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Bordeaux

BORDEAUX

BORDEAUX. Bordeaux, capital of the Guyenne in southwestern France, was part of the dowry of Eleanor of Aquitaine when she married Henry II of England in 1152. Consequently, Bordeaux and the Aquitaine were held as fief by the kings of England until 1451, near the end of the Hundred Years' War, when they were conquered by the French army and incorporated into the kingdom of France. Located on the Garonne River, Bordeaux was a port city and a key trading partner of England and Holland, both of which valued its fine wines, made from grapes grown in the premier vineyards of France. Bordeaux's commercial ties with the French West Indies and its role in the lucrative sugar and slave trade enhanced the city's economic and demographic importance in the eighteenth century. Between 1750 and 1790, Bordeaux's population nearly doubled, from 60,000 to around 111,000, making it the third largest city in France. Its wealth underwrote extensive urban renewal, especially under the Marquis of Tourny (intendant of the Guyenne, 17431758), and intensified local pride.

Bordeaux was home to one of the twelve prestigious parlements, or sovereign courts of France, and its magistrates, along with the great wholesale merchants, dominated the city's political and cultural life. The political history of the city was turbulent, as its parlement and municipal authorities sought to maintain Bordeaux's traditional privileges and liberties in the face of encroachment by royal authorities. In 1548, the city participated in the uprising against the salt tax (gabelle), a revolt that was savagely repressed. Bordeaux also suffered during the Wars of Religion (15611593), as the violence and instability interfered with the city's lively commercial activity, but it remained officially loyal to the king. However, Bordeaux was a center of fierce unrest during the Fronde (16481652), when members of the Bordelais bourgeoisie formed the Ormée and unsuccessfully demanded reforms.

During the French Revolution, the city of Bordeaux contributed eloquent and influential deputies to the National and Legislative assemblies. Their supporters were called "Girondins" after the département in which Bordeaux was now located. Twenty-two of them went to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. The Revolution and the subsequent Napoleonic Wars were disastrous for Bordeaux's maritime and commercial economy, and the city never fully recovered the economic glory that it had enjoyed in the eighteenth century.

See also France ; Fronde ; Wars of Religion, French.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Doyle, William. The Parlement of Bordeaux and the End of the Old Regime, 17711790. New York, 1974.

Forrest, Alan. Society and Politics in Revolutionary Bordeaux. London and New York, 1975.

Higounet, Charles, ed. Histoire de Bordeaux. Toulouse, 1980.

Jullian, Camille Louis. Histoire de Bordeaux depuis ses origines jusqu'en 1895. Bordeaux, 1895.

Christine Adams

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux (bôrdō´), city (1990 pop. 213,274), capital of Gironde dept., SW France, on the Garonne River. Bordeaux is a major economic and cultural center, and a busy port accessible to oceangoing ships from the Atlantic through the Gironde River. Although Bordeaux has important shipyards and industries (machines, chemicals, and airplanes), its principal source of wealth is the wine trade. Bordeaux wine is the generic name of the wine produced in the Bordelais region, which is dotted with châteaux that give their names to many vineyards. Known as Burdigala by the Romans, Bordeaux was the capital of the province of Aquitania and a prosperous commercial city. It became an archepiscopal see in the 4th cent. Bordeaux's importance declined under Visigothic and Frankish rule (c.5th cent.), but was revived when the city became (11th cent.) the seat of the dukes of Aquitaine. Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was born there, precipitated through her successive marriages to Louis VII of France and Henry II of England the long struggle between the two nations. As a result of these wars Bordeaux came under English rule, which lasted from 1154 to 1453. The city's commercial importance dates from this period. Reconquered by France, Bordeaux became capital of the province of Guienne. Louis XI established the powerful parlement of Bordeaux and granted great privileges to the university founded (1441) by Pope Eugene IV. The intellectual reputation of Bordeaux was made by Montaigne and Montesquieu, who were born nearby and who were both magistrates in the city. Bordeaux reached the height of its prosperity in the 18th cent. Its relations with England were always close; many English firms exporting wine and spirits established themselves in the city. Bordeaux was the center of the Girondists in the French Revolution and the site of the National Assembly of 1871 that established the Third Republic. In 1914 and again in 1940, at the onset of the World Wars, the city was the temporary seat of the French government. The Place des Quinconces, with its statues of Montaigne and Montesquieu, dominates the center of the city. Other points of interest are the Gothic Cathedral of St. André, several art museums, and some elegant 18th-century buildings designed by Victor Louis and Jacques Gabriel. An engineering school and a research center studying mass-media communications are also in Bordeaux.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux City and port on the River Garonne; capital of Gironde department, sw France. There is an 11th-century Gothic cathedral, a university (1441), and many fine 18th-century buildings – a period when the slave trade brought considerable prosperity. Bordeaux is a good, deepwater inland port and serves an area famous for its fine wines and brandies. Industries: shipbuilding, oil refining, pharmaceuticals, flour, textiles, glass. Pop. (1999) 218,948.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux Red and white wines produced in the Bordeaux region of France; red Bordeaux wines are called claret in the UK.

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"Bordeaux." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Bordeaux

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