| This article is under construction and/or revamp and will be completed at a later date
. If this article has not been edited in several days, please remove this template.|
|Motto: Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite|
|Anthem: "La Marsellaise"|
|National Language(s):||Catalan, Aragonese, Occitan|
July 14, 1789
- Total Population:
|Currency:||French Franc FRF|
The French Republic (officially Republique Française, commonly known as France) is a country in Western Europe. It has an area of 754,676 sq. km and a population of 74.5 million people.
The history of France goes back to the arrival of the earliest human being in what is now France. Members of the genus Homo entered the area hundreds of thousands years ago, while the first modern Homo sapiens, the Cro-Magnons, arrived around 40,000 years ago. Greek and Roman writers noted the presence of three main ethno-linguistic groups in the area: the Gauls, the Aquitani, and the Belgae. The Gauls, the largest and best attested group, were a Celtic people speaking what is known as the Gaulish language. Over the course of the first millennium BC the Greeks, Romans, and Carthaginians established colonies on the Mediterranean coast and the offshore islands. The Roman Republic annexed southern Gaul in the late 2nd century BC, and Roman forces under Julius Caesar conquered the rest of Gaul in the Gallic Wars of 58–51 BC. In the later stages of the Roman Empire, Gaul was subject to barbarian raids and migration, most importantly by the Germanic Franks. The Frankish king Clovis I united most of Gaul under his rule in the late 5th century, setting the stage for Frankish dominance in the region for hundreds of years. Frankish power reached its fullest extent under Charlemagne. The medieval Kingdom of France emerged out of the western part of Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire, known as West Francia, and achieved increasing prominence under the rule of the House of Capet, founded by Hugh Capet in 987. A succession crisis following the death of the last Capetian monarch in 1337 led to the series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War between the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet. The wars ended with a Valois victory in 1453, solidifying the power of the Ancien Régime as a highly centralized absolute monarchy. During the next centuries, France experienced the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, as well as recurring religious conflicts and wars with other powers. A burgeoning worldwide colonial empire was established from the 16th century. In the late 18th century the monarchy and associated institutions were overthrown in the French Revolution, which forever changed French and world history. The country was governed for a period as a Republic, until the French Empire was declared by Napoleon Bonaparte. Following Napoleon's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars France went through several further regime changes, being ruled as a monarchy, then briefly as a Second Republic, and then as a Second Empire, until a more lasting Third French Republic was established in 1870. France was one of the Triple Entente powers in World War I, fighting alongside the United Kingdom, Russia, and their allies against the Central Powers.
1930s and 1940s
In 1936 Civil War broke out in Spain. France had a Socialist government under Leon Blume and was openly against General Franco. Along with Britian they supported the Euskadi independence movement, first in secret but later openly. In November '36 French troops began a military allianvce with Euskadi and they invaded first Aragon in December and Catalonia in March. Franco soon signed a nonagression pact with France and they stopped fighting. In 1940 France was occupied by Nazi Germany, as were their Spanish conquest of 1936-37. They were only liberated until 1944 with the Normady landings.
1950s and 1960s
Charles de Gaulle was appointed "Provisional Dictator" that year. Catalonia wanted independence but was ravaged by the war and was in no condition to do so. France held elections in 1951 and De Gaulle promised Catalonia, Occitan and Aragon autonomy and protection of language and culture. He handily won the election with more than 65% of the votes. He proclaimed himself "Dictator of France" (he saw himself as a re-incarnation of Napoleon 1st) and took supreme power. His majority of support came from those regions where he gave autonomy and more power as he was seen as a "people's proctector" and a champion of liberty's. In north France there was less support since he neglected the region. France's colonies wanted independence and there were movements in Guinea and Algeria but De Gaulle sent in the military and crushed opposition. There were by the early 1960's some strikes and minor protests which escalated in 1968.
French Civil War
In 1968 French students took to the streets in protest and were joned by labourers and manufacturers who went on a strike. Soon there were massive protests and in the north of France there was armed uprisings against De Gaulle. Soon his supporters in the south took up arms and the country was in a civil war, like Spain 30 years before. In Marseille insurgents and Gaulists ended up destroying the town and the French Airforce bombed Lille which shocked the west and drew condemnations. In 1969 the liberal rebels took Nice (Monaco was spared the violence, Toulouse and Arles in May and they were in Catalonia in mid June. Barcelona surrendered to prevent its monuments from destruction and on February 11, 1970 the peace accords were signed in Paris. De Gaulle left to Argentina in November '69 and was in absent sentenced to death.
During this period France's colonies took the advantage and declared independence, first Algeria (on September 8 1968) and lastly Togo on January 2, 1970. De Gaulle was powerless to stop the colonies independence since he could not risk having less troops in France and losing the Civil War.
1970s and 1980s
In the 1970s there was a lot of hope for France to become a modern nation. The democratic governments they had were short lived and shaky, there were 9 by 1977. New France recognised its colonies independence in 1970 and signed economic and military accorsd. The French economy ballooned in the 1975-1985 period and was the fastest growing in all of Europe. But in 1986 there was a huge economic crase, more protests and some urban violence, In 1987 Charles de Gaulle Jr. (the grandon of De Gaulle) took power in the time of the economic crisis. He became more autocratic and even made Jean-Marie Le Pen Prime Minister. But he followed Reagan's example and privatised and the economy slowly got better. But the leftists were unhappy and there was unrest too, De Gaulle was assasinated in 1992 by radical communists and Le Pen became President. He created marital law and called in the Army. Soon there were large protests in French cities and he resigned after a 6day massive strike paralysed the country.
1990's and 2000s
Since the Removal of Le Pen in 1992 \France has increasingly elected leftist parties, mainly the Socialist Party. They have created strong links with Skandinavia and Europa and are often seen as a "junior ally" to Europa. France has built a solid manufacturing sector and with the Socialists have created a good welfare system but which is often abused an corrupted by many. The economy is growing at a fast pace (but not like in the 70s and 80's) and lots of money is being spent to assist domestic industries in their competitiveness. Segolene Royal is the current president and was re-elcted in 2012.
The government of France is a republic. The legislature is called the French Parliament, divided into the Natioanl Assembly and the less prominent Senate. Under the Charles de Gaulle era the executive was exteremly tsrong and the legislative was seen as a "tradition" and ceremonial role. Since the 1990s the presidents and prime ministers have become much weaker but they are still influencial.
The leader of Franc eis the President. The position was oficially founded in 1968 though De Gaulle is considered in the list. The president is the most important figure although the Prime Minister has the most importsnrt charge in government.
1. Charles De Gaulle (1945 to 1970)
2. Gaston Defferre (1970 to 1972)
3. Georges Pompidou (1972 to 1973)
4. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1973-1974)
5. Georges Pompidou (1974)
6. François Mitterrand (1975-1976)
7. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1976-1978)
8. François Mitterrand (1978-1982)
9. Raymond Barre (1982-1983)
10. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1983)
11. François Mitterrand (1983 to 1987)
12. Charles De Gaulle Jr. (1987 to 1992)
13. Jean-Marie Le Pen (1992)
14. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1992 to1995)
15. François Mitterrand (1995 to 1997)
16. Jacques Chirac (1997 to 2003)
17. Nicolas Sarkozy (2003 to 2008)
18. Ségolène Royal (2008 to present)
Parliament of France
The French Parliament (French: Parlement français) is the bicameral legislature of the French Republic, consisting of the Senate (Sénat) and the National Assembly (Assemblée nationale). Each assembly conducts legislative sessions at a separate location in Paris: the Palais du Luxembourg for the Senate and the Palais Bourbon for the National Assembly. The senate has 360 seats and the National Assembly 600.