France History

The FETTY surname of Europe is found mainly in the Alps of AUSTRIA with recorded history in Europe dating back to the 1292 Paris, France, Tax Records.


An accurate description of our heritage would be - from in or near the Alps of France-Austria-Germany with a French surname.


"During the 1700's through the 1820's, German Speaking emigrants from central Europe-Switzerland, Wuerttemberg, Baden, Alsace, Lorraine, Luxembourg, the Palatinate and Rhineland-generally took a boat down the Rhine River to Rotterdam or Antwerp and sailed to North America from there." (John P. Colletta, Ph.D.) (Alsace - Lorraine, France)

See: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsace >.


We cannot positively claim our ancestors were Huguenots of France at this date, but it would explain our surname being of French origin and records of our surname after the Huguenot migrations from France in the 16th and 17th centuries being found predominately in America and Austria. To simply state that FETTY is from Germany since several Fetty's emigrating to the US were German speaking, one would have to ignore the overwhelming amount of FETTY history and genealogy in German speaking parts of France such as Alsace, We also cannot ignore the fact that Our DNA proves us NOT TO BE of Anglo-Saxon or Germanic-Scandinavian or East-Asian descent.



Approx. 1/3 of US Caucasian Europeans have a significant percentage of East-Asian Ancestry likely from the invasions of the various hordes of Huns and Mongol tribes into Germany, then the German migration aka Pennsylvania German (Deutsch) to the US. No East-Asian Ancestry is found in DNA proven descendants of George Fetty Sr. (b.1753) and Phebe of Princeton, NJ.


"Some Huguenot immigrants settled in Central Pennsylvania. There, they assimilated with the predominately Pennsylvania German settlers."


"The French crown's refusal to allow non-Catholics to settle in New France may help to explain that colony's slow rate of population growth compared to that of the neighboring British colonies, which opened settlement to religious dissenters. By the time of the French and Indian War, there was a sizeable population of Huguenot descent living in the British colonies, many of whom participated in the British conquest of New France in 1759-60.


Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (1640-1688) invited Huguenots to settle in his realms, and a number of their descendants rose to positions of prominence in Prussia. Several prominent German military, cultural, and political figures in subsequent history, including poet Theodor Fontane, General Hermann von Francois, the hero of the First World War Battle of Tannenberg, and famed U-boat captain Lothar von Arnauld de la Perie're, trace their ancestry to the Huguenot refugees from France. The last Prime Minister of the (East) German Democratic Republic, Lothar de Maizie're, is also a scion of a Huguenot family." See: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot#Early_emigration >.


History of France before 1700.

Modern French institutions and people are derived from 2,000 years of contacts with diverse cultures and peoples. Into the area now defined as France came the Celts, Romans, Franks, and other people producing a mixture of practices and races. Since 1500 the French have formed a relatively unified territorial state in which diversity nevertheless persists.


Ancient Gaul

When Julius Caesar invaded Gaul in 58 BC, he found a territory reaching from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, from the Pyrenees and the Atlantic to the Rhine and the Alps. The population of possibly 10 million possessed neither homogeneous roots nor unified rule. Several centuries earlier, the Celts had surged from their Danubian homeland into the valleys of the Rhine and Rhone and as far as today's Belgium, England, and Ireland. The newcomers mingled with the native Ligurians of the Alps, Iberians of the Pyrenees, and numerous folk elsewhere who were often of Phoenician, Greek, or Roman stock.


The Celts

Celtic rule in Gaul was decentralized. The Gauls (Latin for Celts) were basically grouped as members of clans that sometimes functioned separately and sometimes formed into one of over 400 tribes, which in turn often joined into one of the 70 or so natio ns. Thus the Gauls had no single leader or authority, and except for Marseille and Nice, they had no cities or towns either. Most lived in scattered mud huts generally surrounded by a stockade. Hunting, fishing, and pastoral pursuits supplied basic nee ds. Some surpluses and craftwork in wood and leather found their way to local markets for sale or exchange. Gallic religious life too was localized and pluralistic, with pantheistic worship of rivers, woods, and other elements of nature. The most wides pread but not universal cult was that of the druids, centered in Brittany.


Roman Conquest

Roman legions marched into Gaul in 58 BC not only to protect the Roman republic's Mediterranean holdings but also to promote Julius Caesar's personal ambitions beyond his proconsulship of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul. The Gauls contributed to their own subjugation by their tribal rivalries and inability to resist the infiltration of trans-Rhenish barbarians and the Swiss (Helvetii). Caesar's speedy success in stopping the barbarians was followed by the conquest of all Gaul. The Roman victory was not due to superior numbers of troops but to their training, discipline, and weaponry and to Gallic disunity. Even the heroism of the Gallic prince Vercingetorix failed to halt or reverse the Roman conquest.


Five hundred years of Roman rule produced striking consequences for Gaul. Politically, the idea was planted of citizenship of a common state with a single set of laws and administrators and a more or less unified tax system. In practice, much localism r emained, and the direct and indirect taxes were assessed and collected inequitably. If imperial Rome benefited by holding provincial Gaul (from financial exactions, manpower, and cheap grain), the Gauls also derived economic advantage from their connecti on. Security against barbarians and bands of brigands encouraged the Gauls to clear more forests and farm more lands. Better roads, bridges, and communications fostered greater trade. Towns and villages began to appear in place of the mud-hut habitations.


Culturally, a taste for learning Latin and Greek was cultivated in rudimentary educational institutions in cities like Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lyons. Frequently, the interest was superficial, and outlying regions remained untutored in Latin. They also continued to practice old Celtic paganism and Druidism despite the spread of Christianity. As missionaries crisscrossed Gaul to convert the pagans and to organize the church, other Christians clustered in monasteries to pray and to establish islands of le arning. When the Roman Empire collapsed, the surviving Roman church would be crucial for the retention of Gallic-Roman forms and practices.


Frankish Kingdom

The 5th-century decline of Rome was disastrous for Gaul's political unity, economic development, and cultural life. An accelerated flow of barbarians--invading in variously sized groups of FRANKS, GOTHS, and Burgundians, rather than in a single coordinat ed force--began the process of splintering Gaul. However, as the Romans and Gauls had become assimilated, so too did the Gallo-Romans and the barbarians adopt each other's ways. The France that emerged by the year 1000 was thus a combination of Celts (G auls), Romans, and barbarians (Franks, Teutons, Visigoths, Burgundians, Vandals, Vikings, and others). Merovingians.


Out of the welter of political and territorial shifts from the 5th to the 11th century, the church and the successive dynasties of the Merovingians (431-751) and the Carolingians (c.747-987) supplied links of continuity. The founder of the Frankish kingdom was Clovis (r. 481-511), a Merovingian. He completed work of his grandfather, the Salian Frankish chieftain Merowen, by first overwhelming the Gallo-Roman forces at Soissons in 486. Thereafter he extended Frankish rule over Burgundy and the whole sou thern region to the Pyrenees by defeating the Visigoths. A convert to Christianity in 496, Clovis found that his services to the church helped his own status in and beyond his new capital, Paris.


Upon Clovis's death in 511, the Frankish kingdom was parcelled out among his four sons, whose heirs subdivided their holdings and waged bitter wars against one another and outsiders. In the last century of their rule, the Merovingians exhibited their dec lining authority even in their particular kingdoms. Aristocratic landowners whittled away at royal power in administrative, legal, military, and tax matters. Agriculture and trade were in disarray with the countryside ravaged by feuding chiefs and barbar ian bands. Towns and villages, although still furnishing some shelter for occupants and rural refugees, dwindled as commerce ebbed. The strong influence of the church continued, with bishops protecting townsmen and monastic orders maintaining some sembl ance of culture, but even the church could not prevail against Merovingian rot. Finally, at the beginning of the 8th century, after decades of incompetent Merovingian rule over the remnants of the Frankish kingdom, the Carolingians, who had served as pal ace mayors (or advisors), secured the reins of power.



Even before a Carolingian, Charlemagne, became king of the Franks in 768 and emperor in 800, his grandfather Charles Martel had amassed sufficient power to "save" Europe from the Moors at Tours in 732. Martel's talents and military forces were passed on to Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short, whose aid to the missionary Saint Boniface was compensated by the pope's endorsement of Pepin and his sons as the legitimate dynasty of the Frankish kingdom. Upon these foundations, Charlemagne waged innumerable wars and gained all Europe from the Pyrenees to the Vistula. His rule encompassed more than Gaul or the Frankish kingdom, but it left a strong imprint upon France nevertheless. It also foreshadowed the feudal system, which was already being born.


Within the Frankish state, the vigorous and attractive Charlemagne extended royal power and financial resources. In exchange for extensive but nonhereditary land grants and the right to levy local taxes, lords of manors furnished military and judicial se rvices to the king, and the lower classes provided labor on road and other public works. As a check on the local notables, Charlemagne sent out teams of missi dominici (usually a bishop and a count) to inspect the districts and report on any irregulariti es. Two assemblies were held each year, possible forerunners of the States-General (parliament). In the spring session noblemen had opportunity to discuss their problems, and the king could present his program or impressions of the realm.


In his capital at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) and in other towns, Charlemagne rekindled intellectual life by gathering holy men, scholars, and literary figures like Alcuin. Works of Greek and particularly Latin were copied and analyzed in new schools founde d by favored churchmen. Charlemagne's encouragement of learning had perhaps more long-range significance for French and Western civilization than his sensational military and political ventures.


The Carolingian decline after Charlemagne followed the same pattern as the Merovingians' after Clovis. The same type of partition of lands, notably formalized in the Treaty of Verdun in 843, resulted in the area roughly equivalent to medieval France being assigned to the Frankish emperor Charles II. He and his descendants held an ever-weakening grip over the kingdom against invading Vikings--who, as Normans, established the duchy of Normandy--and predatory lords. Over the shrunk en French state the Capetian dynasty would achieve kingship by 987, and within that state the feudal system would flower.


Capetian Kingdom (987-1328)

For nearly 1,000 years, the house of Capet furnished France with kings, first as direct-line Capetians and later through the branch families of Valois and Bourbon. The line was literally cut by the guillotining of Louis XVI in 1792, although his brothers Louis XVIII and Charles X and his distant cousin Louis-Philippe served as monarchs after Napoleon I.


Between Hugh Capet's coronation in 987 and the succession of the Valois in 1328 or the inception of the Hundred Years' War in 1338, the feudal system became crystallized along with the concept of French kingships. Cities and towns revived, peopled by bou rgeois citizens engaged in a resurgent trade of agricultural and craft products. A cathedral-building boom satisfied the religious spirit and supplied jobs. The Crusades absorbed the energies of kings, counts, clergy, and commoners. And the Norman conqu est of England established the centuries-long connection and rivalry with that island kingdom.


Feudalism, rooted in land grants of Charlemagne and the subsequent breakdown of his empire, became almost inevitable when weak kings failed to check the Viking incursions of the 9th and 10th centuries. Surely but haphazardly, feudalism developed as a con tractual arrangement between lord and king, and manorialism came to determine the relationship between lord and peasant. As warriors for the king, the lords were bound to render military service at their own cost. In return, not only did they receive he reditary title to tracts as large as provinces but also the right to tax, oversee, and judge their inhabitants. Toward their subjects, the lords owed protection and the preservation of order; from them, they were due loyalty, rents, fees, and obligation s of a military and economic nature.


The relative strength of lords and kings often depended not upon title but upon personal traits and capabilities, extent of landholdings, resources available, alliances possible, and church support. The local lords' power was demonstrated in the election of Hugh Capet to the kingship in 987. His predecessors were mere counts of Anjou and Blois, and his supporters included the duke of Normandy. As kings, the Capetians were in actual possession of only their family lands of central France--the Ile de Fra nce--situated around Paris and Orleans. It was long a question how much authority would be allowed the kings of France in the lands of the dukes or counts of Normandy, Aquitaine, Burgundy, and Flanders. An outstanding example was the case of the dukes of Normandy. Duke William's conquest of England in 1066 and his ascent to the English throne, as William I, obviously made the subsequent dukes of Normandy/kings of England awesome competitors to their feudal overlords, the kings of France. The English k ings extended their French holdings even further when Eleanor Of Aquitane, after the annulment of her marriage to the pious Capetian Louis VII, married (1152) the future Henry II of England.


To tip the precarious balance in their favor, shrewd Capetian kings frequently encouraged and linked up with the new middle class, whose urban and commercial interests often clashed with the warrior and rural concerns of the feudal lords. Royal charters granted special privileges and wider markets to the bourgeoisie, and the bourgeois could pay. Churchmen too could be wooed to the king's side with his patronage for cathedrals, schools, and crusades. With glaring exceptions and tragic consequences, Fren ch participation in the Crusades stimulated a spirit of national rather than local pride, tied the church more closely to the monarchy, and created contacts with Italy and the Middle East for French merchants and scholars. Of unquestionable vitality in this medieval era was the cultural expression. In monasteries and universities, churchmen and laymen studied, discussed, and debated theological tracts, Greek and Latin works, and a spate of literature beginning to appear in the vernacular French language.


Consolidation of Royal Power (1328-1715)

Such Capetians as Hugh Capet, Philip II, Louis IX, and Philip IV succeeded in upholding and enlarging the royal prerogative beyond their family lands; other Capetians failed. The Valois branch (1328-1589), after a dreary start and before a whimpering end, drove the English out of France, consolidated the kingdom, asserted royal authority, launched expeditions into Italy, and ushered in a cultural Renaissance. What the Valois left undone was completed by the Bourbons.


From the Hundred Years' War to the Wars of Religion

The expulsion of the English involved the French in the Hundred Years War (1338-1453), a conflict of intermittent intensity. Mixed into the origins of the war were the quest for commercial and political prizes in Flanders and the duel between the English and French kings for Normandy, Aquitaine, and other provinces. One highlight of the war was the contribution of Saint Joan of Arc. Inspired by visions instructing her to present herself to the Dauphin (later Charles VII) and free Orleans from the English, she in turn inspired the Dauphin, his advisors, and the public. Although she was burned at the stake in 1431, her mission was accomplished within a generation. Relieved of the English presence, the French monarchs, notably Louis XI (r. 1461-83), fini shed the task of consolidating the kingdom. They then began to seek extension of their power beyond the boundaries of France. Charles VIII invaded Italy in 1494, launching the Italian Wars and a long dynastic rivalry with the Habsburgs of Austria and Spain.


Sixteenth-century France was blessed by two strong kings, Francis I and Henry II, and cursed by three weak ones, the sons of Henry II by Catherine De Medicis. French prosperity and solidarity were spoiled not only by the weak monarchs but by the Wars of Religion after 1560. Catholics battled Calvinist Huguenots, each faction aspiring to control the monarchy. Catherine de Medicis steered a Machiavellian course to maintain her children's status. However, she was barely outlived by her last son, Henry III, who was assassinated in 1589. This paved the way for the first Bourbon, Henry IV, leader of the Huguenots, to fight and compromise his road to the throne by 1598. He satisfied Huguenots by the tolerant Edict of Nantes in 1598 and mollified Catholics by his own conversion so as to enter the Paris he considered "worth a Mass."


Bourbon Reconstruction

By tact, persuasion, and force, Henry IV reduced religious tensions, stimulated commerce and manufacturing, and curbed the nobility. The last process was vigorously pursued by cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, the de facto rulers of France under Henry's weak son Louis XIII.


It was Louis XIV, however, who truly tamed the aristocracy, at least until the end (1715) of his own absolutist reign. Already deprived by Richelieu of their fortresses in the countryside, prohibited from dueling, and subjected to royal edicts and adminis trators, the nobles were turned by Louis into powerless courtiers, forced to attend him in the new Palace of Versailles. The grandeur of Versailles, imitated by so many European monarchs, was not merely architectural and socia l in value. It was also a focal point from which emanated favors and patronage for artists, writers, and scientists.


In this period the bourgeoisie was the beneficiary of mercantilist policies developed most notably by Jean Baptiste Colbert. The interests of the royal treasury often coincided with subsidies for manufacturing and for expanded internal, colonial, and foreign trade. The middle class and the peasantry paid, however, by a heavy tax burden to finance Louis XIV's wars and other enterprises.


French influence abroad rose as the secular-minded Cardinal Richelieu engaged Catholic Frenchmen as allies with Protestant princes against the Holy Roman emperors, the German Catholic princes, and Spain in the Thirty Years War, after which France gained Alsace by the Peace of Westphalia (1648). Louis XIV further expanded French territory in Europe and overseas and placed his grandson on the Spanish throne as Philip V--all through wars, diplomacy, and marriage.e Valois left undone was completed by the Bourbons.




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