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★ France

France: see Europe & European Union & World War I & World War II & War & Paris & England & Empire & Spain & Germany & Normans & Revolution

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83,241.  William’s victory at the Battle of Hastings has given us England’s most famous date: 1066.  But this wasn’t just a battle, it was a momentous turning point in European history.  In the years that followed, the Normans transformed England, and then the rest of Britain and Ireland ... across Europe, from northern France to southern Italy and on to the Middle East and Jerusalem.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages & Battle)  Robert Bartlett, The Normans I, BBC 2010

 

83,246.  A forest of masts lit up with burning torches slipped across the Channel.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

83,247.  On this hillside on Saturday 14th of October 1066 a single battle between a few thousand men permanently changed the course of history in England and beyond.  It was said to have taken place at the Grey Apple Tree.  Nowadays the site is simply known as Battle.  (Normans & France & England & Battle & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

83,248.  Two early accounts of the battle say that an arrow struck the King in the eye.  The King was dead.  And a world was coming to an end.  (Normans & France & England & Battle & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

83,249.  The future belonged to the Normans.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

 

83,250.  William the Conqueror established the Normans as a formidable force in history.  He dominated Normandy for fifty-two years.  But his greatest achievement was the conquest of England in 1066.  The years that followed saw one of the most fundamental transformations in British history.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages)  Robert Bartlett, The Normans II

 

83,251.  The coronation of William the Conqueror marks one of the sharpest breaks there has ever been in English history.  Anglo-Saxon England was dead.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

83,252.  This was a complete militarisation of England.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages)  ibid.  

 

83,253.  This is known of systematic slaughter and destruction is known as the Harrying of the North.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages)  ibid. 

 

83,254.  Alongside hundreds of castles they built abbeys and cathedrals on a scale never seen before in England.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages & Abbey & Cathedral)  ibid.

 

83,255.  The monks attempted to force William’s corpse into the space.  According to Audrick his swollen belly burst and an intolerable stench filled the noses of the crowd.  (Normans & France & England & Middle Ages & Smell)  ibid.

 

 

83,256.  Savagery and piety.  Conquest and colonisation.  The Normans used every weapon in their armoury to re-shape Norman France and the British Isles.  They were powerful rulers and state builders.  And their legacy can be seen all around us.  (Normans & England & France & Crusades & Jerusalem & Middle Ages)  Robert Bartlett, The Normans III: Normans of the South

 

60,559.  In 1099 an international force of 10,000 soldiers stormed through the streets of Jerusalem.  This would be the most divisive part of the Norman inheritance: the first Crusade.  Among the leaders were Norman knights, including the son of William the Conqueror.  As the Crusaders tore through the Holy City they cut down thousands of Muslims.  According to one chronicler the slaughter was so great men waded in blood up to their ankles.  (Crusades & Jerusalem & Normans & England & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

83,261.  For three hundred years the Normans were among the most dynamic forces in Europe.  They colonised countries and created new states and kingdom.  They became patrons of art and learning.  And they transformed the landscape with magnificent castle and cathedrals.  But the age of the Normans wouldn’t last for ever.  In England the Norman dynasty founded by Norman the Conqueror gave was to the Plantagenets.  (Normans & England & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.   

 

 

30,238.  French was the language of the English ruling class.  (England & France & Middle Ages)  Dr Janina Ramirez, Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years’ War I: Trouble in the Family 1337-1360, BBC 2013

 

30,239.  Edward III had done the unthinkable: he had proclaimed himself king of England and France.  (England & Edward III & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

30,240.  To claim back his rights in France he would have to take on Philip’s army.  (England & Edward III & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

30,241.  King Edward and his campaigns were hugely popular.  (England & Edward III & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

30,242.  France and England were forced to agree a truce but it was a fragile death … the plague had plunged the country into a moral panic. (England & Edward III & Plague & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

30,243.  Edward reignited the war ... This was systematic pillage and destruction ... This time Edward had not just humbled the French monarchy he had broken it.  (England & Edward III & France & Middle Ages)  ibid.

 

 

3,538.  But there was also a the more pointed, millennial assumption that, on the new day that was dawning, the sun would never set.  Early during the French upheaval was born a ‘solar myth of the revolution’, suggesting that the sun was rising on a new era in which darkness would vanish forever.  (Sun & France)  James H Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men

 

 

5,459.  We must force the people to be free.  (Freedom & France & Force)  Louis Antoine Leon de Saint-Just

 

 

8,644.  Carnac stones – gigantic triangles made of stone: geomagnetic phenomenon.  (Aliens & Ancient Astronaut Theory & France)  Ancient Aliens s2e8: Unexplained Structures, History 2010

 

 

10,441.  Leonardo spent the last years of his life at the court of the French king.  (Artists: Da Vinci & France)  Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure, BBC 2011

 

 

10,796.  David was a revolutionary artist in every sense.  His work spoke the classical language of ancient Greece and Rome.  Austere, self-controlled, heroic.  But he brought European painting away from the sentimental fantasy of the Rococo, and gave it a harder edge.  He was also a fully committed supporter of the French Revolution and Napoleon, using his art as a powerful instrument of political propaganda.  (Artists: David & France)  Great Artists With Tim Marlow: David

 

 

63,349.  Meanwhile, we will hate Anarchy as Death, which it is; and the things worse than Anarchy shall be hated more!  Surely Peace alone is fruitful.  Anarchy is destruction: a burning up, say, of Shams and Insupportabilities; but which leaves Vacancy behind.  Know this also, that out of a world of Unwise nothing but an Unwisdom can be made.  Arrange it, Constitution-build it, sift it through Ballot-Boxes as thou wilt, it is and remains an Unwisdom – the new prey of new quacks and unclean things, the latter end of it slightly better than the beginning.  Who can bring a wise thing out of men unwise?  Not one.  And so Vacancy and general Abolition having come for this France, what can Anarchy do more?  Let there be Order, were it under the Soldier’s Sword; let there be Peace, that the bounty of the Heavens be not spilt; that what of Wisdom they do send us bring fruit in its season! – It remains to be seen how the quellers of Sansculottism were themselves quelled, and sacred right of Insurrection was blown away by gunpowder: wherewith this singular eventful History called French Revolution end.   (Anarchism & France)  Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution 

 

 

10,800.  David’s Rome rebuilt as the New France.  (Artists: David & France)  Simon Schama’s Power of Art: David, BBC 2006

 

10,801.  His depiction of the Tennis Court Oath: it’s a picture filled with noise, the roar of the oath, the crash of a great electrical storm.  The Revolution as an unstoppable force of Nature.  And at the centre of it all an enormous space ... filled with light, the rushing wing, the furious energy of energy.  It’s an idea.  An idea so big it dwarfs the humans who enact it.  (Artists: David & Revolution & France)   ibid.

 

10,802.  There was no going back.  From now on David and his art belonged to the Revolution.  (Artists: David & Revolution & France)  ibid.

 

10,807.  The terror had begun.  And David had become part of the great engine of killing.  (Artists: David & France)  ibid.

 

10,808.  David’s downfall was inextricably linked to the fate of Robespierre.  (Artists: David & France)  ibid. 

 

 

60,023.  The journey to the guillotine and to the World War would start with the dreams of a philosopher.  But not any old philosopher.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau who was here ... just outside Paris, reshaped the mental habit of an entire generation, turning them from creatures of thought to creatures of feeling ... And the British couldn’t get enough of it.  (France & Philosophy)  Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Forces of Nature, BBC 2002

 

60,024.  Men of feeling in tune with the rhythms of nature.  What appealed to men and women of feeling in the English provinces was Rousseau’s belief that urbanity, the graces and fashions of Metropolitan life were symptoms of everything that was rotten about the old world, the cosmetic mask behind which lurks the poxy disfigurement of a deceitful vicious terminally-diseased nation.  (France & Philosophy)  ibid.

 

30,345.  But when the lynching started [Edmund] Burke decided the revolution was above all an act of violence ... Democracy?  Mobocrasy more like, said Burke.  Heads stuck on pikes, the law of the lynch mob – we don’t want that here.  (Great Britain & England & France & Revolution)  ibid.

 

30,346.  In 1791 he [Thomas Paine] published his counterblast – The Rights of Man.  (Great Britain & England & France & Rights)  ibid.

 

60,025.  In August 1792 the monarchy had been overthrown and a revolutionary republic created in its place.  (France & Revolution)  ibid.

 

60,026.  Fourteen hundred men and women held in Paris prisons were demonised as a fifth column and butchered in cold blood.  (France & Revolution)  ibid.

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