France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory 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. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
The Becket controversy or Becket dispute was the quarrel between Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, King Henry II of England, from 1163 to 1170. The controversy culminated with Becket's murder in 1170, was followed by Becket's canonization in 1173 and Henry's public penance at Canterbury in July 1174. King Henry II appointed his chancellor, Thomas Becket, as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162; this appointment was made to replace Theobald of Bec, the previous archbishop, who had died in 1161. Henry hoped that by appointing his chancellor, with whom he had good relations, royal supremacy over the English Church would be reasserted and royal rights over the Church would return to what they had been in the days of Henry's grandfather, King Henry I of England. However, shortly after Becket's consecration, the new archbishop resigned the chancellorship, changed his entire lifestyle. Becket had lived ostentatiously, but he now wore a cilice and lived like an ascetic; that said, modern Becket historian Frank Barlow argues that the stories of Becket wearing a hair shirt are embellishments.
He no longer aided the king in defending royal interests in the church, but instead began to champion ecclesiastical rights. Although a number of small conflicts contributed to the controversy, the main source of conflict was over what to do with clergy who committed secular crimes; because those men who took minor orders were considered clergy, the quarrel over the so-called "criminous clerks" covered up to one-fifth of the male population of England at the time. Becket held the position that all clergy, whether only in minor orders or not, were not to be dealt with by secular powers, that only the ecclesiastical hierarchy could judge them for crimes those that were secular in nature. Henry, felt that this position deprived him of the ability to govern and undercut law and order in England. Henry held that the laws and customs of England supported his position, that Theobald of Bec, the previous archbishop, had admitted in 1154 to the papacy that the English custom was to allow secular courts to try clerks accused of crimes.
Among the other issues between the king and the archbishop were the actions Becket took to recover lands lost to the archdiocese, some of which he reacquired with a royal writ that authorized the archbishop to restore any alienated lands. His high-handedness caused many complaints to the king, added to the dispute. Another disagreement involved Henry's attempts to collect sheriff's aid in 1163. Becket argued that the aid was a free will offering to the sheriffs, could not be compelled; this culminated in a heated argument at Woodstock, Oxfordshire in July 1163. Yet another contributing factor was Becket's excommunication of a royal tenant-in-chief who had resisted the archbishop's attempt to install a clerk in a church where the tenant claimed the right to name the appointment. A still quarrel between the king and Becket resulted in Becket giving way to the king's statement that the custom of England was that no tenant-in-chief could be excommunicated without royal permission. In October 1163, Henry summoned the ecclesiastical hierarchy to Westminster to hear his complaints about the governance of the English Church.
At first, the bishops did not agree with the king, who asked them if they would agree to observe the ancient customs of England. The bishops remained steadfastly behind Becket, refused to agree to observe the customs if they conflicted with canon law; the council only met for a day, the next day, the king took his heir, Henry the Young King, out of Becket's custody, as well as confiscating all the honours that he had given to Becket. This was a dismissal of Becket from royal favour. Over the next year, both sides maneuvered to gain advantages, working on diplomatic efforts to secure allies; the king, advised by Arnulf of Lisieux, worked on the bishops and managed to swing many of them over to his viewpoint. Both sides petitioned the papacy, Becket sent diplomatic feelers to King Louis VII of France and the Holy Roman Emperor; the pope, Alexander III, refused to take sides, urged moderation on both sides. Becket began to secure possible safe places of refuge on the continent, if he should need to go into exile.
In late January 1164, the king summoned his major barons as well as the bishops to Clarendon Palace for a council. Once it assembled, the king demanded that the bishops and Becket swear to uphold without reservations the customs of the church as they had been in the king's grandfather's reign. At first, Becket refused, but threats and other arguments persuaded him to support the customs, Becket ordered the remaining bishops to assent also; the king proposed to have a committee of barons and clerks compile these customs into a written document, which would be presented to the council. This was done, but in the middle of the recitation of the customs, Becket asked for a postponement in order for him to consult with others about the customs. However, he accepted these customs, the bishops swore to uphold these, which subsequently became known as the Constitutions of Clarendon. In August 1164, Becket attempted to go to France without permission, forbidden by the Constitutions, he was caught, tried on 6 October 1164 at a royal court on different charges of failing to adequately address a suit brought against him by nobleman John Marshal about lands that Becket had confiscated.
Once at the council, Becket was found guilty of ignoring the court summons and under pressure from the bishops, accepted the sentence of confiscation of all non-landed property pending the pleasure of the king. However, the original disp
Ars-en-Ré is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France. Called just Ars, the commune changed to its current name on 8 March 1962; the inhabitants of the commune are known as Arsais or Arsaises but they are nicknamed the Casserons: the casseron is a baby cuttlefish, a saltwater fish found on the island. Ars-en-Ré is one of 10 communes located on the Île de Ré off the coast of La Rochelle and is in the north-western part of the island some 8 km west of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. Access to the commune is by the D735 road which crosses to the island from the end of National Highway N237 at La Rochelle; the D735 passes along the north coast of the island through Saint-Martin-de-Ré and continues north-west to the commune passing through the town and continuing north-west to the Baleines Lighthouse. Apart from the town there is the village of La Grange nearby on the coast and Le Martray to the east along the coast; the town occupies the centre of the commune and there are forests on the western side with the rest of the commune farmland including extensive Salt farms.
Its harbour is the largest on the Ile de Ré and is located at the bottom of the Fier d'Ars, reached by a channel through the Salt farms. A lock closes the tidal basin. A new basin with 130 berths is to be created in future at the channel entrance. There are 150 moorings on buoys in the outer harbour and the channel has a capacity of 550 berths dedicated to the pleasure craft. A beach on the south coast of the island, bordered by a dyke to protect the land, extends to the Baleins Lighthouse at the western tip of the island; the Prince of Soubise was defeated here in 1624. The port was important during the "salt era" until the beginning of the 20th century; the Gabelle or Salt tax was significant in the area. List of Successive Mayors; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger towns that have a sample survey every year.
Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The population of the town is old. The ratio of persons above the age of 60 years is higher than the national average and the departmental average; as with national and departmental allocations, the male population of the town is less than the female population. Percentage Distribution of Age Groups in Ars-en-Ré and Charente-Maritime Department in 2010 Sources: Evolution and Structure of the population of the Commune in 2010, INSEE. Evolution and Structure of the population of the Department in 2010, INSEE; the village is a member of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Since 2011 the commune has belonged to the network "Villages of stone and water", a label initiated by the General Council to promote exceptional sites with the distinction of being located near a body of water. Ars-en-Ré has a large number of buildings that have been registered as historical monuments by the Ministry of Culture; these are: There are a large number of items in Ars-en-Ré that are registered as historical objects and in private collections.
For a complete list of these items with links to descriptions and photos click here. Other sites of interestThe Port with its new tidal basin at the entrance of the access channel. Le Martray, the nearest place to the main island; the Fiers d'Ars. The surfing spot at Grignon Point. Many religious buildings and monuments are registered as historical monuments at the Ministry of Culture: The Priory of Saint-Étienne in the Place Carnot The Priory contains a large number of items that are registered as historical objects. For a complete list including links to descriptions and photos click here; the Convent of the Sisters of Wisdom at Rue du Havre A Monumental Cross at the Port A Monumental Cross on the Route de Saint-Clément The Pinaud Cross on the Route de Saint-Clément A Monumental Cross on N735 The Church of Saint-Étienne. Its bell tower, painted in black and white, serves as a Daymark for sailors; the Convent of the Sisters of Charity The Protestant Church Ars-en-Ré The Church Birds Fishing and Boats Mathurin Renaud, born in Ars-en-Ré, an important historical figure: a pioneer of New France and one of the first inhabitants of Charlesbourg.
William Barbotin and engraver. Marie-Thérèse Dethan-Roullet, was born here. Lionel Jospin, former Prime Minister of France, had a house here. Claude Barma, former Italian Film director, father of Catherine Barma, was buried here. In the Narthex of the church there is a representation of John Vianney, the famous "Curé of Ars" although he was a priest in the commune of Ars-sur-Formans in Ain. Communes of the Charente department Ars-en-Ré official website Île de Ré on the official site of the department of Charente-Maritime Ars-en-Ré on Lion1906 Ars-en-Ré on Google Maps Ars-en-Ré on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Ars on the 1750 Cassini Map Ars-en-Ré on the INSEE websi
Charles, Duke of Guise
Charles de Lorraine, 4th Duke of Guise was the son of Henry I, Duke of Guise and Catherine of Cleves. He was born in the Champagne-Ardenne region of northeastern France. Styled the Chevalier de Guise, he succeeded as Duke of Chevreuse upon the death of his great-uncle Charles of Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine, a title he resigned to his brother Claude. After his father's assassination in 1588, he succeeded him as Duke of Guise, but was kept in prison in Tours for three years, escaping in 1591. While the Catholic League had great hopes for him, considered placing him on the throne, he declared his support for Henry IV of France in 1594, for which Henry paid him four million livres and made him Governor of Provence. In 1595, he captured Marseille from the Duc d'Épernon, he was created Grand Master of France and Admiral of the Levant. Falling into disfavor with Cardinal Richelieu for siding with Marie de' Medici, he withdrew to Italy in 1631, his wife and younger children joined him in Florence, where the family was protected by the House of Medici.
His sons François and Charles Louis died in Italy during these years of exile. Duke Charles himself died, at Cuna, in 1640, his widow and children (among them Marie, "Mademoiselle de Guise" were permitted to return to France in 1643. On 6 January 1611 he married Henriette Catherine of Joyeuse and they had ten children: François, Prince of Joinville, who died in Florence during the family's exile and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo and reinterred at Joinville, he was deemed "the most accomplished prince of his day." Twin boys, who were frail and sickly. They died on the same day. Henry II, Duke of Guise Archbishop of Reims Marie, Duchess of Guise A girl, called Mademoiselle de Joinville, born healthy but caught a cold in the winter of 1617 and died shortly thereafter. Charles Louis and was buried at San Lorenzo and at Joinville, styled Duke of Joyeuse Françoise Renée, Abbess of Montmartre Louis, Duke of Joyeuse Duke of Angoulême Roger called the Chevalier de Joinville and the Chevalier de Guise, Knight of the Order of Malta, died of fever at Cambrai and buried near his ancestors at Joinville
Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré
The Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré Siege of St. Martin's, was an attempt by English forces under George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham to capture the French fortress-city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, on the isle of Ré, in 1627. After three months of siege the Marquis de Toiras and a relief force of French ships and troops managed to repel the Duke, forced to withdraw in defeat; this encounter followed another defeat for Buckingham, the 1625 Cádiz Expedition, is considered to be the opening conflict of the Anglo-French War of 1627-1629, itself a part of the Thirty Years' War. On 12 July 1627, an English force of 100 ships and 6,000 soldiers under the command of the Duke of Buckingham invaded the Île de Ré, landing at the beach of Sablanceau, with the objective of controlling the approaches to La Rochelle and encouraging rebellion in the city. Buckingham hoped to capture the Fort of La Prée and the fortified city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. A Royal French force of 1,200 infantry and 200 horsemen under the Marquis de Toiras, the island's Governor, resisted the landing from behind the dunes, but the English beachhead was maintained, with over 12 officers and 100 men killed.
During a period of three days in which Buckingham consolidated his beachhead, Toiras took all available provisions on the island and fortified himself in the citadel of Saint Martin. Buckingham endeavoured to establish a siege around the citadel; the siege continued until October. Requested supplies from England proved insufficient. Two thousand Irish troops arrived under Sir Ralph Bingley on 3 September 1627. A small supply fleet under Sir William Beecher arrived with only 400 raw troops. A Scottish fleet composed of 30 ships, with 5,000 men, was on its way in October 1627, but was broken up by a storm on the coast of Norfolk. A strong relief fleet under the Earl of Holland only departed on 6 November 1627, which proved to be too late; the French, despite difficulties, managed to get small amounts of supplies through to the defenders throughout the siege - in August, Cardinal Richelieu offered a reward of 30,000 livres to the first ship captain to deliver 50 barrels of corn, flour or biscuits to the citadel.
A large supply fleet arrived on 7–8 October, with 29 out of 35 ships eluding the English naval blockade. This was in the nick of time as Toiras had declared he would be unable to hold out after this date of not being resupplied. From the mainland, 4,000 additional troops were landed on the southern end of the island on October 20; the rescue troops were under the Marshal of France Henri de Schomberg. On October 27 Buckingham attempted a last desperate attack on Saint Martin, but the English ladders turned out to be too short to scale the walls, the fortress again proved impregnable. Although there were indications that the Saint Martin French garrison was close to exhaustion, Buckingham retreated with his troops towards the northern part of the island, with the objective of embarking from the area of Loix, he was harassed by pursuing French troops, with heavy casualties. Altogether, Buckingham lost more than 5,000 men in the campaign, out of a force of 7,000. Two months into the siege, the people of La Rochelle started open hostilities against the central government of France in September, initiating the Siege of La Rochelle.
Following the defeat of Buckingham in October, England attempted to send two fleets to relieve La Rochelle. The first one, led by William Feilding, Earl of Denbigh, left in April 1628, but returned without a fight to Portsmouth, as Denbigh "said that he had no commission to hazard the king's ship in a fight and returned shamefully to Portsmouth". After returning to England, Buckingham tried to organise a second campaign to relieve the Siege of La Rochelle, but he was stabbed and killed at Portsmouth on 23 August 1628 by John Felton, an army officer, wounded in the earlier military adventure and believed he had been passed over for promotion by Buckingham. Felton was hanged in November and Buckingham was buried in Westminster Abbey; however at the time of his death, Buckingham was a hated figure amongst the public. The second fleet was dispatched soon after Buckingham's death, under the Admiral of the Fleet, the Earl of Lindsey in August, but remained blocked by the seawall in front of La Rochelle.
Exhausted and without hope of outside support anymore, La Rochelle surrendered to French Royal forces on 28 October. Following these defeats, England would end its involvement with the Thirty Years War by negotiating peace treaties with France in 1629 and with Spain in 1630, to the dismay of Protestant forces on the continent. Following these conflicts, the main port of Saint Martin, was further fortified by Vauban in 1681. Battle of Pont du Feneau Mark Charles Fissel War and government in Britain, 1598-1650 Manchester University Press ND, 1991 ISBN 0-7190-2887-6 Samuel Rawson Gardiner A History of England Under the Duke of Buckingham and Charles I. 1624-1628 BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008 ISBN 0-559-03824-0 "The expedition to Rhé" p. 111-134 "The Siege of St. Martin's" p. 135-166 Markku Peltonen Classical humanism and republicanism in English political thought, 1570-1640 Cambridge University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-521-61716-2
Musée des Plans-Reliefs
The Musée des Plans-Reliefs is a museum of military models located within the Hôtel des Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France. The construction of models dates to 1668 when François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois and minister of war to Louis XIV, began a collection of three-dimensional models of fortified cities for military purposes, known as'plans-relief'; the models gave particular attention to the city fortifications and topographic features such as hills and harbors. In 1700 Louis XIV installed the collection in the Louvre; the models were constructed in the field, by military engineers, but in 1743 two central workshops were established for their construction in Béthune and Lille. A large number of models were built during and after the War of the Austrian Succession to represent newly captured sites; the collection was updated in 1754, but fell into some disuse. In 1774 the collection was nearly destroyed when its Louvre gallery was rededicated to paintings, but was in 1777 moved to the Hôtel des Invalides where it remains to this day.
Under Napoleon, a new set of models was built, including Luxembourg, La Spezia and Cherbourg. Their production continued until about 1870, when it drew to a close with the disappearance of fortifications bastionnées; the collection was declared a historical monument in 1927, the museum established in 1943. All told, some 260 plans-reliefs were created between 1668 and 1870, representing about 150 fortified sites. About 100 models are conserved today by this museum, of which about 15 are kept in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lille. At present, the museum displays 28 plans-reliefs of fortifications along the English Channel, the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, the Pyrenees, it contains presentations on construction and use of the plans-reliefs. The museum is open daily except the first Monday of each month. List of museums in Paris Musée des Plans-Reliefs Monuments nationaux entry Paris.org entry Isabelle Warmoes, Le Musée des plans-reliefs, Editions du patrimoine, Paris, 1997. George A. Rothrock, "The Musee des Plans-Reliefs", French Historical Studies, Vol. 6, No.
2, pages 253-256
La Flotte is a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France. It is situated on the Île de Ré. Communes of the Charente-Maritime department INSEE