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The French celebrate Epiphany on January 6th, called Fete de Rois, where reatives and friends gather for a special meal where they eat "King Cake". This cake contains a ceramic figurine, and whoever finds it in their piece of cake is crowned with a paper hat and made Queen or King of the event. In some cases, that person would then be expected to host a party of their own. Something similar takes place during Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, and of course, France is where that originated.
Wars are always important in terms of the way that they help develop the identity of the nations involved. Wars by their very nature force nations to rally together and create a real esprit de corps, forging a national identity that becomes incredibly important. The post above helps explore some of the characteristics of this French identity.
From the Napoleonic Wars the most notable of qualities to emerge is the distinct rise toward a democratic form of government in France. Perhaps the best course of research is to reference the work/s of Alexis de Tocqueville (quality link provided). From his his first hand visitation to the United States he can to the strong belief that in order for republicanism to hold in France, and not perish, the citizenry needed to be more "enlightened." This term, of course, is utilized in an all-encompassing manner since de Tocqueville's visit took place when Andrew Jackson was in the midst of changing American politics forever. France by the late 1800s, as a result of its war stricken first half of the century, took itself on path toward educating the people on what liberty was and what it took to maintain it. Education inherently became a major theme in France giving rise to the tremendous artistic impressionism of the time. The true sense of individuals feeling empowered only comes from true liberty, de Tocqueville witnessed this first hand and promoted, sold it in France. The greatest attribute therefore is the sense of installing citizen opportunity, equality, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and most importantly a sense of political, social and economical freedom.
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