Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa and the Philippines; the conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swedish Empire on the other. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal; the war's extent has led some historians to describe it as World War Zero, similar in scale to other world wars. Although Anglo-French skirmishes over their American colonies had begun with what became the French and Indian War in 1754, the large-scale conflict that drew in most of the European powers was centered on Austria's desire to recover Silesia from the Prussians. Seeing the opportunity to curtail Britain's and Prussia's ever-growing might and Austria put aside their ancient rivalry to form a grand coalition of their own, bringing most of the other European powers to their side.
Faced with this sudden turn of events, Britain aligned itself with Prussia, in a series of political manoeuvres known as the Diplomatic Revolution. However, French efforts ended in failure when the Anglo-Prussian coalition prevailed, Britain's rise as among the world's predominant powers destroyed France's supremacy in Europe, thus altering the European balance of power. Conflict between Great Britain and France broke out in 1754–1756 when the British attacked disputed French positions in North America. Hostilities were heightened when a British unit led by a 22 year old Lt. Colonel George Washington ambushed a small French force at the Battle of Jumonville Glen on 28 May 1754; the conflict exploded across the colonial boundaries and extended to the seizure of hundreds of French merchant ships at sea. Meanwhile, rising power Prussia was struggling with Austria for dominance within and outside the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe. In 1756, the major powers "switched partners". Realising that war was imminent, Prussia pre-emptively struck Saxony and overran it.
The result caused uproar across Europe. Because of Austria's alliance with France to recapture Silesia, lost in the War of the Austrian Succession, Prussia formed an alliance with Britain. Reluctantly, by following the imperial diet, which declared war on Prussia on 17 January 1757, most of the states of the empire joined Austria's cause; the Anglo-Prussian alliance was joined by smaller German states. Sweden, seeking to regain Pomerania joined the coalition, seeing its chance when all the major powers of Europe opposed Prussia. Spain, bound by the Pacte de Famille, intervened on behalf of France and together they launched an utterly unsuccessful invasion of Portugal in 1762; the Russian Empire was aligned with Austria, fearing Prussia's ambition on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but switched sides upon the succession of Tsar Peter III in 1762. Many middle and small powers in Europe, as in the previous wars, tried to steer clear away from the escalating conflict though they had interests in the conflict or with the belligerents.
Denmark–Norway, for instance, was close to being dragged into the war on France's side when Peter III became Russian emperor and switched sides. The Dutch Republic, a long-time British ally, kept its neutrality intact, fearing the odds against Britain and Prussia fighting the great powers of Europe, tried to prevent Britain's domination in India. Naples-Sicily, Savoy, although sided with the Franco-Spanish alliance, declined to join the coalition under fear of British naval power; the taxation needed for war caused the Russian people considerable hardship, being added to the taxation of salt and alcohol begun by Empress Elizabeth in 1759 to complete her addition to the Winter Palace. Like Sweden, Russia concluded a separate peace with Prussia; the war ended with the Treaty of Paris between France and Great Britain and the Treaty of Hubertusburg between Saxony and Prussia, in 1763. The war was successful for Great Britain, which gained the bulk of New France in North America, Spanish Florida, some individual Caribbean islands in the West Indies, the colony of Senegal on the West African coast, superiority over the French trading outposts on the Indian subcontinent.
The Native American tribes were excluded from the settlement. In Europe, the war began disastrously for Prussia, but with a combination of good luck and successful strategy, King Frederick the Great managed to retrieve the Prussian position and retain the status quo ante bellum. Prussia emerged as a new European great power. Although Austria failed to retrieve the territory of Silesia from Prussia, its military prowess was noted by the other powers; the involvement of Portugal and Sweden did not return them to their former status as great powers. France was deprived of many of it
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Penal transportation or transportation was the relocation of convicted criminals, or other persons regarded as undesirable, to a distant place a colony for a specified term. While the prisoners may have been released once the sentences were served, they did not have the resources to get themselves back home. Banishment or forced exile from a polity or society has been used as a punishment since at least Ancient Roman times; the practice reached its height in the British Empire during the 19th centuries. Transportation removed the offender from society permanently, but was seen as more merciful than capital punishment; this application was used for criminals, military prisoners, political prisoners. Penal transportation was used as a method of colonisation. For example, from the earliest days of English colonial schemes, new settlements beyond the seas were seen as a way to alleviate domestic social problems of criminals and the poor as well as to increase the colonial labour force and overall benefit of the realm.
Based on the royal prerogative of mercy, under English Law, transportation was an alternative sentence imposed for a felony. By 1670, as new felonies were defined, the option of being sentenced to transportation was allowed. Forgery of a document, for example, was a capital crime until the 1820s, when the penalty was reduced to transportation. Depending on the crime, the sentence was imposed for a set period of years. If imposed for a period of years, the offender was permitted to return home after serving out his time, but had to make his own way back. Many offenders thus stayed in the colony as free persons, might obtain employment as jailers or other servants of the penal colony. England transported its convicts and political prisoners, as well as prisoners of war from Scotland and Ireland, to its overseas colonies in the Americas from the 1610s until early in the American Revolution in 1776, when transportation to America was temporarily suspended by the Criminal Law Act 1776; the practice was less used there than in England.
Transportation on a large scale resumed with the departure of the First Fleet to Australia in 1787, continued there until 1868. Transportation was not used by Scotland before the Act of Union 1707. Under the Transportation, etc. Act 1785 the Parliament of Great Britain extended the usage of transportation to Scotland, it remained little used under Scots Law until the early 19th century. In Australia, a convict who had served part of his time might apply for a ticket of leave, permitting some prescribed freedoms; this enabled some convicts to resume a more normal life, to marry and raise a family, to contribute to the development of the colony. In England in the 17th and 18th centuries criminal justice was severe termed the Bloody Code; this was due to both the large number of offences which were punishable by execution, to the limited choice of sentences available to judges for convicted criminals. With modifications to the traditional Benefit of clergy, which exempted only clergymen from civil law, it developed into a legal fiction by which many common offenders of "clergyable" offenses were extended the privilege to avoid execution.
Many offenders were pardoned as it was considered unreasonable to execute them for minor offences, but under the rule of law, it was unreasonable for them to escape punishment entirely. With the development of colonies, transportation was introduced as an alternative punishment, although it was considered a condition of a pardon, rather than a sentence in itself. Convicts who represented a menace to the community were sent away to distant lands. A secondary aim was to discourage crime for fear of being transported. Transportation continued to be described as a public exhibition of the king's mercy, it was a solution to a real problem in the domestic penal system. There was the hope that transported convicts could be rehabilitated and reformed by starting a new life in the colonies. In 1615, in the reign of James I, a committee of the Council had obtained the power to choose from the prisoners those that deserved pardon and transportation to the colonies. Convicts were chosen carefully: the Acts of the Privy Council showed that prisoners "for strength of bodie or other abilities shall be thought fit to be employed in foreign discoveries or other services beyond the Seas".
During the Commonwealth, Cromwell overcame the popular prejudice against subjecting Christians to slavery or selling them into foreign parts, initiated group transportation of military and civilian prisoners. With the Restoration, the penal transportation system and the number of people subjected to it, started to change inexorably between 1660 and 1720, with transportation replacing the simple discharge of clergyable felons after branding the thumb. Alternatively, under the second act dealing with Moss-trooper brigands on the Scottish border, offenders had their benefit of clergy taken away, or otherwise at the judge's discretion, were to be transported to America, "there to remaine and not to returne". There were various influential agents of change: judges' discretionary powers influenced the law but the king's and Privy Council's opinions were decisive in granting a royal pardon from execution; the system changed one step at a time: in February 1663, after that first experiment, a bill w
The Hundred Days marked the period between Napoleon's return from exile on the island of Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815. This period saw the War of the Seventh Coalition, includes the Waterloo Campaign, the Neapolitan War as well as several other minor campaigns; the phrase les Cent Jours was first used by the prefect of Paris, comte de Chabrol, in his speech welcoming the king back to Paris on 8 July. Napoleon returned. On 13 March, seven days before Napoleon reached Paris, the powers at the Congress of Vienna declared him an outlaw, on 25 March Austria, Prussia and the United Kingdom, members of the Seventh Coalition, bound themselves to put 150,000 men each into the field to end his rule; this set the stage for the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the second restoration of the French kingdom, the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena, where he died in May 1821.
The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars pitted France against various coalitions of other European nations nearly continuously from 1792 onward. The overthrow and subsequent public execution of Louis XVI in France had disturbed other European leaders, who vowed to crush the French Republic. Rather than leading to France's defeat, the wars allowed the revolutionary regime to expand beyond its borders and create client republics; the success of the French forces made a hero out of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1799, Napoleon staged a successful coup d'état and became First Consul of the new French Consulate. Five years he crowned himself Emperor Napoleon I; the rise of Napoleon troubled the other European powers as much as the earlier revolutionary regime had. Despite the formation of new coalitions against him, Napoleon's forces continued to conquer much of Europe; the tide of war began to turn after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812 that resulted in the loss of much of Napoleon's army.
The following year, during the War of the Sixth Coalition, Coalition forces defeated the French in the Battle of Leipzig. Following its victory at Leipzig, the Coalition vowed to depose Napoleon. In the last week of February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher advanced on Paris. After multiple attacks and reinforcements on both sides, Blücher won the Battle of Laon in early March 1814; the Battle of Reims went to Napoleon, but this victory was followed by successive defeats from overwhelming odds. Coalition forces entered Paris after the Battle of Montmartre on 30 March 1814. On 6 April 1814, Napoleon abdicated his throne, leading to the accession of Louis XVIII and the first Bourbon Restoration a month later; the defeated Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, while the victorious Coalition sought to redraw the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna. Napoleon spent only nine months and 21 days in uneasy retirement on Elba, watching events in France with great interest as the Congress of Vienna gathered.
He had been escorted to Elba by Sir Neil Campbell, who remained in residence there while performing other duties in Italy, but was not Napoleon's jailer. As he foresaw, the shrinkage of the great Empire into the realm of old France caused intense dissatisfaction among the French, a feeling fed by stories of the tactless way in which the Bourbon princes treated veterans of the Grande Armée and the returning royalist nobility treated the people at large. Threatening was the general situation in Europe, stressed and exhausted during the previous decades of near constant warfare; the conflicting demands of major powers were for a time so exorbitant as to bring the Powers at the Congress of Vienna to the verge of war with each other. Thus every scrap of news reaching remote Elba looked favourable to Napoleon to retake power as he reasoned the news of his return would cause a popular rising as he approached, he reasoned that the return of French prisoners from Russia, Germany and Spain would furnish him with a trained and patriotic army far larger than that which had won renown in the years before 1814.
So threatening were the symptoms that the royalists at Paris and the plenipotentiaries at Vienna talked of deporting him to the Azores or to Saint Helena, while others hinted at assassination. At the Congress of Vienna the various participating nations had different and conflicting goals. Tsar Alexander of Russia had expected to absorb much of Poland and to leave a Polish puppet state, the Duchy of Warsaw, as a buffer against further invasion from Europe; the renewed Prussian state demanded all of the Kingdom of Saxony. Austria wanted to allow neither of these things, while it expected to regain control of northern Italy. Castlereagh, of the United Kingdom, supported France and Austria and was at variance with his own Parliament; this caused a war to break out, when the Tsar pointed out to Castlereagh that Russia had 450,000 men near Poland and Saxony and he was welcome to try to remove them. Indeed, Alexander stated "I shall be the King of Poland and the King of Prussia will be the King of Saxony".
Castlereagh approached King Frederick William III of Prussia to offer him British and Austrian support for Prussia's annexation of Saxony in return for Prussia's support of an independent Poland. The Prussian king repeated this offer in public, offending Alexander so that he chal
The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee that governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution; the Directory was continually at war with foreign coalitions which at different times included Britain, Prussia, the Kingdom of Naples and the Ottoman Empire. It annexed Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine, while Bonaparte conquered a large part of Italy; the Directory established 196 short-lived sister republics modelled after France, in Italy and the Netherlands. The conquered cities and states were required to send to France huge amounts of money, as well as art treasures, which were used to fill the new Louvre museum in Paris. An army led by Bonaparte tried to conquer Egypt and marched as far as Saint-Jean-d'Acre in Syria; the Directory defeated a resurgence of the War in the Vendée, the royalist-led civil war in the Vendée region, but failed in its venture to support the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and create an Irish Republic.
The French economy was in continual crisis during the Directory. At the beginning, the treasury was empty; the Directory stopped printing assignats and restored the value of the money, but this caused a new crisis. In its first two years, the Directory concentrated on ending the excesses of the Jacobin Reign of Terror; the Jacobin political club was closed and the government crushed an armed uprising planned by the Jacobins and an early socialist revolutionary, François-Noël Babeuf, known as "Gracchus Babeuf". However, following the discovery of a royalist conspiracy including a prominent general, Jean-Charles Pichegru, the Jacobins took charge of the new Councils and hardened the measures against the Church and émigrés; the Jacobins took two additional seats in the Directory, hopelessly dividing it. In 1799, after several defeats, French victories in the Netherlands and Switzerland restored the French military position, but the Directory had lost the support of all the political factions. Bonaparte returned from Egypt in October, was engaged by the Abbé Sieyès and others to carry out a parliamentary coup d'état on 8–9 November 1799.
The coup abolished the Directory, replaced it with the French Consulate led by Bonaparte. On 27 July 1794, members of the French Convention, the revolutionary parliament of France, rose up against its leader Maximilien Robespierre, in the midst of executing thousands of suspected enemies of the Revolution. Robespierre and his leading followers were declared outside the law, on 28 July were arrested and guillotined the same day; the Revolutionary Tribunal, which had sent thousands to the guillotine, ceased meeting and its head, Fouquier-Tinville, was arrested and imprisoned, after trial was himself guillotined. More than five hundred suspected counter-revolutionaries awaiting trial and execution were released. In July 1794, the members of the Convention began planning a new form of government and drafting a new Constitution, which would become the Constitution of the Year III. An important aim was to prevent too much power from becoming concentrated in the hands of one man. One of the authors of the new Constitution, François Antoine de Boissy d'Anglas, wrote to the Convention: We propose to you to compose an executive power of five members, renewed with one new member each year, called the Directory.
This executive will have a force concentrated enough that it will be swift and firm, but divided enough to make it impossible for any member to consider becoming a tyrant. A single chief would be dangerous; each member will preside for three months. By the slow and gradual replacement of members of the Directory, you will preserve the advantages of order and continuity and will have the advantages of unity without the inconveniences; the Constitution of the Year III began with the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and declared that "the Rights of Man in society are liberty, equality and property". It guaranteed freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of labour, but forbade armed assemblies and public meetings of political societies. Only individuals or public authorities could tender petitions; the judicial system was reformed, judges were given short terms of office: two years for justices of the peace, five for judges of department tribunals. They were elected, could be re-elected, to assure their independence from the other branches of government.
The new legislature had two houses, a Council of Five Hundred and a Council of Ancients with two hundred fifty members. Electoral assemblies in each canton of France, which brought together a total of thirty thousand qualified electors, chose representatives to an electoral assembly in each department, which elected the members of both houses; the members of this legislature had a term of three years, with one-third of the members renewed every year. The Ancients could not initiate new laws, but could veto those proposed by the Council of Five Hundred; the Constitution established a unique kind of executive, a five-man Directory chosen by the legislature. It required the Council of Five Hundred to prepare, by secret ballot, a list of candidates for the Directory; the Council of Ancients chose, again by secret ballot, the Direct
A guillotine is an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading. The device consists of a tall, upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended; the condemned person is secured with stocks at the bottom of the frame, positioning the neck directly below the blade. The blade is released, to fall and forcefully decapitate the victim with a single, clean pass so that the head falls into a basket below; the device is best known for its use in France, in particular during the French Revolution, where it was celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents. The name dates from this period, but similar devices had been used elsewhere in Europe over several centuries; the display of severed heads had long been one of the most common ways a European sovereign displayed their power to their subjects. The guillotine remained France's standard method of judicial execution until the abolition of capital punishment in 1981.
The last person to be executed in France was Hamida Djandoubi, guillotined on 10 September 1977. This was the last time that the government of a Western nation executed an individual by beheading; the use of beheading machines in Europe long predates such use during the French revolution in 1792. An early example of the principle is found in the High History of the Holy Grail, dated to about 1210. Although the device is imaginary, its function is clear; the text says: Within these three openings are the hallows set for them. And behold what I would do to them if their three heads were therein... She setteth her hand toward the openings and draweth forth a pin, fastened into the wall, a cutting blade of steel droppeth down, of steel sharper than any razor, closeth up the three openings. "Even thus will I cut off their heads when they shall set them into those three openings thinking to adore the hallows that are beyond." The Halifax Gibbet was a wooden structure consisting of two wooden uprights, capped by a horizontal beam, of a total height of 4.5 metres.
The blade was an axe head weighing 3.5 kg, attached to the bottom of a massive wooden block that slid up and down in grooves in the uprights. This device was mounted on a large square platform 1.25 metres high. It is not known; the machine remained in use. It was used for the last time, for the execution of two criminals on a single day, on 30 April 1650. Holinshed's Chronicles of 1577 included a picture of "The execution of Murcod Ballagh near Merton in Ireland in 1307" showing a similar execution machine, suggesting its early use in Ireland; the Maiden was constructed in 1564 for the Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh, it was in use from April 1565 to 1710. One of those executed was James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, in 1581, a 1644 publication began circulating the legend that Morton himself had commissioned the Maiden after he had seen the Halifax Gibbet; the Maiden was dismantled for storage and transport, it is now on display in the National Museum of Scotland. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, together with German engineer Tobias Schmidt, built a prototype for the guillotine.
Schmidt recommended using an angled blade as opposed to a round one. On 10 October 1789, physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed to the National Assembly that capital punishment should always take the form of decapitation "by means of a simple mechanism."Sensing the growing discontent, Louis XVI banned the use of the breaking wheel. In 1791, as the French Revolution progressed, the National Assembly researched a new method to be used on all condemned people regardless of class, consistent with the idea that the purpose of capital punishment was to end life rather than to inflict pain. A committee was formed under Antoine Louis, physician to the King and Secretary to the Academy of Surgery. Guillotin was on the committee; the group was influenced by the Italian Mannaia, the Scottish Maiden and the Halifax Gibbet, fitted with an axe head weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces. While these prior instruments crushed the neck or used blunt force to take off a head, devices usually used a crescent blade and a lunette.
Laquiante, an officer of the Strasbourg criminal court, designed a beheading machine and employed Tobias Schmidt, a German engineer and harpsichord maker, to construct a prototype. Antoine Louis is credited with the design of the prototype; the memoirs of the official executioner claim that King Louis XVI recommended that an oblique blade be used instead of a crescent blade, lest the blade not fit all necks. The first execution by guillotine was performed on highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier on 25 April 1792, he was executed in front of. All citizens deemed guilty of a crime punishable by death were from on executed there, until the scaffold was moved on 21 August to the Place du Carrousel; the machine was successful because it was considered a humane form of execution, contrasting with the methods used in the pre-revolutionary Ancien Régime. In France, before the invention of the guillotine, members of the nobility were beheaded with a sword or an axe, which took two or more blows to kill the condemned.
(The condemned or their families would sometimes pa