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flag  History of France

Journey back in time to France

Visit France. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

Do You Have France Roots? Share MY Ancestral Story!

 France - Paris - Les Grands Boulevards (1900)

In 1829, the first sewing machine was invented by Barthélemy Thimonnier of France.

In 1864, Pasteurization was invented by Louis Pasteur of France.

Christmas in France: At midnight everyone attends the Christmas mass. Churches and cathedrals, large and small, are magnificently lit and echo the joyful melodies of carols, bells and carillons. Many churches have a crèche or manger. Formerly, in certain regions, a real infant was placed on the hay of the manger during the mass but this custom is no longer observed. When the family returns home after midnight mass, there is a late supper known as "le réveillon." The meal varies according to the region of France.

There is MUCH more to discover about France. Read on!

France Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Paris - Les Grands Boulevards (1900)

Paris - Les Grands Boulevards (1900)


(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois


(IL) - Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois
L'Hotel de Ville, Niort

L'Hotel de Ville, Niort
La Rochelle - Le Port et les Yachts

La Rochelle - Le Port et les Yachts

Discover France: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1429 - Joan of Arc leads French troops against the English at Orléans, ending a siege by the British during the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. destination/ france/ history-timeline
1534 - Jacques Cartier of France discovers the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River (North America)

Read more about Jacques CARTIER photo of ancestor
1603 - March 15: Samuel de Champlain set sail for Quebec from Honfleur, France following in the path of Jacques Cartier to the St Lawrence River and Tadoussac places-timelines/ 19-france-timeline.htm

Read more about Samuel DE CHAMPLAIN photo of ancestor
1617 - Louis XIII crowned at the age of 17 (France)

1635 - France enters Thirty Years War as an active combatant. Franco-Spanish War begins.

1643 - King Louis XIII dies, Louis XIV assumes French throne

1659 - France and Spain sign the Treaty of the Pyrenees.

On August 26, 1660, Louis XIV made a triumphal entry into Paris with his wife, Marie-Therese. The royal couple took their places...
Louis XIV wasn't just a ceremonial king who represents the kingdom, but makes no decisions of his own... His regime was considered an absolute monarchy, and Louis XIV was the sole master. No opposition force or elected chamber could stand in his way or challenge his decision.

But he was in no way a capricious tyrant who arbitrarily terrorized defenseless subjects. Convinced of the greatness of France, then the dominant power on the international scene, the Sun King respected inherited tradition, watched over his subjects like a good father, and felt a concern for everything related to his kingdom, including New France - at least early in his reign.
History of Quebec for Dummies by Eric Bedard, published by John Wiley & Sons, Canada, Ltd.
August 26, 1660
1700 - Population of the Kingdom of France - 21,000,000

1713 - February 18 - French invade under Jacques Cassard on Curacao
1715 - September 1 - Louis XIV (King of France) dies
after a reign of 72 years—the longest of any major European monarch.
1717 - February 1 - Henri d'Aguesseau's 1st appointment as chancellor of France
1718 - January 9 - France declares war on Spain
1720 - May 25 - The Ship "Le Grand St Antoine" reaches Marseille, bringing Europe's last major plague outbreak. Kills around 100,000.
May 25, 1720
1758 - French power in Canada declines as the British capture Ft. Louisburg places-timelines/ 19-france-timeline.htm
1773 - A census is taken in France that finds 2370 Acadians living there. acadtime.htm
February 6, 1778 - France signed the Treaty of Alliance with the United States.

February 6, 1778
1783 - November 21 - Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes make 1st manned free balloon flight in a Montgolfier balloon
1789 - July 14 - French revolutionaries storm the Bastile (a royal fortress). This marks the beginning of the French Revolution.

July 14, 1789
1791 - Revolutionary France gives women equal inheritance rights (although they lose them later, when the monarchy is restored).
1793 - French King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette are executed. France bans Catholicism.

1799 - Napoleon Bonaparte leads coup to overthrow government

1799 - Rosetta Stone discovered

1800 - Populaton of the French First Republic (French Republic) - 26,758,000

1805 - Treaty of Pressburg formally dissolves the Holy Roman Empire
"The fourth Peace of Pressburg (also known as the Treaty of Pressburg; German: Preßburger Frieden; French: Traité de Presbourg) was signed on 26 December 1805 between Napoleon and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II as a consequence of the French victories over the Austrians at Ulm (25 September – 20 October) and Austerlitz (2 December). A truce was agreed on 4 December, and negotiations for the treaty began. The treaty was signed in Pressburg (now Bratislava), at that time in Hungary, by Johann I Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein, and the Hungarian Count Ignaz Gyulai for Austria and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand for France.

Beyond the clauses establishing "peace and amity" and the Austrian withdrawal from the Third Coalition, the treaty also mandated substantial European territorial concessions from Austria. The gains of the previous treaties of Campo Formio and Lunéville were reiterated and Austrian holdings in Italy and Bavaria were ceded to France. Certain Austrian holdings in Germany... Read MORE...

1812 - Napoleon leads French invasion of Russia, resulting in catastrophic defeat for French. War of 1812 begins with U.S. declaration of war on the United Kingdom.

1814 - Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to St. Elba according to the terms of the Treaty of Fontainebleau. Representatives from Austria, Russia, Prussia, Britain, and France meet at the Congress of Vienna to discuss future of Europe.

1815 - The War of 1812 ends with the Treaty of Ghent. Napoleon escapes Elba in an attempt to reestablish his power. Coalition forces defeat him at the battle of Waterloo.

1824 - Charles X becomes king of France

1829 - The sewing machine is invented (Barthélemy Thimonnier, France)

Lyons, France, Aug. 23. - (Correspondence of Associated Press) - A monument is to be erected here soon in honor of Bartholomew Thimonnier, whom the French claim was the inventor of the sewing machine.

Thimonnier, a tailor's assistant, constructed his first working model in 1829, and was thrashed by his fellow workmen who complained that his "devilish invention" would take the bread out of their mouths. Destitute and forgotten, Thimonnier died in 1867, when 64 years old. No one had ever given him any aid or encouragement.

The device of Thimonnier was said to have been quite different from that of Elias Howe, the American inventor, whose sewing machine was patented in 1846 and who is regarded in America as the originator of the first practical apparatus for mechanical stitching. Howe's machine met with similar opposition. Its chief feature was that of having the thread pass through near the point instead of the top of the... Read MORE...

1830 - Charles X (King of France) overthrown

1839 - January 2 – First photograph of the Moon taken by photographer Louis Daguerre.
January 2, 1839
1852 - Louis Napoleon Bonaparte declares himself Emperor Napoleon III of France

1864 - Pasteurization is invented (Louis Pasteur, France)
Perfect Pasteurization Means Perfect Protection

Pasturization is simply heating milk - not boiling it.

By raising the temperature of the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping it at that point for thirty minutes, all harmful germs are destroyed, by the milk is not changed.

After heating, the milk, is immediately cooled to 40 degrees or less and flows to the bottling machine and is automatically filled and capped; thus avoiding contact with human hands.

Holiday Dairy
Phone 501
7th and Klamath Ave.

We guarantee perfect pasturization.
The Evening Herald
Klamath Falls, Oregon
September 14, 1925
1870 - France declares war on Prussia and Emperor Napoleon III is overthrown

1870 - Thirty per cent of the population of France can neither read nor write.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
May 14, 1870
1870 to 1871 - Franco-Prussian War, ending in French defeat, loss of Alsace-Lorraine and end of the Second Empire

1881 - France grants women the right to own bank accounts; five years later, the right is extended to married women, who are allowed to open accounts without their husbands’ permission.
1895 - France
France, a republic, one of the most populous and influential states in the world, constituting the most westerly portion of Central Europe, lying between lat-42° 20' and 51° N. and lon. 4° 50' W. and 8° 25' E.; bounded N. by the English Channel, the Straits of Dover, and Belgium; W. by the Atlantic Ocean; S. by Spain and the Mediterranean; E. by Italy, Switzerland, and the German Empire; and N.E. by German Lorraine, Luxemburg, and Belgium. The salient points on the map of France are the N., the W., the E., the S.W., and the S.E. extremities. By connecting these points by straight lines, a pentagon is formed including the whole of the French territory. The coast-line of France, without allowing for minor indentations, measures 1320 miles; the continental boundary-line, 962; the whole perimeter being thus 2282 miles. The total area of France is 207,107 square miles...
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott

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1900 - Population of France - 38,900,000

1913 - Christmas in France
When Christmas draws near every French family in easy circumstances sends for a cask of wine and lays in a stock of southern fruit. Those who have been enemies pardon each other; marriages are fixed; married pairs who have been separated are reunited.
The Stanstead Journal
Rock Island, Quebec, Canada
December 25, 1913
1914 - World War I - Germany invades France

1924 - January 25 - First Olympic Winter Games

1930 - July 13 – The first FIFA World Cup starts: Lucien Laurent scores the first goal, for France against Mexico.
July 13, 1930
1939 - World War II - France and the United Kingdom declare war on Germany

2023 - Here's a list of some must-visit places and activities in France:
1. Paris:

Eiffel Tower: No visit to France is complete without seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower. You can take an elevator ride to the top for breathtaking views of the city.

Louvre Museum: Home to thousands of works of art, including the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is a must-visit for art lovers.

Notre-Dame Cathedral: Explore the stunning Gothic architecture of this famous cathedral.

Montmartre: Visit the historic district of Montmartre, known for its artistic history and the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Seine River Cruise: Take a romantic cruise along the Seine River to see Paris from a different perspective.

2. Provence:

Lavender Fields: Explore the picturesque lavender fields in Provence, especially in the Valensole Plateau.

Avignon: Visit the historic city of Avignon, known for the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes).
Gorges du Verdon: Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, and swimming in Europe's deepest canyon.

Wine Tasting: Provence is famous...

French Names
French names typically consist of one or multiple given names, and a surname. Usually one given name and the surname are used in a person's daily life, with the other given names used mainly in official documents. Middle names, in the English sense, do not exist. Initials are not used to represent second or further given names.

Traditionally, most French people were given names from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. However, given names for French citizens from immigrant communities are often from their own culture, and in modern France it has become increasingly common to use first names of (international) English or other foreign origin. Almost all traditional given names are gender-specific. Females are often given names that are feminine forms of traditional masculine French names. The prevalence of given names follows trends, with some names being popular in some years, and some considered out-of-fashion. Compound given names are not uncommon. (The second part may be... Read MORE...

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Updated: 12/15/2023 3:09:53 PM