Discussion in 'World Coins' started by benveniste, Jul 14, 2012.
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I am much more a fan of Edmund Burke (or David Hume) than I am of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Here's a rather sobering and poignant article about a recent find near the Waterloo battle site. It contains some numismatic findings, too. I have to ask those who celebrate Bastille Day, "So, how'd that work out for everyone?" (See link and previous discussion link below on post #8):
Be careful of what you wish for.
They will mostly be in the US, and maybe other "Anglo-Saxon" countries. The term Bastille Day is not really used elsewhere, and certainly not in France where 14 July is simply the Fête Nationale. Or they call it Quatorze Juillet, just as you call your national holiday Fourth of July.
And sure, the idea that one's own model of society and politics is so great that it should be enjoyed by and exported to many other countries is a fairly old one; Napoleon Bonaparte was not the first and not the last one who pursued it. But keep in mind how quickly those who considered themselves "rightful monarchs" by and large re-installed the Ancien Régime after Waterloo. France went through a series of revolutions, absolute and "civic" monarchies, and republics, and 14 July did not become the national holiday until the late 19th century.
Mandy already knows that in the city where I live (in Western Germany), the Fête Française is a reason to party. It is always a three-day festival, on the weekend which is closest to 14 July, with music, food, cars, etc. The photo of that piece of cake that I posted shows what I got at my local bakery; Tarte aux Pommes, and the mini-flag comes with it. Too bad that yesterday we had a fairly rainy day; today things look better. (Then again, in the past few weeks I have always heard "oooh, rain and cool weather" from American friends in CA and MD. )
In the early/mid 19th century, a new monument was erected at the site of the Bastille. It commemorates the revolution in July ... nah, not 1789 but 1830. But of course it is also about the spirit of liberty. The figure at the top of that column - the "Génie de la Bastille" - was also on the 10 francs coin between 1988 and 2001. See the attached image ...
Not to be mean, but from Wikipedia: "Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it is formally called La Fête Nationale (French pronunciation: [la.fɛt.na.sjɔ'nal] ; The National Celebration) and commonly Le quatorze juillet (French pronunciation: [lə.ka.tɔʁz.ʒɥi'jɛ] ; the fourteenth of July). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France."
For the people who celebrate Bastille Day (that would be most of the French), this is a national holiday, akin to the U.S.'s Fourth of July and Canada's Canada Day (July 1st). If you are going to ask "how'd that work out for everyone? about the French, why not be equal and do so for everyone celebrating their "freedom" from oppression now in a national day?
And sometimes the law of unintended consequences gives good things, not just bad things. People just cannot foresee all the consequences of any individual action or law or revolution.
Side note: When I referred to "Anglo-Saxon countries", that was about the name that this French holiday got in English. Of course 14 July is basically celebrated in France. Those who would rather discuss the Waterloo find could have done that, and can still do that, where that topic was brought up a month ago here at Coin Talk. Unfortunately I missed Brigitte's concert here (that was already on Friday) but otherwise we had a good time.
I know this is not a history site, but I think that this series of videos will give a deeper understanding about the French revolution and its consequences:
I do have a special interest, however, in how the Napoleonic struggles in Italy helped to forge an Italian identity and eventual formation of the Italian nation:
Marie Louise of Austria
Second wife of Napoleon, daughter of the Austrian emperor.
Separate names with a comma.