THE FRENCH REPUBLICAN CALENDAR

This is a short explanation about the French Republican Calendar.

The calendar was introduced during the time of the French Revolution and at the height of the Reign of Terror against its people.

The main thrust of the French revolution ocurred during a ten year period between the storming of the Bastille State Prison in 1789 and the declaration of leadership of France by Corsican General Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799.

The Republican Calendar was the brainchild of Charles-Gilbert Romme who introduced it to the French nation for the Autumnal Equinox on 24th October 1793.

It was an attempt to remove all religious and royalist influence from public life.

The traditional method of astrology and religious interpretation for harvesting was no longer trusted.

It was modelled on the historical calendar of ancient Egypt.

The new calendar comprised ten months of three weeks each with a ten day week.

All the days and months were re-named according to the numbers of the French language,

Time was counted decimally too.  There were ten hours in one day and one hundred decimal minutes in each hour.

A normal hour of 60 minutes had now become 144.

It required clocks to be re-manufactured with ten instead of twelve hours.

Not surprisingly perhaps, the Republican Calendar did not ‘catch on’ and was abolished by Napoleon on 1st January 1806.

Even so, metrication for weights and measures as well as distance was not abolished but rather expanded to become the universal norm in the twentieth century.

 

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