FRANCE 5 francs 1849 A


FRANCE, 5 francs, 1849 A, Obverse: head of Ceres L, REPUBLIQUE FRANCAIS, E. A. OUDINE. F., silver, 38mm, 0.7234 ozT, KM761.1, edge bumps, VF

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The monarchy was overthrown in 1848 and the Second Republic declared. They elected a nephew of Napoleon, who had attempted to take power in France by military means twice. At the end of his term, failing to change the law that forbade him succeeding himself, he launched a coup. He began calling himself “prince-president” in 1852. Late in that year he called a referendum that created the Second Empire.

France was ancient Gaul. The Romans were active, then the Merovingian kings maintained a vassal relationship with the Byzantine Empire until the advent of Charlemagne. France diverged from Germany thereafter, going through a period of feudal decentralization. A series of powerful kings gradually brought into being the modern country.

The political arrangements that resulted in the nations of modern Europe began to emerge out of anarchy starting in the 7th century AD or so. Europe, for our purposes stretches from Greenland to somewhere in Russia. Collectors of Europe would likely include Russia. Collectors of Asia, even though about 2/3 of Russia is in Asia, probably not.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.