Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A New dawn for Human Rights

Further to my post below about the European History program, I found myself flicking through the "Connecting Europe Through History" booklet. And was surprised to discover on page 4 a picture of the storming of the Bastille.

It wasn't this picture but one like it. Anyhow what took me by surprise was how it had been captioned,
"Storming the Bastille: 1789 was a turning point in establishing human rights in Europe"
Well I suppose you could say that. It was the precursor to all the ghastly ideological regieme's who have murdered millions in the name of ideology. The "Quartering of the Vendee" was the first time that a form of genocide was practicsed against a largely civilian population because they rejected a political ideology,

"Infernal columns After Savenay, Rochejaquelein and Stofflet, which managed to cross the the Loire, are joined by a few thousands of survivors. On its side, Cart, which did not take share with the “Virée of Galerne”, holds the Breton Marais. In front of the return of a guerilla warfare and knacks, Blue, exasperated, same those originating in the departments concerned, claim the execution of the decree of the 1793 on the “destruction of the Vendée”. Named general-in-chief of the Armed with the West, although noble, the general Turreau proposes a plan of columns flamers, baptized the “infernal Colonnes”, with the Comité of public Safety, which does not give him the full power that he hopes for, being satisfied to invite it to carry out the decisions of the Convention by respecting “the spirit and the terms” of his Décret S.

The February 17th, the plan is put at execution, with two armies divided each one into six columns, leaving one the west, the other of the east. However, all the chiefs of the columns did not apply the orders of destruction and systematic slaughters. In the same way, the Members of the Commission civil and administrative created with Nantes to recover vivres and cattle with the profit of the Blue ones, accompany the armies, which makes it possible to save lives and localities. Certain columns, on the other hand, are delivered to plundering and massacre the civil population, raping and torturing, killing women and children with the knife not to waste the powder, burning Village S entireties, destroying harvests and killing the cattle. Well far from making disappear the revolt, the more so as out of the Vendean patriots are killed very as much as insurrectionists, the columns make flee the population (see the refugees ,
hereafter). Some leave the department, but several thousands join the bands of
Cart and Stofflet, intensifying the Guérilla, which becomes crueler than ever. This period also sees the return of practices related to the violence of Ancien Mode: “on decision of a military commission, heads of some Vendean and chouans notable, of which that of the prince de Talmond, are same exposed after decapitation to terrify the public. ”

Estimates of the dead range from 120,000 to 600,000.

Yes they are right. I suppose it did usher in a new era of human rights in Europe.


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