Seine-Maritime is a department of France in the Normandy region of northern France. It is situated on the northern coast of France, at the mouth of the Seine, includes the cities of Rouen and Le Havre; until 1955 it was named Seine-Inférieure. 1790 - Creation of the Seine-Inférieure department The department was created from part of the old province of Normandy during the French revolution, on 4 March 1790, through the application of a law of 22 December 1789.1815 - Occupation After the victory at Waterloo of the coalition armies, the department was occupied by British forces from June 1815 till November 1818.1843 – Railways and industry In Rouen and Bolbec, the number of textile factories is increasing. Metallurgy and naval construction as well.1851 - A republican department Following the president, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte's 1851 Coup d'état, Seine-Inférieure was one of several departments placed under a state of emergency following fears of significant resistance to the new government. World War II In 1942, during occupation by Nazi Germany, at the channel coast of Seine-Inférieure took place two Allied raids, the Bruneval raid and Dieppe raid.2005 - Inhabitants renamed Previously lacking a demonym, the inhabitants of Seine-Maritime determined, following a public consultation, that they should be known in official documents as "Seinomarins" and "Seinomarines".
The department can be split into three main areas: The Seine valley. The Seine flows through the provincial capital Rouen; the chalk plateau Pays de Caux, with its abrupt coastline. The Norman Pays de Bray, with its hills and bocage landscape; the département was created in 1790 as Seine-Inférieure, one of five departements that replaced the former province of Normandy. In 1800 five arrondissements were created within the département, namely Rouen, Le Havre, Dieppe and Yvetot, although the latter two were disbanded in 1926. On 18 January 1955 the name of the département was changed to Seine-Maritime, in order to provide a more positive-sounding name and in-keeping with changes made in a number of other French departements. In 1843 the railway from Paris reached the region; the département is connected to the adjacent Eure department via the Tancarville and Pont de Normandie bridge crossings of the Seine. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is set in Seine Maritime; the novel La Place by Annie Ernaux takes place in Seine-Maritime and describes events and changes that take place in relation to French society in the 20th century in relation to the rural population.
The first story of the long-running series Valérian and Laureline is set in Seine-Maritime, with the character Laureline originating from the area. Cauchois is the dialect of the Pays de Caux, is one of the most vibrant forms of the Norman language beyond Cotentinais. Cantons of the Seine-Maritime department Communes of the Seine-Maritime department Arrondissements of the Seine-Maritime department General Council website Communes 76 Prefecture website
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Madagascar the Republic of Madagascar, known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; the island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the growing human population and other environmental threats. The first archaeological evidence for human foraging on Madagascar may have occurred as much as 10,000 years ago. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and 550 AD by Austronesian peoples, arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo; these were joined around the 9th century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life.
The Malagasy ethnic group is divided into 18 or more subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting sociopolitical alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles; the monarchy ended in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960. The autonomous state of Madagascar has since undergone four major constitutional periods, termed republics. Since 1992, the nation has been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009, president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred in March 2009 to Andry Rajoelina. Constitutional governance was restored in January 2014, when Hery Rajaonarimampianina was named president following a 2013 election deemed fair and transparent by the international community.
Madagascar is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Madagascar belongs according to the United Nations. Malagasy and French are both official languages of the state; the majority of the population adheres to traditional beliefs, Christianity, or an amalgamation of both. Ecotourism and agriculture, paired with greater investments in education and private enterprise, are key elements of Madagascar's development strategy. Under Ravalomanana, these investments produced substantial economic growth, but the benefits were not evenly spread throughout the population, producing tensions over the increasing cost of living and declining living standards among the poor and some segments of the middle class; as of 2017, the economy has been weakened by the 2009–2013 political crisis, quality of life remains low for the majority of the Malagasy population. In the Malagasy language, the island of Madagascar is called Madagasikara and its people are referred to as Malagasy.
The island's appellation "Madagascar" is not of local origin but rather was popularized in the Middle Ages by Europeans. The name Madageiscar was first recorded in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco Polo as a corrupted transliteration of the name Mogadishu, the Somali port with which Polo had confused the island. On St. Laurence's Day in 1500, Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias landed on the island and named it São Lourenço. Polo's name popularized on Renaissance maps. No single Malagasy-language name predating Madagasikara appears to have been used by the local population to refer to the island, although some communities had their own name for part or all of the land they inhabited. At 592,800 square kilometres, Madagascar is the world's 47th largest country and the fourth-largest island; the country lies between latitudes 12°S and 26°S, longitudes 43°E and 51°E. Neighboring islands include the French territory of Réunion and the country of Mauritius to the east, as well as the state of Comoros and the French territory of Mayotte to the north west.
The nearest mainland state is Mozambique, located to the west. The prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana separated the Madagascar–Antarctica–India landmass from the Africa–South America landmass around 135 million years ago. Madagascar split from India about 88 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve in relative isolation. Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island's remaining tropical lowland forest. To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m above sea level; these central highlands, traditionally the homeland of the Merina people and the location of their historic capital at Antananarivo, are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy hills and patches of the subhumid forests that covered the highland region. To the west of the highlands, the arid terrain slope
Laurent Fabius is a French Socialist politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 17 July 1984 to 20 March 1986. Fabius was 37 years old when he was appointed and is, so far, the youngest prime minister of the Fifth Republic. Fabius was President of the National Assembly from 1988 to 1992, again from 1997 to 2000. Fabius served in the government as Minister of Finance from 2000 to 2002, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016. Fabius was born in the wealthy 16th arrondissement of the son of Louise and André Fabius, he is the younger brother of François Fabius. His parents were from Ashkenazi Jewish families. Fabius was raised a Catholic, he has three sons, David with his partner Ch d'Izarny Gargas and Victor with his spouse Francoise Castro. Fabius's secondary education was at the Lycée Lycée Louis-le-Grand. Fabius was a graduate of institutions that are training grounds for academics, senior civil servants and executives. After his studies, Fabius became an auditor for the Council of State.
A member of the Socialist Party since 1974, Fabius was first elected to the National Assembly in 1978 for the fourth constituency of Seine-Maritime. Fabius gained entry to the circle of François Mitterrand, the leader of the party; when Mitterrand was elected as President of France in 1981, Fabius was nominated as Minister of the Budget. Two years Fabius became Minister of Industry, pursued the policy of "industrial restructuring". In 1984, a government shake up by Mitterrand led Fabius to be appointed as Prime Minister at the age of 37. Fabius advocated a new kind of French socialism. In social policy, a law of December 1984 replaced allowance for orphans with a family support allowance, empowered family allowance funds to aid in recovery of child support when a parent fails to pay; the allowable income for recipients of the young child allowance was increased for families with three or more children. The Fabius Government sought to reduce penalties on families with working mothers by increasing the income ceiling for dual-income families receiving the young child allowance.
A parental education fund was created, which provided for payments to each person who stops work or reduces hours of work as a result of the birth of any child beyond the first two, for which the parent is/are responsible. In 1985, as a means of upholding the rights of homosexuals, the penal code was amended to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of "moral habits" which included sexual orientation. A decree of 17 July 1984 set up an Immigrants' Council, which could be consulted on questions of concern to the immigrant population regarding living conditions, work, employment and training, as well as social and cultural activities. In November 1984, an allowance was introduced if the parent concerned had been employed for two or more years. Known as the "allocation parentale d’education," this allowance provided 1,000 francs per month for parents who decided to take two years of parental leave after the birth of their first child; the "allocation au jeune enfant," introduced in January 1985, was paid to all families at a flat rate for each child from the third month of pregnancy for nine months, regardless of the parents’ income.
Payment was to continue after this period for 8 out of 10 families for a further 32 months on a means-tested basis. In effect, this created a benefit for the first child in lower income families; the government, reduced the daily maternity allowance from 90% to 84% of the basic wage, while the reimbursement rate of so-called "comfort" medicinal products was lowered. In June 1985, a law was passed allowing first offenders who had committed petty crimes to serve sentences of six months or less in public-service jobs. A July 1985 law tripled the amount of aid for victims of crimes. Legislation was introduced that year to restrict the use of preventive detention, ensure that the rights of suspects were better protected. A decree of September 1984 reconstituted the Supreme Council for the Prevention of Occupational Risks, a consultative body representing both sides of industry, to make its function more flexibly, was extended to include crafts. A law of January 1985 extended the scope for associations whose formal objectives include combating racism to institute a civil action where an offence has been committed against an individual by reason of his national or ethnic origin, race or religion.
A special 1985 holiday programme was introduced, directed at young people outside the traditional circuits of organised leisure activities. Provisions were adopted that same year according new rights to families and users of child social assistance as regards information and the association of families and children in decision-making; the right to maternity leave was extended to the father, in the event of the death of the mother in child-birth. The father was entitled to post-natal leave and could claim an allowance under the maternity insurance scheme. In the field of education, much time and effort was spent on improving the system and educational outcomes. Vast sums were provided to improve technical education in schools, with closer ties established between education and industry, a programme was launched to train 25,000 teachers per annum in the use of computers, 100,000 computers were purchased for students to use, 1
Lévis is a city in eastern Quebec, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, opposite Quebec City. A ferry links Old Quebec with Old Lévis, two bridges, the Quebec and the Pierre Laporte, connect western Lévis with Quebec City; the population in July 2017 was 144,147. Its current incarnation was founded on January 1, 2002, as the result of a merger among ten cities, including the older city of Lévis founded in 1861. Lévis is the name of a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality and census division of Quebec, coextensive with the city of Lévis, its geographical code is 25 as a census division, 251 as an RCM-equivalent territory. First Nations people are said to have favoured the Pointe-Lévy area long before French settlement due to its ideal location, at the junction of the St-Lawrence and the Chaudière rivers. Many archeological sites reveal evidence of human occupation for about 10,000 years; some historians theorize that Pointe-Lévy could have been one of the main centres of Native American population development in the Quebec province.
In 1636 28 years after the foundation of Quebec City, The seignory of Lauzon was founded on the eastern part of the actual territory. In the following years, other seignories were founded near the St-Lawrence River. Pointe-Lévy was an agricultural domain in which several land-owners controlled their part of land in a medieval feudal system; the land of the Lauzon seignory remained unoccupied until 1647, when Guillaume Couture became the first European settler installed in front of Quebec City. Couture was at that time, the first Administrator, Chief Magistrate, Captain of the Militia, member of the Sovereign Council and was considered a hero in New France. Couture, was not the first'Seigneur' of the Lauzon Seignory, as the land had been owned by Jean de Lauson. During the Seven Years' War in the summer of 1759, General James Wolfe established a camp in the territory of Pointe-Lévy and laid siege to Quebec City; the siege succeeded and after firing cannons from the hills of Pointe-Lévy for three months and the battle on the Plains of Abraham in front of the walls, Quebec fell to the British.
During this time, Pointe-Lévy served as the main encampment of the British army in the Quebec area. The constant cannon firing between Quebec City and Pointe-Lévy served to repel both French and British ships from advancing further up the St. Lawrence, thus preventing the delivery of reinforcements to other major cities like Montréal. In 1763, Marie-Josephte Corriveau, "la Corriveau", was hanged in Quebec City for murdering her husband with a pitch-fork. In accordance with English practice, her body was displayed in a cage for several weeks in St-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-Lévy. Used for the first time by the British government in North America, this was an unusual punishment reserved for persons found guilty of heinous crimes; this punishment was practised in England since the Middle Ages. From 1854, the railroad appeared in Pointe-Lévy making the city a major transportation centre for commerce and immigration. Being on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, Pointe-Levy could be connected by rail to Ontario and the Maritime Provinces.
Between 1865 and 1872, the British constructed three forts in order to protect the City of Quebec and its surroundings, from the looming threat of an American invasion. Those garrisons never had to serve their intended purpose. One of them, Fort-Chambly, is open to the public; the City of Lévis, named after the successor to Montcalm, the Chevalier de Levis, was erected in 1861. The founder of this new city was Mgr. Joseph-David Déziel. Many municipalities in the territory of present-day Lévis were merged between 1861 and 2002. Many towns were created and the Village of Pointe-Levy became the Village of Lauzon in 1867 and the City of Lauzon in 1910. In the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century, Alphonse Desjardins, pioneered the foundation of the credit union movement and founded the first caisse populaire in Lévis, he began a long process to create what became the Desjardins Group by travelling everywhere in Quebec helping people in other cities to start their own credit union. On 28 June 1985 Canada Post issued "Fort No.1, Point Levis, Que." one of 20 stamps in the "Forts Across Canada Series".
The stamps are perforated 12½ x 13 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited based on the designs by Rolf P. Harder. Lévis covers an area of 444 km2: 48 % farmlands, 36 % forests and 6 % wetlands. In addition to the Saint Lawrence River, the Etchemin and Chaudière rivers run through the city before ending their journey into the Saint Lawrence; the Chaudière River boasts a waterfall with a suspended bridge, which can be accessed from Autoroute 73. Lévis County existed until January 1982 when it was divided into Desjardins Regional County Municipality and Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Regional County Municipality. On January 1, 2002, ten cities were merged by the Quebec provincial government to form the new city of Lévis; the former cities of Lauzon and Saint-David-de-l'Auberivière had been merged to Lévis in 1989. The regional county municipalities of which these cities were a part ceased to exist; the new city was divided into boroughs. Desjardins, Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Ouest and Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Est, which correspond to most of the territory of the former RCMs.
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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