A Brief Guide to the History of France


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An explainer on the many evolutions of the country’s government

USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview When we think of France, we tend think of fine food and wine, the elegant boulevards of Paris or the chic beaches of St Tropez. Product Details About the Author. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Jane Austen is a mystery. The first incontrovertibly great woman novelist, she is, among other The first incontrovertibly great woman novelist, she is, among other things, one of the finest prose stylists in literature; the first truly modern writer, the Godmother of chick lit.

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She is also the greatest enigma View Product. A Brief History of Christianity.


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This volume tells the story of Christianity through the individual men and women who shaped This volume tells the story of Christianity through the individual men and women who shaped it. It is a story of colossal undertakings and spectacular successes as well as ferocious intolerance, greed and bloodshed. The succession did not proceed smoothly, however, as Charlemagne faced a serious revolt in Aquitaine as well as the enmity of his brother, who refused to help suppress the revolt.

Charlemagne dispossessed his nephews from their inheritance and reunited the kingdom under his own authority. Charlemagne ruled the Frankish kingdom from and is generally considered one of the foremost leaders in world history. By extending the boundaries of the kingdoms through a number of bloody conflicts he was ultimately named the Holy Emperor of Rome Emperor of the West in The Carolingian Dynasty ruled France until the late 10 th century, up until Hugh Capet was crowned king in , establishing the Capetian Dynasty. It was during this time that William the Conqueror and his Norman forces occupied England in , making Normandy and, later, Plantagenet-ruled England formidable rivals of the kingdom of France.

In Eleanor of Aquitaine wed Henry of Anjou, bringing a further third of France under the control of the English crown.

The bitter rival that followed between France and England for Control of Aquitaine and the vast English territories in France lasted three centuries. The Holy See remained in France until The war can be traced back to William the Conqueror, crowned King of England in , who, after defeating the French at the Battle of Hastings, united England and Normandy and wanted to rule both as his own. Abbey-studded Mont St-Michel was the only place in northern and western France not to fall into English hands.

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Joan of Arc was convicted of performing witchcraft and heresy by a tribunal of French church officials and subsequently sold to the English in , where she was burned at the stake. Charles VII did finally return to Paris in , however, it was not until that the English were ultimately driven from French territory. There Italian and French artists adored the royal castles in places such as Amboise, Blois, Chambord and Chaumont, including the renowned Leonardo da Vinci, who lived in Le Clos Luce in Amboise from until his death.

Disciples of Michelangelo and Raphael—artists and architects—were very influential during this period, as were writers such as Ronsard, Rabelais and Marot. Many noted Renaissance ideas of geography and science were lauded, and discovery assumed a new importance, as did the value of secular over religious life. In , the Catholic League forced Henry III, who ruled from , to flee the royal court at the Louvre and the next year the monarch was assassinated.

Louis XIII had a fairly undistinguished reign and he remained under the thumb of his chief minister Cardinal Richelieu, best known for his untiring efforts to establish an all-powerful monarchy in France and French Supremacy in Europe. Brazened by claims of French divine right, Louis XIV involved the country of France in a number of wars and battles; conflicts that gained territory for France but alarmed its neighbors and nearly drained the national treasury. In France, he helped to quell the ambitious, feuding aristocracy and created the first centralized French state.

In the town of Versailles, some 23 kilometers outside of Paris, he built a magnificent and lush palace and made courtiers compete with each other for royal favor. Louis XV, the grandson of Louis XIV, ascended to the throne in and continued to rule the country until his death in Not nearly the statesman that his grandfather was, Louis XV allowed his regent, the Duke of Orleans, to shift the court back to Paris. As the 18 th century progressed, the old-order Monarchy became increasingly at odds with the French people. In this Age of Enlightenment, where the anti-establishment and anti-church ideas of Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu, the royal court also became threatened.

It was a pricey war to say the least, especially for the monarchy, as it helped to disseminate in France the radical democratic ideas that had been placed on the world stage during the American Revolutionary War.

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France was declared a constitutional monarchy and many reforms were enacted. However, as the new government readied itself for threats posed by Austria, Prussia and the many exiled French nobles, patriotism and nationalism butted heads with revolutionary fervor.

Following the Revolution, a five-man delegation of moderate republicans, led by Paul Barras, was founded as a Directory to rule the new French Republic. This would be short-lived, however, due largely to the arrival of a young Corsican general named Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon was a charismatic leader whose skills and military tactics rapidly transformed him into an independent political force. In he overthrew the newly-created Directory and assumed power as consul of the First Empire.

To broaden and make more credible his authority, Napoleon waged a series of large-scale wars, gaining control of most of Europe in the process, including Spain. Two years later, Allied armies entered Paris, exiled Napoleon to the island of Elba and restored the House of Bourbon to the French throne at the Congress of Vienna However, this was not the last France would hear about Napoleon.

Three years later, in , Napoleon escaped from Elba, landed in southern Europe and marched on Paris. Napoleon Bonaparte died there in , and in his remains were returned to Paris. Paris was completely remade under urban planner Baron Haussmann, who created the 12 enormous boulevards radiating from the Arc de Triomphe. Meanwhile, Napoleon III, who is was a fairly ineffective leader, threw glittering parties at the royal palace, and vacationed in places like Biarritz and Deauville. Upon hearing the news, the defiant and poor Parisian masses demanded a new republic be installed.

The Third Republic began in as a provisional government of national defense. However, it was quickly besieged by the Prussians who attacked Paris and demanded National Assembly elections be held. The first move made by the resultant monarchist-controlled assembly was to ratify the Treaty of Frankfurt , the harsh terms of which—a 5 billion-franc war indemnity and surrender of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine—prompted immediate revolt.

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Despite its conflict-ridden start, the Third Republic is known as the Beautiful Age, a time in which Art Nouveau architecture, advances in science and engineering, and a number of different artistic styles, from impressionism onwards, were ushered in. World Exhibitions were held in the capital city of Paris in both and , the former of which was highlighted by the showcasing of the Eiffel Tower. Much of the war took place in northeastern France, with trench warfare using thousands of soldiers as cannon fodder merely to gain a few yards of territory.

Among its harsh terms included the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France and a reparations bill of 33 billion for Germany. At first, France tried to work with the new leader but when Hitler invaded Poland in , the country joined with Britain in declaring war against Germany. Future of Space Exploration.

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A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France A Brief Guide to the History of France
A Brief Guide to the History of France

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