.au is the Internet country code top-level domain for Australia. It was first created on 5 March 1986. Domain name policy is managed by.au Domain Administration. As of July 2018, the registry is operated by Afilias; the domain name was allocated by Jon Postel, operator of IANA to Kevin Robert Elz of Melbourne University in 1986. After an five-year process in the 1990s, the Internet industry created a self-regulatory body called.au Domain Administration to operate the domain. It obtained assent from ICANN in 2001, commenced operating a new competitive regime for domain registration on 1 July 2002. Since this new regime, any registration has to be ordered via a registrar. Oversight of.au is by.au Domain Administration. It is a not-for-profit organisation whose membership is derived from Internet organisations, industry members and interested individuals; the organisation operates with the endorsement of the Australian Government and with the delegated authority of ICANN. Policy for.au is devised by policy development panels.
These panels are convened by auDA and combine public input with industry representation to derive policy. The day-to-day operation of the.au registry technical facility is tendered out by auDA. AusRegistry has performed the registry role since the initial tender in 2002. In December 2017, Afilias won a competitive tender process to take over the running of the registry from AusRegistry; the registry does not sell domain registration services direct to the consumer, rather consumers who wish to register a domain must do so via a domain name registrar. After the industry's liberalisation in 2002, there is an active competitive market in registrars with a variety of prices and services. In 2008 auDA allowed changes in ownership of.au domains. Although the secondary market was slow to take off there have been signs of increasing maturity in the.au aftermarket culminating in the record $125,500 sale of investmentproperty.com.au. The auDA ISS is a world-first industry initiative aimed at improving the security of.au registrar businesses, protecting.au registrants and enhancing the overall stability and integrity of the.au domain space.
AuDA introduced the ISS in October 2013 as a mandatory requirement, all accredited registrars must be certified as ISS compliant within 24 months. Discount Domain Name services, Cheaper Domains and Information Brokers, part of the Total Internet Group, are the first three auDA accredited registrars to achieve ISS compliance; the naming rules for.au require registrations under second-level categories that describe a type of entity..com.au, for example, is designed for commercial entities. This follows a similar allocation policy to that used in other countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Registrations are permitted below a second-level domain, such as "yourname.com.au". In April 2016, auDA announced it would introduce registrations directly at the second level, such as "yourname.au". Direct registrations were due to be implemented in 2017 although due to an ongoing debate on how cybersquatting would be mitigated with the release of the direct second-level registrations has led to a delay.
Registering a domain in the.au namespace requires registrants to have either an exact match or a “close and substantial connection” to their desired domain name. This “policy rich” approach to the name space, begun by Robert Elz and continued by auDA, has meant the.au domain space has avoided the cybersquatting and other illicit uses of domains prevalent in other more permissive domains. Registration of a.au domain is completed through a reseller, known as a registrar, with the registry acting as the wholesale provider. AuDA manages domain name policy as the ICANN and Australian Government-endorsed manager of the.au DNS..com.au – Commercial entities.net.au – Commercial entities.org.au – Associations and non-profit organisations.edu.au – Educational institutions.gov.au – Governments and their departments.asn.au – Associations and non-profit organisations.id.au – Individuals.csiro.au – CSIRO Introduced in 2004, "community geographic domain names" are intended to be used for "community websites that reflect community interests such as local business, historical information, sporting groups, local events and news" of a local community.
These domains are managed by the.au Community Domains Trust on behalf of auDA. The funding of auCD was provided from a ballot of locality names in the.com.au and.net.au domain spaces. CGDNs use territory's common abbreviation as the second level of the domain. For example, a community based in Victoria would receive a domain ending in.vic.au, a Northern Territory community would use.nt.au, so on. The third level of the domain must be an addressable locality within that state or territory, of the form townname.vic.au. Where a name is duplicated within a state – for instance, between a smaller town, a suburb of a larger town or city – the locality name may be suffixed with the name of the local government area, town or city to which it is associated. Holders of CGDNs must be "a registered, not-for-profit entity. In particular, commercial entities and loca
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, academic and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies; the Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web, electronic mail and file sharing. Some publications no longer capitalize "internet"; the origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the federal government of the United States in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication with computer networks. The primary precursor network, the ARPANET served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1980s; the funding of the National Science Foundation Network as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial extensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, the merger of many networks.
The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet, generated a sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional and mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet was used by academia since the 1980s, commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into every aspect of modern life. Most traditional communication media, including telephony, television, paper mail and newspapers are reshaped, redefined, or bypassed by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet telephony, Internet television, online music, digital newspapers, video streaming websites. Newspaper and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators; the Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, social networking. Online shopping has grown exponentially both for major retailers and small businesses and entrepreneurs, as it enables firms to extend their "brick and mortar" presence to serve a larger market or sell goods and services online.
Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries. The Internet has no single centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; the overreaching definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet Protocol address space and the Domain Name System, are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force, a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise. In November 2006, the Internet was included on USA Today's list of New Seven Wonders; when the term Internet is used to refer to the specific global system of interconnected Internet Protocol networks, the word is a proper noun that should be written with an initial capital letter.
In common use and the media, it is erroneously not capitalized, viz. the internet. Some guides specify that the word should be capitalized when used as a noun, but not capitalized when used as an adjective; the Internet is often referred to as the Net, as a short form of network. As early as 1849, the word internetted was used uncapitalized as an adjective, meaning interconnected or interwoven; the designers of early computer networks used internet both as a noun and as a verb in shorthand form of internetwork or internetworking, meaning interconnecting computer networks. The terms Internet and World Wide Web are used interchangeably in everyday speech. However, the World Wide Web or the Web is only one of a large number of Internet services; the Web is a collection of interconnected documents and other web resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. As another point of comparison, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is the language used on the Web for information transfer, yet it is just one of many languages or protocols that can be used for communication on the Internet.
The term Interweb is a portmanteau of Internet and World Wide Web used sarcastically to parody a technically unsavvy user. Research into packet switching, one of the fundamental Internet technologies, started in the early 1960s in the work of Paul Baran and Donald Davies. Packet-switched networks such as the NPL network, ARPANET, the Merit Network, CYCLADES, Telenet were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s; the ARPANET project led to the development of protocols for internetworking, by which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks. ARPANET development began with two network nodes which were interconnected between the Network Measurement Center at the University of California, Los Angeles Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science directed by Leonard Kleinrock, the NLS system at SRI International by Douglas Engelbart in Menlo Park, California, on 29 October 1969; the third site was the Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by the University of
.bzh is an approved Internet top level domain. It is a sponsored top-level domain intended to be a top level domain for Brittany and the Breton culture and languages. On 10 May 2013, ICANN has approved the creation of the domain. On 27 February 2014, ICANN has signed the Registry Agreement with the applicant; the idea of applying for a.bzh top level domain was first mentioned in 2004 by Christian Ménard, member of the French Parliament. The introduction of the top level.cat domain in 2006 revived the idea. An online petition, initiated by Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez via the Geobreizh.com website, has mobilized public opinion and encouraged local authorities to state public support for this project. The Conseil Général d'Ille et Vilaine, the Conseil Régional de Bretagne, the Conseil Général du Finistère have unanimously supported the idea of creation of a. bzh. In 2007, the Regional Council of Brittany initiated a feasibility study of the project. Under the direction of a steering committee involving various stakeholders, this study has resulted in 2008 in the establishment of a formal structure to support the Breton application: www.bzh.
The www.bzh association is responsible for establishing the application, gathering the necessary funds to ensure its submission and its promotion within the Breton community. The association in December 2008 has been granted financial support from the Conseil Régional de Bretagne; the online petition has so far received more than 21,000 signatures. List of Internet top-level domains Top-level domain The initiative for. BZH* The. BZH websites directory*
Martinique is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 square kilometres and a population of 376,480 inhabitants as of January 2016. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. One of the Windward Islands, it is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Greater Antilles, northwest of Barbados, south of Dominica; as with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the eighteen regions of France and an integral part of the French Republic. As part of France, Martinique is part of the European Union, its currency is the euro; the official language is French, the entire population speaks Antillean Creole. Christopher Columbus landed on 15 June 1502, after a 21-day trade wind passage, his fastest ocean voyage, he spent three days there refilling his water casks and washing laundry. The island was called "Jouanacaëra-Matinino", which came from a mythical island described by the Taínos of Hispaniola.
According to historian Sydney Daney, the island was called "Jouanacaëra" by the Caribs, which means "the island of iguanas". When Columbus landed on the island in 1502, he christened the island as Martinica; the island is called "Madinina" by the locals. The island was occupied first by Arawaks by Caribs; the Carib people had migrated from the mainland to the islands about 1201 CE, according to carbon dating of artifacts. They were displaced and assimilated by the Taino, who were resident on the island in the 1490s. Martinique was charted by Columbus in 1493. On 15 September 1635, Pierre Belain d'Esnambuc, French governor of the island of St. Kitts, landed in the harbor of St. Pierre with 150 French settlers after being driven off St. Kitts by the English. D'Esnambuc claimed Martinique for the French King Louis XIII and the French "Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique", established the first European settlement at Fort Saint-Pierre. D'Esnambuc died in 1636, leaving the company and Martinique in the hands of his nephew, Jacques Dyel du Parquet, who in 1637, became governor of the island.
In 1636, the indigenous Caribs rose against the settlers to drive them off the island in the first of many skirmishes. The French repelled the natives and forced them to retreat to the eastern part of the island, on the Caravelle Peninsula in the region known as the Capesterre; when the Carib revolted against French rule in 1658, the Governor Charles Houël du Petit Pré retaliated with war against them. Many were killed; some Carib had fled to St. Vincent, where the French agreed to leave them at peace; because there were few Catholic priests in the French Antilles, many of the earliest French settlers were Huguenots who sought greater religious freedom than what they could experience in mainland France. They became quite prosperous. Although edicts from King Louis XIV's court came to the islands to suppress the Protestant "heretics", these were ignored by island authorities until Louis XIV's Edict of Revocation in 1685. From September 1686 to early 1688, the French crown used Martinique as a threat and a dumping ground for mainland Huguenots who refused to reconvert to Catholicism.
Over 1,000 Huguenots were transported to Martinique during this period under miserable and crowded ship conditions that caused many of them to die en route. Those that survived the trip were distributed to the island planters as Engagés under the system of serf peonage that prevailed in the French Antilles at the time; as many of the planters on Martinique were themselves Huguenot, who were sharing in the suffering under the harsh strictures of the Revocation, they began plotting to emigrate from Martinique with many of their arrived brethren. Many of them were encouraged by their Catholic brethren who looked forward to the departure of the heretics and seizing their property for themselves. By 1688, nearly all of Martinique's French Protestant population had escaped to the British American colonies or Protestant countries back home; the policy decimated the population of Martinique and the rest of the French Antilles and set back their colonization by decades, causing the French king to relax his policies in the islands yet leaving the islands susceptible to British occupation over the next century.
Under Governor of the Antilles Charles de Courbon, comte de Blénac, Martinique served as a home port for French pirates including Captain Crapeau, Etienne de Montauban, Mathurin Desmarestz. In years pirate Bartholomew Roberts styled his jolly roger as a black flag depicting a pirate standing on two skulls labeled "ABH" and "AMH" for "A Barbadian's Head" and "A Martinican's Head", after Governors of those two islands sent warships to capture Roberts. Martinique was occupied several times by the British including once during the Seven Years' War and twice during the Napoleonic Wars. Excepting a period from 1802–1809 following signing of the Treaty of Amiens, Britain controlled the island for most of the time from 1794–1815, when it was traded back to France at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars. Martinique has remained a French possession since then; as sugar prices declined in the early 1800s, the planter class lost political influence. In 1848, Victor Schoelcher persuaded the French government to end slavery in the French W
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
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