Glorious Rival to Greenwich:How the Paris Meridian was established and why London does not keep Paris Mean Time

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Prof. Paul Murdin

The Paris Meridian is the name of the line running north-south through Paris, surveyed by the scientists of the Paris Academy of Sciences during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars in order to determine longitude - just as the Greenwich meridian was.  Why was this so important and why did the Paris Meridian lose out when America insisted that it was time to choose the Prime Meridian of the world?