if u ever get disheartened just remember people in the 19th Century were painting hot Napoleon/Tsar Alexander boyfriend yowz before our great-grandparents were even conceived
history meme - 1/10 moments - the dreyfus affair
the political scandal known as the dreyfus affair divided france for over 10 years since its beginnings in 1894, when alsatian jewish captain of the french army alred dreyfus was publicly accused of treason through espionage against france and sentenced to life imprisonment on devil’s island
dreyfus was proven to be resoundingly innocent, the victim of institutional antisemitism and nationalism, and the truth was suppressed by members of the military and the government through the use of false documents
the immense government deceit and the corrupt nature of france’s political and judicial system throughout the dreyfus affair spurred protests and activism, most notably in the form of emile zola’s open letter “j’accuse” published in 1898, and threatened to split the country into two conflicting political factions
The level of corruption and anti-Semitism that prevailed in 19th and 20th century Europe was revealed by the Dreyfus Affair of 1894 – 1906. Indeed, the event was of such consequence that it has been continually linked by leading historians (notably James L. Gelvin) to Theodor Herzl’s embrace of Zionism. For Herzl, the Dreyfus affair revealed the isolated position of the Jewish population who were subject to discrimination and persecution throughout Europe. Thus it inspired within Herzl a desire to create a separate land for the Jews – one where their rights and freedom would be respected. Indeed, following the first two years of the Dreyfus affair, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (“the Jewish State”) in which he urged the Jewish population to leave Europe either for Argentina or their biblical homeland, Israel. Henceforth one cannot downplay the significance of the Dreyfus Affair in spurring on Jewish individuals like Theodor Herzl – the founder of modern political Zionism, and perhaps the State of Israel itself.
I was looking for stuff about Napoleon in Russia and I found this painting and
oh my god
28 November 1812
Under flag of truce I passed the French lines and had conference with the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. He received me very coldly, and in answer to my message retorted MMMPH MMRHRHHMM FMMMPH FHFFFHRM, to which I could only stammer a few words of courtesy commanded me by the Tsar. With a final FRRMRMRNRNRRRM, the Emperor dismissed me and appointed one of his carabiniers to escort me out of the camp.
Being a member of the Les Mis fandom, I’ve encountered a startling amount of sentiment that there were no people of color in nineteenth century France, that it’s unrealistic to racebend or headcanon characters as people of color and that they can only be written as such in modern alternate universe fic. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for historical veracity and become slightly miffed at colorblind attempts to integrate people of color without considering the racial implications of their involvement in the narrative, but the idea that they didn’t exist in historical Europe is bullshit. People of color are part of the world and have always been part of it, and attempts to ignore that do not come from historical accuracy, but Eurocentrism, erasure, and a flagrant absenceof research.So what people of color existed in nineteenth century France then? I’ve researched historical minority communities and am posting about them in parts, one post per community. This post will focus on the African French diaspora. It is part one of a series on ethnic minorities in nineteenth century France. This does not include the African American diaspora and African American immigration to France or North African and Moorish communities already settled in France and the French Mediterranean, which will be the subjects of separate posts.
Below the cut are facts relevant to the African French community, which ideally will assist fandom in producing art, fan fiction, and meta incorporative of people of color.CW for slavery, racial violence, and racial slurs
Have a list, tumblr, of people who actually lived who could have easily been associated with Les Amis (whether negatively or positively). This is a handy dandy reference for situating fic and RP into historical context. I will happily add more if people send more my way, but these are all people who were between 32 and 19 years old in 1832, and were in Paris at around the time that the schoolboys would have been.
Feel free to send me more and/or correct anything that’s wrong!
I’m also not including Hugo himself because, well, that’s an obvious one.