Comparison of Ideologies in the French and Chinese Revolutions

Chinese and French Revolution Essay

An idea is something you have; an ideology is something that has you. Morris Berman

Using the above statement, evaluate the role that ideology plays in causing revolutions.

In your response, refer to the ideology of the revolution you are studying in class (Chinese Cultural Revolution and the French Revolution.

An idea is a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action while ideology is a system of ideas and ideals. The conviction of social critic Morris Berman, “an idea is something you have; an ideology is something that has you”, is relevant in examining the Chinese Cultural and the French revolution. The statement is applicable in determining that the ideological mindset of a revolutionary group itself is a major influence on the outcome of a revolution. The roles of ideology, violence and terror and leadership play an important part in both the Chinese Cultural and French Revolution.

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Ideology played a significant role in causing the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) and moderate in the French Revolution (1789 – 1799). While Mao Zedong was still the Chairman of the Communist Party in China, he created a campaign to destroy the ‘Four Olds’. This referred to the destruction of Old Customs, Old Habits, Old Culture and Old Ideas of China. This movement was led to transform the country from an agrarian economy into a socialist society. Ideology was also evident when totalitarianism shaped propaganda to dehumanize individuals and result in submitting to Mao’s higher ideological cause. Mao, who was known as a charismatic leader, created a ‘cult of personality’ in which he was deified. People’s daily lives were inundated with images, sounds, and ideas of Mao. For example, pictures of Mao were everywhere, and his quotations were recited religiously.

The ideas of the French Revolution were primarily drawn from the Enlightenment, influenced by the British social group, impressed by the American War of Independence and formed by local grievances. The renowned expression of revolutionary ideas was the saying liberty, equality and fraternity. It was the first significant uprising of the people against the dictatorship and it generated ideas that crossed the boundaries of France. The eminent slogan ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ gave hope for equal rights, freedom and treatment for everyone. The full saying was often painted on house doors. Across France along with the rest of Europe, the consequences of the Revolution were colossal. There were numerous new developments, including changes in society with the rise of the middle class, the fall of the monarchy, and the growth of nationalism. For these reasons, both the Chinese and French revolutions were highly influenced by the ideology of leaders intended to create an improved social system.


The role of violence and terror in the Chinese and French revolutions were greatly impacted by ideology. After the introduction of Mao’s idea, China’s students were organized into Red Guard brigades to firmly support him. He called on the Red Guards to destroy the “Four Olds”. In Mao’s 16 points formed on August 12th, 1966, he stated, “The anti-Party, anti-socialist rightists must be fully exposed, hit hard, pulled down and completely discredited and their influence eliminated”. This shows that Mao sought the Red Guards to prove their loyalty by protecting his ideology, through the use of violence. The quote from Morris Berman, saying ‘an ideology is something that has you’, is relevant with how forceful Mao’s ideology was on the people of China. Students were permitted to attack anyone. This included teachers, factory administrators, party members, and even their parents. These attacks were initially verbal but, in some cases, escalated into actual physical violence. This rebellion resulted in schools closing after “old” buildings and “traditional” temples and works of art were destroyed. This ideology taught the youth of China to be instinctively loyal to Mau and produced a period of violence. Chinese culture and its civilizing foundations were uprooted while Mao Zedong was progressively venerated.

Violence and Terror in the French Revolution was to fight for the rights of all French citizens. Security and a stable economy that assured the citizens of getting basic needs and justice were the core issues that were solve during the time of Terror. The Reign of Terror was a period of violence during the French Revolution originating from conflicts between Girondins and Jacobins. During this time, anyone appearing against the revolution were publicly executed. Both Jacobins and Girondins sought the dissolution of the monarchy. Article 6 of ‘the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen’ states that the law is not voiced by the monarchy. This section of the Declaration reflects the ideologies of the time that swept through the nation and inspired the French revolution. This led to having to come from everyone within the nation. This period of Terror had numerous executions, which the government sought to reduce their problems. Therefore, violence and terror were introduced to China and France due to the ideologies in the lead up to the revolutions.

The role of organisation in the Chinese revolution was greatly influenced by their leader. Mao had many approaches to keep China structured. He introduced the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement. This planned for millions of refined youths to be sent to country areas to learn from the peasantry. The print below was propaganda advertised during the Cultural revolution. It was successfully used to convince the significance of social classes learning from one another. Mao believed this would create a new society with a smaller gap between urban and rural. Another approach was The Little Red Book. It was an essential accessory of Mao’s quotations among the young. This shows that even the young did not escape Mao’s presence and Chinese communist ideology. Using the Little Red Book and other visual aids, young students were taught “Maoist thought.” As a result, organisation during the cultural revolution was fulsomely influenced by Mao.

Propaganda used by Mao’s campaign for the Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement (3)

There was also a moderate influence of leaders on the French Revolution. The revolution was mainly inspired by venerated philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The academic of modern philosophers were viewed as the most influential. Rousseau’s political viewpoint influenced the French revolution for his ‘work inspired the leaders of the French Revolution and the romantic generation.’ His work affected French society immensely. Rousseau wrote that when a country had a genuine social contract it would give society “real freedom in exchange for their obedience to a self-imposed law.” His interpretation of social contractarianism highly influenced the development of Liberal, Conservative and Socialist theory and the French revolution. Another philosopher, Montesquieu, convinced people of the injustice of the Divine Right of Kings. This lead an urge for separation of powers. There were many leading philosophers like Rousseau and Montesquieu who inspired the people of France with revolutionary ideas of liberty and equality.


Anon, 2019, History – Historic Figures: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), BBC, viewed 3 September 2019,

Anon, ‘French Revolution.’ 2019, Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, p. 1–3, viewed 2 September 2019,

Fielding, M., 1999, ‘The spirit of change : France in revolution’, 1st ed, p. 2-6, Sydney: McGraw Hill.

Mayer, A., 2002, The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions, Princeton University Press, viewed 27 August 2019,

Powell, P & Wong, J, 1997, ‘Propaganda posters from the Chinese cultural revolution.’, Historian, vol. 59, no. 4, p. 776, viewed 27 August 2019,

Pymble Ladies College, ‘Chinese cultural revolution’, booklet 2, 2019, viewed 29 August 2019.

Weiyi, W., 2019, The Rise And Fall Of The “Up To The Mountains And Down To The Countryside” Movement, Rozenberg Quarterly, viewed 2 September 2019,


The French Revolution: Storming of the Bastille

The French Revolution generated a political environment that greatly changed the world. It established liberalism and nationalism to countries that were previously ruled by oppressive monarchies. The Storming of the Bastille was a significant event that contributed to the French Revolution. On 14 July 1789, this momentous event, enabled the Third Estate, the commoners to arm themselves with weapons, ammunition and courage in order to play a vital role in the Revolution. The Storming of the Bastille was deemed an important event, which began France’s journey to democracy. Additionally, it was a pivotal cause of the fall of French Monarchy. Evidently, the Storming of the Bastille was a vital historical event, sparking the French Revolution, in order to create a new era in French history.

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The Storming the Bastille enabled the third estate to acquire resources and valour to gain power and contribute to the French Revolution. Although, the Third Estate was the largest in French society, they had no role in government or decision-making in the Ancien Regime (Jennifer Llewellyn, 2019). They made demands on the monarchy, wanting more say in government. They were worried that the King was plotting an attack against them because of their demands, so they needed to attain gunpowder for their weapons to arm themselves. The gunpowder was stored at the Bastille, a representation of the Monarchy’s tyranny. When the military leader of the Bastille, Governor de Launay, refused to surrender the prison and gunpowder, the Storming of the Bastille began. During the battle, the nobles surrendered the fort and the revolutionaries took control.  The capture of the Bastille was successful in gaining arms, ammunition and valour for the revolutionaries, in addition to providing irresistible momentum for the French Revolution. (, 2019)

Additionally, the Storming of the Bastille helped lead to the fall of the French monarchy. After years of living under despotism, the Storming of the Bastille was the first violent attack on the French monarchy by the Third Estate (History Crunch, n.d.). France was in financial upheaval, extravagant spending from King Louis XVI, unfair taxes, poor harvests, famine and the exuberant cost of bread caused social unrest (The British Library Board, 2019). These problems contributed to the citizens storming the bastille, which in turn, began a series of events that led to the overthrow of the king. This catalyst, forced the King to begin concessions and encouraged the people’s movement to overthrow him and later behead him and his wife, Antoinette in the hope of burying the monarchy forever (Platon, 2019). The fall of the Bastille signalled the beginning of the French Revolution and the role that individual citizens would perform during the events of the revolution. (History Crunch, n.d.)

Furthermore, France’s journey to a democratic government, stemmed from the Storming of the Bastille. Before the Revolution, French society was divided, where the majority was treated unjustly.  The commoners were extremely poor, while the upper classes were privileged, rich and involved in decision-making (Ducksters, 2019). The Bastille was a symbol of the monarch’s tyranny, imprisoning those who disagreed with the monarch’s rulings, however after the fall of the Bastille it became a significant symbol of freedom. This was important in bringing down a “despotic government and putting a stop to arbitrary rule” (Platon, 2019). The Storming of the Bastille sparked the revolution and helped lead France into a fairer democratic society.

   The Storming of the Bastille was a defining moment that signalled the beginning of the French Revolution. It changed the way of life in France dramatically, caused the overturn of the French monarchy and the ancien regime, gave the third estate resources and courage to fight against the nobles, as well as leading France to a democratic society. The Storming of the Bastille is a significant symbolic historical event that resulted in revolutionary political change.



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The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (n.d.). Constitution of 1791. Retrieved from Britannica:

Hartson, W. (2019). Storming the Bastille. [image] Available at: [Accessed 1 Sep. 2019].


Napoleon and the French Revolution

Was Napoleon An Heir to the French Revolution?
Of all the Events of European history, the French Revolution of 1789 is without doubt one of the most important and controversial. Similarly Napoleon Bonaparte has to be amongst the most written on and opinion dividing individuals world history has ever seen. Therefore the question as to weather Napoleon was an heir to the revolution, its saviour, hijacker, or simply consolidator is probably the most frequently asked question regarding the revolution and Napoleon.

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In this essay I will be attempting to answer the question of weather Napoleon was an heir to the French Revolution. This will involve me firstly exploring my definition of the term heir, and my views on the explanations and definitions of the French Revolution. Having done this I will then move on to examine the reign of Napoleon. By doing this I hope to prove my view that, whilst Napoleon may be considered an inevitable consequence of the revolution, he was not its heir.
In my opinion the word heir describes a person’s or events natural successor. Therefore the term heir to the revolution would in my opinion be used to describe the next regime, which came to embody the principles and morals of the revolution. The revolution’s heir must be the regime that follows on from were the revolution left France, and presides over, or creates the kind of society the revolutionaries of 1789 intended to. It is my belief that Napoleon and the Napoleonic regime did not either preside over or create this kind of society and as such Napoleon cannot be considered an heir to the French Revolution. In order for this view to be qualified the next aspect we need to look at, is the various definitions and interpretations of the French Revolution.
Put simply the French Revolution was, when in 1789 the old Ancien regime was overthrown, and France went from a monarchy-governed state to a republic. After this, France went through a number of different stages in terms of forms and types of government. The revolutionary government of 1789-1793 was the most immediate, until between 1793-1794, when Robespierre became the most powerful man in France overseeing the era known as the terror. This was followed by the Directory who ruled between the years 1794-1799, and this was the government Napoleon overthrew in the Coup of Brumaire on November 9-10th 1799.
Studying the history of these events has gone through many stages and significant changes, especially in the last fifty years or so. For a long time after the revolution, the most dominant form historiography on the subject was the Marxist interpretation. This interpretation went largely unchallenged until the 1950’s and the arrival of the first generation revisionists. This was essentially a critique of the Marxist interpretation. This was followed up in the 1960’s and 1970’s by what is often called second generation revisionism, as historians such as Blanning and Doyle began to look more closely at the Nobility as a social group and found new definitions for the events in the years after 1789 up to when Napoleon took power. The most recent historical study on the subject is known as post revisionism and this tends to place more emphasis on matters such as chance than previous approaches whilst also stressing the importance played by the aspects such as popular culture and the psyche of the days society and influential groups and people. Of these approaches I find the Marxist interpretation most convincing and therefore I will now move on to briefly explore this, in order to portray my definition of the French Revolution.
The Ancien regime saw an absolute monarch with complete power, running a feudal based society and economy. The Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution states that it was in essence a power struggle between the middle classes or the bourgeoisie and the upper classes, aristocracy and the nobility. This is proven by the view that it was the Third Estate, which began the revolution and this was dominated by the bourgeoisie. It is claimed that they had been motivated by political ideology inspired by the enlightenment and the fact their economic wealth did not reflect their share of power. The declaration of the rights of man on the 24th August 1789 and the abolishing of the feudal system are often pointed out as them most important evidence that the revolution was a bourgeois one, overthrowing the feudal Ancien regime after a power struggle.
The degree to, and speed with which French society changed after this has been much debated among historians. Many historians continue to define the revolution as the whole of the period 1789 – 1799. Historians such as Geoffrey Ellis who points out how Napoleon himself declared at the Coup of Brumaire that:

Citizens the revolution is established on the principles which began it. It is finished.”

However I believe that the revolution is defined as the result of the power struggle between the old Ancien regime, and the newly emerging bourgeois middle class. The revolution is defined by the events of 1789 and 1789 alone. The founding principles and morals of the revolution were that of the bourgeoisie, and these can best been seen by such documents as the declaration of the rights of man, the decree abolishing the feudal system, the Cashier de Doleances referring to the middle classes, and the actions and constitution of the revolutionary government up until 1793 and the beginning of the terror.
Having established my definition of the French Revolution, it is first important not to gloss over without mention to the years 1793 – 1799, before going on to look at the nature of the Napoleonic regime itself. Inmy view these years can in essence be described as a crisis created by panic and a power vacuum. The execution of King Louis XVI in January 1793 created much panic within and outside France leading to foreign war and numerous insurgencies and political divisions inside France itself. In these years France became almost ungovernable and the terror can be seen purely as a reaction to the threats the new French Republic was facing. The era of the Directory, in my view, is summed up by the fact that, the revolution was under threat from Jacobins, Monarchists, foreign invaders, and the mass of the French population tired of war and political upheaval. Therefore the bourgeoisies tried to create a strong government that could defeat all of these enemies. However such a task soon proved impossible and with the coup of Brumaire in November 1799, France was once again to be ruled by a single authoritarian leader.
Having now explained my understanding of the term heir to the revolution, my definition of the FrenchRevolution, and briefly looked at the years before Napoleon came to power, I will now go on to look at the Napoleonic regime and convey my argument as to why I do not believe it is correct to describe Napoleon as an heir to the French Revolution. In order to prove this I will look the Napoleonic regime from two different viewpoints namely, politically and economically.
Up until the second half of the twentieth century historical study on Napoleon nearly always came down to historians being either for or against Napoleon. Some believed he was the revolution’s saviour, whilst others believed he was its destroyer. However such an approach came to be seen as inadequate and the political and social aspects of the Napoleonic regime began to be put under closer scrutiny in an attempt to better understand its nature. Today’s historians often look closely at the personality and motivations of Napoleon, subjects which previous generations have offered little on. Looking at Napoleon from a political point of view, there is much evidence to support the view he was not an heir to the revolution. Many recent historical studies on Napoleon, such as Correlli Barnett’s 1997 work Bonaparte, look closely at Napoleon’s character and motivations, and are often (as in this case) very critical of him. Studies such as these convey the view that Napoleon had very little political or ideological motivation in taking power, but was only concerned with gaining glory for France, its people, and himself.
I would largely agree with this view and claim there are many pieces of evidence to support it. Firstly is the fact that Napoleon always presented himself as a man above the revolution and the political factions it created. He never allied himself closely with any of the groups involved in French politics between 1789-1799, and one can look at Napoleon from an almost Machiavellian point of view and say that, this was a conscience decision on his part, taken to avoid becoming compromised, and thus allowing him to eventually take power.
Indeed looking at the political nature of the Napoleonic regime only supports this view further. On December 2nd 1804 Napoleon crowned himself emperor of France and this reveals two important things. Firstly it meant that Napoleon was now a single authoritarian leader with absolute power. The ethos of democracy, which had been the founding principles of all the revolutionary forms of government since 1789, had been disregarded completely. This was evident from as early as 1800 when Napoleon’s reforms of local government reduced the role of the electorate to simply producing a list of candidates for the legislation assembly, from which the government would select the members. After the revolution the franchise had been extended to almost all male citizens and these action are in direct contradiction to the ideologies of the bourgeois revolutionaries of 1789. In fact I believe its fair to say that all of Napoleon’s action during his reign were aimed at him keeping hold of power. As Clive Emsley says in Napoleon:

n underlying, unifying element to many, perhaps most of the reforms… was the desire to foster and maintain loyalty to the regime.”

The second thing this event revealed was how Napoleon saw himself. When the pope went to crown him, Napoleon took the crown away from his hands and placed the crow upon his own head. The message was clear; he was the embodiment of the people and as such their natural leader. Such a belief in more in keeping with the beliefs of previous kings who believed they were ordained by god, than with the ideals of the liberal revolutionary bourgeoisies.The economic nature of the Napoleonic regime is often seen as the strongest area of support for those claiming Napoleon was an heir to the French Revolution. As historians such as Alexander Grab point out Napoleon implemented many economic reforms that both were bourgeois in nature, and did a lot to consolidate the gains the land owning classes made from the revolution. This is proven by the fact the reforms long outlasted the regime, as Grab himself puts it:

Once Napoleon was gone, France and liberated Europe happily retained the efficient fiscal bureaucracies he had created.”

Indeed I will accept that the Code Napoleon of 1804 for example did do much to protect property rights and his wider economic policies were probably the for-runner of the European common market, which exists today. However I would still claim that such reforms were only made by Napoleon to keep the bourgeoisies on side. Whilst doing this Napoleon also brought back the Catholic Church into a central position within French society with the Concordat with the Pope in 1802, and he even created a new Nobility in 1808. It is my view that, as bourgeois and successful as the economic reforms were, they were not created because of any political or moral ideology on Napoleon’s part, but should be seen as concessions to those who had brought about the revolution. Napoleon clearly made concessions to both sides, as the above examples illustrate, and as this proves his aim was not to create a democratic capitalist society, I believe he cannot be seen as an heir to the French Revolution.
If one were to go on, and look at Napoleon’s policy in Europe I believe that the same aims, goals, and methods would be found on the international scene. War was Napoleon’s main weapon here, and he used it to expand his and the French’s glory, whilst basking in the loyalty his undoubted military skills afforded him from the mass of the French population.
In conclusion I believe that the French Revolution was a bourgeoisie one. The nature, instability, and divided nature of the revolutionary government, popular sovereignty under Robespierre, and the directory, were down to the fact that no political culture of difference and debate existed in France in 1789, unlike in countries such as Britain. Therefore the struggle for power between the different factions of the revolutionary bourgeoisie became inevitable. As did, as in almost all revolutions, the eventual arrival of a dictator to restore order and stability. In the case of the French Revolution, Napoleon was that dictator. Whilst he implemented many long lasting, bourgeois in nature reforms, he did not create the kind of society that can be truly seen as the revolution’s heir. Perhaps a regime such as Napoleon’s was required to stop France from destroying itself, and perhaps, in one way, Napoleon can be seen as an heir of the revolution as he was in many respects the first non-ideologue modern day politician. However it is my view that the real heir to the French Revolution was the kind of capitalist, democratic nation state France has become today. As D. G. Wright correctly points out:

Modern political parties and class conflict both have their origins in the French Revolution. So do liberal democracy, communism and fascism.”

The debate over Napoleon will be one, which can never be resolved. Some will always see him as the revolutions saviour, whilst others will continue to claim he was the predecessor of men like Hitler and Stalin. The political beliefs of the historian, unfortunately, normally dictate which conclusion they come to as regards Napoleon Bonaparte. In my view though the French Revolution created a new kind of world; the liberal democracies of today’s Europe can be considered its true heir. Napoleon was just its inevitable, short-term consequence.

Belgian And French Influence On The Rwandan Genocide

On April 6th, 1994, an assassination of an 8 million populated country resulted in its tribesmen killing fellow tribesmen just because their ID card stated they were Tutsi. This horrific turnout of events throughout the period of 100 days demands a lot of questions as to WHY all of these things happened. My self-research had led me to the colonial roots of Rwanda, but I never had chance of presenting my thoughts in written form till I read a South African IB students essay on this subject. It inspired me to write my extended essay on it.

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This essay therefore will deal with the colonial legacy of Rwanda. It will discuss the history and the origins of the tribes involved after which the impact of colonialism will be discussed on Colonial and post-colonial Rwanda. Towards the end, I will greatly emphasize on the fact that the influence of the Belgians was truly great in the 1994 genocide.
April 6th 1994, marked the beginning of the most recent and terrific genocide that took place in Rwanda, a country located in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa.  Rwanda, colonized by Belgians during the 20th Century, was populated by 8,139,270  people at the time. In a span of 100 days, Hutu extremists mercilessly butchered between 500,000 to 1 million  Tutsis and moderate Hutus.  Their aim was ‘ethnic cleansing’ – to literally eradicate the entire Tutsi population even if it meant killing innocent women, children and men. The killings were against Tutsis by Hutus who lived together, whose children schooled together, spoke the same languages, followed the same religion, and had inter-marriages between themselves for a very long time.
Shortly after 8:20 pm local time, on the night of April 6th, 1994, a surface-to-air missile struck the Rwandan President’s plane causing it to erupt in flames before crashing into the garden of the presidential palace, exploding on impact.  The Rwandan president was killed in this alleged assassination and this event triggered the 1994 Genocide. It was the most immediate causes occurring amidst high tension between the RPF  and the Rwandan government. The high tension resulted from the Rwandan Civil War, where 4 years ago, the RPF tried to invade Northern Parts of Rwanda. The president’s assassination therefore, amidst this very unstable relationship between the two parties, outraged extremist Hutus who then began the genocide.
The Rwanda genocide therefore, is an event of extreme terror. It leads us to wonder as to why a group of people, who were practically neighbors for years, would mercilessly try to eliminate fellow Rwandans and promote Hutu power over all. Moreover, expect to begin developing Rwanda as Hutus alone.
This question demands answers and this demand is not aimed at cleansing ones conscience because nothing had been done. Yes, a lot could have been done to prevent this massacre. 350 American marines stationed in Burundi, just half an hour’s helicopter’s flight away could have helped stop these killings.  Several French and Belgian soldiers stationed in countries neighboring Rwanda could have helped secure refugee which in turn could have saved a lot of lives. The international community could have helped make a difference in reducing the death toll, but their lack of response is not the aim of this investigation.
For the sole purpose of this investigation, we need to look for answers so as to get an understanding of what actually happened in Rwanda and also to help solve similar conflicts in similar countries such as Rwanda so as to avoid a Rwanda part II.
To understand the intentions behind the killings therefore, it is necessary to critically analyze the occurrence of events before the genocide so that we understand that this wasn’t an overnight planned event, instead, it was preplanned long before 1994. This critical analysis of events will lead us into investigating the short term and the long term causes of the genocide.
When investigating the short term causes, apart from the shooting of the president’s plane, we are also led to the Rwandan civil war and also the events that occurred right after the civil war till 1994 and this leads us to the role the French played in this massacre. In the long term causes however, we are led back into history where the impact of colonialism in this country is observed. When summing up the two, we could say the Rwandan genocide was greatly influenced by the Belgian and the French and for investigational purposes, the question as to what extent did the French and the Belgians influence the 1994 Rwandan genocide is formed.
To carry out this investigation, we will need to look at pre-colonial times in Rwanda to analyze the influence of the Belgians in this massacre and also, we will need to look at post-colonial Rwanda, mostly after the 1980’s where we can analyze the influence of the French and understand what role they had to play in this massacre. A brief description of the 1990 civil war will also be presented to show how it impacted the genocide. Throughout this entire investigation therefore, my aim is to show to that the Rwandan genocide was indeed greatly influenced by the Belgians and French.
To begin this investigation, we first need to look at Pre-colonial Rwanda, after which we can describe the colonial practices in Rwanda, and finally, the impact it had on Post-colonial Rwanda and thus evaluate the influence of the Belgians in the genocide. Hutus and Tutsis were present as separate tribes even before colonialism. This implies that the two were different, and so their origins need to be studied.
The Rwandan population to date consists of Hutus, Tutsis and the Twa.  The Twa comprises of 1% of the Rwandan population  and due to their small numbers, won’t be mentioned in this investigation. The Hutus and Tutsis however make up 90% and 9% of the entire Rwandan population respectively.
There are many theories regarding the origins/differences between the Hutus and Tutsis. Mahmoud Mamdani, a Ugandan scholar, famous for ‘When victims become killers: colonialism, nativism, and the genocide in Rwanda’, presents the different theories that lead to the fact that the Hutu and the Tutsi are indeed different. The theories are numerous but can be classified into 3 main categories; the phenotype argument, the genotype argument and the migration theory. We will explain each briefly.
The Phenotype, The Genotype and The Migration Theory
The phenotype argument deals with differences in physique of the tribes. The phenotype argument was introduced by colonialists in the 19th century who described Hutus as ‘short and thickset with a big head, a jovial expression, a wide nose and enormous lips’  and Tutsis as ‘very tall, very thin with a high brow, thin nose and fine lips framing beautiful shining teeth.’  Mamdani states that the physical differences were confirmed scientifically.
The genotype argument deals with differences in genetic composition between the Hutus and Tutsis. In a 1987 study on genetic characteristics and history of the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, it was discovered that Tutsis, despite the fact they were surrounded by populations identified as ‘the Bantus’, they (the Tutsis) were still closer to Cushites  and Ethiosemites  as far as genetic heritage was concerned. A different study was carried out and they came to a conclusion that the majority Hutus’ genes contained the sickle cell trait but this was hardly or never observed in the Tutsis.  This is evidence therefore that even genetically, Hutus and Tutsis are different.
The migration theory deals with where the Hutus and Tutsis come from. According to most experts, Hutus are believed to have been the founders of Rwanda and were always a part of this country. Tutsis however were the immigrants and we will therefore deal with where the Tutsis came from. The migration theory or the Hamitic theory has been used in determining the origins of Tutsis. The Hamitic theory is a racist ideology developed by Europeans that promotes the fact that all ‘better looking Africans’  were actually a result of the influence of an outsider race. It also states that the origins of the Hamites  lie in the Horn of Africa.  . The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts for hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea, and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden.  This is where Tutsis are believed to have come from.
After having discussed the theories above, we have now come to a full understanding of the differences between the two tribes, in terms of physique, genetic heritage and where they come from. We can now move to analyze the history of Rwanda; or, the monarchial system of this country.
Rwanda, like other African countries, was founded on a monarchial system which began systemizing during the 15th century.  Before the 15th century however, Rwanda was based on a leadership system that divided her into different Bantu states with Hutu chiefs as leaders. The migration of Tutsis during the 15th century however changed everything. Tutsis conquered Rwanda and a monarchial system began forming.
The kings were known as ‘Mwamis’ and were mostly Tutsis.  Beginning with ‘Ndahiro I’ as the first king during the 14th century, to ‘Samembe’ during the 15th century (possibly the first Tutsi king) to ‘Kigeli V’ (the last Tutsi king), the Rwandan monarchial system had been formed.
The Tutsis established a monarchy headed by a Mwami and a feudal hierarchy of Tutsi nobles and gentry where even though the closest ‘spiritual advisors’ of the king were Hutus, Tutsi kings did technically rule Rwanda.  A system, by the name of ‘Ubuhake’ was introduced where Hutu farmers pledged allegiance of them and of their descendants to a Mwami in return for loans that included cattle, pastoral and arable land. Through the course of time however, a new and much more abusive system by the name of ‘Umuheto’ was introduced where land that belonged to lineages many of whom were Hutus, were now the property of the royal family.  The new system was designed to exploit the Hutu tribesmen.  Rwanda was now fully under the control of the Tutsis.
Towards the end of the 19th century, all land that once belonged to a Hutu would now belong to the royal family. The highest posts in the kings system of ruling were given to Tutsis as opposed to Hutus who were small time chiefs. By the end of the 19th century, the Hutus and Tutsis were no longer separated by their biological differences; the separation was more in terms of class and ‘political’ status.
After having looked at the origins of the Hutus and the Tutsis, we can now look at the extent to which colonialism or the Belgians influenced the genocide. This can be done by analyzing the colonial practices that defined the relationships between the Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda.
Even though Rwanda had been placed under the Germans during the Berlin Conference in 1889,  colonial practices had not begun in Rwanda till she was placed under the Belgians in 1919.  The Belgians chose the Tutsis to rule over Hutus. One must understand that the Belgians choice of Tutsis rule, over the Hutus was not a result of the monarchial state of Rwanda present at the time; a racial ideology namely the Hamitic theory was behind this decision.
The Tutsis or the Hamites were known as ‘better looking African’s due to their light skinned nature. The Belgians believed that Tutsis were ‘superior’ to Hutus because they looked more like them. On this ground therefore, Tutsis were chosen to rule over the Hutus. Together with choosing of Tutsis to rule over the Hutus, Belgians also created further separations by favoring Tutsis over Hutus in many other factors. The colonial-government, for reasons of development, formed laws that made it compulsory for Rwandans to grow certain cash crops. To imply this, the colonialists threatened to whip the Tutsis if their laws weren’t abided even if it meant that Tutsi chiefs whipped Hutus.  The Tutsis who were in power at the time abided by the laws but some and this further broke down relations between Hutus and Tutsis.
In addition to the whipping, Belgian colonialists also worsened relations by granting only Tutsis rights to education. The Belgians, at the beginning allowed Tutsi chiefs and their families to enter schools. Through the course of time, more Tutsis were admitted into schools. Even though a few Hutus were admitted, the amount of Tutsis admitted was much more than Hutus thus showing ‘Tutsi superiority’.
Once again, Belgian colonialists worsened relations by introducing I.D cards where a Rwandan was now identified by the tribe he belonged to. This completely destroyed relations between the two tribes as one wouldn’t identify his neighbor as a citizen of Rwanda, instead by the tribe he belonged to.
After having discussed the history of Rwanda and the impact colonialism had in this country, we now need to look at how the Belgian colonial legacy lived and affected Rwanda, to the extent of being a major influence in the genocide.
Rwanda and independence
The key factor in knowing how the Belgians influenced the genocide is to understand what they did right before they left Rwanda. An incident in 1959 involving members of the Tutsi army attacking a Hutu political leader caused riots leading to fights between the two tribes. The Hutus however were more than the Tutsis and because of fear of further coups, the Belgians transferred power from the Tutsis to the Hutus.  This changed everything in Rwanda. Hutus who had suffered years of suppression by the Tutsis had taken over and wanted revenge. They claimed that Rwanda was now ruled by its actual and most original people  and it was no longer under the rule of outsiders – the Tutsis.  The Hamitic theory in regard to Tutsis being outsiders was first developed by Belgians and on them leaving, we see Hutus using the same racial ideology against the Tutsis and considering them as an ‘alien’ race that should go back to where they it first come from. This was the beginning of ‘Hutu power’.
Rwanda, in 1962 under the leadership of the Hutu Grégoire Kayibanda, like other activists in Africa, fought for independence and got the Belgian colonialists to leave. He was replaced however by Juvénal Habyarimana in 1973, who overthrew Kayibanda’s government because of Kayibanda’s anti-Tutsi policies. Even though Habyarimana was a Hutu, he was a moderate. After having won the presidential elections, Habyarimana promoted peace and unity between the two tribes where he claimed to lead Rwanda with its government protecting Hutus and Tutsis all together as one.  
The influence of the Belgians in the 1994 Genocide
Even though Habyarimana promoted unity between the two, the fact that the Hutus lived under suppression of the Tutsis for all that time before independence was the cause of hatred of the majority Hutus towards the minority Tutsis. Educational institutions promoted ethnic differences between the two. Tutsis were now completely considered as an outsider race and because of this, Hutus and Tutsis were considered separate rather than one and Habyarimana’s implementation of a peaceful Rwanda wasn’t taking shape. Some sources state that the church promoted the same ideology as the educational institutions where the encouraged Hutus to get even with the Tutsis for the wrongs that had occurred in history.
These institutions were greatly influential in Rwanda and the encouragement of racism against the Tutsis increased throughout the years as a result of the schools and churches. This racism was a result of the Belgians separating the two tribes in terms of ethnicity rather than the political status that had already been present. It was also because of the constant favoring of the Tutsis over the Hutus during colonial times and worst of all, transferring power to revenge wanting Hutus right before they left. With evidences from the investigation so far, we can conclude that the Belgians were indeed a great influence in the genocide as a result of the colonization of this country.
We have now evaluated the influence of the Belgians in the genocide. As mentioned in the beginning of this investigation, the Belgians were a long term cause for the genocide. The short term cause was the Rwandan civil war in 1990 and the help the French had given to the Hutus to carry out the massacre.

Comparison of The Russian and French Revolutions

It is important to discuss the Russian Revolution of 1905 as it was one of the reasons the 1917 Revolution sparked. In 1905 the Russian government was in a state of conflict and instability and therefore caused numerous uprisings at the time, the main one being called “Bloody Sunday”. Bloody Sunday was a mass killing of Russian workers who were marching to present the Russian Czar at the time, Nicholas II, with a petition “demanding the summoning of an assembly based on universal suffrage, land reform and an eight-hour day” (Briggs and Clavin, 137). The march was a peaceful one but the imperial guards shot into the crowd to disperse this mass-driven protest, this was the fire that lit the match and the Russian Revolution of 1905 began.

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This revolution caused a change with the governmental system. They adapted an assembly which was called the “State Duma of the Russian Empire” which limited the power of Czar Nicholas II but he still retained his hierarchy in a set of his own laws which he issued himself called the “Fundamental Laws”. Although he still retained his power the new legislative government that was created did have some say in affairs but was still in a lower category then the Czar. The Russian people where still unhappy with this and therefore this type of government only lasted until 1917 when the second Russian Revolution took place.
This governmental collapse was not the only cause of the Russian Revolution of 1917; the First World War also had a major impact economically instead of politically. The Ottoman Empire also known as Turkey played a key role in the economic situation of Russia. When the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in World War I; it blocked off key trade routes to the Russians. They could not provide supplies to military such as guns, ammunition, fuel and food because they could no longer deliver key supplies and their economy suffered in the process. This lead to an inflation of money and the peasants grew angrier because of the high prices of items such as food and also the increase in food shortages. In addition working conditions did not improve either which in turn lead to an increasing amount of protest in the years before that lead up to the Revolution of 1917. This essentially caused certain insecurity among the peasant population throughout the Russian Empire. People began to recognize that Czar Nicholas II autocracy government was harming the political, economical, and cultural will of the people of Russia. The continuation of the Russian Revolution was inevitable as long as Czar Nicholas II was still in power.
As an outcome, in the February Revolution of 1917 Czar Nicholas II was obligated to abdicate after his own imperial guards turned against him in protest to his ineffectiveness of solving the Russian Empire’s economic and social issues. The State Duma of the Russian Empire began to take over the Russian governmental front after the fall of Czar Nicholas II. But again this system was not perfect; it sprang into a Dual power between two main factions the Bolsheviks or Lenin’s communist (Red), and the Anit-Bolsheviks (white) which was composed of the groups who were against communism such as the imperialist, conservatives, and nationalist. This clash of opposites created an unavoidable civil war between the two groups. It was a bloody war with millions upon millions killed and much money spent on both sides. After four years Lenin’s communist party eventually prevails over the Anti-Bolsheviks. Lenin becomes the chairman of the new communist government which marks the end of the Russian Revolution of 1917.
The French Revolution of 1789 was one of mass chaos. Very similar to Russia, one of the causes of the French Revolution was that the economy was struggling dramatically especially with produce. Feeding the people became an issue, due to an unfortunate string of terrible harvests, which in turn forced food to take a steep rise up in price. The lack in of capital, as well as the rise of Great Britain was another economic cause of the revolution. The French were facing a financial crisis with billions in debt to pay. This was partially due to the involvement in the American Revolutionary War. The other part of why France was in a great deal of debt was because Britain was for the most part was in main control of the commercial market. Stimulating money for the economy proved too difficult to overcome and like the Russians, the revolutionary step was inevitable.
Also like the Russians, the French government was in a series of governmental collapses with causes spanning from social class hierarchy to absolutism monarchy. The Estates-General was one major cause of the French Revolution. The French had a designated a three level class system in which the clergy members were on top of the hierarchy (First Estate), the nobility or bourgeoisie were set in middle (Second Estate), and the rest of France completed the bottom level (Third Estate). They were brought together by King Louis XVI to figure out how to recover from the financial disaster they were in. The situation just got worst because there was a conflict of ideas between the three classes, especially a clash between the upper two classes and the bottom class and therefore they could not successfully come to terms with each other. Due to this, the National Assembly was created by the Third Estate to discuss the issues themselves but eventually members of nobility as well as clergy members would come to join them. This was mainly due to the large majority amount of Third Estate members.
The French Revolution did not stop there. Very much like the Russian Revolution, the French realized that King Louis XVI was doing nothing to solve the financial crisis as well as high taxation and so the General Estates held a mass revolt against the King which came to be known as “The Storming of the Bastille”. Which was a key point in this revolution; it was at this time that the Roman Catholic Church started to lose its power to the people. The people were aiming to start a constitution to possibly end the revolution, but the constitution failed much like Russian Duma because it was a sharing of power between the King and Assembly which caused them to be at odds with each other.
The Reign of Terror also played a key role in the French Revolution. Much like the Russian Civil war between the red and white, there was a conflict between the liberal Girondins and the radical Jacobins. Each side killed each other by executions instead of an all out civil war between the two competing factions. This was a direct effect of the poor governmental system that the French had. The Constitution of 1795 was created which made the French government a bicameral legislature which the people could now be equally represented and their aims could become accomplished, but again this constitution was not perfect and only lasted four years. In 1804 the great Napoleon became the new emperor of France which marked the end of the French Revolution.
In conclusion, the Russian Revolution and the French Revolution are similar in numerous ways. The Russian Revolution contained difficulty from a political, social, and economic stand point making it especially similar to French Revolution. This has created key points in European history making these two Revolutions especially unforgettable.

French Wine Industry

The production of French wine dates back to the 6th century BC at the time of colonization of Southern Gaul by the Greek who settle and soon founded the Viticulture in the region of Marseille. Many of the regions in France were later licensed to the Roman Empire to produce wine especially in the southern parts of the country. This development conceded with the spread of Christianity which came with widespread growth of vines. However during the time of French revolution, many of ht vineyards were confiscated from the church are other owners. Most of the wine at that time was consumed locally and little was exported from Bordeaux. (Donald and Petie, 2001)

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However since the end of the Second World War the wine industry in France has undergone a lot of changes notable the introduction of quality of French wine which was passed in 1935. Since then the industry has developed to become the second largest exporter of wine in the world behind Spain. It has curve a niche in the market to compete with other countries like Italy which are traditionally known as wine house. Since the end of the Second World War, the industry has undergone several changes to become one of the leading industries in the France and an identity for the country. France is still considered to be one of the best producers of wines in the world.
The Bordeaux region ahs since then developed to be one of the leading wine producing regions of the world. Wine producers from the region have traveled to the regions of the world including Rioja in Spain and have been able to carry out culturing of vines to make Bordeaux vines some of the leading and the best vine in the world. Since the need of he second world war, French wine industry has seen the establishment of hundred of vineyards owned by multination company. (MacNeil, 2001)
The remarkable development of French wine industry has been the emphasis on the quality of wine produced. This has been though the development of the appellation system which classify French wine into quality. The Appellaion d’Origine Controlee system is governed by a powering national bound which ensures that all the wine that it produced in the region is of quality. France is produce of owning the oldest world appellation system that has helped it to have some of the world renowned quality wine brand. With time the industry has become more specific with various companies specializing in production of different white and red wines and other wine varieties. French has provided the modeling appellation system on quality which is being used by the EU to come up with a wine assessment framework along that to France. (Desmond, 1999)
But in the recent past, the industry has been hit by several crises ranging from competition from the new vine grower region like Australia and America to a decrease in local consumption of wine. This paper will discuss the crisis that the industry is facing currently and the solution that have been proposed to address the issue in order to revive the industry to its former self.
The nature and magnitude of the crisis facing the French wine industry
Traditionally, France has been a wide consumer of wine produced in the country. This made many producer of wine in the region to rely on the domestic market alone since all the wine produced was consumed in the country and only a small percentage was exported especially that produced in the Bordeaux wine region by multinational companies which we involved in large scale production of wines. However data shows that the consumptions of wine in the county have reduced drastically in the last 40 years. In the 1990s alone, per capital consumption of wine is recorded to have dropped by more that 20 percent. This has made wine producers in France to rely more on the foreign market where the competition is still stiff. (Parker, 2008)
The reduction in consumption of wine in the domestic market has resulted to what is being termed as wine lake or continuing wine glut. This has led to distillation of wine into industrial alcohol as well as the government has come up with programs to pay farmer to pull up some of the grape vines in what has been called vine pull scheme.
This has been due to increased production of wine more than the market can consume. Since the foreign market is already saturated, French wine makers have been having a hard time to control the stock in their warehouse as well as the ripe grapes that are being harvested and made to new wine. (Hines, 2004)
It has been recorded that French wine exports plummeted about 10% last year and at the same time the domestic sale were down by about 5 %. This has been a cause of worry to many manufactures who do not know what to do with the stocked wine already in their warehouse. The collected date shows that the consumption of wine in French restaurant has at the same time reduced by more that 15 percent in less than one year period according to the wine board in Bordeaux. This has been a matter of concern for all the industrial players and some have even started providing restaurant with doggy boxes son the diner can take home the unfinished wine bottles.
The magnitude of the crisis has been couple with the taking of country of Bordeaux and Burgundy wine by the National Association for Prevention of Alcoholism for advertising campaign using slogans which apparently give the consumer a message of drinking less but better. Although the advertisements were meant to advertise the quality of their wines, they have been accused of having an influence on the consumption of wine in the country. Hence we can see that the magnitude of French wine is more deep that the superficially seen reduction in consumption of wine. It has turned to a legal battle between the board and wine producers.
The troubled industry has been hit by other problem stemming from other factor like the emergency of a strong Euro which has apparently decreased the sales for wine exporters. The industry has also lost a lot of market share of its wines in the foreign market to other producers like US due to some anti-French sentiments. The emergence of a strong Euro and the effect it has had on the industry is considered to be one of the reasons why the country has been opposing some of the EU policies and constitution. But the problem does not lay with the Euro alone but also by stiff competition that it being faced from new wine house like Australian, New Zealand, South Africa and others.
The causes of the crisis
Apparently the crisis in the wine industry has been caused by many factors some of which are internal while other has been seen as external. The combination of the two aspect of the problem has made it difficult for the industry to come up with long term solution to the problem.
The greatest cause of the crisis has been the decline in consumption in the domestic market. Although there have been many market research data that have been carried out to try and address the root cause of the issue, there have not been any conclusive data the gives the real cause of the problem. Having relied on the domestic market for along time, the French wine industry has faced saturation due to the declining consumption in the domestic market. (Cooperage, 2007)
One of the internal problems that have led to the crisis has been seen as overproduction of vines. One of the major contributions to this problem has been highlight as Languedoc-Roussillin which produces one third of all the grapes used in France. Overproduce of wine has been attributed to saturation of wine in the domestic market. Apparently there has not been a monitoring system that can help in regulating the producing of wine in order to suit the domestic production and the export market. This has led to the emergency of vine pull scheme which aimed at reducing the number of vines in order to reduce the amount of grapes that is being produced. The process known as arrachage in French was initiated by the EU in 1988 which was meant to protect the quantity of wine and price of the product due to its commercial significance. It was supposed to address the problem of wine lake glut from overproduction and declining demand of wine. Under the program growers are paid to destroy thousand of acreage of grapes. (Frank and Macle, 2007)
The other cause of the crisis in the France has been the French government advertising laws on alcohol which the wine maker believes that they are unfairly applied on wine. The advertisement laws have been accused of being biased to wines and are encouraging low consumption of the wines.
The other domestic product has been what has been termed by the new wine makers as an over stay in the industry by the old wine produces. Most of the old producers have been unwilling to retire and give room to new producers. This has seen the emergence of more wine producers in the market and the subsequent saturation of the country with wine.
The external cause of the crises has been a decline in consumption in the exporting regions like Italy and others. Like the domestic market, French wine exporters have been faced by the same nightmare of reduced consumption in the external market where they have been exporting their wine.
The industry has also been faced with stiff competition from new wine industries in other countries. For a long time the industry has not been able to come up with new methods of addressing the competition and it has been caught unaware on the issue. The new wine producers have come up with new brands which have been considered to the traditional French wine brands. This has led to change of preference by many of the customers who have been loyal to French wines.
The reforms proposed to address the crisis
The earlier reforms that had been proposed in the industry has been the pull vine scheme in which grapes producers were paid by the government in order destroy thousands of acreage of vines to address the problem of overproduction. The initial phase of the problem saw both Italy and France destroy 320,000 hectares of vineyard which was estimated to be close to the vineyard of the untied states. (Jancis, 1999)
The recent proposals have been the change of law in advertising in order to target people behavior rather the product itself. Strict advertisement laws have made it difficult for the wine producers to advertise their products since they cannot encourage the public to consume more of their product. This proposal is expected to see the change in laws of the national board in order to enable the producers to advertise to the public their products which are likely to raise the level of consumption.
There have master plans that have been proposed in order to resuscitate the industry and prevent it from collapsing. The plan integrates a number of measures that are supposed to address the issue very well. These include a number of short term and long term measures. Short term measures that have been proposed include the exemption of certain taxes on the industry. This will help many of the struggling industry to service since some of them are almost bankrupt. If some of the produces are exempted of some taxes, they will be able to lower their production in order to avoid over saturation since most of the producer have been using the capitals theory of more production for more profit without necessary thinking about the market demand of wines.
The other short terms measure that has been proposed has been putting a fixed minimum wine price for six months. This is one of the power the have conferred by the law especially in time of crisis. This will help companies to sell their wine at recommended prices and prevent the possible fall in value of wine in the country. Due to over production and market crisis, some producers may result to selling their wine at a very low price in order to beat their competition which may have an effect of reducing the quality of wine in terms of price. (Mercer, 2005)
There is also a proposal to make distillation semi- obligatory for wine firms in trouble. This will help them to regulating their production in order to suit the demand in the market.
The long term proposals have been proposed in line with the need to change the European Unions common market laws on wine. This would be in line with helping the wineries rip more vines and at the same time replace them with vines that are more palatable to the taste of consumers. This would help the industry to compete well with the new wine house in other countries. This has been proposed to last for a period of eight years.
There have also been calls for more market funds by the EU in order to address the common agriculture policy. This should include money needed in order to market the wine industry in and out of the EU. France would benefit from such fund as it would help it to market its wines. This has been in line with calls to reorganize the French wine industry in some issue like the hierarch of the industry and the Appellation Controlee (AOC). This if appealed and changed would help the industry to produce products which are specific to the consumer demands. (Lichfied, 2006)
Conclusion and personal commentary
It is clear that French wine industry is one of the oldest in the world and hence one of the most stable. It has evolved over time to achieve its current status but it has been so rigid due to the control exerted by the state and the regulatory bodies. The industry has not been able to act flexibly in order to keep up with the changes that have been taking place in the market.
Although the French wine industry is troubled, there is future hope for the industry. French wine are still considered some of the best in the world and it is just a matter of time before the industry gets back to its feet. What is needed is an urgency to address some of the issue that would help to redevelop the industry to its former self.
There should be systematic efforts which are aimed at reorganizing the industry again in order to make it more competitive to be able to face the new wine producers. The government should look at some of the law on advertisement and taxes on the industry in order to help the struggling industry. Once these issues are addressed, the industry is likely to come back to its feet.
Cooperage, K. (2007). ONEO S. A. Retrieved on 20th March 2008 from,
Desmond. S. (1999). Monks and Wine. London: Mitchell Publishers
Donald, K. Petie, K. (2001). Wine and War: The French, the Nazis. New York: Broadways Books
Frank, M. & Macle, D. (2007). Europe plan to pull up vines. The Wine Spectator, September 2007
Hines, S. (2004). Grapes of Wrath: Wine crises in France. The Dominion Issue 24, December 2004
Jancis, R. (1999). Vine Pull. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Lichfied, J. (2006). Does French Wines still deserve its reputation as the best in the world? The Independent May 2006
MacNeil, K. (2001). The wine Bible. Workman Publishing
Mercer, C. (2005). French wine industry launches battle plan, CRAV attacks again. Retrieved on 20th March 2008 from,
Parker, R. M. (2008). French wine in crises. Retrieved on 20th March 2008 from,

The Causes of the 1789 French Revolution

The French Revolution of 1789 had many long-range causes. Political, social, and economic conditions in France contributed to the discontent felt by many French people-especially those of the third estate. The ideas of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment brought new views to government and society. The American Revolution also influenced the coming of the French Revolution. The Philosophes planted the seeds for the French Revolution. Their goals were to expose and destroy the inequalities of the ancient regime (old order).

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The political discontent of France was one of the causes of the Revolution. In the 17th and 18th centuries, France was ruled by an absolute government. The king had all the political powers. Anyone who criticized the government could be arrested and put in prison without trial. Louis XVI was king at the time of the French Revolution. He was more interested in hunting than governing France. He and his Austrian queen, Marie Antoinette, lived an extravagant life at the Palace of Versailles. They did not really care about the state of their country. The excerpt from the cahiers mentioned in document 3 shows that the votes in the assembly were not taken by head. The people of the 3rd estate felt a sense of betrayal when the king supported the block voting over the head voting. The first two estates worked together to outvote the large third estate to keep them from becoming a threat to the power. Lord Acton, an Englishmen, states that the monarchy being overthrown wasn’t the spark of the Revolution. He recognizes the American Independence as the spark of the French Revolution. The French government was inefficient, unjust and corrupt. There were numerous government departments, different laws in different parts of the country and officials. Many people became livid at the way France was governed. The people couldn’t do anything to bring about a change. The French Parlement was called the Estates-General. It had not met since 1614 and couldn’t without the consent of the king. It basically had no power.
The economic problems created by the French kings also contributed to the Revolution. During the 18th century, the French government spent more money than it collected in taxes. By 1788, the country was bankrupt. Arthur Young, an Englishmen and observer, who traveled to France from 1787 to 1789 angrily describes the living conditions of the peasants in his book Travels in France. The amount of tax each person must pay is unfair. Landholders found in the nobility weren’t taxed much. The landholders found in the commoners were taxed heavily. There was lack of bread. The price of bread was a lot higher then one’s ability to pay which caused great misery for the people of France. Most of the money was spent on wars. France had been at war for nearly 50 years out of the previous one hundred years. France supported the Americans in the American War of the Independence. After that, France was in financial ruins. A large sum of money was also spent on palaces, entertainment and gifts by the kings of France. The government spent a lot of money which put forth high taxes. The tax system was unjust. The nobles and the clergy hardly paid any tax. The Church owned one-tenth of the land in France and did not pay any taxes. The peasants were the victims of the heavy taxation. Louis XVI tried to reform the taxation system but the nobility and the clergy refused to accept the new reforms. Therefore, the king was unable to make any financial reforms. The gabelle, salt tax, was also levied by the French Kings. When Jacques Turgot tried to impose the corvee, tax on land property, he was opposed by the nobility. He failed to pass the corvee and was dismissed by Louis XVI..
Social problems were also a major factor that brought about the French Revolution. In the 18th century, France was a feudal country with class divisions. People were divided into three estates. The First Estate consisted of the clergy. The Second consisted of the nobility, and the Third included the bourgeoisie, the city workers and the peasants. The state you belonged to decided your power and rights. Document 2 shows the social class distinctions. The first estate was made up of 1% of the people and owned 10% of the land in France. The second estate consisted of 2% of the people and owned 35% of the land. The third estate held 97% of the people who owned 55% of the land. The people-to-land proportion was unjust looking at the amount of people in each estate. The third estate held very little land compared to the amount of people it had. It was overcrowded. The first and the second estate were the privileged classes. They clergy and the nobility were exempt from many taxes. They had to pay about four-fifths of their income on tax. They also needed to pay the land tax: also the taxes on property, roads, and salt. The third estate was the most discontented class. The bourgeoisie were well educated. They were strongly influenced by the ideas of Voltaire and Rousseau who attacked the injustices of the time. Rousseau believed that people are basically good but become corrupted by society. In an ideal society, people would make the laws and would obey them willingly. Probably the most famous of the philisophes was Francois-Marie Arouet who took the name Voltaire. He used biting wit as a weapon to expose the abuses of his day. He targeted corrupt officials and idle aristocrats. With his pen, he battled inequality, injustice, and superstition. He detested the slave trade and deplored religious prejudice. They resented the privileges of the nobility and wanted a larger role in state affairs. City workers were angry because their wages were not enough to buy goods when prices were going up rapidly. The peasants made up 80% of the population and had to pay heavy taxes. In his book The French Revolution, Albert Mathiez states that the Revolution was caused by the middle classes. The working classes weren’t able to control or start the Revolution. They were just starting to learn how to read. French peasants were subject to certain feudal dues, called banalities. These included the required used-for-payment of the lord’s mill to grind grain and his oven to bake bread. The lord could also require a certain number of days each year of the peasant’s labor. Peasants were targeted by society. They couldn’t do anything on there own or try to fight back.
The French Revolution was caused by social, political and economic problems. People were in discontent with the king. The first two estates were privileged and the third was very unprivileged and had to pay heavy taxes. The third estate did not get along with the first two. French kings spent a lot of money on wars. They spent more money then they made. It was time for a change in France.

The Success of The French Revolution

The French Revolution of 1789-1799 was moderately successful in its attempt to achieve its goals for the lower class of France. The French revolutionists aimed to obtain greater power for the Third Estate, to break the absolutism of the French monarchy and topple the aristocracy, introduce a constitution to limit the power of the upper class in the making of decisions for the country and for the lower class to have more power and freedom within the government and in their daily lives. In the first few years of the French revolution the upper class held a majority of the power within the country although their power was limited until the lower class began to revolt and become a force worth noticing. The French revolution succeeded in obtaining great power for the lower class, creating a constitution, limiting the power of the monarchy, giving the Third Estate great control over the populace of France and gaining rights and power for the lower class of France.

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The French revolution was successful in obtaining more power and control for the Third Estate. At the start of the French revolution in 1789 the common French people united together to pursue their common goals. The Third Estate was a representative of the lower, middle and working class in the government, the First and Second Estates were delegates of the clergy and nobility. The storming of the Bastille forced King Louis XVI to give the Third Estate more power and attention. In 1789, on July 14th a mob of suppressed French commoners stormed the Bastille, France’s largest prison and a representation of suppression of the lower class. The royalty was also captured and imprisoned in an attempt to threaten their continued position as the leaders of France. This event forced King Louis to act in order to maintain control over the lower class. The third estate gained more power in the government, this was shown when the French constitution was introduced and forcefully accepted to reduce the power held by the aristocracy. This illustrated the French revolutions success in obtaining power and control in the government.
The French revolution was also successful in its struggle to achieve rights and freedom for the common populace of France. The absolute power of the French monarchy was beginning to collapse as the lower class attained more rights and privileges that allowed them to control their destiny in the government. By 1792 France was a radical democratic republic, granting them greater rule over their own populace. In 1790 the Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed by the Third Estate, which was known as the National Assembly by this point. This newly introduced law limited the power of the church and made the government secular and separate from the church’s influence. The Constitution of 1791 was introduced to dramatically limit the power of the monarchs and aristocracy in their contribution to the decisions of the government. The laws that were incorporated into the French government under the control of the National Assembly are a demonstration of the power they had obtained and the success of the French revolution in gaining rights and freedoms for the lower class of France.
Although the French revolution was successful in the aspect of obtaining rights for the lower class, it failed harshly in its attempt to topple the aristocracy at the beginning of the revolution. The September massacres occurred in 1792 and continued for a period of five days. Many prisoners of Paris were victims to the murders by the lower class. This massacre was committed in fear of a revolt by the aristocracy. Although this was the result of this massacre as many of the lower class involved were punished by death. This attempt to overthrow and suppress the upper class was a failure for the French revolution. They acted out of fear and as a result were unable to obtain their goal of greater power over the aristocracy. This event was a failure for the French revolution.
The French revolution also failed to provide equality and freedom among the common people of France. In an attempt to frighten the enemies of the revolution and prevent counter-revolution the national assembly sentenced 20,000-40,000 people to death. This attempt to protect the power of the National Assembly, essentially the revolutionists, created disorder and mistrust amongst the people in 1793 to 1794. The National Assembly was unable to provide liberty for the people of France. Many of the lower class was sentenced to the guillotine due to the critique of the government. This event was also a failure in the French revolution as the lower populace of France did not experience freedom and equality after their long-term suppression but were made to follow the lower class that held power. Their aspiration to create a country without class or hierarchy was a failure as only a minority of the lower class held total power of the rest of the country, including the lower class that still had not obtained power.
The French revolution experienced success in 1793 in Vendee when the lower class suppressed the royalty of France that attempted to counter-revolt against the French revolutionists. Many of the upper class aristocracy including: mayors, judges, National Guardsmen, educationalists and priests were all involved in feeble attempts to regain control and power over France. The aristocracy was immediately and brutally extinguished as 45,000 troops were sent out in a successful attempt to smother the weak revolution consisting of inexperienced, unarmed aristocracy. The upper class were easily defeated and the lower class regained control of the country. The French revolutionists were able to succeed in suppressing and demoralising the aristocrats attempt at a revolution to protect the lower class from losing power.
The French revolution instituted a law that allowed them to try people in court, suspected of treason against the republic. This attempt to reduce treason against the republic was a success as it filtered the potential traitors from the citizens of France and protected the common populace under the control of the lower class. In September of 1793 the National Assembly introduced the Law of Suspects in a victorious effort to protect the commoners within France. This law brought safety and assurance to the lower class, making this law successful in maintaining power for the lower class of France.
The French revolutions’ attempt to give slaves more freedom and power was flawed as many aristocrats did not agree with the laws or completely dismissed the authority of the lower class. In February of 1794 slavery was abolished in all French colonies, many aristocrats in these colonies were discontented and as a result fled the islands to other countries that continued to allow slavery. This attempt to provide more power for the lower class failed as the slaves were not able to maintain the power that was given to them due to the aristocracy. This law was unable to be maintained and was a failure in the French revolution in its attempt to give equal power and liberty to the lower class.
Another area in which the French revolution was unable to give the lower class power over their own daily lives was the exceedingly fluctuating prices of bread and rice. Bread and rice was the majority of the food in the peasants’ diet, when prices increased the lower class inevitably suffered. The bread riots in 1795 were non-violent protests against the National Assembly as they were unable to maintain a stable price for bread. These riots were an illustration of the National Assembly’s inability to provide the lower class with power and control over the food prices and by extension their own lives.
The French revolution failed in protecting the lower class and maintaining power for the lower class. In 1795-1799 the directory, a group of five members became France’s administrators. This directory was introduced to obtain stability for France, although corruption began to permeate the system. The members of the directory manipulated laws and overturned electoral results that they disliked. The directory was unable to provide stability for the country and was incapable of protecting the republic and the people from war and corruption. The French revolution failed in this aspect to provide protection and constant power to the people of France.
The French revolution also succeeded when the revolution ended and Napoleon introduced his revolutionary dictatorship into the country. Napoleon came into power in 1799 and introduced his ideals. The lower class of France was satisfied and protected with the introduction of Napoleon and his ideas.
The French revolution was successful in obtaining many of its goals. Although there were many failures throughout the French revolutions attempt to gain power, control and rights within France. The French revolution was unable to attain constant protection for the lower class, unchanging prices of bread and food for commoners, complete freedom and rights for slaves within the French colonies and equality and complete freedom for the common populace of France. The French revolution experienced many successes as well as many failures; although overall they were able to meet their prominent aims and goals for the common people of France making the French revolution a moderate success.

The Moroccan Goums In The French Army International Relations Essay

Linguistically speaking, the term Goum comes from the Arabic word (قم) pronounced with a Maghrebi accent which means stand up. This term is going to define a military unit that was formed by the French army to be used first internally for pacification purposes and then externally for fighting the Axis powers in World War II. The Goums were predominantly Berbers from the region of the Middle as well as High Atlas, their simple lifestyle and isolation from the lowland in Morocco distinguish them from the other Moroccans mainly the Arabs and Arabized Berbers. Their way of fighting made them fierce warriors that were admired by the French militarily and feared by the Germans and Italians, in addition to the fact that they condoned many barbarous acts that they were doing to their enemies. They regard war as a way of living to the extent that they were assiduous in their missions by perfecting their fighting methods. The Goums made a reputation as redoubtable warriors both in Morocco, North Africa and Europe with the testimony of many military officers. This research papers will analyze the emergence Goums by dividing the papers into three parts. The first one is devoted to the origin of the Goums, the second to the contribution of the Goums within the French Army in World War II and the last to the fate of the Goums after the end of World War II.

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The Origin of the Goums and the Pacification of Morocco
The Goums were first recruited from the Berber tribes that were objected to the French army such as Ait Warayn, Ait Seghrouchn, Imermuchn, Ichqirn, Izayyan, Ait Yahya…The origin of the Goums goes back to the area of the pacification of Morocco; they were used against the resisting Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains until 1934, the end of the pacification. The birth of the Goums is going to be in 1908 when the French General D`Amande recruited six Goums in the regions of Chaouia to fight the resistance against France in tribal area. The first resident general in Morocco was General Louis-Hubert Lyautey who intended to rule Morocco indirectly by using the Moroccan elite that would govern the country for the benefit of France. However, his idea of indirect rule did not prove to be successful as the Makhzen under the sultan was not able to control the regions outside its realm (Blad Siba) such as the Atlas Mountains, where tribal societies were either with the central power or against themselves. Lyautey realized that diplomacy is not working with the tribes in the mountains therefore he resorted to organizing North African French troops such as the Tirailleurs and Spahis to fight insurrections.
Under these circumstances le Service Des Affaires Indigenes et Renseignements (AIR) came into being, the service divided auxiliaries recruited from the tribes into three distinct groups: Partisans, Mokhaznis and Goums. The Goums were the elite of the French colonial force and their assigned mission was to police the rebellion areas among their tribal areas and was used as “Groupes Mobiles,”pacification soldiers that performed the task of inspection as they know their areas more than the French. The Atlas Mountains attested to be a tough mission for Lyautey due to the harshness not only of its mountains but also of its inhabitants, to the extent that the French Morocco was separated from the Atlas Mountains by the River of Oum er Rebia, thus deemed a region off the French Control. When Lyautey started his military campaign against the tribes in the Atlas Mountains staring from the city of Khenifra, he encountered a fierce resistance from the Zaini tribe mainly from Moha ou Hammou, Moha ou Said and Ali Amhaouch. Lyautey relied on Goums as well as Algerian and Senegalese Tirailleurs to get Moha ou Hammou.But the price was high as the French military was subject to many defeats with its pinnacle in the Battle of Elhri in 1914.
Regarding the ethnic composition of Goums, when they were first formed in 1908 in the region of Chaoia they were a mix of both Arabs and Berbers. However in the late 1920s, the French are going to confine the recruitment of Goums to be mainly from the Middle as well as the High Atlas. From this perspective the Goums were distinct from other colonial troops such as tirailleurs and saphis by being distinctly Berbers, a reason that made France to use them as police officers against any resistance.
The Berber tribe ofAit Seghrouchn is going to be the most favored by the French to recruit the Goums. The tribe was attacked by the French and many of its inhabitants decided to enlist in the French army due to the death of their family. The Berber name of the tribe “ouchn” means wolf. The way of their fighting is derived from their attribution to this animal. According to Barbara Ehrenreich, the Scandinavian warriors were leaving their human form and assuming the form of a bear when they go to fight, from which the origin of the word berserk came. Consequently, when the Goums of Ait Seghrouchn went to fight they assume the form of a wolf and leave behind their human form.
The Goums were noticeable for their quality of loyalty to the extent that they remained faithful to their officers during the dissents in Morocco. As it is stated by Edward L. Bimberg, “during all these turbulent years the Goums remained steadfast. While the tribes of their origin vacillated loyal to the French one day, fighting them the next the Goumiers remained faithful, not to France, but to their officers, the Frenchmen to whom they owed their fealty.”The tribes proved to be a difficult task for the French, but “Eventually, it was nature that defeated the tribesmen. The French dammed the streams that ran through the Berber positions, cutting off their water supply.” And by 1933, “the last of the dissident tribes, the Aı¨t Abdi, the Aı¨t Sokhlman and, toughest of them all, the Aı¨t Haddidou, came down out of their mountain strongholds and submitted to the French generals. The pacification of Morocco was complete.” After the end of the pacification, the Goums became obsolete and there was the idea of discharging the Goums as they were no longer needed. However, due to their ferocity and trustworthiness the French agreed to keep them as gendarmerie (police officers) in case new dissents aroused and by the start of World War II the Goums were going to have a new mission where they built a reputation of being fine warriors.
In 1939 Germany invaded Poland ushering the start of the Second World War and it is obvious that France will be using its colonial troops such as Tirailleurs, Spahis and Zouaves to fight the Axis powers. The Goums were also on the picture, however they were used as a police rather than military force but eventually they were sent to Tunisia to fight the Italian and German forces in its border with Libya. unlike the French, the Berber when they were fighting the Germans had no natural or historical animosity towards them, on the other hand they just fought for the sake of fighting and the fact of being paid for their service was a motivation for them to fight savagely against the Germans.] When the French realized the power of the Goums they organized them in tabors to be used in military missions, the tabor came to be used in hand with the word irregular.
The Goums were deployed in Tunisia two times. First, In 1940 Tunisia was menaced to be attacked by Italians from its East-South border with Libya. Therefore, in May 1940 the Goums were deployed to Tunisia to fight against the Italians. However, when France lost in the Phoney War, it negotiated an armistice that allowed the Vichy government to head the country of France. It is worth mentioning that in contrast to the Italians who were being wary of the Berbers as a threat the German did not regard the Berber as a menace but rather a band of peasants. Additionally, France pointed to the Germans that they were used as gendarmerie. Thus they were allowed for their continuation in Vichy France; in the meantime the Goums were the resort of France to build its army without any interference from Germany.The fact of being situated in the mountainous region of Morocco made the action of French officers unnoticeable. What made the Berbers to be highly admired by the French was their loyalty to the extent that they remain loyal even during their defeat by Germany and under Vichy France. As it is stated by Moshe Gershovich, “this manifestation of Berber loyalty towards the France`s worst moments in history was celebrated as shining proof of the common bond which had been forged between the two peoples, the ultimate fruit of colonial genius and benevolence.”
Second, in 1942 the Goums were redeployed in Tunisia where they acquired a reputation as brave and fearsome warriors who showed to the allied forces their skill in infantry They helped capture the city of Bizerte and Tunis, to the extent that British General Brian Horrocks described the Berbers as “the toughest of all…on whom pain and discomfort seem to have no effect whatever. The Goums fighting performance in Tunisia made them the suitable candidate to fight the Axis powers in Italy.
The Mission in Italy
After their participation in Tunisia which showed to the allied forces the fierceness and warrior quality of the Berbers they were taken to Sicily on what was called operation “Husky,” the 4th tabor that went was composed of 58 French officers and 678 Goums. Sicily did not prove to be a hard terrain for the Goums as its rugged and mountainous terrain were similar to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Nevertheless, they did found the Island “hellishly hot, unbelievably dusty and malarial besides.” The 4th tabor was essential at helping the American 1st division that was heavily attacked by Italians. The Sicilian campaign ended after the capture of Messina, which proved to be a crucial battle for the Goums as it is proposed by Edward L. Bimberg:
It was their first adventure overseas, the first time in their history they had fought outside Africa…they had overcome what may have been some- thing of an inferiority complex, a sense of being ‘‘country bumpkins” fit to fight only in African wars. One way or another, for the Moroccan irregulars Sicily was an important breakthrough.
The fall of Sicily paved the way for the fall of Sardinia and Corsica. The French were aware of the power of the Goums and their competence in war and after their deployment in Tunisia the French army added a metal unit insignia in which it was written “Who Laughs Last Laughs Best”which served as a reminder for its enemies about the glorious victories of Goums against Germans.
In 1943, due to the success of the Goums in Tunisia and Sicily with four tabors being under the command of the allied forces, a new position was created under the name of the Commandment des GoumsMarocains (CGM) with Colonel Augustin-Leon Guillaume as its commander Its role was to maintain communication between those four tabors. The American relied on CGM which would be a part of the fifth army of Clark to invade Italy under the codename of Avalanche.The Goums did not find the new invasion to be hard for as the allied forces did not like the terrain the Goums find an advantage in it, as it is stated by Edward L. Bimberg: “as far as mountain fighting was concerned the Goumiers were at no such disadvantage. The Italian peaks and ridges…meant nothing to the Moroccans.”And while the Germans regarded the mountains as a barrier for defense against the allies, the Goums did not find difficulty in their specialty as mountain warriors.
While the Goums did a remarkable job of fighting the Axis powers, a new element of their charater was revelaed by their misconduct that was noticeable by Italians. As it is declared by Edward L. Bimberg:
They were not popular with the Italians. This was the result of the off-duty conduct of some of them in the mountain villages and isolated valley farms…certain elements among the Moroccans had engaged in a wild spree of rape and pillage across the Italian countryside when they were not busy killing Germans.
In the movie La Ciociara which is based on the novel La Ciociara by Alberto Moravia, the group rape of two women by the Goums after the Battle Messina was portrayed. These brutal events were engraved in the memory of Italians as an Italian word marocchinare came to describe those events. Moreover, In 1964 a monument was erected in the city of Roca di San Pietro, named Mammai Cioria to remind Italians of the atrocities committed by the Goums.
The reasons behind the misconduct of the Goums has to do with the fact such things as rape and loot can be explained through the isolation of the Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains. The reason why the people went to war in the first place was to rape and loot, to the extent that Alexander the Macedonian was portrayed as being gay for not indulging into rape during his conquests.Barbara Ehrenreich stated that “war not only depart from the normal; it inverts all that is moral and right: in war one should kill, should steal, should burn cities and farms, should perhaps even rape matrons and little girls. ” She even pointed out that “rape has been endemic wherever warriors rule and was even legalized in medieval Europe as the feudal lord`s droit de seigneur.”Edward L. Bimberg stated that:
Not that they had anything against the Italians…Their origins, however, can-not be forgotten; to the Moroccan tribesman, that was the way war was waged. To the victor belonged the spoils, and the Goumiers were somewhat puzzled by the restraints put upon them by their officers.
This misconduct of the Goums was used as justification by the French authorities for its brutal policies when dealing with tribal people in Morocco.
The Moroccans indulged in rape, theft, pillage and murder, consequently Clark, the head of the Fifth American division under which the Goums were supervised, ordered the execution of law transgressors. Accordingly, 15 Moroccans were executed while 54 were imprisoned to various sentences. The action committed by the Goums came as a surprise to the French officials Alphonse Juin, commander of the French Expeditionary Corps (CFE), and Guillaume. Therefore, the French decided to bring Berber women to Italy through the US Navy LST to prevent future misconducts by the Goums, to the extent that they were the only soldiers in WWII that brought their women with them.Surprisingly, the policy did help in quelling rape and pillage but the disgrace did not disappear. Apart from their misconduct in Italy, the Goums were also known for the fact that during the night they would sneak in the American tents and steal their stuff. Additionally, their way of fighting involved also the process of cutting throats and ears which was reminiscent of what the Trojans did to their enemies,the basic aim of these practices was to take souvenirs.
The Goums succeeded in chasing the Germans down and reached the cities of Rome and Siena where they fought their last battles in Italy. After that, the Goums have to go to Naples to be embarked directly in southern France to fight the German in what was called Operation Dragon. Italy was an opportunity for Berbers to distinguish themselves again after Tunisia as worthy warriors who can survive under any conduction. As it is pointed out by Edward L. Bimberg:
The Italian campaign was the supreme testing ground for the Moroccan Tabors. Could these lightly armed primitive tribesmen survive in modern warfare? Their officers maintained that they could and did, that their performance in the mountains of Italy was proof of their value, even in the most difficult circumstances…Supply alone, with one air drop and 4,000 mules, was in itself an almost magical accomplishment.
When the Goums were preparing to be embarked in Southern France, the French`s inspector general`s department published a report about the Goums, which mentioned their strong points as well as weak points. It pointed to the qualities of Berbers in warfare such as “scouting and patrolling” particularly in Mountains, Overflowing or swarming, or what is called by French as “de`bordement” which means being fast to attack with the element of surprise, in addition to Adaptability, endurance and cleverness in making booby trapsThe major weak points of the Goums tend to be lack of inventiveness especially in the absence of French chiefs,the fact of taking orders instead of improvising is a constant characteristic of the Goums, In addition to their reluctance to attack a well-equipped target as they prefer “war of movement to a sedentary siege.” Another interesting fact that is mentioned in the report is the Goums` dislike and contempt of the tank, which is normal as any warrior society fears new weapons because not only do they menace their life but also the survival of their groups as fighting elite that is redoubtable and in need of in addition to the fact that a man who fights through a tank is hiding in a machine. For instance, the samurai had the same feelings as they were abhorred by the invention of guns to the extent that they banned it.The report was made with the intent of finding solutions to the weak points as well ameliorating the strong elements of the Goums, for instance by equipping them with anti-tank rifles.
The Mission in France
The participation of the Goums in operation dragon (also known as Anvil) was at doubt not because the French doubted the warfare power of the Goums, but out of fear from their reputation as being prone to rape and plunder like in Italy, to the extent that Pope Pius XII in Vatican had protested against the use of Goums in Europe. However, General Guillaume defended the Goums and asked for their participation in the French soil.In France, the Goums were going to be under the command of General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny who unlike Giraud, Juin and Guillaume was neither African nor having an experience of fighting in North Africa. Another issue that was an obstacle for the deployment of the Goums in southern France is the military nature of Operation Dragon which was gigantic as it included “five battleships, nine escort carriers with 216 aircraft, 122 destroyers and escort vessels and 466 land- ing craft, all from five navies American, British, French, Australian and Greek and an imposing fleet of transports and supply ships as well.” Finding room for the Goums among this vast military along with their mules and horses was a cumbersome one. Many officers showed their opposition to the inclusion of the Goums in the ships as well as undermining their capacity as warriors based on their looks. For instance, General Alexander Patch of the American force was against their deployment. Nevertheless, the need for Goums attested to be vital for the Allied forces as General De Lattre convinced the officers that opposed the Goums Deployment in the operation, mainly the Americans. He pointed out to their specialty of mountain warfare which would be useful in getting along the mountain ranges surrounding the two cities: Toulon and Marseille, in addition to the Alps and the Vosges in Alsace. To put things differently, regardless of their look or reputation as rapist and plunderers, the Goums were crucial for the success of Operation Dragon. Moreover, regarding the issue of rape and pillage De Gaulle agreed to the deployment of Goums in France as long as they were not used in cities. Eventually, 6000 Goums along with 1200 mules were embarked in the ship heading towards the shores France.
The German forces that were stationed in France to defend the South were the 19th army under the control of General Friedrich Wiese. The major German power was stationed in two major French cities Marseille and Toulon. In the former, it was the 244th Infantry Division as well as naval and Luftwaffe ground units and the latter it was 242nd Infantry Division and the Kriegs-marine.The cities captured by Germany such as Marseille were used as fortresses while the leading roads to the city were fortified by artillery, machine guns, mines and wire. What made the invasion more difficult is due to the fact that the Germans followed Hiller`s rule of fighting to the last man. Regardless of the way the German fought, the Goums had the advantage of identifying war as a reason for their life therefore making the best of it. What was noticeable regarding the Goums in contrast with the allied forces is their Berber character that can be seen from their clothing: djellaba, rezzas and mule-riding. To the extent that De Lattre described their march toward Marseille as “trotting along in single file with their mules, bare footed, their hob-nailed boots hanging about their necks or slung at their belts with their tin helmets. The endless striped djellabas gave the landscape an African appearance.”
The Goums proved to be worthy of their reputation as fierce warriors, they were mostly used in areas that involved inhospitable terrains such as the Mountains of Alps where the Goums were stationed to guard the eastern border of France with Italy, their mission was to prevent any infiltration of Axis powers to France from the Alps to the Col de Larche while the allied forces guarded the less harsh border between Col de Larche and the Mediterranean Sea. The Alps proved to be a strenuous terrain for the Goums, as it is acknowledged by Edward L. Bimberg
The Alpine terrain in that area was particularly difficult, even for the Goumiers. They found the footing around the Col de Larche and the Plateau des Bouchieres extremely unstable. It was all shale, a rock made of densely packed clay that split easily into layers, of a type unique to the territory and strange to the Moroccans They had never before experienced this kind of stone that sheared off underfoot as they marched, making the uphill going doubly difficult and the down- hill even more dangerous.
The fight in Alps was an arduous one that generated many casualties from both sides. However, as the German received heavy losses in Southern France mainly by losing Toulon, Lyon, Grenoble and Marseille… Hitler ordered his troops to evacuate Southern France.
The next mission of the Goums in France after the Alps is going to be in the Vosges Mountains. The new terrain was different from the Atlas Mountains as it was “heavily forested, dark and dank,”to put it in other words “Its terrain was perfect for defense, and the Germans had made the most of it.”So, De Lattre expected a long battle in the area which was hindered by the weather as well as the harsh terrain, however the general relied on deceiving the German to think that their aim is at the Vosges instead of Belfort Gap, an aim in which he succeeded at. In order to do that, the Goums were kept busy by fighting the German on the mountains, and eventually the victory paved the way to freeing Alsace and getting the Colmar Pocket.
The Mission in Germany
Obtaining Alzace was not enough for the French, for that reason De Gaulle urged his army to go further, beyond the Alsace in the Rhine to capture the capital of Württemberg and Baden province, Stuttgart. However, there was an obstacle as the other bank of Rhine is settled by “the mountainous, wooded terrain of the Black Forest.” But that was not obstacle for the Goums whose reputation did not stop at Italy and Tunisia but arrived to Germany too as the people were more fearful of the Goums than the regular allied forces. As it is affirmed by Edward L. Bimberg, “The German civilians were, understandably, totally cowed, and the white bed sheets of surrender were displayed everywhere. They were particularly fearful of the Goumiers, whose hooded djellabas and scraggly beards made them seem like some avenging medieval monks.” As the French army occupied such cities as Karlsruhe and Pforzheim, the next step is to invade Stuttgart. However, the American forces under the command of General Devers were engaged in fighting the Germans in the north. De Lattre was recalcitrant to the orders of his superiors and preferred to go to the mission without informing the Americans, his plan was to surround the city by isolating it like a siege and the Goums were used effectively in that matter.
Just like Alsace, getting Stuttgart was not enough for the French but they sought something further which is Ulm, the basic interest of French is based on its pride, it wants to be known in history that France reached as far in Germany as the Danube River.Another city that De Latter was after is Sigmaringen, the headquarters of the French Vichy government in exile, under the command of Marshal Petain.Although the two cities were missions for the American Seventh Army De Latter made it a personal mission to get the honor of France as well as capturing the traitors: Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval. Once the Allied forces captured German cities, there was a task that the Goums were skillful at that it was always performed after the fall of each German city, the task was mopping up or what is called in French ratissage. The final place where the Goums along the allied forces fought the German is in the Voralberg Massif in the Austrian Alps.
After the End of World War II
The Goums fought with the French army in the World War Two with loyalty and efficiency however Germany was not the last mission where the Goums served but they also went as far as Indo china in 1948 1854. Until where they severed a heavy defeat in the Tonkin Region in the north, ten tabors were sent to the area, the reason for the defeat is due to the guerrilla warfare tactic employed by the northern Vietnamese as well as the terrain that was unprecedented for the Goums. In the process many left were given to the Goums including other North African soldiers to join the Vietnam military by referring to them as comrade.
When the Goums were discharged from the French army due to the end of World War II and the changing time in Morocco as Moroccans ask for Independence under the PI, The Goums preferred to support the Pasha of Marrakesh, El Glawi in contrast with the supporters of Mohemmed V. the king went into exile and Mohammed Ben Arafa became the sultan for a short period and by the independence.
The Goums were good at fighting and helped the allied forces in their war against the axis power, they were used under the command of French officers, and they proved their warrior spirit in Tunisia, Italy and Germany. To the extent that only four of the Goums have become prisoners of war during their experiences in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France , Germany and Austria. The Goums are specialized in mountain warfare however during their deployment in Europe they proven to be adaptable to other types of warfare. The Goums are not mercenaries but military unit under the international law and a basic evidence of that is the fact that the Goums were fighting in Europe for the sake of France to the extent that “When one Goumier was offered a monetary reward, he refused it saying, ‘‘It is for France.Their reputation seems to be tarnished by the brutal events of Ciociara and the defeat in but still they did a difficult work of helping the allied forces freeing Europe from the Axis powers.
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The French Ban Of The Hijab

The wearing of the hijab or otherwise known as the Islamic headscarf has been a focal point in many discussions and a highly debatable subject in France. Ever since the France banned the wearing of Islamic scarves in 2004, there has been a spectrum of issues that arise particularly in three related areas: religion, self-identity of a Muslim veiled woman, and the national identity of France. What does the tern ‘hijab’ denote? What is the national identity of France and how does it view the hijab? What constitutes to the headscarf ban?
In this essay, I aim to discuss the implications of the clash between France’s national identity and the constructed identity of wearing the headscarf for French Muslim women. Secondly, I discuss about the repercussion of the headscarf ban such as discrimination faced by the female Muslim students at schools.
For the study of this paper, I focus only on the Islamic headscarf ban though other religion symbols are banned in France such as the Jewish skullcaps and Christian crosses.
The literature review foregrounds the above mentioned three questions.
Background Literature Review
A confusing array of positions has been taken about the relationship between wearing the hijab and Islam over the recent years. (Winter, 2008) For some, it marks the religious symbol of Islam and inevitably becomes an inalienable part of a woman’s identity. Religious scholars have asserted that Islamic law requires women to wear the hijab, a headscarf covering their ears, hair and neck.(Wiles, 2007) Relating to this view, Muslim women thus believe that wearing the hijab is an obligation under the commandment of the Qur’an. Originally, the term “hijab” meant “curtain” or “separation” which denoted – “to hide from view”. Donning the headscarf, indicates that underneath it is a woman and without it, Sheikh Al-Hilali as cited in (Winter, 2008) is “uncovered meat” to eyes of the men who become “cats”, and thus cannot be blamed for harassment – signifying woman’s weakness. (H.Sinno, 2009) states that wearing the hijab may serve as a woman’s emancipation and empowerment. On the contrary, French liberal perfectionists view the donning of hijab as a marker of female and religious oppression affecting a woman’s autonomy (Laborde, 2006) that contradicts with the principle of secularism.

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Secularism is forms part of the national identity of France, a country that disliked the force of the Catholic Church after centuries of religious battle. The roots of secularism can be recalled back into early liberalism and its succinct focus on universality, rationality and individual autonomy (Asad 2003; Yavuz and Esposito 2003) as cited in (Gökariksel & Mitchell, 2005). Fundamentally denoting, it aims to separate state and religion meaning being neutral in religion so that a democratic republic is formed. Therefore, in the eyes of secularism, religious “conspicuous” symbols cast religious differences onto individuals that are supposed to be rational and equal. (Gökariksel & Mitchell, 2005)As such, the wearing of hijab is perceived to indicate a non-secular expression which gradually initiated the ban.
The French law imposed a ban for prohibiting all overt religious symbols which took effect on March 2004. (Kiersh) The law is a modification to part of the French Code of Education that constitutes the principle of secularity. As mentioned, France is a self-declared secular state and the manners which public schools are run are directly influenced by that notion. The controversy of the headscarf ban started with a decision undertaken by a high school headmaster in Creil who expelled three female Muslim students wearing the hijab on 18th September, 1989. Within a week, his decision was overturned. The Education Minister, Lionel Jospin , sought legal opinion and the Council stated that the right to don the headscarf was in accordance to the principle of secularism and was legally essential of French citizens’ fundamental doctrine rights to exercise the freedom of expression and religion. Furthermore, it can be reviewed that the wearing of such a religious symbol should not be “conspicuous” in a way that leads to disrupt order in schools. Later, the Council issued a circulation advising that “ostentatious” elements should not be worn in schools. (Wiles, 2007) A series of tensions and irregularities stirred up such as ethnic-related violence which the government blamed on the presence of religious symbols. According to (Wiles, 2007), in July 2003, President Chirac recommended the passing of the law that bans religious symbols in state schools and reasoned that the main purpose was to affirm independence and openness to cultural diversity, arguing that the wearing of headscarf does not fit in this vision.
In retrospect with the lectures and readings, it can be examined that there is misrecognition of the French Muslim women with the French law of prohibiting the wearing of religious headscarves. As (Tatum, 1997) highlights, there is a mythical norm that exists in the minority group which says, “that is not me” and in this case, if a Muslim woman who believes that her religion requires her to don the hijab, is forced not to wear it to abide the French law of secularism, then, “that is not her”. Furthermore, by prohibiting her from doing so strongly infringes on her right to that freedom of religion and conscience according to the view of (Wiles, 2007). France as mentioned is a multicultural society, but as (Blum) highlights, multiculturalism is a tolerance for and recognition of the right of other groups to pursue their own cultural identities, but which is being diluted in the effect of the ban. The ban does not have respect for and the interest in the cultural heritage of the Muslims, and thus France cannot be said to be a multicultural society, for there is racial discrimination that surfaces from the ban.
Chirac stated, “Secularity is one of the republic’s great achievements. It plays a crucial role in social harmony and national cohesion. We must not allow it to be weakened” (Fontanaud, 2003, Chirac urges Muslim headscarf ban, para. 13)
As mentioned in the quote, the terms ‘social harmony’ and ‘national cohesion’ are indeed questionable as there have been social unrests due to the protests by the Muslims to urge Chirac not to propose the law to enforce the prohibition. Representing the subordinate group, they feel victimised and refuse to be obliged to succumb to such a ban by the dominant group because they lose their religious identity; their dignity and honour. (Taylor, 1994)
“A law on religious symbols in the school environment could stigmatise a whole community,” said Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM). (Fontanaud, 2003, Chirac urges Muslim headscarf ban, para. 17)
I agree with Dalil’s opinion, as the stigmatisation as mentioned could result in an inherent reduction in the identity of the religion in the discourse of the French community and the protests may reflect the Muslims reaction to re-acclaim their identity, dignity and self-respect. (Tatum, 1997)
According to (Fontanaud, 2003), Chirac rejected the commission’s proposal to mark the holy days of minority faiths, reiterating that French pupils had many official days off. One of the minority faiths include Islam and by doing so, demonstrates blindness to their religion and its unacceptance. (Taylor, 1994) Looking back at the notion of secularism, one may question in what way does it embrace a democratic society when it visibly demarcates the subordinate groups in terms of religious practices, despite claiming to promote cultural diversity and social harmony. In other words, it can be said that in France, do what the French do just like the saying goes – “in Rome, do what the Romans do” – to have “Frenchness1” or to be called a French citizen, one must not wear the headscarf, if not, you are the “other” as (Tatum, 1997) puts it.
In schools, French Muslims are placed at a fix amidst this identity struggle between faith and citizenship, and some are expected to compromise in wearing a bandana. (BBC, Muslim girl shaves head over ban , 2004)
Touria adds: “It’s part of who I am. It’s not just some bit of fabric on my head. It’s everything. People say that it’s the women who wear the veil that are submissive… but I think it is those women who are submissive, because it is what men want, women half naked.” (BBC, 2004, French scarf ban comes into force, para.3)
Touria’s statement clearly contradicts Sheikh Al-Hilali’s statement as cited in (Winter, 2008) that had been mentioned earlier in my introduction, where it is purely up to the individual’s belief to don the headscarf, whom in this case, regard it as representing “who she is” (Tatum, 1997) and its possessed worth is much more than its material or function, neither does it represent a sign of weakness to the male gender. At the same time, Touria highly attunes by wearing a bandana because she refrains from drawing attention to herself or her religion, if so, may face racial discrimination in school and be excluded as a member in that discourse community. (BBC, French scarf ban comes into force , 2004).
In some schools, the rule is so strict that, even a bandana is not permitted. Cennet Doganey asserts that she respects the French law and the Muslim law and shaves her head completely. The cause that led to this was due to the fact that she was refused to enter the class despite wearing a bandana and states, “I respect the law but it did not respect me.” (BBC, Muslim girl shaves head over ban, 2004) To her, the French law discriminates in the form of tangible representatives such as the headmasters by restricting her freedom to exercise the rights of her religion due to the headscarf ban in public schools. Some girls are even being sent home which is justified as being required to abide by the French law, that being one dimension but another which presents itself as a pillar of discrimination. Their education gets affected and they need to make a choice to go against their religious beliefs to be an “inclusive” French citizen. (Hashmi, 2000) If having awareness to cultural identity is the objective of secularism in a multicultural community, then there should be “cultural pluralism” that involves the different racial groups to have tolerance and acceptance for and recognition of the rights of one another to pursue their own cultural exploration. As (Taylor, 1994) mentions as cited in (Blum), liberal values needs to present in the notion of multiculturalism, which contradicts the principle of secularism and the headscarf ban. Neither is there equality in dignity nor respect for that religious practice. It seems to however connote the wearing of the hijab as a threatening weapon to secularism. (Blum) reaffirms that a person’s cultural identity has a distinctive set of history and practices which is central to one’s overall individual identity. Hence, by being true to the constituents of the ban in accordance to the French law, the French Muslim is being separated of her own identity and becomes a misrecognised marginalised individualist whose dignity is not respected by the law. (Robert J.Pauly, 2004). Supporting this view, Taylor’s notion of “recognition” as cited in (Blum) is defined as to “recognise” cultural differences which creates the identities of the Muslim individuals, and by doing so means to respect their dignity, if not, it dishonours them.
There are limitations to the scope of my discussion due to adhering of the word limit otherwise, the concept of integration, assimiliation and “melting pot” not only in France, but other parts of Europe would have been further explored as the headscarf ban arises in Turkey as well as Germany.
It appears that despite efforts undertaken by the French government to separate state and religion, it is clear that different individuals have different realities. The reality of the headscarf ban in the eyes of French Muslims causes discrimination and a separation from one’s identity. The reality of secularism has good intentions in having individuals to be liberated from assumed oppressive religions but demonstrates otherwise where it stigmatises cultural identities, portraying them to have less worth in the society. Multiculturalism needs to be deeply examined in the French context due to the consequences mentioned that arise from the headscarf ban. Indeed, the headscarf ban itself needs to lend itself to be further investigated on whether it is a necessity or intolerance.