Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring 2016

Spring 2016

Spring is here. As the weather blooms around the world, we are still in a real struggle for liberation. As we enter a new era of our history, we remember the past. We acknowledge the present. In that sense, we can establish a tranquil, justice filled future. With the advent of I Phones, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, IG, and other forms of social media, technology has advanced magnificently in the world. The era of the third millennium have many working and being merry. Yet, life is not about bread alone, but it is about fulfilling the will of God (which is to Love God with all of your mind, strength, and heart along with treating your neighbor as yourself). So, we don't need materialism, unjust hatreds, and strife. We ought to follow righteousness in our daily lives. We are opposed to fascism and its adherents (like Trump, the National Party of Le Pen, etc.). That precisely means that we condemn racism, and we stand up for the rights of immigrants. We believe in the liberation of the peoples of the Earth, especially those in nations who are the victims of neocolonialism, poverty, disease, war, and economic deprivation. We believe in the rights of women and all of the human family. Now, we see  that Donald Trump's extremism is expanding. He was hesitant in condemning the Klan and David Duke. Also, he he lied and said that he didn't know who David Duke was. The racist David Duke was once involved in the Klan and he believes in white racism. Interestingly enough, people have accused his father Fred Trump of being arrested in a Klan riot (in Queens, NYC in 1927). Fred Trump was later accused in 1975 of ongoing racial discrimination against black renters seeking accommodations in his buildings.

You already know what I'm going to type. I have to keep it real. I will got there. There is a fascism in America and all of it wasn't eradicated in 1945 when World War II was over. Donald Trump has supported waterboarding or torture. Trump advocated using things "much worse than waterboarding too" like he said he advocates the killing the family members of terrorists even if those family members are innocent. That's callous. He has threaten people (who are journalists who disagree with him) with lawsuits, which is against the First Amendment. He doesn't want any Muslim human being to come into America. Trump has gone of his way to issue misogynistic statements. Donald Trump's campaign is based on fascism, vulgarity, playing on people's fears, and ignoring the truth that we need a higher minimum wage than the anemic one that we have now currently. There is no way where millions of people can be deported in America in a quick fashion unless a police state system comes around to do it. Trump's evil xenophobia is repugnant.

Trump quoting Mussolini doesn't surprise me. The corporate media glorifies Trump's extremism on many occasions too. They cover his speeches constantly and they ignore in many instances the real issues from Western imperialism, corporate corruption, to ecological problems going on in America. His obscene message is very similar to the white nationalist message that abhors immigrants, Muslims, and black progressives. He's a hypocrite and a flip flopper on many issues. Now, we see the fraud of his Trump University that have ruined the lives of so many people. We have seen his evil disrespect of the Central Park Five. We know his history and we know his nefarious agenda. One thing that I will never do is vote for this male. I believe in my views and I reject reactionary extremism. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe in civil liberties and the protection of the environment. I believe in social, racial, gender, and environmental justice. I stand for my principals. I believe in equality and I believe in justice too. Many Republicans won't support Trump. Some Republicans want to boycott the Republican National Convention is Donald Trump is the nominee. Trump is steadfast in refusing to increase the minimum wage by one cent. He supports deporting all 12 million undocumented human beings in a police state fashion. In a shocking development, Trump announced that he would seek to undermine the First Amendment guarantee of free speech to muzzle the press and prevent the publications of articles unfavorable to Trump. Libel laws could be changed to allow large monetary penalties in lawsuits by rich oligarchs. Trump's barbaric, evil policies of deportations, waterboarding, (torture), discrimination, and austerity violate the First, Fourth, Eight,and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. We face fascism in America and a fascist is the leading Republican leader in the Republican side of the Presidency. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio has supported extremist policies from austerity and other reactionary policies as well. The GOP promoted the Southern Strategy, the War on Drugs, the war on terror, voter suppression laws, and other evils for a long time. Today, we are still fighting the same fight for liberation just like our forebears fought for during the 1950's and the 1960's. We see fascism in our society and we must end it. We, as black people, will fight for our human rights by any means necessary.

Today, we have many factions of Republicans. Some are the country club Republican who are in favor of the establishment and Wall Street corporations. Many of them have greed for profit. There are evangelical Republican who are involved in promoting social issues, but many of them are given over to bigotry against various ethnic groups and sexual minorities. There is the neocon warmongers who promote war and then are the Libertarian faction who rightfully expose the War on Drugs, but they want to use campaigns to ruin the social safety net (and put everyone on the authority of the fetishized and mythologized free market). Now, these factions are fighting each other for the ruler ship of the GOP.

As for the other side, the neoliberal Democratic Party establishment has shown itself for decades to be dominated by Wall Street interests, imperialism promotion, and a refusal to confront capitalist oppression in a revolutionary fashion. Hillary Clinton is a candidate who is slick and she is a Wall Street funded person. For decades, both Democrats and Republicans have exploited, ignored, and mistreated black people. Hillary is well known for what she stands for. She stands for neoliberal centrism, for working in advocacy of reform not for revolutionary change, and believing in a militarist foreign policy (Hillary Clinton was one person involved with the disastrous Libyan war policy and she voted for the Iraq War). Hillary Clinton wants a no fly zone in Syria, which will cause even more tensions in the Middle East. The courageous protester, who is a black woman named Ashley Williams, spoke truth to power. Hillary Clinton should apologize for her calling black children "super predators," in the 1990's which was offensive and racist. She isn't the only one who should apologize either. Bill Clinton and other politicians should apologize for growing the mass incarceration state (or otherwise known as the carceral state). Ashley Williams have shown pure guts and determination to outline her views which she has the right to do. Change never comes by respectability politics or passivity. History teaches us that change comes by social activism, self-determination, and making mainstream politicians uncomfortable. We don't need the status quo. We desire real change. As the video outlined, Hillary Clinton never made an apology and she has a perfect opportunity to do so. Also, Ashley was never rude. She told the truth. It is always some who want to falsely stereotype black strength and black voices being expressed in an uncompromising fashion as being "rude." We know that the powers that be want to promote a patronizing attitude towards black people. We, as black people, resent patronize. We don't want patronize. We want liberation and economic justice.

Sister Ashley Williams is a hero. Bernie Sanders calls himself a Democratic socialist, but he is working in a party that seeks that same status quo under a more "kind" flavor. Hillary Clinton has strong appeal to African Americans. Yet, it is should be established that Hillary Clinton supported Barry Goldwater in 1964. Barry Goldwater back then opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. She also was present in the 1968 Republican National Convention that chose Richard Nixon as its Presidential candidate. Back during the 1960's, Sanders was arrested for opposing segregation in Chicago. Hillary Clinton said that she has fought segregation and stood up for children's health care. The DLC since the 1980's promoted the growth of the prison industrial complex, student loan debts, imperialism, and other reactionary policies. Bill Clinton deregulated telecommunication companies, signed welfare reform, agreed to repeal Glass Steagall (which contributed to the economic recession of 2007), and supported the death penalty. On some issues, Hillary is more hawkish than President Barack Obama. Even Bernie has a reactionary foreign policy position. There is a difference between great, progressive progressive black people who believe in social justice and peace and the black misleadership class (who are funded by corporate power, who support Hillary Clinton, and who downplay or ignore imperialism in the world today. Some members of the CBC are members of the black misleadership class). We have options (if the race is between Trump and Clinton). We can vote third party or refuse to vote at all for the Presidential election.  We believe in justice for black people and for immigrants. Also, we don't agree with the apartheid policies in Israel and the anti-human rights policies of Saudi Arabia. We will not stop. We will fight for egalitarianism, equality, and justice unequivocally.


One of the most famous cities in the world is Paris. Paris is a city filled with an interesting history both past and current which has been eye opening. From the ancient times of Europe to the 21st century, Paris is always remembered by me and by people from across the world. In order to get a clear picture about the city of Paris, its history, culture, and its diverse citizenry must be shown in great detail. The language of French is spoken in Paris along with others. France is a creative language. Paris today has over 2.2 million people. It is the most populous city of France as it situated on the Seine River. Paris has existed for thousands of years and it was about 40.7 square miles. It culture is very intensive. It is home to football games (or what we call soccer games in the States), fashion institutions, various museums dealing with art, and it has a major rail, highway, and air transport systems. Tourists have traveled into the Pyramid of the Louvre, the Arch de Triomphe, etc. Paris is surrounded by three orbital roads. They are the Périphérique, the A86 motorway, and the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs. Paris is a truly international city and has been through tons of changes. Therefore, it is time to show the history, the culture, and the societal structures of the city of Paris, France.

History of Paris

The oldest traces of human occupation in Paris were discovered near rue Henri-Farman in 2006. It dealt with an encampment of hunter-gatherers dating from between 9,800 and 7,500 BC. There has been traces of other settlements have been found at Bercy in 1991. That settlement is dated from around the excavations at Bercy. These excavations were found and they included the fragments of three wooden canoes used by fishermen on the Seine, the oldest dating to 4800-4300 BC. They are now on display at the Carnavalet Museum. Excavations at the rue Henri-Farman site found traces of settlements from the middle Neolithic period (4200-3500 BC); the early Bronze Age (3500-1500 BC); and the first Iron Age (800-500 BC). The archaeologists found ceramics, animal bone fragments, and pieces of polished axes.  Hatchets made in Eastern Europe were found at the Neolithic site in Bercy, showing that first Parisians were already trading with settlements in other parts of Europe.

The Parisii and the Roman conquest

Between 250 and 225 B.C, or during the Iron Age, there was the Parisii. The Parisii were a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones. The Celtic peoples were Indo-Euroepan speaking peoples who lived in Europe and leaved in tribal, agricultural societies. The Celtics were found in Europe and in Central Turkey in ancient Galatia. The Parisii settled on the banks on the Seine. At the beginning of the 2nd century BC they built an oppidum, a walled fort, either on the Île de la Cité or nearby (no trace of it has ever been found), and they built the first bridges over the Seine. The settlement was called Lucotocia (according to the ancient Greek geographer Strabo) or Leucotecia (according to Roman geographer Ptolemy), and may have taken its name from the Celtic word lugo or luco, for a marsh or swamp. It was the easiest place to cross the Seine, and it had a strategic position on the main trade route, via the Seine and Rhône rivers, between Britain and to the Roman colony of Provence and the Mediterranean Sea.  The new town of Lutetia was prosperous, because of its location and the bridge exchanging goods and services efficiently. Also, the site was so popular that it was able to mint its own old coins. These coins were used for trade all over Europe. Coins from the towns along the Rhine, the Danube, and even from Cadiz from Spain were found in the excavations of the ancient city of Lutetia.

Later, the Roman Julius Caesar and his Roman army campaigned in Gaul between 58 and 53 B.C. He wanted to use the pretext to protect the territory from Germanic invaders, but he really wanted to conquer Gaul and annex it to the Roman Republic. In the summer of 53 BC he visited the city, and addressed the delegates of the Gallic tribes, assembled before the temple on the Île de la Cité, asking them to contribute soldiers and money to his campaign. Wary of the Romans, the Parisii listened politely to Caesar, offered to provide some cavalry, but formed a secret alliance with the other Gallic tribes, under the leadership of Vercingetorix, and launched an uprising against the Romans in January 52 BC. Caesar responded quickly. The rebellion stared in Orleans. Six legions came into Gergovia or the home of Vercingetorix. Julius Caesar’s deputy named Titus Labienus with four legions came to subdue the Paisii and their allies, the Senons. The Commander of the Parisii, Camulogene, burned the bridge that connected the oppidum to the left bank of the Seine, so the Romans were unable to approach the town. Then, Labienus and the Romans went downstream, built their own pontoon bridge at Melun, and approached Lutetia on the right bank. Camulogene responded by burning the bridge to the right bank, and burning the town on the Île de la Cité, before retreating to the left bank, and making camp at what is now Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Labienus later set up trap against the Senons. The Parisii fought bravely in the battle of Lutetia, but Camulogene was killed and his soldiers. The Romans won. The Romans defeated Vercingetorix and 8,000 Celtic people in the battle of Alesia.

 history map of France 200AD
Roman Lutetia

The Roman Lutetia was ancient Paris that was built. Lutetia was a base of Roman soldiers and Gallic auxiliaries to keep an eye on the rebellious province. The city had baths, and it grew to 6 to 8 thousand people. There was water and a large amphitheater. Fresh drinking water was supplied to the city by an aqueduct sixteen kilometers long from the basin of Rungis and Wissous. The aqueduct also supplied water to the famous baths, or Thermes de Cluny, built near the Forum, at the end of the 2nd century or beginning of the 3rd century. Lyon in France was called Lugdunum by the Romans.

Christianity was introduced into Paris in the middle of the 3rd century AD. According to tradition, it was brought by Saint Denis, the Bishop of the Parisii, who, along with two others, Rustique and Eleuthere, was arrested by the Roman prefect Fescennius. When he refused to renounce his faith, he was beheaded on Mount Mercury. According to the tradition, Saint Denis picked up his head and carried it to a secret Christian cemetery of Vicus Cattulliacus, about six miles away. A different version of the legend says that a devout Christian woman, Catula, came at night to the site of the execution and took his remains to the cemetery. The hill where he was executed, Mount Mercury, later became the Mountain of Martyrs (Mons Martyrum), eventually Montmartre. A church was built on the site of the grave of St. Denis, which later became the Basilica of Saint-Denis. By the 4th century, the city had its first recognized bishop, Victorinus (346 AD). By 392 AD, it had a cathedral.

In the late 3rd century A.D., Germanic tribes invaded France starting with the Alamans in 275 A.D. Many residents on the left bank left that part of the city and moved to the safety of  Île de la Cité. Many of the monuments on the left bank were abandoned, and the stones used to build a wall around the Île de la Cité, the first city wall of Paris. A new basilica and baths were built on the island; their ruins were found beneath the square in front of the cathedral of Notre Dame. Beginning in 305 AD, the name Lutetia was replaced on milestones by Civitas Parisiorum, or "City of the Parisii". By the late Empire it was known simply as "Parisius" in Latin, and "Paris" in French. From 355 to 360, Paris was ruled by Julian or the nephew of Constantine the Great and the Caesar (or governor of the western Roman provinces). When he was not campaigning with the army, he spent the winters of 357-358 and 358-359 in the city, living in a palace on the site of the modern Palais de Justice writing and establishing his reputation as a philosopher. In February 360, his soldiers proclaimed him Augustus, or Emperor, and for a brief time Paris was the capital of the western Roman Empire, until he left in 363 and died fighting the Persians.   Two other emperors spent winters in the city near the end of the Roman Empire, trying to halt the tide of what the Romans called the "barbarian tribes": Valentinian I (365-367) and Gratian in 383 AD. The gradual collapse of the Roman Empire has happened greatly by the Germanic invasions of the 5th century. The city of Paris was in decline.  In 451 AD, the city was threatened by the army of Attila the Hun, which had pillaged Treves, Metz and Reims. The Parisians were planning to abandon the city, but they were persuaded to resist by Saint Geneviève (422-502). Attila bypassed Paris and attacked Orléans. In 461, the city was threatened again by the Salian Franks, led by Childeric I (436-481). The siege of the city lasted ten years. Once again Geneviève organized the defense. She rescued the city by bringing wheat to the hungry city from Brie and Champagne on a flotilla of eleven barges. She became the patron saint of Paris shortly after her death. In 481, the son of Childeric, Clovis I, just sixteen years old, became the new ruler of the Franks. In 486, he defeated the last Roman armies, and became the ruler of all of Gaul north of the Loire River. With the consent of Geneviève, he entered Paris. Clovis I was converted to Christianity by his wife Clotilde, was baptized at Reims in 496, and made Paris his capital. Clovis united the Frankish people under one ruler (which was himself).

 photo clovis_zpsf417f373.jpghistory map of France 500AD

Clovis and the Capetian Kings.

Clovis the Frank was the first King to profess Christianity over Paris. He made Paris his capital in 508. He and his successors were part of the Merovingian dynasty. This dynasty built a host of churches, a basilica on Montagne Sainte-Genevieve, near the site of the ancient Roman Forum, the cathedral of Saint-Etienne, where the Notre Dame now stands. There were many monasteries built like the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. They also built the Basilica of Saint-Denis, which became the necropolis of the Kings of France. None of the Merovingian buildings survived, but there are four marble Merovingian columns in the church of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre. The kings of the Merovingian dynasty were buried in the Saint-Germain-des Prés abbey; however, Dagobert I, the last king of the Merovingian dynasty, who died in 639, was the first Frankish king to be buried in the Saint-Denis Basilica.

After the Merovingians, came the Carolingian dynasty that came into power in 751 A.D. The Frankish capital was moved into Aix-la-Chapelle (Achen) and they paid little attention to Paris. King Pepin the Short did build an impressive new sanctuary at Saint-Denis, which was consecrated in the presence of Charlemagne on February 24, 775. In the 9th century, Paris was repeatedly attacked by the Vikings, who sailed up the Seine on the great fleets of ships. They demanded a ransom and ravaged the fields. In 885-886, they laid a one year siege to Paris, and tried again in 887 and in 889, but were unable to conquered the city protected by the Seine and the walls of Île de la Cité. The two bridges, vital to the city, were additionally protected by two massive stone fortresses, the Grand Châtelet on the right bank, and the Petit Châtelet on the left bank, built on the initiative of Gauzlin, the bishop of Paris. The Grand Châtelet gave its name to the modern Place du Châtelet, on the same site. At the end of the 10th century, a new dynasty of kings, the Capetians, founded by Hugh Capet in 987, came to power. Though they spent little time in the city, they restored the royal palace on the Île de la Cité, and built a church where the Sainte-Chapelle stands today. Prosperity returned gradually to the city, and the right bank began to be populated. On the left bank, the Capetians founded an important monastery, the Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Its church was rebuilt in the 11th century. The monastery owed its fame to its scholarship and illuminated manuscripts.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Paris was the largest city in Europe. It became an important religious and commercial center. It was also the birthplace of the Gothic style of architecture. The University of Paris on the Left Bank was organized in the mid-13th century, which was one of the first in Europe. The Bubonic Plague came in the 14th century too. This plague was a disease that caused tons of people to die in France and throughout Europe. There was the Hundred Years War in the 15th century with the recurrence of the plague. Between 1418 and 1436, the city was occupied by the Burgundians and English soldiers. In the 16th century, Paris became the book-publishing capital of Europe, though it was shaken by the French Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants. The Reformation came about in stages. Many Europeans wanted to write the Bible in their own language and to reject many of the principles of Catholicism from transubstantiation to salvation by works alone.  John Wycliffe, Erasmus, and others wanted reforms since the Catholic Church used indulgences and other forms of superstition which have no basic in logic or scriptural validation. Erasmus's friend was a Frenchman named Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples. He was another reformer in the Catholic Church. He was a humanist too. Martin Luther with his 95 Theses caused the existence of the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation changed Europe and the world forever.

Renaissance Paris

The Renaissance period in Paris, France started in about 1500. The Renaissance was a period where many people recreated and were influenced from the art of the Greco-Roman periods of history. By that time, the city reached 250,000 people. Its new kings added buildings, bridges, and fountains to embellish the capital. Renaissance style of art and architecture was imported to Paris from Italy. Louis XI rarely visited Paris, but he rebuilt the old wooden Pont de Notre Dame, which had collapsed on October 25, 1499.   Paris during the Renaissance had many developments. New bridges existed. Louis XI rarely visited Paris, but he rebuilt the old wooden Pont de Notre Dame, which had collapsed on October 25, 1499. The new bridge was opened in 1512. It was made up of dimension stone and paved with stone. It was lined with sixty eight houses and shops. King Francois I laid the foundation of the first Hotel de Ville or the city hall of Paris in July 15, 1533. The architect of the building was the Italian man Domencio da Cortona. He also designed the  Château de Chambordin the Loire Valley for the king. The Hôtel de Ville was not finished until 1628. Cortona also designed the first Renaissance church in Paris, the church of Saint-Eustache (1532), covering a Gothic structure with flamboyant Renaissance detail and decoration.  The first Renaissance house in Paris was the Hôtel Carnavalet, begun in 1545. It was modeled after the Grand Ferrare, a mansion in Fontainbleau designed by Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio. It is now the museum of the history of Paris. Francis I in 1534 was the first French king to make the Louvre his resident. He wanted new structures to be built. He wanted Paris to be a place of learning and scholarship.  During the 16th century, Paris became first in Europe in book publishing. In 1530, Françis I created a new faculty at the University of Paris with the mission of teaching Hebrew, Greek and mathematics. It became the Collège de France. He died in 1547. His son Henry II continued to decorate Paris in the French renaissance style. The Fontaine des Innocents structure was built to celebrate Henry’s official entrance into Paris in 1549.

Henry II also added a new wing to the Louvre, the Pavillon du Roi, south, along the Seine. The bedroom of the King was on the first floor of this new wing. He also built a magnificent hall for festivities and ceremonies, the Salle des Cariatides, in the Lescot Wing. Henry II died in July 10, 1559 via jousting injuries. His widow was Catherine de Medicis. In Paris, there were divisions between the Catholic Church and those of Protestant Calvinism and renaissance humanism. The Sorbonne and University of Paris, the major fortresses of Catholic orthodoxy, forcefully attacked the Protestant and humanist doctrines, and the scholar Etienne Dolet was burned at the stake, along with his books, on place Maubert in 1532, on the orders of the theology faculty of the Sorbonne; but the new doctrines continued to grow in popularity, particularly among the French upper classes. Beginning in 1562, repression and massacres of Protestants in Paris alternated with periods of tolerance and calm, during what became known as the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). Later, Catholic mobs killed Protestants in the St. Bartholomew Day’s massacre in August 1572. Many leaders of the Protestants were killed by Catholic mobs. Henry III wanted a peaceful solution and he was assassinated by the Dominican monk Jacques Clement. Henry IV promoted religious tolerance. He was crowned King of France at the cathedral of Chartres on February 27, 1594. Henry IV's building projects for Paris were managed by a Protestant, Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully. For Henry IV’s advocacy of religious freedom, he was assassinated by a Catholic fanatic named Francois Ravaillac.

Paris in the 17th and 18th centuries

From the 17th to the 18th century in Paris, times were changing. Religious wars existed among the Protestants and the Catholics in France. Many people fled Paris during the 17th century. Many homes were destroyed as a product of the religious wars. Even the grand projects like the Louvre, the Hotel de Ville, and the Tuileries Palace were unfinished. Henry IV took away the independence of the city government, and ruled Paris directly through royal officers. Later, Henry IV relaunched the building projects. A new wing of the Louvre was built along the Seine. The wing was called the  galerie du bord de l'eau, which connected the old Louvre with the new Tuileries Palace. The project of making the Louvre into a single great palace continued for the next three hundred years. A Protestant named Maximillen de Bethune, Duke of Sully managed Henry IV’s building projects. He was his forceful superintendent of buildings and minister of finances, who, in 1599, was named Grand Master of Artillery. Henry IV recommenced the construction of the Pont Neuf, started by Henry III in 1578, but stopped during the wars of religion. It was finished between 1600 and 1607. It was the first Paris bridge without houses, with sidewalks, and not covered. Near the bridge, he built La Samaritaine (1602–1608), a large pumping station which provided drinking water, as well as water for the gardens of the Louvre and the Tuileries. Henry IV was assassinated by the Catholic fanatic Francois Ravalliac. Henry IV promoted religious freedom with his Edict of Nantes. Henry IV's widow, Marie de Medicis, decided to build her own residence, the Luxembourg Palace(1615–1630), modelled after the Pitti Palace in her native Florence. In the Italian gardens of her palace, she commissioned a Florentine fountain-maker, Tommaso Francini, to create the Medici Fountain. Water was scarce in the Left Bank, one reason that part of the city had grown more slowly than the Right Bank. To provide water for her gardens and fountains, Marie de Medicis had the old Roman aqueduct from Rungis reconstructed.

In 1616, she also created west of the Tuileries Gardens, along the Seine, another reminder of Florence, theCours la Reine, a long promenade, lined with eighteen hundred elm trees. Louis XIII soon ruled from Paris. His chief minister was the Cardinal de Richelieu, who was infamous, an authoritarian, and he supported the concept of absolute monarchs. De Richelieu promoted a new religious architecture style in Paris. He was involved with these buildings. He was also influenced by the church of the Jesuits and the Basilica of Saint Peter. By the first half of the 17th century, Paris’ population nearly doubled and reached 400,000 by the end of the reign of Louis XIII. Louis XIII caused Paris to be the cultural capital of Europe. As early as 1609, the Louvre Galarie had painters, sculptors, and artisans working in their workshops and living in the area.  The Académie Française, modelled after the academies of Italian Renaissance princes, was created in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, later the Academy of Fine Arts, was founded in 1648. The first botanical garden in France, the Jardin du Roy, (renamed Jardin des Plantes in 1793 when monarchy was abolished during the French Revolution), was founded in 1633, both as a conservatory of medicinal plants and for botanical research. It was the first public garden in Paris.

Richelieu died in 1642 and Louis XIII died in 1643. Louis XIII took over along with his mother Anne of Austria. Paris grew and prospered. Louis XIV ruled later on. Building projects continued under Louis XV and his successor Louis XVI. Between 1640 and 1789, Paris grew in population from 400,000 to 600,000. It was no longer the largest city in Europe; London passed it in population in about 1700, but it was still growing at a rapid rate, due largely to migration from the Paris basin and from the north and east of France. The center of the city became more and more crowded; building lots became smaller and buildings taller, to four, five and even six stories. In 1784, the height of buildings was finally limited to nine toises, or about eighteen meters. During the 1700’s, the rise of Enlightenment scholars in Paris came about. Paris was the center of the Enlightenment. Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert published their Encyclopedie in 1751-52. The Enlightenment is a philosophical ideology that man’s reason can be used to discover information on science, life, law, politics, and the functions of nature.  The Montgolfier Brothers launched the first manned flight in a hot-air balloon on 21 November 1783, from the Château de la Muette, near the Bois de Boulogne. Paris was the financial capital of France and continental Europe, the primary European center of book publishing, fashion, and the manufacture of fine furniture and luxury goods. Paris inventors develop their inventions. Theaters, gardens, and works of art developed. The successful Parisian playwright Pierre de Beaumarchais or the author of the Barber of Seville helped to fund the American Revolution. The first café in Paris was opened in 1672 and by the 1720’s, there were about 400 cafes in the city. Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Diderot, and D’Alembert frequented the Café Procope. Fire brigades came in the 1700’s. too. Economic problems and political strife set the stage for the French Revolution in France.

The French Revolution

In the 18th century, it was the center of the intellectual ferment called the Enlightenment, and the main stage of the French Revolution from 1789 which is remembered every year on the 14th of July with a military parade. The French Revolution lasted from 1789 to 1799. It involved the clash of ideals. The King, the First Estate (or the religious leaders), and the Second Estate (or the noblemen and the wealthy) clashed with the Third Estate (or the poor). It changed European history and world history. By 1789, Paris had between 600,000 and 640,000 people. Most people in Paris were poor. The wealthier Parisians lived in the western part of the city. The workers and the artisans lived in the southern and eastern parts. The merchants lived in the center. The poor or the sans-culottes were major people in the Revolution. Soldiers attacked a peaceful demonstration in Paris on July 11, 1789. The protesters were protesting the dismissal of the reformist finance minister Jacques Necker who wanted higher taxes on the First Estate and cutbacks on unnecessary projects. On 13 July, a crowd of Parisians occupied the Hôtel de Ville, and the Marquis de Lafayette organized the Garde nationale to defend the city. On 14 July, a mob seized the arsenal at the Invalides, acquiring thousands of guns, and stormed the Bastille, a symbol of royal authority, a prison which at the time held only seven prisoners. 87 revolutionaries were killed in the fighting. The governor of the Bastille, the Marquis de Launay, surrendered and then was killed; his head put on the end of a pike and carried around Paris.

The Provost of the merchants of Paris, Jacques de Flesselles, was also murdered. The independent Paris Commune or city council ruled Paris. The Revolution was divided into more progressive to more moderate factions. Louis XVI and his family fled Paris on 21 June 1791, but were captured in Varennes and brought back to Paris on 25 June. A constitutional monarchy was formed. On July 17, 1791, the National Guard fired upon a gathering of petitioners on the Champs de Mars, killing dozens, widening the gulf between the more moderate and more radical revolutionaries. The Jacobins were a radical political club in the Revolution too. The Prussians threatened to attack France if the King of France was killed. The French prepared for war against Prussia. Later, the Reign of Terror happened. This was when radicals killed even innocent people. On January 21, 1793, Louis XVI was guillotined on the Place de la Revolution. Marie Antoinette was executed on the same square on October 16, 1793. Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined the following November at the Champ de Mars. During the Reign of Terror, 16,594 persons were tried by the revolutionary tribune and executed by the guillotine. The Churches were closed. Church property and property of the aristocracy was confiscated. The French Republican Calendar, a new non-Christian calendar, was created, with the year 1792 becoming "Year One": 27 July 1794 was "9 Thermidor of the year II". Many street names were changed, and the revolutionary slogan, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", was engraved on the façades of government buildings. New forms of address were required: ‘’Monsieur’’ and ‘’Madame’’ were replaced by ‘’Citoyen’’ and ‘’Citoyenne’’, and the formal ‘’vous’’ was replaced by the more proletarian ‘’tu’’. On order of the Legislative Assembly (decree of August 1792), the sans-culottes knocked down the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in 1792. The Decree of August 1, 1793 existed to commemorate the first anniversary of the fall of the monarchy by destroying the tombs at the royal necropolis of Saint-Denis. Many religious structures were destroyed on orders of the Paris Commune. A succession of revolutionary factions ruled Paris: on 1 June 1793, the Montagnards seized power from the Girondins, then were replaced by Georges Danton and his followers. In 1794, they were overthrown and guillotined by a new government led by Maximillien Robespierre. On July 27, 1794, Robespierre himself was arrested by a coalition of Montagnards and moderates. The following day, 10 Thermidor, an II, he was guillotined in company of twenty-one of his political allies. His execution marked the end of the Reign of Terror. The executions then ceased and the prisons gradually emptied. The Moderate Directory took over. Later, Napoleon took power in a coup.

Napoleon I

The population of Paris dropped to 100,000 by during the Revolution. Yet, between 1799 to 1815, it increased with 160,000 new residents. It reached 660,000 by the early 19th century. Bonaparte replaced the elected government with an Empire. He was the Emperor. He made many construction developments like erecting monuments to military glory, including the Arc de Triomphe, and improved the neglected infrastructure of the city with new fountains, the Canal de l'Ourcq, Père Lachaise Cemetery and the city's first metal bridge, the Pont des Arts. Napoleon’s Empire spread across Europe and he was defeated by a coalition of European nations (like the British, etc.). The Council of Vienna promoted conservatism and developed a backlash against the views of the supporters of the French Revolution. Napoleon was overthrown. The Restoration of Paris lasted from 1815 to 1830. Louis XVII and Charles X were Kings of France during this time period. These people were conservatives and they loved the monarchs. The liberals opposed them since they wanted the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, and an end to the absolute monarchy system. Victor Hugo in the 1830’s promoted the freedom of expression. Yet, Charles X opposed the freedom of the press. People in Paris rebelled. King Louis-Philippe of 1830-1848 was a new era. The population of Paris increased from 785,000 in 1831 to 1,053,000 in 1848, as the city grew to the north and west, but the poorest neighborhoods in the center became even more densely crowded. He made many developments, but the working class in Paris protested because of bad conditions in neighborhoods. Soon, King Louis Philippe abdicated and went into exile in France.

The Second Republic and Napoleon III

Under Napoleon III and his Prefect of the Seine, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, between 1852 and 1870 the center of Paris was rebuilt with wide new avenues, squares and new parks, and the city was expanded to its present limits in 1860. In the latter part of the century, millions of tourists came to see the Paris International Expositions and the new Eiffel Tower.

The Second Republic lasted from 1848 to 1870. In December 1848, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon I, became the first elected President of France, winning seventy-four percent of the vote. Because of the sharp divisions between monarchists and republicans, the "Prince-President" was able to accomplish little, and he was prevented by the Constitution from running for re-election. In December 1851 he organized a coup d'état, dismissed the Parliament, and on 2 December 1852, after winning approval in a national referendum, became Emperor Napoleon III. Napoleon III used strict design patterns in new buildings of Paris. The French imperialism expanded during this time too.

The Commune

Napoleon’s III’s rule ended in September 1870 with the siege of Paris and the creation of the Commune from 1870-1871. This was the start of the Third Republic. Germany defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War. The Tuileries Palace was set on fire by the communards and it was completely destroyed. The revolt caused the socialists and the anarchists to form the Paris Commune.  In January 1871, the Prussians began the bombardment of the city with heavy siege guns, and the city finally surrendered on 28 January. The Prussians briefly occupied the city and then took up positions nearby. On March 26, they tried to implement an ambitious and radical social program. The Paris Commune held power for only two months. The Paris Commune was a socialist government in France. Between May 21 and 28, the French army reconquered the city in bitter fighting, in what became known as "la Semaine sanglante" or "Bloody Week." During the street fighting, the Communards were outnumbered four or five to one; they lacked competent officers and had no plan for the defense of the city, so each neighborhood was left to defend itself. The Commune ended when government forces overthrown the Commune. Members of the Commune died or went into exile in America, Belgium, the UK, etc.

Belle Époque

The Belle Epoque era was from 1871 to 1914. It was after the fall of the Commune. The government was more conservative. On July 23, 1873, the National Assembly endorsed the project of building a basilica at the site where the uprising of the Paris Commune had begun; it was intended to atone for the sufferings of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune. The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur was built in the neo-Byzantine style, and paid for by public subscription. It was not finished until 1919, but quickly became one of the most recognizable landmarks in Paris. The expansion of art, transport, music, culture, etc. exists in Paris. During this time, Victor Hugo passed away in 1855.  Hundreds of thousands of Parisians lined the Champs Élysées to see the passage of his coffin. The Arc de Triomphe was draped in black. The remains of the writer were placed in the Panthéon. Commercial stories like the Le Bon Marche in Paris grew in influence. There were catalogs, low profit margins, seasonal sales, discounts, etc. Other Paris department stories included La Samartiaine, Prinitemps, and Galaries Lafeyette. Various Universal expositions existed in Paris during the late 19th century and in 1900 to showcase inventions, art, culture, and other aspects of Paris life.

World War I

World War One in Paris was filled with many events, conflicts, and death. WWI existed for many reasons from European competition for resources, the development of conflict among various nation-states, and the expansion of the German Empire globally. Paris was in the World War One from 1914 to 1918. There was the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz-Ferdinand by Serbian nationalists in Sarajevo, which caused Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, because Russia had a treaty with Serbia. Germany declared war against Russia since Russia had a treaty with Austria-Hungary. France and Germany were known for tensions during this time. In 1911, a German gunboat, the Leopard, had made a provocative demonstration outside the port of Agadir in French-dominated Morocco. The right-wing parties in France wanted revenge for the defeat of France in the Franco-German War of 1870-1871 (when Germany defeated France over lands or territories), which had resulted in the loss of the French province of Alsace and much of Lorraine. Many on the left also favored war, to bring down the reactionary monarchies of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Parisians were highly patriotic. People in Paris experienced food shortages, rationing, and the epidemic of influenza. Yet, morale remained high until near end of the war. Men and women participated in the war effort. The city also saw a large influx of immigrants who came to work in the defense factories. The end of the war on November 11, 1918 saw huge celebrations on the boulevards of Paris.  France and Britain, bound by treaties with Russia, mobilized on August 1. Paris mobilized and many socialists and pacifists opposed the war. Jean Jaures (a socialist politician and a well-known opponent of the war) was assassinated at the Café Croissant on Montmartre, not far from the offices of the socialist newspaper L'Humanité, by a mentally-unstable man, Raoul Villain, who considered Jaurès an "enemy of France. Many socialists and pacifists continued to oppose the war under threat of arrest. The arrests were never carried out. Many thought that Paris will have an easy victory against Germany. There were parades and celebrations. Some refugees from Paris came into Paris.  On July 26, the same day that the refugees from Belgium began arriving in the city, General Joseph Gallieni was called from retirement and appointed military governor of Paris, a title which dated back to the fourteenth century.

The city of Paris was fortified with weapons and defense systems. The French and the British fought the Germans in the First Battle of the Marne. Adjustments came into Paris in order for them to fight the war. The Parisians gradually adjusted to the life of a city at war. Avenue de l'Allemagne was renamed Avenue Jean-Jaurés, and the rue de Berlin became rue de Liège. The Grand Palais was converted to a military hospital. Concerts existed in Paris to fund efforts to fight the war and cared for wounded soldiers. Colonized people fought in the war too. By the spring of 1917, Paris workers wanted to have more compensation for their efforts. The cost of living in Paris rose twenty percent in 1915, by 35 percent in 1916, and by 120 percent between 1917 and the end of the war in November 1918, while the salaries of factory workers increased only 75 percent during the same period, while the salaries of government employees rose by only 50 percent.  So, strikes existed in Paris since workers wanted higher wages, better conditions, women workers’ rights, and an end to the importation of foreign workers.  Workers in general suffered danger from poisoning, injuries, and death. The first strike led by 2,000 women clothing workers called midinettes started in May 15, 1917. Art and culture continue to grow in Paris with artists and writers like. Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso and André Salmon. Paris was readily attacked by the Germans. Mutinies existed on both sides. Yet, when America came into World War One, things changed. The Allies forces began to win and defeat Germany plus the rest of the Central Powers. The German offensive failed and the Allied armies’ Hundred Days Offensive with 400 tanks (most of them produced in Paris) and 120,000 men pushed back the Germans. Equally enthusiastic crowds filled the Champs Élysées on 17 November to celebrate the return of Alsace and Lorraine to France. Huge crowds also welcomed President Woodrow Wilson to the Hôtel de Ville on 16 December 1918, when he arrived to take part in the peace negotiations at Versailles. World War One ended with a lot of bloodshed and the world would never be the same again.

Between the Wars

After the end of the First World War in November 1918, there was jubilation and celebration. The population of Paris within its city limits had been 2,888,107 in 1911, before the War. It grew to 2,906.472 in 1921, its historic high. An enormous military parade was held on July 14, 1919 from Porte Maillot to Place de la Republique to celebrate the victory in the Great War. People felt relief in Paris, but soon unemployment surged, prices, soared, and rationing continued. Parisian households were limited to 300 grams of bread per day and meat only four days a week. A general strike paralyzed the city in July 1919. The old fortifications surrounding the city were useless and were torn down in the 1920’s. They were replaced by tens of thousands of low cost seven story public housing units that were filled by low income, blue collar workers. Paris struggled to regain its old prosperity and gaiety. On August 19, 1920, the French National Assembly voted to give a credit to give a credit of 500,000 francs for the construction of the first Mosque in Paris. The mosque was created to honor the sacrifice of tens of thousands of Muslim soldiers from the French colonies in Africa who had been killed in the War.

The French economy boomed from 1921 until the Great Depression reached Paris in 1931. This period, called Les années folles or the "Crazy Years", saw Paris reestablished as a capital of art, music, literature and cinema. The artistic ferment and low prices attracted writers and artists from around the world, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali,Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Josephine Baker. Josephine Baker was a great dancer in Paris. She was also a social activist. One of the most popular entertainers in Paris during the period was the American singer, Josephine Baker. Baker sailed to Paris, France, She first arrived in Paris in 1925 to perform in a show called "La Revue Nègre" at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. During the 1920’s, fashion grew in Paris. The 1925 Exposition of Decorative arts featured the work of seventy-two Paris fashion designers; the leading figures included Paul Poiret, Jeanne Lanvin, etc. New forms of architecture developed in Paris too. Between 1919 and 1939, Paris hosted the 1924 Olympic Games, major international expositions in 1925 and 1937, and the Colonial Exposition of 1931, all of which left a mark on Paris architecture and culture. Socialists gained political power in Paris.

Two-thirds of the seats of the National Assembly from Paris were won by the Bloc National, which included conservative republicans, radicals and socialists who refused any alliance with the Communists. The worldwide Great Depression hit home in 1931 in 1931 bringing hardships and a more somber mood. The population declined slightly from its all-time peak of 2.9 million in 1921 to 2.8 million in 1936. The arrondissements in the center lost as much as twenty percent of their population, while the outer neighborhoods, gained ten percent. The low birth rate of Parisians was compensated by a new wave of immigration from Russia, Poland, Germany, eastern and central Europe, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Political tensions mounted in Paris with strikes, demonstrations and confrontations between the Communists and Front populaire on the extreme left and the Action Française on the extreme right. By the end of the 1930’s in 1939, France prepared for war. On March 10, 1939, the civil population received gas masks. Signs existed that showed bomb shelter locations in case of future air raids. On July 14, 1939, the 150th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, British soldiers marched along with the French units in the national parade on the Champs-Élysées. On August 25, the government seized copies of the communist newspapers L'Humanitéand Le Soir for praising the Hitler-Stalin pact. On August 31, the government began to evacuate children from the city. September 1, 1939 was the time when news that Germany invaded Poland. So, France began a general mobilization and a state of siege was declared. France declared war on Nazi Germany on September 3, 1939.

World War II

After the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939, France declared war on Germany. WWII started in Europe. The French defensive plan was passive in order for them to wait for the Germans to attack. On August 31, 1939, 30,000 children were evacuated from Paris to the provinces. The population was given gas masks and bomb shelters were built in the city squares. The major works of art of the Louvre and other museums were also evacuated to the Loire Valley and other places. The architectural landmarks were protected by sandbags. The French Army waited in the fortifications of the Maginot Line, while in Paris the cafes and theaters remained open. May 10, 1949 was the date when Germans attacked France. They bypassed the Maginot Line and going all the way to the English Channel before heading toward Paris. Paris was flooded with refugees from the battle zone. The Citroen factory was bombed in June 2. By June 10, the French government fled Paris. They went to Tours and then Bordeaux. On 12 June, Paris was declared an open city. The first German soldiers entered the French capital on June 14, and paraded down the Champs Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe.  Adolf Hitler, arrived on June 24, saw the tourist sites, and paid homage at Napoleon's tomb. The Nazis set up the Vichy government in Frech with the Third Reich glag flying overall French government buildings. Signs in German were placed on the main boulevards, and the clocks of Paris were reset to Berlin time. The German military high command (Militärbefehlshabers Frankreich) moved into the Majestic Hotel at 19 Avenue Kléber; the Abwehr, the German military intelligence, took over the Hôtel Lutetia; the Luftwaffeoccupied the Ritz; the German Navy, theHôtel de la Marine on Place de la Concorde; the Gestapo occupied the building at 93 rue Lauriston; and the German commandant of Paris and his staff moved into the Hôtel Meurice on the rue de Rivoli. Certain movie theaters and cafes were set aside for German soldiers. German officers came into the Ritz, Maxim’s, La Coupole, and other exclusive restaurants. The exchange rate was fixed to favor the German occupiers. The French people under ocuption faced humilitatiton, shortages, and frustrations.

A curfew was in effect from nine in the evening until five in the morning; at night, the city went dark. Rationing of food, tobacco, coal and clothing was imposed from September 1940. Every year the supplies grew scantier and the prices higher. A million Parisians left the city for the provinces, where there was more food and fewer Germans. French press and radio contained only German propaganda. Jewish people in Paris were forced to wear the yellow star of David badege. Jewish people were barred from certain professsions and public places. On 16–17 July 1942, 12,884 Jews, including 4,051 children and 5.082 women, were rounded up by the French police, on orders of the Germans. Unmarried persons and couples without children were taken to Drancy, north of Paris, while seven thousand members of families went to the Vélodrome d’Hiver ("Vel' d'Hiv'"), on rue Nelaton in the 15th arrondissement, where they were crowded together in the stadium for five days before being sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Paris students demonstrated against the Nazi occupation. Many network and clandestine groups were created to fight Nazi occupation like General de Gauille’s group and the people loyal to the Communist Party. The resistance fought the Nazis, created slogans, wrote an underground press, and fouht back in many ways. The Nazis used harsh and swift reprisals. Paris was bombed, but not as much as Berlin or London.

Allied forces landed at Normandy on June 6, 1944. Two months later broke the German lines and began to advance toward and around Paris. As the Allies advanced, strikes organised by the Resistance disrupted the railways, police and other public services in the city. On August 19, the resistance networks gave the orders for a general uprising in the city. Its forces seized the prefecture of police and other public buildings in the heart of the city.General Leclerc's French 2nd Armored Division and the American 4th Infantry Division entered the city on August 25 and converged in the centre, where they were met by delirious crowds. The German commander of Paris,General Dietrich von Choltitz, ignored an order from Adolf Hitler to destroy the monuments of the city, and surrendered the city on 25 August. General de Gaulle arrived on 26 August, and led a massive parade down the Champs Élysées, all the way to Notre-Dame for a Te Deum ceremony. On 29 August, the US Army's entire 28th Infantry Division, who had assembled in the Bois de Boulogne the previous night, paraded 24-abreast up the Avenue Hoche to the Arc de Triomphe, then down the Champs Élysées. The division, men and vehicles, marched through Paris "on its way to assigned attack positions northeast of the French capital."

Post War Paris

After World War II, more changes came to Paris. The independence movements in Africa caused the France to battle the heroic, courageous freedom fighters who wanted freedom in Africa and Asia. The French once ruled Vietnam and Vietnam forces (lead by Ho Chi Minh) defeated the French forces at Dien Bein Phu in 1954. The French military left Vietnam afterwards. In the 1950’s and in the 1960’s, Paris became one front of the Algerian War for Independence. France conquered Algeria and Algerians wanted independence from France. In August of 1961, the pro-independence FLN targeted and killed 11 Paris policemen, leading to the imposition of a curfew on Muslims of Algeria (who, at that time, were French citizens). On October 17, 1961, a peaceful protest demonstration of Algerians against the curfew led to violent confrontations between the police and demonstrators, in which at least 40 people were killed, including some thrown into the Seine.  Many innocent Algerians were killed by the French police back then. The anti-independence Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS), for their part, carried out a series of bombings in Paris throughout 1961 and 1962. The OAS didn’t want Algeria to be independent. Algeria would finally have its independence by 1962 and President John F. Kennedy would congratulate Algeria on its independence too. Charles de Gaulle was the leader of France during the time. Labor rights were fought in France by the French people too. In May of 1968, students were protesting in Paris. They occupied the Sorbonne and put up barricades in the Latin Quarter. Thousands of Parisian blue-collar workers joined the students, and the movement grew into a two-week general strike. Supporters of the government won the June elections by a large majority. The May 1968 events in France resulted in the breakup of the University of Paris into 13 independent campuses. This movement was part of the student led social movements worldwide from London to Mexico City including in the States. Charles de Gaulle passed away in 1970. By 1975, the National Assembly changed the status of Paris to that of other French cities. On March 25, 1977, Jacques Chirac became the first elected mayor of Paris since 1793. The Tour Maine Montparnasse or the tallest building in the city (at 57 stories and 210 meters high) was built between 1969 and 1973.  It was highly controversial, and it remains the only building in the centre of the city over 32 stories high. The population of Paris dropped from 2,850,000 in 1954 to 2,152,000 in 1990, as middle-class families moved to the suburbs. A suburban railway network, the RER (Réseau Express Régional), was built to complement the Métro, and the Périphérique expressway encircling the city, was completed in 1973. Most of the postwar’s Presidents of the Fifth Republic wanted to leave their own monuments in Paris. President Georges Pompidou started the Centre Georges Pompidou (1977), Valéry Giscard d'Estaingbegan the Musée d'Orsay (1986); President François Mitterrand, in power for 14 years, built the Opéra Bastille (1985-1989), the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1996), the Arche de la Défense (1985-1989), and the Louvre Pyramid with its underground courtyard (1983-1989); Jacques Chirac (2006), theMusée du quai Branly.

The 21st century in Paris.

In the 21st century, Paris added new museums and a new concert hall, but in 2005 it also experienced violent unrest in the housing projects in the surrounding banlieues (suburbs), inhabited largely by first and second generation immigrants from France's former colonies in the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015 the city and the nation were shocked by two deadly terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic extremists. The population of the city declined steadily from 1921 until 2004, due to a decrease in family size and an exodus of the middle class to the suburbs; but it is increasing slowly once again, as young people and immigrants move into the city.

The population of Paris started to increase slowly again during the early 21st century. More young people started to move into the city. Paris evolved into a big economic global city too.  In 2011, its GDP ranked second among the regions of Europe and its per-capita GDP was the 4th highest in Europe. In March 2001, Bertrand Delanoe was the first socialist mayor of Paris. The great French rebellion happened from October 27, to November 14, 2005. I remembered it. Many low income residents, the Afro-French population, and the Arabic population were tired of racial profiling, poverty, discrimination, and racism in general. The rebellions happened in the low income housing projects in Clichy-sous-Bois (which is a French suburb). It happened after 2 young men fleeing the police were accidentally electrocuted. The riots gradually spread to other suburbs and then across France, as rioters burned schools, day-care centres and other government buildings and almost nine thousand cars. The riots caused an estimated 200 million Euros in property damage, and led to almost three thousand arrests. On November 14, 2005, President Jacques Chirac was wrong to blame the rebellion on the rioters alone, but he was right to condemn the inequalities in French society and racism as evil.

In 2007, he wanted to reduce car traffic in the city. So, he introduced the Velib or a system which rents bicycles for the use of local residents and visitors. Bertrand Delanoë also transformed a section of the highway along the left bank of the Seine into an urban promenade and park, the Promenade des Berges de la Seine. He inaugurated the park in June 2013. The population of Paris reached 2.25 million in 2011.  In 2011, the city of Paris and the national government approved the plans for the Grand Paris Express, which totaled in 205 kilometers of automated+ metro lines to connect Paris, the innermost three departments around Paris, airports and high speed rail (TGV) stations. The estimated cost to do this was about €35 billion. The system is scheduled to be completed by 2030. In 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy started the Grand Paris project. This project wanted to integrate Paris more closely with the towns in the region around it. There were many changes or modifications. The new area is called the Metropolis of Grand Paris with a population of 6.7 million that was created on January 1, 2016. According to one study produced in 2009, Paris was the third most economically powerful city in the world among the 35 major cities in the study, ranking behind London and New York. The study ranked Paris first in terms of quality of life, and accessibility; third in cultural life, sixth in terms of economy, and seventh in research and development. Tourism was an important part of the Paris economy. In 2013, the city of Paris welcomed 29.3 million tourists, the largest number of whom came from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Spain. There were 550,000 visitors from Japan, a decrease from previous years, while there was a growth of 20 percent in the number of visitors from China (186,000) and the Middle East (326,000).

On April 5, 2014, Anne Hidalgo was elected as the first female mayor of Paris and she is a socialist. 2015 would be the year of terrorism unfortunately in Paris, France. In January 7, 2015, two French extremists attacked the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo and killed 13 people. I don’t agree with Charlie Hebdo’s content, but they have free speech rights and murder is always evil. On January 9, a third terrorist killed four hostages during an attack at a Jewish grocery store at Porte de Vincennes. In October 2014, a new private museum was opened in Bois de Boulogne. It was called the museum of the Louis Vutton Foundation. It was designed by the architect Frank Gehry. By January 11, 2015, an estimated 1.5 million people marched in Paris along with international political leaders (many of whom supported imperialism and other reactionary policies) to express solidarity with the people of Paris. They wanted to defend the freedom of speech and stand against terrorism. Ten months later, on November 13, 2015, there came a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis claimed by the 'Islamic state' organisation ISIL ('Daesh', ISIS). 130 people were killed by gunfire and bombs, and more than 350 were injured. Seven of the attackers killed themselves and others by setting off their explosive vests. On the morning of the 18th of November, three suspected terrorists, including alleged planner of the attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud, were killed in a shootout with police in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. President Hollande declared France to be in a three-month state of emergency. This state of emergency in Paris and throughout France has violated human civil liberties. Paris is a gorgeous city that many people have traveled to. I wish the best for Paris completely.

By Timothy

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