[Tsarina in Revolutionary #France] Against the cold in early June (2017), I left Charles de Gaulle, and took the metro to Place de la Nation. On the metro map of #Paris, there was one station named Stalingrad, which was absurd. My host in Dijon guessed it was because of the active communist movements in Paris. ---
The Cemetery of #Picpus was the first point I aimed at after I set foot in France, or Europe. It is a mass graveyard of 1306 guillotined victims in the Reign of Terror (see the plaque); they were randomly disposed in the dumping ground (‘fosse commune’) before being transported through this door. I stumbled into the house where the Louis XIV was under house arrest and a man walked down the stairs. ---
‘Vous êtes Louis XIV?’ I asked him, horrified.
‘I am glad he is not here so far I live here.’ He chuckled and replied in English. ---
A notable political figure buried here is General Lafayette, a #French nobleman who had spent most of his life fighting along General #Washington in the #American Revolution. He signified the brotherhood of France and America in the world revolutions against the hostile European monarchies. With Thomas Jefferson, he wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizens (1789) (‘Déclaration des Droits de L’homme et du Citoyen’), which stipulated the equal political rights and freedom of individual beings. ---
The past is in the past: it is meaningless if we cannot translate it into progress of our future for humanity. It begs the question if we ask for a disruptive reform without observing history, where the answers have been given. So my question is, is it possible to skip the bloodshed after a new revolution? The revolutionary leaders, threatened by insecurity or exhausted in previous struggles, carried out mass killings to consolidate their power. What if they let the new generations to succeed the fruits of the revolution, rather than clinging onto their power themselves?
---by Carey Pushka Ivanova (2018)
#warhistory #historiansunion #frenchrevolution #americanrevolution #generallafayette #marquislafayette #revolutions #thomasjefferson #reignofterror