France

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French Republic
Anthem: "La Marseillaise"
Capital
and largest city
Paris
48°51.4′N 2°21.05′E / 48.8567°N 2.35083°E / 48.8567; 2.35083
Official languages French
Demonym French
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
 -  President François Hollande (PS)
 -  Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (PS)
Legislature Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house National Assembly
Formation
 -  Francia 486 (Unification by Clovis
 -  West Francia 843 (Treaty of Verdun
 -  Current constitution 5 October 1958 (5th Republic
Area
 -  Total[1] 674,843 km2 (41st)
260,558 sq mi 
 -  Metropolitan France
   - IGN[2] 551,695 km2 (47th)
213,010 sq mi
   - Cadastre[3] 543,965 km2 (47th)
210,026 sq mi
Population
  (Nov 2018 estimate)
 -  Total[1] 65,320,889[4] (22nd)
 -  Metropolitan France 53,217,966 (2020) (22nd)
 -  Density[5] 116/km2 (89th)
301/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $2.145 trillion[6]
 -  Per capita $34,077[6]
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $2.582 trillion[6]
 -  Per capita $41,018[6]
Currency Euro,[7] CFP franc[8]
  (EUR,    XPF)
Time zone CET[5] (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST[5] (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code 331
Internet TLD .fr[9]

France (officially the French Republic) is a country whose metropolitan territory is located in Western Europe and that also comprises various overseas islands and territories located in other continents. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. French people often refer to Metropolitan France as L'Hexagone (The "Hexagon") because of the geometric shape of its territory.

France is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain. Due to its overseas departments, France also shares land borders with Brazil and Suriname (bordering French Guiana), and the Netherlands Antilles (bordering Saint-Martin). France is also linked to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes underneath the English Channel.

The French Republic is a democracy that is organized as a unitary semi-presidential republic. Its main ideals are expressed in the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It is a developed country with the sixth-largest economy in the world. France is the most visited country in the world, receiving over 79 million foreign tourists annually (including business visitors, but excluding people staying less than 24 hours in France). In the past three decades metropolitan France's population has increased by 10,000,000[10] due to alien immigration and births to aliens.

France is one of the founding members of the European Union, a proposition first blue-printed by their Foreign Minister, Aristide Briand in 1929.[11] It has the largest land area of all members. France is also a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, and the Latin Union. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; it is also an acknowledged nuclear power.

The name France originates from the Franks (Francs), a Germanic tribe that occupied the Rhineland regions of Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. More precisely, Alsace, Lorraine (Lotharingia) and the region around Paris, called the Île-de-France, the latter province being the original French royal demesne. The first King of the Franks, Clovis, is regarded as the forefather of the Kings of France.

Origin and History of the Name

The name France comes from the Latin Francia, which literally means "land of the Franks" or "Frankland". There are various theories as to the origin of the name of the Franks. One is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca.

Another proposed etymology is that in an ancient Germanic language, Frank means free as opposed to slave. This word still exists in French as franc, it is also used as the translation of "Frank" and to name the local money, until the use of the Euro in the 2000s.

However, rather than the ethnic name of the Franks coming from the word frank, it is also probable that the word is derived from the ethnic name of the Franks, the connection being that only the Franks, as the conquering class, had the status of freemen. The Merovingian kings claimed descent of their dynasty from the Sicambri, a Scythian or Cimmerian tribe, asserting that this tribe had changed their name to "Franks" in 11 BC, following their defeat and relocation by Drusus, under the leadership of a certain chieftain called Franko, although they had actually come from present day Netherlands, Lower Saxony, and possibly, ultimately Scandinavia. In German, France is still called Frankreich, which literally means "Realm of the Franks". In order to distinguish from the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne, Modern France is called Frankreich, while the Frankish Realm is called Frankenreich.

The word "Frank" had been loosely used from the fall of Rome to the Middle Ages, yet from Hugh Capet's coronation as "King of the Franks" ("Rex Francorum") it became used to strictly refer to the Kingdom of Francia, which would become France. The Capetian Kings were descended from the Robertines, who had produced two Frankish kings, and previously held the title of "Duke of the Franks" ("dux francorum"). This Frankish duchy encompassed most of modern northern France but because the royal power was sapped by regional princes the term was then applied to the royal demesne as shorthand. It was finally the name adopted for the entire Kingdom as central power was affirmed over the entire Kingdom.

Geography

While Metropolitan France is located in Western Europe, France also has a number of territories in North America, the Caribbean, South America, the southern Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and Antarctica. These territories have varying forms of government ranging from overseas department to overseas collectivity.

Metropolitan France covers 551,695 square kilometres (213,010 sq mi) and possesses a wide variety of landscapes, from coastal plains in the north and west to mountain ranges of the Alps in the south-east, the Massif Central in the south-central and Pyrenees in the south-west. At 4,807 metres (15,770 ft) above sea-level, the highest point in Western Europe, Mont Blanc, is situated in the Alps on the border between France and Italy. Metropolitan France also has extensive river systems such as the Loire, the Garonne, the Seine and the Rhône, which divides the Massif Central from the Alps and flows into the Mediterranean sea at the Camargue, the lowest point in France (2 m / 6.5 ft below sea level). Corsica lies off the Mediterranean coast.

France's total land area, with its overseas departments and territories (excluding Adélie Land), is 674,843 square kilometres (260,558 sq mi), 0.45% of the total land area on Earth. However, France possesses the second-largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world, covering 11,035,000 square kilometres (4,260,000 sq mi), approximately 8% of the total surface of all the EEZs of the world, just behind the United States (11,351,000 km² / 4,383,000 sq mi) and ahead of Australia (8,232,000 km² / 3,178,000 sq mi).[17]

Metropolitan France is situated between 41° and 50° North, on the western edge of Europe and thus lies within the northern temperate zone. The north and northwest have a temperate climate, however, a combination of maritime influences, latitude and altitude produce a varied climate in the rest of Metropolitan France.[ In the south-east a Mediterranean climate prevails. In the west, the climate is predominantly oceanic with a high level of rainfall, mild winters and cool summers. Inland the climate becomes more continental with hot, stormy summers, colder winters and less rain. The climate of the Alps and other mountainous regions are mainly alpine in nature with the number of days with temperatures below freezing over 150 per year and snow cover lasting for up to six months.

History of France

Prehistory

The Neanderthals, a member of the homo genus, began to occupy Europe from about 200,000 BCE, but seem to have died out by about 30,000 years ago, presumably out-competed by the modern humans during a period of cold weather. The earliest modern humans — Homo sapiens sapiens — entered Europe (including France) around 50,000 years ago (the Upper Palaeolithic).

From the Neolithic to the Bronze Age, Indo-European and Proto-Celtic peoples spread across Western Europe. During the final stages of the Iron Age the La Tène culture gradually transformed into the explicitly Celtic culture of early historical times.

Gaul

Covering large parts of modern day France, Belgium, and northwest Germany, Gaul was inhabited by many Celtic tribes whom the Romans referred to as Gauls and who spoke the Gaulish language. On the lower Garonne the people spoke an archaic language related to Basque, the Aquitanian language. The Celts founded cities such as Lutetia Parisiorum (Paris) and Burdigala (Bordeaux) while the Aquitanians founded Tolosa (Toulouse).

Long before any Roman settlements, Greek navigators settled in what would become Provence. The Phoceans founded important cities such as Massalia (Marseilles) and Nicaea (Nice), bringing them in to conflict with the neighboring Celts and Ligurians. The Celts themselves often fought with Aquitanians and Germans, and a Gaulish war band led by Brennus invaded Rome circa 390 or 387 BC following the Battle of the Allia. However Gaulish tactics would not evolve and the Romans would learn to counter them, the Gauls would from then be defeated in battles such as Sentinum and Telamon.

When he fought the Romans, Hannibal Barca recruited several Gaulish mercenaries which fought on his side at Cannae. It was this Gaulish participation that caused Provence to be annexed in 121 BC by the Roman Republic. Later, the Consul of Gaul - Julius Caesar - conquered all of Gaul. Despite Gaulish opposition led by Vercingetorix, the Overking of the Warriors, Gauls succumbed to the Roman onslaught; the Gauls had some success at first at Gergovia, but were ultimately defeated at Alesia. The Romans founded cities such as Lugdunum (Lyon) and Narbonensis (Narbonne).

Roman Gaul

Pont du Gard, an aqueduct bridge built in the roman period.

Gaul was divided into several different provinces. The Romans displaced populations in order to prevent local identities to become a threat to the Roman control. Thus, many Celts were displaced in Aquitania or were enslaved and moved out of Gaul. There was a strong cultural evolution in Gaul under the Roman Empire, the most obvious one being the replacement of the Gaulish language by Vulgar Latin. It has been argued the similarities between the Gaulish and Latin languages favoured the transition. Gaul remained under Roman control for centuries and the Celtic culture was then replaced by the Gallo-Roman culture.

Gauls became better integrated with the Empire with the passage of time. In the decade following Valerian’s capture by the Persians in 260 Postumus established a short-lived Gallic Empire, which included the Iberian Peninsula and Britannia in addition to Gaul itself. Germanic tribes, the Franks and the Alamanni, entered Gaul at this time. The Gallic Empire ended with Emperor Aurelian's victory at Chalons in 274.

A migration of Celts appeared in the 4th century in Armorica. They were led by the legendary King Conan Meriadoc and came from England. They spoke the now extinct British language which evolved into the Breton, Cornish, and Welsh languages.

In 418 the Aquitanian province was given to the Goths in exchange for their support against the Vandals. Those Goths had previously sacked Rome in 410 and established a capital in Toulouse. The Roman Empire had difficulty responding to all the barbarian raids, and Flavius Aëtius had to use these tribes against each other in order to maintain some Roman control. He first used Huns against Burgundians and these mercenaries destroyed Worms, killed King Gunther, and pushed the Burgundians westward. The Burgundians were resettled by Aëtius near Lugdunum in 443. The Huns, united by Attila became a greater threat, and Aëtius used the Visigoths against the Huns. The conflict climaxed in 451 at the Battle of Chalons, in which the Romans and Goths defeated Attila.

The Roman Empire was on the verge of collapsing. Aquitania was definitely abandoned to the Visigoths, who would soon conquer a significant part of southern Gaul as well as most of the Iberian Peninsula. The Burgundians claimed their own Kingdom, and northern Gaul was practically abandoned to the Franks. Aside of the Germanic peoples the Vascones entered Wasconia from the Pyrenees and the Bretons formed three kingdoms in Armorica: Domnonia, Cornouaille and Broërec.

Frankish Kingdoms (486-987)

In 486,Clovis I, leader of the Salian Franks, defeated Syagrius at Soissons and subsequently united most of northern and central Gaul under his rule. Clovis then recorded a succession of victories against other Germanic tribes such as the Alamanni at Tolbiac. In 496, he adopted the Roman Catholic form of Christianity. This gave him greater legitimacy and power over his Christian subjects and granted him clerical support against the Visigoths. He defeated Alaric II at Vouillé in 507 and annexed Aquitaine, and thus Toulouse, into his Frankish Kingdom. The Goths retired to Toledo in what would become Spain.

Clovis made Paris his capital but his Kingdom would not survive his death. The Franks treated land purely as a private possession and divided it among heirs, so four kingdoms emerged: Paris, Orleans, Soissons, and Rheims. The Merovingian dynasty eventually lost effective power to their successive mayors of the palace, the founders of what was to become the Carolingian dynasty. Muslims invaders had conquered Hispania and were threatening the Frankish kingdoms. Duke Odo the Great defeated a major invading force at Toulouse in 721 but failed to repel a raiding party in 732. The mayor of the palace, Charles Martel, defeated that raiding party at the Battle of Tours (actually the Battle of Poitiers) and earned respect and power within the Frankish Kingdom. The assumption of the crown in 751 by Pippin the Short (son of Charles Martel) established the Carolingian dynasty.

The new rulers' power reached its fullest extent under Pippin's son Charlemagne, who in 771 reunited the Frankish domains after a further period of division, subsequently conquering the Lombards under Desiderius in what is now northern Italy (774), incorporating Bavaria (788) into his realm, defeating the Avars of the Danubian plain (796), advancing the frontier with Islamic Spain as far south as Barcelona (801), and subjugating Lower Saxony (804) after prolonged campaigning.

In recognition of his successes and his political support for the Papacy, Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans, or Roman Emperor in the West, by Pope Leo III in 800. On the death of Charlemagne's son Louis I (emperor 814-840), Charles the Bald, and Louis the German swore allegiance to each other against their brother in the Oath of Strasbourg, and the empire was divided among Louis's three sons (Treaty of Verdun, 843). After a last brief reunification (884-887), the imperial title ceased to be held in the western realm which was to form the basis of the future French Kingdom. The eastern realm, which would become Germany, elected the Saxon dynasty of Henry the Fowler.

Under the Carolingians, the Kingdom was ravaged by Viking raiders. In this struggle some important figures such as Count Odo of Paris and his brother King Robert rose to fame and became kings. This emerging dynasty, called the Robertines, was the predecessor of the Capetian Dynasty, who were descended from the Robertines. Led by Rollo, the Vikings had settled in Normandy and were granted the land first as counts and then as dukes by King Charles the Simple. The people that emerged from the interactions between Vikings and the mix of Franks and Gallo-Romans became known as the Normans.

France in the Middle-Ages (987-1453)

Hugh Capet was elected by an assembly summoned in Reims on 1 June 987. Capet was previously "Duke of the Franks" and then became "King of the Franks" (Rex Francorum). He was recorded to be recognised king by the Gauls, Bretons, Danes, Aquitanians, Goths, Spanish and Gascons.[1] The Danes here are certainly the Normans (of Normandy), and the Spanish entry probably refers to the Carolingian Spanish marches. Hugh Capet's reign was marked by the loss of the Spanish marches as they grew more and more independent, Count Borell of Barcelona called for Hugh's help against islamic raids. If Hugh intended to help Borell he was occupied fighting Charles of Lorraine. Spanish principalities then followed their way. His son -Robert the Pious- met the Emperor in 1023 on the borderline. They agreed to end all claims over each other's realm, setting a new stage of Capetian and Ottonian relationships.

The French Kingdom was a very decentralized Kingdom. If the king ventured outside of his own small personal possessions, he risked being captured by his own vassals. This is especially true for the early Capetians, but from Louis VI onward, royal authority became more accepted. Even more powerful vassals such as Henry Plantagenet paid homage to the French kings. Louis VII was well served by a competent advisor, Abbot Suger, who helped him gain the respect of the nobles. Suger's vision of construction became known as the Gothic Architecture during the later renaissance.

This style became standard for most French cathedrals built in the late middle-age. Some of the king's vassals would grow so powerful that they would be among the strongest rulers of western Europe. The Normans, the Plantagenets, the Lusignans, the Hautevilles, the Ramnulfids, and the House of Toulouse successfully carved lands outside of France for themselves. The most important of these conquests for the French history was the Norman Conquest of England following the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror because it linked England to France through Normandy. Although the Normans were now both vassals of the French kings and their equals as King of England their zone of political activity remained centred in France. These Norman nobles then commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry. An important part of the French aristocracy involved itself in the crusades, some legacy left in mideast from these nobles is the Krak des Chevaliers' enlargement by the Counts of Tripoli and Toulouse.

Most remarkable was the Angevin Empire which was probably the greatest threat to the King of France, resulting from both the Norman Conquest of England and The Anarchy. The Battle of Bouvines was probably the most important event in the collapse of this so-called empire. In addition to defeating John of England, Philip Augustus founded the Sorbonne and made Paris a city of scholars. Prince Louis (the future Louis VIII) was involved in the subsequent English Civil War as French and English (or rather Anglo-Norman) aristocracy were once one and were now split between allegiances. Saint Louis (Louis IX) inflicted further defeats on the Angevins during the Saintonge War and also supported new forms of art such as Gothic architecture; his Sainte-Chapelle became a very famous gothic building, and he is also credited for the Morgan Bible. While the French kings were struggling against the Plantagenets the Church called for the Albigensian Crusade. Southern France was then largely absorbed in the royal domains.

It can be said that France became a truly centralized kingdom under Saint Louis, who initiated several administrative reforms. More administrative reforms were made by Philip the Fair. This King was responsible for the end of the Templars, signed the Auld Alliance, and established the Parlement of Paris. Philip IV was so powerful that he could name popes and emperors, unlike the early Capetians. The papacy was moved to Avignon and all the contemporary popes were French such as Philip IV's puppet: Bertrand de Goth.

The tensions between the Houses of Anjou and Capet climaxed during the so-called Hundred Years War (actually several distinct wars) when the English descendants of the former claimed the throne of France from the Valois. This was also the time of the Black Death as well as several civil wars. The French population suffered very much from these wars. It has been argued that the difficult conditions the French population suffered during the Hundred Years' War awakened French nationalism, a nationalism represented by Joan of Arc. Although this is debatable, the Hundred Years War is remembered more as a Franco-English war than as a succession of feudal struggles. During this war, France evolved politically and militarily. Although a Franco-Scottish army was successful at Baugé, the humiliating defeats of Poitiers and Agincourt forced the French nobility to realize they could not stand just as armoured knights without an organised army. Charles VII established the first French standing army, the Compagnies d'ordonnance, and defeated the English once at Patay and again, using canons, at Formigny. The Battle of Châtillon was regarded as the last engagement of this "war", yet Calais and the Channel Islands remained under ruled by the English crown.

Early Modern France to revolution (1453-1789)

France evolved from a feudal country to an increasingly centralized state (albeit with many regional differences) organized around a powerful absolute monarchy that relied on the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings and the explicit support of the established Church. France engaged in the long Italian Wars (1494-1559), which marked the beginning of early modern France. Francis I faced powerful foes, and he was captured at Pavia. The French monarchy then sought for allies and found one in the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Admiral Barbarossa captured Nice on 5 August 1543 and handed it down to Francis I. These times also gave birth to the Protestant Reformation, and John Calvin and his reformed doctrine challenged the power of the Catholic Church in France. During the 16th century, the Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs were the dominant power in Europe. In addition to Spain and Austria, they controlled a number of kingdoms and duchies across Europe. Charles Quint, as Count of Burgundy, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile and Germany (among many other titles) encircled France. The Spanish Tercio was used with great success against French knights and remained undefeated for a long time. Finally on January 7, 1558 the Duke of Guise seized Calais from the English.

Because of its international status, there was a desire to regulate the French language. Several reforms of the French language worked to uniformize it. The Renaissance writer François Rabelais (probably born in 1494) helped to shape the French language as a literary language, Rabelais' French is characterised by the re-introduction of Latin and Greek words. Jacques Peletier du Mans (born 1517) was one of the scholars that reformed the French language. He improved Nicolas Chuquet's long scale system by adding names for intermediate numbers (milliards instead of thousand million, etc...). During the 16th century the French kingdom also established colonies began to claim North American territories. Jacques Cartier was one of the great explorers who ventured deep into American territories during the 16th century. The largest group of French colonies became known as New France, and several cities such as Quebec City, Montreal, Detroit and New Orleans were founded by the French.

21st century & antisemitism

In the 21st century France suffers from massive non-White immigration (mainly from Asia and Africa), replacing the original White population by non-Whites. As is the case in other White countries, this bad situation is the result of Jewish manipulation. The Jewish influence in French politics became rampant with the so-called "emancipation of the Jews" in 1791. The student protests of 1968 instigated by Jewish media and Jews such as Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Alaine Krivine, Serge July, Bernhard Kouchner, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Benjamin Stora were a success from the Jewish point of view: destruction of traditional values, the start of massive immigration of non-French, and the introduction of the destructive ideology that can be called cultural Marxism. As a result of Jewry's war on Whites in France, by 2013, over 30% of children age 20 years and below were from recent immigrant descent from Asia and africa. The ratio in Paris and Marseilles of these immigrants to everyone else was around half. The massive increase of the number of non-Whites has resulted in increasing crimes such as rapes, murders and robberies. Often these crimes are cases of black-on-white crime, for example there is the case of a black immigrant to France, who has raped several White women and who admitted that he committed these rapes out of hatred of White people[12]. Most of these black-on-white crimes are not reported or underreported by the Jewish controlled media, who prefer to focus on the very few acts of violence that are occasionally committed against Jews for various reasons. For example, the Jewish media made a big deal of the case of Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old Algerian who attacked a Jewish Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse[13]. These Jewish media accuse Merah of "antisemitism"[14], but in fact Merah's act had nothing to do with "antisemitism", but simply was a revenge for the killing of Palestinians by Jews in Palestine.

In France, antisemitism now gets you imprisoned. In 2013, after a legal battle, which Twitter fought against, now whenever anyone makes an antisemitic post, Twitter is required by law the personal details and IP address of anyone in France who makes a post the jews even remotely consider antisemitic. (Bear in mind jews consider about everything that opposes their cultural marxist agenda to be antisemitism). This information goes to French police for a pending raid, permanent seizing of anything remotely electronic, and imprisonment. Before this, they had to get individual requests from a court.[15]

The UK has a similar policy where anyone who complains on the internet, usually major sites like Twitter and Facebook, get the police kicking their door down, raising them, taking away everything with wires, and imprisoning them.

People who protest Israel face criminal charges as it's "discrimination" to criticize a foreign government. This shows France's government is not the real government of France, Israel's is, and it's illegal to criticize that government.[16]

Calls to boycott products from Israel, gets you fined because it's illegal to criticize the ruling power in France.[17]

After France imported millions of people from Muslim countries in an attempt to exterminate the French people, the Muslims held a protest in support of Palestine in July 2014 during the time when Israel was engaging in a massive genocide of millions of innocent Palestinians, mostly women, children, and people at hospitals and schools. The ZOG country of France then banned pro-Palestine protests.[18] Even showing up near a demonstration has the penalty of a year in prison and a 15,000 euro fine. If they hide their faces, the sentence jumps to three years jail and a 45,000 euro fine. If someone mentions a rally on the internet, the penalty is a year in prison and a 15,000 euro fine. If jewish supremacists attack someone because of a posting, the innocent person who posted it gets seven years in prison and a 100,000 fine.[19] Back during the protests, 150 jewish terrorists with links to the ADL went on a rampage attacking peaceful pro-Palestinian protesters. The jews chanted racist slogans as they wielded iron bars, wooden sticks, pepper spray and tear gas canisters, and threw chairs and tables. The French police didn't arrest a single member of the 150 jewish terrorists and instead arrested 6 innocent pro-Palestinian demonstrators, falsely accusing them of trying to storm the synagogue.[20]

Two days later, the good Muslims started protesting again. And this time because of the extremely insane amount of prison time, the protests turned violent as acts of violence themselves normally receive next to no prison time. The police started the violence, though.[21]

Massive numbers of Jews have left France in 2014, more than any previous year. They fled all the nonwhites they brought in for their racially pure homeland of Israel.[22]

Government

The French Republic is a unitary semi-presidential republic with strong democratic traditions. The constitution of the Fifth Republic was approved by referendum on 28 September 1958. It greatly strengthened the authority of the executive in relation to parliament. The executive branch itself has two leaders: the President of the Republic, who is elected directly by universal adult suffrage for a 5-year term (formerly 7 years) and is the Head of State, and the Government, led by the president-appointed Prime Minister.

The French parliament is a bicameral legislature comprising a National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) and a Senate. The National Assembly deputies represent local constituencies and are directly elected for 5-year terms. The Assembly has the power to dismiss the cabinet, and thus the majority in the Assembly determines the choice of government. 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 starting in September 2008. The Senate's legislative powers are limited; in the event of disagreement between the two chambers, the National Assembly has the final say, except for constitutional laws and lois organiques (laws that are directly provided for by the constitution) in some cases. The government has a strong influence in shaping the agenda of Parliament.

French politics are characterized by two politically opposed groupings: one left-wing, centred around the French Socialist Party, and the other right-wing, centred previously around the Rassemblement pour la République (RPR) and now its successor the Union for a Popular Movement. The executive branch is currently composed mostly of the UPM.

France must remain a land of immigration and a land of asylum!
—French Interior Minster, Bernard Cazeneuve[23]
The goal is to meet the challenge of racial interbreeding. The challenge of racial interbreeding that faces us in the 21st Century. It’s not a choice, it’s an obligation. It’s imperative. We cannot do otherwise. We risk finding ourselves confronted with major problems. We MUST change; therefore we WILL change. We are going to change ALL at the same time. In business, in administration, in education, in the political parties. And we will obligate ourselves as to results. If this volunteerism does not work for the Republic, then the State will move to still more coercive measures. The challenge of racial interbreeding that France has always known. And in meeting the challenge of racial interbreeding, France is faithful to its history.
—Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy[23]

Law

France uses a civil legal system; that is, law arises primarily from written statutes; judges are not to make law, but merely to interpret it (though the amount of judge interpretation in certain areas makes it equivalent to case law). Basic principles of the rule of law were laid in the Napoleonic Code. 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.

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.

France does not recognize religious law, nor does it recognize religious beliefs or morality as a motivation for the enactment of prohibitions. As a consequence, France has long had neither blasphemy laws nor sodomy laws (the latter being abolished in 1791). However "offences against public decency" (contraires aux bonnes mœurs) or breach of the peace (trouble à l'ordre public) have been used to repress public expressions of homosexuality or street prostitution.

Laws can only address the future and not the past (ex post facto laws are prohibited); and to be applicable, laws must be officially published in the Journal Officiel de la République Française.

France likes to ban a lot of books it deems politically incorrect.[24]

In July 2014, Anne-Sophie Leclere, was sentenced to nine months in prison for posting a photo that compared a politician to a monkey. Since the French politician was a negro, black privilege meant he could not be insulted by a white person. Leclere said she had black friends and the image was not meant as racist, but still she received prison time.[25]

Economy

France's economy combines extensive private enterprise (nearly 2.5 million companies registered) with substantial (though declining) government intervention (see dirigisme). The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, and telecommunication firms. It has been gradually relaxing its control over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly selling off holdings in France Télécom, Air France, as well as the insurance, banking, and defence industries.

A member of the G8 group of leading industrialized countries, it is ranked as the sixth largest economy in the world in 2005, behind the United States, Japan, Germany, The People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom. France joined 11 other EU members to launch the Euro on January 1, 1999, with euro coins and banknotes completely replacing the French franc in early 2002. According to the OECD, in 2004 France was the world's fifth-largest exporter and the fourth-largest importer of manufactured goods. In 2003, France was the 2nd-largest recipient of foreign direct investment among OECD countries at $47 billion, ranking behind Luxembourg (where foreign direct investment was essentially monetary transfers to banks located in that country) but above the United States ($39.9 billion), the United Kingdom ($14.6 billion), Germany ($12.9 billion), or Japan ($6.3 billion). In the same year, French companies invested $57.3 billion outside of France, ranking France as the second most important outward direct investor in the OECD, behind the United States ($173.8 billion), and ahead of the United Kingdom ($55.3 billion), Japan ($28.8 billion) and Germany ($2.6 billion).

Despite figures showing a higher productivity per hour worked than in the US, France's GDP per capita is significantly lower than the US GDP per capita, being in fact comparable to the GDP per capita of the other European countries, which is on average 30% below the US level. The reason for this is that a much smaller percentage of the French population is working compared to the US, which lowers the GDP per capita of France, despite its higher productivity. In fact, France has one of the lowest percentages of its population aged 15-64 years at work among the OECD countries. In 2004, 68.8% of the French population aged 15-64 years was in employment, compared to 80.0% in Japan, 78.9% in the UK, 77.2% in the US, and 71.0% in Germany.

This phenomenon is the result of almost thirty years of massive unemployment in France, which has led to three consequences reducing the size of the working population: about 9% of the active population is without a job; students delay as long as possible their entry into labour market; and finally, the French government gives various incentives to workers to retire in their early 50s, though these are now receding.

As many economists have stressed repeatedly over the years, the main issue with the French economy is not an issue of productivity. In their opinion, it is an issue of structural reforms, in order to increase the size of the working population in the overall population. Liberal and Keynesian economists have different answers to that issue. Lower working hours and the reluctance to reform the labour market are mentioned as weak spots of the French economy in the view of the right and lack of government policies fostering social justice by the left. Recent government attempts at adjusting the youth labour market, to combat unemployment, have met with fierce resistance.

With 79.1 million foreign tourists in 2006, France is ranked as the first tourist destination in the world, ahead of Spain (55.6 million in 2005) and the United States (49.4 million in 2005). This 79.1 million figure excludes people staying less than 24 hours in France, such as northern Europeans crossing France on their way to Spain or Italy during the Summer. France features cities of high cultural interest (Paris being the foremost), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquility. Aside of casual tourism France attracts a lot of religious pilgrims to Lourdes, a town the Hautes-Pyrénées département, that hosts a few million tourists a year.

France has an important aerospace industry led by the European consortium Airbus, and is the only European power (excluding Russia) to have its own national spaceport (Centre Spatial Guyanais). France is also the most energy independent Western country due to heavy investment in nuclear power, which also makes France the smallest producer of carbon dioxide among the seven most industrialised countries in the world. As a result of large investments in nuclear technology, most of the electricity produced in the country is generated by nuclear power plants (78.1% in 2006,[26] up from only 8% in 1973, 24% in 1980, and 75% in 1990).

Large tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and EU subsidies have combined to make France the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe. Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as an internationally recognised foodstuff and wine industry are primary French agricultural exports. EU agriculture subsidies to France total almost $14 billion.

Since the end of the Second World War the government made efforts to integrate more and more with Germany, both economically and politically. Today the two countries form what is often referred to as the "core" countries in favour of greater integration of the European Union.

Literature and Poetry

French literature tracks its origins back to the Middle Ages. French was not yet a uniform language but was divided into several dialects (mainly: northern oïl, southern oc dialects). Each writer used his own spelling and grammar. Several French mediæval texts are not signed- such is the case with Tristan and Iseult, or with Lancelot and the Holy Grail, among many others. A significant part of mediaeval French poetry and literature was inspired by the Matter of France, such as the The Song of Roland and the various Chansons de geste. The "Roman de Renart" was written in 1175 by Perrout de Saint Cloude, and told the story of the medieval character Reynard ('the Fox'); it is also a popular example of early French story-telling.

In spite of the anonymous character of many French writings of the Middle Ages, some medieval writers became quite famous: Chrétien de Troyes, for instance. 'Oc' culture was also quite influent in the Middle Ages. An early example of vernacular poet writing in Occitan was Duke William IX of Aquitaine.

About the history of the French language, one of the most important writer is unquestionably François Rabelais. Modern French took a great deal from his style. His most famous work is quite probably Gargantua and Pantagruel. Later on, Jean de La Fontaine wrote his famous "Fables", a collection of short stories, written in verse, and usually ending with a "moral teaching".

But it is most certainly in the 18th and 19th centuries which French literature and poetry reach its highest point. The 18th century saw the writings of such huge writers, essayists and moralists as Voltaire, Denis Diderot and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. As concerns French children's literature in those times, Charles Perrault was probably the most prolific writer, with stories such as: "Puss in Boots", "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Bluebeard".

The 19th century saw the birth of many French novels of world renown; Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas and Jules Verne are probably among the most famous among these writers, both in and outside of France, with such highly popular novels such as The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte-Cristo, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, or The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Symbolist poetry of the turn of the 19th century also proved to be a strong movement in French poetry, with artists such as Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Stéphane Mallarmé.

Now become famous outside of France, as well (whereas they used to be mostly known inside of France) are Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Albert Camus. One of the most well-known 20th century writers is Antoine de St.-Exupéry, whose "Little Prince" has been translated and become a bestseller in a great many countries, remaining popular both with children and adults.

Nowadays, the Prix Goncourt (first given in 1903) rewards "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year". It has quite probably become France's best-known contemporary literary award.

Marianne

Marianna is a symbol of the French Republic. She is an allegorical figure of liberty and the Republic and first appeared at the time of the French Revolution. The earliest representations of Marianne are of a woman wearing a Phrygian cap. The origins of the name Marianne are unknown, but Marie-Anne was a very common first name in the 18th century. Anti-revolutionaries of the time derisively called her La Gueuse (the Commoner). It is believed that revolutionaries from the South of France adopted the Phrygian cap as it symbolised liberty, having been worn by freed slaves in both Greece and Rome. Mediterranean seamen and convicts manning the galleys also wore a similar type of cap.

Under the Third Republic, statues, and especially busts, of Marianne began to proliferate, particularly in town halls. She was represented in several different manners, depending on whether the aim was to emphasise her revolutionary nature or her "wisdom". Over time, the Phrygian cap was felt to be too seditious, and was replaced by a diadem or a crown. In recent times, famous French women have been used as the model for those busts. Recent ones include Sophie Marceau, and Laetitia Casta. She also features on everyday articles such as postage stamps and coins.

Random topics

  • Description of the flag: three vertical bands of blue (hoist side), white, and red became the flag during the French Revolution and made popular by Marquis de Lafayette; known as the drapeau tricolore (Tricolour Flag). It is traditional to refer to the three colours in the order: blue, white, red. (bleu, blanc, rouge); blue and red are the colours of Paris, while white was the colour of the Bourbon monarchy. The white inserted between the blue and the red expresses the idea that the king was under control of the people.
  • The foundation of France as a Kingdom is dated to 496 (the year of the baptism of Clovis I) since this event puts together three essential features of the country: the definition of a territorial limit (however much smaller than the current one), the definition of a power rule (succession from a king to his first son) and the definition of a social system (3 categories of people: warriors, priest and workers). The Treaty of Verdun in 843, which divided the Frankish Empire and created the kingdom of Francia Occidentalis (“Western Frankland”), from which France is descended, represents only the legal founding of the state. The French state has been in continuous existence since 843, among the oldest states in existence in the world, although its form of government has changed from one of a Kingdom to one of a republic.
  • Although commonly associated with the French Revolution and suggested by Robespierre in December, 1790, France's motto, "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité" was not adopted until the Revolutions of 1848 in France.[38]
  • The National holiday of France since 1880 is the Fête Nationale (National Holiday), colloquially known as le 14 juillet, officially celebrating the Fête de la Fédération (14 July 1790) and not the storming of the Bastille (14 July 1789) as is often believed, even by a majority of French people, and is the reason why the holiday is referred to as Bastille Day in English. On the occasion of the Fête de la Fédération, celebrated exactly one year after the storming of the Bastille, all the representatives of the provinces of France gathered on the Champ de Mars in Paris in presence of the King Louis XVI and proclaimed the national unity of France. They vowed to remain faithful to "the Nation, the Law, the King".

This day is considered by French Republicans as the real birth of France: France is no more a country made up of provinces conquered by kings, but a country of provinces and men who freely agree to form a common Nation. This concept of a Nation agreed upon is opposed to the German concept of a Nation based on ethnicity and race, and it was responsible for much of the conflicts between France and Germany in the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Alsace was a German land that had been annexed by the conquest of the French Kings, while France considered that although Alsace had indeed been a conquered province in the first place, it had legitimately and freely become a part of France by the oath of 14 July 1790. It is thus no surprise that the 14th of July was proclaimed the National Holiday of France in 1880, 9 years after Germany had reunited with Alsace-Lorraine.

Despite being associated with the Fête de la Fédération, 14 July irked many French monarchists, to whom it recalled the bloody memory of the storming of the Bastille. French monarchists formerly wore a black armband each 14 July in defiance of the national holiday.

  • The French city of Avignon replaced Rome as home to the Papacy between 1309-1377. The town remained under papal control until 1791, when it was incorporated into France.
  • Popular tourist sites include: (according to a 2003 ranking [6] visitors per year) : Eiffel Tower (6.2 million), Louvre Museum (5.7 million), Palace of Versailles (2.8 million), Orsay Museum (2.1 million), Arc de Triomphe (1.2 million), Centre Pompidou (1.2 million), Mont-Saint-Michel (1 million), Château de Chambord (711,000),Sainte-Chapelle (683,000), Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (549,000), Puy de Dôme (500,000), Musée Picasso (441,000), Carcassonne (362,000). Other very popular and well-known tourist sites include: Palace of the Popes, Avignon, Disneyland Resort Paris, the châteaux of the Loire Valley, the ski resorts of the French Alps or Pyrenees, Tahiti and the lagoons of French Polynesia, etc.
  • France is home to the international cycling competition Le Tour de France.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Whole territory of the French Republic, including all the overseas departments and territories, but excluding the French territory of Terre Adélie in Antarctica where sovereignty is suspended since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959.
  2. Template:Fr French National Geographic Institute data.
  3. French Land Register data, which exclude lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) as well as the estuaries of rivers.
  4. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/france-population/
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Metropolitan France only.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 France. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved on 26 April 2011.
  7. Whole of the French Republic except the overseas territories in the Pacific Ocean.
  8. French overseas territories in the Pacific Ocean only.
  9. In addition to .fr, several other Internet TLDs are used in French overseas départements and territories: .re, .mq, .gp, .tf, .nc, .pf, .wf, .pm, .gf and .yt. France also uses .eu, shared with other members of the European Union. The .cat domain is used in Catalan-speaking territories.
  10. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/france-population/
  11. Leboutte, René (2008). Histoire économique et sociale de la construction européenne (in fr). Peter Lang, 33. 
  12. See e.g. http://trutube.tv/video/12343/Multicultural-France-African-Immigrant-Raped-White-Women
  13. This school is part of a national chain of not less than twenty Jewish schools throughout France
  14. See e.g.: http://www.jpost.com/International/3-hurt-in-apparent-anti-Semitic-attack-in-France
  15. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22887988
  16. Trials of Israel boycott activists in France met with big protests, international condemnation. Submitted by Michael Deas on Tue, 07/02/2013 - 21:00
  17. French Court Fines Members of BDS Group Calling for Supermarket Boycott Called Actions 'Provocation to Discrimination' at The Jewish Daily Forward
  18. France 'bans pro-Palestinian rallies' as tensions increasingly mirror Israel-Gaza animosity
  19. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2697194/Outrage-France-country-world-ban-pro-Palestine-demos.html
  20. Pro-Israeli Mob Goes On Rampage In Paris On Sunday by PressTV]
  21. http://nypost.com/2014/07/20/anti-israel-protesters-vent-their-rage-at-cops-in-paris-saturday/
  22. http://www.dailystormer.com/massive-numbers-of-jews-fleeing-france-to-escape-the-muslims-they-brought-there/
  23. 23.0 23.1 http://www.dailystormer.com/france-must-remain-a-land-of-immigration/
  24. http://antisemitism.org.il/article/83053/antisemitic-books-banned-or-censored
  25. http://www.lefigaro.fr/politique/2014/07/15/01002-20140715ARTFIG00407-taubira-comparee-a-un-singe-prison-ferme-pour-une-ex-candidate-fn.php

External links