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Thread: Prussia and the Huguenots

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    Prussia and the Huguenots

    Greetings, skadi members.

    I have questions..!

    Today my history teacher wanted me to tell the class something about the Huguenots. Knowing my enemey () I knew they were a group of Frenchmen who emigrated to Germany. That was true so far. He then told me they didn't just come to Germany because it was such a nice country. They were invited to come.
    Okay, I didn't know that. But that's why I go to school: to learn new things. Whether they were invited or not mattered little to me, though. What my teacher then told me was way more interesting: Prussia became an academical, military and cultural power after the Huguenots arrived. Before their Emigration Prussia was meaningless in the world. Without their knowledge (some of them were great architects etc.) Prussia would've never been able to reach this academical, military and cultural importance.

    Now I come to you and ask you: Is this true? Were the Prussians unable to achieve this without foreign help? Are the German values (like obligation consciousness, discipline and obedience) actually importated French values?

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    Theat is part of the FRG propaganda, if you have a closer look you can see how in debates Turks are labelled as the new Huguenots, Germany successfully integrated the Huguenots, therefor it is possible the equally busy and industrious Turks (Muslims etc.) also can be "integrated" into the German society. The Huguenots came to Germany in masses, correct me if I am wrong, but from what I know they were the largest group of immigrants coming to Germany prior the industrial revolution. They preferred Prussia because Prussia was known for her religious tolerance (Calvinists were not so well liked in Catholic and Lutheran states, which were not very tolerant), and because Prussia was keen to get more population. And the Huguenots did not come because Germany was so nice (which it was anyway), but because of bloody civil wars and massacres at home in France.
    (-> St.Bartolomew´s Day massacre )
    If your teacher claims Prussia became strong thanks to Huguenots, then he must bring forward evidence for that claim. Fact is the Huguenots came to the right place in the right time, their contributions can not be denied.

    Hugenotten.
    Hugenotten in Preußen.
    When men cease to fight — they cease to be — Men.
    “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.” Brendan Behan

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    Would you clarify what you mean by FRG propaganda? I'm not familiar with that term.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aptrgangr View Post
    If your teacher claims Prussia became strong thanks to Huguenots, then he must bring forward evidence for that claim.
    The proof of that claim is that he is right. It's a fact Prussia was a meaningless peasant state before the Huguenot's arrival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aptrgangr View Post
    Fact is the Huguenots came to the right place in the right time, their contributions can not be denied.
    I do not deny the Huguenots came to the right place in the right time. They used their chance. The problem to me is that the Prussians didn't. Either they weren't interested in Prussia's rise or they weren't able to contribute anything to that rise. This means the French marked the beginning of Prussia's culture and, thus, the German culture which I find hard to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stimme View Post
    Greetings, skadi members.

    I have questions..!

    Today my history teacher wanted me to tell the class something about the Huguenots. Knowing my enemey () I knew they were a group of Frenchmen who emigrated to Germany. That was true so far. He then told me they didn't just come to Germany because it was such a nice country. They were invited to come.
    Okay, I didn't know that. But that's why I go to school: to learn new things. Whether they were invited or not mattered little to me, though. What my teacher then told me was way more interesting: Prussia became an academical, military and cultural power after the Huguenots arrived. Before their Emigration Prussia was meaningless in the world. Without their knowledge (some of them were great architects etc.) Prussia would've never been able to reach this academical, military and cultural importance.

    Now I come to you and ask you: Is this true? Were the Prussians unable to achieve this without foreign help? Are the German values (like obligation consciousness, discipline and obedience) actually importated French values?
    That's a typically anti-German characterization, and you should call it precisely that to your teacher. Frederick the Great was not mentioned in his little anti-German spiel? It so happened that HE arrived at about the same time as the Huguenots. I suppose he had nothing at all to do with Prussia gaining "meaning" in the world? While he was indeed (annoyingly) a francophile, his military greatness didn't owe much, if anything, to them. Indeed, the Prussian system had been in place before they arrived, and Prussia had been growing steadily since the Great Elector's days. To say Prussia's success is due entirely to these few Frenchmen is intellectually dishonest at best, and boldfaced German-hating propaganda at its worst. Tell him I said that word for word. Tell him I think he's a traitor as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huginn ok Muninn View Post
    Frederick the Great was not mentioned in his little anti-German spiel? It so happened that HE arrived at about the same time as the Huguenots.
    I just checked wikipedia to compare the dates. The Huguenots arrived in 1687. Frederick the Great was born in 1712. That is not "about the same time". That is 35 years after their immigration. 35 years of manipulating the inhabitant's minds. Frederick grew up in a Prussia that was already influenced by the Huguenots.

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    Oh yes, I'm sure they taught those backwards Germans everything by then. (rolls eyes)

    One thing you could do is ask to do some sort of visual presentation.. and tear down his position with sarcasm. Find some copper-age reenactment pictures..

    Label this: BEFORE the Huguenots came.



    Then another picture:

    Label this: AFTER the Huguenots came.



    Well, it's very true.. as true as what he is saying.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Huginn ok Muninn View Post
    Oh yes, I'm sure they taught those backwards Germans everything by then. (rolls eyes)

    One thing you could do is ask to do some sort of visual presentation.. and tear down his position with sarcasm. Find some copper-age reenactment pictures..
    I'm not in position to show such lack of respect towards him since he appeared very intelligent to me. He would beat my arguments easily and I wouldn't know what to answer. Also, you have not yet shown me any proof that he is wrong with his statement.

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    It would seem to me that this "history teacher" has been reading antiquated, non-German books such as this:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=2ZsL...sult&resnum=10

    There are so many interconnected reasons why nations succeed (and fail) and many cases it's absurd to narrow it down to a single cause, especially when it's the immigration of several tens of thousands of people to a land with millions of people. The Huguenots may have contributed a bit in the arts and military, but that doesn't change the fact that average Prussian peasant was the kingdom's bedrock. Europe at the time was still very much an agrarian society and a nation's success was very much dependent upon the harvest. Intellectual and artistic abilities mean nothing in a society that cannot feed itself.

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    Woah! Thanks, Gardisten! That is a great way to formulate the Prussian's importance. The French might have influenced our military and arts but without the peasants as foundation they would have been unable to contribute anything. The Huguenots weren't welcome in any other country. So without the old Fritz's invitation and the peasant's help they would have simply died out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stimme View Post
    The Huguenots weren't welcome in any other country.
    They actually emigrated to a number of places: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot#Exodus

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