The French Revolution

Last Updated on March 29, 2021 by Claude Boucher

Written by Kaleb Houle-Lawrence – high school Intern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The French Revolution (1789-1799) is one of the most remembered revolutions throughout history, known for its violence and bloodshed to the nobility. The Revolution was partially fueled by French victories against the British Monarchy across the world; in part, the French were influenced by the ideologies promoted during the American Revolution. The French Revolution was a radical shift away from monarchy and towards a Democratic Republic. Other “revolutions” fueled the French Revolution as well, though these revolutions were both thought-based. The Scientific Revolution, which spread around Europe during the 18th century, influenced the French Revolution. Similarly, the Enlightenment, a revolution of political philosophy, gave rise to new ideas of democracy and natural rights, building the very foundation of the French Revolution.

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French Voices – The Québécois Dialect

Last Updated on March 30, 2021 by Claude Boucher

Written by Kaleb Houle-Lawrence – high school Intern

Thank you to Henri Vaillancourt, native French speaker and student of the language’s origins, for his insights which formed the basis of this blog.

The French language has a long history in North America, stretching from the colonial periods of the US and Canada up until the present day. But in North America, there are distinct differences to the dialects of French, separating it from the French spoken in France. In fact, the French of North America is diverse in itself, spread out across Canada and the US with a variety of dialects, which fall into four major groups: Québécois, Acadian, Cajun, and Métis. These four groups are all distinct in their own manner, with complexities and nuances within the vocabulary and expressions, yet they are still the same language at heart. To learn more about dialects, I spoke with Henri Vaillancourt, a lifelong French speaker and learner. Henri graciously spent well over an hour speaking with me, and we discussed dialects in a manner that brought light to the topic. One of Henri’s greatest passions is learning about French dialects, a topic to which he has dedicated many years of his life (to learn more, join him and Robert Perreault on Thursday, March 18th at 7pm).

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World of French: Monaco

Last Updated on March 30, 2021 by Claude Boucher

written by Jasmine Grace -High School Intern

Monaco is the second smallest independent state in the world, and its fame is much greater than its size. This 2.1 square kilometer section of land is hilly and rocky, known as a glamorous tourist destination with beautiful beaches, a grand casino, and car races. The House of Grimaldi is the royal family of Monaco and has ruled for over 700 years. Some legends claim a witch cursed  their family hundreds of years ago after two of their ancestors performed vile deeds. This tiny nation also claims to be the birthplace of a variation of the crêpe, called Crêpes Suzette. French is the official language of Monaco, and they have a long history with France. 

The Grimaldi family began their long rule way back in 1297. They allied themselves with France for most of their history, but from 1524 to 1641 Spain protected Monaco. And in 1793, Monaco was annexed to France. With the fall of Napoleon I, the Grimaldis returned to power. And nearly a hundred years later, the Franco-Monegasque treaty was signed and Monaco regained full independence. In 1918, the relationship between France and Monaco reached a new height, and a treaty was signed stating Monaco would fall under French protection if the Grimaldis ever became extinct. 

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Happy Francophonie Month!

Last Updated on March 30, 2021 by Claude Boucher

written by Jasmine Grace -high school Intern

Every year in March Francophone (French-speaking) nations across the globe celebrate French language and the diverse cultures that speak it. There will be thousands of events in 77 countries around the world. 

The origins of this holiday lie with an organization now called the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). The idea for this group was proposed by Léopold Sédar Senghor, president of Senegal at the time. It was officially formed on March 20, 1970 when more than 20 Francophone nations signed the Treaty of Niamey. African countries including Senegal, Niger, and Tunisia assumed leadership positions in the organization, because there is much French spoken across Africa.

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