France (French: France (Listen about this audio (help info)) [fʁɑ̃s]) or officially the French Republic or the French Republic (French: République française [ʁepyblik fʁɑ̃sɛz], trans. ’ The French Republic’) is a country whose mainland is in Western Europe and which has overseas territories in many parts of the world.
Continental France is located on lands stretching from the Mediterranean Sea in the south to the English Channel and the North Sea in the north, from the Rhine in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. The French call their country the Hexagon (French: L’Héxagone, pronounced “l’e-gza-gon”) because of the shape of their land.
France is a unitary state with a semi-presidential system in administration. The main principles and ideals of the country are explained in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
France’s neighbors on the European continent are Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Monaco and Andorra. The island of Corsica, which is only 12 km away from the Italian island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean, also belongs to France. In its overseas provinces, it also borders Brazil and Suriname via French Guiana, and the Netherlands Antilles via Saint Martin Island. France is connected to the United Kingdom by the Channel Tunnel, which passes under the sea surface in the English Channel.
Since the second half of the 17th century, France has been one of the leading countries in the field of international relations around the world. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, France established one of the largest colonial empires of the time. During these periods, the borders of France extended from West Africa to Southeast Asia, leaving distinctive traces in the culture and politics of the societies in the regions it affected.
It has an advanced economy with its nominal gross domestic product, which is the 6th in the world, and its purchasing power parity, which is the 7th, and it is in the developed countries class.
France is the most visited country in the world with approximately 82 million tourists annually, excluding those who stay in the country for less than twenty-four hours, including those who come for business trips.
France is one of the founding members of the political and economic organization called the European Union and has the largest area among the member states of the union. The country is also one of the founding members of the United Nations; Francophone is also a participant in the G8 Summits, the Latin Union and NATO. It is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. It is an important nuclear power with 360 effective warheads and 59 nuclear power plants.
The name “France” derives from the word Francia, meaning homeland of the Franks. However, there are many different claims regarding the origin of the word frank. One of them is that the origin of this word is based on francon, which means javelin, pike, spear in pre-Germanic languages.
Another hypothesis of origin is that the term frank comes from the ancient Germanic word frei, meaning free. The word franc still survives in the form of franc in contemporary French and was also used to name the currency used in France until the euro became the official currency of France in 2000. In contemporary German, France is even today called the Frankreich (Turkish: Frankish Empire). However, in order to distinguish it from Charlemagne, that is Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire, the former kingdom is called Frankenreich (Turkish: Empire of the Franks).
The word Frank was less commonly used from the fall of the Roman Empire until the Middle Ages, but after Hugh Capet was crowned King of France, it was widely used to describe the Kingdom of France, which would later become France.
Main article: History of France
Antiquity and the Middle Ages
The borders of present-day France are almost the same as those of Ancient Gaul (French: Gaule, pronounced: gol), which was formerly home to the Celtic Gauls (French: Celte Gaulois, pronounced selt golwa). When Gaul was conquered by the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar in the 1st century BC, the peoples of Gaul gradually adopted Roman culture and Roman language. Later, over time, this language changed within itself and formed the foundations of modern French. Christianity first appeared in France in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and spread so rapidly over the next two centuries that St. Jerome wrote in his writings that Gaul was the only region “freed from heresy.”
Expansion of the Frankish Kingdom
In the 4th century AD, Gaul’s eastern borders along the Rhine were ruled by Germanic tribes. The most influential of these communities were the Franks, who also gave France the ancient name Francie. The name of France, which is used today, comes from the name of the region where the feudal lordship ruled by the Capet kings located around Paris. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Franks were the first communities to convert to Catholicism, not Aryanism, among the Germanic tribes that spread throughout Europe. For this reason, France was given the title of “the eldest daughter of the Church” (La fille ainée de l’Église), and the Franks called themselves “the best Christians of France” based on this.
The history of France as a separate country began with the division of the Carolingian Empire into three as East Francia, West Francia and Middle Francia in accordance with the Treaty of Verdun of 843. The West Frankish Kingdom covered almost the territory of today’s France, and as a matter of fact, the foundations of modern France were founded on this kingdom.
The Carolingian dynasty ruled France until the coronation of Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris, as king of France in 987. His descendants, as well as the Valois and Bourbon dynasties, united the country in a gradual series of wars.
France in 1477, Red line: Borders of the Kingdom of France, Light blue areas: Directly administered royal lands.
early modern period
Kingdom rule in the 17th century and the king XIV. It was at its height during the reign of Louis. In this process, France became the most populous country in the European continent and became one of the most influential forces on European culture, politics and economy. French became the language of diplomacy of the period and remained as such for a long time. The Age of Enlightenment also took place largely in French intellectual circles. French scientists undersigned great scientific discoveries in the 18th century. In addition, France acquired many overseas territories in Africa, America and Asia during this period.
French Revolution, Republic and French Empires (1789-1914)
Depiction of the Bastille prison raid
The monarchy system prevailed in France until the French Revolution of 1789. During the French Revolution, King of France XVI. Louis and his wife, Marie Antoinette, and hundreds of French citizens thought to be related to them were killed. After a series of brief attempts at government, Napoleon Bonaparte took control of the republic in 1799 and proclaimed himself First Consul and then emperor of what is now known as the First Empire (1804-1814). After a series of wars known as the Napoleonic Wars, with the help of the Bonaparte family, Napoleon conquered much of continental Europe. Later, members of the Bonaparte family were appointed as kings of France to these newly acquired lands.
After Napoleon’s final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the monarchy was restored in France. This time, however, constitutional restrictions were placed on the king’s powers. With a civil foot that came out in 1830
The Bourbon Dynasty was completely abolished with the July Revolution, which was the birthplace, and the July Monarchy based on a constitutional monarchy was introduced. This form of government lasted until 1848. In the meantime, the Second Republic was established for a very short time and in 1852 III. It collapsed when Napoleon established the Second Empire. Defeated in the Franco-Prussian War that started in 1870, III. Napoleon was then deposed, and this regime of government was dissolved with the establishment of the Third Republic.
Modern period (1914-present)
France existed as a colonial state from the 17th century until the 1960s. Colonial lands acquired all over the world in the 19th and 20th centuries made France the second largest colonial empire after Britain. At the height of its power between 1919 and 1939, the area of the French Colonial Empire reached 12,347,000 square kilometers. When France’s European territories were included, the French sovereignty area, which reached 12,898,000 square kilometers, covered 8.6% of the world’s land.
The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 is defined as the founding attack of the European Union.
From World War I, II. Despite being the victorious party in the World War II, France suffered great human loss and material damage, and its European lands were partially or completely occupied by the German forces in both wars. The social innovations made by the Popular Front Government in the 1930s left their mark on France. II. After the World War II, the Fourth Republic was established and efforts were made to preserve the current situation of the country in order for France to remain an effective power in world political and economic policies. Although France tried to protect the colonial lands it held until then, it had problems in this regard later on. The operation to recapture the administration of Indochina in 1946 led to the First Indochina War, and in 1954 the French forces were defeated by the regional powers in the Dien Bien Phu Battle and withdrew from the region. Just a few months after that, France faced another, even tougher, resistance in the war of independence launched by the Algerian people.
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