Monday, September 29, 2014

Learning about Ledru-Rollin

Our study abroad center, ACCENT, is just a half block from the closest Métro station, Ledru-Rollin.

Many of us use this Métro station every day; certainly we all walk by it frequently.  It occurred to us that we should probably learn a little more about its namesake.  Alexandre Ledru-Rollin was born in Paris in 1807.  A lawyer, he championed workers' rights and participated in the banquet movement that provoked the 1848 revolution, ultimately serving in the revolutionary provisional government.  An opponent of Napoléon III, Ledru-Rollin lived in exile in England until returning just before the fall of the Second Empire.  He was elected a member of the National Assembly before dying in 1874.

Hannah took this wonderful picture of his grave in the Père Lachaise cemetery:

Ledru-Rollin is also prominently represented on the front of the Hôtel de Ville:

We think it is fitting that he is remembered on ACCENT's street since Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine was a center of revolutionary activity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  This plaque at the Place de la Bastille gives some sense of the role that events on Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine played in the revolutions of 1789, 1830, and 1848.  (In 1848, 65 barricades stretched down Faubourg Saint-Antoine between the Places de la Nation and de la Bastille.)

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