the German ally against him. To summarize, Charles II the Bald outlasts him, and in 875 became HRE, and in 877 his sickly son Louis II the Stammerer (le Begue) (846-79) becomes king of the West Franks, ruling only two years before croaking.
In 881 Louis II the German's youngest son (great-grandson of Charlemagne) Charles III the Fat (839-88) becomes the last Carolingian to rule over Charlemagne's briefly-reunited empire.
In 888 Odo (Eudes) of Paris (859-98), son of Robert the Strong, Count of Anjou becomes the first king of the West Franks, founding the Robertian (Robertine) Dynasty.
The biggest thing to come out of Charlemagne's big mistake was the Normans. In spring 911 after a hundred years of Viking terrorist raids on Free-for-All France, Norse Viking chief Rollo (Hrolf) (Rolf) Ragnvaldsson (the Ganger) (the Walker) (Wend-a-Foot) (860-932) (who once explored the E coast of North Am. as far S as Conn.?) sailed down the Seine River with a raiding and settling party, and sieges Chartres, then prepared to ransack gay Paris, until whimpy king of the West Franks (Charles III, you are no Charlemagne?) Charles III the Simple (879-929) (probably hearing that the Vikings can be bought off, like Eli Wallach in the film "The Magnificent Seven", and saying something like, "Rollo, please do not sack gay Paree, just take this box of treasure, and I'll make you a duke and give you my beautiful daughter, the hottest French poontang in the land, and you can move into the bad side of France and have the left bank of the Seine, plus a little of the right bank, where you can have some Lebensraum and act as bouncers for any other Vikings, how about it, guy"?) cops out, and in the fall signs the Piece, er, Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (Fr. "sint clair" = "clear well or pool"), granting them land on the left bank of the Seine River (the bad side of France?), with Rouen (on the right bank) (named after him, which is convenient, because it was originally the Gallic city of Ratumacos) as their new capital, on the condition that they defend the land, receive Christian baptism, and do homage to Charles as their overlord; Charles also sweetens the pot by giving Rollo his daughter (sister?) (all made up?) Gisela of France in marriage to cement the deal; when Rollo's proxy goes to perform the rite of allegiance by kissing the king's foot, the rude Viking stands erect, lifts the royal foot to his mouth and topples Charles over backward, causing Rollo's men to have a good laugh?; Rollo founds the French duchy of Normandy (Northmen Duchy - get it?), becoming duke #1 (until 927), and is baptized under the name Robert, becoming Duke Robert I; the Norsemen acquire the French language and culture (which they proceeded to inject with Norse words and turn into their own dialect), learn to ride horses, build forts and siege machinery, and continue their raids on Brittany; Charles III's act is so unpopular with his barons that they start calling him Charles the Simple, and later depose and imprison him for it. Too bad, after they convert to orthodox Roman Catholic Christanity to keep their side of the bargain, the French teach these newly-PC sea pirates the art of horsemanship, creating the phenomenon of the Norman knights, who become mercenaries and adventurers all over Europe and the Middle East, eventually seizing Sicily (1060-90) and even sacking Rome once (1084), 16 years after taking England from the formerly German Anglo-Saxons, who moved in after the Romans left in the 400s and 500s and pushed the remaining aboriginal Celts back to their usual hiding places in the north and west parts of the British Isles.
On Sept. 20/24, 911 Louis III the Child (b. 893) dies, ending the East Frankish line of the Carolingians; on Nov. 10 to avoid accepting a West Frankish ruler, the German magnates elect Conrad I (890-918), duke of Franconia, who becomes the first elected king of the dying Carolingian Empire (until Dec. 23, 918), fighting Magyar raids and ducal rebellions in Saxony, Bavaria, and Swabia.On May 24, 919 Saxon duke (since Nov 30, 912) Henry the Fowler (876-936) of Saxony is elected king Henry I of East Francia, becoming its first non-Frankish king, founding the Saxon (Ottonian) Dynasty, a new line of Saxon emperors (ends 1024); he is called the Fowler because the messengers announcing his election find him hawking; cool to the Church, he avoids coronation by ecclesiastics; by his wife Matilda he fathers three sons, Otto I (the Great) (912-73), Duke Henry I of Bavaria (919-55), and Archbishop (St.) Bruno I the Great of Cologne (925-65), and two daughters, Gerberga (who later marries Louis IV of France), and Hedwig (who later married Duke Hugh the Great and had son Hugh Capet of France) - the original German couch potato?
On July 2, 936 king (since May 24, 919) Henry I the Fowler of East Francia died, and his son Otto I (the Great) (912-73) is crowned king of Germany in Aachen by the archbishop of Mainz, his coronation banquet reviving the Carolingian tradition (based on the Roman tradition), with the duke of Franconia serving as ceremonial steward, the duke of Swabia as cupbearer, the duke of Lorraine as chamberlain, and the duke of Bavaria as marshal; he establishes Quedlinburg in Germany as his seat; beginning of the Ottonian Period in Architecture (ends 1050); Otto begins a 3-year war to reduce the duchies of Bavaria, Franconia, Lorraine, and Saxony, and later kept all of them except Saxony in his own hands or those of his family; on Feb. 2, 962 he is crowned HRE (until May 7, 973) - but this is getting off the main track, so we'll return to Frankenberry.
Lucky for France and the rest of Europe, the Muslims split into the warring Shiite and Sunni camps, who started hating each other worse than the Christians, taking the steam out of their formerly relentless plan to conquer the world for Allah. Meanwhile by the end of the 900s the Viking menace began ending as the big voodoo date 1000 scared them into finally converting to Christianity, after which the promised Armageddon and return of Christ failed to materialize, but tough titties, it was too late to go back, since once a child is brought up Christian the Church has their mind for life by age 5, right? (Ditto any religion, unfortunately.) In 987 after new king Louis V (b. 967) died one year after his accession from a hunting accident (or was poisoned by his mother), leaving no heirs, Bishop Adalbert of Reims and Gerbert of Reims engineer the election of Hugh Capet (938-96), who founds the Capetian Dynasty (until 1328), which becomes known for long-reigning weak kings (other than his measly 9 years), Edward Gibbon writing the famous soundbyte about them: "In this narrow compass [Paris and Orleans] he was possessed of wealth and jurisdiction; but in the rest of France, Hugh [Capet] and his descendants were no more than the feudal lords of about sixty dukes and counts, of independent and hereditary power... whose disregard of their sovereign was revenged by the disobedience of their inferior vassals" - (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Ch. 58). He is followed by Robert II the Pious (972-1031) (35 years), Henri I (1008-60) (pronounced like "on ree") (29 years), and Philip (Philippe) I the Amorous (1052-1108) (from the Greek word for horse-lover) (48 years).
In 1108 Louis VI the Fat (1081-1137) becomes the first Capetian king who was popular with the people of France, enjoying a well-fed 29-year reign. His son Louis VII the Young (1120-80) (43 years) was also popular, his first wife (1137) being Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), who later (1152) marries Henry II of England, making Henry a big man in France as well as England in one of the biggest power plays of the 12th cent., starting the 300-year tug-of-war ending with the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453). Philip (Philippe) ("horse lover") II Augustus (1166-1223) (43 years) goes on the Third Crusade with his pal Richard I Lionheart of England, then turns into bitter enemies, and Philip gets Richard captured on his way back and held for ransom, while Richard's mean bro' John Lackland schemes to stab him in the back, see any Robin Hood flick. After seeing both of Henry II's sons Richard I and John I come to bad ends, and boy king Henry III placed on the English throne, Philip II dies as the #1 monarch of Europe. Too bad, his son Louis VIII the Lion (1187-1226) breaks the mold and ruins all his work with a short 3-year reign ended abruptly by dysentery contracted during a campaign to burn Albigensian Cathar heretics in Provence (south France).
On Jan. 15, 1208 a knight working for Count (since 1194) Raymond VI of Toulouse (1156-1222) kills papal legate Pierre de Castelnau, and Pope Innocent III deposes him for it; the pesky Byzantine heretics seemingly in hand, Pope Innocent III first vainly appeals to Philip II of France, who refuses to get involved, then proclaims a Crusade against #2 on his list, the Cathars (Albigensians) (Catharists of Albi) ("the Western Buddhists"), a group of sects of too loose heretical dualistic vegetarians in S (Provencal) France centered in Toulouse, which started out as a reaction against clerical corruption but was joined by the nobles as a way to appropriate Church lands, becoming fabulously wealthy and getting mixed-up with the Templars; believing that Crist was a prophet of Amor (love), they refuse to make a big deal of the Crucifixion, which they regard as an emblem of Rex Mundi (Lord of the Material World), which has twisted Amor into its opposite, Roma, also denying the sacraments of Baptism and Communion, and practicing birth control and abortion, accepting reincarnation and the female principle, allowing women parfaits (priests), and insisting on direct personal contact with God rather than mere faith; looking for a get-out-of-purgatory-free card, Duke Eudes III of Burgundy steps up to the plate and organizes a campaign against the Cathar strongholds in Languedoc next year, starting the Albigensian Crusade (ends 1229).
On May 6, 1211 after the original 5th cent. church burned down last May 6, the new High Gothic Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Reims) Cathedral in Reims (Rheims), France is begun by architects Jean d'Orbais (1175-1231) (master architect), Jean-le-Loup (who replaces Jean d'Orbais in 1231-47 or 1235-51), Bernard de Soissons (1255-90 or 1259-94), and Gaucher de Reims (1247-55 or 1251-9), complete with 3-tier elevation and qudripartite vaults; it is finished in 1275, with the upper facade taking until 1311.
On May 20, 1217 Prince Louis the Lion (future Louis VIII) is defeated at the Second Battle of Lincoln (first in 1141) by a relief force under William Marshal; the Comte de la Perche is KIA, and Robert Fitzwalter is captured, after which the French sack the city of Lincoln, causing it to be called "Lincoln Fair"; meanwhile as much as the English hated John, now that he's gone they begin to react against Louis (because, according to Shakespeare in King John, 5.4.15-16, "Lewis means to recompense the pains you take/ By cutting off your heads"?).
On Aug. 24, 1217 the naval Battle of Sandwich is V for the English navy under Hubert de Burgh over the French navy under Eustace the Monk, who is KIA.
On Sept. 11, 1217 after most of the rebel baron turn on Prince Louis the Lion, the Treaty of Lambeth (Kingston) is signed, and Louis agrees that he has never been the legitimate king of England; the French leave England and free Fitzwalter, ending the First Barons' Revolt (begun 1215); Henry III is acknowledged undisputed king of England, but the pope really rules it through his legate Guala (Gualo); the Charter of the Forest is agreed to by Henry III as a supplement to the Magna Charta, providing for the right of common access to royal forests for fuel, and abolishing the death penalty and mutilation as punishments for taking royal game, going on to become the longest-lasting statute in England until superseded on July 1, 1971 by the Wild Creatures and Forest Laws Act.
On June 25, 1218 after the defenders of Toulouse, France construct a trebuchet, and the Crusaders construct a cat (mobile shelter), which is destroyed by the trebuchet, Provencal-killer Simon IV de Montfort (b. 1160) is KIA by a siege engine operated by women, and Raymond VI regains his position as count of Toulouse.
On July 6, 1218 Eudes III (b. 1166) dies, and his eldest son Hugh IV (1213-72) becomes duke of Burgundy, France (until 1271), going on to expand his duchy to incl. the counties of Chalon and Auxonne.
In 1218 Duke Peter I de Dreux of Brittany is finally recognized as earl of Richmond by William Marshal, regent for young Henry III, although Yorkshire remains in control of the earl of Chester; the increased revenue emboldens him to demand the same privileges from his nobles as the other dukes of France have, causing a minor civil war (ends 1223).
On Mar. 7, 1219 Pope Honorius III approves the religious congregation of Val des Ecoliers (Valley of the Scholars) at the U. of Paris.
On June 3, 1219 after Philip II's hittin'-the-gym-every-day son Prince Louis da Lion (later Louis VIII) of France fights against the Albigenses in S France, he directs the brutal massacre of 5K townspeople in Marmande - I'll take my toast with marmalade?
About 1230 French poet Guillaume de Loris (1200-40) composes the 4,058-line romantic courtly love poem Roman de la Rose (The Romance of the Rose), about the attempts of a courtier to woo his beloved in a walled garden (locus amoenus); in 1275 French poet Jean de Meun (Meung) (Jean Clopinel or Chopinel) (1240-1305) composes 17,724 more lines; it becomes the most-read book in Europe through the 15th cent. after Chaucer translates it into English in the late 14th cent.
In 1233 in his bulls of Apr. 13, 20, and 22, in order to combat the Albigenses in France, Pope Gregory IX founds the Monastic Inquisition, and appoints the Dominicans as the official Inquisitors for all dioceses of France; the smoke-choked Burning Times in France begin; James I the Conqueror of Aragon, champion of the Catalan language stinks himself up by inviting the Inquisition into his realm to stop the Albigensian troubadours finding refuge from S France in Aragon and Catalonia from making a vernacular trans. of the Bible - ah, ah, I need some help here?
In 1234 Louis IX (b. 1214) declares himself of age and assumes personal rule.
In 1234 after Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham of Montpellier in S France gets antsy about all the Roman Catholic attacks on the Albigensian heretics, and doesn't want his congregation to be next, he anathematizes the philosophical works of Jewish brain man Maimonides (1135-1204), excommunicating all Jews who treat the Bible allegorically or even study science or profane lit.; Maimonides' supporters led by David Kimchi (Kimhi) (Qimhi) (1160-1235) (AKA Radak) and Jacob ben Machir ibn Tibbon (1236-1304) (AKA Prophatius) strike back by persuading the Jewish congregations of Beziers, Lunel, and Narbonne in Provence, and Sargossa and Lerida in Spain to excommunicate Solomon and his followers; Solomon counterattacks by denouncing Maimonides to the Dominican Inquisition in Montpellier, causing them to burn all his works there, followed by Paris in 1242, setting a precedent that makes books too hot to handle in Roman Catholic lands; too bad, 40 days later they burn the Talmud in Paris too; knowing that if you can get away with books, why not people, on June 13 Pope Gregory IX pub. the 5-vol. Liber Extra (Decretals of Gregory IX), a collection of 2K decretals which he has sent to the univs. of Bologna and Paris, repeating St. Augustine's belief that "every pagan, Jew, heretic, and schismatic will go to the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons", giving the force of canonical law to the doctrine of perpetual servitude of the Jews until Judgment Day, banning them from direct influence over the political process and the life of Christian states until the 19th cent. rise of liberalism; it contains the oldest surviving detailed Description of a Diabolical (Witches') Sabbath, describing the novice having to kiss an enormous toad, then a cold, pale, thin man, which causes him to forget the Catholic faith, then, after a feast, having to kiss a black cat, then the head devil (or devil's head), and finally participate in an orgy; Pope Boniface VIII adds a 6th book in 1298 (dominica, nica, what?); meanwhile the Jewish war over Maimonides continues, with Maimonides' followers getting Solomon ben Abraham executed for ratting on fellow Jews, and his leading followers' tongues cut out; meanwhile a rabbinical ban on study of science is issued by Rabbi Don Astruc of Lunel (Abba Mari ben Moses ben Joseph) (Yarhi), supported by Rabbi Asher (Asheri) ben Yehiel (Jehiel) (1250-1327) (AKA Rabbenu Asher, Rosh) and Nacmanides (1194-1270) (AKA Ramban), causing his student Rabbi Solomon (Shlomo) ben Abraham ben Aderet (1235-1310) (AKA Rashba) of Barcelona to do ditto in 1305 for teaching any science, or studying it before age 25, except medicine, causing the rabbis of Montpellier to threaten to excommunicate any Jew who stops his son from studying science; the net result is the decline of science study in the Euro Jewish community, and a retreat into mysticism, esp. the Qabala - I got Scrombosis, I'm dead from the neck up?
In May 1239 Pope Gregory IX sends his bushy-tailed Inquisitors (fresh from Inquisitor Training School in Hell?) to burn the entire town of Champagne, France, along with all 180 citizens.
In 1239 Pope Gregory IX orders the confiscation of all copies of the Talmud, which is generally ignored except in France, causing Jew-hating French Capetian king (1226-70) (St.) Louis IX (1214-70) to call for a public debate first, which is held in 1240.
In 1239 Emperor Baldwin II presents Jesus' alleged Crown of Thorns worn on the cross to Louis IX, who has it stored in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; it is briefly removed during the French Rev., and returned in 1806.
In 1242 Aquitaine submits to Louis IX.
On Apr. 27, 1243 the 5-year Treaty of Bordeaux is signed by Henry III of England and Louis IX of France, ending the Saintonge War (begun 1242), preserving the territorial status quo after Louis IX decides not to annex Guyenne, pointing to his desire to go on crusade, becoming the last major English-French conflict until the 1294-1303 Anglo-French War and pissing-off the English barons with Henry III's incompetence in war and tyrannical ways in defiance of the Magna Carta, leading to the Second Barons' War in 1264-7.
In May 1243 10K Roman Catholic troops of the seneschal of Carcassone and the archbishop of Narbonne in France surround and siege the impregnable Cathar fortress of Montsegur (Montségur) (W of Rennes-le-Chateau in Languedoc) (until Mar. 16, 1244); since the fabulously wealthy Cathar parfaits (priests) are not permitted to bear arms, the fortress is defended by mercenaries.
The French Masada? In Jan. 1244 two Cathar parfaits escape the encirclement carrying the fabled Cathar treasure, which is not heard of again (until ?); on Mar. 1 impregnable Montsegur Castle in France on the slopes of the Pyrenees overlooking the Plain of Languedoc is captured after a 10-mo. siege, and the occupants are offered lenient terms incl. departing with their personal property intact if they abjure the Cathar faith, and the 400 defenders request a 2-week truce to consider it, offering hostages as insurance; on Mar. 15 one day after their sacred festival of Bema (which falls on the spring equinox this year) all 215 Cathar parfaits (incl. 20 - 15 mercenaries and six women, who become parfaits at the last minute) refuse to abjure their faith, and are burned in an enormous fire at the Prat des Cramats near the S foot of the castle in a wood-filled stockade, with the rest forced to watch; on Mar. 16 (night) four parfaits concealed by the others escape down the W face of the mountain on ropes, carrying away some other Cathar treasure that was needed for Bema, taking it to the fortified caves of Ornolac in the Ariege, where a band of Cathars is soon killed sans the treasure, which went to Rennes-le-Chateau?; Catharism is driven underground; it later resurfaces as the Waldensians, Hussites, Adamites (Brethren of the Free Spirit), Anabaptists, and Camisards?
On Dec. 5, 1244 Margaret of Constantinople (1202-80) inherits Flanders and Hainaut, and designates her eldest son by her 2nd husband William III of Dampierre (1224-51), William of Flanders (-1251) as her heir, launching the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault (ends 1246) between him and her other son (half-brother) John I of Avesnes (1218-57).
In 1247 Carcassonne in S France is joined to the French crown.
In 1250 Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France (begun in 1163) is finished.
In 1251 thousands of shepherds (pastoreaux) lead the popular Pastoureaux (Shepherds) Insurrection (Crusade) in N France allegedly to rescue Louis IX, intending to usher in the Parousia by slaughtering "heretics", i.e., Jews, Muslims, intellectuals, and the rich.
On Apr. 30, 1252 St. Louis IX of France is released after paying a princely ransom of 500K pounds tournois (50K gold bezants - the entire annual revenue of France), moving his army to Jaffa to regroup, throwing a chess set overboard on his trip from Egypt, making John of Ibelin, count of Jaffa into a big man who corresponds with Henry III of England, and Pope Innocent IV; meanwhile Louis IX goes on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (ends 1254) - it's nice to be a rich saint?
On May 11, 1258 the 1258 Treaty of Corbeil settles the claims between Louis IX of France and James I of Aragon to France's advantage, relinquishing all French claims to Barcelona and Roussillon in return for part of Provence and Languedoc, with both sides giving up the idea of cross-Pyrenees kingdoms; Louis IX's son Philip is betrothed to Isabella of Aragon.
On Dec. 4, 1259 the Treaty of Paris between France and England yields Perigord and the Limousin in S France to Henry III of England, despite protests from both provinces, in return for renunciation of English claims to Normandy, Maine, Touraine, and Anjou; Guienne becomes distinct from Aquitaine; Navarre is cut off from the sea; despite the peaceful intentions of Louis IX, public opinion goes against him, weakening his position in S France.
In 1259 Pope Alexander IV summons U. of Paris brain man Thomas Aquinas to Rome (until 1268), where he wows everybody with his erudition.
In 1265 Louis IX permits his younger brother Charles of Anjou to accept the crown of Sicily, dragging France into Italian problems, starting with newly-minted Charles I of Anjou (Naples) (1226-85) coming with a large army to Rome - to scope out his future new capital?
In 1269 Louis IX founds the Order of the Ship and the Double Crescent (Sea Shell) for nobles who accompanied him on his ill-fated Seventh Crusade.
In 1281 20 years after setting out from Yuan China on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, only to get holed-up in Baghdad instead, where they are welcomed by Nestorian patriarch Denha I, Turkish Chinese monk Rabban Bar Sauma (Sawma) (1220-94) and his student Rabban Markos return to Maragheh after Markos is elected Yaballaha III, patriarch of the Nestorian Church, and in 1278 he sends his former teacher to Rome to negotiate an entente between the Nestorian and Roman Catholic churches and form a strategic Franco-Mongol alliance against the Muslim Mamluk sultanate in Cairo, arriving after the death of Pope Honorius IV and negotiating with the cardinals instead, proceeding to Genoa then Paris, where he spends 1 mo. with Philip IV the Fair, then to Gascony, where he meets Edward I of England in Bordeaux, who is enthusiastic but begs off due to conflicts with the Scots and Welsh; he then returns to Rome, where new Pope Nicholas IV gives him communion on Palm Sun., 1288 before returning to Baghdad; Bar Sauma writes an account of his travels giving the viewpoint of the East on the West, beating Marco Polo.
On Mar. 30, 1282 (Easter Mon.) at the hour of Vespers near a church outside Palermo the War of the Sicilian Vespers (ends 1302) breaks out when 2K men, women and children, incl. nearly all the French in Sicily are massacred, causing the Sicilians to expel all the French and offer their throne to Peter III of Aragon, who is connected by marriage to the house of Hohenstaufen, and Aragon assumes rule of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies (until 1285); Philip III the Bold of France then leads a crusade against him as champion of Pope Martin IV, and a cent.-long war begins over Sicily between the Angevin kings of Naples and the Aragonese kings of Sicily (until 1442), with Sicilian independence secured at the cost of ruining the economy; meanwhile the old anti-French papal policy is resumed.
The original I'm too sexy for my shirt takes over the French quatre-walk? On Oct. 5, 1285 French king (since Aug. 25, 1270) Philip III (b. 1245) dies in Perpignan after getting sick on his return home, claiming on his deathbed that his conquests were in the name of his family and not against the Church; his handsome recently-married teenie son Philip IV (Quatre) (the Fair) (the Handsome) (Le Bel) (1268-1314) (known for his long blonde hair) becomes Capetian king #11 of France (until 1314), ruling as a "constitutional king", letting himself be bound by law and precedent while trying to extend royal authority as far as possible, which means destroying the feudal system, while he cultivates an aloof image, causing people to call him a "useless owl"; "He is neither man nor beast, he is a statue" (Bishop Bernard Saisset of Pamiers).
In 1288 Philip IV begins a battle with the bishop of Poitiers and the cathedral chapter of Chartres (ends 1290), winning an acknowledgement of the principles of royal temporal jurisdiction throughout his realm, and that clerical privileges are guaranteed by the king not the pope.
In 1288 after complaints over taxes, Philip IV of France tightens his control over Flanders.
In 1288 under Philip IV the first mass-burning of Jews on the stake takes place in France.
In 1289 Pope Nicholas IV issues a bull combining several schools dating back 100+ years into the U. of Montpellier in Montpellier, France on the Lez River 31 mi. SW of Nimes, with the school of medicine starting out on the wrong foot by claiming that the Black Death is caused by a miasma entering open body pores, arguing against bathing; in 1529 it expels student Nostradamus for having worked as an apothecary; alumni later incl. Rabelais and Paul Joseph Barthez; in 1593 it founds the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier, the first botanical garden in France.
In 1289 letters containing block printing are sent from Persia to the king of France, going on to be developed in Ravenna.
Late in the 13th cent. the Rondeaux form of poetry originates in France, becoming one of the three formes fixes of French verse along with the Ballade and the Virelai, going on to be used until the 15th cent.; a virelai with only one stanza is called a Bergerette.
In the 14th cent. Jongleurs (prof. musical entertainers) blossom in France.
In the 14th cent. the Rondel verse form originates in France, spreading to England and Romania, a variation of the rondeau consisting of two quatrains followed by a quintet (13 lines total) or sestet (14 lines total), of the form ABba abAB abbA(B).
In the 14th cent. Benedictine monk Sidone Benoit (Benoît) of the Abbaye-aux-Hommes in Caen in the Calvados dept. in Basse-Normandie, France invents the dish Tripes à la mode de Caen by adding apple cider and apple brandy to bland tasteless tripe - the French taste the forbidden apple and sell their souls to the Devil forever?
In Jan. 1300 after invading Flanders last year, the French capture Count Guy of Flanders (1226-1305) and his son Robert of Bethune (Béthune) (1249-1322); Guy is released in 1302 to negotiate terms after the French V at the Battle of the Golden Spurs, and imprisoned again in 1304 in Compiegne until his Mar. 7, 1305 death, after which Robert is released.
In Oct. 1301 French king Philip IV arrests papal legate Bernard Saisset (1232-1314), bishop of Pamiers on treason charges and seizes his lands, which pisses-off Pope Boniface VIII, and on Dec. 5 he pub. the bull Ausculta Fili ("Listen, my son"). addressed to Philip IV, which condemns Philip's admin., rescinds his right to tax the clergy, and summons all French bishops to a council in Rome, slapping kingy in the face by denying that clergy are subject to his jurisdiction; Philip responds by summoning France's first Estates-Gen. (Etats-Generaux) of the Three Estates (nobility, clergy, townsmen) to seek their support against the pope in Paris next Apr.; the clergy, caught in the middle asks the pope to revoke his summons, and by next year the pot is on boil?; in 1769 the Estates-Gen. is replaced by the Nat. Assembly; meanwhile French Dominican theologian John the Deaf of Paris (1255-1306) writes De Potestate Regia et Papali (On Royal and Papal Power), favoring Philip IV by claiming that royal power comes not from the pope but the people, and that a pope can properly be deposed for grave crimes such as heresy; it contains the first statement of the capitalist philosophy?
On Feb. 11, 1302 the papal bull Ausculta Fili is officially burned in Paris before Philip IV and a great crowd.
On Apr. 10, 1302 the Estates-Gen. declares that the French king has no superior on Earth, and all three classes write to Rome separately in defense of the king and his temporal power; "Thus was the original sin of French absolutism born"; on June 13 Philip IV calls an assembly of French prelates in Paris, which trumps up charges on Pope Boniface VIII of illegally gaining the papacy, simony, heresy, and sexual perversion, and calls for a gen. church council to depose him.
On May 18, 1302 (night) the Bruges Matins Massacre sees Flemish workers in Bruges rebel against high taxes and drive out the French garrison; on July 11 Philip IV's well-equipped knights wearing golden spurs are defeated by a ragtag Flemish army made up almost entirely of foot soldiers wielding the good-n-sharp goedendag at the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Courtrai) near Courtrai, Belgium, and all of the French army leaders and some of Philip IV's councillors are KIA; the myth of the invincibility of knights in armor is shattered, and all hopes for the return of Scottish king John Balliol backed by a French-Scottish army are kaput, showing how smart or lucky Robert the Bruce was to suck up to Edward I earlier in the year?; Count Guy of Flanders is released by the French to help negotiate terms, but they refuse.
In Oct. 1302 45 French prelates defy Philip IV to attend a council in Rome; on Nov. 18 after hearing of the French defeat, Pope Boniface VIII responds to the Estates Gen. by issuing the bull Unam Sanctam (The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church), declaring the supremacy of the Church to the secular govt. in all things, and asserting absolute papal jurisdiction over laymen vis a vis kings based on his right to correct sin, becoming the last papal claim to superiority over lay rulers until ?, with the soundbyte: "It is necessary to salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman pontiff", to which one of Philip IV's ministers utters the soundbyte: "My master's sword is made of steel, the pope's is made of verbiage"; no surprise, ignoring the pope's many threats, Philip IV issues the official answer De Potestate Regia et Papali (On Royal and Papal Power), written by learned Dominican friar John of Paris (-1306), defending the authority of the king and denying the ownership of ecclesiastical property by the pope; meanwhile Philip IV sends his pope-hating councillor Guillaume (William) de Nogaret (1260-1313) (a lawyer born in Languedac, where he witnessed the Inquisition, turning him against the Church for life) to kidnap the pope and bring him to France for trial on his council's trumped-up charges.
In Aug. 1303 pope (since Dec. 24, 1294) Boniface VIII (b. 1235) prepares a bull to be pub. on Sept. 8, declaring Philip IV automatically excommunicated for preventing the French bishops from going to Rome, and absolves his subjects of any need for acknowledging his authority; too bad, the news is leaked, and one day before he can proclaim it, on Sept. 7 the Outrage of Anagni sees the papal Gaetani Palace in Anagni in C Italy attacked by Philip IV's pope-hating councilor Guillaume (William) of Nogaret (1260-1313), Sciarra (Giacomo) Colonna (1270-1329) (one of the pope's bitterest enemies and brother of Stefano Colonna the Elder (1265-1348)) plus 2K mercenaries, and he is jerked from bed, threatened with death, slapped in the face by Sciarra, and captured after trying to get him to resign; the local townspeople become outraged, causing Nogaret and Colonna to flee, and the pope is released after three days, then taken to the Vatican by the Orsini family, where he dies on Oct. 11 of a fever, a broken man; on Oct. 22 Master Gen. of the Dominican Order Nicholas Boccasini (absent from Rome during the troubles) is elected Pope (#193) Benedict XI (1240-1304), and he immediately caves in, dismisses all blame for the attack at Anagni and reverses Boniface VIII's actions (official coverstory: tried and convicted for heresy, rape, sodomy, and eating meat during Lent, he skipped his trial and escaped punishment, only to go mad and commit suicide?), renews the royal right to tax the clergy, restores peace with Philip IV's court, and withdraws to Perugia.
In 1303 Philip IV of France creates the Court of Auditors in Paris in the Palais de la Cite to audit the royal household incl. revenue from crown estates and public spending; it is abolished on Sept. 17-29, 1791 during the French Rev.
On Mar. 18, 1314 after years of fruitless attempts to torture out the whereabouts of their treasure, 39 more Knights Templar are burned in Paris, incl. grandmaster #23 (last) Jacques de Molay (Molai) (b. 1244) and his deputy Geoffroi de Charnay (Charney) (Charny) (b. 1251), preceptor of Normandy; they are slow-roasted over smokeless charcoal, taking hours to die?; in the flames de Molay (who had been tortured into a confession of heresy and given life in priz earlier that day, only to immediately retract it and ordered burned) protests the innocence of the Templar Order, and calls down Philip IV and Pope Clement V for their injustices, launching the Templar (De Molay) Curse, and sure enough they both croak later this year, popey going first in only 33 days?
In Sept. 1314 Philip IV's minister (since 1304) Enguerrand de Marigny (1260-1315) negotiates a peace with the Flemings, pissing-off the princes of the blood, who are eager to fight them; after Philip IV dies he is arrested by order of Louis X at the instigation of Philip IV's brother Charles of Valois for bribery, and beats the charge, only to be framed on sorcery and hanged next Apr. 30 in Montfaucon.
On Nov. 29, 1314 after the loot from the Jews and Templars, as well as all the overtaxation measures he has instituted still don't bail the treasury out of its war debts, causing him to call another estates-gen., which bickers and doesn't cough up any more moolah, king (since Oct. 5, 1285) Philip IV (b. 1268) dies, and his son Jeanne of Navarre becomes Capetian king #12 Louis X (the Quarrelsome) (the Quarreler) (the Stubborn) (1289-1316) (until June 5, 1316); his reign is dominated by his uncle Charles of Valois, while Philip IV's other sons Philip V (1294-1322) and Charles IV (1294-1328) wait in line; a plan to steal Gascony from the weak English king is put in motion, while a reaction against the monarchy forces concessions; John Tannere (Canne), who claims to be the son of Edward I is hanged, drawn, and quartered as a traitor - did it look like a boa constrictor?
On Jan. 2, 1322 king (since Nov. 20, 1316) Philip V the Tall (b. 1294) dies, leaving a large number of royal ordinances but (poetic justice considering how he got the throne?) no male heir (only daughters Jeanne, founder of the House of Burgundy, and Margaret, founder of the House of Flanders), and his younger brother Charles IV the Fair (1293-1328) becomes the 15th and last king of the French Capetian Dynasty (begun 987), cutting off Edward III of England (grandson of Philip IV through his daughter Isabelle) (no fair?), which finalizes the no-cu, er, no-female-inheritance principle of the Salic Law as recursive; he kicks his reign off right by expelling the pesky money-grubbing Jews from France, who had been expelled in 1306 by Philip IV then allowed to return in 1315; meanwhile the French crown controls the papacy, and the rulers of the Capetian house of Anjou are still seated on the thrones of Naples, Provence, and Hungary; only Brittany, Flanders, Guienne, and Burgundy remain outside French royal control - what's left is a world where old friends suddenly become enemies?
Here comes the Sun King - pass the Pampers? On May 14, 1643 sickly king (since May 14, 1610) Louis XIII (b. 1601) dies of TB, and his 4-y.-o. son Louis XIV (the Great) (the Sun King) (1638-1715) becomes Bourbon king #3 of France (until Sept. 1, 1715), with his mother Anne of Austria as regent, who falls to her knees and cries "My king and my son!"; she confirms Cardinal Mazarin as first minister; he is partial to mistresses, beginning with his Roman-born niece Marie Mancini (1639-1715), and to white bechamel sauce, made by his chief steward Louis de Bechamel, Marquis de Nointel (1630-1703), and thinks of England as "a little garden full of sour weeds"; after Louis XIV grows up into a short man, he begins wearing a towering wig to appear tall, starting a fashion; he continues mixing the Bourbon line with other brands, er, branches, with his brother Philip founding the House of Orleans, and his grandson Duke Philip of Anjou becoming Philip V of Spain and founding the Spanish House of Bourbon.
On May 19, 1643 five days after Louis XIII's death, 25K Spanish invaders from the Netherlands led by Gen. Francisco de Melo (1597-1651) living under an illusion of invicibility are defeated by a French citizen army of 23K led by 22-y.-o. Louis II de Bourbon, Duc d'Enghien (1621-86) (prince of Conde in 1646), who uses cowboy tactics with his cavalry, combined with superior artillery against the unbeaten Spanish infantry at the Battle of Rocroi, the last big battle of the Thirty Years' War, ending Spanish military ascendency in Europe and clearing the way for French ascendency under Louis XIV; Louis II becomes a hero, and is made a prince in 1646, and later called the Great Conde; unpopular Spanish PM (since 1621) Count-Duke Olivares becomes the fall guy, and retires to Toro, and is succeeded by his nephew Luis Menendez de Haro y Sotomayor, 6th Marquis of Carpio, 3rd Duke of Olivares (1598-1661); too bad, Spanish "Blue Nun" Maria Fernandez Coronel, Abbess of Agreda (1602-65)) gains influence over him, causing him to abolish the function of valido, which put a PM in charge of all documents given to the king to sign, reducing his power greatly.
On June 26-July 28, 1643 the Bavarians under gen. Franz von Mercy (1590-1645) siege and capture Freiburg-im-Bresgau, then dig in in the surrounding mountains; on Aug. 3-5 after Louis II de Bourbon, duc d'Enghien (prince of Conde in 1646) arrives with reinforcements to aid new field marshal (since 1642) Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne (1611-75), the French defeat the Bavarians at the desperate Battle of Freiburg (Freiburg-im-Breisgau) (not to be confused with the 1762 Battle of Freiberg), at which the cowboy duc fails in a direct attack, and Turenne brings it home with a flanking attack; the French now almost control Lorraine.
In 1643 Michel Le Tellier (1603-85) becomes French minister of war (until 1661), tightening state control of the army and improving troop pay, setting an example for other Euro countries while getting rich and going on to have two sons who succeed him in turn.
In Aug. 1661 French king Louis XIV is lavishly entertained at the magnificent chateau of Vaux-le-Victomte by his super-rich rival and supt. of finance (since 1653) (who had lent large sums to the treasury during the War of the Fronde) Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle-Isle, Vicomte de Melun et Vaux (1615-80), during which Moliere's "Les Facheux" debuts, after which Louis decides it's time to get rid of this wannabe Richelieu who can afford to buy anything, first getting him to sell his office of procureur gen., along with its protective privileges, then getting him arrested three weeks after the banquet by d'Artagnan of musketeer fame, then putting him through a 3-year stooge trial, where Louis' up-and-coming adviser Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-83) claims a royal revenue deficit of 22M francs, suppressing papers proving his innocence, and despite public sympathy he is convicted of embezzlement for borrowing Louis XIV's Hope Diamond for a state ball, and sentenced to life banishment, then life in Pignerol Prison - this beter work or i'm fouquet?
On Aug. 12-13, 1704 after British forces under John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) march toward the Danube River, meet up with Austrian forces under Prince Eugene of Savoy near Mandelsheim, and together march ulm in ulm to Ulm, they defeat the French under marshals Camille d'Hostun de la Baume, Duc de Tallard (1652-1728) and Ferdinand, Count of Marsin (1656-1706), and the Bavarians under elector Maximilian II Emanuel at the Battle of Blenheim (Second Battle of Hochstadt) (pr. BLEN-im) (corruption of Blindheim) N of Nuremberg on the Danube River in W Bavaria 23 mi. NW of Augsburg, with 4.5K British and Austrians KIA and 7.9K wounded vs. 20K French and Bavarians KIA or wounded and 14K taken POW; the French and Bavarians are beaten so badly that the French attack on Austria is broken, and French prestige suffers from the first pitched battle lost by French troops since who knows when; the giant Allied V ensures the safety of Vienna, preventing the collapse of the Grand Alliance, becoming a turning point in the War of the Spanish Succession; from now on French military domination of Europe begins to tank; Marlborough becomes a big hero back home, and Queen Anne promises to build him his own pretty little palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, called Blenheim Palace (1705-22), designed by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) and Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), becoming the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England with the title of palace; too bad, political infighting leads to the duke of Marlborough's exile, damaging Vanbrugh's rep.; meanwhile Duke Victor Amadeus I of Savoy flip-flops, ditches France and joins Austria, pissing-off the French and causing them to send troops under Gen. Vendome to trash the Piedmont; the Rakoczy uprising in Hungary is robbed of its promised help by the French and Bavarians, causing him to mint new copper coins to replace silver coins as the economy collapses.
On Feb. 15, 1723 Louis XV of France attains majority, and puts Dr. Evil, er, regent (since 1715) Duke Philippe II of Orleans (b. 1674) out of business just in time, since he croaks on Dec. 23 after becoming PM - a little arsenic?
On Aug. 9, 1757 French Gen. Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm (1712-59), CIC of French forces in North Am. captures Ft. William Henry on Lake George (Lac Sainte Sacrament) in Upstate N.Y., commanded by Irish-born Lt. Col. George Monro (1700-57) (while Monro's daughter Cora's loverboy Hawkeye is held in chains awaiting execution and Magua plans a bloodthirsty revenge on White-Hair?); the returning British soldiers are viciously ambushed and massacred by the Abenaki (Abnaki) (allies of the French), and the incident becomes notorious as a French violation of the internat. laws of war.
Do you know the way to Hot Air Bay? On June 4, 1783 the French papermaker Montgolfier Brothers incl. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (1740-1810) and Jacques-Etienne (Étienne) Montgolfier (1745-99) of Annonay (near Lyons), France test their first small unmanned smoke-filled paper-lined linen hot air balloon, which rises to a height of 3K ft. at Annonay, France in a 10-min. 1-mi. flight; on Aug. 27 Parisian physicist Jacques Alexandre Cesar (César) Charles (1746-1823) launches a 13-ft.-dia. silk balloon (constructed under his supervision by A.J. and M.N. Robert) filled with hydrogen in Paris in front of 50K spectators; it floats at 3K ft. for more than 45 min. and lands in a village 16 mi. away, where the spooked villagers attack it with stones and knives; on Sept. 19 the Montgolfier Brothers conduct another demo in Versailles, witnessed by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, where a duck, rooster, and sheep become the first living passengers, traveling 2 mi. in 8 min., with max. alt. of 1.5K ft, pissing-off the king with the dense smoke they deliberately generate in the belief that it's what causes the buoyancy, later learning that it's heat; on Oct. 15 French daredevil physician Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier (1754-85) makes the first tethered balloon ascension, repeating the demo on Oct. 17 before a group of scientists, then reaching 324 ft. on Oct. 19; on Nov. 21 (2 p.m.) champagne-toting de Rozier and army officer Marquis Francois Laurent le Vieux d'Arlandes (1742-1809) make the first untethered human flight, reaching a peak alt. of 500 ft. and traveling 5.5 mi. in 25 min. from the Bois de Boulogne in Paris in the presence of Louis XVI and a huge crowd, across the Seine River to the Butte-aux-Cailles; the next day Benjamin Franklin et al. sign the official certification at Passy; on Nov. 31 Jacques Charles (financed by Franklin) flies in his hydrogen balloon, while gouty Franklin watches from his carriage near the Tuileries Gardens; balloon exhibition flights soon become the rage in Paris; when asked what was the practical use of these balloon thingies, Franklin replies "What is the use of a newborn baby?"; the power of a mere individual to go over the king's head and attract large crowds is a giant leap for popular democracy, making the French Rev. inevitable, and, combined with the success of the U.S., it coulda gone better if only they hadn't dabbled with the powder keg of godless atheism?
In 1790 the Dual Rev. (economic and political) (ends 1848) begins in England and France, leading to the 19th cent. becoming a powder keg of people on the make and on the take?
Welcome to the next round? A classic case of what goes around comes around? The pen is mightiless against the sword? On Mar. 20-25, 1792 the Legislative Assembly in Paris sticks its neck out and approves the use of the centuries-old "painless" Guillotine, named after physician (Freemason) Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814), who recommends it as a humane form of execution, as well as a way of eliminating the class distinction of hanging commoners while beheading nobles, who are expected to go to their deaths without displaying emotions unless they're women; on Apr. 4 the first guillotine is installed in the Place de Greve in Paris; on Apr. 25 highwayman Jacques Nicolas Pelletier becomes the first person executed by the new "feminine" form of execution; in Aug. a giant guillotine is erected in the Place de Carrousel in the center of Paris, whose blade makes a noise like thunder when it falls, designed by German harpsichord maker Tobias Schmidt, who was working with Metz-born king's surgeon Antoine Louis (1723-92) (secy. of the surgical academy), and main executioner (since 1754) Charles Henri Sanson (1739-1806) (4th hereditary executioner in the family since 1688); Schmidt turns the blade o a 45-deg. angle and changes it from round to you know what, and it is weighted by a pulley system as it travels down two 14-ft. upright greased wooden planks, all of which are reached by a 24-step platform; in 1890 asst. executioner Leon Burger adds refinements; the machine is set up also at the Place de la Revolution, Place St. Antoine, and Barriere (Barrière) Ranverse; it is originally called "La Veuve" (window), and after Louis XVI's execution "La Louison", then after Marie Antoinett'e execution "La Louisette", and not called guillotine until after 1800; 15K heads roll by 1799, out of 40K total killed during the Terror, 70%-80% of them commoners; tricoteuses sometimes sit near the base of the scaffold knitting stockings for soldiers - well, shiver me carotids?
On Apr. 20, 1792 after getting pissed-off by the 1791 Declaration of Pillnitz and issuing ultimatums against HRE Leopold II and Francis II, France declares war on the HRE (Austria), which lasts 23 years (until 1815) and results in 1.5M French KIA; the First Coalition against France is formed.
On Apr. 25, 1792 French army officer (capt. of engineers at Strasbourg) Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) composes the French nat. anthem (adopted in 1795) La Marseillaise (Song of Marseille) (originally "War Song of the Army of the Rhine") (Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin) (dedicated to Bavarian-born French marshal Nicolas Luckner), which is sung at a patriotic meeting in Marseille by Francois Mireur (1770-98) and catches on, being sung in the streets of Paris upon arrival by volunteers from Marseille then spreading to the rest of the French army; it is adopted as the French nat. anthem on July 14, 1795; after they occupy the town of Carmagnola in Piedmont, Italy, French revolutionaries begin wearing their costume, the Carmagnole, a short jacket with wide lapels, worn with black trousers instead of knee breeches, earning them the name "sans-culottes", meaning without breeches, along with a red cap and tricolored girdle; "La Marseillaise" is first sung on July 30 in Paris.
In May 1792 an aide-de-camp to Col. Marquis de Toulengeon deserts, and his daddy the Marquis de Sade, who was elected to the Nat. Convention in 1790 representing the far left, where he wrote a pamphlet calling for the direct vote is forced to disavow him to save his neck; next year he writes a eulogy of Jean-Paul Marat to save his job, but is accused of moderatism, forced to resign, and imprisoned, after which he is released after the July 28, 1794 execution of Maximilian Robespierre, and becomes a penniless bum, selling his ruined castle in Lacoste in 1796, which in the 1990s is purchased by French fashion designer Pierre Cardin for theater festivals.
In July 1792 Comte de Rochambeau, cmdr. of the French Rev. Northern Army freaks at the excesses and retires in disgust, and ends up imprisoned during the Reign of Terror, escaping the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre in 1794, being released and restored by Napoleon to his rank and estates.
On Aug. 10, 1792 popular demonstrations lead to the storming of the Tuileries Palace, the royal residence on the right bank of the Seine River in Paris, and the royal Swiss Guard (created 1616) shows their loyalty by defending it, losing 800 KIA; all functions of the monarchy are suspended, and not only is the king's veto power quashed, but the Nat. Legislature votes to enact all legislation he previously vetoed, and calls for a convention elected by universal male suffrage to enact a new constitution; the poor royal family is confined to tower of the the gloomy Square du Temple (old Knights Templar house) in Paris; La Carmagnole, a song written after the storming of the Tuileries, consisting of 13 2-line stanzas ridiculing the king and queen becomes popular until the end of the Terror in 1794; "Dansons la carmagnole,/ Vive le son, vive le son;/ Dansons la carmagnole,/ Vive le son du canon".
On Aug. 11, 1792 as the allies score big Vs against the French revolutionaries, the 9 (later 12) man Jacobin Provisional Executive Council (Committee of Public Safety) under Danton, Robespierre, Saint-Just, et al., and the male suffrage-based Paris Commune under Jacques Rene Hebert (René Hébert) (1757-94) (founder of the ultra-radical newspaper "La Pere Duchesne"), Pierre Gaspard Chaumette (1763-94) and Jean Baptiste du Val-de-Grace, Baron de Cloots (1755-94) (AKA Anacharsis Cloots) seize power.
On Aug. 20, 1792 the Battle of Verdun is a V for the Prussians over French Rev. forces, after which the 12 Virgins of Verdun carry a basket of sugared almonds to the Prussian king's tent (they are later guillotined); on Sept. 2-7 news of it causes the September Massacres to take place in Paris, in which 1.2K-1.4K suspects taken from prisons are tried in improvised tribunals and then executed; the riots spread to Versailles, Lyons, Rheims, Meaux, and Orleans, and anarchy threatens, while cries for the king's head increase.
On Sept. 20, 1792 a French Repub. army under Lt. Gen. Francois Christophe Kellermann (1735-1820) (gen. of the army of Alsace since 1791) finally defeats the Prussians under the Duke of Brunswick, the Prince of Hohenlohe, and the Count of Clerfayt at the Battle of Valmy in N France, giving them their first V, which Goethe claims "opened a new era in the history of the world", making Kellermann a star, with Napoleon uttering the soundbyte: "I think I'm the boldest general that ever lived, but I daren't take post on that ridge with windmill at Valmy"; too bad, after being transferred to the army of the Moselle River, Kellermann is accused of Gen. Adam Custine of incompetence, but is acquitted at the Nat. Convention in Paris and given the army of the Alps and Italy, until he is ordered to stop a revolt in Lyons, and is accused again and imprisoned for 13 mo. before being acquitted and assigned to the SE border until his army is merged with Napoleon's in Italy, with big fan Napoleon getting him named senator in 1800, pres. of the senate in 1801, marshal of France on May 19, 1804, and created duke of Valmy in 1808; in 1814 he votes to depose Napoleon, and becomes a liberal member of the Chamber of Peers until Louis XVIII. Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc de Chartres (Valois) (1773-1850) (later Duc de Orleans), who joined the Jacobins in 1790 fights at Valmy as a lt. gen., and later at Jemappes.
On Sept. 20, 1792 the French Nat. Legislature orders the state to take over the recording of marriages, births and deaths from the Church, and legalizes divorce.
On Sept. 21, 1792 the French Nat. Convention convenes (until Aug. 22, 1795), elected by universal male suffrage and composed of 749 members (486 new), with the Plain Party in the majority, the Girondists on the right, and the Mountain Party (Danton, Robespierre et al.) on the left; it immediately votes to abolish the monarchy (making the king and queen ordinary citizens) and suspend the legislative assembly; the hated gabelle (salt tax) (begun 1341) is abolished (until 1804); nobles kiss their titles goodbye, and become "ci-devant" (heretofore) nobles.
On Sept. 22, 1792 the First French Repub. is declared, with the calendar reset to Year 1 (ends 1804); on Sept. 25 the repub. is declared "one and indivisible".
On Oct. 2, 1792 the Committee of Gen. Security is formed in France, with undefined police powers - Halloween 1-999 music here?
On Nov. 2-Dec. 5, 1792 the 1792 U.S. pres. election sees George Washington and John Adams are reelected unanimously; too bad, the unanimous stuff ends as Thomas Jefferson founds the Democratic-Republican Party (later the Democratic Party) as a congressional caucus to fight against the Federalist Party, formed in 1789 by Alexander Hamilton, launching the First Party System (ends 1824), with the Federalists becoming dominant until 1800; on Feb. 12, 1798 Thomas Jefferson writes the soundbyte: "Two political Sects have arisen within the U. S. the one believing that the executive is the branch of our government which the most needs support; the other that like the analogous branch in the English Government, it is already too strong for the republican parts of the Constitution; and therefore in equivocal cases they incline to the legislative powers: the former of these are called federalists, sometimes aristocrats or monocrats, and sometimes Tories, after the corresponding sect in the English Government of exactly the same definition: the latter are stiled republicans, Whigs, jacobins, anarchists, dis-organizers, etc. these terms are in familiar use with most persons."
On Nov. 6, 1792 45K French under Gen. Charles Francois du Perier (Périer) Dumouriez (1739-1823) defeat 13K Austrians in their winter HQ in the Battle of Jemappes in SW Belgium, causing them to retreat, after which the French capture Brussels.
On Nov. 19, 1792 the Decree of Fraternity offers French aid to people wishing to overthrow their govts., causing the English govt. to get antsy, while Irish nationalists take them up on their offer. On Dec. 4 the French Nat. Convention declares the death penalty for advocating monarchy; on Dec. 8 it repeals its suspension on free trade in grain but outlaws exports; in the Beauce region prices are fixed, causing peasant demonstrations. On Dec. 10 Louis XVI goes before the Nat. Convention to face neckable charges of treason, and on Dec. 11 is presented with incriminating letters from his iron cupboard, claiming to have never seen them and denying his own signature, causing the Jacobins to decide he's guilty; on Dec. 27 the Girondists (moderate republicans) propose a referendum of the people to decide - the original American Idol?
In 1792 Marquis de Lafayette is given command of the French Rev. Army of the Center, becomes disgusted by the excesses of the French Rev. and bolts for Belgium, where he is captured by the Austrians and imprisoned for five years.
In 1792 Gouverneur Morris, who has been in Paris since 1789 and kept a Diary of the French Rev., 1789-93 becomes U.S. minister to France (until 1794).
In 1792 the new French govt. seizes Hospitaller property in France; the Sorbonne in Paris is suppressed and its property confiscated (until 1808); the Hope Diamond, owned by Louis XVI vanishes during the turmoil in Paris, and doesn't resurface for almost 40 years - who had to die?
In 1792 French military surgeon Dominique Jean Larrey (1766-1842) joins the Army of the Rhine, inventing Flying Ambulances after seeing French Flying Artillery, and combining them with the first MASH units complete with triage; after becoming a favorite of Napoleon and becoming a baron in 1809, he leads the surgical team that performs a mastectomy on English writer Frances "Fanny" Burney in Paris on Sept. 30, 1811; in 1810 he becomes one of the first surgeons to operate on the pericardial sac.
In 1792 French navigator Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d'Entrecasteaux (1739-)93 of France begins a rescue expedition for La Perouse (disappeared 1788), visiting many Pacific islands and exploring New Caledonia (until 1793); he discovers the D'Entrecasteaux Islands SE of New Guinea, incl. Ferguson, Goodenough and Normanby, inhabited by Papuans.
I'm walking on sunshine, whoa-oh? On July 15, 1801 the Concordat of 1801 (announced on Easter Sunday, 1802), signed in Paris by Napoleon and Pope Pius VII reconciles the French Consulate with the Roman Catholic Church, and reestablishes and governs the relations of the French Church with Rome for the next cent., esp. by recognizing Protestantism (both Lutheran and Calvinistic), Judaism, and Roman Catholicism as established religions entitled to state support and subject to state control; the consul appoints bishops, subject to confirmation by the pope, and the bishops choose their own clergy, paid by the govt.; the pope continues to control the Papal States, except Ferrara, Bologna, and Romagna; priests in Belgium and other outlying regions form the Petite Eglise (Little Church) outside Courlay in Deux-Sevres to oppose it, functioning without a priest; Joseph Fesch (1763-1839), half-uncle of Napoleon I is made archbishop of Lyons for helping bring the concordat about, and cardinal next year.
Hands across the water, hands across the sky, or, Bloody Trick or Treat, What What? England gets its world-class naval hero? On Oct. 21, 1805 (Mon.) after the French fleet under vice-adm. Pierre Charles Jean Baptiste Silvestre de Villeneuve (1763-1806) breaks out of Toulon and eludes the British fleet under vice-adm. Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronte (b. 1758), then takes refuge in Cadiz and receives reinforcements from the Spanish navy, bringing them up to 33 ships (vs. 27 for the British), and slowpoke Nelson catches up and blockades it, the French break out of the harbor again, beginning the naval Battle of (Cape) Trafalgar (Britain's greatest sea battle?) between Gibraltar and Cape Roche outside Cadiz, resulting in a decisive V for the British, dashing Napoleon's hopes of invading England and establishing British sea supremacy for the next 150 years; Adm. Nelson, aboard his flagship HMS Victory leads the charge that breaks through the center of the French line between Bucentaure and Redoubtable, capturing 10 French and 11 Spanish ships, with no British ships lost, and a total of 1,666 British casualties (458 KIA and 1,208 wounded) vs. 13,781 French-Spanish casualties, incl. 3K POWs drowned in a storm after the battle; Victory suffers 57 KIA and 102 wounded, with Redoutable attempting to board her but suffering a devastating broadside from the 98-gun HMS Temeraire, commanded by Adm. Sir Eliab Harvey (1758-1830), known for recklessly gambling his family fortune in London, who also forces the surrender of the Fougueux, causing him to create the family motto "Redoubtable and Fougueux"; Nelson signals the famous message "England expects that every man will do his duty", and is wounded several times by French sharpshooters before meeting his death as the battle ends from a musket ball from Redoubtable that enters his left shoulder and lodges in his spine, dying at 4:30 p.m. and giving a last order to anchor the fleet, which is countermanded by his 2nd in command vice-adm. of the blue Cuthbert Collingwood (1748-1810), who succeeds Nelson as CIC, transferring his flag from the damaged Royal Sovereign to the Euryalus, attempting to tow damaged vessels until a storm wrecks many prizes incl. Redoubtable on the rocky shore while others are destroyed to prevent capture, getting Collingwood a promotion on Nov. 9 to vice-adm. of the red along with a peerage as Baron Collingwood of Northumberland, along with a £2K/year pension and his 3rd gold medal from Parliament (joining Nelson and Sir Edward Berry); Victory is towed by HMS Neptune to Gibraltar for repairs, then flies a black sail on its return voyage to England; Villenueve is captured by the English, and returned to France next year; in Nov. Adm. Horatio Nelson's elder brother William Nelson (1757-1835) is created 1st Earl Nelson of Trafalgar; Portugal restores relations with its old ally Britain, causing France to declare the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz cancelled, leading to the 1807-10 Peninsular War.
On Mar. 20-July 8, 1815 the Hundred Days (War of the Seventh Coalition) (really 111 days) culminates in Emperor Napoleon I (1769-1821) meeting British gen. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) for the last time at Waterloo, which Wellington later claims "was won on the playing fields of Eton"; on Feb. 26 after getting pissed-off at the Bourbon restoration and the machinations of the Congress of Vienna, and seeing his chance with Anglo-Dutch troops under Wellington and Prussian troops under Blucher scattered around the Low Countries, Napoleon eludes British patrol ships and escapes Elba, then lands on Mar. 1 in Cannes, where troops sent to capture him fall prey to his charisma and and rally around him, causing Louis XVIII to flee to Ghent; on Mar. 13 the allies issue a ban against Nappy, but that doesn't stop him from entering Paris and establishing a govt., with the Duc de Cambaceres as pres. of the House of Peers and minister of justice, then organizing an army to reconquer Belgium and Holland, causing Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia to form the Seventh (Final) Coalition against him on Mar. 25, supplying 180K men each and getting all European nations except Sweden to join, resulting in a 1M-man army; Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours takes the cue and returns to the U.S. with his sons; Nathan Mayer Rothschild funds the Brits, while Jacob Rothschild funds the French, allowing them to play both sides and end up owning a large amount of the British Empire, after which they force their five C European banks to be used instead of transferring precious metals from country to country? The orchestra is on their feet? The last half of the year is a big gig for the European diplomats, who carve up France's carcass for their royal absolutist masters?
On June 9, 1815 the Congress of Vienna (begun 1814) closes with the Treaty of Vienna; the result is the concept of the balance of power to preserve internat. equilibrium of the winning powers, with periodic congresses meeting to maintain peace (prevent revolts); France reverts to its 1790 boundaries, but is allowed to keep Avignon, which it took from the papacy; Russia keeps Finland, and the greater part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, which is dissolved, and Poland (Cracow) is repartitioned between Russia, Prussia and Austria, with a kingdom of Poland created under a king and the Russian tsar, with the right to have unspellable Polish as the official language plus their own army (ends 1846); Austria emerges as the dominant power on the continent (ends 1866), receiving new territories in Italy and the Illyrian Provinces; Prussia receives part of the duchy of Warsaw, Danzig, Swedish Pomernia and Rugen, plus new parts of Westphalia and Neuchatel and more than half of Saxony, which becomes a province; on Aug. 24, 1815 the Fundamental Law of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands is passed, uniting Belgium and Holland in an uneasy religious-unfriendly alliance in order to create a strong buffer state against France (ends 1830); Luxembourg (founded 963), the 350-year toy of Burgundy, Spain, Austria and France is made a Grand Duchy and given to the Netherlands; Switzerland becomes independent of France, and on Nov. 20 the Swiss Federal Pact is ratified, creating a confederation of 22 contiguous autonomous cantons with a Diet with restricted powers which requires the vote of two-thirds of the cantons to ratify any act; Norway and Sweden are joined in another bad marriage under one ruler; the dynasties in Spain, Sardinia and the Papal States (incl. Bologna) which had been taken over by the Napoleon clan are restored; the Valtellina passes to the new Lombard-Venetian Kingdom held by Austria (until 1848); Piedmont is returned to the kingdom of Sardinia, which is given Genoa and Liguria, making it the #1 independent state in the Italian peninsula; the new Germanic Confederation is formed (until 1848, then 1850-66), consisting of 38 member states (Austria, Liechtenstein, Hamburg et al.) as the replacement for the Holy Roman Empire (ends 1866), with a Diet at Frankfurt-am-Main consisting of two assemblies of diplomats presided over by Austrian reps.; the Ionian Islands of Greece are taken from France and placed under British suzerainty (until 1863); East Friesland is added to Hanover (an electorate since 1692), which is proclaimed a kingdom (until 1886), and restored to the English crown (ends 1837); England gains the nice naval hops of Malta and Helgoland, the Cape of Good Hope, and scattered island possessions taken from the Netherlands and France; Switzerland promises to not allow their famous and feared mercenaries to fight anywhere but at home and the Vatican; brie is declared the king of cheeses; the war to end all wars is over, but the real war is on hotter than ever between the liberal forces seeking to end absolutism in a hedonistic world that delights in pleasure and sin, and the absolutist forces seeking to hold onto their gains and the religious piety of the masses while themselves delighting in, er, pleasure and sin, with round one being conservative top dog Austria vs. liberal-hope challenger Prussia, whose liberal pop. has the problem of the Junkers (large landholders); after a cent. of strife it takes WWI to finally undo the old order completely?
Into each life some rain must fall? On June 15-16, 1815 Napoleon suddenly crosses the Belgian frontier and attacks Charleroi, taking it from the Prussians; on June 16 he severely defeats Field Marshal Blucher at the Battle of Ligny (Nappy's last V), forcing him to fall back, while he personally rallies his scattered troops; meanwhile French marshal Michel Ney attacks the British under the Prince of Orange at the June 16 Battle of Quatre Bras and is defeated, while French troops under marshal Jean-Baptiste Droute, Count d'Erlon (1765-1844) are given conflicting orders and march back and forth between Ligny and Quatre Bras without engaging; Napoleon orders cavalry cmdr. marshal Emmanuel de Grouchy, 2nd Marquis de Grouchy (1766-1847) to follow and attack Blucher and his Prussians, who are expected to retreat S to Namur, but his orders are delayed for 12 hours, and Grouchy doesn't follow them, blindsiding grouchy Nappy, who joins Ney on June 17 and follows the retreating British on the road to Brussels, having a perfect life until they make a stand at the crossroads of Mt. St. Jean in front of the village of (what's love? that's right?) Waterloo; the last major battle involving all the great powers of Europe until 1914; alas, if only there had not been a bad rainstorm on the 17th, and he had not been suffering from painful hemorrhoids keeping him inside his tent high on opium, Nappy might have taken the unready Brits, but c'est la vie?; on June 18 (Sun.) (midday) (6, 6+6+6, 1815 = 6+6+6 + 1+5=6?) the watershed Battle of Waterloo in Belgium between Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington's 32K troops begins with a French frontal attack on Wellington's troops at the Battle of La Haye Sainte (named after a farmhouse at the E end of the battlefield that is named after Jesus Christ's crown of thorns) whose "thin red line" repels the French cavalry charge three, count 'em, three times, giving Blucher's troops (who had not fallen back to Namur, but turned N along a series of farm roads to Wavre, eluding grouchy Grouchy) under new cmdr. August Wilhelm Antonius Graf Neidhardt von Gneisenau (1760-1831) (who took charge after aging Field Marshal Blucher became disabled at Ligny) to surprise know-it-all-Nappy (the original Wrath of Khan vs. Kirk and Spock?), and come into view, though they are slowed by the muddy conditions, and take until 4:30 p.m. to reach the French at Planchenoit, on Nappy's right flank, getting him into a vise; at 7 p.m. the decision hour arrives, and Nappy the Gambler risks his Old (Imperial) Guard, who fight to the last man in vain, until finally the Frogs are routed; the French propose a truce, which is laughed off, and Gneisenau pursues the Frogs to the gates of Paris, capturing Napoleon's carriage, and beating Wellington; on July 7 Paris is retaken, and Louis XVIII returns to his throney throne throne, backed by large sums of money raised by Jacques Laffitte (1767-1844), who becomes gov. of the Bank of France and pres. of the chamber of commerce, supplying 2M francs from his own pocket to cover the pay of the imperial troops after the Battle of Waterloo (Napoleon I himself deposited 5M francs in gold with him before leaving France for the last time); the British Army begin wearing bearskin hats after the Battle of Waterloo to mock Napoleon's Imperial Guard. His last days as a Playboy Playmate coming up in minutes, or, Shrek the Third is about to debut? On June 22 (4 days after the Big D at Waterloo) after going with his brother Joseph Bonaparte to Rochefort, planning to sail separately for N. Am., and Joseph offering to give up his own hired vessel for him, whereupon he graciously lets him escape instead, Napoleon surrenders to British Vice-adm. Sir Henry Hotham (1777-1833) (ham jokes here?), then on July 15 formally surrenders aboard the HMS Bellerophon (Capt. Frederick Lewis Maitland) off Rochefort, and abdicates again in favor of his son Napoleon II (1811-32), who never rules; Napoleon is unanimously ordered by the allies to be exiled to St. Helena Island in the butthole of the Atlantic off the W African coast, where he arrives in the Bellerophon in Oct., and remains until his death on May 5, 1821; the Brits set up a garrison on Ascension Island to the NW, calling it stone frigate HMS Ascension, classified as "sloop of war of the smaller class"; French marshal Michel Ney (b. 1769)is executed for treason on Dec. 7; Gen. Grouchy, who lives in Chateau de la Villette NW of Paris is exiled to Philadelphia, Penn.; Blucher retires to private life and receives a special Iron Cross from pleased-as-punch Frederick William III; the name Arthur (as in Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington) suddenly becomes fashionable for baby boys; the Waterloo Teeth collected from the dead soldiers (most from young boys) for making dentures are so excellent that they are in great demand; Nappy's uncle Cardinal Joseph Fesch is exiled to Rome, bequeathing many art objects to Lyons; Nappy's brother Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte (1768-1844) flees to Bordentown, N.J. (until 1841), settling down in Point Breeze, N.J. under the title of Comte de Survilliers and going into agriculture - yep, that's me?
On May 5, 1821 Napoleon Bonaparte (b. 1769) dies in exile on St. Helena Island, some say of arsenic poisoning, others of stomach cancer, like his daddy Carlo (1746-85); the last word on his lips is "Josephine"; his body is not released by the British to the French until May 25; he is buried under a weeping willow, and is later interred in a crypt at the Hotel des Invalides in Paris, his tomb decorated with 12 Personified Victories by Swiss-born French sculptor James (Jean-Jacques) Pradier (1790-1852); the city of New Orleans, La. proudly houses his death mask; the Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte become very popular in France and Europe; a postmortem by Australian surgeon Charles MacLaurin (1872-1925) finds that "his reproductive organs were small and apparently atrophied. He is said to have been impotent for some time before he died"; a priest obtains his 1 in. penis, and it turns up in 1971 at a Christie's auction in London, but there are no takers; in 1977 a U.S. urologist buys it for $3.8K - guess what I got, baby?
On May 6, 2007 the pres. election in France sees conservative pro-Israel law and order interior minister Nicolas "Sarko the American" Sarkozy (Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa) (1955-) ("an American with a French passport") (son of a Protestant Hungarian immigrant and a half-Greek Jewish half-French Roman Catholic mother) of the center-right UMP defeat Socialist Segolene (Ségolène) Royal (1953-) by 53.1% to 46.9%, becoming pres. of France on May 16 (until May 15, 2012), pledging to break the old outmoded habits of France, incl. the 35-hour "absurd" workweek, and to stand up against tyranny, dictators, and Muslim oppression of women, then urges the U.S. to take the lead on fighting global warming; after Sarkozy signals that he will take a tougher line toward Russia, pres. Vladimir Putin fails to congratulate him on his win; meanwhile anti-Sarkozy protests are held in Paris and Marseille, comparing him to Mussolini and Hitler; on May 17 Francois Fillon (1954-) of the UMP is appointed by Sarkozy as PM of France (until May 10, 2012); on June 17 elections give the UMP a clear parliamentary majority, although it's no landslide V as voters fear giving him too much power. On Oct. 18 the biggest strike in 12 years cripples France's public transport system; the same day French pres. Nicolas Sarkozy announces his divorce from wife Cecilia Ciganer-Albéniz (1957-) after 11 years (1996), becoming a first for a French pres.