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
Communes of the Aube department
The following is a list of the 431 communes of the Aube department of France. Communauté d'agglomération Troyenne, created in 2000
Arrelles is a commune in the Aube department in the Grand Est region of northern-central France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arrellois or Arrelloises Arrelles is located some 25 km south-east of Troyes and 15 km east of Chaource. Access to the commune is by the D36 road from Lantages in the north-west passing through the village and continuing east to Polisy. There is the D32 road from the village to Avirey-Lingey in the south and the D84 from the village south-west to Balnot-la-Grange. East of the village is forested and there are forests in the south-west with the rest of the commune farmland; the Sarce river flows through the centre of the commune and the village from south to north north-east forming the border of the commune and continuing north to join the Seine at Virey-sous-Bar. List of Successive Mayors The Church of Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens was rebuilt in 1825 based on a plan with a square choir from the 12th century and a double transept from the 16th century; the nave and bell tower porch are from the 19th century.
There are many items in the church which are registered as historical objects: Communes of the Aube department Arrelles on the National Geographic Institute website Arrelles on Lion1906 Arrelles on Google Maps Arrelles on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Arelles on the 1750 Cassini Map Arrelles on the INSEE website INSEE
Avant-lès-Marcilly is a commune in the Aube department in the Grand Est region of north-central France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Avantes. Avant-lès-Marcilly is located 32 km south-east of Provins. Access to the commune is by road D54 from Nogent-sur-Seine in the north-west which passes through the centre of the commune and the village and continues south-east to Marcilly-le-Hayer; the D52 come from Soligny-les-Étangs in the west and passes through the village continuing to Ferreux-Quincey in the north-east. The D23 branches from the D54 in the south of the commune and goes to Saint-Lupien in the south-east. Apart from the village there are the hamlets of Les Ormeaux, Le Mesnil, Tremblay. There are some forests in the east of the commune but the rest is farmland; the Ru du Gué de l'Éspine rises near the village and flows west to join the Orvin at Soligny-les-Etangs. The origins of the commune can be dated back to about the time of construction of the church in the 12th and 13th centuries.
There are gravestones with the oldest dating to the 13th century. This fief belonged to Angenoust at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century and was under Nogent-sur-Seine. Many older historic remains are still visible in the area such as dolmens. List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 499 inhabitants; the evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 The commune has one site, registered as an historical monument: A Menhir called the Pierre-au-Coq Other points of interestThe Marguerite Stone The Grooves of Côte des Ormeaux The Commonwealth War Cemetery The Church of the Assumption. Avant-lès-Marcilly was a former seat for a priest under the conferment of the Bishop of Troyes.
The church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. It was started on the western side in the 12th century; the bell tower and the west portal are novel. The Romanesque nave was rebuilt in the 18th century; the eastern part of the church is early gothic. The Church contains many items that are registered as historical objects: Jean Grosjean, man of letters. Communes of the Aube department Avant-lès-Marcilly official website Avant-lès-Marcilly on the old IGN website Ceremonies on 14 July 2013 for Jean-Louis Marcilly, Mayor of the village from 2008 to 2014 Avant-lès-Marcilly on Lion1906 Avant-lès-Marcilly on Google Maps Avant-lès-Marcilly on Géoportail, National Geographic Institute website Avant on the 1750 Cassini Map Avant-lès-Marcilly on the INSEE website INSEE
Balnot-sur-Laignes is a French commune in the Aube department in the Grand Est region of north-central France. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Balnotières; the commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom. Balnot-sur-Laignes is located 10 km south of Bar-sur-Seine. Access to the commune is by the D452 road from Polisy in the north which passes down the eastern side of the commune just east of the village and continues south to Les Riceys; the D26 comes from Neuville-sur-Seine in the east and passes through the village continuing south-west to Bagneux-la-Fosse. The D184 from Avirey-Lingey passes through the western arm of the commune going north-west to join the D36; the commune is farmland in the west with a belt of dense forest through the centre. The Laignes river forms the eastern border of the commune as it flows north to join the Seine at Polisy. During the French revolution the commune, called Balnot-le-Châtel, changed its name to Balnot-sur-Laignes.
List of Successive Mayors In 2010 the commune had 159 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year. Population change Sources: Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 A War Memorial for French Pacifists with the inscription "Maudite soit la guerre"; the Parish Church contains many items that are registered as historical monuments: Communes of the Aube department Balnot-sur-Laignes on the old National Geographic Institute website Balnot-sur-Laignes on Lion1906 Balnot le Châtel on the 1750 Cassini Map Balnot-sur-Laignes on the INSEE website INSEE
Regions of France
France is divided into 18 administrative regions, which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 13 metropolitan regions are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are referred to as "overseas departments"; the current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status; the term région was created by the Law of Decentralisation, which gave regions their legal status. The first direct elections for regional representatives took place on 16 March 1986. In 2016, the number of regions was reduced from 27 to 18 through mergers. In 2014, the French parliament passed a law reducing the number of metropolitan regions from 22 to 13 effective 1 January 2016.
The law gave interim names for most of the new regions by combining the names of the former regions, e.g. the region composed of Aquitaine, Poitou-Charentes and Limousin was temporarily called Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes. However, the combined region of Upper and Lower Normandy is called "Normandy". Permanent names were proposed by the new regional councils by 1 July 2016 and new names confirmed by the Conseil d'État by 30 September 2016; the legislation defining the new regions allowed the Centre region to change its name to "Centre-Val de Loire" with effect from January 2015. Two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, opted to retain their interim names. Between 1982 and 2015, there were 22 regions in Metropolitan France. Before 2011, there were four overseas regions. Regions therefore can not write their own statutory law, they levy their own taxes and, in return, receive a decreasing part of their budget from the central government, which gives them a portion of the taxes it levies.
They have considerable budgets managed by a regional council made up of representatives voted into office in regional elections. A region's primary responsibility is to furnish high schools. In March 2004, the French central government unveiled a controversial plan to transfer regulation of certain categories of non-teaching school staff to the regional authorities. Critics of this plan contended that tax revenue was insufficient to pay for the resulting costs, that such measures would increase regional inequalities. In addition, regions have considerable discretionary power over infrastructural spending, e.g. education, public transit and research, assistance to business owners. This has meant that the heads of wealthy regions such as Île-de-France or Rhône-Alpes can be high-profile positions. Proposals to give regions limited legislative autonomy have met with considerable resistance. Number of regions controlled by each coalition since 1986. Overseas region is a recent designation, given to the overseas departments that have similar powers to those of the regions of metropolitan France.
As integral parts of the French Republic, they are represented in the National Assembly and Economic and Social Council, elect a Member of the European Parliament and use the euro as their currency. Although these territories have had these political powers since 1982, when France's decentralisation policy dictated that they be given elected regional councils along with other regional powers, the designation overseas regions dates only to the 2003 constitutional change; the following have overseas region status: in the Indian Ocean Mayotte Réunion in the Americas French Guiana in South America Guadeloupe in the Antilles Martinique in the Antilles Saint Pierre and Miquelon, once an overseas department, was demoted to a territorial collectivity in 1985. Ranked list of French regions Administrative divisions of France List of French regions and overseas collectivities by GDP List of regions of France by population Flags of the regions of France ISO 3166-2:FRGeneral: Decentralisation in France Budget of France Regional councils of France Administrative divisions of FranceOverseasOutremer Overseas collectivity Overseas department Overseas departments and territories of France Regions of France at Curlie Guide to the regions of France Local websites by region Will 2010 regional elections lead to political shake-up?
Radio France Internationale in EnglishOverseas regionsMinistère de l'Outre-Mer some explanations about the past and current developments of DOMs and TOMs