Joan of Arc - an ironic anniversary
Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Joan of Arc in 1431. Read more here.
574 years ago today
Had yesterday's vote in France gone the other way, Joan's death would have been rendered meaningless:
Perhaps one of the most distinguished, and most often forgotten, creative contributions of Joan of Arc was Joan's patriotism. Before Joan, there was no sense of "France" or "English." To the people of her time, those words meant only the actual land of France and England, not the nations. Joan was the first leader to consider those two countries separate. Even the dauphin and future king of France, Charles VII, felt uneasy about his claim to be the King since Henry VI also claimed the same position. Until Joan, the possibility that there might be two kings was not seriously considered. Either Henry VI was the King of France and England, or Charles VII was. With Joan came the sense of nationalism for the French.
Joan drove home her viewpoint with the English during her trial. She was often asked whether God loved France more than England. Joan prudently responded that God wanted the English to stay in their own lands.