France is a European nation stuck right between the high-strung Germany and the laid-back Spain. Andorra occasionally guest stars as the wacky neighbor. Zany schemes ensue.&&(navigator.userAgent.indexO
Despite popular belief, France was not always the wimpy kid in the front of the bus sitting close to the driver in order to scare off that mean bully Germany. No, France used to be one of the cool kids sitting in the back, playing with his Gameboy and smoking candy cigarettes like all the cool kids do. But we're not here to talk about a time where France was cool. Because that wouldn't be funny.
Still, it should be mentioned that France wasn't always a Mr. Sissypants. For a time (like before the 19th century) it was very barbaric. Like having violent wars with England for fun kind of barbaric. Like possibly losing 1/3 of your total population in one war alone barbaric.
What came up when we googled "The Hundred Years War". It's a video game called Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War. Apparently an obscure video game overshadows a world-changing French victory proving yet again that no one cares about the French.
Then there was ze French Revolution...
Now we'd use the Wikipedia article about the French Revolution but that shit is just too long. And the one on TV Tropes had someone add in subtle jabs at the American Revolution for no reason other than to be a Europe-y douche. So we'll use what we learned in the 9th grade.
For a time the French used to be a (dictator-ish) monarchy up until the common people, angered at the Estates-General, that Austrian whore Marie Antoinette, and the lack of action in countering numerous economic problems (could be because of all those wars but that's just crazy talk) and widespread famine - dropped their tarts and decided that there were going to be changes in the government. Like having a decent Constitution for one and for the clergy and the nobles to listen to the commons for once. But that all failed and the people decided violence was the more appropriate action to take. Buildings were stormed. A king and queen lost their heads. The Legislative Assembly was instituted and the people didn't like it so they had another war called the Counter-Revolution.
After the Legislative Assembly failed there was the National Convention and it seemed to be alright. Then the people realized that prominent Committee of Public Safety member Maximilien Robespierre was a wee bit crazy with all those executions and he was killed. A new government called the Directory was put in. This was the first bicameral legislature. Then some guy named Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew it and established the Consulate, became dictator then emperor (yay?).
Clearly, the French didn't know how to run a revolution.
"You know Bob, this might bite us in the ass one day..."
The rest of France's history can be summarized in this convenient flowchart:
Hey, at least the French have a sense of humor about this. No wait...no they don't...
The colors of France's flag are said to represent the estates of the Ancien Regime.They've been around since the 1300s, having been used to represent Gay Paree.
Blue represents the bourgeoisie. Karl Marx does not like this color.
surrendering the clergy.
Red represents the nobility and in no way all the lives lost in their bajillion wars.
The many cities of France
France's gorgeous countryside
The beaches of Normandy
France from space
While it seems nowadays that America and France utterly despise one another the two actually have a lot in common and used to be like the bestest friends ever.
The French gave the world the Enlightenment which in turn gave the world the Philosophes: a group of French thinkers whose ideas were ahead of their time. One philosophe in particular was Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose views on religious tolerance and the equality of men had a bit of influence on the founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson (granted, numerous thinkers including John Locke influenced the founding fathers but this is just to make a point). Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu was a French philosopher who wrote on the idea of separation of powers which helped structure the U.S. Constitution.
During the American Revolution, the French aided the colonists against the British. French general Marquis de Lafayette loved America's "youth and majesty" and actually wanted to help the country rise up as a great power. Even more amazingly, he was close friends with General George Washington; so close in fact that when Lafayette was injured in battle, General George Washington made sure the doctor treated him well "as though he were [his] son".
Just another accurate depiction of Washington visiting Lafayette in the hospital
In return, the American Revolution helped build up the French spirits during their own revolution. Both revolutions helped influence future revolutions.
Lafayette's favor to the U.S. isn't forgotten either. The U.S. helped the French against the Germans in World War I and one soldier, upon reaching the mainland, proclaimed "Lafayette, I am here!". Shit, that's awesome.
Then of course the U.S. saved France in World War Two from the Germans...again.
Pictured: America saving France from
France also gave the Americans the Statue of Liberty for its 100th birthday which was a lovely gift.
Both countries also hate the British. So why aren't they friends anymore?!?!?!
Well if anything, the hatred was probably sparked by France's opposition to the Iraq War which was exaggerated by the American media to think they're anti-American. The French responded by doing what they always do in these tense foreign situations: acting like jerks and making it worse.
But even today, they do seem to like some of America's actors. Like Johnny Depp. Probably because he's such a great actor right? No wait, it's because he said that "America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth - that can bite and hurt you, aggressive".
Well maybe it's because he wants to be European.
Or maybe he's just a douchebag
According to Time, an Expedia survey and hotel owners, the French are the most obnoxious tourists. On the survey, which was based on politeness, money-handling, interest in the nation they were vacationing in, cleanliness among other things, France ranked 19th out of 21 countries. India and China were dead last but we're assuming that even they are nicer than the French.
So why are the French hated? Well the hotel owners complain of their penny-pinching, rudeness and arrogance.
Regardless of this study, it was always popular to hate the French based on how they can be "fucking French at times..."
"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes." -Mark Twain
"Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris ? It's not known, it's never been tried." -Rep. R. Blount, MO
"The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee." -Regis Philbin
"War without France would be like … World War II." -Unknown
"Do you know it only took Germany three days to conquer France in WWII? And that's because it was raining." -John Xereas, Manager, DC Improv
"You know why the French don't want to bomb Saddam Hussein? Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He IS French, people." -Conan O'Brien
The French upon reading this...wait, this is highly inaccurate
Well they did give us Daft Punk so they can't all be bad.