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History of Paris
Transcript of History of Paris
In 52 B.C., Roman soldiers, who were conquering Gaul, found a Celtic tribe of fishermen living on an island in the Seine.
The tribe was called the Parisii and their settlement was called Lutetia.
They had lived there since the third century B.C. The Romans took over the colony and fortified the island and the left bank. They withdrew to the island when attacked.
In 507, Clovis, ruler of the Francs, conquered and made Paris his capital. This is where France got its name.
Charlemagne became emperor in 800.
Hugh Capet became king in 987 and founded the Capetian dynasty, which ruled for 700 years. As French kings became more powerful, the city grew in importance and population. It developed into a center of culture and learning.
Paris grew rapidly. In about 1200, a wall was built around the city.
In the 12th century (1163) Notre Dame was started. Some clergymen began to teach classes in the church, but were forced to move south of the island to escape the Bishop's control.
In 1215, the Pope authorized the scholars to form a corporation and make their own rules--the University of Paris was started. The left bank is still the students' neighborhood today.
One of the most famous stories of this time is that of the monk, Pierre Abelard, the most original theologian of the 12th century.....
...who was hired to tutor the 17-year-old Héloïse.
A love affair soon developed.
In anger, Héloïse's father had Abelard castrated.
Héloïse took refuge in a convent for the rest of her life.
The two are buried side by side in Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
Also during this time period, Louis IX, known as Saint Louis, reigned (1226-70).
The Sorbonne opened, ...
...the Bastille prison was started, ...
...and new churches were built. Construction slowed down in the 14th and 15th centuries during the Black Death (Plague).....
...and the occupation of the English in the Hundred Years War.
After the Hundred Years War (1453), Paris was in a terrible condition. Louis XI brought back prosperity and a new interest in art, architecture, decoration and clothes.
During the 16th century, French kings became very interested in the Italian Renaissance. Their architects made first attempts at town planning, creating elegant uniform buildings and open urban spaces. New boulevards, squares and palaces were built.
The Louvre became the royal residence (François I--1528).
In the 17th century, Louis XIV (the Sun King) moved the court to Versailles. He built very extravagantly, spending a lot of money.
In the 18th century, intellectuals flourished and there was an emphasis on scientific reasoning. The arts flourished.
In the court of Louis XV, there was a lot of corruption.
On July 14, 1789, the people rebelled against the nobility and the king by attacking the Bastille, a royal prison. It symbolized the new spirit of freedom which eventually swept through all of France.
The memory of the fortress was preserved by white stones which trace its ground floor
Today there is a new opera house on the spot.
The national anthem, "La Marseillaise", came from the revolutionaries' marching song.
The Reign of Terror, which followed the Revolution, was a time when those suspected of betraying the Revolution were executed without a trial.
Napoléon Bonaparte was the most brilliant general in the French army.
There was a lot of instability in the French government after the Revolution and Napoleon took the opportunity to seize power. In 1804, he crowned himself emperor.
He established a centralized government and a code of laws, reformed France's education system and set out to make Paris one of the most beautiful cities in the world. He was responsible for the construction of many great monuments.
His power was fragile, however, and dependent on wars. In 1814, Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies invaded Paris and Napoleon fled to Elba.
He returned to France in 1815, but was defeated at Waterloo and died in exile in 1821. The monarchy was restored.
In 1830, a mob overthrew Charles X, the last king of the Bourbons. He was replaced by a citizen king, Louis Philippe. He was overthrown in 1848 and the Second Republic was proclaimed.
Napoleon I's nephew seized power and proclaimed himself emperor Napoleon III.
Under his rule, Paris was transformed into the most magnificent city in Europe. Old buildings were destroyed to make room for wide streets, circles and squares. Bridges were built across the Seine, public parks were created, water and sewer systems were organized.
In 1870, the city was plunged into the Franco-Prussian War. Paris was occupied for 4 months by the Prussians.
In 1871, the Third Republic was proclaimed. In 1875, Sacré Coeur was started. The metro was started in 1900. Most of the remaining walls around the city were torn down.
World War I
The Germans damaged Paris, but they never captured the city.
In September of 1914, the Germans were about 15 miles outside the city. The French taxicab drivers drove the army to the battle and they were able to withstand the German attack. They became known as the "Taxicab Army".
From the1920s to the 1940s, many artists, musicians, writers, and filmmakers came to Paris.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
T. S. Eliot
World War II
Germany again attacked France. They quickly pushed to Paris. In June 1940, the French government declared Paris an open city, undefended, a city open to the enemy. The Germans occupied Paris without a fight. This was to preserve the historic buildings.
Jean Moulin was a member of the powerful French Resistance. He was captured by the Germans and tortured. He would not tell them anything. He even attempted suicide. He eventually died from the torture. He became a hero for the French during WWII.
In mid-1944, Allied troops began pushing the Germans out of France (D-Day--June 6, 1944) and by August 25, Paris was liberated
The current President of France is François Hollande (elected in 2012)
After the restoration of civilian rule and the proclamation of the Fourth Republic in 1946, Paris made a rapid recovery from the war, aided by its lack of physical damage.
Like the rest of France, however, it was caught up in the bloody but unsuccessful wars against nationalistic guerillas in French Indochina and Algeria in the1950s and 1960s. During the Algerian War for Independence, those in favor of independance detonated bombs in Paris. Algeria gained its independence in 1962 and over 700,000 French colonists and pro-French Algerians migrated to the mother country, many to Paris. In response, the French government built huge new residential suburbs.
The combination of social unrest and a somewhat authoritarian government under president Charles de Gaulle proved explosive and in May 1968, an uprising led by Parisian students and factory workers broke out.
Under de Gaulle's successors, Georges Pompidou and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Paris underwent major physical development. The radical Centre Pompidou was built, along with La Villette (originally an abattoir, now a science museum).
Less positively, and more controversially, the ancient market at Les Halles was demolished and replaced with a notoriously ugly underground shopping mall and the 209 meter Tour Montparnasse skyscraper was built, leading to fears that Paris would become overrun with American-style skyscrapers ( a move strongly resisted ever since).
The election of François Mitterand in 1981 saw further major changes to the city's appearance and politics. Mitterand undertook a numbers of grandiose "grands projets" to stamp his mark on the city. The Louvre was redeveloped and acquired its spectacular glass pyramid, while a futuristic new district was constructed, just outside the city limits at La Défense.
The Opéra Bastille and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France proved less successful, experiencing cost overruns and technical difficulties.
...the Louvre was started...