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: Oct. 13, 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).
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?
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 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 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.