The African diaspora consists of the worldwide collection of communities descended from native Africans or Africa's peoples, predominantly in the Americas. Ethnographers, historians and writers have used the term to refer to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries, with their largest populations in Brazil, the United States and Haiti; some scholars identify "four circulatory phases" of this migration out of Africa. Prior to the Atlantic slave trade, Arab traders took more slaves from other parts of Africa, selling them to markets in North Africa and the Middle East; the phrase African diaspora was coined during the 1990s and entered common usage at the turn of the 21st century. The term diaspora originates from the Greek διασπορά which gained popularity in English in reference to the Jewish diaspora before being more broadly applied to other populations. Less the term has been used in scholarship to refer to more recent emigration from Africa.
The African Union defines the African diaspora as consisting: "of people of native African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union". Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union". For prehistoric and recent migration from Africa, see recent African origin of modern humans and emigration from Africa respectively. Much of the African diaspora was dispersed throughout the Americas and Asia during the Atlantic and Arab slave trades. Beginning in the 8th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the continent and sold them into markets in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African slaves from West Africa and brought them to the Americas and Europe.
The Atlantic Slave Trade ended in the 19th century, the Arab Slave Trade ended in the middle of the 20th century. The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history; the economic effect on the African continent was devastating, as generations of young people were taken from their communities and societies were disrupted. Some communities created by descendants of African slaves in the Americas and Asia have survived to the modern day. In other cases, blacks intermarried with non-blacks, their descendants are blended into the local population. In the Americas, the confluence of multiple ethnic groups from around the world created multi-ethnic societies. In Central and South America, most people are descended from European and African ancestry. In Brazil, where in 1888 nearly half the population was descended from African slaves, the variation of physical characteristics extends across a broad range. In the United States, there was a greater European colonial population in relation to African slaves in the Northern Tier.
There was considerable racial intermarriage in colonial Virginia, other forms of racial mixing during the slavery and post-Civil War years. Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws passed after the Reconstruction era in the South in the late nineteenth century, plus waves of vastly increased immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, maintained some distinction between racial groups. In the early 20th century, to institutionalize racial segregation, most southern states adopted the "one drop rule", which defined and recorded anyone with any discernible African ancestry as black of obvious majority white or Native American ancestry. One of the results of this implementation was the loss of records of Native-identified groups, who were classified only as black because of being mixed race. See Emigration from Africa for a general treatment of voluntary population movements since the late 20th century. From the onset of Spanish exploration and colonial activities in the Americas, Africans participated both as voluntary expeditionaries and as involuntary laborers.
Juan Garrido was such an African conquistador. He participated in the siege of Tenochtitlan. Africans had been present in Europe long before Columbus's travels. Beginning in the late 20th century, Africans began to emigrate to Europe and the Americas in increasing numbers, constituting new African diaspora communities not directly connected with the slave trade; the African Union defined the African diaspora as " of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union." Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union." The AU considers the African diaspora as its sixth region. Between 1500 and 1900 four million enslaved Africans were transported to island plantations in the Indian Ocean, about eight million were shipped to Mediterranean-area countries, about eleven million survived the Middle Passage to the New World.
Their descendants are now found around the globe, but because of intermarriage they are not readily identifiable. Many sch
The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising, or Yihetuan Movement was an anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, anti-Christian uprising that took place in China between 1899 and 1901, toward the end of the Qing dynasty. They were motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and by opposition to Western colonialism and the Christian missionary activity, associated with it, it was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness, known in English as the Boxers, for many of their members had been practitioners of Chinese martial arts referred to in the west as Chinese Boxing. The uprising took place against a background that included severe drought and disruption caused by the growth of foreign spheres of influence; the original cause of the uprising was the particular jurisdictional status of European legations in Peking, which were not subject to Chinese authorities: robber gangs were formed in the out-buildings of the German legation, spreading outrage in the Chinese locals. As a result, opposition to Western colonialism and Christian missionary activity took place.
After several months of growing violence in Shandong and the North China plain against the foreign and Christian presence in June 1900, Boxer fighters, convinced they were invulnerable to foreign weapons, converged on Beijing with the slogan Support the Qing government and exterminate the foreigners. Foreigners and Chinese Christians sought refuge in the Legation Quarter. In response to reports of an armed invasion by allied American, Austro-Hungarian, French, Italian and Russian forces to lift the siege, the hesitant Empress Dowager Cixi supported the Boxers and on June 21 issued an Imperial Decree declaring war on the foreign powers. Diplomats, foreign civilians, soldiers as well as Chinese Christians in the Legation Quarter were detained for 55 days by the Imperial Army of China and the Boxers. Chinese officialdom was split between those supporting the Boxers and those favoring conciliation, led by Prince Qing; the supreme commander of the Chinese forces, the Manchu General Ronglu claimed he acted to protect the besieged foreigners.
Many officials refused the imperial order to fight against foreigners in their Mutual Protection of Southeast China, because Qing had lost the First Sino-Japanese War five years before. The Eight-Nation Alliance, after being turned back, brought 20,000 armed troops to China, defeated the Imperial Army, arrived at Peking on August 14, relieving the siege of the Legations. Uncontrolled plunder of the capital and the surrounding countryside ensued, along with the summary execution of those suspected of being Boxers; the Boxer Protocol of 7 September 1901 provided for the execution of government officials who had supported the Boxers, provisions for foreign troops to be stationed in Beijing, 450 million taels of silver—approximately $10 billion at 2018 silver prices and more than the government's annual tax revenue—to be paid as indemnity over the course of the next thirty-nine years to the eight nations involved. The Empress Dowager sponsored a set of institutional and fiscal changes in a failed attempt to save the dynasty.
The Righteous and Harmonious Fists arose in the inland sections of the northern coastal province of Shandong, long known for social unrest, religious sects, martial societies. American Christian missionaries were the first to refer to the well-trained, athletic young men as "Boxers", because of the martial arts and weapons training they practiced, their primary practice was a type of spiritual possession which involved the whirling of swords, violent prostrations, chanting incantations to deities. The opportunities to fight back Western encroachment and colonization were attractive to unemployed village men, many of whom were teenagers; the tradition of possession and invulnerability went back several hundred years but took on special meaning against the powerful new weapons of the West. The Boxers, armed with rifles and swords, claimed supernatural invulnerability towards blows of cannon, rifle shots, knife attacks. Furthermore, the Boxer groups popularly claimed that millions of soldiers of Heaven would descend to assist them in purifying China of foreign oppression.
These beliefs are characteristic of millenarian movements of nativist resistance the characteristic magical belief, shared by the Ghost Dancers of North America and the Kartelite Cults of Africa, that the believer could be rendered invulnerable to bullets. In 1895, in spite of ambivalence toward their heterodox practices, Yuxian, a Manchu, prefect of Caozhou and would become provincial governor, used the Big Swords Society in fighting bandits; the Big Swords, emboldened by this official support attacked their local Catholic village rivals, who turned to the Church for protection. The Big Swords responded by burning them. "The line between Christians and bandits", remarks one recent historian, "became indistinct." As a result of diplomatic pressure in the capital, Yuxian executed several Big Sword leaders, but did not punish anyone else. More martial secret societies started emerging after this; the early years saw a variety of village activities, not a broad movement with a united purpose. Martial folk religious societies such as the Baguadao prepared the way for the Boxers.
Like the Red Boxing school or the Plum Flower Boxers, the Boxers of Shandong were more concerned with traditional social and moral values, such as filial piety, than with foreign influences. One leader, Zhu Hongdeng (Red Lantern Zh
Signare was the name for the Mulatto French-African women of the island of Gorée and the city of Saint Louis in French Senegal during the 18th and 19th centuries. These women of color managed to gain some individual assets and power in the hierarchies of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Signares had power in networks of trade and wealth within the limitations of slavery; the influence held by these women led to changes in gender roles in the family structure archetype. Some owned masses of land as well as slaves. European merchants and traders the French and British, would settle on coastal societies inhabited by signares in order to benefit from the increased proximity to the sources of African commerce; the earliest of these merchants were the Portuguese. These merchants were given the name "lançados", because "they threw themselves" among Africans, they would establish relationships with the most influential signares who would accept them in order to obtain commercial privileges. Many signares were wed under “common local law”, recognized by priests of the Catholic faith.
These marriages were for social reasons. Both signares and their husbands gained from these partnerships. Europeans passed their names down with it their lineage; when some of the signares became too powerful, leaders like the Portuguese Crown sought ways to remove the women from their wealth. Different crimes that the Portuguese Crown sought to accuse the women of were crimes against the state or crimes against Christianity. An example of this appears with Bibiana Vuz de França, she was a prominent signare. After realizing how powerful that she was, the Crown wanted to find a way dismantle her influence and power. “Accused of rebellion, trading with foreigners, tax evasion, she was imprisoned with her younger brother and another co-conspirator and taken to Cape Verde Islands”. She was able to receive a royal pardon and free her younger brother after leading a coup against the Crown’s representatives. Due to her power, the Crown sought to criminalize Bibiana Vuz de França. However, once they realized that she was too powerful and too influential, all charges against her were dropped and she was once more considered loyal to the crown.
Bibiana Vuz de França’s confrontation with the Portuguese Crown represents the strength that the signares in this time period had, the Portuguese growing inability to control the people. The social status of signares allowed for greater social mobility in Gorée than in other parts of Africa. Though there is limited documentation on the origins of most of the signares, it seems that at this time the people of Gorée were divided into several social classes: the jambor or freeborn. Many signares were of the jam or griot class, were married by European men because they were considered beautiful. Once married to European men, women helped them handle many of their trading affairs and transactions, gained economic and social stature in the community themselves. In this way women of lower social status could gain power in the community and become important traders through their marital status. Marriages between African women and European men were governed by local law. Given the fact that many European men would not stay in Gorée permanently, marriages were in a state of flux.
If a European man left Gorée and intended to return, the African woman would wait for him. When the man got on the boat to go back to Europe, signares would scoop up the sand where his last footprints were and put it a handkerchief, which she'd hang on her bedpost it until he returned. Signares would wait years for men to return without remarrying. If European men left without planning to return, or if a signare learned that her European husband was not going to return to Gorée, women would remarry; this was not considered shameful in any way, signares would not lose any of their social status, would retain much of the trading power that they gained through their prior marital status. Remarried signares would raise their children from their European husbands alongside their new African husbands, these children would receive inheritance from their mothers, not their fathers. Victoria Albis Hélène Aussenac Anna Colas Pépin Anne Pépin Mary de Saint Jean Crispina Peres Gens de couleur Affranchi Plaçage French people in Senegal Morganatic marriage Concubinage Hypergamy Marriage à la façon du pays George E. Brooks, Eurafricans in Western Africa: Commerce, Social Status and Religious Observance from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
Battle of Sedan
The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War from 1 to 2 September 1870. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government; the 130,000 strong French Army of Châlons, commanded by Marshal Patrice de MacMahon and accompanied by Napoleon III, was attempting to lift the Siege of Metz, only to be caught by the Prussian Fourth Army and defeated at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. Commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke and accompanied by Prussian King Wilhelm I and Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the Fourth Army and the Prussian Third Army encircled MacMahon's army at Sedan in a gigantic battle of annihilation. Marshal MacMahon was wounded during the attacks and command passed to General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot, until it was taken over by General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen. Pulverized from all sides by superior German artillery firepower and with all breakout attempts defeated, the French Army of Châlons capitulated on 2 September, with 104,000 men passing into German captivity along with 558 guns.
Napoleon III was taken prisoner, while the French government in Paris continued the war and proclaimed a Government of National Defense on 4 September. The German armies besieged Paris on 19 September. After its defeat at the Battle of Gravelotte on 18 August, Marshal François Achille Bazaine's 154,481-man Army of the Rhine retreated to Metz where it was surrounded by 168,435 Prussian troops of the First and Second Armies in the Siege of Metz beginning on 19 August. Emperor Napoleon III, along with Marshal Patrice de MacMahon, formed the new French Army of Châlons on 17 August to march on to Metz to rescue Bazaine. With Napoleon III leading the army, with Marshal MacMahon in attendance, they led the Army of Châlons after 23 August in a left-flanking march northeast towards the Belgian border in an attempt to avoid the Prussians before striking south to link up with Bazaine; the Prussians had outmaneuvered the French in the string of victories through August 1870, the march both depleted the French forces and left both flanks exposed.
The Prussians, under the command of von Moltke, took advantage of this maneuver to catch the French in a pincer grip. Leaving the Prussian First and Second Armies besieging Metz, Moltke took the Prussian Third and Fourth Armies northward where they caught up with the French at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. After a major defeat in which he lost 7,500 men and 40 cannons, MacMahon aborted the planned link-up with Bazaine and ordered the Army of Châlons to withdraw north-west towards the tiny, obsolete 17th-century fortress of Sedan, his intention was to rest the army, involved in a long series of marches, resupply it with ammunition and, in his words, maneuver in front of the enemy. MacMahon underestimated the German strength and believed the hills surrounding Sedan would offer him a major defensive advantage; the French rear was protected by the fortress of Sedan, offered a defensive position at the Calvaire d'Illy, which had both hills and woods to provide cover for any defense. MacMahon denied a request from General Félix Douay, commander of 7th Corps, to dig trenches, claiming the army would not remain at Sedan for long.
Upon arrival in the vicinity of Sedan on 31 August, MacMahon deployed Douay's 7th Corps to the north-west on the crest between the Calvaire and Floing. Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot's 1st Corps faced east; the recently-arrived General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen took over command of 5th Corps from Pierre Louis Charles de Failly, the unit having been routed at Beaumont. 5th Corps was placed in reserve in the centre. Moltke divided his forces into three groups: one to detain the French where they were, another to race forward and catch them if they retreated, a third to hold the river bank; the Saxon XII Corps crossed the Meuse with the Prussian Guards on their right. The I Royal Bavarian Corps under General Baron von der Tann moved up to Bazeilles and the Bavarian engineers threw up two pontoon bridges across the Meuse to secure their way across; the Prussian V and XI Corps completed the encirclement of the French army to the north-west by 0900 on 1 September. The battle opened with the Army of Châlons, with 202 infantry battalions, 80 cavalry squadrons and 564 guns, attacking the surrounding Prussian Third and Fourth Armies, which totaled 222 infantry battalions, 186 cavalry squadrons, 774 guns.
Napoleon had ordered MacMahon to break out of the encirclement, the only point where that seemed possible was La Moncelle, whose flank was protected by a fortified town. The Prussians picked La Moncelle as one point where they would mount a breakthrough. Prince George of Saxony and the Prussian XI Corps was assigned to the task, General Baron von der Tann were ordered to attack Bazeilles on the right flank; this was the opening engagement, as the French 1st Corps had barricaded the streets, enlisted the aid of the population. Von der Tann sent a brigade across pontoon bridges at 0400 hours in the early morning mist, the Bavarians rushing the village and capturing it through surprise; the French Marines of the 1st Corps fought back from stone houses and the Bavarian artillery shelled the buildings into blazing rubble. The combat drew new forces, as French brigades from the 1st, 5th, 12th Corps arrived. At 0800 the Prussian 8th Infantry Division arrived, von der Tann decided it was time for a decisive attack.
He had not been able to bring artillery to bear from long range, so he committed his last brigade to storm the town, supported by artillery from the other side of the Meuse. His art
The Médaille militaire is a military decoration of the French Republic for other ranks for meritorious service and acts of bravery in action against an enemy force. It is the third highest award of the French Republic, after the Légion d'honneur, a civil and military order, the ordre de la Libération, a second world war-only order; the Médaille militaire is therefore the most senior military active French decoration. During World War One, 230 000 médailles were awarded, when 1 400 000 French Army soldiers were killed and 3 000 000 wounded. For comparison, the UK Military Medal was awarded on 115 000 occasions in World War One, when 673 375 British Army soldiers were killed and 1 643 469 wounded; the award was first established in 1852 by the first President of the French Republic, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte who may have taken his inspiration from a medal established and awarded by his father, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland. After the First World War, the Military Medal was temporarily awarded for wounds received in combat.
Like many other French awards, the médaille can be awarded for different reasons. It can be awarded to foreign nationals serving alongside the French armed forces. To members of the military other than commissioned officers; as an award for valour, it is the second highest award ranking after the Légion d'honneur. As an in between medal for enlisted members, NCO and O awarded the Légion d'honneur for "combat actions", nowadays done posthumously; as a service medal, for long-serving NCOs. To generals and admirals who have been commanders-in-chief, as a supreme award for leadership; these general officers must have been awarded the grand cross of the Légion d'honneur. The Médaille militaire is a silver laurel wreath, 28 mm in diameter, wrapped around a central gold medallion bearing the left profile of Marianne, effigy of the French Republic, the original 2nd Empire variant bore the left profile of Emperor Napoleon III; the central gold medallion is surrounded by a blue enamelled ring bearing the gilt inscription "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE" with a small gilt five-pointed star at the bottom for a 4th Republic award, three stars for a 5th Republic variant, the 3rd Republic variant bore the date 1870, the 2nd Empire variant bore the gilt inscription "LOUIS-NAPOLEON" in lieu of "RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE" and had flowers on both sides of the small star at the bottom.
The original variant was topped by a silver imperial eagle with a loop through which the suspension ring passed, all other variants were and are topped by a device composed of a breastplate superimposed over crossed cannons, a naval anchor, sabres and battle axes, to which the suspension ring passes through a loop for attachment to a ribbon. The reverse of the medallion is common to all variants since inception of the award, it bears the relief inscription on three lines "VALEUR ET DISPLINE" and is surrounded by a blue enamelled ring; the ribbon of the Médaille militaire is 37 mm wide, yellow in color with 6 mm-wide green stripes on each edge. This ribbon was borrowed from the Order of the Iron Crown which it replaced in France; the Médaille militaire was awarded in some number to British and allied forces during the Crimean War of 1854-56 and in reasonably large numbers to allied forces in the 1914-18 war. During the Second World War, the Médaille reached its highest numbers of foreign bestowals, most to members of the British Army as well as to the United States military.
The general's médaille was awarded to Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Josip Broz Tito, as supreme commanders of the UK, US and Yugoslav military forces, but to effective military leaders, such as General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower, to Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. In addition to the individual medal, the Médaille militaire is authorized as a unit award to those military commands who display the same criteria of bravery as would be required for the individual medal; the médaille is displayed on the flag of these units. It is one of the rarest unit awards in the French military; this unit award should not be confused with the fourragère de la médaille militaire, a cord suspended from the shoulder of a military uniform worn by members of units, mentioned in despatches. A fourragère aux couleurs du ruban de la médaille militaire is worn by units, mentioned four times, a fourragère aux couleurs de la légion d'honneur et de la médaille militaire for units mentioned twelve times.
Ten American units can wear the fourragère de la médaille militaire. The individuals listed below were recipients of the "Médaille Militaire: Ribbons of the French military and civil awards France Phaléristique
Cochinchina is a region encompassing the southern third of current Vietnam whose principal city is Saigon. It was a French colony from 1862 to 1954; the state of South Vietnam was created in 1954 by combining Cochinchina with southern Annam. In Vietnamese, the region is called Nam Bộ, it was Gia Định, Nam Kỳ, Nam Bộ, Nam phần, Nam Việt, Miền Nam. In French, it was called la colonie de Cochinchine. In the 17th century, Vietnam was divided between the Trịnh lords to the north and the Nguyễn lords to the south; the northern section was called Tonkin by Europeans, the southern part called Cochinchina by most Europeans and Quinam by the Dutch. Cochinchina was never a single united administrative unit. During the French colonial period, the label moved further south, came to refer to the southernmost part of Vietnam, controlled by Cambodia in prior centuries, lying to its southeast; the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina was at Saigon. The two other parts of Vietnam at the time were known as Tonkin.
The conquest of the south of present-day Vietnam was a long process of territorial acquisition by the Vietnamese. It is called Nam tiến by Vietnamese historians. Vietnam nearly doubled its territory in 1470 under the great king Lê Thánh Tông, at the expense of Champa; the next two hundred years was a time of territorial consolidation and civil war with only gradual expansion south. In 1516, Portuguese traders sailing from Malacca landed in Da Nang and established a presence there, they named the area "Cochin-China", borrowing the first part from the Malay Kuchi, which referred to all of Vietnam, which in turn derived from the Chinese Jiāozhǐ, pronounced Giao Chỉ in Vietnam. They appended the "China" specifier to distinguish the area from the city and the princely state of Cochin in India, their first headquarters in the Malabar Coast,As a result of a civil war that started in 1520, the Emperor of China sent a commission to study the political status of Annam in 1536; as a consequence of the delivered report, he declared war against the Mạc dynasty.
The nominal ruler of the Mạc died at the time that the Chinese armies passed the frontiers of the kingdom in 1537, his father, Mạc Đăng Dung, hurried to submit to the Imperial will, declared himself to be a vassal of China. The Chinese declared that both the Lê dynasty and the Mạc had a right to part of the lands and so they recognised the Lê rule in the southern part of Vietnam while at the same time recognising the Mạc rule in the northern part, called Tunquin; this was to be a feudatory state of China under the government of the Mạc. However, this arrangement did not last long. In 1592, Trịnh Tùng, leading the Royal army, conquered nearly all of the Mạc territory and moved the Lê kings back to the original capital of Hanoi; the Mạc only held on to a tiny part of north Vietnam until 1667, when Trịnh Tạc conquered the last Mạc lands. In 1623, Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên, the lord of the southern provinces of Vietnam, established a trading community at Saigon called Prey Nakor, with the consent of the king of Cambodia, Chey Chettha II.
Over the next 50 years, Vietnamese control expanded in this area but only as the Nguyễn were fighting a protracted civil war with the Trịnh lords in the north. With the end of the war with the Trịnh, the Nguyễn were able to devote more effort to conquest of the south. First, the remaining Champa territories were taken. At least three wars were fought between the Nguyễn lords and the Cambodian kings in the period 1715 to 1770 with the Vietnamese gaining more territory with each war; the wars all involved the much more powerful Siamese kings who fought on behalf of their vassals, the Cambodians. In the late 18th century, Vietnam was unified under the Tây Sơn; these were three brothers, former peasants, who succeeded in conquering first the lands of the Nguyễn and the lands of the Trịnh. Final unification came under Nguyễn Phúc Ánh, a remarkably tenacious member of the Nguyễn noble family who fought for 25 years against the Tây Sơn and conquered the entire country in 1802, he ruled all of Vietnam under the name Gia Long.
His son Minh Mạng reigned from 14 February 1820 until 20 January 1841 what was known to the British as Cochin China and to the Americans as hyphenated Cochin-China. In hopes of negotiating commercial treaties, the British in 1822 sent East India Company agent John Crawfurd, the Americans in 1833 sent diplomatist Edmund Roberts, who returned in 1836. Neither envoy was cognizant of conditions within the country, neither succeeded. Gia Long's successors repelled the Siamese from Cambodia and annexed Phnom Penh and surrounding territory in the war between 1831 and 1834, but were forced to relinquish these conquests in the war between 1841 and 1845. In 1858, the French government of Napoleon III, with the help of Spanish troops arriving from the Philippines, decided to take over the southern part of Vietnam; these territories, which were called by the French lower Cochinchina, became a colony called Cochinchina. In 1887, the colony of French Cochinchina became part of the Union of Fre
Georges Eugène Benjamin Clemenceau was a French politician, Prime Minister of France during the First World War. A leading independent Radical, he played a central role in the politics of the French Third Republic. Clemenceau was Prime Minister of France from 1906 to 1909 and from 1917 to 1920. Demanding a total victory over Germany, he wanted reparations, Alsace-Lorraine, strict rules to prevent Germany from rearming, he achieved these goals in the Treaty of Versailles imposed on Germany at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Nicknamed "Père la Victoire" or "Le Tigre", in the 1920s he continued his harsh position against Germany, though not quite as much as the President Raymond Poincaré, he obtained mutual defense treaties with Britain and the United States, to unite against German aggression, but these never took effect. Clemenceau was a native of the Vendée, born at Mouilleron-en-Pareds. During the period of the French Revolution, the Vendée had been a hotbed of monarchist sympathies; the region was remote from Paris and poor.
His mother, Sophie Eucharie Gautreau, was of Huguenot descent. His father, Benjamin Clemenceau, came from a long line of physicians, but he lived off his lands and investments and did not practice medicine. Benjamin was a political activist, he instilled in his son a love of learning, devotion to radical politics, a hatred of Catholicism. The lawyer Albert Clemenceau was his brother, his mother was devoutly Protestant. Georges was interested in religious issues, he was a lifelong atheist with a sound knowledge of the Bible. He became a leader of anti-clerical or "Radical" forces that battled against the Catholic Church in France and the Catholics in politics, he stopped short of the more extreme attacks. His position was that if church and state were kept rigidly separated, he would not support oppressive measures designed to further weaken the Church. After his studies in the Lycée in Nantes, Georges received his French baccalaureate of letters in 1858, he went to Paris to study medicine graduating with the completion of his thesis "De la génération des éléments anatomiques" in 1865.
In Paris, the young Clemenceau became a writer. In December 1861, he co-founded Le Travail, along with some friends. On 23 February 1862, he was arrested by the police for having placed posters summoning a demonstration, he spent 77 days in the Mazas Prison. He graduated as a doctor of medicine on 13 May 1865, founded several literary magazines, wrote many articles, most of which attacked the imperial regime of Napoleon III. Clemenceau left France for the United States when the imperial agents began cracking down on dissidents, sending most of them to the bagne de Cayennes in French Guiana. Clemenceau worked in New York City in the years 1865-69, following the American Civil War, he maintained a medical practice, but spent much of his time on political journalism for a Parisian newspaper. He taught French at the home of Calvin Rood in Great Barrington and taught and rode horseback at a private girls' school in Stamford, Connecticut. On 23 June 1869, he married one of Mary Eliza Plummer, in New York City.
She was the daughter of wife Harriet A. Taylor; the Clemenceaus had three children together before the marriage ended in a contentious divorce. During this time, he joined French exile clubs in New York opposing the imperial regime. Clemenceau returned to Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Sedan in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War and the fall of the Second French Empire. After returning to medical practice as a physician in Vendée, he was appointed mayor of the 18th arrondissement of Paris, including Montmartre, was elected to the National Assembly for the 18th arrondissement; when the Paris Commune seized power in March 1871, he tried unsuccessfully to find a compromise between the more radical leaders of the commune and the more conservative French government. The Commune declared that he had no legal authority to be mayor and seized the city hall of the 18th arrondissement, he ran for election to the Paris Commune council, but received less than eight hundred votes and took no part in its governance.
He was in Bordeaux when the Commune was suppressed by the French Army in May 1871. After the fall of the Commune, he was elected to the Paris municipal council on 23 July 1871 for the Clignancourt quarter, retained his seat till 1876, he first held the offices of secretary and vice-president became president in 1875. In 1876, Clemenceau was elected for the 18th arrondissement, he joined the far left, his energy and mordant eloquence speedily made him the leader of the radical section. In 1877, after the Crisis of 16 May 1877, he was one of the republican majority who denounced the ministry of the Duc de Broglie, he led resistance to the anti-republican policy. In 1879 his demand for the indictment of the Broglie ministry brought. In 1880, Clemenceau started his newspaper La Justice, which became the principal organ of Parisian Radicalism. From this time, throughout the presidency of Jules Grévy, he became known as a political critic and destroyer of ministries who avoided taking office himself.
Leading the far left in the Chamber of Depu