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Thread: French-English Rivalry?

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    napoleon boneaparte's Avatar Princeps
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    Icon10 French-English Rivalry?

    One of the first stereotypes that comes to most minds when discussing about the English and the French is that they generally dislike one another. While this may be only a stereotype, it does have a basis. After all, from 1066 onwards, England and France have nearly always been bish-bashing each other.

    Until the Crimean War, almost every war that France participates in will surely be joined by the English on the opposing side (e. g. Hundred Years' War, French Wars of Religion, War of the League of Augsburg, War of the Spanish Succession, War of the Austrian Succession, Napoleonic Wars). Now, in this modern age of moderation, some would say that this rivalry has turned friendly and point out that the biggest French expatriate community resides in England.

    But on the other hand, historical snubs are definitely still alive. When Nicholas Sarkozy popped by London in March 2008, he was given a tour in the Royal Gallery of the Houses of Parliament and was shown their prized possessions, paintings of the French defeats at Trafalgar and Waterloo. At Windsor, their procession was escorted by the Household Cavalry who wore copies of the breastplates taken from dead Frenchmen at Waterloo as well as the Blues and Royals whose uniforms include a golden eagle to celebrate the capture of French colours at Waterloo. To add salt in the wound, the parade's first horse was named Agincourt.

    At Windsor, Sarkozy visited the WATERLOO room where he viewed the portraits of the victors of Waterloo, Wellington and Blucher. Their dinner was served on plates plundered from Versailles during the Revolution (so, basically, he had been invited to Windsor to eat off France's own plates).

    The French did take revenge though. Before June 2009, the Queen had always been invited to the anniversary of D-Day at Normandy but not that year. When questioned, the French said that they had expected the Brits to decide who was on their guest list, so naturellement, it wasn't their fault.

    Views of French or English people are warmly welcomed.
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    Ferrets54's Avatar Praefectus Fabrum
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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    France and the United Kingdom have been allies for over one hundred years, and huge volumes of British people live in France and vice versa. London is the sixth largest French city on Earth - there are more French in London than they are in Bordeaux. Everybody is aware of the traditional rivalry, but it's never put into practice.

    However, after going out with a French girl for two years, I can confirm that it should be.

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    And How does the English and French Public of the Crimean Wars sees their Nation in the same side?

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    By the end of the Napoleonic Wars France's attempt at European hegemony essentially had been ended (something similar happened to germany in the 20 the century but far more bloody) and it was isolated in Europe. By the middle of the century England realized that her century was threatened more by tsarist Russia and that the French were the only similar countries in Europe in terms of politics (French liberalism and the idea of the revolution being closer to British political tradition than the autocracies of Austria, Russia or Prussia) so the attitude changed and by the end of the 19th century not just Russia but also germany appeared on the stage and suddenly there were two Great Power with higher potentials than Britain but with at least partially autocratic worldviews (Prussia's system was pretty schizophrenic with an autocratic bureaucracy but a comparatively liberal burgoises mirrored in the imperial administration resting on Prussia vs the federal administration).

    France realized it couldn't compete with those rising powers on her own like she did in past centuries and Britain also feared that higher populations and rapid industrialization would make her lose her influence and she sought the one other liberal power in Europe as an ally.

    This is a bit black and white since the axis between Prussia and Britain survived for decades before slowly disintegrating when Germany was formed but overall strategic realities in Europe changed. Before, France was this singular centralized power, population and economy wise the only nation that could fight England and the rest of Europe on her own, but once her imperial ambitions were in ruins (failed colonies of America and in India) and beaten back in Europe she ceased to be a rival.


    In general the first and second powers will always end up in a fight over dominion while trying to ally with the third and fourth power to gain superiority. Once France/Britain ceased to be the first and second powers the winner (Britain) found that there were new rising powers of equal or greater threat potential to her wealth and influence so did see no problem in allying with her former nemesis.
    "Sebaceans once had a god called Djancaz-Bru. Six worlds prayed to her. They built her temples, conquered planets. And yet one day she rose up and destroyed all six worlds. And when the last warrior was dying, he said, 'We gave you everything, why did you destroy us?' And she looked down upon him and she whispered, 'Because I can.' "
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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Britain is friendly toward defeated enemies, but she also doesn't have any friends.

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    What is the rivalry now? France and Germany?

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by money View Post
    What is the rivalry now? France and Germany?
    Reminded me of an old joke:

    A german tourist decides to visit France. He arrives at the borders, where customs officer starts asking questions.
    "Name?"
    "Hans Sauerkraut."
    "Occupation?"
    "No, just visiting."

    Yeah, the bad blood is now between France and Germany. WWI and WWII fixed things a bit between France and Britain a bit I think.

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by money View Post
    What is the rivalry now? France and Germany?
    There isn't anymore rivalry around this corner of the map apart sport rivalry.

    That is the reward of the "small players" in geopolitic. It is also one of the few achievement of the European Union.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Yeah, the bad blood is now between France and Germany. WWI and WWII fixed things a bit between France and Britain a bit I think.
    Don't forget the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). The bloodiest conflict in Europe during the XIX century. 178 000 dead and 233 000 wounded for both side including civilians.
    Last edited by Anna_Gein; February 16, 2013 at 03:56 PM.

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sar1n View Post
    Reminded me of an old joke:

    A german tourist decides to visit France. He arrives at the borders, where customs officer starts asking questions.
    "Name?"
    "Hans Sauerkraut."
    "Occupation?"
    "No, just visiting."

    Yeah, the bad blood is now between France and Germany. WWI and WWII fixed things a bit between France and Britain a bit I think.
    I just laughed for a lot longer than I should have at that joke...+ rep

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mangalore View Post
    By the end of the Napoleonic Wars France's attempt at European hegemony essentially had been ended (something similar happened to germany in the 20 the century but far more bloody) and it was isolated in Europe.
    Hang on, French attempts at European hegemony were more bloody than 20th-century German attempts?

    The German attempts which produced 2 world wars and many times more deaths...?

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by money View Post
    What is the rivalry now? France and Germany?
    EU, Russia, China and US.

    Waiting India and Brazil to join the game.
    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Hellheaven, sometimes you remind me of King Canute trying to hold back the tide, except without the winning parable.
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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by heil nappy View Post
    The French did take revenge though. Before June 2009, the Queen had always been invited to the anniversary of D-Day at Normandy but not that year. When questioned, the French said that they had expected the Brits to decide who was on their guest list, so naturellement, it wasn't their fault.
    Diplomatic snubbing at the highest levels aside, most English and French probably don't give a crap about what lavish dinner plate Sarkozy feasted on during his pampered state visit.

    There really is no rivalry aside from sports, as has been mentioned here. Welcome to the (uneventful) modern world. Sure beats near constant warfare, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    English is a Germanic language...formed by a fusion of Old English...and Norse...If you want to talk about religion or science or law or medicine you must use Latinate words (from French or Latin) and a smattering of Greek...English is basically a skinny barely functional body of Germanic (bones, basic organs and muscles) with a huge overgrowth and brain of Latin and Greek words, more than trebling it in size...Sort of like a massive genius headcrab perched on a hillbilly.

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    napoleon boneaparte's Avatar Princeps
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    Icon11 Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Diplomatic snubbing at the highest levels aside, most English and French probably don't give a crap about what lavish dinner plate Sarkozy feasted on during his pampered state visit.

    There really is no rivalry aside from sports, as has been mentioned here. Welcome to the (uneventful) modern world. Sure beats near constant warfare, though.
    Lol. I wouldn't really say so. Just look at the Sun newspaper's achievements at French bish-bashing. In 1984, it published an article claiming that the French are the least hygienic people in Europe since they used the least soap than any of the other European nations (the French were actually largely using shower gel). Then on 1st November 1990, it published one of its most notoriously anti-French article ,'Up Yours Delors' which didn't only include the pros and cons of European federalism but also the crimes of France: 'They tried to conquer Europe until we put down Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815', 'They gave in to the Nazis during the Second World War when we stood firm' and 'banned British beef after falsely claiming it had mad-cow disease. Margaret Thatcher also played her role, pooh-poohing the French idea that their 1789 declaration of human rights was the first of its kind, saying ,"Human rights didn't originate in France, we'd our Magna Carta in 1215, our Bill of Rights in the seventeenth history and our Bloodless Revolution in 1688 when Parliament imposed its will on the monarchy - we celebrated that last year, most discreetly than you." She later added that the French Revolution was 'a period of terror', an accurate but infuriating jab at French minds.

    France has had other faux pases with other nations also, particularly the Americans. Who can forget all the names and insulta the American media called France when they refused to participate in the Iraq War or the Freedom fries episode? Just before he left, Bush singled out Roquefort cheese for an exorbitant 300% import duty, effectively pricing it out of American markets. Obama, too, sent a letter to Jacques Chirac expressing his hope that France and America would be able to cooperate. He seemed to have forgotten about the regime change in May 2007. Sarkozy was probably rather hurt...Perhaps to the new American president, France was on the same level of importance as Bhutan, Oman, Mozambique or Bolivia?
    “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them” ― Elie Wiesel
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    “What's unnatural is homophobia. Homo sapiens is the only species in all of nature that responds with hate to homosexuality.” ― Alex Sanchez
    “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.” ― Albert Einstein

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    Diocle's Avatar Centurio Primus Ordine
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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Margaret Thatcher was Alhzaimer poor woman.

    The French could be defeated but without France you don't have Europe, while without Britain you have Europe.

    Britain won the Napoleonic wars but the politics on the continent was more influenced by the Relation between France and Germany, today Britain is out of the currency and nothing happens, if France leaves the currency no more Euro(pe).

    Vive la France forever!

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    napoleon boneaparte's Avatar Princeps
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    Margaret Thatcher was Alhzaimer poor woman.

    The French could be defeated but without France you don't have Europe, while without Britain you have Europe.

    Britain won the Napoleonic wars but the politics on the continent was more influenced by the Relation between France and Germany, today Britain is out of the currency and nothing happens, if France leaves the currency no more Euro(pe).

    Vive la France forever!
    I would have taken that you were French, but since you're Italian, I'm surprised by your love for France. Just asking, how's the diplomatic relations between France and Italy? I should presume they are buddies, having good reputation for the arts of culinary and wine.
    “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them” ― Elie Wiesel
    "No nationality or race is preferred over another in any way in the Eyes of the Almighty" - Mufti Ismail Menk
    “What's unnatural is homophobia. Homo sapiens is the only species in all of nature that responds with hate to homosexuality.” ― Alex Sanchez
    “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
    “Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.” ― Albert Einstein

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    I think it's turned into a joke now, amongst most English people at least, there is no bad will to any of the French people, or their country.

    That's my experience anyway.
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    French-English/British rivalry isn't the only classic rivalry involving France.

    Chronologically there was a French-English rivalry for about 400 years between feudals, not nations, it ended with the Hundred Years' Wars. It became a proto-national rivalry only at the end, untill then it was a rivalry between the French King and vassals, among them the King of England, but it wasn't national, even the English King and English Barons were of French extraction, many had French as native language, they became fully English only after the French expelled them from the continent.

    After the Hundred Years' War France cared little about England for about 250 years (1450's-1700's). For this period the main rivlary was between France and Habsburgs (Austria, Spain, etc.).

    I would say the French-British (this time) rivlary was only for about a century more or less, between 1690's-1815 and it wasn't life threatening for neither of them, not like was the rivalry in the Middle Ages, or that with the Habsburgs later. Then came the most dangerous rivalry for France, that with Prussia/Germany.

    I guess for both the French and British this rivalry is their favourite because you can actually joke about it, there is no joke in what happened between France and Germany.

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    I don't know what fully English is meant to mean, but the first English King after the conquest to use English as his court language was Henry V, who came within an inch of controlling all France.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CiviC View Post
    I would say the French-British (this time) rivlary was only for about a century more or less, between 1690's-1815 and it wasn't life threatening for neither of them, not like was the rivalry in the Middle Ages, or that with the Habsburgs later. Then came the most dangerous rivalry for France, that with Prussia/Germany.
    You forget all the great games French Third Republic and British played in Africa and SEA during late 19th Century.
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    Hellheaven, sometimes you remind me of King Canute trying to hold back the tide, except without the winning parable.
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    The only reason why Charlemagne came into this at all is because Hellheaven thought it'd be a fun way to troll some byzantophiles.

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    Default Re: French-English Rivalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by heil nappy View Post
    I would have taken that you were French, but since you're Italian, I'm surprised by your love for France. Just asking, how's the diplomatic relations between France and Italy? I should presume they are buddies, having good reputation for the arts of culinary and wine.
    Napoleone Bonaparte created the first Italian Republic, the French tricolor is the origin of the Italian National Flag, the Italian troops of the Cisalpine Republic fought with the French during the revolutionary wars and all the Napoleonic campaigns, Thousands of French soldiers died to build Italy during the second Indipendence war against Austria, Solferino, San Martino, Custoza are name who belong to the history of the Iatlian and French Nations,.......so for me, Vive la France forever!

    Britain is a nice island floating in the Atalntic.

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