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French history

Auguste Chapdelaine, French martyr of China

Auguste Chapdelaine was the French Christian missionary whose violent death at the hands of Chinese authorities on February 29th,1856 became the casus belli for...

Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Commander-in-Chief, President and Emperor

Jean-Bédel Bokassa, from 1966 to 1976 second president of the Central African Republic (CAR) and self-styled ruler Bokassa I of the Central African Empire from...

European barbarianism in China: ruining the Old Summer Palace

The Second Opium War (October 8th, 1856-October 24th, 1860) was successfully fought by the British and the French Empire against Imperial China to compel...

The Battle of Dakar, an embarrassing defeat for de Gaulle

After their devastating surprise attack on the unprepared French Navy anchored in Mers-el-Kébir near Oran on July 3rd, 1940, for September 23rd of that...

160 years ago, the road to Peking was opened up by force

The Battle of Baliqiao between Anglo-French and Chinese forces on the morning of September 21st, 1860 was the culmination of the Second Opium War...

55 years ago, Alsatian polymath Albert Schweitzer died in Africa

On September 4th, 1965 German theologian, musician, philosopher, physician, humanitarian and 1952 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer died at the hospital he had...

150 years ago, Napoleon III became a prisoner of war

After a disastrous military campaign in which he had seen only defeats since the Franco-German War began on July 19th, 1870, French Emperor Napoleon...

The ephemeral Treaty of Sèvres

After more than fifteen months of preparations, on August 10th, 1920 the short-lived Treaty of Sèvres was signed in the Paris suburb of Sèvres...

Alsace-a very special part of France

Among the many French I have met so far only one who wouldn’t agree with me that the region Elsass (Alsace in French and...

150 years ago: beginning of the Franco-Prussian War

Beginning exactly 150 years ago, the European balance of power began to shift significantly.

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