Post has attachment
21 November 1783, near Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent le Vieux took off in a montgolfière for the first manned flight in history.


Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier managed a small paper factory in Annonay, Ardeche, France, were both educated in natural sciences and architecture and began experimenting with balloons since the late 1770s. Allegedly, it was the unsuccessful siege of Gibraltar by land and sea in 1782 that gave Joseph-Michel the idea of transporting people through the air – to land troops. The familiar sight of flying scraps during a fire led the Mongolfier brothers to believe that smoke was a special gas attributed with something they called levity. Capturing smoke in a bag would allow the levity lift off loads attached to the balloon of the ground. Their first experiments with levity astonished them both and in June 1783, Aerostat Réveillon, 37,500-cubic-foot affair of sky blue taffeta coated with alum to make it fireproof and adorned with celestial symbols, was ready for take-off. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette enthusiastically agreed to watch the demonstration and the king actually had the endearing idea to let two condemned criminals ascend with Aerostat Réveillon, but the two inventors did not feel that safe with their contraption and decided to use Montauciel the sheep since its physiognomy was closest to a human’s – along with a duck and a cockerel. All three animals landed safely after an 8 minute flight over Versailles. Afterwards, the king gave his permission to allow human volunteers to fly in a balloon.

But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/01/oh-h-h-why-do-i-have-to-hang-from-this.html

A mid-19th century trading card, celebrating the event of the first manned human flight.

#europeanhistory #history #sciencehistory

Add a comment...

Post has attachment
12 October 1799, #onthisday Jeanne Geneviève Garnerin became the first female parachutist.

In September 1783, France saw the rise of the first flying device carrying passengers, the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon Aerostat Réveillon, transporting the sheep Montauciel ("Climb-to-the-sky"), a duck and a cockerel, just a few weeks after terrified peasants had destroyed a 35 cubic metre hydrogen balloon that had unexpectedly descended on their village of Gonesse after an unmanned flight of 45 minutes from Paris. Montauciel was chosen since its physiognomy was closest to a human’s, at least according to the Brothers Mongolfier, and when the three animals landed safely after an 8 minute flight over Versailles, King Louis XVI gave his permission to allow human volunteers to fly in a balloon, after his endearing idea to let two condemned criminals ascend as guinea pigs was somehow ignored. However, after Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent le Vieux took off in a montgolfière for the first manned flight in history in November oft he same year, the sky was the limit and other pioneers soon followed. One of them was the Official Aeronaut of France, André-Jacques Garnerin. A year later, Garnerin’s 24 years old wife Jeanne Geneviève, who had fallen in love with André-Jacques when she saw him performing his own first parachuting stunt, really became an aeronautical pioneer as the first female parachutist when she jumped off a balloon at a height of 2,700 feet with the device her husband had developed.

But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/02/jeanne-genevieve-garnerin-first-female.html


Depicted below is a contemporary capture of Jeanne Geneviève ascending in a balloon over Paris in 1799

#europeanhistory #history #sciencehistory

Add a comment...

Post has attachment
13 August 1762, #onthisday during the Seven Years’ War, Spanish Havana surrendered to a large British invasion force under General George Keppel, 3rd Earl of Albemarle, after two months of siege.


It was the 18th century’s second world-spanning conflict after the War of the Spanish Succession. And with France loosing ground, at sea and on land, from the Ohio Valley, India and Central Europe, Louis XV dragged the rest of his Bourbon cousins into the war. Charles III, the fourth Bourbon ruler on the Spanish throne since the Peace of Utrecht, actually had troubles enough to maintain his crumbling overseas empire, but worried, however, that the British might attack his possessions next after they had finished with the French. And they promptly moved against his key positions in the Pacific and the West Indies after his declaration of war. A squadron under Sir George Pocock sailed in March of the year from Spithead to carry General George Keppel’s 12,000 troops across the broad Atlantic to take Havana.

But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2016/08/the-battle-of-havana-in-1762-how-cubas.html

Depicted below are HMS "Stirling Castle", "Dragon" and "Cambridge" in action during a first attempt to take the fortress in a combined land and sea attack - Richard Paton (1717 - 1791): "Bombardment of the Morro Castle, Havana, 1 July 1762" (around 1770)

#ageofsail #americanhistory #europeanhistory #history #militaryhistory #navalhistory
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
5 August 1716, 300 years ago #onthisday during the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718, the Austrian military genius Prince Eugene of Savoy decisively defeated an outnumbering Ottoman army under Grand Vizier Silahdar Damat Ali Pasha at the Battle of Petrovaradin.


In 1715, the Austrians already were the dominant power on the Balkans for almost twenty years after their victory in the Great Turkish War. Now, with House Habsburg still exhausted after the 18th century’s first global conflict, the one of the Spanish Succession, the Sublime Porte plotted revenge for Vienna, Zenta and the humiliating Treaty of Karlowitz and struck out first against Austria’s allies, the Venetians and their territories in Greece. It took a papal guarantee for Habsburg’s territories in Italy and lots of diplomatic persuasion to goad Emperor Charles VI to even condemn the Ottoman invasion of the Morea a year later. The High Porte reacted with a declaration of War and mustered an army 150,000 strong at Belgrade. Emperor Charles sent Prince Eugene.

But read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2016/08/prince-eugene-noble-knight-battle-of.html

Depicted below is Jacob van Schuppen’s (1670 - 1751): "Prince Eugene during the Austro-Turkish War." from around 1720.

#culturalhistory #europeanhistory #history #militaryhistory
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
16 April 1746, #onthisday, 270 years ago, the Jacobite Rising of “Forty Five” ended near Inverness with a decisive defeat of the “Young Pretender” Charles Edward Stuart at the Battle of Culloden, the last pitched battle fought on British soil.
 
 Wha wadna fecht for Charlie? the Jacobites sung when the Young Pretender raised his banner at Glenfinnan in Inverness-shire and the “Forty-Five” had begun, the Jacobite rising of 1745. Almost a year later, after all the blue bonnets went over the border, threatened London even and went back, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Highland Army were cornered near Inverness and prepared to give battle to the man who would later be known as “Butcher” Cumberland and his government troops, about one quarter of them Scots themselves.
 
But read more on:
 
http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2016/04/wha-wadna-fecht-for-charlie-battle-of.html
 
Depicted below is the Anglo-Swiss military painter David Morier (1705 - 1760) take on the Battle of Culloden, understatedly called "An Incident in the Rebellion of 1745" from 1749. Allegedly, survivors of both sides from said incident modeled for Morier.
 
#culturalhistory #europeanhistory #history #militaryhistory
 
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
#onthisday  in 1758, 50 miles east of Dresden during the Seven Years’ War, Frederick the Great was decisively defeated by an Austrian army under Count von Daun at the Battle of Hochkirch. 

“Do you think I take any pleasure in this dog's life, in seeing and causing death in people unknown to me, in losing friends and acquaintances daily, in seeing my reputation ceaselessly exposed to the caprices of fortune, in spending the whole year with uneasiness and apprehension, in continually risking my life and my fortune? I certainly know the value of tranquility, the charms of society, the pleasures of life, and I like to be happy as much as anybody. Although I desire all these good things, I will not buy them with baseness and infamy. Philosophy teaches us to do our duty, to serve our country faithfully at the expense of our blood and of our repose, to commit our whole being to it.“ (Frederick the Great in a letter to Voltaire, 1747)

After the war in 1763, Frederick, now the Great, der Alte Fritz, Old Fritz, admitted to his brother that he, Prince Henry, was Prussia’s only general who had never made a mistake. Contemporary military doctrine taught that fighting more than five battles during a year of campaigning was, at least, rash. Frederick, however, gambled and by 1758, during the course of the Third Silesian War, as the Seven Years’ War was known on the Continent, the king had fought already twelve of them against the Imperials, the Austrians and the Russians. “Mein Bruder will immer bataillieren, das ist seine ganze Kunst“ (my brother always seeks battle, that's what pulls him through), Henry remarked, not without a tinge of jealousy, and after the disastrous defeat at Kolín in 1757, where Old Fritz had lost half his army, Silesia and his nimbus of invincibility, his gambling streak and tendency of “bataillieren” against reasonably impossible odds took on quite dangerous proportions. Success did no longer show that he was right. However, after driving the Russians out of the Mark (Margraviate) Brandenburg by winning the Battle of Zorndorf in August, Frederick thought his lucky streak would last for one more throw and he marched back to Saxony to tackle the Austrian army, twice the size of his own under field marshal Count von Daun, who had already defeated him once at Kolín.
 
Frederick’s cavalry general von Seydlitz mentioned that the Austrians all deserved to be hanged if they didn’t attack the Prussians under such favourable conditions and ordered his horses to remain saddled when the army set up camp near the village of Hochkirch. Old Fritz thought he’d surprise Daun and had thrown all caution to the wind. Unfortunately, his advance and the area had already been thoroughly reconnoitred by major-general Laudon’s light troops and at five o’clock in the morning, his Pandurs, skirmishers from Slavonia overwhelmed the Prussian picket line, fell upon the still sleeping Prussians, followed by a cannonade of Daun’s 400 pieces of artillery and a general charge of Austrian infantry and Laudon’s cavalry. Pressed into Hochkirch’s narrow lanes by Austrian caseshot and grapeshot fired from their own captured guns, Frederick’s grenadiers died in their hundreds and their blood literally flew through the village’s streets. Today, a street near Hochkirch’s church is still called “Blutgasse”, bloody lane. The battle was lost before Frederick fully realised what had hit him. However, quickly organised defence lines drawn together at the graveyard of Hochkirch held Daun’s men to allow the Prussians at least an orderly withdrawal from the field and the Austrian field marshal refrained from a pursuit after his casualties, 8,000 men, about one tenth of his army, were about as high as the Prussians’. Frederick, however, had lost one fourth along with his complete artillery park and a few of his best generals, his friend field marshal James Keith, a Scottish émigré from Peterhead among them, whose men had held the entire Austrian army for about half an hour.

There is a caricature drawn in the 19th century glorifying tradition showing Old Fritz ahorse, asking his battered troops: “Gunners! Where are your pieces?” – “The devil took them at night!” - “Then we surely take them back by day, eh, lads?” In reality, Frederick the Great was certainly not in the mood for joking after Hochkirch. For the next three years, Prussia and the House of Hohenzollern was teetering at the edge of disaster, culminating with Laudon’s and the Russian general Saltykow’s decisive victory at the Battle of Kunersdorf in 1759 and Frederick, suffering from severe depressions, seriously considering suicide. However, Prussia was saved by two miracles, Laudon’s decision not to pursue the fleeing Prussians because Prince Henry’s troops where still in the field, the “Miracle of the House of Brandenburg”, and the death of Empress Elizabeth II of Russia and her successor and admirer of Frederick Peter III’s withdrawal from the war in 1762. Peace between Austria and Prussia, re-establishing the “status quo ante” before the war, was concluded in 1763.

Depicted below is Adolph von Menzel’s (1815 – 1905) imagination of the Battle of Hochkirch from his illustrations for Franz Kugler’s “Geschichte Friedrichs des Grossen“ (History of Frederick the Great), ca 1840.

The caricature quoted above can be found here:

http://www.billerantik.de/gallery2/main.php/d/84551-1/34.jpg

And more about the Battle of Hochkirch on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hochkirch

#history   #sevenyearswar   #europeanhistory   #militaryhistory  
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
#onthisday   in 1789, 225 years ago, the citizens of Paris storm the Bastille, a prison, armoury and symbol of the Ancien Régime, traditionally marking the beginning of the French Revolution

“When despotism has established itself for ages in a country, as in France, it is not in the person of the king only that it resides. It has the appearance of being so in show, and in nominal authority; but it is not so in practice and in fact. It has its standard everywhere. Every office and department has its despotism, founded upon custom and usage. Every place has its Bastille, and every Bastille its despot. The original hereditary despotism resident in the person of the king, divides and sub-divides itself into a thousand shapes and forms, till at last the whole of it is acted by deputation. This was the case in France; and against this species of despotism, proceeding on through an endless labyrinth of office till the source of it is scarcely perceptible, there is no mode of redress. It strengthens itself by assuming the appearance of duty, and tyrannises under the pretence of obeying.” (Thomas Payne “The Rights of Man“)
 
It was the Marquis de Sade, of all the people, who might have provided the masses with the straw that broke the camel’s back. An inmate of the infamous state prison of the French kings since 1784, the illustrious scion of the oldest, Frank-descended nobility of France was seen meandering along the battlements of the old fortress, crying to the restless natives of Paris: "They are killing the prisoners here!" The relative freedom de Sade enjoyed in prison speaks volumes about what conditions had been like during the last decades of the rule of House Bourbon. Inmates were allowed to bring their own objects of daily use, luxuries, books and whatnot, meals and medical care were better by far than those the rioters in the street had and the Bastille’s governor received at least 3 livres per day to guarantee the upkeep of a prisoner, twice the daily wage of a common labourer. And de Sade himself was the last one imprisoned there under the infamous royal lettre de cachet, more or less a blank cheque for confinement without a formal charge or trial. Nevertheless, the Bastille had long since become a symbol for the abuse of the absolutistic power of the king, the last royal stronghold in already insurgent Paris and, en passant, a magazine with 14 pieces of light artillery, extremely useful in barricade and house-to-house fighting and tons of powder and shot. And on July 14th, the powder magazine of the House of Bourbon finally exploded.

Finally spurred on by a rousing speech of Camille Desmoulins who told the people to wear chestnut leaves as cockades, the model for the tricoloured badges on the bonnet rouges of the Jacobins, and a mob of about 1,000 people stormed the Bastille. The commander of the place, Marquis Bernard-René Jordan de Launay, managed to put up a resemblance of a defence after he refused to surrender the fortress and especially the weapons to the revolutionaries, his few Swiss guardsmen and 80 invalids were overwhelmed and the inmates of the Bastille were set free, four forgers and two lunatics (not counting the Marquis de Sade). De Launay laid down his sword and was dragged, actually under safe conduct, to the Hôtel de Ville, a butcher cut off his head en route, the provost of the merchants of Paris, Jacques de Flesselles, tried to save him and was decapitated as well for his pains. Their heads were impaled on pikes and carried in triumph through the streets, the first aristo victims of the French Revolution. A year later, July 14th was already a national holiday and Citoyen Louis Capet, actually still King Louis XVI of France, was compelled to take an oath on the new constitution.

Two days after the Storming, the demolition of the late 14th century complex, the symbol of the Ancien Régime, was ordered and the commissioned prime contractor, Pierre-François Palloy, came up with the bright idea to carve its stones into souvenirs, little models of the fortress, that were sold into every corner of revolutionary France. Patriote Palloy wrote a few songs on top of it, painted pictures and showed the public around the cellars of the former prison, appetisingly propped with skeletons and torture instruments. Unsurprisingly, Patriote Palloy became quite rich while the demolition was finished in October 1790. Today, last remnants can be seen on the platform of the Métro station at the Place de la Bastille, while the act of the storming of the place became its own myth and a synonym for the act that starts a revolution.

Depicted below is Jean-Pierre Houël’s (1735-1813) famous imagination of the “Prise de la Bastille“ painted in 1789.
And more on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille

  #history   #europeanhistory   #frenchrevolution   #bastilleday  
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
#onthisday  in 1794, 220 years ago, the “Festival of the Supreme Being“, the first national holiday of Robespierre’s new state religion, was celebrated in Paris.

“The unique interest of people in France is to acquire a sum of available money. They act with such agitation as those on a shipwrecked vessel would grab any plank that would bring them to the shore regardless of what happens to the crew. One defies the other, and no one offers assistance . . . . There is no longer even a hypocrisy of language in personal relationships. Personal interest is so highly exalted by all sorts of fears of which it is composed that mentioning virtue, sacrifice, devotion would, in a manner of speaking, produce the effect pedantry did in other times . . . . Under the reign of the Terror a sort of passion inhered in the barbarism that was exercised. Those people were ferocious animals who satisfied their instinct rather than greedy men who offered sacrifice to their interest. Whoever commits cruel acts these days in France is solely inspired by calculating what the gamble of this or that agent of the power can be. It is better to bail out your life than defend it . . . . No one listens to reason of any kind for the issue is invariably one of selfish motives . . . am I wrong therefore to believe that we have to look for aid in the religious ideas?“ (Anne Louise Germaine Staël-Holstein)

The exuberance of revolutionary passion and the satisfying sensation of smashing an antique shop to pieces with a sledgehammer did naturally not make a stop at religious affectivities during the first years of the French Revolution. Quite the reverse. Voltaire’s words “écrasez l'infâme“, smash the despicable church, uttered on the eve of the storming of the Bastille, were taken quite literally. Religious services were forbidden and the “Cult of Reason” was promoted by the radical elements among the revolutionaries, the Hébertists, abandoning all superstitions and Antoine-François Momoro, who had already framed the revolution’s motto of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, obviously a man of clear words, laid down: "Liberty, reason, truth are only abstract beings. They are not gods, for properly speaking, they are part of ourselves." and Anacharsis Clootz added that there would be indeed only one god henceforward, “Le Peuple", the people. The Hébertists’ idea of an atheistic ersatz-religion culminated in the nationwide Fête de la Raison on 20 Brumaire, Year II (10 November 1793), churches all over France had already been transformed into Temples of Reason and now Notre Dame in Paris received its very own altar to Liberty with a half-dressed Madame Momoro sitting upon it during the festival as personification of the said capacity to make sense of things and was, according to Thomas Carlyle “one of the best Goddesses of Reason; though her teeth were a little defective." The Cult of Reason came to an end when all the Hébertists received an appointment with Madame Guillotine in March 1794.

Whatever made the Jacobites to disestablish the “Cult of Reason”, allegedly it was the lurid, licentious depravities taking place during the festival, and atheism in toto at the same time, but in any case l'Incorruptible  Robespierre bowed to the belief of Le Peuple and introduced a new ersatz-religion along with a deity, the Supreme Being, the revolution was supposed to bow to, commencing from 7 May 1794 onwards. Together with his friend, the artist Jacques-Louis David who had just finished the Pietà of the Revolution, the famous “Death of Marat”, Robespierre planned the “Festival of the Supreme Being” of the new state religion for 20 Prairial Year II with himself as the High Priest and the happy people rejoicing around him during the days when la Terreur reigned in France.

After addressing the people in the Tuileries and lighting a pyre for a symbolisation of atheism that burned away and released a statue of wisdom, then a procession went to a man-made hill on the Champ de Mars, where a liberty pole and another idol, this time of the Supreme Being, had been placed and the people made a solemn oath on the Republic underneath it. With no lurid, licentious depravities to speak of, the celebration proved to be a failure, by and large, even though the cult seemed to have caught on in some places in the province. Six weeks later, Robespierre himself was shaved with the “National Razor” and the Republic returned to the Revolution’s original idea of religious tolerance, but religion proved to be something of a bête noire over the next years until Napoleon’s Concordat of 1801 with the Catholic Church, bringing back most of its civil status in France.

Depicted below is Pierre-Antoine Demachy’s (1723 – 1807) capture of the climax of the “Festival of the Supreme Being”, finished shortly after the event took place in July 1794.

The protocol for the festival can be found here:

http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/436/

and more about the “Cult of the Supreme Being” on

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_the_Supreme_Being


#history   #europeanhistory   #culturalhistory   #frenchrevolution  
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
#onthisday  347 years ago, Sophia Dorothea, Duchess of Brunswick and Luneburg, “uncrowned queen“ of England, mother of George II and grandmother of Frederick the Great, was born in Celle.

“I will not marry the pig snout.” (King George I)

Friedrich Schiller saw the life of the Princess of Ahlden, as usually, as the conflict between bourgeois virtues and the snake pit of courtly intrigue and self-seeking and was about to transform the curious fate of Sophia Dorothea into another beacon of grace under pressure, a misunderstood noble heart and the general failure of decency. The play remained fragmentary. The fate of the woman, who almost had become Queen of England and went to rack and ruin in the game of ducal, electorial and royal thrones during the turmoil of the final establishment of Protestantism as state religion in Northwestern Europe during the late 17th century, was, at least, eventful – up to a point. Married by her father George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, to the son of his brother Ernest August, then Prince of Calenberg-Göttingen, as a gesture of honouring a family agreement that his line of succession as head of House Hanover would not be threatened by the Brunswick-Lüneburg-line and potential husbands from other principalities or even Sweden, Sophia Dorothea went to Hanover in a union that nobody wanted except the princely fathers.

Against all expectations, the first years of the marriage between Sophia Dorothea and George of Hanover proceeded quite harmoniously for an arranged marriage, she bore two children, her husband was away in the wars, but they got along. George always preferred his mistress, though, one Melusine von der Schulenburg, and that relationship finally exploded into a scene of domestic violence and the Duke of Hanover had to be bodily dragged away by his courtiers lest he beat her to death. That did it for Sophia Dorothea. She tried to elope with a dashing cavalry colonel, Philipp Christoph von Königsmarck in 1694, the couple was betrayed by a confidante, one Countess von Platen, Königsmarck vanished into thin air, probably murdered, and Sophia Augusta was divorced, for neglecting her husband, according to the case record, and went to a lifelong confinement at Ahlden House near Celle in the middle of the Lüneburg Heath.

The “Countess of Ahlden” received a princely compensation but was not allowed to leave the premises of Ahlden House, not even to visit her father on his deathbed for a final reconciliation and nor to see her children again. She lived under these conditions for the last 30 years of her life, became obese and finally starved herself to death, suffering from gallstones, at the age of 60. Her ex-husband, after the Act of Settlement of 1701 the successor of Queen Anne and now King George I of Great Britain and Ireland, forbade every kind of mourning and since no specific order came from England about what to do with her corpse, her coffin was covered with sand in the cellar of Ahlden House and lay there for almost a year until somebody took pity and arranged a burial at her family’s crypt in Celle. Melusine von der Schulenburg accompanied George to England, became the royal mistress, the Duchess of Kendal, and, even if Prime Minister Walpole said she was the Queen of England as much as anyone was, became the target of every imaginable mockery from the Jacobites. After George’s death, she died on her estates, alone with her raven she believed was the king returning to her.

Depicted below is a painting by an unknown artist, probably Jacques Vaillant from around 1690, showing Sophia Dorothea as Duchess of Brunswick and Luneburg with her two children.

And more on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_Dorothea_of_Celle
 
And thank you very much, +Marc Schnau for the reminder of her fate and Schloss Ahlden a couple of weeks ago.

#history   #europeanhistory  
Photo
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
#onthisday ,  220 years ago, the Republic of Mainz and 19.000 French soldiers under d’Oyré and de Beauharnais surrendered to the besieging Prussian troops ending the six months existence of the first democratic state on current German territory.

“Your and all kings’ enemy” (Friedrich Georg Pape, editor of the Mainzer Nationalzeitung in an open letter to Frederick William IV, King of Prussia)

After the victory at Valmy on 20 September 1792 over Prussian and Austrian troops, the French revolutionary army marched toward the Rhine and occupied the principalities of the Holy Roman Empire along the river, usually received with open arms by the enlightened citizens while nobility and clergy fled to more reactionary climes.

Along with the Cisrhenian Republic (encompassing most of the Rhineland) and the Rauracian Republic (around the city of Basel), Mainz became one of the French client republics, with troops in residence and their own Jacobin Clubs, trying to establish the ideals of the French Revolution. Mainz’ club with almost 500 members was one of the largest and the Republic was proclaimed on 23 March 1793 with more than sufficient acclaim of the good people of Mainz.

Even though General Custine, the French supreme commander, had orders from his chiefs in the National Convention in Paris to introduce democratic order in the occupied territories, by force, if necessary, men of the local Jacobin Clubs like Pape, the philosopher Hofmann and other professors from Mainz University as well as the natural scientist Georg Forster, who sailed with Cook on his Second Voyage, had laid the ground for the Republic, sovereignty of the people and Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité already.

With the reactionary troops on the march, the democratic spring in Mainz was rather transient. Prussian and Austrian troops invested the city already in April, the bombardment of Mainz begun in June, with a lot of Franco-German notables, fighting or as spectators, Goethe and Heinrich von Kleist among them. When martial law was declared in “Mayence” on 13 July, most of the city’s landmarks were already destroyed and when the relief army under Kléber did not arrive, d’Oyré threw the towel. The surviving French soldiers left the city singing La Marseillaise and were allowed to retreat  to France.

Mainz was finally recaptured by Napoleon’s troops in 1797 and the old electorate and residential city, Aurea Moguntia, would become the “display window” of the French Empire. There was no more talk of receiving the occupying troops with open arms, though and when the French finally left the city after the Battle of Leipzig and the Wars of Liberation 1813/14, Mainz became a fortress city on the German-French border for more than 100 years.

Depicted below is a drawing by Goethe from 1793 of a German liberty tree based on the French model .The inscription reads:  “Passans, cette terre est libre“ (travellers, this land is free)
 
More on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Mainz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Mainz_%281793%29

#history #napoleonicwars #germanhistory #republicofmainz  
 
Photo
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded