Tuesday, December 11, 2018

France and its revolutionary transformations

2018 protests of the yellow vests
The French Republic was born in a violent revolution that eliminated not only the royal ruling class but eventually the leaders of the revolution itself, giving way to new leaders still. The revolution represented a transformation of the basis of French society, which has endured to this day. Many constitutions have been enacted since, introducing manifold reforms, some not durable. However, none altered the basic advance of the Republic established in the revolution. Indeed, it is a fidelity to the revolutionary ideals of the Enlightenment that is the running thread through France's constitutional history. 

The Republic first appeared in France as a system of government and model of sovereignty on September 21, 1792. Prior to 1791, there were no republicans in France. Leading philosophers like Montesquieu, Voltaire and the Physiocrats viewed republican government as an echo from the hoary past, unsuited to the complexities of modern life. Nevertheless, as the monarchy was abolished, tensions emerged between royalist and republican forces as to the form of government. This is seen in monarchical disruptions to the Republic form of government in 1799, 1804 and 1852. Despite this prevailing confusion, the philosophers agreed on the enlightenment ideals, which had already taken root in the founding of the USA in 1781. Indeed, the burgeois revolutionaries were motivated by the ideals of “equality, fraternity and liberty“ and considered it the antithesis of monarchical rule.

Past constitutions
France has had numerous constitutions in the post-revolutionary era, which highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the nation, as well as vulnerability to recurring situational stresses. The Kingdom of France, under the Ancien Régime, was an absolute monarchy and lacked a formal constitution and relied on custom. All five republics and interrim forms of government since the revolution have devised their own constitutions, or rules governing the national life. Importantly, they have all adhered, fully or in part, to the founding revolutionary ideals. However, when briefly deviating from the republican form of government, the relevant constitution was later abolished and the Republican tradition reestablished.

  • The Constitution of 1791, adopted 3 September 1791, established the Kingdom of the French, a constitutional monarchy, and the Legislative Assembly
  • The Girondin constitutional project in process of being adopted before the coup that led to the Montagnard faction being in control
  • The Constitution of 1793, ratified 24 June 1793, but never applied due to the suspension of all ordinary legality 10 October 1793 (under the French First Republic)
  • The Constitution of the Year III, adopted 22 August 1795, established the Directory
  • The Constitution of the Year VIII, adopted 24 December 1799, established the Consulate
  • The Constitution of the Year X, adopted 1 August 1802, established the Consulate for Life
  • The Constitution of the Year XII, adopted 18 May 1804, established the First French Empire
  • Following the restoration of the Monarchy
  • The Charter of 1814, adopted 4 June 1814, established the Bourbon Restoration
  • The Charter of 1815, adopted 22 April 1815, was used during the Hundred Days
  • The Charter of 1830, adopted 14 August 1830, established the July Monarchy
  • The French Constitution of 1848, adopted 4 November 1848, established the French Second Republic
  • The French Constitution of 1852, adopted 14 January 1852, established the French Second Empire
  • The French Constitutional Laws of 1875 of the French Third Republic, 24 and 25 February, and 16 July 1875
  • The French Constitutional Law of 1940, adopted 10 July 1940, established Vichy France
  • The French Constitutional Law of 1945, adopted 1945, organized the Provisional Government of the French Republic
  • The French Constitution of 1946, adopted 27 October 1946, established the French Fourth Republic
  • The French Constitution of 1958, adopted 4 October 1958, established the French Fifth Republic (the current Constitution in force)

Napoleon in 1799
The First Republic emerged at a time of war. The abolition of the monarchy by the deputies of the National Convention on September 21, 1792, and the declaration of the new Republic, were preceded by a victory at Valmy by the revolutionary armies over the forces of Prussia and Austria. The wartime birth of the Republic shaped the representations and practices of the res publica.  Despite its revolutionary ideals, the new Republic took the form of parliamentary dictatorship in 1792. However, after the reign of terror, a limited-suffrage republic emerged in 1795. After Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup d’état of 18 Brumaire on November 9, 1799, a plebiscite-based regime was enacted with the Constitution of the Year VIII on December 24, 1799, which established the form of government known as the Consulate. Napoleon had effectively gained all power.

The First Empire was created in 1804 by Napoleon. It was based on the Constitution of the Year XII, which amended the earlier Constitution of the Year VIII and Constitution of the Year X. Napoleon, which had previously been First Consul for Life, with wide-ranging powers, became  Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. Importantly, Napoleon took an oath which gave the appearance of pledging fealty to the revolutionary ideals.

"I swear to maintain the integrity of the territory of the Republic, to respect and cause to be respected the laws of the concordat and the liberty of worship, to respect and cause to be respected equality of rights, political and civil liberty, the irrevocability of the sales of the national lands; not to raise any impost, nor to establish any tax except in virtue of the law; to maintain the institution of the Legion of Honor; to govern in the sole view of the interest, the welfare and the glory of the French people."
After Napoleon had been removed in 1815, the Constitution of the Year XII was definitively abolished.

The Revolution of 1848
The Second Republic was the shortest lived republic. It was an outgrowth of the Revolution of 1848, but collapsed in 1852, after the coup d’état of December 2, 1851. The Second Republic failed due to the inability of the French people to govern themselves at the time based on stable democratic institutions, compatible with social order and private property.

The Second French Empire was begun by Emperor Napoleon III in 1852, but it ended when his army was defeated and he was captured in the Franco Prussian War in 1870. He went into exile and died in 1873.

Europe in 1871
The Third Republic was enacted in 1870 after the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War. The early days were dominated by political disruptions caused by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which the Republic continued to wage. Harsh reparations exacted by the Prussians after the war resulted in the loss of the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine and social upheaval, notably the establishment of the Paris Commune. Re-establishing the monarchy was considered, but due to confusion it stalled and the provisional government became the permanent government of France. The republican forces were again in ascendancy. During the last decades of the 19th century France gained many colonial possessions, including French Indochina, French Madagascar and French Polynesia. In the first part of the 20th century, the Democratic Republican Alliance and the more Radical socialists vied for control. In the 1930s and 1940s, the politics became polarized, with on the left Reformist France, heir to the French Revolution and on the right conservative France, rooted in the peasantry, the Roman Catholic Church and the army. The Third Republic lasted for seven decades, or until France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II.

De Gaulle in Paris on 25 August 1944.
The Vichy government  (L'État français), was a puppet regime for the Nazi occupation. It began on 10 July 1940 under the leadership of Philippe Pétain.  A rival government was founded by Charles de Gaulle, known as Free France (La France libre). The Vichy government fell on August 25, 1944 when Paris was liberated by the Allied forces. At that occasion, General de Gaulle was asked to proclaim the Republic but he flatly refused. He said “The Republic has never ceased to exist. Vichy always was and always will remain null and void.”

Bob Le Flambeur, 1956.
The Fourth Republic was created two years later, on October 26, 1946. According to historian Pascal Cauchy, the Fourth Republic was “little-liked, born a bit by chance . . . out of the desire to forget defeat, foreign occupation, and an authoritarian regime.” During its exisence, there was instability and squabbling in politics associated with an astounding twenty-six governments. Due to the dysfunction, the nation was unable to deal effectively with the extraordinary problems facing France at that time. The classic movie Bob Le Flambeur depicts a day in the life of a small-time crook in Paris during this chaotic time.

Civic protest in Algeria in 1960.
The Fifth Republic was a constitution enacted on September 28, 1958 that is still in force. The new constitution was strongly formulated to meet the priorities of the regime’s founding figure and first President, Charles de Gaulle. The new constitution enabled France to immediately deal with the crisis of decolonisation and participate in the European integration process, which began around that time. France was then engaged in a decolonisation war in Algeria from 1954 to 1962, which proved to be a big head ache for the government. The Fifth Republic has beeen adjudged to have to created a more stable basis for French politics and national life. Nevertheless, French national life has a volatility that often defies the rules and institutions set in a constitution, such as the present violent protests by the "yellow vests" (gilets jaunes).

What emerges from this overview is that France has seen upheavals that resulted in adjustments in the the rules guiding the nation, reflecting the challenges and mores of the times. Importantly, as de Gaulle noted the French Republic never ceased to exist, even if it was modified or interrupted. Moreover, as the late Indian astrologer & author V. K. Choudhry stated, the founding of a nation is usually larger in scope than the creation and adoption of a constitution. It therefore makes sense to view modern France to be the modern form of the collective entity that was born in the Revolution resulting in the fall of the monarchy and founding of the Republic. The resulting horoscope matches the tumultuous events and the adaptability of the leaders of the nation to continue and improve its form.

The birth of modern France is set at 3:31 p.m. on 21 September 1792 with the declaration by the National Assembly of the end of Monarchy and the founding of the First Republic. A new state had been born. This time gives 5° Capricorn rising. The 10th sign in the 1st house lends an "earthy quality" to the national identity and impels the nation towards ambition and practical realisation with a focus on the national self, e.g. the French language and traditions.

There is an emphasis on "dutifulness and responsibility," but also "diligence, commitment, flexibility and adaptability." Capricorn natives tend to be "traditional, level-headed, cautious, thrifty, conservative, methodical, social, practical, with organising ability, faithful, prudent, protective, dependable and persevering or selfish, rigid and resentful."

Saturn, as 2nd lord of wealth and status and neighbourly relations, is debilitated at 9° 57' Aries and in the most effective point (MEP). This adds an element of pride in the history and monuments of the national life, e.g. the Versailles palace and Louvre museum. It also suggests sluggishness for the national economy, as Saturn is somewhat weak. However, as it is the lord of a sun-like house, it gains some strength on that account. Mars as 4th lord is well placed and strong at 4° Scorpio and 11th house MEP, in aspect to the 2nd house, indicating that iron, industries, the military and sports people add to the status and wealth of the country, e.g. Arc de Triomphe, Musée de l'Armée, and Tour Eiffel at Champ de Mars). Moon as 7th lord of others is debilitated at 13° Scorpio and 11th house. This placements suggests the French apply the ideals and goals of "fraternity, equality and freedom" to the rights of each other, and support democracy in other nations. However, the realisation of these ideals is delayed due to the weakness of the Moon. By comparison, the USA has Moon as 1st lord exalted and strong in Taurus and 11th house, giving the nation a strong sense of its own ideals and goals, which were soon realised after the nations founding in 1781. The placement of Saturn ties the status and wealth of the nation to the land and natural resource. However, these indications are nonetheless sensitive to losses, more so as Saturn is aspected by Jupiter, as 12th lord of losses and foreign entanglements, at 11°49' Libra and 10th house. Several times, foreign powers have imposed losses on France, first at Waterloo in June 1815, after the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, and then again in 1940 when the German army rolled over the French defenses, with Hitler riding as conqueror through Paris on 23 June of that year. The placement of Jupiter as 12th lord can also bring disruptions to public life, government, legislature and foreign trade. The ongoing protests of the gilet jaunes, are a case in point. Venus as 10th lord is well placed but debilitated at 20° Virgo and 9th house. It's dispositor, 9th lord Mercury is placed at 30° Leo and 8th house, further reducing the fortune, but as Mercury is also a sun-like planet, it gains some strength from that. France would thus also tend to receive some easy gains from this placement. However, both Venus and Mercury are sufficiently weak to be able to defend their indications when strained by transit afflictions. This is more so as both Rahu at 3° Virgo and 8th lord Sun at 8° Virgo afflict the 9th house MEP. There is corruption seen in the judicial system, morality, religion, diplomats, foreign missions, progress and development, involving  also setbacks for the fortune of the country. In fact, the political instability seen in French national life since 1792, is linked to this dual affliction. Ketu is also in Pisces and 3rd house MEP, which can bring sudden setbacks, involving isolation or separation, for the leadership, communication, transportation, authors, philosophers and literary people.

During the French Revolution, after the founding of the First French Republic, the period became known as the Reign of Terror. It began with the "massacres of September 1792 but intensified from the summer of 1793 to to July 1794, when Robespierre was assassinated. Around 17,000 people were put to death during this period.

Astrological insights
In the 5° Capricorn rising horoscope for France, the Saturn-Rahu period was operating. Tr Jupiter in the 12th house was aspecting 2nd lord Saturn, while tr Ketu was aspecting the 4th house, wherein Saturn is placed.

Napoleon abdicates on 11 April 1814
Towards the end of the 18th century, a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), eventually united the military forces and then the nation. He was born on the island of Corsica and rapidly rose through the ranks of the military during the French Revolution (1789-1799). After seizing political power in France in a 1799 coup d’état, he crowned himself emperor in 1804. He instigated a new legal code that preserved the revolutionary ideals. His effort to spread the French empire drew increasing opposition that eventually resulted in his defeat. 
Napoleon successfully waged war against various coalitions of European nations and expanded his empire. After a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812, Napoleon was forced to abdicate on 11 April 1814 and to go into exile at St. Helens. In early 1815, Napoleon returned to Paris and reclaimed power in  his Hundred Days campaign. He was forced into a battle with the monarchies of Europe and was vanquished at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. He was exiled to Elba where he passed away at the age of 51.

Astrological insights
Mercury major period ran from 1797 to 1814. Mercury is 9th lord placed in the 8th house of obstacles and endings. It rules over higher thought and laws, and foreign activities. Hence, it was a period of much turbulence and war. At the same time Napoleon brought a new legal code. After the Ketu major period began, Napoleon abdicated and then came briefly back only to be vanquished.

The 1848 Revolution in France, which was part of a wave of revolutions in 1848 in Europe, ended the Orléans monarchy (1830–1848) with the overthrow of King Louis Philippe in February. The new French Second Republic, emphasised the right to work and support for unemployed persons. The elected government steered a conservative course such that a new uprising took place on 23 June 1848  - the June Days uprising, which was a bloody but unsuccessful rebellion by the Paris workers. On 2 December 1848, Louis Napoléon Bonaparte was elected President of the Second Republic, largely on peasant support. 

Astrological insights
The Moon major period had just begun. Transit stationary Rahu was exactly conjunct 8th lord Sun, suggesting upheaval for the government.

Student protests erupted in May 1968 which evolved into demonstrations and massive general strikes as well as the occupation of universities and factories across France. At the height of its fervor, it brought the entire economy of France to a virtual halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution; the national government itself momentarily ceased to function after President Charles de Gaulle secretly fled France for a few hours. As primarily a social revolution, the protests spurred an artistic movement, with songs, imaginative graffiti, posters, and slogans. The protests ended after President De Gaulle dissolved the National Assembly and called for new parliamentary elections for 23 June 1968. 

Astrological insights

The Moon major period was operating. Transit 12th lord Jupiter was in 8th house MEP, in aspect to the 4th house of communal harmony. Transit 2nd lord Saturn was conjunct transit stationary Rahu at 25° Pisces and 3rd house of action and words.

The yellow vests movement is a protest movement that started online in May 2018 and led to demonstrations that began in France on Saturday, 17 November 2018. The protests have since spread to Belgium. Motivated by rising fuel prices, the high cost of living and claims that a disproportionate burden of the government's tax reforms were falling on the working and middle classes, especially those in rural and suburban areas. The movement has called for a tax on wealth, raising the minimum wage, and the resignation of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

Astrological insights
Saturn major period has recently begun and transit 2nd lord Saturn is in the 12th house of losses. Transit Ketu is in the 1st house MEP, suggesting sudden concerns about the self identity of the French people, linked to their ideals of equality, fraternity and liberty, and the fact that many are not participating in the prosperity.

The Yellow Vest protests of 2018.
As the transit station of Ketu and Rahu will continue through February 2019 within the MEPs of the odd numbered houses and in aspect to the natal nodes, it is likely that these problems will continue during that time, and despite President Macron's generous offer to devote substantial resources to meet the demands of the protesters. However, even if the protests wind down, the debate will likely continue about the realisation of the ideals that motivate the French nation.


Cosmologer said...

The above horoscope replaces...
La France
....which failed in prediction.

Ludovic said...

Merci pour cet article que je trouve très intéressant. Bonne continuation !