Disclaimer: Gourbet’s “The Origin of the World”, translated from it’s original French title of “L’Origine du monde”, is considered NSFW due to it’s portrayal of the female body. It may be inappropriate to view it in a workplace setting. The world of art has always danced with what modern Western society would deem as “inappropriate”;
With Islamophobia on the rise, “religious freedom” is consistently getting confused for radicalism and extremism. France, the victim of multiple attacks in recent months, has entered a serious stage of paranoia through the ban of the burkini, an extremely conservative “swimsuit” which allows Muslim women to enjoy the beach alongside Westerners.
Most people assumed that, since Catherine had done her job of producing a “legitimate” heir, she wouldn’t really be seen with Peter, her horrendous husband, anymore. Imagine the surprise people had when she entered Peter’s birthday ball in a superb, diamond-encrusted blue dress in an extravagant entrance! The mother of the heir was more than just the mother of the heir after that; she became a social figure…and with due time she was able to transform herself from something other than her previous personality.
The royal governments of Europe fell in love with these ideas almost immediately, and in 1689 the Parliament of England abolished all taxes on grain to drive down prices. This allowed English grain the cheapest in the world, and it sold quickly abroad — forcing countries to become dependent on Britain. Less than a year later, in 1690, the Parliament banned the sale of French liquor to encourage the manufacturing of English gin from, you guessed it, English grain. That same year, a centralized English bank was created to stabilize the currency. To make their economic power even stronger, the Parliament would force Scotland into “The United Kingdom” in 1707, successfully “taking” the wealth of another nation.
On September 1st, 1939, sixty three German divisions and over 2,000 planes advance into Poland. The German’s armor make them entirely unstoppable. London and Paris are entirely furious at Hitler’s advancement. The ideas of the Treaty of Versailles and the laws set down after The Great War had been ignored. On September 3rd, 1939, war is declared against Germany — although the assemblies were not unanimous towards the idea of war at the time. The atmosphere wasn’t as enthusiastic as the first war during these assemblies. According to many, the people of Britain and France were concerned with what was happening before their eyes.
In the last post, we discussed Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo, the fall of the Aztec and Inca Empires, and the terrible diseases that plagued the New World. However, now that this New World, the Americas, have been “discovered”, it’s about time that European societies get interested. Up until this point in time, Europeans saw these two continents as nothing but a burden, obstacles in the way to easy trading markets in China and India. To understand the colonization of America, we have to understand the colonial movements of some of the important European powers.
In the early stages of our history, society couldn’t really handle war. We, of course, manage to recall the larger and more obvious battles scattered across our earlier histories. We can recall those defining moments among the Persians, the Ottomans, the Byzantines, the Romans. We can remember long stretches of war — those which derived from sword and spear which seem more like hostile tension with few sparking moments in between. With the introduction of modern technology, rooting back to the height of the Industrial Revolution, warfare changed forever.
The Industrial Revolution caused several European nations to expand their economies and create new job opportunities. While some European countries, such as France and Germany, eventually did catch on to aspects of the growing Industrial World, the nation of Great Britain industrialized much faster than the rest of them and stood above the rest in industrial growth. Great Britain had several reasons that helped them succeed and industrialize faster than other nations, such as the fact that their population and middle class grew substantially, their coal and iron ore deposits were large and bunched in a close proximity of each other, and that their political policies on loans made it easy for enthusiastic merchants to begin a business.
On January 7th, 2015, a mass shooting of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, carried out by two Islamist gunmen who identified themselves as radical Al-Qaeda members from Yemen. These two men, brothers by the names of Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, along with a third gunman and close friend by the name of Amedy Coulibaly, were responsible for the largest terror attack in France since the June 1961 Vitry-Le-François train bombing which killed twenty-eight and injured 100+. The saddening fact is the Charlie Hebdo shootings weren’t going to be the most deadly attack on French soil in 2015.
King Louis XVI, one of the most known figureheads of French History, is also one of the most unlucky leaders of his time. At first, he was popular – with the region seeing him as a young, fit new leader with divine rights. However, as the end of the Old Regime approached and the young King’s world fell apart around him, he proved to be an unfit leader and faced that fact at the guillotine in 1793. Although King Louis was a popular symbol at first, with the people being fairly happy, his overall downfall was his impact on French society overtime. While he and his wife’s own personalities didn’t help their case, with Marie Antoinette sneering “let them eat cake” when told the people had no bread, it was their popularity overtime that ended their reign.