This is a picture of an old Quebec City. It has its cathedral. Every little town in Quebec had a magnificent church. However, in the days of New France, most of the population lived on each side of the St Lawrence River, on narrow but deep land tracts called Seigneuries. Quebec consisted of seigneuries, a feudal system. The Seigneur collected “rentes” (rent) and the Church, la dîme (tithe). There were three main cities: Québec, Trois-Rivières, and Montréal, each located on the North bank of the St. Lawrence River. During the winter, one could travel on thick ice from one of the cities to another. One used a cart and horses. When summer came, boats could be used. However, there was a road, le Chemin du Roy/Roi.
The Seigneurial system survived until 1854, but it had been established in 1627. This was a “peau de chagrin.” La Peau de chagrin(1831) is the title of a novel by Honoré de Balzac. The peau (skin) grows smaller and smaller and its owner runs out of luck.
Similarly, thirty acres grow smaller and smaller with each generation. The children have to find a job. When the system was abolished, censitaires were given a choice. They could purchase their thirty acres or pay rent for life. Le Seigneur did not lose anything, but those who paid a rente were impoverished. The amount renters had to pay was enormous:
In 1928, an inquiry launched by the Bureau de la statistique du Québec (Statistics Québec) showed that rentes were still being collected in 190 seigneuries (for a total capital value of $3,577,573). The annual payments made by nearly 60,000 families amounted to more than $200,000.
When an « habitant » (usually a farmer) saw the priest arrive, he wanted to hide. He knew it was time to pay the tithe. Quebec literature tells this drama in Ringuet’s Trente arpentsand other novels. (See Canadiana.2, one of my pages.) The Internet kept my writings. Would you believe I have been an influencer?
I will end close on these words. United Empire Loyalists were given large lots, while our little habitants could not survive on the ancestral acres. This led to a massive exodus to the United States. Nearly one million French-speaking Canadians left Canada. He did not speak French. My grandfather did. His wife stayed in Canada, living in an old house between the railroad and the river. The men in the train threw what they could, so the one cast iron stove had something to burn.
Louis Hémon’sMaria Chapdelaine (1913) depicts the three choices of French Canadians. Go north, clear the land, work as a voyageur, or move to the United States. My father could not remember his father. So, my mother found where he lived, and we travelled to Massachusetts. The trip was a great success. We met a wonderful man and his wife and continued to go to Athol two or three times a year. He told us never to judge a man unless we had walked in his moccasins.
My grandfather had seven cats and a large dog. He also had a cow and une basse-cour, a yard for the hens. He married the woman who sold him her property. She was in charge of the house.
This is the image I set at the top of my post on the Underground Railroad. It has not been possible for me to publish the entire post. The Block Editor caused severe difficulties.
The abolition of slavery in British Colonies would not be enacted until 1833, but for some forty to sixty years Black slaves were freed the moment they arrived in Canada because of the Act Against Slavery. William Grisely had told John Graves Simcoe, the lieutenant governor of Upper Canada, that he had seen Adam Vrooman force Chloe Cooley into a boat that would cross the Niagara River to the United States and sell her. Chloe so resisted Vrooman that he had to call for help to tie her to the ship. John Graves Simcoe also received a petition. On 9 July 1793, Colonel Simcoe’s legislative assembly passed the Act Against Slavery. The abolition of slavery in the British empire took place in 1833, and Abraham Lincoln did not sign the Emancipation Proclamation until 22 September 1862, but after passage of the Act Against Slavery, the Blacks were free the moment they stepped on Canadian soil, Upper Canada.
The War of 1812
This story is manifold. It tells how much Richard Pierpoint contributed to the War of 1812 and how little he was given in compensation. The Act Against Slavery did not abolish racism. Richard Pierpoint created the Coloured Corps. However, White veterans got twice the land he received. Pierpoint had asked to be allowed to return to Africa. They wouldn’t help. This post also tells about the Amerindians’ contribution. They were free until Canadian Confederation, which is a very long time: from 1534 to 1867.
Amerindians & the Blacks
As you have noticed, in North America slaves were the Indigenous people and the Blacks brought to the North American continent during the Atlantic Slave Trade. Next we meet Harriet Tubman and other abolitionists.
We have seen that the slaves in Nouvelle-France were mostly the Indigenous people of North America who themselves had slaves. Slavery between Amerindians is humiliating, but it is not racism. Amerindian nations fought one another and the better warrior enslaved rival and lesser warriors. For the purpose of this post, suffice it to know that as France grew more vulnerable. France was outnumbered. After losing the battle of the Plains of Abraham, thus named because the land where the battle was fought belonged to fisherman Abraham Martin, Montreal capitulated, but its native allies were no longer protected. (See The Capitulation of Montreal, Canadian Encyclopedia.) In fact, they were at the mercy of the inhabitants of Britain’s Thirteen Colonies. They feared a land rushes, but Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, fought the Thirteen Colonies quite successfully, which he could not do indefinitely.
No authentic images of Pontiac are known to exist. This interpretation was painted by John Mix Stanley. (Photo and Caption Credit: Wikipedia)
To protect Amerindians, England issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, providing Aboriginals with a vast reserve. The territory was large and nearly impenetrable. Later, the Act of Quebec (1774) ended attempts to assimilate the former New France. A very large province of Quebec was created, which, in the eyes of American patriots, was an Intolerable Act.
The Thirteen Colonies
Upper and Lower Canadas
The light pink shows the land where the Indigenous population of Canada could live without fear of losing their land. In 1775, Louisiana belonged to Spain. In the second map, we see Quebec as it was in 1791, under the Constitutional Act. We also see part of Rupert’s Land.
United Empire Loyalists: the Constitutional Act of 1791
shift in demographics
White loyalists and Black loyalists
However, among Americans, some families and individuals did not approve of independence. They fled to the large British province of Quebec. To help United Empire Loyalists, the large Quebec was divided into two Canadas: Upper Canada and, lower down the St Lawrence, Lower Canada. The Constitutional Act, which divided the Province of Quebec, was legislated in 1791.
The Constitutional Act did not divide the province of Quebec into an English-language Upper Canada and a French-language Lower Canada. The Eastern Townships, the area of Quebec where I live, was given to the Loyalists and their slaves, whom they were allowed to bring to Canada as part of their property. The Loyalists also settled in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The arrival of the Loyalists was a blessing and a curse. The future Canada welcomed the Loyalists, Whites and Blacks. However, the citizens of the former New France were a minority.
There were Black loyalists who had earned their freedom by fighting with Britain against the future United States had earned their freedom. They settled in Ontario and New Brunswick, but most tried to settle in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia would be Black slaves’ best destination. Although the Imperial Act of 1790 assured slave owners that they could retain Black slaves, in 1788, Nova Scotia abolitionist James Drummond MacGregor from Pictou “published the first anti-slavery literature in Canada and began purchasing slaves’ freedom” (…). He set an example. Many Nova Scotia Loyalists freed their slaves. (See Slavery in Canada, Wikipedia.)
However, a total of 3,500 Black Loyalists left the current United States. Nova Scotia would be home to many, were it not that white Loyalists attacked Black Loyalists. The Shelburne Riots that took place in July 1784 revealed racism. White Loyalists were given the best land, which they felt entitled to as White Loyalists. So, in 1792, 1300 Black loyalists left for Sierra Leone, where they would be free and would govern themselves.
Until recent reforms in immigration, about 37% of Canada’s Black community lived in Nova Scotia.
The Act Against Slavery, 1793 (Wikipedia)
Vrooman vs Cooley
Ontario slave owners opposed the enfranchisement of Black slaves. In Ontario the case of Chloe Cooley, is a sad example of entitlement. Chloe tried to escape an abusive owner, Sergeant Adam Vrooman. He had bound her in a boat in an attempt to take her to the State of New York, to sell her. She protested violently and the event, witnessed by William Grisley, led to the passage of the Act Against Slavery of 1793. On 14 March 1793, The event was reported to Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe. However, Vrooman had not broken the law. Loyalists could bring their slaves to British North America. He also noted that in 1760, the French inhabitants of Lower Canada had been allowed to keep their slaves. Yet, despite the reluctance of the several representatives of the government of Upper Canada, the Act Against Slavery of 1793 was legislated.
Let us read the letter Sergeant Vrooman wrote to the authorities. He used the law to perpetuate an abuse. In this respect, his letter is a classic:
[…] been informed that an information had been lodged against him to the Attorney General relative to his proceedings in his Sale of said Negroe Woman; your Petitioner had received no information concerning the freedom of Slaves in this Province, except a report which prevailed among themselves, and if he has transgressed against the Laws of his Country by disposing of Property (which from the legality of the purchase from Benjamin Hardison) he naturally supposed to be his own, it was done without knowledge of any Law being in force to the contrary.
(See Chloe Cooley and the Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada. The Canadian Encyclopedia.)
Laws can be used to wrong a human being. In this respect, the fate of Chloe Clooney is a classic. In the eyes of slave-owning Loyalists, ownership had no limits. If so, what a nightmare for a woman.
The arrival of the Loyalists led to the Constitutional Act of 1791, which separated a large Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. French-speaking Canadiens lived in Lower Canada, part of which was the Eastern Townships, given to Loyalists. I cannot make sense of the Constitutional Act of 1871. It received royal assent in June 1791 and it seems an attempt to assimilate French-speaking Canadians.
The Act to Limit Slavery in Upper Canada received royal assent on 9 July 1793, but in Upper Canada, slavery was not abolished until 1833. However, the Underground Railroad, helped slaves flee to Canada. United Empire Loyalists had taken their slaves with them, as property. But Blacks that escaped were no longer owned.
I will conclude here. We must introduce the Underground Railroad, an organization that helped Black Slaves flee to Canada. I am reading The Slave in Canada by William Renwick Riddell. It is an Internet Archive publication. I have looked for videos and saw one about the Royal Proclamation of 1763. It features a rush for land which is called freedom. It is as though the proclamation deprived the colonists of their freedom. Does freedom allow human beings to displace and destroy other human beings? An Aboriginal was not seen as a person, nor was a mortal whose colour was not white. I must close.
_______________ “Under the terms of the Constitutional Act of 1791, the Eastern Townships were open to settlement and a land rush followed. Most of the 3,000 or so settlers came from the United States. A few were Loyalists, at least in spirit, but most simply wanted land and had no strong feeling about nationality. Many more immigrated from the British Isles, including Gaelic-speaking Scots.” (See Eastern Townships, Wikipedia)
The Barber of Seville (1773; 1775)
The Marriage of Figaro (written in 1778, performed in 1784, published in 1785)
The Guilty Mother (1791; 1966[opera])
The Marriage of Figaro as the center-piece of Beaumarchais’ “Figaro trilogy”
Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (K. 492, 1786)
the second installment in the Figaro trilogy
Accepted for production in 1778 (Comédie-Française)
Vilification of French aristocracy: condemned by Louis XVI
Revised: change of location
Performed in France in 1784
Published in France in 1785
The Marriage of Figaro is the second installment in Beaumarchais’ Figaro trilogy, but constitutes the centerpiece of Beaumarchais’ trilogy. It was written in 1778 and accepted for production by the Comédie-Française in 1781. However, as first written, it vilified French aristocracy and so shocked Louis XVI that he banned the production of the play.
The play was problematical because Count Almaviva, who marries Rosina in The Barber of Seville, or the Futile Precaution (1778), wants to consummate Figaro’s marriage to Susanna, Figaro’s bride. Beaumarchais revised the play and moved the action to Spain. Ironically, Count Almaviva wanted to avail himself of a right he had abolished: “the feudal droit du seigneur, the right of the lord of the manor to sleep with his servant’s bride on her wedding night.”[I]
The Marriage of Figaro is a comedy inspired by the commedia dell’arte. Given the conventions of comedy, the Count’s plans will therefore be foiled. The innmorati will be helped not only by clever zanni and other servants, but also by Rosina, Almaviva’s wife, whose marriage to the Count, a philanderer, did not end altogether “well.”The play also features a redeemingdiscovery. The Count wants Figaro to marry Marcellina, Bartolo’s housekeeper, but it turns out that Figaro is the love child of Marcellina and Bartolo. One does not marry one’s mother. Bartolo therefore proposes marriage to Marcellina. There will be two weddings, which is not uncommon in comedy.
The Marriage of Figaro’s Cherubino,[II] a character reminiscent of Cupid, the mythological god of desire, could be called a zanni. He is forever in love and gets into trouble. However, he also provides comic relief as do zanni in the commedia dell’arte. Zanni are stand-up comics.In Passion Plays, comic interludes were inserted between the acts. The same stratagem can also be used inside comedy. Some “comic” is always at the ready not only to “fill in,” but also to support zanni (servants, one of whom is clever, but the second, clumsy).
As part of the props, we have incriminating letters and, in the case of the Barber of Seville, the Count, disguised as Lindoro, a name borrowed from the commedia dell’arte, we have musicians serenading Rosina. Guitars are inextricably linked with the commedia dell’arte. They are a prop that Watteau and Picasso, Picasso especially, depicted abundantly.
Moreover, to fool the Count, the Countess dresses as Susanna, Figaro’s bride-to-be, while Susanna dresses as the Countess. Therefore, when the Count court Susanna, he is in fact courting his wife. He reveals his plans to seduce Susanna, but find Rosina attractive. It is quite normal in comedies for the Alazṓn , the Count, to undo himself, except that comedy is kind. Cross-dressing is also a frequent device in the comic text and it is rooted in the topsy-turvy world of the Roman Saturnalia, not to mention the last days of l’ancien régime.
Beaumarchais and the Revolution
After Beaumarchais relocated The Marriage of Figaro, “[t]he feudal droit du seigneur” became a distant right and wrong. Louis XVI lifted the ban on the production of The Marriage of Figaro and the play was performed by the Comédiens français ordinaires du Roi, on Tuesday, 27 April 1784, and the text was published in 1785. Yet the play remained problematical. Although The Marriage of Figaro is a Shakespearean “all’s well that ends well,” the conventional ending, or dénouement, of comedies, in the Marriage of Figaro, this ending seems a little theatrical.
“Rosine (known as Rosina in the opera), the ward of Dr. Bartholo, is kept locked in her room by Bartholo because he plans to marry her, though she despises him. Young Count Almaviva loves her from afar and uses various disguises, including one as Alonzo, a substitute music teacher, in his attempts to win her. Bartholo’s roguish barber Figaro is part of the plot against him. Indeed, it is Figaro who steals the key to Rosine’s room for Almaviva. Unfortunately, Almaviva is in his disguise as Alonzo when he meets Rosine. Though in love with “Alonzo,” Rosine is convinced by the suspicious Bartholo that Alonzo intends to steal her away and sell her to a wicked count. Disappointed, she agrees to wed Bartholo that very night. All of Figaro’s ingenuity is required to substitute Count Almaviva for Bartholo at the wedding ceremony.”[IV]
Portrait of Gioachino Rossini in 1820, International Museum and Library of Music, Bologna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Figaro is heir to the commedia dell’arte‘s Brighella, a zanni. He joins Pedrolino-Pierrot, Harlequin, Scapino, and other zanni. In fact, Figaro himself joins the rank of the zanni. As portrayed above, he looks like Harlequin, but he may disguised as Harlequin. Figaro is an iconic figure in France. To be precise, Figaro is an institution: a newspaper, founded in 1826 and published in Paris. Le Figaro is the second-largest paper in France. It takes its motto from Beaumarchais’ Figaro trilogy:
“Sans la liberté de blâmer, il n’est point d’éloge flatteur.”
(“Without the freedom to criticise, there is no true praise.”)
The Commedia dell’arte
Bartolo is a dottore
Lindoro is one of the names innamorati used in the commedia dell’arte
Figaro is a Brighella,azanniin the commedia dell’arte, who helps the innamorati overcome obstacles to their marriage)
The guitar is an essential prop
Letters are used all the time: false, anonymous, incriminating…
Sources and Resources
I would like to provide you with an overview of the history of 19th-century France. It has several insurrections and coups d’état. The first coup d’état took place on 18 Brumaire Year VIII, or 9 November 1799. It therefore precedes the nineteenth century by about six weeks. On 19 Brumaire, Napoleon I became First Consul and his government was the French Consulate. However, in April 1804, the FrenchSénat named him Emperor of the French, and he was crowned Napoleon I, on 2 December 1804. Joséphine was crowned impératrice (Empress), by the new Emperor, her husband.
Events Preceding the First Republic
At the beginning of the 19th century, France was an unofficial Empire. As First Consul, Napoleon was the de facto ruler of France. He started rising to power during the National Convention (1792 – 1795) and continued empowering himself throughout the French Directory (1795 – 1799) as General Napoleon Bonaparte. The French Directory is identified as the third stage of the French Revolution.
The Coup of 18 Brumaire Year VIII (9 November 1799), created The Consulate, Napoleon I ruled unopposed as First Consul and would proclaim himself Emperor in 1804.
The First Empire
Although the French Sénat named Napoleon Emperor of the French, on 18 May 1804, Napoleon was a mostly self-proclaimed Emperor.He was crowned on 2 December 1804 and, as noted above, he then crowned his Créole wife Joséphineimpératrice. She kept that title when Napoleon married Marie-Louise of Austria.
Napoleon suffered severe losses during the French invasion of Russia (1812) and at the Battle of Leipzig, fought in October 1813. France was invaded and the First Empire, dissolved. In fact, the First Empire ended twice. It ended first on 4 April 1814,[i] when Napoleon I abdicated and was exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba, off the coast of Tuscany. Napoleon escaped and he returned to power. This period of the Napoleonic Wars (1803 – 1815) is called the Hundred Days (111 to be precise).
The First Empire ended a second time, when Napoleon I was defeated at Waterloo, on 18 June 1815. After Waterloo, Napoleon was exiled to a distant island, Saint Helena, where he died of stomach cancer in 1821.
The Congress of Vienna (1815)
The First Empire was followed by the Congress of Vienna, the foremost social and political event of the nineteenth century, conducted before and after Napoleon I’s Hundred Days.
The decisions made in Vienna laid the groundwork for various insurrections and, ultimately, World War I. However, the Congress of Vienna was the first meeting of a united Europe or European nations seeking peaceful coexistence. (See Concert of Europe, Wikipedia.)
The Two Monarchies and Three Monarchs
Napoleon’s Hundred Days, his return from Elba, complicated the installation of Louis XVIII, portrayed above. What a lovely child!
Charles X undermined his reputation and popularity because of the Anti-Sacrilege Act (1825 – 1830) and because he proposed financial indemnities for properties confiscated during the 1789 Revolution (the French Revolution). His actions led to the JulyRevolution of 1830, when Louis-Philippe (House of Orleans) was elected King of the French.
King Louis-Philippe III was deposed during the 1848 Revolution. In 1848, there were revolutions in many European countries, including France. In France, certain matters had to be settled: suffrage (who votes?); the right to employment, etc.
The Second Republic & Second Empire
In 1848, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was the elected President of France, now a Republic. However, on 2 December 1851, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte staged a coup d’état that transformed him into Napoleon III. He was the nephew of Emperor Napoleon I. Napoleon III and l’impératrice Eugénie, his wife, fled France after a Prussian victory at the Battle of Sedan, fought on 1 September 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War (19 July 1870 – 10 May 1871).
Famed French author Victor Hugo fled to Guernsey when Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte transformed himself into an Emperor. (See Sources, below.) Karl Marx wrote an analysis of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte’s 18 Brumaire. It can be read online. (See Sources, below.)
Napoleon II, Titular (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Napoleon II (b. Tuileries, 1811 – d. Vienna, 1832) was named Emperor by his father Emperor Napoleon I, on 4 September 1814, the day his father abdicated. He is titular (has the title of) Emperor, but never ruled France. He died at the age of 21, of tuberculosis.
King of Rome (1811 – 1814)
Prince of Parma (1814 – 1817)
Duke of Reichstadt (1818 – 1832)
Comments on Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte:
Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte is the same person as Napoleon III. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte organized the coup d’état of 2 December 1851, staged on the forty-eighth anniversary of his uncle’s, Napoleon I, coronation: 11 Frimaire XIII (2 December 1804).
The Nineteenth century in France was an experiment in democracy. It was also a period of drastic changes. Feudalism survived until the French Revolution, so the 19th century was France’s Industrial Revolution. Previous forms of government were revisited, revealing tentativeness on the part of the French nation.
Some idealized the Monarchy (Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary [EBook #2413]). However, in the 19th century, only Emperors resembled Absolute Monarchs; King Louis-Philippe I was elected King of the French. The Church of France had to rebuild. It’s wealth had been confiscated in the early days of the French Revolution, at the suggestion, on 10 October 1789, of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord,[ii] an ordained priest and a bishop.
un fils de France: son of a reigning king (France)
Madame Royale: title sometimes given the eldest living unmarried daughter of a reigning monarch (France)
le Dauphin: the heir apparent (France)
un coup d’état: the overthrow of a government usually planned within a previous government (an “inside job,” close to treason)
The Congress of Vienna, (Photo credit: David King)
The Blacksmith’s Shop, oil on canvas painting by Cornelius Krieghoff, 22 x 36 in, 1871, Art Gallery of Ontario
The above picture and the ones below are depictions of an older Quebec by Cornelius Krieghoof (19 June 1815 – 8 April 1872), a Dutch artist who immigrated to Canada, but first served in the United States army. He married a French-Canadian, Émilie Gauthier, and died in the United States where he had retired. The paintings depict bon viveurshabitants or descendants of habitants, the former tenants of seigneurs. The Seigneurial System or the Compagnie des Cent-Associés was created in 1627, by Cardinal Richelieu. The hundred associates were “to capitalize on the North American fur trade.” The Seigneurial System was abolished in 1854. Tenants were called habitants (literally, inhabitants). In 1645, the Company “sublet its rights and obligations in Canada to the Communauté des Habitants.” But, in 1663, the Société des Cent-Associés‘ grant was revoked, and, by the same token, so was the Communauté des Habitants. New France became a province of France.(See Compagnie des Cent-Associés, The Canadian Encyclopedia.)
Habitants, painting by Cornelius Krieghoff, 1852 (Wikipedia)
Habitants Breaking Lent (Wikipedia)
Mocassin Seller Crossing the St. Lawrence River (Photo Credid: Wikipedia)
Indian Trapper on Snowshoes, Photo credit: Amazon)
I cannot speak of serious current activities because I have not posted an article for two months, which has been my current activity for a few years. I could not write posts and turn this apartment into a home. However, I was not asleep. I waited for the first snowfall, a magical moment, kept an eye on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a fairy tale, and bought a Christmas cake, une bûche, a small one, at the Pâtisserie liégeoise and celebrated the twelve days of Christmas.
Books, but not just ordinary books…
There is no doubt that I wasn’t fit to move. However, I like my new apartment and, although there were too many books to unpack, a surprise awaited me. The books were not entirely mine. Many belonged to my father. In the 1990s, I starting housing his books and used them to write an article published in Francophonies d’Amérique, in 2002. When I moved to Sherbrooke, Québec, I was given more books and bought a bookcase where my father could find all of his books easily.
Browsing my father’s books helped me remember and understand that Canada did have two founding nations and that these two nations could live side by side, in harmony. Laurendeau and Dunton were a very compatible team. In other words, I understood, better than ever before, that as members of a founding nation, French-speaking Canadians had rights, such as the right to ask to be educated in French outside Quebec, if possible. The key words are founding nations, of which there are only two: the French and the British. Canada also has its First Nations, its aboriginals.
The Quebec Act and the Constitutional Act
The Quebec Act, signed in 1774 under Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, put on an equal footing French-speaking and English-speaking British subjects and, as expected, aboriginals and French-speaking fought the British in the American Revolutionary War. The Constitutional Act (1791) divided Canada into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, located closer to the Atlantic.
As for Royal Proclamation of 1763, it protected aboriginals. The Canadian Encyclopedia indicates that the Royal proclamation of 1763 was the Amerindians magna carta. With respect to Amerindians, the Proclamation, established the constitutional framework for the negotiation of treaties with the Aboriginal inhabitants of large sections of Canada, and it is referenced in section 25 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Proclamation
established the constitutional framework for the negotiation of treaties with the Aboriginal inhabitants of large sections of Canada, and it is referenced in section 25 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
In the case of French-speaking subjects, the Treaty of Paris 1763, was negotiated so that his “Britannick” majesty would protect his new French-speaking subjects. They should be at liberty to use their language and practice their religion. However, until 1774, contrary to the Aboriginals, French-speaking Canadians had no constitutional framework. The Quebec Act, 1774, would provide fill this gap. French-speaking Canadians would be at liberty to use their language and practice their religion. They could also keep their “thirty acres” (trente arpents) and their Seigneurial System.
In 1791, the Constitutional Act separated Upper Canada and Lower Canada. French-speaking subjects lived in Lower Canada, closer to the Atlantic Ocean, and viewed Lower Canada as their land, their patrie.
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, was largely responsible for the Quebec Act, which helped to preserve French laws and customs (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-2833).
Religion and Education
In the province of Quebec, French-speaking citizens had the same status as English-speaking Canadian. However, East and West of the province of Quebec, they didn’t. For instance, in 1890, Manitoba abolished French-language schools. The Manitoba Schools Question is my best example, but I could also mention the New Brunswick Schools question. With respect to the establishment of French-language schools outside Quebec, the traditional excuse was that Catholic schools had to be private schools. This matter was a thinly veiled and unsavoury chapter in Canadian history.
To be perfectly accurate, as I read my father’s books, it became increasingly clear to me that governments outside Quebec may well have used religion, perhaps unconsciously,to deny French-speaking Canadians living outside Quebec an education in French. Foi et patrie (faith and land or language)were inextricably entwined in the mind of French-speaking Canadians, but they were, nevertheless, a founding nation. As Alexis de Tocqueville stated, the people of New France were not conquered, they were abandoned by France. (See Related Articles, no 1.), Tocqueville concluded that it was nevertheless best for French-speaking Canadians to believe they had been conquered rather than abandoned by France, their motherland. Tocqueville pointed a guilty finger at Louis XV. But the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763), did protect England’s newly-acquired territories and its French-speaking subjects, without creating an assembly for French-speaking Canadians.
The Quebec Act and the Constitutional Act
The Quebec Act, signed in 1774 under Guy Carleton put on an equal footing French-speaking and English-speaking Canadians and, as expected aboriginals and French-speaking fought the British in the American Revolutionary War. The Constitutional Act (1791) respected French Canadians. In fact, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 protected aboriginals mainly if not only. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Royal proclamation of 1763 was the aboriginals’ magna carta. The same could not be said of the French-speaking citizens of Britain’s new colony. With respect to Amerindians, the Proclamation
established the constitutional framework for the negotiation of treaties with the Aboriginal inhabitants of large sections of Canada, and it is referenced in section 25 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
In short, France chose to cede New France under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, but that it did so conditionally. His “Britannick” majesty would not take away from France’s former subjects their language, their religion and their seigneurial system. Under the terms of Confederation, Quebec also kept its Civil Code, which is still in place. Moreover, under the Constitutional Act of 1791, Quebec included Labrador. (See Labrador, Canadian Encyclopedia.)
The Labrador Boundary Dispute was one of the most celebrated legal cases in British colonial history. Though Newfoundland’s claim to the watershed of all rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean is recognized in the Constitution Act, many Quebecers still consider Labrador part of “Nouveau-Québec.”
Consequently, French-speaking Canadians’ magna carta was the Quebec Act of 1774 and the Constitutional Act of 1791. But they and the British lived for the most part in Lower Canada where facing the “schools question” was easier to deal with. Each nation had its land. Yet, the schools question, French-language schools that were also Catholic schools was a legitimate request on the part of French-speaking Canadians living outside Quebec. They were Catholics, but first and foremost they were one of the founding nations of an expanding Canada. The French, the voyageurs, in particular, with the help of Amerindians, opened the North-American continent, but the French and Métis were Catholics and Manitoba, a French-language province.
One could argue that French-speaking Canadians, living in provinces outside Quebec could have been educated in their mother tongue, had they not insisted their schools also be Catholic schools. Yet, one could also take the view, expressed above, that authorities outside Quebec had an easy, but questionable and somewhat justification to deprive members of a founding nation of their right to have their children educated in the French language, if possible.
Consequently, “the schools question,” the creation of language schools that were also Catholic schools was a legitimate request on the part of French-speaking Canadians living outside Quebec. They were Catholics, but more importantly they were one of the founding nations. The Manitoba Act of 1890, the abolition of French as a teaching language was
[a]n Act to Provide that the English Language shall be the Official Language of the Province of Manitoba.
What of the two founding nations? Was Quebec to be the only part of Canada where children could be educated in French?
The Official Languages Act of 1969
The work of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism resulted in the Official Languages Act, given royal assent on 9 September 1969. Most acts are amended, so there have been a few amendments to the Official Languages Act. In theory, the dispute is over or should be. Canada is officially bilingual. In other words, its official documents appear in the two languages and the federal government’s services are available in both languages.
By 1969, public schools were secularized in Quebec. The separation of Church and state has long been accepted. Until the 1960s, the people of Quebec had a French Catholic school board and an English Protestant school board. Problems arose after the Second World War. (See Laïcité, Wikipedia, note 7.)Laïcité would also have benefited Quebec during the years that followed the Second World War. French-speaking immigrants were not necessarily Catholics. Which school were parents and students to choose?
Motto of the French republic on the tympanum of a church in Aups, Var département, which was installed after the 1905 law on the Separation of the State and the Church. Such inscriptions on a church are very rare; this one was restored during the 1989 bicentennial of the French Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
However, despite their rights, it could be said that, in practice, Quebec’s Official Language Act may have harmed the citizens of Quebec and French-speaking Canadians living outside Quebec. In 1974, Quebec declared itself a unilingual province, French, under Premier Robert Bourassa‘s, The Quebec government passed Bill 22. In 1976, Quebec elected its first separatist government under the leadership of René Lévesque, who had founded the Parti québécois. Quebec’s government passed Bill 101, or the Charter of the French language, in 1977, language bills. The face of Quebec had to be French and its immigrants would have to enter French-language schools.
In the 1980 referendum, 60% of Quebecers voted not to give the Quebec government the mandate it needed to begin negotiations that could lead to Quebec’ sovereignty. It was a “no” vote. A second referendum was held, in 1995. In 1995, the ‘no’ vote was 50.58% and led to the Clarity Act (2000).
An État providence or Welfare State
The goal of the Parti Québécois was sovereignty, but the goal of the Révolution tranquille was an État providence, or Welfare State, which could not be attained if language laws caused its most affluent citizens to leave Quebec.
Moreover, as early as the 1960s, separatists or sovereigntists had a terrorist branch: the Front de Libération du Québec, or FLQ. FLQ militants placed bombs in mailboxes, injuring postal workers, and they kidnapped British diplomat James Cross as well as Quebec’s minister of labour, Pierre Laporte, who was strangled. It could be that James Cross would also have been killed had Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau not invoked the War Measures Act. To civil libertarians, the War Measures Act seemed excessive, but James Cross was freed and acts of terrorism ended. These events are referred to as the October Crisis of 1970 and they would cause many to find Quebec an unsafe environment. That exodus was a loss for Quebec. Those who left were, by and large, affluent taxpayers. How could Quebec become an état providence, a welfare state, if taxes could not absorb the costs?
Bill 22, 1974 & Multiculturalism
With respect to Bill 22, it may have been passed to counter Pierre Elliott Trudeau multiculturalism, a notion that grew during the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission, Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. I remember clearly that during the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission, many Canadians rejected Bilingualism and Biculturalism, from the point of view of demographics.There were more Germans, Hungarians, Italians, or Ukrainians in their community than French Canadians. Their language should therefore be an official language, which would mean that Canada could now have more than 200 official languages. They also said that New France lost the battle of the Plains of Abraham (13 September 1759) and that the time had come for French-speaking Canadians to be told they lost the battle. Canada is increasingly multicultural and it will continue to welcome immigrants, but its founding nations remain France and Britain to this day. In Quebec, immigrants learn French because French Canadians no longer have very large families. In the rest of Canada, learning French is not necessary.
An Exodus from Quebec: the St-Lawrence Seaway or…
However, even if they were used to keep Quebec a French-language province, its Language Laws caused an exodus. Many argue that the opening of the St-Lawrence Seaway, which allows large ships to reach Toronto, provides a full explanation for this exodus. This explanation is not totally convincing. The October Crisis of 1970 alone would be disturbing and could result in the more affluent taxpayers leaving Quebec, Montreal especially.
An État Providence, a Welfare State
This matter is problematical. One of the goals, of the Révolution tranquille, other than secularization, laïcité, was the establishment of an État Providence, or Welfare State. Welfare States levy taxes that fund social programmes. Although Quebecers pay income tax to both their provincial and federal governments, I doubt that Quebec can be an état providence. I have not heard Quebecers complain bitterly. Students pay low tuition fees and day care costs are also inexpensive, but Quebec is not a Welfare State. In all likelihood, Language Laws have frightened citizens. It must be very difficult for Quebec to offer medical services that have become extremely expensive.
It must also be difficult for the government to pay high salaries. The harsh repression of asbestos miners, in 1949 (see Asbestos miners’ strike, Wikipedia), opened the way for the growth of strong labour unions. Employees would no longer be exploited by employers but a lot of Quebecers are syndicated, including part-time university teachers and university teachers.
According to sources outside Quebec, the province’s healthcare laws and practices “do not respect the principles set out in the Canada Health Act,” and amendments. Given that Quebec has not signed the Patriated Constitution of 1982, le repatriement de la Constitution, a Quebec healthcare card is refused by doctors outside Quebec. Hospital fees will be paid, which may not be enough. One could therefore state that Quebec’s healthcare laws and practices “do not respect the principles set out in the Canada Health Act” because it is not universal. Provincial healthcare cards should be valid everywhere in Canada and they should also buy you a bed in a four-bed hospital room and, if necessary, a two-bed hospital room.
René Lévesque and Pierre Elliott Trudeau were at loggerheads between 1980 and 1982, the year the Patriated Constitution was signed. In 1980, when the first sovereigntist referendum took place, 60% of Quebecers voted against given the René Lévesque’s Parti Québécois a mandate to renegotiate Quebec’s partnership with Ottawa, the federal government. Would that Quebecers did not have to pay the price! The Quebec government’s refusal to sign the Patriated Constitution did lead to what can be viewed as the erosion of the Canada Health Act.
Healthcare in Canada is universal but Quebecers’ Healthcare card is not valid outside Quebec, except in a hospital. I am a Canadian and so are other Quebecers. The Quebec health-care card is universal but only in Quebec. Quebec accepts the Healthcare cards of citizens living outside Quebec. Quebecers are therefore footing the bill. Yes, Quebec authorities should have signed the Patriated Constitution of 1982, because the people of Quebec are still Canadians. Are authorities outside Quebec treating Quebecers as though they were not Canadians. If so governments outside Quebec may be seen as complicit in the erosion of Healthcare in Quebec, a Canadian province.
I hope Quebec will sign the sign the Patriated Constitution of 1982 as quickly as possible and that it and other Canadians will not use unfortunate historical events to perpetuate quarrels and, unconsciously, participate and be in fact complicit in the estrangement of Quebec. It may be injudicious on the part of Ottawa not to ensure the welfare of Quebecers. Many Québécois wish to separate. Quebecers are Canadians. I realize that Education and Health are provincial responsibilities, but must a Quebecer who faces a health catastrophe outside Quebec, his province in Canada, pay the cost?
I would so like to know why Quebec’s refusal to sign the Patriated Constitution of 1982 has led to the erosion of universal heathcare in Canada. Quebec is a province of Canada. If he knew the consequences of his actions, René Lévesque, the then Premier of Quebec, may well have failed voters by not signing the new Constitution. Or was Pierre Elliott Trudeau forgetting the people, ordinary people?
Opening boxes of books was a challenge, but it became informative. However, discarding books had become more complex. My father’s books will be adopted by Sherbrooke’s Historical Society and the University of Sherbrooke. But these libraries need lists and will not pick up the books. That will be my duty. My father’s writings have been collated. He wrote editorials for Le Franc-Contact, a periodical published by the now extinct Conseil de la vie française en AmériqueFR. University research centres have replaced le Conseil de la vie française en Amérique.
Again, a belated Happy New Year to all of you and apologies for not posting for two months. Combining posting and settling in a new apartment was not possible.
Love to everyone♥
____________________ Unconsciously, perhaps, the Quebec Act embodied a new principle in colonial government – the freedom of non-English people to be themselves within the British Empire. It also began what was to become a tradition in Canadian constitutional history – the recognition of certain distinct rights, or protections for Quebec – in language, religion and civil law. (Canada, a Country by Consent.)
In 2007, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York exhibited works displaying
“the exchange of art objects and interchange of artistic ideas between the great Italian maritime city and her Islamic neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean.” (MMA)
Venice had been a republic until it was conquered by Napoleon in 1797. It the year 828 CE ,
“two Venetian merchants stole St Mark‘s hallowed body from Muslim-controlled Alexandriaand brought it to their native city, and 1797, when the city fell to the French conqueror Napoleon[.]” (MMA)
We could give our story two starting-points. In the last decades of the 13th century, Venetian Marco Polo (1254 – 8/9 January 1324) travelled the silk road/route and reached China where he met Kublai Khan, the Mongol conqueror who would be Emperor of China. After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, on 29 May 1453, by the Ottoman Turks, the silk road was longer used. It had deteriorated during the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire. The last merchants to use it may have died of the plague, the Black Death (1436 – 1453). In order to purchase silk, spices, coffee and other precious goods, merchants would henceforth use a sea route. Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama (c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), sailed to India following the west coast of Africa to the point, the Cape of Good Hope, where the Atlantic connects with the current Indian Ocean. A sea route had been traced.
Our topic, however, is Venice in the days when it traded with a not-too-distant Orient. So our second starting-point is Gentile Bellini‘s 1479 visit to Istanbul, where he made the portrait of Mehmed II, the Conqueror. Mehmed II was an Ottoman Turk and a Muslim. The people of the Byzantine empire had been Christians who spoke koine Greek. We barely remember there was an Anatolia, which, to a large extent, became modern-day Turkey. After Word War I, Constantinople was occupied. The Ottoman Empire had fallen, but Turkey declared its War of Independence (1919 – 1923) and won. The Ottoman Empire had fallen, but Turkey rose. (See Turkish War of Independence, Wikipedia.)
In 1453, Greek scholars fled to Italy (Venice to begin with), carrying books and they inaugurated the Renaissance, but the defeat of the Byzantine Empire was the fall the Holy See of Orthodox Christianity. It had been the eastern Rome. The fall of Constantinople was, therefore, mostly catastrophic. During the first millennium, the Byzantine Empire had been Arabised and during the second millennium, it would be turkified. Both Arabs and Ottoman Turks were Muslims. Mehmed II conquered the Christian Byzantine Empire in Anatolia and went on to conquer several Christian countries now located in Eastern Europe. Repercussions would be felt for centuries to come.
Venice “mirrored” the East, but the East would also “mirror” the West. In fact, the art the Byzantine Empire resembles Islamic art. Venice lacks minarets and an obélisque, but barely so. It is all lace or arabesques, arched windows and entrances, bas-reliefs, decorative tiles and domes. Venice begins in Alexandria, Egypt.
“Venice is also often referred to as ‘the mirror of the East’ because her architecture and urban plan incorporate typical Islamic features and ornamental flourishes.” (MMA)
Church of the Holy Apostles, Istanbul, Turkey (see Pinterest)
Works Exhibited at the MET
Venetian and Islamic works exhibited at the MMA were “[g]lass, textiles, carpets, arms and armor, ceramics, sculpture, metalwork, furniture, paintings, drawings, prints, printed books, book bindings, and manuscripts[.]” (MMA)
Reception of the Venetian Ambassadors in Damascus by Gentile Bellini, 1511, Louvre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Jean Chardin, a French jeweler who traveled throughout Iran in 1664–70 and again in 1671–77, exclaimed that Isfahan was “the greatest and most beautiful town in the whole Orient.” He described the city’s population as a mix of Christians, Jews, fire-worshippers, Muslims, and merchants from all over the world. He counted 162 mosques, 48 colleges, 802 caravanserais, 273 baths, and 12 cemeteries, indicating ‘Abbas’ extensive architectural work in the city. Among the most scenic quarters was the area behind the Ali Qapu, where a series of gardens extended to the Chahar Bagh, a long boulevard lined with parks, the residences of nobles, and the palaces of the royal family. Tile panels and frescoes from the pavilions of the Chahar Bagh in the Museum’s collection are examples of the lavish decoration of these structures. (MMA)
Venice and the Islamic world is a very long story. It includes, for instance, the use of a lingua franca, a simplified hybrid language, mostly Italian, that was understood in every port in the Mediterranean Basin.
It also tells the story of the compulsory trip to the Orient young Venetians undertook. I should also stress the notion of exchange. It was not exploitation of the Orient but an exchange. The word “mirror,” used above, is appropriate. For instance, Venetians imitated the glass made in the Orient until Muslims bought Venetian glass for their Mosques. We could even suggest that the love for all things oriental, “turquerie” in our case, preceded 18th-century Europe. Merchants travelling to the Orient brought back souvenirs.
Works displayed in the exhibition depict a mostly joyful and somewhat diverse Orient as do the texts written for visitors to the exhibition. Each text leads to another text. The Orient, Syria for instance, was home to local and old Christian communities: Assyrians, Armenians, and Egypt, home to Coptic Egyptians, etc.
I discovered a Bellini album. It seems Gentile Bellini was the first Orientalist, but of a different breed than 19th-century Orientalists (see Orientalism, Wikipedia). Yet, the conquest of Constantinople was a catastrophe. It divided the population of the various countries of Eastern Europe between Christians and Muslims, and this fragmentation was reflected in the wars that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Venice was also a turning-point in music. The Franco-Flemish lands had been the cultural hub of Europe as polyphony developed, including the madrigal, a song in the mother tongue. The Netherlandish composer Adrian Willaert (c. 1490 – 7 December 1562), of the Franco-Flemish school taught music in Venice and was the kapellmeister of the Basilica di San Marco. He founded the Venetian School, music. Polyphony is a product of the West.
In fact, the Renaissance is the birthplace of a nationhood and nationalism based on the use of a common language. Johannes Gutenberg (c. 1398 – February 3, 1468) invented the movable type printing press (c. 1440) to the delight of Venetians. It all started in Venice. As of the Renaissance, the invention of the printing press allowed the development of literature written in the vernacular, the mother tongue. Greek scholars could have the works of antiquity copied rapidly, but so did authors who wrote in the vernacular, a national language. Associated with the validation of the vernacular are Venetian Cardinal Pietro Bembo (The Petrarchan Movement), Sperone Speroni (Dialogo delle lingue, a defense of vernacular languages instead of Latin, Joachim du Bellay (Défense et illustration de la langue française) and Geoffrey Chaucer.
The relationship between the Ottoman Empire and the West deteriorated, but for a very long time, as the port central to the economy of countries bordering the Mediterranean, Venice was rich and it never fell to the Ottoman Empire.
“Despite all of the wars, Venice remained a privileged partner, thanks to an almost perfect balance between religious spirit, chameleon-like diplomacy, and acute business sense.” (MMA)
The above quotation will be our conclusion.
The link Venice and the Islamic World, 828 – 1797 takes one to the Bellini carpets. One then scrolls down to Venice and the Islamic World, 828 – 1797. One clicks on the link. To view each century click on Art, then Collection, and search Islamic Art or Venice and Islamic Art. We are exploring West Asia, various centuries, and the MMA refers to Constantinople as Istanbul, its name since 1928.
Arshile Gorky and his Mother by Arshile Gorki (Whitney Museum of American Art, NY)
Armenian-American Arshile Gorky’s mother died of starvation. He committed suicide at the age of 44.
Anatolia and Pan-Islamism
Pan-Islamism: Muslims only
the millet system: tolerance
(I removed the video showing Armenian women crucified or impaled by a sword. This video is on YouTube under Armenian Genocide.)
Armenians lived in Anatolia (most of today’s Turkey), in the Ottoman Empire, of which there remains modern Turkey with Ankara as its capital. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul in 1928, after the Turkish War of Independence (1917-1923). The Turks had become Muslims in the years and centuries that followed the fall of Constantinople or defeat of the Byzantine Empire, in 1453. So the Armenians, Orthodox Christians, fell to an ideology which, in their case, is called Pan-Islamism: Muslims only. Such an ideology stems from the concept of nationalism, but it is nationalism carried to an extreme. Genocides occur for other reasons, but the aim in the genocide of Armenians was to eliminate Christian Orthodoxy in Anatolia or Turkey.
After Sultan Mehmed II defeated the Byzantine Empire, in 1453, he continued conquering Christian lands. However, the millet system protected the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Jews. Mehmed II the Conqueror advocated tolerance, which was no longer possible at the end of the 19th century, when nationalism flourished. Christian Armenians and other Christians were annihilated, almost.
Mehmed II, the Conqueror by Gentile Bellini (National Gallery, UK)
Sultan Mehmed II and the Patriarch Gennadios II. Mehmed II allowed the Ecumenical Patriarchate to remain active after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. (Caption and photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Allied Powers and the Central Powers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Nationalism and Nativism
Nationalism is normal. One is proud when a fellow citizen wins an Olympic medal, or is awarded a Nobel Prize. During the 19th century, Italian city-states unified. One of the founders of a unified Italy and the leading figure in Italian unification, the Risorgimento, is Giuseppe Garibaldi (4 July 1807 in Nice – 2 June 1882 on Caprera). Garibaldi was a giant. The many German states were also unified in the 19th century under the leadership of Otto von Bismarck (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), a Prussian.
But nationalism ceases to be acceptable when it advocates nativism or Muslims only, Jews only, Christians only, thereby fostering rampant racism or dictating ethnic cleansing, the very worst. The Armenian Genocide was ethnic cleansing. (See List of ethnic cleansings, Wikipedia.) A purer Islam could not share its territory with Christian Armenians. In fact, Armenia had been the first Christian Nation, in 301 CE, a date that precedes the First Council of Nicaea, held in 325 CE, when Roman EmperorConstantine I founded the Christian Church as an institution. Byzantium was renamed Constantinople.
However, although the Ottoman Empire perished, Turkey survived and, by extension, so did the Ottomans, but not as an empire. The Ottoman Empire had been defeated at the conclusion of World War I, but the Turkish War of Independence (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) followed World War I and the Turks were victorious. The Turks were Muslims. Consequently, despite the fall of the Ottoman Empire, there is a sense in which the Ottoman Empire did not die altogether. However, other countries, Arab and/or Muslim countries, were partitioned by the signatories of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, or Triple Entente. We know about the French and British protectorates, such as mandatory Palestine.
The Hamidian Massacres
the Balfour Declaration of 1917
Nazism and the Holocaust
the Creation of Israel and the exodus of Palestinians
The persecution of Armenians began before the Genocide which took place between 1915 and the end of the Turkish War of Independence. Pan-Islamism could have led to the persecution of another ethnic or religious group, such as the Jews, but Christians were targeted.
The massacre of Armenians was not Mr Herzl’s real intention. Zionists wanted to create a Jewish state, Jews only. “Herzl acknowledged that the arrangement with the Abdul Hamid was temporary and his services were in exchange for bringing about a more favorable Ottoman attitude toward Zionism. ‘Under no circumstances,’ he wrote, ‘are the Armenians to learn that we want to use them in order to erect a Jewish state.’” (See Hamidian Massacres, Wikipedia.)
Later, the idea of a purer nation, Aryans only, inspired Adolf Hitler and his Nazis. The result was the Holocaust, the death, in gas chambers especially, of 6 million Jews, perhaps the worst genocide ever after the genocide of Amerindians and Africans. The Armenian Genocide followed other massacres and foreshadowed the Holocaust.
As we have seen, under the Balfour Declaration (1917), the British favoured a national homeland for the Jewish population and that national homeland would be inPalestine. Such was not the view of Zionists. They also wanted a purer Jewish homeland, a homeland inhabited by Jews only. The creation of Israel (14 May 1948) led to a war and to the exodus of Palestinians. It has yet to end. (See 1948 Palestinian Exodus, Wikipedia.)
Palestinian Woman, Jug and Child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As countries conquered by the Ottomans, Greece (Greek War of Independence), Bulgaria, etc. fought for their independence, there were other massacres. These were merciless. One of the worst massacres was the Batak Massacre of Bulgarians which took place in 1876 at the beginning of the April Uprising. I have mentioned the Batak Massacre in an earlier post. Bulgarians were the victims of Bashi-Basouk, irregulars or mercenaries in the Ottoman Army. The image below, by Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky (20 June 1839 —17 September 1915), shows Bashi-Basouk enjoying the spoils of war.
The Bulgarian Martyresses by Konstantin Makovsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Armenia: once a kingdom
A Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity) had existed between 321 BCE and 428 CE. At its apex, under king Tigranes the Great, its territory consisted of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. It fell under Rome’s sphere of influence at the Battle of Tigranocerta, in 66 BCE. As of 66 BCE, the story of Armenians is intertwined with that of the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. It came under Ottoman rule in 1453, when Mehmed II defeated the Byzantine Empire. Greek scholars fled to Italy, inaugurating the Renaissance, but other Orthodox Christians were less fortunate.
In short, the Armenians fell to a faith and state ideology, which is the ideology underlying ISIL’s enslavement, rape, underage marriages, forced pregnancies, torture, and the worst of deaths. Syrians and Iraqis try to find safe towns in the Middle and Near East. Many have fled to Turkey, but they’ve nowhere to go. Faith and state is also the ideology of Saudi Arabia.
As for Israel, Netanyahu is building walls to protect Israel from Palestinians and is encouraging all Jews to settle in their “promised land,” Israel: faith and state.
The painting above is a fine portrait of John the Fearless. The Wikipedia entry does not give the name of the artist, but it could be Rogier van der Weyden. Would that I could explain the symbolism. Why the brooch, the necklace, and, especially, the ring? This is a portrait to remember.
The Armagnac-Burgundian Civil war (1407 -1435)
The Civil War begins in 1407, when Louis I, Duke of Orleans is assassinated
Although, we are changing topic after this post, a correction is needed. I found a tiny mistake, a detail, while researching the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War. It has to do with dates. The correction is that the Armagnac-Burgundian CivilWardid not start when John the Fearless was assassinated in 1419. It started in 1407, when John the Fearless ordered thugs to assassinate Louis I, Duke of Orleans, King Charles IV’s brother.
In an earlier post, I wrote that, rumour has it that Louis, Duke of Orleans fathered Charles VII, his nephew, which could be the case. Isabeau de Bavière was married to Charles VI, the ‘Mad’ King of France, and Louis of Orleans, was a profligate prince. It would appear, that Charles VI knew he had been betrayed.
As we have seen, in an earlier post, Charles VI disinherited Charles VII (22 February 1403 – 22 July 1461), twice. Charles VII was disinherited after the assassination of John the Fearless and was again disinherited by virtue of the Treaty of Troyes, signed in 1420. Under the terms of the Treaty of Troyes, not only did Charles VI disinherit his son, but he also agreed to marry his daughter, Catherine de Valois, to Henry V, King of England.
Charles was ‘mad,’ but how mad can one be?
Had Henry VI’s (b. 1421) succeeded in claiming the throne of France, he would have been a legitimate King of France, but not in the eyes of the people of France. They looked upon CharlesVII as the rightful successor to Charles VI.
The Civil War ended at the Congress of Arras, in 1435, when the Burgundians recognized Charles VII as King of France.
Assassination of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, on the Bridge of Montereau, in 1419. — facsimile of a miniature in the “Chronicles” of Monstrelet, manuscript of the fifteenth century, in the Library of the Arsenal of Paris.
Charles VII by Jean Fouquet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A Tale of Two Kings
Joan of Arc
Charles VII, King of France, crowned on 17 July 1429
Henry VI of England, heir to the throne of France, but crowned in December 1431
The people of France looked upon Charles VII as their King because he was the son of CharlesVI, or so it seemed. Joan of Arc did save France. Had she not intervened, France could have become an English kingdom.
Charles VI, the “Mad”
Philip the Bold (Burgundy 1)
Philip the Good (Burgundy 3)
John the Fearless (Burgundy 2)
Maître de Boucicault (Charles VI)
Anon. (Philip the Bold)
Rogier van der Weyden (Philip the Good)
Rogier van der Weyden (John the Fearless) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Support for the Treaty of Troyes; Misery for Charles VII
Charles VII was disinherited because he assassinated John the Fearless, his uncle and his father’s (Charles VI) cousin. Moreover, if the rumour is true, and it seems to be true, Louis d’Orléans was Charles VII‘s son, not Charles VI. Historically, Charles VII was disinherited by virtue of the Treaty of Troyes, signed at Troyes (France) in 1420.
Isabeau de Bavière, his mother, was in attendance when the Treaty of Troyes was signed. She disinherited her son.
The Estate General ratified the Treaty of Troyes when Henry V, King of England and heir to the throne of France entered Paris.
Charles VII was found guilty of treason, lèse-majesté, in a 1421 lit-de-justice, a court, he did not attend. The court “sentenced him to disinheritance and banishment from the Kingdom of France, losing all privileges to land and titles.” (See Charles VII, Wikipedia.)
The terms of the Treaty of Troyes were later confirmed by the Treaty of Amiens (1423), when Burgundy and Brittany confirmed the recognition of Henry VI of England as King of France and agreed to form a triple-defensive alliance against the Dauphin (heir) Charles VII.
Despite his being duly-crowned King of France at Reims, on 17 July 1429, Charles VII was called, pejoratively, “roi de Bourges.”
Rogier van der Weyden miniature 1447-8. Philip dresses his best, in an extravagant chaperon, to be presented with a History of Hainault by the author, flanked by his son Charles and his chancellor Nicolas Rolin. (Caption and photo credit: Wikipedia)
There would be further claims to the kingdom of France, based on the Treaty of Troyes, but the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil Warimproved the relationship between two French Royal Houses. During the Midde Ages, Burgundy and surrounding areas were the hub of European culture, particularly in the area of music: the Franco-Flemish School. One Burgundian was Jean de France, duc de Berry (d. 1416) who loved the arts and commissioned the Belles Heures du duc de Berry and the Très Riches Heures de Jean de France, duc de Berry.
I hope the list above will prove helpful. It resembles a dramatis personae, the names of characters in a play. But battles and treaties have been included.
The Assassination of Louis I, duke of Orleans (1407)
There is history and behind it, behind the official record, stories or rumours. Such is the case with the central event of the Hundred Years’ War: the Treaty of Troyes, signed at Troyes, France, by Charles VI, the “Mad,” in the presence of his wife, Isabeau of Bavaria.
Les Très Riches Heures de Jean de France, duc de Berry, le 1er mai, featuring Charles d’Orléans (Photo credit: Google Images)
A few years later, in 1393, Charles VI lost stature when he became mentally. A mad king is a weak king. During Charles VI’s bouts of madness, Charles VI’s wife, Isabeau of Bavaria, sat on the regency council, but Louis I, duc d’Orléans, Charles VI’s brother, was gaining ascendancy, which undermined the Burgundians’ attempt to rule France.
There are times when rumours are history, or when stories are history. Our historical fact is that under the terms of the Treaty of Troyes, signed in 1420, French King Charles VI, the “mad” King, disinherited his son, Charles VII, and bequeathed his kingdom, the kingdom of France, to Philip V, King of England. Charles VI also agreed to a marriage between Philip V and his daughter Catherine de Valois. Catherine gave birth to a son on 6 December 1421.
Philip V died in 1422, during a campaign in France. He never saw his son, but his son, would be Philip VI, King of England and, if he survived childhood, he would also be king of France. As it happens, Philip VI survived childhood.
The rumour makes sense. Charles VI was mad, Louis, duke of Orleans, a philanderer, and Isabeau, vulnerable. So it could be that Louis, duke of Orleans, fathered Charles VII. In other words, there may be truth to the rumour, in which case Charles, duke of Orleans was Charles VII‘s first cousin and half-brother.
Charles VII by Jean Fouquet (Google)
Charles of Orléans as Magi by Jean Fouquet (Google)
Jean de Dunois
In fact, Charles, duke of Orleans had another half-brother, Jean de Dunois (23 November 1402 – 24 November 1468). Jean de Dunois was born to Marguerite d’Enghien, Louis I, duke of Orleans’ mistress. He was called the “bastard of Orleans” which was not a pejorative designation as it suggested that everyone knew he was Louis d’Orleans’ son.
Jean de Dunois was loyal to his half-brother, Charles d’Orleans. During Charles of Orleans’ lengthy detention in England, Jean de Dunois looked after his half-brother’s interests in France and, particularly at Orléans. When Joan of Arc entered the war, then at a low point, Jean de Dunois and La Hire were her main generals. Joan of Arc so inspired them that they lifted the Siege of Orleans, allowing her to complete the task assigned to her by the archangel Michael, God’s warrior. She took Charles VII to Reims, where he was crowned King of France on 17 July 1429. On 6 November 1429, Henry VI was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey and, on 26 December 1429, King of France, at Notre-Dame de Paris.
The French victory at Orleans changed the course of the war and the rightful heir was crowned on July 17 at Reims, the cathedral where French Kings were crowned. The Hundred Years’ War lingered, but Joan had defeated the English, as was requested of her by the archangel Michael. France had a French King, not an English King.
One could say that Joan had undone the Treaty of Troyes, which is true to a very large extent. The French House of Valois ruled France, not the English House of Plantagenet. However, Philip VI could claim the throne of France and, as noted above, Philip VI was crowned King of France on 26 December 1429, at Notre-Dame de Paris.
However, there was a war within a war. In 1410, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac and constable of France married his daughter Bonne d’Armagnac (19 February 1339 – 1430/35) to Charles, duke of Orleans. The wedding of Charles, duke of Orleans and Bonne d’Armagnac, depicted in the Très Riches Heures de Jean de France, duc deBerry, strengthened the crown of France. The Armagnacs were a powerful family. Bonne was 11 years old and her spouse, 16, when the two married. They were very young. The marriage however was first and foremost a contract or alliance. It may never have been consummated as Bonne died childless in 1430 or 1435. Yet, despite his age, Charles was marrying for the second time.
Charles’ first wife, Isabelle de Valois, died in childbirth in 1409. As for Bonne, she would die childless when Charles was in captivity. She was 16 when her husband was captured at the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415.She died in 1430 or 1435, before her husband’s release, which did not occur until 1440. When he returned to France, Charles d’Orléans married 16-year-old Maria of Cleves (19 September 1426 – 23 August 1487) who was 35 years younger than her husband. They had three children, one of whom would be King of France, Louis XII of France.
It has been said that Bonne d’Armagnac’s marriage to Charles d’Orléans triggered the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War, which lasted until 1435. The wedding did empower the House of Valois. Charles VII was the rightful heir, according to the French. And despite the death of Louis of Orleans, the House of Orleans had a ruler, which benefited Charles VI, King of France. But by the same token, the marriage weakened the Dukes of Burgundy.
During the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War,
the Burgundians entered into an alliance with England;
Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians; handed over to the English, and burned at the stake.
In other words, the Burgundian reaction to the marriage of Charles Orléans led to a harmful alliance between France and England. Moreover, it is rumoured that the Treaty of Troyes was orchestrated by the Burgundians. If it was, they did not realize they would have to fight the English in order to rule France. The Armagnac’s King, Charles VII, ascended the throne of France in 1429, so France had two kings, one of whom the French could not consider their king. The Treaty of Troyes is the great pity that had befallen France. The House of Plantagenet coveted the French throne, but the Burgundians had become English and, in 1415, England had won a major victory at Agincourt and captured Charles, duke of Orleans. France’s decisive victory at the Siege of Orleans angered the Burgundians.
After England’s defeat at the Siege of Orleans, the Burgundians captured Joan of Arc and handed her over to the English. She was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431 and Charles VII did not save her.
Yet, if the French victory, Joan of Arc’s victory, at the Siege of Orleans caused the English to unravel, the same is true of the Burgundians. The English loss at the Siege of Orleans ended the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War and it ended the Hundred Years’ War. A French King had been crowned.
Poetically speaking, the rumour according to which Charles VII was Louis of Orleans‘ son is very helpful. The Treaty of Troyes remains senseless, as does a Burgundian alliance with England, but Charles VI’ unprofitable decision is now more understandable. If given a choice, I believe I would combine the story and history, because the story explains history, all the more since a humble girl heard voices and did as an archangel directed her to do. It seems a legend.
Captured in 1415, Charles, duke of Orleans was released in 1440 and, meanwhile, a poet was born who wrote Ballades, Rondeaux and Chansons, often mentioning Valentine’s Day. I have now read all of his poetry. It is listed as medieval and is ‘courtly,’ as in “courtly love.”
Charles d’Orléans often wrote several poems that used the same first line, or a variation of that line. Also, the first half of that line often contradicted the second half. Antithetical lines are a rhetorical device, but most of Charles’ antithetical lines reflect the human condition. The best-known and my favourite is:
« Je meurs de soif auprès de la fontaine. »
(I die of thirst next to a fountain.)
My favourite line reminds me of Charles’ statement to Marie de Clèves, his third wife, who was 35 years younger than her husband. The difference was ‘poetically’ correct:
« Car pour moi fustes trop tart née, Et moy pour vous fus trop tost né. »
“ ’cause you for me were born too late.
And I for you was born too soon.”
(I believe my computer is recovering, but it is unstable. It didn’t have cookies. It logs me out when it shouldn’t.)