By Antony Alcock (auth.)
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Additional resources for A History of the Protection of Regional Cultural Minorities in Europe: From the Edict of Nantes to the Present Day
The French may have regained Alsace Lorraine, but they knew that in terms of potential economic and military strength Germany remained the stronger of the two. The Germans were a considerably larger population, and France had suffered proportionately heavier casualties in the war.
The populations were asked if they wanted to Before the First World War 35 become part of France, and doubtless most of them did so wish, although the presence of French armies might have helped to encourage the ‘Yes’ votes. But in any case most of these areas were populated by French speakers. But after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 the organisers of the peace, meeting at the Congress of Vienna, returned to the principle that land and people belonged to the sovereign, and that self-determination would be prejudicial to the so-called principle of the balance of power.
65 Nevertheless the Irish language maintained itself, and would do so well into the eighteenth century. 66 Why? First, the collapse of the Jacobite Rising in Scotland in 1746 ensured the Protestant supremacy in the British Isles. It also helped to take religion out of politics. It hastened the decay of the Penal Laws and this in turn encouraged Catholics to accept the status quo. Catholic Relief Acts passed in 1778 enabled Catholics to teach and inherit land and hope for advancement in their own country.
A History of the Protection of Regional Cultural Minorities in Europe: From the Edict of Nantes to the Present Day by Antony Alcock (auth.)