Fixed exchange-rate system
A fixed exchange rate, sometimes called a pegged exchange rate, is a type of exchange rate regime in which a currency's value is fixed against either the value of another single currency, a basket of other currencies, or another measure of value, such as gold. There are risks to using a fixed exchange rate. A fixed exchange rate is used to stabilize the value of a currency by directly fixing its value in a predetermined ratio to a different, more stable, or more internationally prevalent currency to which the value is pegged. In doing so, the exchange rate between the currency and its peg does not change based on market conditions, unlike flexible exchange regime; this makes trade and investments between the two currency areas easier and more predictable and is useful for small economies that borrow in foreign currency and in which external trade forms a large part of their GDP. A fixed exchange-rate system can be used to control the behavior of a currency, such as by limiting rates of inflation.
However, in doing so, the pegged currency is controlled by its reference value. As such, when the reference value rises or falls, it follows that the value of any currencies pegged to it will rise and fall in relation to other currencies and commodities with which the pegged currency can be traded. In other words, a pegged currency is dependent on its reference value to dictate how its current worth is defined at any given time. In addition, according to the Mundell–Fleming model, with perfect capital mobility, a fixed exchange rate prevents a government from using domestic monetary policy to achieve macroeconomic stability. In a fixed exchange-rate system, a country’s central bank uses an open market mechanism and is committed at all times to buy and/or sell its currency at a fixed price in order to maintain its pegged ratio and, the stable value of its currency in relation to the reference to which it is pegged. To maintain a desired exchange rate, the central bank during the devaluation of the domestic money, sells its foreign money in the reserves and buys back the domestic money.
This creates an artificial demand for the domestic money. In case of an undesired appreciation of the domestic money, the central bank buys back the foreign money and thus flushes the domestic money into the market for decreasing the demand and exchange rate; the central bank from its reserves provides the assets and/or the foreign currency or currencies which are needed in order to finance any imbalance of payments. In the 21st century, the currencies associated with large economies do not fix or peg exchange rates to other currencies; the last large economy to use a fixed exchange rate system was the People's Republic of China, which, in July 2005, adopted a more flexible exchange rate system, called a managed exchange rate. The European Exchange Rate Mechanism is used on a temporary basis to establish a final conversion rate against the euro from the local currencies of countries joining the Eurozone; the gold standard or gold exchange standard of fixed exchange rates prevailed from about 1870 to 1914, before which many countries followed bimetallism.
The period between the two world wars was transitory, with the Bretton Woods system emerging as the new fixed exchange rate regime in the aftermath of World War II. It was formed with an intent to rebuild war-ravaged nations after World War II through a series of currency stabilization programs and infrastructure loans; the early 1970's saw the breakdown of the system and its replacement by a mixture of fluctuating and fixed exchange rates. Timeline of the fixed exchange rate system: The earliest establishment of a gold standard was in the United Kingdom in 1821 followed by Australia in 1852 and Canada in 1853. Under this system, the external value of all currencies was denominated in terms of gold with central banks ready to buy and sell unlimited quantities of gold at the fixed price; each central bank maintained gold reserves as their official reserve asset. For example, during the “classical” gold standard period, the U. S. dollar was defined as 0.048 troy oz. of pure gold. Following the Second World War, the Bretton Woods system replaced gold with the U.
S. dollar as the official reserve asset. The regime intended to combine binding legal obligations with multilateral decision-making through the International Monetary Fund; the rules of this system were set forth in the articles of agreement of the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The system was a monetary order intended to govern currency relations among sovereign states, with the 44 member countries required to establish a parity of their national currencies in terms of the U. S. dollar and to maintain exchange rates within 1% of parity by intervening in their foreign exchange markets. The U. S. dollar was the only currency strong enough to meet the rising demands for international currency transactions, so the United States agreed both to link the dollar to gold at the rate of $35 per ounce of gold and to convert dollars into gold at that price. Due to concerns about America's deteriorating payments situation and massive flight of liquid capital from the U.
S. President Richard Nixon suspended the convertibility of the dollar into gold on 15 August 1971. In December 1971, the Smithsonian Agreement paved the way for the increase in the value of the dollar price of gold from US$35.50 to US$38 an ounce. Speculation against the dollar in March 1973 led to the birth of the independent float, thus terminating the Bretton Woods system. Since March 1973, the floating exchange rate has been followed and formally recognize
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
The Senate is the upper house of the French Parliament. Indirectly elected by elected officials, it represents territorial collectivities of the Republic and French citizens living abroad; the Senate enjoys less prominence than the directly elected National Assembly. The Senate is housed inside the Luxembourg Palace in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, it is guarded by Republican Guards. In front of the building lies the Senate's gardens, the Jardin du Luxembourg, open to the public. France's first experience with an upper house was under the Directory from 1795 to 1799, when the Council of Ancients was the upper chamber. There were Senates in both the First and Second Empires, but these were only nominally legislative bodies – technically they were not legislative, but rather advisory bodies on the model of the Roman Senate. With the Restoration in 1814, a new Chamber of Peers was created, on the model of the British House of Lords. At first it contained hereditary peers, but following the July Revolution of 1830, it became a body to which one was appointed for life.
The Second Republic returned to a unicameral system after 1848, but soon after the establishment of the Second French Empire in 1852, a Senate was established as the upper chamber. In the Fourth Republic, the Senate was replaced by the Council of the Republic, but its function was the same. With the new Constitution of the Fifth Republic enforced on 4 October 1958, the older name of Senate was restored. In 2011, the Socialist Party won control of the Senate for the first time since the foundation of the Fifth Republic. In 2014, the centre-right Gaullists and its allies won back the control of the Senate. Under the Constitution of France, the Senate has nearly the same powers as the National Assembly. Bills may be submitted by either house of Parliament; because both houses may amend the bill, it may take several readings to reach an agreement between the National Assembly and the Senate. When the Senate and the National Assembly cannot agree on a bill, the administration can decide, after a procedure called commission mixte paritaire, to give the final decision to the National Assembly, whose majority is on the government's side, but as regarding the constitutionnal laws the administration must have the Senate's agreement.
This does not happen frequently. This power however gives the National Assembly a prominent role in the law-making process since the administration is of the same side as the Assembly, for the Assembly can dismiss the administration through a motion of censure; the power to pass a vote of censure, or vote of no confidence, is limited. As was the case in the Fourth Republic's constitution, new cabinets do not have to receive a vote of confidence. A vote of censure can occur only after 10 percent of the members sign a petition. If the petition gets the required support, a vote of censure must gain an absolute majority of all members, not just those voting. If the Assembly and the Senate have politically distinct majorities, the Assembly will in most cases prevail, open conflict between the two houses is uncommon; the Senate is the representative of the territories and defends the regions and mayors, see the article 24 of the Constitution. The Senate serves to monitor the administration's actions by publishing many reports each year on various topics.
Until September 2004, the Senate had 321 members, each elected to a nine-year term. That month, the term was reduced to six years, while the number of senators progressively increased to 348 in 2011, in order to reflect the country's population growth. Senators were elected in thirds every three years; the President of the Senate is elected by Senators from among their members. The current incumbent is Gérard Larcher; the President of the Senate is, under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, first in the line of succession—in case of death, resignation or removal from office —to the presidency of the French Republic, becoming Acting President of the Republic until a new election can be held. This happened twice for Alain Poher—once at the resignation of Charles de Gaulle and once at the death of Georges Pompidou; the President of the Senate has the right to designate three of the nine members of the Constitutional Council, serving for nine years. Senators are elected indirectly by 150,000 officials, including regional councillors, department councillors, municipal councillors in large communes, as well as members of the National Assembly.
However, 90 % of the electors are delegates appointed by councillors. This system introduces a bias in the composition of the Senate favoring rural areas; as a consequence, while the political majority changes in the National Assembly, the Senate has remained politically right, with one brief exception, since the foundation of the Fifth Republic, much to the displeasure of the Socialists. This has spurred controversy after the 2008 election in which the Socialist Party, despite controlling all but two of France's regions, a majority of departments, as well as communes representing more than 50 % of the population, still failed to achieve a majority in the Senate. The
Guadeloupe is an insular region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Administratively, it is an overseas region consisting of a single overseas department. With a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and an estimated population of 400,132 as of January 2015, it is the largest and most populous European Union territory in North America. Guadeloupe's main islands are Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, the Îles des Saintes. Guadeloupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France; as a constituent territory of the European Union and the Eurozone, the euro is its official currency and any European Union citizen is free to settle and work there indefinitely. As an overseas department, however, it is not part of the Schengen Area; the official language is French, but Antillean Creole is spoken by the entire population except recent arrivals from metropolitan France. The island is called "Gwadada" by the locals.
The island was called "Karukera" by the Arawak people, who settled on there in the year 300. Christopher Columbus named the island Santa María de Guadalupe in 1493 after the Virgin Mary, venerated in the Spanish town of Guadalupe. Upon becoming a French colony, the Spanish name was retained though altered to French orthography and phonology. Archaeological evidence indicates that between 800 and 1000 AD drought led to a period with no habitation. Gradual resettlement occurred after 1000 AD. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493. During the 17th century, the Caribs repelled Spanish settlers; the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique delegated Charles Liènard de l'Olive and Jean du Plessis d'Ossonville to colonize one or any of the region's islands, Martinique, or Dominica. They settled in Guadeloupe in 1635, took possession of the island, wiped out many of the natives crushing them in 1641. Tobacco cultivation in the early 1600s was sustained by European laborers. In 1654 80% of the population of Guadeloupe was of European origin.
In the 1600s African slaves were brought in, by 1671 13%. Of the population was of European origin. Guadeloupe produced more sugar than all the British islands combined, worth about £6 million a year; the British captured Guadeloupe in 1759. Britain had seized Canada in the war, debate took place in both Britain and France as to, more valuable, Canada or Guadeloupe. Britain decided Canada, although expensive to maintain, was of greater strategic value and returned Guadeloupe to France in the Treaty of Paris. In 1790, following the French Revolution, monarchists refused to obey the new laws of equal rights for the free people of color and declared independence in 1791. In 1793, a slave rebellion broke out, which made the upper classes turn to the British and ask them to occupy the island. Britain seized Guadeloupe in April 1794. In December 1794, republican governor Victor Hugues used military force, helped by the slave population, to force the British to surrender. Hugues ended slavery, but in 1802, Napoleon I of France restored it, sending a force to recapture the island.
In 1810 the British again seized the island. In the Treaty of Paris of 1814, Sweden ceded Guadeloupe to France, giving rise to the Guadeloupe Fund; the Treaty of Vienna definitively acknowledged French control of Guadeloupe. In 1848, slavery was abolished. Slaves were replaced by indentured servants imported from India to work in the sugar fields. An earthquake in 1843 caused the La Soufrière volcano to erupt. Guadeloupe lost 12,000 of its 150,000 residents in the cholera epidemic of 1865–66. In 1925, after the trial of Henry Sidambarom French nationality and the vote was granted to Indian citizens. In 1946, the colony of Guadeloupe became an overseas department of France. In 2007 the island communes of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy were detached from Guadeloupe and became two separate French overseas collectivities with their own local administration. In January 2009, labour unions and others known as the Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon went on strike for more pay; the strike lasted 44 days. Tourism suffered during this time and affected the 2010 tourist season as well.
The 2009 French Caribbean general strikes exposed deep ethnic and class tensions and disparities within Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe is an archipelago of more than 12 islands, as well as islets and rocks situated where the northeastern Caribbean Sea meets the western Atlantic Ocean, it is in the Leeward Islands, in the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, an island arc a volcanic arc. Most of the inhabitants live on a pair of islands, Basse-Terre Island and Grande-Terre, which form a butterfly shape, viewed from above, the two wings of which are separated by a narrow sea channel, the Salée River. More than half of Guadeloupe's land surface is on Basse-Terre. Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains. La Grande Soufrière is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, with an elevation of 1,467 metres; the adjacent islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante are under jurisdiction of Guadeloupe. The Lesser Antilles are at the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate.
Many of the islands were formed as a result of the subduction of oceanic crust of the Atlantic Plate under the Caribbean Plate in the Lesser Antilles subduction zone. This process is responsible for volcanic and earthquake activity in the region. Guadeloupe was formed from multiple volcanoes. There is an act
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
Newfoundland is a large Canadian island off the east coast of the North American mainland, the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has 29 percent of the province's land area; the island is separated from the Labrador Peninsula by the Strait of Belle Isle and from Cape Breton Island by the Cabot Strait. It blocks the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary. Newfoundland's nearest neighbour is the French overseas community of Miquelon. With an area of 108,860 square kilometres, Newfoundland is the world's 16th-largest island, Canada's fourth-largest island, the largest Canadian island outside the North; the provincial capital, St. John's, is located on the southeastern coast of the island, it is common to consider all directly neighbouring islands such as New World, Twillingate and Bell Island to be'part of Newfoundland'. By that classification and its associated small islands have a total area of 111,390 square kilometres.
According to 2006 official Census Canada statistics, 57% of responding Newfoundland and Labradorians claim British or Irish ancestry, with 43.2% claiming at least one English parent, 21.5% at least one Irish parent, 7% at least one parent of Scottish origin. Additionally 6.1% claimed at least one parent of French ancestry. The island's total population as of the 2006 census was 479,105. Long settled by indigenous peoples of the Dorset culture, the island was visited by the Icelandic Viking Leif Eriksson in the 11th century, who called the new land "Vinland"; the next European visitors to Newfoundland were Portuguese, Spanish and English migratory fishermen. The island was visited by the Genoese navigator John Cabot, working under contract to King Henry VII of England on his expedition from Bristol in 1497. In 1501, Portuguese explorers Gaspar Corte-Real and his brother Miguel Corte-Real charted part of the coast of Newfoundland in a failed attempt to find the Northwest Passage. On August 5, 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland as England's first overseas colony under Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I of England, thus establishing a forerunner to the much British Empire.
Newfoundland is considered Britain's oldest colony. At the time of English settlement, the Beothuk inhabited the island. L'Anse aux Meadows was a Norse settlement near the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, dated to be 1,000 years old; the site is considered the only undisputed evidence of Pre-Columbian contact between the Old and New Worlds, if the Norse-Inuit contact on Greenland is not counted. Point Rosee, in southwest Newfoundland, was thought to be a second Norse site until excavations in 2015 and 2016 found no evidence of any Norse presence; the island is a location of Vinland, mentioned in the Viking Chronicles, although this has been disputed. The indigenous people on the island at the time of European settlement were the Beothuk, who spoke an Amerindian language of the same name. Immigrants developed a variety of dialects associated with settlement on the island: Newfoundland English, Newfoundland French. In the 19th century, it had a dialect of Irish known as Newfoundland Irish. Scottish Gaelic was spoken on the island during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Codroy Valley area, chiefly by settlers from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
The Gaelic names reflected the association with fishing: in Scottish Gaelic, it was called Eilean a' Trosg, or "Island of the Cod". The Irish Gaelic name Talamh an Éisc means "Land of the Fish"; the first inhabitants of Newfoundland were the Paleo-Eskimo, who have no known link to other groups in Newfoundland history. Little is known about them beyond archeological evidence of early settlements. Evidence of successive cultures have been found; the Late Paleo-Eskimo, or Dorset culture, settled there about 4,000 years ago. They were descendants of migrations of ancient prehistoric peoples across the High Arctic thousands of years ago, after crossing from Siberia via the Bering land bridge; the Dorset abandoned the island prior to the arrival of the Norse. After this period, the Beothuk settled Newfoundland. There is no evidence. Scholars believe that the Beothuk are related to the Innu of Labrador; the tribe was declared "extinct" although people of partial Beothuk descent have been documented. The name Beothuk meant "people" in the Beothuk language, considered to be a member of the Algonquian language family although the lack of sufficient records means that it is not possible to confidently demonstrate such a connection.
The tribe is now said to be extinct, but evidence of its culture is preserved in museum and archaeological records. Shanawdithit, a woman, regarded as the last full-blood Beothuk, died in St. John's in 1829 of tuberculosis. However, Santu Toney, born around 1835 and died in 1910, was a woman of mixed Mi'kmaq and Beothuk descent which means that some Beothuk must have lived on beyond 1829, her father was a mother a Mi ` kmaq, both from Newfoundland. The Beothuk may have assimilated with Innu in Labrador and Mi ` kmaq in Newfoundland. Oral histories suggest potential historical competition and hostility between the B
Constitution of France
The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, replaced that of the Fourth Republic dating from 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in introducing the new constitution and inaugurating the Fifth Republic, while the text was drafted by Michel Debré. Since the constitution has been amended twenty-four times, through 2008; the preamble of the constitution recalls the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789 and establishes France as a secular and democratic country, deriving its sovereignty from the people. It provides for the election of the President and the Parliament, the selection of the Government, the powers of each and the relations between them, it ensures judicial authority and creates a High Court, a Constitutional Council, an Economic and Social Council. It was designed to create a politically strong President, it enables those associated with the European Union. It is unclear; the Constitution sets out methods for its own amendment either by referendum or through a Parliamentary process with Presidential consent.
The normal procedure of constitutional amendment is as follows: the amendment must be adopted in identical terms by both houses of Parliament must be either adopted by a simple majority in a referendum, or by 3/5 of a joint session of both houses of Parliament. However, president Charles de Gaulle bypassed the legislative procedure in 1962 and directly sent a constitutional amendment to a referendum, adopted; this was controversial at the time. Prior to 1971, though executive and judicial decisions had to comply with the general principles of law, there were no such restrictions on legislation, it was assumed that unelected judges and other appointees should not be able to overrule laws voted for by the directly elected French parliament. In 1971, a landmark decision by the Constitutional Council cited the preamble of the Constitution and its references to the principles laid in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen as a reason for rejecting a law that, according to the Council, violated one of these principles.
Since it is assumed that the "constitutional block" includes not only the Constitution, but the other texts referred to in its preamble: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 The preamble of the Constitution of 1946 The Charter for the Environment of 2004Since the possibility of sending laws before the Council has been extended. In practice, the political opposition sends all controversial laws before it. In the Constitution, are written the principles of the French Republic: Social welfare, which means that everybody must be able to access free public services and be helped when needed. Laïcité, which means that the churches are separated from the State and the freedom of religion is protected. Democracy, which means that the Parliament and the Government are elected by the people. Indivisibility, which means that the French people are united in a single Unitary sovereign State with one language, the French language, all people are equal; the Constitution defines in Article 89 the rules for amending itself.
First, a constitutional bill must be approved by both houses of Parliament. The bill must be approved by the Congress, a special joint session of both houses. In 1962, president Charles de Gaulle controversially submitted a bill to a referendum through another procedure defined at article 11 of the Constitution, a procedure which allows the President to hold a referendum without the consent of Parliament – see French presidential election referendum, 1962; this permitted the establishment of a popularly elected presidency, that would otherwise have been vetoed by the Parliament. Article 11 was used for constitutional changes for the second and last time in 1969, but the "No" prevailed, causing Charles de Gaulle to resign from the presidency. On 21 July 2008, Parliament passed constitutional reforms championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy by a margin of two votes; these changes, when finalized, introduced a consecutive two-term limit for the presidency, gave parliament a veto over some presidential appointments, ended government control over parliament's committee system, allowed parliament to set its own agenda, allowed the president to address parliament in-session, ended the president's right of collective pardon.
France has had numerous past constitutions. The Kingdom of France, under the Ancien Régime, was an absolute monarchy and lacked a formal constitution. Albeit, some rules were above the king: les lois fondamentales du Royaume; these rules were about the inheritance of the Crown. The king shall be the first born male catholic heir. In any case, women weren't allowed to inherite the Crown since the Treaty of Troyes. Parlement of Paris was the body. For instance Louis XIV tried by his testament to change the inheritance order; the Parlement of Paris annulled it. The Revolution