A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time. Most of the time zones on land are offset from Coordinated Universal Time by a whole number of hours, but a few zones are offset by 30 or 45 minutes; some higher latitude and temperate zone countries use daylight saving time for part of the year by adjusting local clock time by an hour. Many land time zones are skewed toward the west of the corresponding nautical time zones; this creates a permanent daylight saving time effect. Before clocks were first invented, it was common practice to mark the time of day with apparent solar time – for example, the time on a sundial –, different for every location and dependent on longitude; when well-regulated mechanical clocks became widespread in the early 19th century, each city began to use some local mean solar time.
Apparent and mean solar time can differ by up to around 15 minutes because of the elliptical shape of the Earth's orbit around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis. Mean solar time has days of equal length, the difference between the two sums to zero after a year. Greenwich Mean Time was established in 1675, when the Royal Observatory was built, as an aid to mariners to determine longitude at sea, providing a standard reference time while each city in England kept a different local time. Local solar time became inconvenient as rail transport and telecommunications improved, because clocks differed between places by amounts corresponding to the differences in their geographical longitudes, which varied by four minutes of time for every degree of longitude. For example, Bristol is about 2.5 degrees west of Greenwich, so when it is solar noon in Bristol, it is about 10 minutes past solar noon in London. The use of time zones accumulates these differences into longer units hours, so that nearby places can share a common standard for timekeeping.
The first adoption of a standard time was on December 1, 1847, in Great Britain by railway companies using GMT kept by portable chronometers. The first of these companies to adopt standard time was the Great Western Railway in November 1840; this became known as Railway Time. About August 23, 1852, time signals were first transmitted by telegraph from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Though 98% of Great Britain's public clocks were using GMT by 1855, it was not made Britain's legal time until August 2, 1880; some British clocks from this period have two minute hands—one for the local time, one for GMT. Improvements in worldwide communication further increased the need for interacting parties to communicate mutually comprehensible time references to one another; the problem of differing local times could be solved across larger areas by synchronizing clocks worldwide, but in many places that adopted time would differ markedly from the solar time to which people were accustomed. On November 2, 1868, the British colony of New Zealand adopted a standard time to be observed throughout the colony, was the first country to do so.
It was based on the longitude 172°30′ East of Greenwich, 11 hours 30 minutes ahead of GMT. This standard was known as New Zealand Mean Time. Timekeeping on the American railroads in the mid-19th century was somewhat confused; each railroad used its own standard time based on the local time of its headquarters or most important terminus, the railroad's train schedules were published using its own time. Some junctions served by several railroads had a clock for each railroad, each showing a different time. Charles F. Dowd proposed a system of one-hour standard time zones for American railroads about 1863, although he published nothing on the matter at that time and did not consult railroad officials until 1869. In 1870 he proposed four ideal time zones, the first centered on Washington, D. C. but by 1872 the first was centered with geographic borders. Dowd's system was never accepted by American railroads. Instead, U. S. and Canadian railroads implemented a version proposed by William F. Allen, the editor of the Traveler's Official Railway Guide.
The borders of its time zones ran through railroad stations in major cities. For example, the border between its Eastern and Central time zones ran through Detroit, Pittsburgh and Charleston, it was inaugurated on Sunday, November 18, 1883 called "The Day of Two Noons", when each railroad station clock was reset as standard-time noon was reached within each time zone. The zones were named Intercolonial, Central and Pacific. Within a year 85% of all cities with populations over 10,000, about 200 cities, were using standard time. A notable exception was Detroit which kept local time until 1900 tried Central Standard Time, local mean time, Eastern Standard Time before a May 1915 ordinance settled on EST and was ratified by popular vote in August 1916; the confusion of times came to an end when Standard zone time was formally adopted by the U. S. Congress in the Standard Time Act of March 19, 1918; the first known person to conceive of a worldwide system of time zones was the Italian mathematician
Argut-Dessous is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Alan is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Ausson is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Arlos is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
Aucamville is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. Communes of the Haute-Garonne department INSEE
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