Origins of the Aerostat (1780s)


Anglais

Auteur-e-s
Reynald ABAD

Jean-Pierre Blanchard’s flight in an aerostat in Nuremberg on November 12, 1787. © BnF.The invention of the aerostat in France in 1783 was a major event in the history of the conquest of the air. However, the tremendous enthusiasm prompted by this machine on a European scale, especially when it came to flight experiments conducted before giant crowds in many cities, makes it a key moment in the history of the relationship between society and modernity. Never before had a technological or scientific invention had such a considerable impact on the public, since the aerostat for the first time coupled the resounding triumph of human progress with collective experience in the form of spectacle.

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Second Birth of the Bottle (18th century)


Anglais

Auteur-e-s
Reynald ABAD

Bottle of Veuve Clicquot-Werlé champagne recovered from the Baltic Sea and deposited in the cellars of Maison Veuve Clicquot in Reims: body in original glass, reconstituted cork and string.The recovery during the summer of 2010 of a batch of bottles of champagne from the first half of the nineteenth century, found in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic, is a reminder that the great European beverage trade was marked by the abandon of wood barrels in favour of glass bottles. This fundamental shift began in the eighteenth century, in a context marked simultaneously by the rise of quality wines, as well as technical progress in glassmaking.

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Motoring And National Victories


Anglais

Auteur-e-s
Mathieu FLONNEAU

Gordon Bennett trophy.Every year between 1900 and 1905, the greatest European nations clashed in international motoring competitions for preeminence on the road. The industrial rivalries in this economic sector, stoked by international motoring competitions, saw France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy emerge as the primary leaders of the motoring revolution. These cups had at their source the media attention initiated by the American James Gordon Bennett, the owner and founder of the International Herald Tribune newspaper, which covered the events. The outlines were thus redrawn for European technical modernity, as it applied to the rapidly growing phenomenon of individual motorized mobility, whose promotion was ensured by the mass-circulating press.

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Bismarck and Europe


Anglais

Auteur-e-s
Stéphanie BURGAUD

Otto von Bismarck with the prussian spiked helmet, 1871From Prussia to Germany, the diplomacy of Minister Otto von Bismarck was marked more by continuity than by change. Although the crises he strove to provoke did not degenerate into global war during his time, his politics nevertheless contributed to the deterioration of the Concert of Europe in its classical sense: rise of unilateralism, formation of permanent alliances that grew increasingly rigid, as states were prompted to seek their own security through belonging to opposing blocks.

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Arbiters and Arbitration in Europe since the Beginning of Modern Times


Anglais

Auteur-e-s
Anne-Sophie NARDELLI-MALGRAND
Albane PIALOUX

Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark! 1914The figure of the “arbiter of Europe” represented an aporia as far back as the early modern era, since it combined the ideal of hegemony with the political ideal of wise and disinterested judgement. The appearance of a “European public reason,” for lack of a genuine public opinion, necessitated a growing development of the latter. Although we can discern a great variety of political practices of arbitration, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries showed a growing need for legal definitions, which the flaws of the nineteenth century’s Concert of Europe only served to reinforce. Hence, in modern times the figure of the arbiter positioned itself in relation to two poles: on the one hand was the arbiter embodied in a power, which enjoyed the advantages and prestige of this honorific and often self-proclaimed title; and on the other was an arbiter using influence to guide negotiations in respect of the new international law of arbitration. Attempts to reconcile the two poles clearly show the political difficulty of this notion of arbiter, which cannot be fully resolved solely within the domain of law.

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Material Modernity(ies): Europe in Expansion


Anglais

Auteur-e-s
Mathieu FLONNEAU

Antwerp, view of the freight station and warehousesThe plurality of material modernity(ies) requires determining the contours of European power as it was constructed during the early modern and modern eras. The global domination of the most advanced European countries followed the establishment of a capitalism in full expansion, whose goal was the integration of markets. From their manufacture to their circulation and consumption, it made of objects and goods one of the most obvious characteristic traits of European civilization.

Firmly associated with the notion of progress, the positivity of these innovative modernities—an exhaustive list of which is illusory so real was its democratization—was on the one hand replaced by an astounding knowledge economy, and on the other associated with the formulation of new social and moral values perceived as being liberating.

At present, a problematic form of historical irony is leading to a depreciation of these material modernity(ies) broadly diffused and invented by Europe, in order to question their contributions and even their very legitimacy.

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Se nommer pour les féministes, un acte militant (1967-1991)


Français

Auteur-e-s

Bannière du mouvement norvégien Kvinnefronten (Front des femmes) portant sa date de fondation et son slogan « Lutte contre toute oppression des femmes ».Les groupes féministes portent des noms qui ont souvent une signification politique, symbolique ou historique. Un bref aperçu de la dénomination des principaux mouvements féministes autonomes, nés entre 1967 et 1991 en Europe, révèle des influences et/ou des intentions importantes pour le combat des droits des femmes, dans des contextes nationaux fort différents. Ces noms à vocation révolutionnaire prônent la « libération des femmes » ou l’intégration des hommes dans le combat féministe soulignent la proximité du féminisme avec le socialisme ou l’espoir d’un avenir démocratique après la chute d’un régime dictatorial. Le terme « féministe » est revendiqué pour mobiliser les femmes autour d’une cause commune. L’humour et l’autodérision sont également présents dans le choix des noms des mouvements féministes, tout comme l’hommage aux générations précédentes de femmes militantes.

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Travail forcé dans les colonies européennes


Français

Auteur-e-s

Il existe des formes de travail forcé au xvie siècle, dans l’Amérique espagnole. Mais c’est à l’époque contemporaine, après l’abolition de l’esclavage, et après ou parallèlement à l’engagisme, que le travail forcé est utilisé systématiquement dans les colonies européennes : soit au bénéfice des colons (à Java dès 1830), soit au bénéfice de grandes compagnies concessionnaires (Congo belge et Congo français), soit au bénéfice de la « mise en valeur » des colonies par l’État colonial (AOF en particulier).

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Esclavage dans les colonies européennes


Français

Auteur-e-s

L’économie esclavagiste bascule à la fin du Moyen Âge de la Méditerranée vers l’Atlantique. La plantation sucrière apparaît tout d’abord dans les îles au large de l’Afrique, puis dans les îles de la Caraïbe (où elle atteindra son apogée au xviiie siècle, à Saint-Domingue notamment) et au Brésil. Simultanément se développent en Amérique d’autres économies esclavagistes, selon des cycles successifs (café au Brésil, coton aux États-Unis, etc.). La plantation génère une société inégalitaire et compartimentée, où les hiérarchies liées à la barrière de race n’empêchent pas une certaine plasticité. L’économie esclavagiste est un étonnant mélange de traits modernes et de traits archaïques.

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