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At the end of the last glacial period 10, BC , the climate became milder;  from approximately 7, BC, this part of Western Europe entered the Neolithic era and its inhabitants became sedentary.
After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium, initially working gold, copper and bronze , and later iron.
This makes it France's oldest city. The concept of Gaul emerged during this period, corresponding to the territories of Celtic settlement ranging between the Rhine , the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean.
The borders of modern France roughly correspond to ancient Gaul, which was inhabited by Celtic Gauls. Gaul was then a prosperous country, of which the southernmost part was heavily subject to Greek and Roman cultural and economic influences.
Gaul was divided by Augustus into Roman provinces. The Gauls mixed with Roman settlers and eventually adopted Roman culture and Roman speech Latin , from which the French language evolved.
The Roman polytheism merged with the Gallic paganism into the same syncretism. From the s to the s AD, Roman Gaul suffered a serious crisis with its fortified borders being attacked on several occasions by barbarians.
Subsequently, Christians, who had been persecuted until then, increased rapidly across the entire Roman Empire.
At the end of the Antiquity period, ancient Gaul was divided into several Germanic kingdoms and a remaining Gallo-Roman territory, known as the Kingdom of Syagrius.
Simultaneously, Celtic Britons , fleeing the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain , settled the western part of Armorica.
As a result, the Armorican peninsula was renamed Brittany , Celtic culture was revived and independent petty kingdoms arose in this region.
The first leader to make himself king of all the Franks was Clovis I , who began his reign in , routing the last forces of the Roman governors of the province in Clovis claimed that he would be baptized a Christian in the event of his victory against the Visigoths , which was said to have guaranteed the battle.
Clovis regained the southwest from the Visigoths , was baptized in , and made himself master of what is now western Germany. The Germanic Franks adopted Romanic languages , except in northern Gaul where Roman settlements were less dense and where Germanic languages emerged.
Clovis made Paris his capital and established the Merovingian dynasty , but his kingdom would not survive his death.
The last Merovingian kings lost power to their mayors of the palace head of household. One mayor of the palace, Charles Martel , defeated an Islamic invasion of Gaul at the Battle of Tours and earned respect and power within the Frankish kingdoms.
His son, Pepin the Short , seized the crown of Francia from the weakened Merovingians and founded the Carolingian dynasty.
Pepin's son, Charlemagne , reunited the Frankish kingdoms and built a vast empire across Western and Central Europe.
Charlemagne's son, Louis I Emperor — , kept the empire united; however, this Carolingian Empire would not survive his death.
West Francia approximated the area occupied by, and was the precursor to, modern France. During the 9th and 10th centuries, continually threatened by Viking invasions , France became a very decentralized state: the nobility's titles and lands became hereditary, and the authority of the king became more religious than secular and thus was less effective and constantly challenged by powerful noblemen.
Thus was established feudalism in France. Over time, some of the king's vassals would grow so powerful that they often posed a threat to the king.
For example, after the Battle of Hastings in , William the Conqueror added "King of England" to his titles, becoming both the vassal to as Duke of Normandy and the equal of as king of England the king of France, creating recurring tensions.
Later kings would expand their directly-possessed domaine royal to cover over half of modern continental France by the 15th century, including most of the north, centre and west of France.
During this process, the royal authority became more and more assertive, centered on a hierarchically conceived society distinguishing nobility , clergy, and commoners.
The French nobility played a prominent role in most Crusades to restore Christian access to the Holy Land. French knights made up the bulk of the steady flow of reinforcements throughout the two-hundred-year span of the Crusades, in such a fashion that the Arabs uniformly referred to the crusaders as Franj caring little whether they really came from France.
The latter, in particular, held numerous properties throughout France and by the 13th century were the principal bankers for the French crown, until Philip IV annihilated the order in The Albigensian Crusade was launched in to eliminate the heretical Cathars in the southwestern area of modern-day France.
In the end, the Cathars were exterminated and the autonomous County of Toulouse was annexed into the crown lands of France.
From the 11th century, the House of Plantagenet, the rulers of the County of Anjou , succeeded in establishing its dominion over the surrounding provinces of Maine and Touraine , then progressively built an "empire" that spanned from England to the Pyrenees and covering half of modern France.
Tensions between the kingdom of France and the Plantagenet empire would last a hundred years, until Philip II of France conquered, between and most of the continental possessions of the empire, leaving England and Aquitaine to the Plantagenets.
Following the Battle of Bouvines , the Angevin court retreated to England, but persistent Capetian—Plantagenet rivalry would pave the way for another conflict, the Hundred Years' War.
Charles IV the Fair died without an heir in During the reign of Philip of Valois , the French monarchy reached the height of its medieval power.
With charismatic leaders, such as Joan of Arc and La Hire , strong French counterattacks won back most English continental territories.
Like the rest of Europe, France was struck by the Black Death; half of the 17 million population of France died. The French Renaissance saw a spectacular cultural development and the first standardisation of the French language, which would become the official language of France and the language of Europe's aristocracy.
It also saw a long set of wars, known as the Italian Wars , between France and the House of Habsburg.
French explorers, such as Jacques Cartier or Samuel de Champlain , claimed lands in the Americas for France, paving the way for the expansion of the First French colonial empire.
The rise of Protestantism in Europe led France to a civil war known as the French Wars of Religion , where, in the most notorious incident, thousands of Huguenots were murdered in the St.
Bartholomew's Day massacre of Spanish troops, the terror of Western Europe,  assisted the Catholic side during the Wars of Religion in —, and invaded northern France in ; after some skirmishing in the s and s, Spain and France returned to all-out war between and The war cost France , casualties.
Under Louis XIII , the energetic Cardinal Richelieu promoted the centralisation of the state and reinforced the royal power by disarming domestic power holders in the s.
He systematically destroyed castles of defiant lords and denounced the use of private violence dueling , carrying weapons, and maintaining private army.
By the end of the s, Richelieu established "the royal monopoly of force" as the doctrine. This rebellion was driven by the great feudal lords and sovereign courts as a reaction to the rise of royal absolute power in France.
The monarchy reached its peak during the 17th century and the reign of Louis XIV. By turning powerful feudal lords into courtiers at the Palace of Versailles , Louis XIV's personal power became unchallenged.
Remembered for his numerous wars, he made France the leading European power. France became the most populous country in Europe and had tremendous influence over European politics, economy, and culture.
French became the most-used language in diplomacy, science, literature and international affairs, and remained so until the 20th century.
Its European territory kept growing, however, with notable acquisitions such as Lorraine and Corsica An unpopular king, Louis XV's weak rule, his ill-advised financial, political and military decisions — as well as the debauchery of his court— discredited the monarchy, which arguably paved the way for the French Revolution 15 years after his death.
The financial crisis aggravated by France's involvement in the American Revolutionary War was one of many contributing factors to the French Revolution.
Much of the Enlightenment occurred in French intellectual circles, and major scientific breakthroughs and inventions, such as the discovery of oxygen and the first hot air balloon carrying passengers , were achieved by French scientists.
The Enlightenment philosophy, in which reason is advocated as the primary source for legitimacy and authority , undermined the power of and support for the monarchy and helped pave the way for the French Revolution.
As it came to an impasse, the representatives of the Third Estate formed into a National Assembly , signalling the outbreak of the French Revolution.
Fearing that the king would suppress the newly created National Assembly, insurgents stormed the Bastille on 14 July , a date which would become France's National Day.
In early August , the National Constituent Assembly abolished the privileges of the nobility such as personal serfdom and exclusive hunting rights.
Through the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 27 August France established fundamental rights for men.
The Declaration affirms "the natural and imprescriptible rights of man" to "liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression".
Freedom of speech and press were declared, and arbitrary arrests outlawed. It called for the destruction of aristocratic privileges and proclaimed freedom and equal rights for all men, as well as access to public office based on talent rather than birth.
In November , the Assembly decided to nationalize and sell all property of the Roman Catholic Church which had been the largest landowner in the country.
In July , a Civil Constitution of the Clergy reorganized the French Catholic Church, cancelling the authority of the Church to levy taxes, et cetera.
This fueled much discontent in parts of France, which would contribute to the civil war breaking out some years later. While King Louis XVI still enjoyed popularity among the population, his disastrous flight to Varennes June seemed to justify rumors he had tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign invasion.
His credibility was so deeply undermined that the abolition of the monarchy and establishment of a republic became an increasing possibility.
In August , the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia in the Declaration of Pillnitz threatened revolutionary France to intervene by force of arms to restore the French absolute monarchy.
In the newly established Legislative Assembly October , enmity developed and deepened between a group, later called the ' Girondins ', who favored war with Austria and Prussia , and a group later called ' Montagnards ' or ' Jacobins ', who opposed such a war.
A majority in the Assembly in however saw a war with Austria and Prussia as a chance to boost the popularity of the revolutionary government, and thought that France would win a war against those gathered monarchies.
On 20 April , therefore, they declared war on Austria. In early September, Parisians, infuriated by the Prussian army capturing Verdun and counter-revolutionary uprisings in the west of France, murdered between 1, and 1, prisoners by raiding the Parisian prisons.
The Assembly and the Paris city council seemed unable to stop that bloodshed. France had declared war on Great Britain and the Dutch Republic in November and did the same on Spain in March ; in the spring of , Austria and Prussia invaded France; in March, France created a " sister republic " in the " Republic of Mainz ".
A factionalist feud in the National Convention, smoldering ever since October , came to a climax with the group of the ' Girondins ' on 2 June being forced to resign and leave the Convention.
Paris' Convention government between October and December with brutal measures managed to subdue most internal uprisings, at the cost of tens of thousands of lives.
Some historians consider the civil war to have lasted until with a toll of possibly , lives. France in February abolished slavery in its American colonies , but would reintroduce it later.
Political disagreements and enmity in the National Convention between October and July reached unprecedented levels, leading to dozens of Convention members being sentenced to death and guillotined.
Meanwhile, France's external wars in were going prosperous, for example in Belgium. In , the government seemed to return to indifference towards the desires and needs of the lower classes concerning freedom of Catholic religion and fair distribution of food.
Until , politicians, apart from inventing a new parliamentary system the ' Directory ' , busied themselves with dissuading the people from Catholicism and from royalism.
Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of the Republic in becoming First Consul and later Emperor of the French Empire —; As a continuation of the wars sparked by the European monarchies against the French Republic, changing sets of European Coalitions declared wars on Napoleon's Empire.
His armies conquered most of continental Europe with swift victories such as the battles of Jena-Auerstadt or Austerlitz. Members of the Bonaparte family were appointed as monarchs in some of the newly established kingdoms.
In June , Napoleon attacked Russia, reaching Moscow. Thereafter his army disintegrated through supply problems, disease, Russian attacks, and finally winter.
After the catastrophic Russian campaign , and the ensuing uprising of European monarchies against his rule, Napoleon was defeated and the Bourbon monarchy restored.
About a million Frenchmen died during the Napoleonic Wars. The discredited Bourbon dynasty was overthrown by the July Revolution of , which established the constitutional July Monarchy.
In that year, French troops conquered Algeria, establishing the first colonial presence in Africa since Napoleon's abortive invasion of Egypt in In general unrest led to the February Revolution and the end of the July Monarchy.
The abolition of slavery and introduction of male universal suffrage , which were briefly enacted during the French Revolution, were re-enacted in He multiplied French interventions abroad, especially in Crimea , in Mexico and Italy which resulted in the annexation of the duchy of Savoy and the county of Nice , then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
By , the French conquest of Algeria was complete and approximately , Algerians were killed as a result.
France had colonial possessions , in various forms, since the beginning of the 17th century, but in the 19th and 20th centuries, its global overseas colonial empire extended greatly and became the second largest in the world behind the British Empire.
Including metropolitan France , the total area of land under French sovereignty almost reached 13 million square kilometers in the s and s, 8.
In , state secularism was officially established. A small part of Northern France was occupied, but France and its allies emerged victorious against the Central Powers at a tremendous human and material cost.
World War I left 1. In , France was invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany and Italy. Metropolitan France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north, an Italian occupation zone in the south-east and Vichy France , a newly established authoritarian regime collaborating with Germany, in the south, while Free France , the government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle , was set up in London.
This interim government, established by de Gaulle, aimed to continue to wage war against Germany and to purge collaborators from office.
It also made several important reforms suffrage extended to women, creation of a social security system. The GPRF laid the groundwork for a new constitutional order that resulted in the Fourth Republic , which saw spectacular economic growth les Trente Glorieuses.
France was one of the founding members of NATO Only months later, France faced another anti-colonialist conflict in Algeria. The systematic torture and repression, as well as the extrajudicial killings that were perpetrated to keep control of Algeria , then considered as an integral part of France and home to over one million European settlers ,   wracked the country and nearly led to a coup and civil war.
In , the weak and unstable Fourth Republic gave way to the Fifth Republic , which included a strengthened Presidency.
The Algerian independence came at a high price; the large toll on the Algerian population. It resulted in half million to a million deaths and over 2 million internally displaced Algerians.
In the context of the Cold War , de Gaulle pursued a policy of "national independence" towards the Western and Eastern blocs. To this end, he withdrew from NATO 's military integrated command while remaining in the NATO alliance itself , launched a nuclear development programme , and made France the fourth nuclear power.
He restored cordial Franco-German relations to create a European counterweight between the American and Soviet spheres of influence. However, he opposed any development of a supranational Europe , favouring a Europe of sovereign nations.
In the wake of the series of worldwide protests of , the revolt of May had an enormous social impact. In France, it is considered to be the watershed moment when a conservative moral ideal religion, patriotism, respect for authority shifted towards a more liberal moral ideal secularism , individualism , sexual revolution.
Although the revolt was a political failure as the Gaullist party emerged even stronger than before it announced a split between the French people and de Gaulle who resigned shortly after.
In the post-Gaullist era, France remained one of the most developed economies in the world , but faced several economic crises that resulted in high unemployment rates and increasing public debt.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries France has been at the forefront of the development of a supranational European Union , notably by signing the Maastricht Treaty which created the European Union in , establishing the Eurozone in , and signing the Lisbon Treaty in Since the 19th century France has received many immigrants.
These have been mostly male foreign workers from European Catholic countries who generally returned home when not employed.
It resulted in hundreds of thousands of Muslims especially in the larger cities living in subsidized public housing and suffering from very high unemployment rates.
They were encouraged to retain their distinctive cultures and traditions and required merely to integrate. The vast majority of France's territory and population is situated in Western Europe and is called Metropolitan France , to distinguish it from the country's various overseas polities.
It is bordered by the Northern Sea in the north, the English Channel in the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Mediterranean sea in the southeast.
Its land borders consist of Belgium and Luxembourg in the northeast, Germany and Switzerland in the east, Italy and Monaco in the southeast, and Andorra and Spain in the south and southwest.
With the exception of the northeast, most of France's land borders are roughly delineated by natural boundaries and geographic features: to the south and southeast, the Pyrenees and the Alps and the Jura, respectively, and to the east, the Rhine river.
Due to its shape, France is often referred to as l'Hexagone "The Hexagon ". Metropolitan France includes various coastal islands, of which the largest is Corsica.
France has several overseas regions across the world, which are organized as follows:. France possesses a wide variety of landscapes, from coastal plains in the north and west to mountain ranges of the Alps in the southeast, the Massif Central in the south central and Pyrenees in the southwest.
Metropolitan France has a wide variety of topographical sets and natural landscapes. Large parts of the current territory of France were raised during several tectonic episodes like the Hercynian uplift in the Paleozoic Era, during which the Armorican Massif , the Massif Central , the Morvan , the Vosges and Ardennes ranges and the island of Corsica were formed.
These massifs delineate several sedimentary basins such as the Aquitaine basin in the southwest and the Paris basin in the north, the latter including several areas of particularly fertile ground such as the silt beds of Beauce and Brie.
The Alpine, Pyrenean and Jura mountains are much younger and have less eroded forms. At 4, Corsica lies off the Mediterranean coast.
The French metropolitan territory is relatively large, so the climate is not uniform, giving rise to the following climate nuances:.
Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild and wet. Summers are warm and dry, while winters are cool and wet. Summers are hot and wet, while winters are cool and damp.
Summers are pleasantly warm and wet, while winters are cool and damp. Summers are hot and wet, while winters are cold and gloomy. Summers are short, cool and wet, while winters are moderately cold and damp.
No major cities are affected by this climate. Summers are pleasantly warm and dry, while winters are very cold and snowy. City affected by this climate: Barcelonnette.
Summers are cool, short and dry, while winters are very cold and snowy. Place affected by this climate: Isola Summers are pleasantly warm and wet, while winters are very cold and snowy.
Cities affected by this climate: Chamonix , Mouthe. Summers are cool, short and wet, while winters are very cold and snowy.
Summers are chilly and wet, while winters are extremely cold, long and snowy. Summers are cold and wet, while winters are extremely cold, long and snowy.
France was one of the first countries to create an environment ministry, in This is due to the country's heavy investment in nuclear power following the oil crisis ,  which now accounts for 75 percent of its electricity production  and results in less pollution.
Forests account for 31 percent of France's land area—the fourth-highest proportion in Europe—representing an increase of 7 percent since The parks foster ecological research programs and public education in the natural sciences.
The French Republic is divided into 18 regions located in Europe and overseas , five overseas collectivities , one overseas territory , one special collectivity — New Caledonia and one uninhabited island directly under the authority of the Minister of Overseas France — Clipperton.
Since France is mainly divided into 18 administrative regions: 13 regions in metropolitan France including the territorial collectivity of Corsica ,  and five located overseas.
This number is used in postal codes and was formerly used on vehicle number plates. The departments are subdivided into arrondissements , which are, in turn, subdivided into 2, cantons.
The regions, departments and communes are all known as territorial collectivities , meaning they possess local assemblies as well as an executive.
Arrondissements and cantons are merely administrative divisions. However, this was not always the case.
Until , the arrondissements were territorial collectivities with an elected assembly, but these were suspended by the Vichy regime and definitely abolished by the Fourth Republic in Overseas collectivities and territories form part of the French Republic, but do not form part of the European Union or its fiscal area with the exception of St.
Bartelemy, which seceded from Guadeloupe in In contrast, the five overseas regions used the French franc and now use the euro.
The French Republic is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic with strong democratic traditions. The executive branch itself has two leaders: the President of the Republic , currently Emmanuel Macron , who is head of state and is elected directly by universal adult suffrage for a 5-year term formerly 7 years ,  and the Government, led by the president-appointed Prime Minister.
Senators are chosen by an electoral college for 6-year terms originally 9-year terms , and one half of the seats are submitted to election every 3 years.
The Senate's legislative powers are limited; in the event of disagreement between the two chambers, the National Assembly has the final say.
Since World War II, they were marginalized while French politics became characterized by two politically opposed groupings: one left-wing, centred on the French Section of the Workers' International and its successor the Socialist Party since ; and the other right-wing, centred on the Gaullist Party , whose name changed over time to the Rally of the French People , the Union of Democrats for the Republic , the Rally for the Republic , the Union for a Popular Movement and The Republicans since In the presidential and legislative elections, radical centrist party En Marche!
As of , voter turnout was 75 percent during recent elections, higher than the OECD average of 68 percent.
France uses a civil legal system, wherein law arises primarily from written statutes;  judges are not to make law, but merely to interpret it though the amount of judicial interpretation in certain areas makes it equivalent to case law in a common law system.
Basic principles of the rule of law were laid in the Napoleonic Code which was, in turn, largely based on the royal law codified under Louis XIV.
In agreement with the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, law should only prohibit actions detrimental to society.
As Guy Canivet , first president of the Court of Cassation , wrote about the management of prisons: Freedom is the rule, and its restriction is the exception; any restriction of Freedom must be provided for by Law and must follow the principles of necessity and proportionality.
That is, Law should lay out prohibitions only if they are needed, and if the inconveniences caused by this restriction do not exceed the inconveniences that the prohibition is supposed to remedy.
French law is divided into two principal areas: private law and public law. Private law includes, in particular, civil law and criminal law.
Public law includes, in particular, administrative law and constitutional law. However, in practical terms, French law comprises three principal areas of law: civil law, criminal law, and administrative law.
Criminal laws can only address the future and not the past criminal ex post facto laws are prohibited. France does not recognise religious law as a motivation for the enactment of prohibitions; it has long abolished blasphemy laws and sodomy laws the latter in Since , civil unions for homosexual couples are permitted, and since , same-sex marriage and LGBT adoption are legal.
Some consider hate speech laws in France to be too broad or severe, undermining freedom of speech. Freedom of religion is constitutionally guaranteed by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Nonetheless, it does recognize religious associations. The Parliament has listed many religious movements as dangerous cults since , and has banned wearing conspicuous religious symbols in schools since In , it banned the wearing of face-covering Islamic veils in public ; human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch described the law as discriminatory towards Muslims.
France is a founding member of the United Nations and serves as one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto rights.
Postwar French foreign policy has been largely shaped by membership of the European Union, of which it was a founding member.
Since the s , France has developed close ties with reunified Germany to become the most influential driving force of the EU.
However, since , France has maintained an " Entente cordiale " with the United Kingdom, and there has been a strengthening of links between the countries, especially militarily.
France is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation NATO , but under President de Gaulle, it excluded itself from the joint military command to protest the Special Relationship between the United States and Britain and to preserve the independence of French foreign and security policies.
However, as a result of Nicolas Sarkozy's pro-American politics much criticised in France by the leftists and by a part of the right , France re-joined the NATO joint military command on 4 April In the early s, the country drew considerable criticism from other nations for its underground nuclear tests in French Polynesia.
In , France was the fourth-largest donor in absolute terms of development aid in the world, behind the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Together they are among the largest armed forces in the world and the largest in the EU. While the Gendarmerie is an integral part of the French armed forces gendarmes are career soldiers , and therefore under the purview of the Ministry of the Armed Forces , it is operationally attached to the Ministry of the Interior as far as its civil police duties are concerned.
When acting as general purpose police force, the Gendarmerie encompasses the counter terrorist units of the Parachute Intervention Squadron of the National Gendarmerie Escadron Parachutiste d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale , the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale , the Search Sections of the National Gendarmerie Sections de Recherche de la Gendarmerie Nationale , responsible for criminal enquiries, and the Mobile Brigades of the National Gendarmerie Brigades mobiles de la Gendarmerie Nationale , or in short Gendarmerie mobile which have the task to maintain public order.
There has been no national conscription since France has a special military corps, the French Foreign Legion , founded in , which consists of foreign nationals from over countries who are willing to serve in the French Armed Forces and become French citizens after the end of their service period.
The only other countries having similar units are Spain the Spanish Foreign Legion, called Tercio , was founded in and Luxembourg foreigners can serve in the National Army provided they speak Luxembourgish.
France is a permanent member of the Security Council of the UN , and a recognised nuclear state since French nuclear deterrence, formerly known as " Force de Frappe " , relies on complete independence.
The current French nuclear force consists of four Triomphant class submarines equipped with submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
France has major military industries with one of the largest aerospace industries in the world. France is a major arms seller,   with most of its arsenal's designs available for the export market with the notable exception of nuclear-powered devices.
Other smaller parades are organised across the country. The Government of France has run a budget deficit each year since the early s.
As of [update] , French government debt levels reached 2. A member of the Group of Seven formerly Group of Eight leading industrialized countries, as of [update] , it is ranked as the world's tenth largest and the EU's second largest economy by purchasing power parity.
France has a mixed economy that combines extensive private enterprise   with substantial state enterprise and government intervention.
The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, nuclear power and telecommunications.
As of [update] , the World Trade Organization WTO reported France was the world's sixth largest exporter and the fourth largest importer of manufactured goods.
Financial services, banking and the insurance sector are an important part of the economy. Three largest financial institutions cooperatively owned by their customers are located in France.
France is a member of the Eurozone around million consumers which is part of the European Single Market more than million consumers.
Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union EU members and by EU legislation. France introduced the common European currency, the Euro in French companies have maintained key positions in the insurance and banking industries: AXA is the world's largest insurance company.
France has historically been a large producer of agricultural products. Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as internationally recognized processed foods are the primary French agricultural exports.
Agriculture is an important sector of France's economy: 3. It is third in income from tourism due to shorter duration of visits.
France, especially Paris, has some of the world's largest and most renowned museums, including the Louvre , which is the most visited art museum in the world 5.
Disneyland Paris is Europe's most popular theme park, with 15 million combined visitors to the resort's Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park in France has 37 sites inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List and features cities of high cultural interest, beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity green tourism.
The " Remarkable Gardens " label is a list of the over gardens classified by the French Ministry of Culture. This label is intended to protect and promote remarkable gardens and parks.
France attracts many religious pilgrims on their way to St. France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the G8 , due to its heavy investment in nuclear power.
Rail connections exist to all other neighboring countries in Europe, except Andorra. French roads also handle substantial international traffic, connecting with cities in neighboring Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Andorra and Monaco.
There is no annual registration fee or road tax ; however, usage of the mostly privately owned motorways is through tolls except in the vicinity of large communes.
There are airports in France. Air France is the national carrier airline, although numerous private airline companies provide domestic and international travel services.
There are ten major ports in France, the largest of which is in Marseille ,  which also is the largest bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Since the Middle Ages , France has been a major contributor to scientific and technological achievement. Around the beginning of the 11th century, Pope Sylvester II , born Gerbert d'Aurillac, reintroduced the abacus and armillary sphere , and introduced Arabic numerals and clocks to Northern and Western Europe.
They were both key figures of the Scientific Revolution , which blossomed in Europe during this period.
It was at the forefront of scientific developments in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.
It is one of the earliest academies of sciences. Other eminent French scientists of the 19th century have their names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.
Hand transplantation was developed on 23 September in Lyon by a team assembled from different countries around the world including Jean-Michel Dubernard who, shortly thereafter, performed the first successful double hand transplant.
Bernard Devauchelle. France was the fourth country to achieve nuclear capability  and has the third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world.
It also owns Minatec , Europe's leading nanotechnology research center. The TGV has been the fastest wheeled train in commercial use since reaching a speed of As of [update] , 69 French people have been awarded a Nobel Prize  and 12 have received the Fields Medal.
With an estimated population of France is an outlier among developed countries in general, and European countries in particular, in having a relatively high rate of natural population growth: by birth rates alone, it was responsible for almost all natural population growth in the European Union in As of January [update] the fertility rate declined slightly to 1.
However, like many developed nations, France's population is aging; the average age is From to population growth averaged 0.
Large-scale immigration over the last century and a half has led to a more multicultural society. Since the French Revolution, and as codified in the French Constitution , it is illegal for the French state to collect data on ethnicity and ancestry.
France has a significant Gypsy Gitan population, numbering between 20, and , France remains a major destination for immigrants, accepting about , legal immigrants annually.
According to the French Institute, this increase resulting from the financial crisis that hit several European countries in that period, has pushed up the number of Europeans installed in France.
France is a highly urbanized country, with its largest cities in terms of metropolitan area population in  being Paris 12,, inh.
Note: There are significant differences between the metropolitan population figures just cited and those in the following table, which indicates the population of the communes.
Rural flight was a perennial political issue throughout most of the 20th century. According to Article 2 of the Constitution, the official language of France is French,  a Romance language derived from Latin.
Italian was the official language of Corsica until 9 May The Government of France does not regulate the choice of language in publications by individuals but the use of French is required by law in commercial and workplace communications.
In addition to mandating the use of French in the territory of the Republic, the French government tries to promote French in the European Union and globally through institutions such as the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
The perceived threat from anglicisation has prompted efforts to safeguard the position of the French language in France.
Besides French, there exist 77 vernacular minority languages of France, eight spoken in French metropolitan territory and 69 in the French overseas territories.
From the 17th to the midth century, French served as the pre-eminent international language of diplomacy and international affairs as well as a lingua franca among the educated classes of Europe.
As a result of France's extensive colonial ambitions between the 17th and 20th centuries, French was introduced to the Americas, Africa, Polynesia, South-East Asia, as well as the Caribbean.
French is the second most studied foreign language in the world after English,  and is a lingua franca in some regions, notably in Africa.
The legacy of French as a living language outside Europe is mixed: it is nearly extinct in some former French colonies The Levant, South and Southeast Asia , while creoles and pidgins based on French have emerged in the French departments in the West Indies and the South Pacific French Polynesia.
On the other hand, many former French colonies have adopted French as an official language, and the total number of French speakers is increasing, especially in Africa.
It is estimated that between million  and million  people worldwide can speak French, either as a mother tongue or a second language.
Native speakers of other languages made up the remaining 5. France is a secular country in which freedom of religion is a constitutional right.
Catholicism has been the predominant religion in France for more than a millennium, though it is not as actively practised today as it was.
In some cases clergy and churches were attacked, with iconoclasm stripping the churches of statues and ornaments. To this day, the government is prohibited from recognizing any specific right to a religious community except for legacy statutes like those of military chaplains and the local law in Alsace-Moselle.
It recognizes religious organisations according to formal legal criteria that do not address religious doctrine. Conversely, religious organisations are expected to refrain from intervening in policy-making.
The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance.
This article is about the town. For the monastery, see Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey. For other uses, see Mont Saint Michel disambiguation.
An island and mainland commune in Normandy, France. Commune in Normandy, France. Coat of arms. Location of Le Mont-Saint-Michel.
Le Mont-Saint-Michel. See also: Mont Saint Michel Abbey. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Mont Saint-Michel in popular culture.
France portal Middle Ages portal. Retrieved 6 January Retrieved 30 June Retrieved 9 August Archived from the original on 21 September Retrieved 21 August Archived from the original on 19 May Retrieved 7 October Archived from the original on 24 May Retrieved 31 May Archived PDF from the original on 6 October Archived from the original on 14 November Editor Technip.
Archived from the original on 17 October Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 10 July Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Archived from the original on 30 October Archived from the original on 20 June Archived from the original on 4 August Retrieved 5 September Archived from the original on 21 July Archived from the original on 13 January Archived from the original on 6 March Cornish Church Guide.
Truro: Oscar Blackford. Retrieved 27 June Retrieved 28 June Archived from the original on 29 April Giant Bomb.
Archived from the original on 30 June Retrieved 31 July World Heritage Sites in France. I definitely recommend his books.
Bad Island is about a family going on a boat trip. There are two main characters: The Family and the Aliens. The family starts out leaving the house.
Reese the eldest child is upset that he has to go on this dumb family vacation and admits later in the book he planned on running away.
Janie the little sister is a typical annoying kid sis This is the third graphic novel that I've read by Doug TenNapel and although it wasn't as good as his other two book I've read.
Janie the little sister is a typical annoying kid sister with a love for animals. Mom and Dad are just trying to do the best they can.
While on this boat trip a storm washes them onto a deserted island. Or so they thought. The island ends up being filled with weird plants and even weirder animal life.
Underlying story is kind of like Finding Nemo. You need to believe that your kids can do things on their own. That they have the ability to make great decisions if you just let them.
And like with his other graphic novels, this one is based heavily on family. Not my favorite of his, but definitely a fun read.
Jun 02, Valeria Ambriz rated it it was amazing. I liked this comic book because it was really funny that Janie got lost and that Mr. Pickles died, when Reese didn't want to go to the trip during in the weekend that he wanted to stay home by himself.
That Reese and Janie found a rock that had a correl in it like a swirly thing on it. When Reese saved his parents and killed some creature with a gun when they got saved by a man and when Reese killed the Giant and one animal helped the family so they couldn't be in danger.
View 1 comment. Jun 04, Elizabeth added it. I really like this book because it is really interesting.
I liked the part when the little girls snake died and she steel pretended that it was alive.
Mar 28, Nancy Kotkin rated it it was amazing Shelves: reads , stars-5 , science-fiction , fav-graphic , graphic-novels-teen , pub-scholastic-graphix , graphic.
Story: 5 stars Art: 5 stars Full-color teen graphic novel with a really inventive science fiction premise.
Could probably also be read by older middle schoolers who like action and don't scare easily. Art and coloring are exceptional.
I really love that aspect of his work. Apr 22, Kay rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult-and-kids-comics. Though I was totally thrown off by the beginning of this book the giants and enslaved human-like creatures , I loved this well-done family story.
Dad knew what was up, and I loved Reese's character growth. I found this to be a really positive and uplifting story. Feb 01, Seth Brady rated it liked it.
Just okay. You could tell the author was creating a richer universe that goes beyond our recognizable world, but it felt too alien and like the characters took it too much in stride rather than reacting to the sheer otherworldliness.
I'm enjoying Doug's graphic novels with my 7 year old boy. He was most engaged in this one, turning the pages before i got to read them to him, to see what will happen next.
It's a great family adventure on an unknown island. Weird, strange, a bit scary, a bit innocent, wonderfully imagined world.
Both of us enjoyed it and loved it. Each TenNapel's comic has a nice message at the end and this was no exception.
Aug 24, Dominique rated it it was amazing Shelves: , manga. This book was a lot better than I expected. The family dynamic was wonderful and there was pretty good charioteer growth for a stand alone graphic novel.
The art was really unique and the creatures were very interesting. May 24, Brian rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , m , comics.
It's a cute story, but the dialogue is rough. I didn't love it, didn't hate it. The art is fun.
Mar 09, Garrett Goertz rated it really liked it. The theme of the story is that an thing is possible. Apr 03, Ismail rated it really liked it Shelves: graphic-novel.
Fun, colorful, exciting. I read this comic book soooo long ago, but I re-read it whenever I am in between books and just want a light and easy read.
I love the plot, the characters, and ofcourse the illustrations! Sep 25, Sombryn Williams rated it really liked it.
It was a neat little story and I think they will like it. My 3-year old saw me reading it and wanted in on the action.
He loved it too, although I think it was a bit too scary for him. Dec 10, Aiden Minseo rated it it was amazing. Jun 01, Gaia rated it really liked it.
This book was so good! I really loved it! The creatures were cool and I loved all the crazy things that happened.
Oct 03, Paul Vender rated it liked it. A teenage boy, Resse. As the story starts, we are transported to another world.
Doug the author expresses well, where aliens are fighting for their lives against invaders. After a short sequence in which we are introduced to these odd creatures, we jump to the present day where teenage boy Reese rebels against his botanist moth I read the book Bad Island by Doug TenNapel.
After a short sequence in which we are introduced to these odd creatures, we jump to the present day where teenage boy Reese rebels against his botanist mother and optimistic father.
The family will have to come together and work as a team. I liked how Doug made it seem like the family was falling apart but came back together at the end.
They will have to fight off theses weird creatures. I thought it was cool to adds too the story because it felt right and necessary.
Overall out of a five star I would say it was a three. The story was a very easy to read because it was interesting and felt like you did not know what was going to happen next.
I would recommend this book if you like action,adventure and also graphic novels books. This book will keep you on edge of what will happen next.
I will definitely be reading more Doug TenNapel. Oct 07, Penny Ramirez rated it liked it Shelves: sf , young-adult , graphic-novels-comics , adventure.
Perhaps 3. Great artwork, but the story felt a little I recognize that I'm not the intended audience.
Jun 14, Senator rated it it was ok Shelves: middle-grade , graphic-novel. Take a really off the wall concept and add a moody teenager and the weirdest little girl I've ever seen seriously..
This is a no for me. Jan 08, Jaden Mcintyre added it. Bad Island by Doug TenNapel the book starts off with a family going on a boat trip.
But then there was a huge storm that blew them off track and crashing into a mysterious island. They didn't know what was on this island at first so they set up camp.
After they set up camp, they started to explore the island as they saw weirder and weirder stuff happened.
Such as a moving rock that ate stuff and had a face and a mouth. After all this happened they went back to camp to find that humans.
No animals. No creatures went through their stuff left their food but took a lot of other stuff towards the end they revive a giant robot by putting a special artifact in its head but in my opinion the book was a really good graphic novel and recommend it to other readers that like graphic novels.
Oct 21, Justyn Fournier rated it it was amazing. The artists shows his art work by using bright and dark colors through out the novel.
This comic made me feel what Reese and his family went through to survive on the island. The author gave a clear message of what happened to Reese and his family through out the comic.
I would recommend this comic because it is easy to understand and what is going on through out the novel.
Jan 13, Joanie Driemeyer rated it it was ok. I wanted to read a graphic novel. Now I have. Nov 21, Brittany Newton rated it really liked it Shelves: libs Reese's dad is forcing him and his family to go on a boating trip in order to bond.
Reese has been so disgusted with his family that he has been contemplating on running away, so this is the last thing that he wants to do.
Despite good weather, the sea is very choppy, leaving the family ship wrecked on a strange island. Luckily, Reese's dad has packed supplies for them, but how are they going to get off?
The only problem is they have to get off without being killed by all of the strange, crazy creatures that are on this wacky island.
This adventure calls for a bickering family to work together and put aside their differences. Setting: This book takes place on an island with strange plants and creatures from out of this world after the family's boating trip turns into a disastrous ship wreck.
Theme: TenNapel finds a way to weave love and family importance into the novel as well as including aliens, creatures, and survival.
Characters: This story has a geeky dad, a strong, courageous mother, a rebellious teenager, Reese, and a loud, annoying litter sister, Janie.
Point of View: I really loved how TenNapel used the point of view in this story. It is divided into two alternative parts.
The first part is 3rd person following Reese and his family through their struggles on the island, and the second is through a robot-like creature.
I really enjoyed how TenNapel connects the two stories in the end. Author's Style: TenNapel's style in this book includes comedy and wonderful art.
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Main articles: Gaul , Celts , and Roman Gaul. Main articles: Francia , Merovingian dynasty , and Carolingian dynasty. See also: France in the 19th century and France in the 20th century.
Main article: France in the twentieth century. Main article: Geography of France. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Administrative divisions of France.
Hauts-de- France. Grand Est. Centre- Val de Loire. Pays de la Loire. Nouvelle- Aquitaine.
French Guiana. United Kingdom. Bay of Biscay. Ligurian Sea. Mediterranean Sea. Main article: Politics of France. Main article: Law of France.
Main article: Foreign relations of France. Main article: French Armed Forces. Bastille Day in Paris. National Gendarmerie.
Combined Arms School. See also: Taxation in France. Main article: Economy of France. Main article: Tourism in France.
Further information: Energy in France. Main article: Transport in France. Main articles: Science and technology in France and List of French inventions and discoveries.
Main articles: Demographics of France and French people. See also: Urban area France and Urban unit. Main articles: French language , Languages of France , and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Native language. Administrative language. Secondary or non-official language. Francophone minorities. Main article: Religion in France.
Main article: Health in France. Main article: Education in France. Main article: Culture of France. Main article: French art.
Main article: French architecture. Main article: French literature. Main article: French philosophy.
Main article: Music of France. Main article: Cinema of France. Main article: French fashion. Main article: Telecommunications in France.
Main article: French cuisine. Main article: Sport in France. France portal. France also uses. All five are considered integral parts of the French Republic.
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I tidied up the kitchenette; I tuned the old banjo. Accidents everywhere. A pileup on each of two major roads.
Everyone just angles, points, dives directly toward his destination, pretending it is an all-or-nothing gamble.
People glare at one another and fight for maneuvering space. All parties are equally determined to get the right-of-way--insist on it.
They swerve away at the last possible moment, giving scant inches to spare. The victor goes forwards, no time for a victory grin, already engaging in another contest of will.
Saigon traffic is Vietnamese life, a continuous charade of posturing, bluffing, fast moves, tenacity and surrenders. Every time you think it's going to get moving and take you somewhere, you hit another jam.
Lori: You've never seen traffic on Concord Street at eight o'clock in the morning.I liked this comic book because it was really funny that Janie got lost and that Mr. People milled past, on their way to countless opinion Beste Spielothek in Erkeln finden apologise. Archived from the original on 24 July United Nations. These factors all encouraged silting -up of the bay. Spiel: Island - Frankreich. Archived from the original on 2 April Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. Archived from the original on 4 October