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
Panama Canal Zone
The Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated territory of the United States from 1903 to 1979, centered on the Panama Canal and surrounded by the Republic of Panama. The zone consisted of the canal and an area extending five miles on each side of the centerline, excluding Panama City and Colón, which otherwise would have been within the limits of the Zone, its border spanned three of Panama's provinces. When reservoirs were created to assure a steady supply of water for the locks, those lakes were included within the Zone. In 1904, the Isthmian Canal Convention was proclaimed. In it, the Republic of Panama granted to the United States in perpetuity the use and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, operation and protection of the canal. From 1903 to 1979, the territory was controlled by the United States, which had purchased the land from the private and public owners, built the canal and financed its construction; the Canal Zone was abolished as a term of the Torrijos -- Carter Treaties two years earlier.
S.–Panamanian control until it was turned over to Panama in 1999. Proposals for a canal across the Isthmus of Panama date back to 1529, soon after the Spanish conquest. Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón, a lieutenant of conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa, suggested four possible routes, one of which tracks the present-day canal. Saavedra believed. Although King Charles I was enthusiastic and ordered preliminary works started, his officials in Panama soon realized that such an undertaking was beyond the capabilities of 16th-century technology. One official wrote to Charles, "I pledge to Your Majesty that there is not a prince in the world with the power to accomplish this"; the Spanish instead built a road across the isthmus. The road came to be crucial to Spain's economy, as treasure obtained along the Pacific coast of South America was offloaded at Panama City and hauled through the jungle to the Atlantic port of Nombre de Dios, close to present day Colón. Although additional canal building proposals were made throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, they came to naught.
The late 18th and early 19th centuries saw a number of canals built. The success of the Erie Canal in the United States and the collapse of the Spanish Empire in Latin America led to a surge of American interest in building an interoceanic canal. Beginning in 1826, US officials began negotiations with Gran Colombia, hoping to gain a concession for the building of a canal. Jealous of their newly obtained independence and fearing that they would be dominated by an American presence, the president Simón Bolívar and New Granadan officials declined American offers; the new nation was politically unstable, Panama rebelled several times during the 19th century. In 1836 U. S. statesman Charles Biddle reached an agreement with the New Granadan government to replace the old road with an improved one or a railroad, running from Panama City on the Pacific coast to the Chagres River, where a steamship service would allow passengers and freight to continue to Colón. His agreement was repudiated by the Jackson administration.
In 1841, with Panama in rebellion again, British interests secured a right of way over the isthmus from the insurgent regime and occupied Nicaraguan ports that might have served as the Atlantic terminus of a canal. In 1846 the new US envoy to Bogotá, Benjamin Bidlack, was surprised when, soon after his arrival, the New Granadans proposed that the United States be the guarantor of the neutrality of the isthmus; the resulting Mallarino–Bidlack Treaty allowed the United States to intervene militarily to ensure that the interoceanic road would not be disrupted. New Granada hoped that other nations would sign similar treaties, but the one with the United States, ratified by the US Senate in June 1848 after considerable lobbying by New Granada, was the only one; the treaty led the U. S. government to contract for steamship service to Panama from ports on both coasts. When the California Gold Rush began in 1848, traffic through Panama increased, New Granada agreed to allow the Panama Railroad to be constructed by American interests.
This first "transcontinental railroad" opened in 1850. There were riots in Panama City in 1856. US warships landed Marines, who occupied the railroad station and kept the railroad service from being interrupted by the unrest; the United States demanded compensation from New Granada, including a zone 20 miles wide, to be governed by US officials and in which the United States might build any "railway or passageway" it desired. The demand was dropped in the face of resistance by New Granadan officials, who accused the United States of seeking a colony. Through the remainder of the 19th century, the United States landed troops several times to preserve the railway connection. At the same time, it pursued a canal treaty with Colombia. One treaty, signed in 1868, was rejected by the Colombian Senate, which hoped for better terms from the incoming Grant administration. Under this treaty, the canal would have been in the middle of a 20-mile zone, under American management but Colombian sovereignty, the canal would revert to Colombia in 99 years.
The Grant administration did little to pursue a treaty and, in 1878, the concession to build the canal fell to a French firm. The French efforts failed, but with Panama unavailable, the United States considered possible canal sites in Mexico and Nic
French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America in the Guyanas. It borders Brazil to the east and Suriname to the west. Since 1981, when Belize became independent, French Guiana has been the only territory of the mainland Americas, still part of a European country. With a land area of 83,534 km2, French Guiana is the second-largest region of France and the largest outermost region within the European Union, it has a low population density, with only 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre. Half of its 296,711 inhabitants in 2019 lived in the metropolitan area of its capital. 98.9% of the land territory of French Guiana is covered by forests, a large part of, primeval rainforest. The Guiana Amazonian Park, the largest national park in the European Union, covers 41% of French Guiana's territory. Since December 2015 both the region and the department have been ruled by a single assembly within the framework of a new territorial collectivity, the French Guiana Territorial Collectivity.
This assembly, the French Guiana Assembly, has replaced the former regional council and departmental council, which were both disbanded. The French Guiana Assembly is in charge of departmental government, its president is Rodolphe Alexandre. Before European contact, the territory was inhabited by Native Americans, most speaking the Arawak language, of the Arawakan language family; the people identified as Lokono. The first French establishment is recorded in 1503, but France did not establish a durable presence until colonists founded Cayenne in 1643. Guiana was developed as a slave society, where planters imported Africans as enslaved laborers on large sugar and other plantations in such number as to increase the population. Slavery was abolished in the colonies at the time of the French Revolution. Guiana was designated as a French department in 1797. But, after France gave up its territory in North America in 1803, it developed Guiana as a penal colony, establishing a network of camps and penitentiaries along the coast where prisoners from metropolitan France were sentenced to forced labor.
During World War II and the fall of France to German forces, Félix Éboué was one of the first to support General Charles de Gaulle of Free France, as early as June 18, 1940. Guiana rallied Free France in 1943, it abandoned its status as a colony and once again became a French department in 1946. After De Gaulle was elected as president of France, he established the Guiana Space Centre in 1965, it is now operated by Arianespace and the European Space Agency. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several hundred Hmong refugees from Laos immigrated to French Guiana, fleeing displacement after United States involvement in the Vietnam War. In the late 1980s, more than 10,000 Surinamese refugees Maroons, arrived in French Guiana, fleeing the Surinamese Civil War. More French Guiana has received large numbers of Brazilian and Haitian economic migrants. Illegal and ecologically destructive gold mining by Brazilian garimpeiros is a chronic issue in the remote interior rain forest of French Guiana. Integrated in the French central state in the 21st century, Guiana is a part of the European Union, its official currency is the euro.
The region has the highest nominal GDP per capita in South America. A large part of Guiana's economy derives from jobs and businesses associated with the presence of the Guiana Space Centre, now the European Space Agency's primary launch site near the equator; as elsewhere in France, the official language is standard French, but each ethnic community has its own language, of which French Guianese Creole, a French-based creole language, is the most spoken. The region still faces such problems as poor infrastructure, high costs of living, high levels of crime and common social unrest. Guiana is derived from an Amerindian language and means "land of many waters"; the addition of the adjective "French" in most languages other than French is rooted in colonial times, when five such colonies had been named along the coast, subject to differing powers. French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west and Suriname, are still collectively referred to as "the Guianas" and constitute one large landmass known as the Guiana Shield.
French Guiana was inhabited by indigenous people: Kalina, Emerillon, Palikur and Wayana. The French attempted to create a colony there in the 18th century in conjunction with its settlement of some Caribbean islands, such as Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue. Bill Marshall, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Stirling wrote of French Guiana's origins: The first French effort to colonize Guiana, in 1763, failed utterly, as settlers were subject to high mortality given the numerous tropical diseases and harsh climate: all but 2,000 of the initial 12,000 settlers died. During operations as a penal colony beginning in the mid-19th century, France transported 56,000 prisoners to Devil's Island. Fewer than 10% survived their sentence. Île du Diable was the site of a small prison facility, part of a larger penal system by the same name, which consisted of prisons on
Mary Blair Rice, better known by the pen name Blair Niles was an American novelist and travel writer. She was a founding member of the Society of Woman Geographers; the name Blair Niles was adopted in part from the surname of her late second husband, Robert Niles, Jr. Blair Niles was the grand-daughter of Sara Rice Pryor and Roger Pryor, the daughter of Marie Gordon Pryor, her unique namesake, "Mary Blair," is shared with her Aunt, Mary Blair Pryor, her cousin Mary Blair Walker Zimmer, several other women in her lineage. The first wife of oceanographer William Beebe, Niles wrote under the name of Mary Blair Beebe, she lived among indigenous peoples in Mexico, South America, Southeast Asia. In 1923, she published Casual Wanderings in Ecuador. Colombia: Land of Miracles followed in 1924, Peruvian Pageant in 1937. In these books she linked contemporary culture with the past by exploring history and legends, she visited the notorious Devil's Island in 1926 and recorded the life of a prisoner there in her 1928 best selling biography: Condemned to Devil's Island.
The international sensation caused by this book led to prison reforms. Her 1931 book, Strange Brother, was a gay-themed novel set in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance. In 1944, Blair Niles was awarded the Gold medal of the Society of Woman Geographers. Casual Wanderings in Ecuador Colombia: Land Of Miracles Black Haiti: A Biography of Africa's Eldest Daughter Peruvian Pageant, A Journey In Time The James: From Iron Gate to the Sea Passengers to Mexico: The Last Invasion of the America's Martha's Husband: An Informal Portrait of George Washington Condemned to Devil's Island - turned into the 1929 film Condemned Free Strange Brother Maria Paluna Day of the Immense Sun East by Day Works by or about Blair Niles at Internet Archive Works by Blair Niles at LibriVox NILES, Blair Society of Woman Geographers Antiquarian Books Slide, Anthony. Lost Gay Novels: A Reference Guide to Fifty Works from the First Half of the Twentieth Century. Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press. ISBN 1-56023-413-X
The Guna, known as Kuna prior to an orthographic reform in 2010, as Cuna, are an indigenous people of Panama and Colombia. The Congreso General de la Nación Gunadule since 2010 promotes the spelling Guna. In the Kuna language, they call themselves Dule or Tule, meaning "people", the name of the language in Kuna is Dulegaya "people-mouth"; the Guna live in three politically autonomous comarcas or reservations in Panama, in a few small villages in Colombia. There are communities of Kuna people in Panama City, Colón, other cities. Most Gunas live on small islands off the coast of the comarca of Kuna Yala known as the San Blas Islands; the other two Guna comarcas in Panama are Kuna de Madugandí and Kuna de Wargandí. They are Guna speaking people who once occupied the central region of what is now Panama and the neighboring San Blas Islands and still survive in marginal areas. In Guna Yala, each community has its own political organization, led by a saila; the saila is customarily both the religious leader of the community.
Decisions are made in meetings held in the Onmaked Nega, or Ibeorgun Nega, a structure which serves both political and spiritual purposes. In the Onmaked Nega, the saila sings the history and laws of the Guna, as well as administering the day-to-day political and social affairs; the saila is accompanied by one or more voceros who function as interpreters and counselors for the saila. Because the songs and oral history of the Guna are in a higher linguistic register with specialized vocabulary, the saila's recitation will be followed by an explanation and interpretation from one of the voceros in informal Guna language. Guna families are matrilinear and matrilocal, with the groom moving to become part of the bride's family; the groom takes the last name of the bride. Today there are 49 communities in Kuna Yala; the region as a whole is governed by the Guna General Congress, led by three Saila Dummagan. The Guna Swastika flag was adopted after the 1925 rebellion against Panamanian suppression. Horizontal stripes have a proportion of 1:2:1 and the central swastika is an ancestral symbol called Naa Ukuryaa.
According to one explanation, it symbolizes the four sides of the world or the origin from which peoples of the world emerged. Known as the flag of Guna Yala island today, the flag is used for the province of San Blas and as the Kuna ethnic flag; the central stripe, meaning peace and purity, is white on the official flag of the reservation adopted by Guna National Congress, while yellow stripe is used on the ethnic flag. In 1942 the flag was modified with a red ring encompassing the center of the swastika because of Nazi associations; the Guna are famous for their bright molas, a colorful textile art form made with the techniques of appliqué and reverse appliqué. Mola panels are used to make the blouses of the Kuna women's national dress, worn daily by many Guna women. Mola means "clothing" in the Kuna language; the Guna word for a mola blouse is Tulemola, "Kuna people's clothing." The economy of Kuna Yala is based on agriculture and the manufacture of clothing with a long tradition of international trade.
Plantains and fish form the core of the Guna diet, supplemented with imported foods, a few domestic animals, wild game. Coconuts, called ogob in the Kuna language, lobsters skungit are the most important export products. Migrant labor and the sale of molas provide other sources of income; the Guna have a long deep rooted history of mercantilism and a longstanding tradition of selling goods through family owned venues. Most imported goods originate from Colombian, Mexican or Chinese ships and are sold in small retail stores owned by Guna people; the Guna traditionally excise no tax when trading goods and place strong emphasis on economic success. This tradition of trade and self-determination has been credited by many as a chief reason why the Guna have been able to function independently compared to other indigenous groups. Guna communities in Panama City are made up of migrant laborers and small business owners, although many Kuna migrate to Panama City to sell fish and agricultural products produced by their respective communities.
The sale of Mola and other forms of Guna art has become a large part of the Guna peoples economy in recent years and mola vendors can be found in most cities in Panama where they are marketed to both foreigners and Hispano Panamanians. Tourism is now an important part of the economy in the Carti region, abandoned goods from the drug trade provide occasional windfalls; the Gunas were living in what is now Northern Colombia and the Darién Province of Panama at the time of the Spanish invasion, only began to move westward towards what is now Guna Yala due to a conflict with the Spanish and other indigenous groups. Centuries before the conquest, the Gunas arrived in South America as part of a Chibchan migration moving east from Central America. At the time of the Spanish invasion, they were living in the region of Uraba and near the borders of what are now Antioquia and Caldas. Alonso de Ojeda and Vasco Núñez de Balboa explored the coast of Colombia in 1500 and 1501, they spent the most time in the Gulf of Urabá.
In far Eastern Guna Yala, the community of New Caledonia is near the site where Scottish explorers tried, unsuccessfully, to establish a colony in the "New World". The bankruptcy of the e
A canoe is a lightweight narrow vessel pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by one or more seated or kneeling paddlers facing the direction of travel using a single-bladed paddle. In British English, the term "canoe" can refer to a kayak, while canoes are called Canadian canoes to distinguish them from kayaks. Canoes are used for competition and pleasure, such as racing, whitewater and camping, general recreation. Canoeing has been part of the Olympics since 1936; the intended use of the canoe dictates its hull length and construction material. Canoes were dugouts or made of bark on a wood frame, but construction materials evolved to canvas on a wood frame to aluminum. Most modern canoes are made of molded plastic or composites such as fiberglass. Canoes were developed by cultures all over the world, including some designed for use with sails or outriggers; until the mid-1800s the canoe was an important means of transport for exploration and trade, in some places it still is used as such with the addition of an outboard motor.
Where the canoe played a key role in history, such as the northern United States and New Zealand, it remains an important theme in popular culture. The word canoe comes via the Spanish canoa. Constructed between 8200 and 7600 BC, found in the Netherlands, the Pesse canoe may be the oldest known canoe. Excavations in Denmark reveal the use of paddles during the Ertebølle period. Australian Aboriginal people made canoes using a variety of materials, including bark and hollowed out tree trunks; the indigenous people of the Amazon used Hymenaea trees. The Pacific Northwest canoes are a dugouts made of red cedar. Many indigenous peoples of the Americas built bark canoes, they were skinned with birch bark over a light wooden frame, but other types could be used if birch was scarce. At a typical length of 4.3 m and weight of 23 kg, the canoes were light enough to be portaged, yet could carry a lot of cargo in shallow water. Although susceptible to damage from rocks, they are repaired, their performance qualities were soon recognized by early European immigrants, canoes played a key role in the exploration of North America, with Samuel de Champlain canoeing as far as the Georgian Bay in 1615.
René de Bréhant de Galinée a French missionary who explored the Great Lakes in 1669 declared: "The convenience of these canoes is great in these waters, full of cataracts or waterfalls, rapids through which it is impossible to take any boat. When you reach them you load canoe and baggage upon your shoulders and go overland until the navigation is good. American painter and traveler George Catlin wrote that the bark canoe was "the most beautiful and light model of all the water crafts that were invented." Native American groups of the north Pacific coast made dugout canoes in a number of styles for different purposes, from western red-cedar or yellow-cedar, depending on availability. Different styles were required for ocean-going vessels versus river boats, for whale-hunting versus seal-hunting versus salmon-fishing; the Quinault of Washington State built shovel-nose canoes, with double bows, for river travel that could slide over a logjam without portaging. The Kootenai of British Columbia province made sturgeon-nosed canoes from pine bark, designed to be stable in windy conditions on Kootenay Lake.
The first explorer to cross the North American continent, Alexander Mackenzie, used canoes extensively, as did David Thompson and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In the North American fur trade the Hudson's Bay Company's voyageurs used three types of canoe: The rabaska or canot du maître was designed for the long haul from the St. Lawrence River to western Lake Superior, its dimensions were: length 11 m, beam 1.2 to 1.8 m, height about 76 cm. It could carry 60 packs weighing 41 kg, 910 kg of provisions. With a crew of eight or ten, they could make three knots over calm waters. Four to six men could portage it, bottom up. Henry Schoolcraft declared it "altogether one of the most eligible modes of conveyance that can be employed upon the lakes." Archibald McDonald of the Hudson's Bay Company wrote: "I never heard of such a canoe being wrecked, or upset, or swamped... they swam like ducks." The canot du nord, a craft specially made and adapted for speedy travel, was the workhorse of the fur trade transportation system.
About one-half the size of the Montreal canoe, it could carry about 35 packs weighing 41 kg and was manned by four to eight men. It was portaged in the upright position; the express canoe or canot léger, was about 4.6 m long and were used to carry people and news. The birch bark canoe was used in a 6,500-kilometre supply route from Montreal to the Pacific Ocean and the Mackenzie River, continued to be used up to the end of the 19th century. Popular for hauling freight on inland waterways in 19th Century North America were the York boat and the batteau. In 19th-century North America, the birch-on-frame construction technique evolved into the wood-and-canvas canoes made by fastening an external waterproofed canvas shell to planks and ribs by boat builders Old Town Canoe, E. M. White Canoe, Peterborough Canoe Company and at the Chestnut Canoe Company in New Brunswick. Although canoes were once a means of transport, with industrialization they became popular as recreational or sporting watercraft.
Besançon is the capital of the department of Doubs in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. The city is located in the border with Switzerland. Capital of the historic and cultural region of Franche-Comté, Besançon is home to the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional council headquarters, is an important administrative centre in the region, it is the seat of one of the fifteen French ecclesiastical provinces and one of the two divisions of the French Army. In 2016 the city had a population of 116,466, in a metropolitan area of 251,293, the second in the region in terms of population. Established in a meander of the Doubs river, the city was important during the Gallo-Roman era under the name of Vesontio, capital of the Sequani, its geography and specific history turned it into a military stronghold, a garrison city, a political center, a religious capital. Besançon is the historical capital of watchmaking in France; this has led it to become a center for innovative companies in the fields of microtechnology and biomedical engineering.
The University of Franche-Comté, founded in 1423, every year enrolls more than 20,000 students. The greenest city in France, it enjoys a quality of life recognized in Europe. Thanks to its rich historical and cultural heritage and its unique architecture, Besançon has been labeled a "Town of Art and History" since 1986 and its fortifications due to Vauban has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008; the city is first recorded in 58 BC as Vesontio in the Book I of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico. The etymology of Vesontio is uncertain; the most common explanation is that the name is of Celtic origin, derived from wes, meaning'mountain'. During the 4th century, the letter B took the place of the V, the city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion and underwent several transformations to become Besançon in 1243; the city sits within an oxbow of the Doubs River. During the Bronze Age, c.1500 BCE, tribes of Gauls settled the oxbow. From the 1st century BC through the modern era, the town had a significant military importance because the Alps rise abruptly to its immediate south, presenting a significant natural barrier.
The Arar River formed part of the border between the Haedui and their hereditary rivals, the Sequani. According to Strabo, the cause of the conflict was commercial; each tribe claimed the tolls on trade along it. The Sequani controlled access to the Rhine River and had built an oppidum at Vesontio to protect their interests; the Sequani defeated and massacred the Haedui at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the help of the Arverni tribe and the Germanic Suebi tribe under the Germanic king Ariovistus. Julius Caesar, in his commentaries detailing his conquest of Gaul, describes Vesontio, as the largest town of the Sequani, a smaller Gaulic tribe, mentions that a wooden palisade surrounded it. Over the centuries, the name permutated to become Besantio, Bisanz in Middle High German, arrived at the modern French Besançon; the locals retain their ancient heritage referring to themselves as Bisontins. It has been an archbishopric since the 4th century. In 843, the Treaty of Verdun divided up Charlemagne's empire.
Besançon became part of Lotharingia, under the Duke of Burgundy. As part of the Holy Roman Empire since 1034, the city became an archbishopric, was designated the Free Imperial City of Besançon in 1184. In 1157, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa held the Diet of Besançon. There, Cardinal Orlando Bandinelli asserted before the Emperor that the imperial dignity was a papal beneficium, which incurred the wrath of the German princes, he would have fallen on the spot under the battle-axe of his lifelong foe, Otto of Wittelsbach, had Frederick not intervened. The Imperial Chancellor Rainald of Dassel inaugurated a German policy that insisted upon the rights and the power of the German kings, the strengthening of the Church in the German Empire, the lordship of Italy and the humiliation of the Papacy; the Archbishops were elevated to Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1288. The close connection to the Empire is reflected in the city's coat of arms. In 1290, after a century of fighting against the power of the archbishops, the Emperor granted Besançon its independence.
In the 15th century, Besançon came under the influence of the dukes of Burgundy. After the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, the city was in effect a Habsburg fief. In 1519 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, became the Holy Roman Emperor; this made him a francophone imperial city. In 1526 the city obtained the right to mint coins, which it continued to strike until 1673. All coins bore the name of Charles V; when Charles V abdicated in 1555, he gave the Franche-Comté to Philip II, King of Spain. Besançon remained a free imperial city under the protection of the King of Spain. In 1598, Philip II gave the province to his daughter on her marriage to an Austrian archduke, it remained formally a portion of the Empire until its cession at the peace of Westphalia in 1648. Spain regained control of Franche-Comté and the city lost its status as a free city. In 1667, Louis XIV claimed the pr