Friday, 16 June 2017

France 1949 - Franco-American Alliance

It all started in 1776 when a young colony rebelled against its motherland in an attempt to smash the shackles of bondage. This colony called upon the aid of France to assist in their struggles for independence. In 1778, France and the new United States signed a treaty of alliance. With foreign aid this colony eventually won their war for independence in 1783. You may have heard the name of this colony once or twice. It now goes by the name: United States of America. This alliance solidified relations between the two nations, and except for two occasions in 1798 and 1942 they managed to maintain fairly peaceful relations. Indeed, in 1884 France gifted America with the stunningly beautiful Statue of Liberty as a symbol of friendship.

For the sake of brevity, we can skip forward to a little over one hundred years later. It is 1949. World War II is thankfully over. And after some rocky relations since the end of the war, the two nations of France and the USA have became formal allies as part of the North Atlantic Treaty. From this treaty was formed the NATO military alliance. But it was not all smooth sailing between the two nations. The Suez Crisis in 1956, for instance, caused a substantial amount of friction between the two countries. In the end, however, the two countries have maintained a reasonable relationship. Indeed, over the years the young people of France have embraced many cultural aspects of the US. Whether the bombardment of US culture on other nations is a good thing or a bad thing is not really for me to say - at least not here! 

This is, of course, an astoundingly brief summary of historical events from 1766 to the present. To go further would require a ridiculously long blog. To read more on the history of the relationship between France and the USA click HERE


On 14 May 1949 France issued a stamp to celebrate the formal alliance between France and USA. The stamp was engraved by Pierre Gandon.

This elegant design represents the allied nations as shields bearing their respective flags. Between the shield is worked a cross-hatch pattern to represent the weaving together of two countries via trade and travel. This concept is furthered by the illustration of a plane, top centre, and a transatlantic ship, lower centre. Altogether this is a solid design with a dramatic visual punch.

Until next time...

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