In 1841 France almost broke off relations with Texas due to a hotel owner’s marauding pigs eating the French ambassador’s bed linens.
France demanded billions in reparations from the Haitians for their freedom. Haiti was a successful slave revolt and one of many countries in the New World that fought to earn its freedom. France, a little pissed, after having lost its colony and its slaves said “OK, you’re free but you’re going to have to pay reparations to the slave owners.” The new country wasn’t exactly in a position to keep fighting so they agreed and France used its continued might to hold Haiti to the deal. That was 200-odd years ago.
In 1429, King Charles VII of France exempted the town of Domrémy from paying taxes “forever”, after a promise to Joan of Arc. Taxes were imposed again during the French Revolution.
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was accused of single-handedly ruining France’s finances. Official estimates claim court expenses alone were 7% of France’s total budget but the real figure was a lot higher. She was given the name “Madame Déficit” during the French Revolution.
In mid-18th century France, eating potatoes was considered cruel and unusual punishment: potatoes were thought of as feed for livestock, and they were believed to cause leprosy in humans. The fear was so widespread that the French passed a law banning them in 1748.
In 1907, Parisian waiters went on strike for the right to grow a moustache.
If you lose your driving license in France because of alcohol, you can then drive a “No License Required Car”, small and underpowered.
In 1648 an angry mob of Parisians once broke into the royal palace, demanding to see the king. They were led into the bedchamber of Louis XIV, who was pretending to be asleep. Satisfied, the mob quietly departed.
St. Pierre and Miquelon is a territorial collectivity of France only 16 miles from Canada where the locals speak French, use the Euro and have French citizenship.
In 2015, French radio revolted against the law which compelled them to air 40% French language music. Due to lack of popular new French music, Just 10 songs accounted for 74% of all French music aired on NRJ radio.