Sunday, January 15, 2006

France and history

As I briefly touched on before, there has been quite a debate in France about history. I caught up with some of this when I finally read an old copy of Le Monde. French historians are understandably peeved about the state's continual attempts to tell them how to do their job. The February 2005 directive on 'the positive role of France' was only the latest in a series, previous ones being in 1990, January 2001 and May 2001.

This last declared slavery (abolished by the Republic in 1791, reinstated by Napoleon in 1802) to be a crime against humanity.

As for the non-commemoration of the battle of Austerlitz, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing said he would have celebrated it and so, in his opinion, would have de Gaulle.

Mémoire et histoire, examen critique ou repentance : le débat fait désormais rage

Update: more from The Economist (17 Dec). The socialists, who now admit they were dozing in February, are calling for a repeal of the law.

Behind the debate is 'a fratricidal war on the political right, which has intensified since the riots in the banlieues'. Chirac and de Villepin have distanced themselves from the February law, leaving Sarkozy as its chief defender, railing against “excessive repentance”.  'In some ways, the row over colonial history suits the chiraquiens: the more Mr Sarkozy leans to the right, the more space there is in the centre for Mr de Villepin.'

1 Comments:

Anonymous FaTraPa said...

Le plus comique est que la protestation est venue des Antilles Françaises. Les Antilles sont des DOM (Département d'Outre-Mer) et donc totalement liées à la France. Pourquoi, si la colonisation a été une telle abomination, ne quittent-elles pas le giron national? Toute région souhaitant son indépendance (Corse compris) devrait être libéré de la tutelle française... Si elle préfère rester dans la communauté, c'est qu'il doit y avoir des bonnes choses, non?
Pour ne pas paraître trop nationaliste, je dirai que je rêve de ne plus faire partie de ce pays et de m'envoler chez les anglo-saxons...

Je te laisse traduire en anglais si besoin est car ton français est bien meilleur que mon anglais!

12:11 am, January 30, 2006  

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