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. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory 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 in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
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 and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
French First Republic
In the history of France, the First Republic the French Republic, was founded on 22 September 1792 during the French Revolution. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First Empire in 1804 under Napoleon, although the form of the government changed several times; this period was characterized by the fall of the monarchy, the establishment of the National Convention and the Reign of Terror, the Thermidorian Reaction and the founding of the Directory, the creation of the Consulate and Napoleon's rise to power. Under the Legislative Assembly, in power before the proclamation of the First Republic, France was engaged in war with Prussia and Austria. In July 1792, the Duke of Brunswick, commanding general of the Austro–Prussian Army, issued his Brunswick Manifesto, in which he threatened the destruction of Paris should any harm come to King Louis XVI of France; the foreign threat exacerbated France's political turmoil amid the French Revolution and deepened the passion and sense of urgency among the various factions.
In the violence of 10 August 1792, citizens stormed the Tuileries Palace, killing six hundred of the King's Swiss guards and insisting on the removal of the king. A renewed fear of anti-revolutionary action prompted further violence, in the first week of September 1792, mobs of Parisians broke into the city's prisons, killing over half of the prisoners; this included nobles and political prisoners, but numerous common criminals, such as prostitutes and petty thieves, many murdered in their cells—raped and slashed to death. This became known as the September Massacres; as a result of the spike in public violence and the political instability of the constitutional monarchy, a party of six members of France's Legislative Assembly was assigned the task of overseeing elections. The resulting Convention was founded with the dual purpose of abolishing the monarchy and drafting a new constitution; the Convention's first act, on 10 August 1792, was to establish the French First Republic and strip the king of all political powers.
Louis XVI, by a private citizen bearing his family name of Capet, was subsequently put on trial for crimes of high treason starting in December 1792. On 16 January 1793 he was convicted, on 21 January, he was executed by guillotine. Throughout the winter of 1792 and spring of 1793, Paris was plagued by mass hunger; the new Convention did little to remedy the problem until late spring of 1793, occupied instead with matters of war. On 6 April 1793, the Convention created the Committee of Public Safety, was given a monumental task: "To deal with the radical movements of the Enragés, food shortages and riots, the revolt in the Vendée and in Brittany, recent defeats of its armies, the desertion of its commanding general." Most notably, the Committee of Public Safety instated a policy of terror, the guillotine began to fall on perceived enemies of the republic at an ever-increasing rate, beginning the period known today as the Reign of Terror. Despite growing discontent with the National Convention as a ruling body, in June the Convention drafted the Constitution of 1793, ratified by popular vote in early August.
However, the Committee of Public Safety was seen as an "emergency" government, the rights guaranteed by the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the new constitution were suspended under its control. The Committee's laws and policies took the revolution to unprecedented heights. After the arrest and execution of Robespierre in July 28, 1794, the Jacobin club was closed, the surviving Girondins were reinstated. A year the National Convention adopted the Constitution of the Year III, they reestablished freedom of worship, began releasing large numbers of prisoners, most initiated elections for a new legislative body. On 3 November 1795, the Directory was established. Under this system, France was led by a bicameral Parliament, consisting of an upper chamber called the Council of Elders and a lower chamber called the Council of Five Hundred, a collective Executive of five members called the Directory. Due to internal instability, caused by hyperinflation of the paper monies called Assignats, French military disasters in 1798 and 1799, the Directory lasted only four years, until overthrown in 1799.
The period known as the French Consulate began with the coup of 18 Brumaire in 1799. Members of the Directory itself planned the coup, indicating the failing power of the Directory. Napoleon Bonaparte was a co-conspirator in the coup, became head of the government as the First Consul, he would proclaim himself Emperor of the French, ending the First French Republic and ushering in the French First Empire. French Republican Calendar French Revolutionary Wars
Montpellier is a city near the south coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Hérault department, it is located in the Occitanie region. In 2016, 607,896 people lived in 281,613 in the city itself. Nearly one third of the population are students from three universities and from three higher education institutions that are outside the university framework in the city. Montpellier is the third-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Nice, it is the 7th-largest city of France, is the fastest-growing city in the country over the past 25 years. In the Early Middle Ages, the nearby episcopal town of Maguelone was the major settlement in the area, but raids by pirates encouraged settlement a little further inland. Montpellier, first mentioned in a document of 985, was founded under a local feudal dynasty, the Guilhem, who combined two hamlets and built a castle and walls around the united settlement; the two surviving towers of the city walls, the Tour des Pins and the Tour de la Babotte, were built around the year 1200.
Montpellier came to prominence in the 12th century—as a trading centre, with trading links across the Mediterranean world, a rich Jewish cultural life that flourished within traditions of tolerance of Muslims and Cathars—and of its Protestants. William VIII of Montpellier gave freedom for all to teach medicine in Montpellier in 1180; the city's faculties of law and medicine were established in 1220 by Cardinal Conrad of Urach, legate of Pope Honorius III. This era marked the high point of Montpellier's prominence; the city became a possession of the Kings of Aragon in 1204 by the marriage of Peter II of Aragon with Marie of Montpellier, given the city and its dependencies as part of her dowry. Montpellier gained a charter in 1204 when Peter and Marie confirmed the city's traditional freedoms and granted the city the right to choose twelve governing consuls annually. Under the Kings of Aragon, Montpellier became a important city, a major economic centre and the primary centre for the spice trade in the Kingdom of France.
It was the second or third most important city of France at that time, with some 40,000 inhabitants before the Black Death. Montpellier remained a possession of the crown of Aragon until it passed to James III of Majorca, who sold the city to the French king Philip VI in 1349, to raise funds for his ongoing struggle with Peter IV of Aragon. In the 14th century, Pope Urban VIII gave Montpellier a new monastery dedicated to Saint Peter, noteworthy for the unusual porch of its chapel, supported by two high, somewhat rocket-like towers. With its importance increasing, the city gained a bishop, who moved from Maguelone in 1536, the huge monastery chapel became a cathedral. In 1432, Jacques Cœur established himself in the city and it became an important economic centre, until 1481 when Marseille overshadowed it in this role. At the time of the Reformation in the 16th century, many of the inhabitants of Montpellier became Protestants and the city became a stronghold of Protestant resistance to the Catholic French crown.
In 1622, King Louis XIII besieged the city which surrendered after a two months siege, afterwards building the Citadel of Montpellier to secure it. Louis XIV made Montpellier capital of Bas Languedoc, the town started to embellish itself, by building the Promenade du Peyrou, the Esplanade and a large number of houses in the historic centre. After the French Revolution, the city became the capital of the much smaller Hérault. During the 19th century the city thrived on the wine culture that it was able to produce due to the abundance of sun throughout the year; the wine consumption in France allowed Montpellier's citizens to become wealthy until in the 1890's a fungal disease had spread amongst the vineyards and the people were no longer able to grow the grapes needed for wine. After this the city had grown because it welcomed immigrants from Algeria and other parts of northern Africa after Algeria's independence from France. In the 21st century Montpellier is between 8th largest city; the city had another influx in population more largely due to the student population, who make up about one-third of Montpellier's population.
The school of medicine is what kickstarted the city's thriving university culture,however many other universities have been well established in the coastal city that has developments such as the Corum and the Antigone that too have been drawing in more and more students. William I of Montpellier William II of Montpellier William III of Montpellier William IV of Montpellier William V of Montpellier William VI of Montpellier William VII of Montpellier William VIII of Montpellier Marie of Montpellier and King Peter II of Aragon James I of Aragon James II of Majorca James III of Majorca The city is situated on hilly ground 10 km inland from the Mediterranean coast, on the River Lez; the name of the city, Monspessulanus, is said to have stood for mont pelé, or le mont de la colline Montpellier is located 170 km from Marseille, 242 km from Toulouse, 748 km from Paris. Montpellier's highest point is the Place du Peyrou, at an altitude of 57 m; the city is built on two hills and Montpelliéret, thus some o
The Consulate was the top level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate refers to this period of French history. During this period, Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul, established himself as the head of a more authoritarian and centralized republican government in France while not declaring himself sole ruler. Due to the long-lasting institutions established during these years, Robert B. Holtman has called the Consulate "one of the most important periods of all French history." Napoleon brought authoritarian personal rule, viewed as military dictatorship. French military disasters in 1798 and 1799 had shaken the Directory, shattered it in November 1799. Historians sometimes date the start of the political downfall of the Directory to the 18 June 1799, when the now only one month in office serving anti-Jacobin Director Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, with the help of the Directory's only surviving original member, the anti-Jacobin Paul Barras rid himself of the other three then-sitting directors.
The March-April 1799 elections to the two councils had produced a new Neo-Jacobin majority in the two bodies, being unhappy with the existing five man Directory, by 5 June 1799, these councils had found an irregularity in the election of the Director Jean Baptiste Treilhard, who thus retired in favor of Louis Jérôme Gohier, a Jacobin more'in tune' with the feelings in the two councils. The next day, 18 June 1799, the anti-Jacobins Philippe-Antoine Merlin and Louis-Marie de La Revellière-Lépeaux were driven to resign, although one long time anti-Jacobin, popularly known for his cunning, survived the day's coup; the three new directors were seen by the anti-Jacobin elite of France as non-entities, a'put-down' if there was one, but that same elite could take some comfort in knowing that the five man Directory was still in anti-Jacobin hands, but with a reduced majority. A few more military disasters, royalist insurrections in the south, Chouan disturbances in a dozen departments of the western part of France, Orléanist intrigues, the end became certain.
In order to soothe the populace and protect the frontier, more than the French Revolution's usual terrorist measures was necessary. The new Directory government, led by the anti-Jacobin Sieyès, decided that the necessary revision of the constitution would require "a head" and "a sword". Jean Victor Moreau being unattainable as his sword, Sieyès favoured Barthélemy Catherine Joubert. Although Guillaume Marie Anne Brune and André Masséna won the Battles of Bergen and of Zürich, although the Allies of the Second Coalition lingered on the frontier as they had done after the Battle of Valmy, still the fortunes of the Directory were not restored. Success was reserved for Bonaparte landing at Fréjus with the prestige of his victories in the East, now, after Hoche's death, appearing as sole master of the armies. In the coup of 18 Brumaire Year VIII, Napoleon seized French parliamentary and military power in a two-fold coup d'état, forcing the sitting directors of the government to resign. On the night of the 19 Brumaire a remnant of the Council of Ancients abolished the Constitution of the Year III, ordained the Consulate, legalised the coup d'état in favour of Bonaparte with the Constitution of the Year VIII.
The initial 18 Brumaire coup seemed to be a victory for Sieyès, rather than for Bonaparte. Sieyès was a proponent of a new system of government for the Republic, the coup seemed certain to bring his system into force. Bonaparte's cleverness lay in counterposing Pierre Claude François Daunou's plan to that of Sieyès, in retaining only those portions of each which could serve his ambition; the new government was composed of three parliamentary assemblies: the Council of State which drafted bills, the Tribunate which could not vote on the bills but instead debated them, the Legislative Assembly, whose members could not discuss the bills but voted on them after reviewing the Tribunate's debate record. The Sénat conservateur was a governmental body equal to the three aforementioned legislative assemblies and verified the draft bills and directly advised the First Consul on the implications of such bills. Ultimate executive authority was vested in three consuls. Popular suffrage was retained, though mutilated by the lists of notables.
The four aforementioned governmental organs were retained under the Constitution of the Year XII, which recognized Napoleon as the French sovereign Emperor, but their respective powers were diminished. Napoleon vetoed Sieyès' original idea of having a single Grand Elector as supreme executive and Head of State. Sieyès had intended to reserve this important position for himself, by denying him the job Napoleon helped reinforce the authority of the consuls, an office which he would assume. Nor was Napoleon content to be part of an equal triumvirate; as the years would progress he would move to consolidate his own power as First Consul, leave the two other consuls, Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès and Charles-François Lebrun, as well as
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars, he won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history, he was born in Corsica to a modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789.
He rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing "sister republics" with local support, becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt, he became First Consul of the Republic. Napoleon's ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July. Napoleon invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808; the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war; the French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted, it resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil; the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power.
Napoleon took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June; the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51. Napoleon's influence on the modern world brought liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, such as the Low Countries and large parts of modern Italy and Germany, he implemented fundamental liberal policies throughout Western Europe. His Napoleonic Code has influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. British historian Andrew Roberts states: "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, so on—were championed, consolidated and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".
The ancestors of Napoleon descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin who had come to Corsica fr
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The 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 will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By 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 French as Parisiens, 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 area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent