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. There are 96 departments in metropolitan France and 5 overseas departments, each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, they were called general councils, the departments were created in 1791 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity, the title department is used to mean a part of a larger whole. Almost all of them were named after geographical features rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of dArgenson and they have inspired similar divisions in many countries, some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a number, the Official Geographical Code. Some overseas departments have a three-digit number, the number is used, for example, in the postal code, and was until recently used for all vehicle registration plates.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as the 45 and this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René dArgenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration, before the French Revolution, France gained territory gradually 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, partly in order to weaken old loyalties. Their boundaries served two purposes, Boundaries were chosen to break up Frances historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences, Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a days ride of the capital of the department. This was a security measure, intended to keep the national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of rural areas far from any centre of government.
The old nomenclature was carefully avoided in naming the new departments, most were named after an areas principal river or other physical features. Even Paris was in the department of Seine, the number of departments, initially 83, was increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleons defeats in 1814-1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size, 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, the 89 departments were given numbers based on their alphabetical order. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following Frances defeat in the Franco-Prussian War
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established.
The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. 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, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity.
In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, 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 member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
Aigues-Mortes is a French commune in the Gard department in the Occitanie region of southern France. The medieval city walls surrounding the city are well preserved, the inhabitants of the commune are known as Aigues-Mortais or Aigues-Mortaises. Aigues-Mortes is located in the Petite Camargue some 90 km northwest of Marseilles, by road, Aigues-Mortes is about 33 km southwest of Nîmes, and 20 km east of Montpellier in a direct line. Access to the commune is by route D979 coming south from Saint-Laurent-dAigouze to Aigues-Mortes town, route D979 continues southwest through the commune to Le Grau-du-Roi. Route D62 starts from Aigues-Mortes heading southwest parallel to D979 before turning eastwards, route D62A continues to Plan dEau du Vidourie. The commune is composed of a portion of the wet plains and it is separated from the Gulf of Lions by the town of Le Grau-du-Roi, however Aigues-Mortes is connected to the sea through the Canal du Rhône à Sète. There is only one other hamlet in the commune called Mas de Jarras Listel on the western border, a rail branch line from Nîmes passes through Aigues-Mortes from north-east to south-west, with a station in the town of Aigues-Mortes, to its terminus on the coast at Le-Grau-du-Roi.
This line transports sea salt, the communes of Saint-Laurent-dAigouze and Le Grau-du-Roi are adjacent to the town of Aigues-Mortes. Its inhabitants are called Aigues-Mortais or Aigues-Mortise, in Occitan they are aigamortencs, Aigues-Mortes is one of 79 member communes of the Schéma de cohérence territoriale of South Gard and is one of 34 communes in the Pays Vidourle-Camargue. Aigues-Mortes is one of the four communes of the Loi littoral of SCoT in the South of Gard, attested in the Latinized form Aquae Mortuae in 1248. The name comes from the Occitan Aigas Mortas meaning dead water, or stagnant water equivalent to toponymic types in the Morteau Oil dialect cf. Morteau, mortua Aqua and Morteaue, mortua Aqua. The name comes from the Aigues-Mortes marshes and ponds that stretch around the village, Grau comes from the Occitan grau meaning pond with extension. Grau du Roy in French means pond of the King, the foundation of the city is said to have been by Gaius Marius, around 102BC but there is no documentary evidence to support this.
A Roman by the name of Peccius fitted out the first salt marsh, salt mining started from the Neolithic period and was continued in the Hellenistic period, but the ancient uses of saline have not resulted in any major archaeological discovery. It is likely any remains were destroyed by modern saline facilities. In 791, Charlemagne erected the Matafère tower amid the swamps for the safety of fishermen and salt workers. Some argue that the signaling and transmission of news was not foreign to the building of tower which was designed to give warning in case of arrival of a fleet. This monastery still existed in 812, as confirmed by an act of endowment made by the Badila from Nîmes at the abbey
Aramon is a commune in the Gard department in southern France near of Avignon. It was the birthplace of Henri Pitot, hydraulic engineer and the inventor of the Pitot tube, at Aramon, there is a thermal power station consisting of 2 units a 700 MW. The chimney of the facility is 252 metres high, the highest in Europe, communes of the Gard department INSEE