France, officially the French Republic, is a sovereign state including territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European part of France, called metropolitan France, extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean.

During the Iron Age, what is now Metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The Gauls were conquered in 51 BC by the Roman Empire, which held Gaul until 486. The Gallo-Romans were superseded by the Germanic Franks, who formed the medieval Kingdom of France. France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years’ War (1337 to 1453) strengthening state-building and the political centralization. During the Renaissance, France experienced a vast cultural development and established the beginning of a global colonial empire. The 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots).

France became Europe’s dominant cultural, political, and military power under Louis XIV. Later, during the end of the 1700’s the French Revolution resulted in “liberty”, shortly after Napoleon took over. After Napoleon’s defeat France became a constitutional monarchy in 1830 and has since went through a series of republics. – From Wikipedia.


Factoids tagged with "France"

Marie Antoinette Said, “Let them Eat Cake.” Myth

Marie Antoinette never said “let them eat cake”. The idea of royalty suggesting peasants eat cake is an old myth that can be traced to Rousseau’s Confessions, a Spanish Princess, and even a Chinese emperor.

Frankenstein Can be Read as a Political Metaphor Fact

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) can be read as a political metaphor where Dr. Frankenstein and his monster represent the philosophies and attitudes of the liberal revolutionaries, specifically those of the French Revolution and ensuing “Reign of Terror.”

Napoleon Was Born in France Myth

Napoleon wasn’t born in France. He was born in Corsica, a large island off the coast of Italy, only a year after it became a French territory.

Blog Posts tagged with "France"

Understanding Populism

Populism is a broad term that generally describes popular sentiment felt by the working class against the elites. It can look like social conservative nativist right-wing populism or social liberal progressive left-wing populism.

The Historical Effects of Wealth Inequality

We examine the historical effects of social, political, and economic inequality on society to see how it has led to social unrest and events like revolutions and populist uprisings.

What is the General Will?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s concept of the General Will roughly means “that which is in the best interest of the people” or “the public good”, and not just popular consensus.

The Origin of the Political Terms Left and Right

The modern usage of the political terms left and right comes from the French Revolution of 1789 when supporters of the king stood to the president’s right, and supporters of the revolution to his left.