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
Bessens is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. Communes of the Tarn-et-Garonne department INSEE
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Martin of Tours
Saint Martin of Tours was the third bishop of Tours. He has become one of the most recognizable Christian saints in Western tradition. A native of Pannonia, he converted to Christianity at a young age, he served in the Roman cavalry in Gaul, but left military service at some point prior to 361, when he embraced Trinitarianism and became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, establishing the monastery at Ligugé. He was consecrated as Bishop of Caesarodunum in 371; as bishop, he was active in the suppression of the remnants of Gallo-Roman religion, but he opposed the violent persecution of the Priscillianist sect of ascetics. His life was recorded by Sulpicius Severus; some of the accounts of his travels may have been interpolated into his vita to validate early sites of his cult. He is best known for the account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter, his shrine in Tours became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
His cult was revived in French nationalism during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1, as a consequence he was seen as a patron saint of France during the French Third Republic. Martin was born in AD 336 in Savaria in the Diocese of Pannonia, his father was a senior officer in the Imperial Horse Guard, a unit of the Roman army stationed at Ticinum, in northern Italy, where Martin grew up. At the age of ten he attended the Christian church against the wishes of his parents and became a catechumen. Christianity had been made a legal religion in the Roman Empire, it had many more adherents in the Eastern Empire, whence it had sprung, was concentrated in cities, brought along the trade routes by converted Jews and Greeks. Christianity was far from accepted amongst the higher echelons of society. Although the conversion of the Emperor Constantine and the subsequent programme of church-building gave a greater impetus to the spread of the religion, it was still a minority faith; as the son of a veteran officer, Martin at fifteen was required to join a cavalry ala.
At the age of 18 around 334 or 354, he was stationed at Samarobriva in Gaul. It is that he joined the Equites catafractarii Ambianenses, a heavy cavalry unit listed in the Notitia Dignitatum; as the unit was stationed at Milan and is recorded at Trier, it is to have been part of the elite cavalry bodyguard of the Emperor, which accompanied him on his travels around the Empire. According to his biographer, Sulpicius Severus, he served in the military for only another two years, though it has been argued that these two years, "are in fact not nearly enough to bring the account to the time when he would leave, that is, during his encounter with Caesar Julian Martin would have been 45 years old when Julian acceded to the throne, at the usual end of a military contract. Jacques Fontaine thinks that the biographer was somewhat embarrassed about referring to long stint in the army." Such scholars as would present Martin Conscripted as the prototype of conscientious objectors hold that Martin would have remained in the army for the entirety of his prescribed twenty-five year term, that, in their opinion, such service need not have obliged him to violate his Christian conscience by shedding blood on the battlefield.
Regardless of whether or not he remained in the army, Sulpicius Severus reports that just before a battle in the Gallic provinces at Borbetomagus, Martin determined that his switch of allegiance to a new commanding officer, along with reticence to receive Julian's pay just as Martin was retiring, prohibited his taking the money and continuing to submit to the authority of the former now, telling him, "I am the soldier of Christ: it is not lawful for me to fight." He was charged with cowardice and jailed, but in response to the charge, he volunteered to go unarmed to the front of the troops. His superiors planned to take him up on the offer, but before they could, the invaders sued for peace, the battle never occurred, Martin was released from military service. Martin declared his vocation, made his way to the city of Caesarodunum, where he became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, a chief proponent of Trinitarian Christianity, he opposed the Arianism of the Imperial Court. When Hilary was forced into exile from Pictavium, Martin returned to Italy.
According to Sulpicius Severus, he converted an Alpine brigand on the way, confronted the Devil himself. Having heard in a dream a summons to revisit his home, Martin crossed the Alps, from Milan went over to Pannonia. There he converted some other persons. While in Illyricum he took sides against the Arians with so much zeal that he was publicly scourged and forced to leave. Returning from Illyria, he was confronted by the Arian archbishop of Milan Auxentius, who expelled him from the city. According to the early sources, Martin decided to seek shelter on the island called Gallinaria, now Isola d'Albenga, in the Ligurian Sea, where he lived the solitary life of a hermit. With the return of Hilary to his see in 361, Martin joined him and established a hermitage nearby, which soon attracted converts and followers; the crypt under the parish chur
Bourg-de-Visa is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. Communes of the Tarn-et-Garonne department INSEE
Bressols is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. Communes of the Tarn-et-Garonne department INSEE
Bioule is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. Communes of the Tarn-et-Garonne department INSEE