A history of French-bashing: Nelson to Newsweek

Last week, US news magazine Newsweek stirred up a media storm in France when it published a column by Paris-based journalist Janine di Giovanni in which she blasted her adopted country on everything from the price of milk to high taxes and the ridiculous state benefits. Of course, this is nothing new. French bashing has been a pastime for Anglos for centuries. Whether it’s being generally disparaging about them as a nation or ridiculing their reluctance to learn and speak English, or, as in more recent times, picking apart their economic model and love of taxes, rest assured Anglos on both sides of the Atlantic have enjoyed picking on their Gallic cousins. Here, The Local takes a brief look back at the history of the controversial sport known as “le French-bashing” in ten notable incidents. And it all appeared to start with one notorious British seaman. Tell us what else we missed.

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