Alsace

1969 mots 8 pages
Present a case study of ONE region of France, discussing what you consider to be the major cultural, economic and linguistic issues.

The French region of Alsace is unique in France, due to its complex history. The region has at times been under German rule, which affects it linguistically, culturally and even economically.
The territory was part of the Holy Roman Empire between 870- 1648. At this time the population was ethnically German, but it eventually became part of France after the “thirty years war” when the city of Metz became part of the Kingdom of France in 1552 and Mulhouse became part of the French Republic in 1798 (http://dgmweb.net/Ancillary/Geog/Europe/Alsace-Lorraine.shtml). After the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, the region became known as Alsace-Lorraine and was ceded to Germany in the Treaty of Frankfurt. Alsace-Lorraine was ruled by the German Empire until 1919, when the territory was returned to France as reparation in the Treaty of Versailles, after Germany was defeated in WWI. This region was ruled by Nazi Germany during World War II for four years, but was returned to France in 1945 and has been under French rule ever since (Grandhomme, Jean-Noël (2008). Boches ou tricolores. Strasbourg, France). Today, the same region is known as “Alsace-Moselle,” although Alsace and Lorraine are now two separate regions. In this essay, the focus will be on the larger of the two: Alsace and the major defining factors of its culture, language and economy. Due to the fact that Alsace has changed hands four times between France and Germany in the past 75 years (Assall, Paul. Juden im Elsass. Zürich: Rio Verlag), it is evident that there is a strong Germanic influence in the region. This results in a unique Alsatian culture.
Gastronomy in the Alsace region is a central part of the culture. It is unique in France, as a lot of the cuisine is influenced by its German neighbours and by its history. For example, famous traditional Alsatian dishes include

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