Haute-Marne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Champagne, Burgundy, Lorraine and Franche-Comté
In March 1814 the departmental prefecture, Chaumont, was the unwitting witness to the end of the First Empire. On 1 March, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria signed an accord forbidding any individual peace deal with Napoleon I, and to fight until his final defeat.
During World War II, Haute-Marne was partitioned under German occupation. The canal which runs from the Marne to the Saône served as a border, dividing the department into east and west. The east was a "reserved zone", intended for the creation of a new German (Ripuarian) state, whereas to the west would be the traditional "occupied zone". Haute-Marne was finally liberated by the Allies, in the form of the division of General Leclerc, between August and September 1944.
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“In the history of the human mind, these glowing and ruddy fables precede the noonday thoughts of men, as Aurora the suns rays. The matutine intellect of the poet, keeping in advance of the glare of philosophy, always dwells in this auroral atmosphere.”
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