📍 🇫🇷 Destroying Lyon
"Lyon made war to Freedom; Lyon will now cease to exist" - thus spoke Parisian revolutionaries at the end of 1793. An army was sent there in October to punish those who refused to accept the new Republic, those who sided with the centuries-old Monarchy.
Representing the new "democratic" regime, Fouché (1759-1820), Napoleon's future Home Affairs minister. A man of precision and wit. With his care, a guillotine was installed Place des Terreaux, "on the town hall's steps at first but then, out of hygiene considerations, at the other end of the square... yet, executions occurred as often as twice a day. Blood was flooding to the extent that it became impossible to drain it. Inhabitants began to worry about the air's stench." (Waresquiel)
From 130.000 inhabitants in 1793, Lyon dropped to 80.000 in 1794. Probably the end of the urban rivalry for France's leadership according to another French historian, Fernand Braudel:
"Because of French military defeats in Italy and because of Europe's transfer of power from the south to the north of Europe, Lyon got stuck in its rivers and its mountains... Paris was simply better located to grasp Atlantic possibilities and eventually won over."
____ Sources ____
>> Braudel, "L'identité de la France", 1986
>> Waresquiel, "Fouché", 2014