Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today In History: Grudges.

On this date in 1806, in a seeming reversal of the natural order of things, Napoleon's armies entered Berlin.

The Jerries have since held a bit of a grudge.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahem.

If you actually look at the relative number of times that the French have invaded the Germanies, rather than vice versa, you might be surprised.

Heck, are there French speaking bits of Germany? No. But are there (historically)German speaking bits of France...whole provinces.

Anonymous said...

Q:Why did the French plant trees down the Champs-Elysees?
A:So the Germans could march in the shade!!

Drew UK

comatus said...

Historically, this may be accounted for by the relative (sic) weakness of one Lothar.

The other half of my son's ancestry (I sure can talk around her, can't I?) had to leave those "bits of France" because of the religious intolerance...of the French.

The ancient castle above Heidelberg is full of French cannonballs.

If you think the Germans are anti-semitic, you don't know the French well enough.

global village idiot said...

It really has a lot to do with the fact that there wasn't really a "Germany" as a nation-state until after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Prior to that there were provinces as independent from each other as the nations of Central America are now.

You'll notice that Germany's ascendence (and France's regression) happened around the same time that the culturally- and linguistically-German peoples of the region started paying more attention to how much they had in common as opposed to how little they had different.

Anonymous said...

Everything was fine and dandy before the Prussians united...

DirtCrashr said...

Yuropeens should settle-down and quit trying to "unify" that land-mess, they keep trying but it's really not what they're good at. They should just stick to making cheese and beer and stuff like that.

comatus said...

"in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Say what you will about the Germans--and I will!--until the EU, no German used anything but barley, hops, and water to make beer.

Kristopher said...

The French have to be led by someone who is not a frenchman if they are to win.

T.Stahl said...

Must be the last time they defeated us - without American help. ;-)

Comatus, the 'purity law' dated back to 1516 - then came the EU. :-(

Gregg said...

Comatus,
Which of course explains the lack of wheat beer historically in Germany. Oh wait, they have a wheat beer and have had one for centuries, it even has a neat german name weissbier. Not to mention that before hops were used in beer people all over europe used gruit which was a mixture of other herbs. OTOH, as was mentioned earlier in this thread, it depends on just what you label "Germany" which did not exist as anything more than a bunch of semi-independent fiefdoms until the 19th century. Yes, the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither holy nor roman, existed in the area that we now call germany.

Anyway, I can pull out a whole slew of other beers that were native and local to the area that we now call germany which were brewed with additional adjuncts. I can even pull out some primary and secondary sources. THough if you are interested in this stuff Randy Mosher's Radical Brews is a great place to start. Yes, it is mainly focussed on homebrewing, but it includes a lot of brewing history and esoterica in a delightfully tongue in cheek manner. (Tam, I know you don't want to brew, but you would love some of Mr Mosher's writings.)

The whole German beer purity law, while ostensibly passed to protect beer consumers (i.e. drinkers) really seems to be more of a law designed to protect the Brewers Guilds. Remember this was passed before corn was introduced to Europe, and rice was not, to the best of my knowledge, a common commodity.

comatus said...

gregg, um, yeah. Definitions vary by state, but we make (and have made, even when the majors dominated) a lot of beer-like concoctions over 5% or 6% alcohol. They are never, by law, called "beer." Similarly, there are many adjunct brews in Germany, but they are not labeled "bier." Most laws in Europe are there to protect one guild, class or estate from invasion by others, and so it is with Rheinheitsgebot. Hops use seems to have started in Bavaria, and there are Bavarian purity laws even older than 1516. And yup, there was hardly any rice or maize in Europe when those laws were made. Which must account for the widespread use of potatoes, turnips and rye? Not really.

The EU assault on purity laws was instigated by Fischer, from that delightful German-speaking province of France, and had a lot to do with Stella Artois' hand-in-glove marketing relationship with Anheuser-Busch. Call me old fashioned, but at this point I don't see what harm could come to the world by Brussels letting the Germans keep their silly old law. And I'd just as soon buy Belgian whites from the Belgians.

Anonymous said...

This may only be tangentially related(pokes fun at the French)but since its about guns, deals in history, and is damn hilarious...it's a fun read. http://arthurshall.com/x_2007_manly_firearms.shtml

B&N said...

"It really has a lot to do with the fact that there wasn't really a "Germany" as a nation-state until after the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Prior to that there were provinces as independent from each other as the nations of Central America are now."

No shit. Freistaat Bayern. The Bavarians don't like to associate with others who are nominally "German", as they are Bavarians first and foremost. The rest of them are Visigoth bastards with questionable parentage.

Think of how native Texans seem to do something similar and you get the idea. Texas, it's a whole other country.