The French Army the Ground Army to distinguish it from the French Air Force, Armée de l'Air or Air Army, is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces. It is responsible to the Government of France, along with the other four components of the Armed Forces; the current Chief of Staff of the French Army is General Jean-Pierre Bosser, a direct subordinate of the Chief of the Defence Staff. General Bosser is responsible, in part, to the Ministry of the Armed Forces for organization, use of forces, as well as planning and programming and Army future acquisitions. For active service, Army units are placed under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff, responsible to the President of France for planning for, use, of forces. All soldiers are considered professionals following the suspension of conscription, voted in parliament in 1997 and made effective in 2001; as of 2017, the French Army employed 117,000 personnel. In addition, the reserve element of the French Army consisted of 15,453 personnel of the Operational Reserve.
In 1999, the Army issued the Code of the French Soldier, which includes the injunctions: The first permanent army, paid with regular wages, instead of feudal levies, was established under Charles VII in the 1420–30s. The Kings of France needed reliable troops after the Hundred Years' War; these units of troops were raised by issuing ordonnances to govern their length of service and payment. These Compagnies d'ordonnance formed the core of the Gendarme Cavalry into the sixteenth century. Stationed throughout France and summoned into larger armies as needed. There was provision made for "Francs-archers" units of bowmen and foot soldiers raised from the non-noble classes but these units were disbanded once war ended; the bulk of the infantry for warfare was still provided by urban or provincial militias, raised from an area or city to fight locally and named for their recruiting grounds. These units became more permanent, in 1480s Swiss instructors were recruited and some of the'Bandes' were combined to form temporary'Legions' of up to 9000 men.
These men would receive training. Henry II further regularised the French army by forming standing Infantry regiments to replace the Militia structure; the first of these—the Régiments de Picardie, Piémont and Champagne—were called Les Vieux Corps. It was normal policy to disband regiments after a war was over as a cost saving measure with the Vieux Corps and the King's own Household Troops the Maison du Roi being the only survivors. Regiments could be raised directly by the King and so called after the region in which they were raised, or by the nobility and so called after the noble or his appointed colonel; when Louis XIII came to the throne he disbanded most of the regiments in existence leaving only the Vieux and a handful of others which became known as the Petite Vieux and gained the privilege of not being disbanded after a war. In 1684 there was a major reorganisation of the French infantry and again in 1701 to fit in with Louis XIV's plans and the War of the Spanish Succession; this reshuffle created many of the modern regiments of the French Army and standardised their equipment and tactics.
The army of the Sun King tended to wear grey-white coats with coloured linings. There were exceptions and the foreign troops, recruited from outside France, wore red or blue while the French Guards wore blue. In addition to these regiments of the line the Maison du Roi provided several elite units, the Swiss Guards, French Guards and the Regiments of Musketeers being the most famous; the white/grey coated French Infantry of the line Les Blancs with their Charleville muskets were a feared foe on the battlefields of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, fighting in the Nine Years' War, the Wars of Spanish and Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution. The revolution split the army with the main mass losing most of its officers to aristocratic flight or guillotine and becoming demoralised and ineffective; the French Guard joined the revolt and the Swiss Guards were massacred during the storming of the Tuileries palace. The remnants of the royal army were joined to the revolutionary militias known as sans-culottes, the "National Guard" a more middle class militia and police force, to form the French Revolutionary Army.
From 1792, the French Revolutionary Army fought against various combinations of European powers reliant on large numbers and basic tactics, it was defeated bloodily but survived and drove its opponents first from French soil and overran several countries creating client states. Under Napoleon I, the French Army conquered most of Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. Professionalising again from the Revolutionary forces and using columns of attack with heavy artillery support and swarms of pursuit cavalry the French army under Napoleon and his marshals was able to outmanoeuvre and destroy the allied armies until 1812. Napoleon introduced the concept of all arms Corps, each one a traditional army'in miniature', permitting the field force to be split across several lines of march and rejoin or to operate independently; the Grande Armée operated by seeking a decisive battle with each enemy army and destroying them in detail before occupying territory and forcing a peace. In 1812 Napoleon marched on Moscow seeking to remove Russian influence from eastern Europe and secure the frontiers of his empire and client states.
The campaign went well but the vast distances of the R
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
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
Wissembourg is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is situated on the little River Lauter close to the border between France and Germany 60 km north of Strasbourg and 35 km west of Karlsruhe. Wissembourg is a sub-prefecture of the department; the name Wissembourg is a Gallicized version of Weißenburg in German meaning "white castle". The Latin place-name, sometimes used in ecclesiastical sources, is Sebusium; the town was annexed by France after 1648 but incorporated into Germany in 1871. It was returned to France in 1919, but reincorporated back into Germany on 1940. After 1944 it again became French. Weissenburg Abbey, the Benedictine abbey around which the town has grown, was founded in the 7th century under the patronage of Dagobert I; the abbey was supported by vast territories. Of the 11th-century buildings constructed under the direction of Abbot Samuel, only the Schartenturm and some moats remain; the town was fortified in the 13th century. The abbey church of Saint-Pierre et Paul erected in the same century under the direction of Abbot Edelin was secularized in the French Revolution and despoiled of its treasures.
At the abbey in the late 9th century the monk Otfried composed a gospel harmony, the first substantial work of verse in German. In 1354 Charles IV made it one of the grouping of ten towns called the Décapole that survived annexation by France under Louis XIV in 1678 and was extinguished with the French Revolution. On 25 January 1677 a great fire destroyed the Hôtel de Ville. Many early structures were spared: the Maison du Sel, under its Alsatian pitched roof was the first hospital of the town. There are many 15th and 16th-century timber-frame houses, parts of the walls and gateways of the town; the Maison de Stanislas was the retreat of Stanisław Leszczyński, ex-king of Poland, from 1719 to 1725, when the formal request arrived, 3 April 1725 asking for the hand of his daughter in marriage to Louis XV. The First Battle of Wissembourg took place near the town in 1793; the “Lines of Wissembourg,” made by Villars in 1706, were famous. They were a line of works extending to Lauterbourg nine miles to the southeast.
Like the fortifications of the town, only vestiges remain, although the city wall is still intact for stretches. Austrian General von Wurmser succeeded in capturing the lines in October 1793, but was defeated two months by General Pichegru of the French Army and forced to retreat, along with the Prussians, across the Rhine River. Wissembourg formed the setting for the Romantic novel L’ami Fritz co-written by the team of Erckmann and Chatrian, which provided the material for Mascagni's opera L'Amico Fritz. Another Battle of Wissembourg took place on 4 August 1870, it was the first battle of the Franco-Prussian War. The Prussians were nominally commanded by the Crown Prince Frederick, but ably directed by his Chief of Staff, General Leonhard Graf von Blumenthal; the French defeat allowed the Prussian army to move into France. The Geisberg monument commemorates the battle. Otfrid of Weissenburg Jean-Gotthard Grimmer, pastor at Wissembourg deputy to the National Convention on 10 ventôse year III to replace Philibert Simond.
Louis Moll, born in Wissembourg in 1809 and died in 1880. Joseph GuerberJoseph Guerber Stanisław Leszczyński, king of Poland from 1704 to 1709, exiled in Wissembourg and lived from 1719 to 1725; the school in the city now bears his name. Charles de Foucauld Auguste Dreyfus Jean Frédéric Wentzel, famous photos of Wissembourg Jean-François Kornetzky, football goalkeeper Martin Bucer was a Protestant reformer based in Wissembourg/Strasbourg who influenced Lutheran and Anglican doctrines and practices. Drew Heissler aka Pokey LaFarge, is songwriter, his family emigrated from Wissembourg/Alsace. Jean-Pierre Hubert, a science-fiction writer. Julie Velten Favre and educator The town, set in a landscape of wheat fields, retains a former Augustinian convent with its large-scale Gothic church, now the parish of Saints-Pierre-et-Paul, its Grenier aux Dîmes belonging to the Abbey is 18th-century but an ancient foundation. Noteworthy houses are the medieval "Salt house", the Renaissance "House of l'Ami Fritz" and the classicist City Hall, a work by Joseph Massol.
Communes of the Bas-Rhin department Château Saint-Rémy d'Altenstadt INSEE commune file Tourist information Accessed 11 May 2014. Saints Peter and Paul Church at Structurae Virtual tour picture gallery Interactive map of the property of abbey Wissembourg, based on Liber donationum and Liber possessionum, in Traditiones possessionesque Wizenburgenses, edited by Zeuss, Johann Caspar, Speyer 1842
Daniel Specklin was an Alsatian fortress architect and cartographer. He was died in Strasbourg. Architectura von Vestungen Albert Fischer: Daniel Specklin aus Strassburg: Festungsbaumeister, Ingenieur und Kartograph. Franz Grenacher: Vor vierhundert Jahren schuf Daniel Specklin seine Elsasskarte. In: Basler Geographische Hefte n.2 1973 Rodolphe Peter: Daniel Specklin et l'art des fortifications. In: Grandes Figures de l'Humanisme Alsacien: courants, destins. Strasbourg, 1978, S. 203–219 Richard Schadow: Daniel Specklin, seine Leben und seine Tätigkeit als Baumeister. In: Jahrbuch des Vogesen-Clubs 2, S. 5–60 Otto Winckelmann: Zur Lebens- und Familiengeschichte Daniel Specklins. In: ZGO 59, S. 605–620
Ministry of Culture (France)
The Ministry of Culture is the ministry of the Government of France in charge of national museums and the monuments historiques. Its goal is to maintain the French identity through the promotion and protection of the arts on national soil and abroad, its budget is dedicated to the management of the Archives Nationales and the regional Maisons de la culture. Its main office is in the Palais-Royal in the 1st arrondissement of Paris on the Rue de Valois, it is headed by the Minister of a cabinet member. The current position holder is Franck Riester, since 16 October 2018. Deriving from the Italian and Burgundian courts of the Renaissance, the notion that the state had a key role to play in the sponsoring of artistic production and that the arts were linked to national prestige was found in France from at least the 16th century on. During the pre-revolutionary period, these ideas are apparent in such things as the creation of the Académie française, the Académie de peinture et de sculpture and other state-sponsored institutions of artistic production, through the cultural policies of Louis XIV's minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert.
The modern post of Minister of Culture was created by Charles de Gaulle in 1959 and the first Minister was the writer André Malraux. Malraux was responsible for realizing the goals of the droit à la culture, an idea, incorporated in the Constitution of France and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by democratising access to culture, while achieving the Gaullist aim of elevating the "grandeur" of post-war France. To this end, he created numerous regional cultural centres throughout France and sponsored the arts. Malraux's artistic tastes included the modern arts and the avant-garde, but on the whole he remained conservative. Under president François Mitterrand the Minister of Culture was Jack Lang who showed himself to be far more open to popular cultural production, including jazz and roll, rap music, graffiti art, comic books and food, his famous phrase "économie et culture, même combat" is representative of his commitment to cultural democracy and to active national sponsorship and participation in cultural production.
In addition to the creation of the Fête de la Musique and overseeing the French Revolution bicentennial, he was in charge of the massive architectural program of the François Mitterrand years that gave permission for the building of the Bibliothèque nationale, the new Louvre, the Arab World Institute, the Musée d'Orsay, the Opéra-Bastille, the "Grande Arche" of La Défense, the new seat of the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie and Cité de la Musique, both in the Parc de la Villette. The Ministry of Jacques Toubon was notable for a number of laws enacted for the preservation of the French language, both in advertisements and on the radio, ostensibly in reaction to the presence of English; the following people were appointed as Minister of Culture of France: Since the French constitution does not identify specific ministers, each government may label each ministry as they wish, or have a broader ministry in charge of several governmental sectors.
Hence, the ministry has gone through a number of different names: The Ministry of Culture is made up of a variety of internal divisions, including: Direction de l'administration générale Direction de l'architecture et du patrimoine - in charge of national monuments and heritage Inventaire général du patrimoine culturel - maintains extensive databases of historical sites and objects. See Base Mérimée, Base Palissy and Monument historique. Direction des archives de France - in charge of the National Archives Direction du livre et de la lecture - in charge of French literature and the book trade Direction de la musique, de la danse, du théâtre et des spectacles - in charge of music and theater Direction des Musées de France - in charge of the National museumsThe Ministry has access to one inter-ministerial division: Direction du développement des médias in charge of developing and expanding the French media The Ministry runs three "delegations": Délégation aux arts plastiques - in charge of the visual and sculptural arts Délégation au développement et aux affaires internationales - in charge of international affairs and French art Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France - in charge of the French language and languages of FranceFinally, the Ministry shares in the management of the National Centre of Cinema, a public institution.
The Alliance française is run by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. For more on the organization of the Ministry, see Ministry of Culture. On the national level, the Ministry runs: Regional Cultural Affairs Departmental Architecture and Monuments Departmental Archives under the direction of the depart