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Posts Tagged ‘Huguenots

Decapitated French king Louis 16: Probably the best king the French failed to value

Talleyrand said during the revolution that culminated in a period of utter Terror: “The French had no idea that in the Regency, in their long history, they never had it so well and lived that well” 

Louis 16 succeeded to his infamous grandfather Louis 15. Louis 16 is another case of orphaned kid: his mother died when he was 10 and his elder brother died at the age 14.

During his upbringing, he was not taken care of and mostly ignored by his grandfather, his aunts and his sisters. They all considered that his elder bother and even his 2 younger brothers to be far more brilliant and capable for ruling.

The British David Hume esteemed greatly the precocious intelligence of this future king when he saw him as kid. Ben Franklin would describe Louis 16 kindness as “His eyes expressed the milk of human tenderness.

When Louis 15 died, in the most horrible of deaths by measles, Paris celebrated and all joints opened their doors for this happy great news. As they celebrated when Louis 14 died. Two successive rules of lapidating the treasury and engaging in frequent wars had exhausted the French citizens.

Louis 15 was the epitome in ineptitude. He reigned for 59 years, the longest of any monarch in history, and he spent his life fucking little girls of less than 14 years old that the various noble and immoral classes and institutions offered to him in order to keep him busy.

The girls stayed prisoners until they gave birth and were sold at high prices for noblemen.

Louis 15 lost the French colonies in India and Canada to England and signed the humiliating treaty to end the 7-year war with terms that weakened the French navy to its minimum and other trade imbalances.

Louis 15 is famous for instituting the “Black cabinet“, the secret service agency or “”Secret du Roi” that was located in Versailles close to his bedroom apartment. This agency was constituted of 32 members and was headed successively by Prince Conti, Jean-Pierre Tercier and Marshal de Broglie.

This secret service agency figured out ways to tacitly ship weapons to the new American insurgents.

This secret agency ran havoc in Europe by controlling, managing and creating events, scandals and subversive situations.

This most inept king stank awfully for 10 days and only his 3 sisters were permitted to care for his decaying body. The body was placed in a double lead box containing chaux to prevent the nauseous smell from emanating. The convoy avoided crossing Paris and was buried silently.

Prime minister Choiseul ruled unperturbed for 12 years. Russia Catherine II referred to him as Ëurope coachman” and the Queen of Austria adulated him for arranging the marriage of her daughter Marie-Antoinette to the French Dauphin, in direct line for succession.

This astute and dynamic minister wrote about his monarch Louis 15:

“His was the most inept of a person. A soulless and without spirit man. He loved making harm as little kids love to make animals suffer. He lacked any kinds of vigor to make decisions and his vanity was incomparable. He knew he had no potential for anything and totally inconsequential and let his ministers and sweethearts rule the kingdom.

Louis 15 believed that his amorous activities solidified his authority. He believed that everyone must obey his current sweetheart and mistress because she was honoured by his intimacy…”and on and on

Louis 16 was officially sacred absolute monarch in June 1775 at Reims. He went through the traditional motion of touching 2,400 patients, a touch that should heal many of the sick persons.

His first decision was to lock up the latest mistress of Louis 15, Madame du Barry, in a monastery. She was later beheaded by the revolutionaries in 1792.

Once, the people in Paris threw a lavish fiesta and 136 persons died. Louis 16, still a Dauphin (first in line for succession) refused to receive his allotted salary until all the bereaved families got their compensation.

Louis 16 was expert in drawing maps and had passion for geography and marine activities like building ships and constructing ports. He was also expert in fabricating locks and keys.

He could go hunting for 8 hours straight and kept detailed diaries of his daily activities and expenses.

Louis 16 was a rotund colossus with blue eyes and jovial face, though he was endemically a melancholic person and faithful to his wife. Sex was not a pleasurable or exciting activity for this hard working king who read abundantly books and all state reports and who enjoyed eating.

He restituted the rights of the Huguenots (French protestants) that Louis 14 had revoked in the edit of Nantes, a century ago.

He rebuilt the French navy to become at par with the British navy and dispatched two military campaigns to America to support the insurgents, which culminated in the surrender of the British troops in Yorktown.

He was the first and only monarch who recognized the independence of the USA even before the battle of Yorktown in 1778.

Beaumarchais, the author of the famous play “The Barber of Seville“, was the main agent who exported through a fictitious company all the necessary military equipment and everything else to the American insurgents.

The first French secret agent to contact the insurgents in Philadelphia was Chevalier de Bonvouloir. He met the 5 leading  insurgents, including Ben Franklin, Francis Daymon and John Jay in Carpenter’s Hall and sent coded letters to the French ambassador in London who dispatched them to Vergenne, the French foreign affairs minister.

Chevalier de Bonvouloir was a crippled short man. His parents sent him to the Antilles early on in order to safeguard the status of the family from a handicapped unwanted child.

The Congress sent Silas Deane as its clandestine representative to France in order to enrol volunteers and de La Fayette got in contact with him before his first trip to America.

This massive aid to the American insurgents and the reconstitution of the navy exhausted the treasury and a few ministers of finance were sacked and replaced in order to establish an equilibrium in the budget.

In one harsh winter season, Louis 16 ordered distributing supplies to the poorer classes in France.

In 1786, accompanied by the navy and war ministers, Louis 16 inaugurated the construction of the grandiose artificial port in Cherbourg.

Louis 16 could easily retain his power as an absolute monarch if he wished to: He had the means militarily, institutionally and was loved by the people outside Paris. He preferred not to shed blood and agreed on a Constitutional monarchy as stated by the national Assembly.

When he was in Versailles, guarded by loyal Belgium troops, he opted to spare the blood of his citizens, during the women march that was organized by Chaderlos de Laclos, and followed La Fayette to Paris where he became practically hostage to the revolutionaries.

As Louis 16 escaped Paris in the night, La Fayette got in contact with Thomas Paine, the American revolutionary who settled in Paris and was against any kinds of monarchy and who wrote the pamphlet “Common Sense” that triggered the Boston Tea Party insurgency, said “This should be a great new to you. You won’t have to care for this Royal family and its security. You have a wonderful opportunity to declare the “Republic

The monarch was caught in Varenne,  and he could easily continue his flight in crossing the bridge if he allowed the military to open the way by opening fire on the crowd. La Fayette had to come and secure the return to Paris for his monarch.

In many critical occasions, the king ordered his guards not to fire on the mob. In one incident, 500 Swiss guards were killed  and massacred by the mob because he ordered them not to defend themselves.

Captain Napoleon Bonaparte was watching this bloody scene from a window. At the first opportunity, Bonaparte fired his canons on the mob and became one of the 3 consuls, before snatching power and becoming an absolute dictator for 16 years.

Thomas Paine convinced the French Assembly to vote for the exile of the king to New Orleans, in the French Louisiana Territory before napoleon sold it in 1803.  Again, the infamous and bloody Marat (who will be assassinated by a woman royalist in his bath) turned the table sover and the Assembly voted for the decapitation of the monarch

The famous Alexis de Tocqueville, who analyzed the American political system in the 19th century, also analyzed the French system during the Regency (or Louis 16 period) concluded that the administrative institutions were so well running smoothly that for 50 years after the revolution not much has been reformed or altered to the institutions.

Louis 16 was the ideal monarch to submit to the Constitutional monarchy system, a system he openly and publicly agreed to and promised to defend. The French in Paris begged to differ and never had confidence in this monarch.

You know it is a Civil War when…

1. When every town an d village forms its local militia to control entrance and exit of its inhabitants

2. When Every religious sect (Christians and Moslems) has its clerics split between supporting insurgents and the regime. For example, a Christian sect in a town is supporting the government while another town is allied to the insurgents…and the same behavior goes in towns with Moslem sects…

3. When the Sunni sec in Syria have clerics divided on which side to support. And the Christian Orthodox is divided with which power to side with. And the Maronite Christian sect divided on the group to support. And the Alawi sect divided on the party to support…

So far, the Syrian regime managed to induce in towns with Christian majority to constituting “Shabbiha” Christian militia in order to control the areas dominated by Christians…and Sunny towns to constitute “shabbiha sunny militia” to function as controlling force and advanced posts to the army of the regime…The Syrian regime is de-facto inducing a climate of civil war because it cannot rely on the total loyalty of its army and the Presidential Guards have been overwhelmed with the many centers of uprising in almost every province…

The cities or towns that failed to organize under local controlled militia allied to the regime were invaded and taken control of by the insurgents, mostly the radical salafist Sunni factions…

All the other internal revolutions or upheavals, which were not the result of splitting within religious sects, can be classified as social disobedience, religious war, or mass civil disobedience…

All European States suffered many, recurring and major religious wars. In most cases, they are cohesive minority religious sects against the vast majority sect supporting the monarchies.

A few and rare cases are cohesive majority sect revolting against a minority monarch such as the puritanical protestant civil disobedience of Cromwell against the Catholic clerics supporting the monarch Charles I…

In the 16th century, the French protestants (the Huguenots) waged a major civil disobedience against the Catholic clerics allied with the monarchy…

The French revolution was against the Catholic clerics entirely shouldering the monarch Louis 16…

The American internal war (1860-64) was between a federal central government refusing the right of any State or union of states to demand independence from the central dominance.  Slavery was not a factor, no matter how often historians are trying to give a human right face to this war

The Russian revolution was against the orthodox clerics entirely sustaining the absolute monarch Nicholas II…

There are two major characteristics that represent these mass disobedience movements:

1. They were all internal mass civil disobedience uprising of cohesive and united religious sects against the sect shouldering and sharing in the power of the absolute monarchs…

2.  The internal wars ended in clear-cut victory for the regime or the insurgents, at least for a long period, before another major round of upheavals.

3. These internal social disobedience, ending with a clear vanquisher of one party, point to a potential future for a developed nation…

4. Internal wars that ended with no victors are the trade-mark of underdeveloped nations, regardless of how vast or how populous they are

Lebanon civil war (1975-91) started as a civil disobedience and reverted to a civil war within 6 months.

The foreign powers supported religious sects for political and military supremacy over the entire sect, thus fomenting armed internal struggle within each sect. Most of the war in Lebanon was mainly armed struggle within each sect in order to represent and talk in the name of the entire sect.

The Christian Maronite sect was the major loser in this civil war, not because it has been reduced to a minority sect for decades, but mainly because it was still the only sect militarily battling within, while the other sects Moslem Sunni and Moslem Shia had resolved their political differences…

While the Lebanese deputies were assembled in Taef (Saudi Arabia) in order to reform the Constitution, the Maronites were undergoing the worst armed struggle for political dominion of the sect.

All indicates that another civil war is being fomented in Lebanon. Why? Every religious sect is divided on its political leaders  to represent their privileges and conformist “rights”…More on that topic in the next post…

Note: I am not a religious person by any criteria and I think that all religions are based on myths and thrive on power struggle…However, I cannot deny evidences, facts, and trends in describing what start a civil war and how it unfolds…

The all-time freest spirit: Humanist Montaigne

The French essayist Michel Eyquem, known as Montaigne (1533-1592), died a century after the Americas were “discovered”:  He read and heard eye-witness accounts of what pains, suffering, and crimes against humanity the America Indians have been submitted to.

He wrote in his Essays (Book 3):

“Everyone labels barbarian behaviors, customs not of his own usage or habit observed in other tribes or new people.”  This is pretty relevant in all generations, in all ethnic people, and in all religions.  This is valid for the European, the Americans, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the French, the German, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Russians, the Catholics, the Moslems… in every decade and century, all the way to our “modern time”.

Every colonial power imposed their own customs and system of beliefs on “barbarians” they invaded and then exploited to replenish empty crown treasuries.

Montaigne was the eldest of five boys and three girls and inherited the estate of Montaigne. In this 16th century, smack in Europe Renaissance and religious wars between the Protestants (Calvinists, Anabaptists, and Huguenots of France) and the Catholics of papal Rome, the French humanist Montaigne wrote:

”I try to get moving.  Life is movement of matters and bodies; it is an imperfect action of its essence and deregulated.  I work at serving life.  I brag to meticulously embracing the commodities of life and I find but wind.  But are we not partners of the wind?  The wind howls, is agitated, does not desire stability or solidity.  Vanity is the wisdom of the wind and mankind.”

In 1571, Montaigne decided to retreat from politics, the court, and social responsibilities but the isolation was short-lived:  In 1572, the regent of France, Catherine of Medici, fomented the religious massacre of St. Barthelemy against the Huguenots all over France.

Bordeaux in the Perigor province was the bastion of the Huguenots Protestants.  Catholic Paris clamped down on the Huguenots several times.  Montaigne wrote:

I am Christian in the same title as I am from Perigor.”

Montaigne didn’t give religious belief any weight surpassing the reality of existence and communication among people and daily trade.  King Henry IV, the contemporary and friend of Montaigne converted to Catholicism in order to be crowned King of France. Historians coined this phrase to Henry IV: “Paris is worth convertin.”, but it is not true that he said it

Montaigne tours Europe for a year in 1580.  He travelled in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy and had to cut his trip short as he was elected mayor of Bordeaux for two years.  Montaigne said in the introduction of his Essays:

I do not teach; I tell stories.”

What follows are a few quotations from Montaigne that demostrate his humanistic tendencies:

Mankind has no communication whatsoever with his entity

“Human eyes perceive things only through the forms of their knowledge

“I like my friend La Boetie (Montaigne’s colleague in the Bordeaux city parliament) because he is what he is; because I am what I am…”

“He may be as wise as he wishes to be; but finally, he is a man:  That he is more archaic, more miserable, and more of the void.”

Wise principles cannot impress upon our natural conditions

Note:  Leonor was the only daughter of nine who survived to beget Montaigne’s grandchild named Francoise de la Tour Montaigne in 1591, a year before he died.

Is this a challenging time?  Any news?

In the 16th century, smack in Europe Renaissance and religious wars between the Protestants (Calvinists, Anabaptists, and Huguenots of France) and the Catholics of papal Rome, the French humanist Montaigne wrote:

“I try to get moving.  Life is movement of matters and bodies; it is an imperfect action of its essence and deregulation.  I work at serving life.  I brag to meticulously embrace the commodities of life and find but wind.  But are we not partners of the wind?  The wind howls, is agitated, does not desire stability or solidity.  Vanity is the wisdom of the wind and mankind.”

Amid the growing calamities and instabilities of our current world, people are learning to improvise, to adapt to ever-increasing change.

People are rediscovering the potency of weaker links in society, friendship, acquaintances, and in couples.  The stronger links of religion, marriage, and workplace are no longer available or convincing in our isolation.

People are discovering that life is a series of accidents. Taking risks is the name of the game:  The higher our fragility the more powerfully we act and improvise; the greater the magnitude for change the freer we become to evolve and resume life.

We are recognizing that our ultimate purpose is living and learning to steal longer and more frequent moments of joy, happiness, and pleasure.

We are readier to admit that active desires in what we already own and have is the essence of living instead of desiring what we are lacking or are missing from the past.

We are living in a most challenging period and we are adapting to be resilient and are resisting the moods of giving up the fight and struggle to surviving.

The 12th century Japanese poet Nokiosuki wrote: “I may have to live to the time as I long for this moment of utmost sadness and recall it tenderly.”

Note:  The subject of this article was inspired by the French book “The gusto for living and one hundred other essays” by Andre Compte-Sponville (2010)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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