France

Article

July 6, 2022

France (French: France, pronounced /fʁɑ̃s/ ( listen)), officially the French Republic (French: République française, pronounced /ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛːz/ ( listen)),[6] is a transcontinental country spanning Europe Western and by regions and overseas territories in America and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Its metropolitan area extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; overseas territories include French Guiana in South America, Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the North Atlantic, the French West Indies, and many islands in Oceania and the Indian Ocean. Due to its various coastal territories, France has the largest exclusive economic zone in the world. France borders Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Andorra, and Spain in Europe, as well as the Netherlands, Suriname, and Brazil in the Americas. Its eighteen integral regions (five of which are overseas) cover a combined area of ​​643,801 km² and more than 67 million people.[7] France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial center; other major urban areas are Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux and Nice. Inhabited since the Palaeolithic, the territory of metropolitan France was colonized by Celtic tribes known as Gauls during the Iron Age. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC. C., which gave rise to a differentiated Gallo-Roman culture that laid the foundations for the French language. The Germanic Franks formed the Kingdom of France, which became the heart of the Carolingian Empire. The Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the empire, and West Francia became the Kingdom of France in 987. In the High Middle Ages, France was a powerful but highly decentralized feudal kingdom. Philip II successfully bolstered royal power and defeated his rivals to double the size of the crown lands; by the end of his reign, France had become the most powerful state in Europe. From the mid-14th century to the mid-15th century, France was engaged in a series of dynastic conflicts with England, known collectively as the Hundred Years' War, and a distinct French identity emerged as a result. The French Renaissance witnessed the flourishing of art and culture, the conflict with the House of Habsburg, and the establishment of a global colonial empire, which in the 20th century would become the second largest in the world.[8] The second The mid-16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Huguenots that severely weakened the country. France became Europe's dominant power again in the 17th century, under Louis XIV, after the Thirty Years' War.[9] Inadequate economic policies, inequitable taxation, and frequent wars (especially defeat in the Seven Years' War and costly participation in the American Revolutionary War), left the kingdom in a precarious economic situation at the end of the 18th century. This precipitated the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the Ancien Régime and produced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the ideals of the nation to this day. France reached its political and military height in the early 19th century with Napoleon Bonaparte, subjugating much of continental Europe and establishing the First French Empire. The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars marked the course of European and world history. The collapse of the empire began a period of relative decline, in which France endured a tumultuous succession of governments until the founding of the French Third Republic.