Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. There are 96 departments in metropolitan France and 5 overseas departments, each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, they were called general councils, the departments were created in 1791 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity, the title department is used to mean a part of a larger whole. Almost all of them were named after geographical features rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of dArgenson and they have inspired similar divisions in many countries, some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a number, the Official Geographical Code. Some overseas departments have a three-digit number, the number is used, for example, in the postal code, and was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as the 45 and this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René dArgenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration, before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces, during the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved, partly in order to weaken old loyalties. Their boundaries served two purposes, Boundaries were chosen to break up Frances historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences, Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a days ride of the capital of the department. This was a security measure, intended to keep the national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of rural areas far from any centre of government.
The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments, most were named after an areas principal river or other physical features. Even Paris was in the department of Seine, the number of departments, initially 83, was increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleons defeats in 1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size, in 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice, the 89 departments were given numbers based on their alphabetical order. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following Frances defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany
Chamber of Deputies (France)
1875–1940 during the French Third Republic, the Chamber of Deputies was the legislative assembly of the French Parliament, elected by universal suffrage. When reunited with the French Senate at Versailles, the French Parliament was called the National Assembly, created by the Charter of 1814 and replacing the Corps législatif, which existed under the First French Empire, the Chamber of Deputies was composed of individuals elected by census suffrage. Its role was to discuss laws and, most importantly, to vote taxes, according to the Charter, deputies were elected for five years, with one-fifth renewed each year. Deputies needed to be 40 years old and to pay 1000 francs in direct contributions, government ministers could be chosen from among the deputies, and this resulted in giving the Restoration government a slight, albeit minor and liberal character. This body was dissolved upon the entry of Coalition troops into Paris on 7 July, for the period 1815–1816, the Ultra-royalist chamber was referred to as the Chambre introuvable.
The Chamber of Deputies was elected by census suffrage according to the Charter of 1830, the political life of the July Monarchy was defined by the split within the Chamber of Deputies between the progressive movement and the conservative wing. Although both parties traded power in the stages, by 1840 the conservative members around François Guizot had seized control. From 1830, deputies were elected for five years and they needed to be 30 years old and to pay 500 francs in direct contributions. In 1852, the Chamber of Deputies retook the name Corps législatif
Paul Reynaud was a French politician and lawyer prominent in the interwar period, noted for his stances on economic liberalism and militant opposition to Germany. He was the penultimate Prime Minister of the Third Republic and vice-president of the Democratic Republican Alliance center-right party, after the outbreak of World War II and the collapse of French resistance in 1940, Reynaud persistently refused to support an armistice with Germany and resigned. After unsuccessfully attempting to flee France, he was arrested by Philippe Petains administration, surrendered to German custody in 1942, he was imprisoned in Germany and Austria until liberation in 1945. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1946, he became a prominent figure again in French political life, Reynaud was born in Barcelonnette, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. His father had made a fortune in the industry, enabling Reynaud to study law at the Sorbonne. He entered politics and was elected to the French Chamber of Deputies from 1919 to 1924, representing Basses-Alpes, in the 1920s, Reynaud developed a reputation for laxity on German reparations, at a time when many in the French government backed harsher terms for Germany.
In the 1930s during the Great Depression, particularly after 1933, Reynaud backed a strong alliance with the United Kingdom and, unlike many others on the French Right, better relations with the Soviet Union as a counterweight against the Germans. Reynaud held several posts in the early 1930s, but he clashed with members of his party after 1932 over French foreign. He was not given another position until 1938. Like Winston Churchill, Reynaud was a maverick in his party and often alone in his calls for rearmament and he strongly opposed appeasement in the run-up to the Second World War. He clashed with his party on economic policy, backing the devaluation of the franc as a solution to Frances economic woes. Pierre Étienne Flandin, the leader of the Democratic Republican Alliance, agreed with several of Reynauds key policy stances, Reynaud returned to the cabinet in 1938 as Minister of Finance under Édouard Daladier. Reynaud publicly made his case, and in response Flandin pamphleted Paris in order to pressure the government to agree to Hitlers demands, Reynaud subsequently left his party to become an independent.
Reynaud still had Daladiers support, whose politique de fermeté was very similar to Reynauds notion of deterrence, however, had always wanted the Finance ministry. Reynauds reforms were implemented, and the government stood down a one-day strike in opposition. Reynaud addressed Frances business community, arguing that We live in a capitalist system, for it to function we must obey its laws. These are the laws of profits, individual risk, free markets, more importantly, Frances industrial productivity jumped from 76 to 100 from October 1938 to May 1939. At the outbreak of war, Reynaud was not bullish on Frances economy, the French Right was ambivalent about the war in late 1939 and early 1940, feeling that the greater threat was from the Soviets
Georges Benjamin Clemenceau was a French politician and journalist who served as Prime Minister of France during the First World War. A leader of the Radical Party, he played a role in the politics of the French Third Republic. Clemenceau first served as Prime Minister from 1906 to 1909, in favour of a total victory over the German Empire, he militated for the restitution of Alsace-Lorraine to France. He was one of the architects of the Treaty of Versailles at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Clemenceau was a native of the Vendée, born at Mouilleron-en-Pareds, during the period of the French Revolution, the Vendée had been a hotbed of monarchist sympathies, but by the time of his birth, its people were fiercely republican. The region was remote from Paris and poor and his mother, Sophie Eucharie Gautreau, was of Huguenot descent. His father, Benjamin Clemenceau, came from a line of physicians. Benjamin had a reputation as an atheist and a political activist, he was arrested and briefly held in 1851 and he instilled in his son a love of learning, devotion to radical politics, and a hatred of Catholicism.
The lawyer Albert Clemenceau was his brother, after his studies in the Lycée in Nantes, Georges received his French baccalaureate of letters in 1858. He went to Paris to study medicine, eventually graduating with the completion of his thesis De la génération des éléments anatomiques in 1865, in Paris, the young Clemenceau became a political activist and writer. In December 1861, he co-founded a weekly newsletter, Le Travail, on 23 February 1862, he was arrested by the police for having placed posters summoning a demonstration. He spent 77 days in the Mazas Prison and he finally graduated as a doctor of medicine on 13 May 1865, founded several literary magazines, and wrote many articles, most of which attacked the imperial regime of Napoleon III. Clemenceau left France for the United States when the agents began cracking down on dissidents. Clemenceau worked in New York City in the years 1865-69, following the American Civil War and he maintained a medical practice, but spent much of his time on political journalism for a Parisian newspaper.
He taught French at the home of Calvin Rood in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on 23 June 1869, he married one of his students, Mary Eliza Plummer, in New York City. She was the daughter of William Kelly Plummer and wife Harriet A. Taylor, the Clemenceaus had three children together before the marriage ended in a contentious divorce. During this time, he joined French exile clubs in New York opposing the imperial regime, Clemenceau returned to Paris after the French defeat at the Battle of Sedan in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War and the fall of the Second French Empire. When the Paris Commune seized power in March 1871, he tried unsuccessfully to find a compromise between the radical leaders and the commune and the more conservative French government
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits, the agglomeration has grown well beyond the citys administrative limits. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europes major centres of finance, fashion and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The aire urbaine de Paris, a measure of area, spans most of the Île-de-France region and has a population of 12,405,426. It is therefore the second largest metropolitan area in the European Union after London, the Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining the commune and its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris covers 814 square kilometres and has a population of 7 million persons, the Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The city is a rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the subway system, the Paris Métro. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in the world outside of Japan, with 262 millions passengers in 2015. In 2015, Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris, the 80, 000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros, Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The name Paris is derived from its inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe. Thus, though written the same, the name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang.
Inhabitants are known in English as Parisians and in French as Parisiens and they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the areas major north-south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité, this place of land and water trade routes gradually became a town
Prime Minister of France
The French Prime Minister in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. During the Third and Fourth Republics, the head of government position was called President of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister proposes a list of ministers to the President of the Republic. Decrees and decisions of the Prime Minister, like almost all decisions, are subject to the oversight of the administrative court system. Few decrees are taken after advice from the Council of State, all prime ministers defend the programs of their ministry, and make budgetary choices. The extent to which those decisions lie with the Prime Minister or President depends upon whether they are of the same party, manuel Valls was appointed to lead the government in a cabinet reshuffle in March 2014, after the ruling Socialists suffered a bruising defeat in local elections. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic, the President can choose whomever they want.
On the other hand, because the National Assembly does have the power to force the resignation of the government, for example, right after the legislative election of 1986, President François Mitterrand appointed Jacques Chirac prime minister. Chirac was a member of the RPR and an opponent of Mitterrand. Despite the fact that Mitterrands own Socialist Party was the largest party in the Assembly, the RPR had an alliance with the UDF, which gave them a majority. Such a situation, where the President is forced to work with a minister who is an opponent, is called a cohabitation. So far, Édith Cresson is the woman to have ever held the position of prime minister. Aristide Briand holds the record for most nomination as Prime Minister with 11 between 1909 and 1929 with some terms as short as 26 days, other members of Government are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can engage the responsibility of his or her Government before the National Assembly and this process consists of placing a bill before the Assembly, and either the Assembly overthrows the Government, or the bill is passed automatically.
In addition to ensuring that the Government still has support in the House, the Prime Minister may submit a bill that has not been yet signed into law to the Constitutional Council. Before he is allowed to dissolve the Assembly, the President has to consult the Prime Minister, the office of the prime minister, in its current form, dates from the formation of the French Third Republic. Under the French Constitutional Laws of 1875, he was imbued with the powers as his British counterpart. In practice, the minister was a fairly weak figure. Most notably, the legislature had the power to force the cabinet out of office by a vote of censure