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
The Vosges are a range of low mountains in eastern France, near its border with Germany. Together with the Palatine Forest to the north on the German side of the border, they form a single geomorphological unit and low mountain range of around 8,000 km2 in area, it runs in a north-northeast direction from the Burgundian Gate to the Börrstadt Basin, forms the western boundary of the Upper Rhine Plain. The Grand Ballon is the highest peak at 1,424 m, followed by the Storkenkopf, the Hohneck. Geographically, the Vosges Mountains are wholly in France, far above the Col de Saverne separating them from the Palatinate Forest in Germany; the latter area logically continues the same Vosges geologic structure but traditionally receives this different name for historical and political reasons. From 1871 to 1918 the Vosges marked for the most part the border between Germany and France, due to the Franco-Prussian War; the elongated massif is divided south to north into three sections: The Higher Vosges or High Vosges, extending in the southern part of the range from Belfort to the river valley of the Bruche.
The rounded summits of the Hautes Vosges are called ballons in French "balloons". The sandstone Vosges or Middle Vosges, between the Permian Basin of Saint-Die including the Devonian-Dinantian volcanic massif of Schirmeck-Moyenmoutier and the Col de Saverne The Lower Vosges or Low Vosges, a sandstone plateau ranging from 1,000 feet to 1,850 feet high, between the Col de Saverne and the source of the Lauter. In addition, the term "Central Vosges" is used to designate the various lines of summits those above 1,000 m in elevation; the French department of Vosges is named after the range. From a geological point of view, a graben at the beginning of the Paleogene period caused the formation of Alsace and the uplift of the plates of the Vosges, in eastern France, those in the Black Forest, in Germany. From a scientific view, the Vosges Mountains are not mountains as such, but rather the western edge of the unfinished Alsatian graben, stretching continuously as part of the larger Tertiary formations.
Erosive glacial action was the primary catalyst for development of the representative highland massif feature. The Vosges in their southern and central parts are called the Hautes Vosges; these consist of a large Carboniferous mountain eroded just before the Permian Period with gneiss, porphyritic masses or other volcanic intrusions. In the north and west, there are places less eroded by glaciers, here Vosges Triassic and Permian red sandstone remains are found in large beds; the grès vosgien are embedded sometimes up to more than 500 m in thickness. The Lower Vosges in the north are dislocated plates of various sandstones, ranging from 300 to 600 m high; the Vosges is similar to the corresponding range of the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine: both lie within the same degrees of latitude, have similar geological formations, are characterized by forests on their lower slopes, above which are open pastures and rounded summits of a rather uniform altitude. Both areas exhibit steeper slopes towards the Rhine River and a more gradual descent on the other side.
This occurs because both the Vosges and the Black Forest were formed by isostatic uplift, in a response to the opening of the Rhine Graben. The Rhine Graben is a major extensional basin; when such basins form, the thinning of the crust causes uplift adjacent to the basin. The amount of uplift decreases with distance from the basin, causing the highest range of peaks to be adjacent to the basin, the lower mountains to stretch away from the basin; the highest points are in the Hautes Vosges: the Grand Ballon, in ancient times called Ballon de Guebwiller or Ballon de Murbach, rises to 1,424 m. The Col de Saales, between the Higher and Central Vosges, reaches nearly 579 m, both lower and narrower than the Higher Vosges, with Mont Donon at 1,008 m being the highest point of this Nordic section; the highest mountains and peaks of the Vosges are: Grand Ballon 1,424 m Storkenkopf 1,366 m Hohneck 1,363 m Kastelberg 1,350 m Klintzkopf 1,330 m Rothenbachkopf 1,316 m Lauchenkopf 1,314 m Batteriekopf 1,311 m Haut de Falimont 1,306 m Gazon du Faing 1,306 m Rainkopf 1,305 m Gazon du Faîte 1,303 m Ringbuhl 1,302 m Soultzereneck 1,302 m Le Tanet 1,292 m Petit Ballon 1,272 m Ballon d'Alsace 1,247 m Brézouard 1,229 m Ballon de Servance 1,216 m Drumont 1,200 m Planche des Belles Filles 1,148 m Molkenrain 1,123 m Champ du Feu 1,099 m Baerenkopf 1,074 m Rocher de Mutzig 1,010 m Donon 1,009 m Taennchel 992 m Climont 965 m Hartmannswillerkopf 956 m Chatte Pendue 902 m Ungersberg 901 m Tête du Coq
Duchy of Lorraine
The Duchy of Lorraine Upper Lorraine, was a duchy now included in the larger present-day region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Its capital was Nancy, it was founded in 959 following the division of Lotharingia into two separate duchies: Upper and Lower Lorraine, the westernmost parts of the Holy Roman Empire. The Lower duchy was dismantled, while Upper Lorraine came to be known as the Duchy of Lorraine; the Duchy of Lorraine was coveted and occupied by the Dukes of Burgundy and the Kings of France. In 1737, the Duchy was given to Stanisław Leszczyński, the former king of Poland, who had lost his throne as a result of the War of the Polish Succession, with the understanding that it would fall to the French crown on his death; when Stanisław died on 23 February 1766, Lorraine was annexed by France and reorganized as a province. Lorraine's predecessor, was an independent Carolingian kingdom under the rule of King Lothair II, its territory had been a part of Middle Francia, created in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun, when the Carolingian empire was divided between the three sons of Louis the Pious.
Middle Francia was allotted to Emperor Lothair I, therefore called Lotharii Regnum. On his death in 855, it was further divided into three parts, of which his son Lothair II took the northern one, his realm comprised a larger territory stretching from the County of Burgundy in the south to the North Sea. In French, this area became known as Lorraine, while in German, it was known as Lothringen. In the Alemannic language once spoken in Lorraine, the -ingen suffix signified a property; as Lothair II had died without heirs, his territory was divided by the 870 Treaty of Meerssen between East and West Francia and came under East Frankish rule as a whole by the 880 Treaty of Ribemont. After the East Frankish Carolingians became extinct with the death of Louis the Child in 911, Lotharingia once again attached itself to West Francia, but was conquered by the German king Henry the Fowler in 925. Stuck in the conflict with his rival Hugh the Great, in 942 King Louis IV of France renounced all claims to Lotharingia.
In 953, the German king Otto. In 959, Bruno divided the duchy into Lower Lorraine; the Upper Duchy was further "up" the river system. Upper Lorraine was first denominated as the Duchy of the Moselle, both in charters and narrative sources, its duke was the dux Mosellanorum; the usage of Lotharingia Superioris and Lorraine in official documents begins around the fifteenth century. The first duke and deputy of Bruno was Frederick I of Bar, son-in-law of Bruno's sister Hedwig of Saxony. Lower Lorraine disintegrated into several smaller territories and only the title of a "Duke of Lothier" remained, held by Brabant. After the duchy of the Moselle came into the possession of René of Anjou, the name "Duchy of Lorraine" was adopted again, only retrospectively called "Upper Lorraine". At that time, several territories had split off, such as the County of Luxembourg, the Electorate of Trier, the County of Bar and the "Three Bishoprics" of Verdun and Toul; the border between the Empire and the Kingdom of France remained stable throughout the Middle Ages.
In 1301, Count Henry III of Bar had to receive the western part of his lands as a fief by King Philip IV of France. In 1475, the Burgundian duke Charles the Bold campaigned for the Duchy of Lorraine, but was defeated and killed at the 1477 Battle of Nancy. In the 1552 Treaty of Chambord, a number of insurgent Protestant Imperial princes around Elector Maurice of Saxony ceded the Three Bishoprics to King Henry II of France in turn for his support. Due to the weakening of Imperial authority during the 1618-1648 Thirty Years' War, France was able to occupy the duchy in 1634 and retained it until 1661 when Charles IV was restored. In 1670, the French invaded again. France returned the Duchy in the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick ending the Nine Years' War and Charles' son Leopold, became duke and was known as'Leopold the Good. In 1737, after the War of the Polish Succession, an agreement between France, the Habsburgs and the Lorraine House of Vaudémont assigned the Duchy to Stanisław Leszczyński, former king of Poland.
He was father-in-law to King Louis XV of France, who lost out to a candidate backed by Russia and Austria in the War of the Polish Succession. The Lorraine duke Francis Stephen, betrothed to the Emperor's daughter Archduchess Maria Theresa, was compensated with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, where the last Medici ruler had died without issue. France promised to support Maria Theresa as heir to the Habsburg possessions under the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. Leszczyński received Lorraine with the understanding that it would fall to the French crown on his death; the title of Duke of Lorraine was of course given to Stanisław, but retained by Francis Stephen, it figures prominently in the titles of his successors, the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. When Stanisław died on 23 February 1766, Lorraine was annexed by France and reorganized as a province by the French government. Two regional languages survive in the re
Lièpvre is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. A monastery was built here in the eighth century by Saint Fulrad, who filled it with relics of Saint Cucuphas and Saint Alexander; the municipality is nestled in the Liepvrette river valley as the river descends from the main chain of the Vosges into the Col des Bagenelles, a mountain pass in the Vosges. The Liepvrette River runs northeast through Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines before reaching Lièpvre. Below Lièpvre, the river runs between the ruins of Frankenbourg castle in the north and the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg in the south across the municipality of Scherwiller; the Liepvrette joins the Giessen River, which flows from the Val de Villé, before emptying into the River Ill Sélestat. The municipality of Lièpvre is bordered by several summits in the Vosges: Brézouard and High-Koenigsbourg to the south; the Altenberg chain separates the Valley of Lièpvre from the Val de Villé. A road built in 1905 allowed access to 2 km from Lièpvre.
This road leads to the hamlet of Hingrie situated 7 km onto the Col de Fouchy. The village of Liepvre owes its name to the Liepvrette River and its origin to the priory of Lièpvre. Lièpvre sits 275 meters above sea level. In 1445 the hamlet of Musloch, between Lièpvre and Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, was the refuge for farmers of the Valley of Lièpvre who surprised and defeated the Armagnacs near the Rocher des Violons after the Armagnacs invaded Lorraine. Musloch, named after a fifteenth-century mine, was called Museloch in 1517 and Mauslauch in 1782. A mine called St. Anne was opened there in 1545, but was abandoned in 1750 because the cost of exploitation was too high. Musloch was an established hamlet of about thirteen families by the time. A monk named Bobolinus settled near Lièpvre where he built a hermitage named Bobolinocella by 774; this hermitage named for Bobolinocella is mentioned in a document from Charlemagne in 774. A convent was established in Echéry by a monk named Gorze Blidulphe during the tenth century.
The monks were able to develop the priory due to the silver mines they discovered, which became celebrated in the region and in Lorraine. Lièpvre is a large village situated on the Lièpvrette; the village was founded by Fulrad, a future abbot of Saint Denis, whose parents had extensive possessions in Alsace. People from opposite sides of the Rhine met with each other in the valley of Lièpvre. Fulrad was a Carolingian supporter and built a convent in this location as a way to access other side of the border. Fulrad was very close to benefactors of Wissembourg's abbey, which included Fulrad's brother, Boniface. Fulrad had two brothers and Boniface, a sister named Waldrade. In 770 Fulrad began construction of a priory in Lièpvre's primitive name; the priory was named Leberaha. The monks began to cultivate lands in the valley after the founding of the priory. In 774, Charlemagne approved Lièpvre's founding in a diploma sent from Duren and assures him at the same time of several other properties situated in the royal domain of Kintzheim's with good lands for farming and hunting.
The first road into the valley was constructed in 750 after Fulrad received a license to construct it from Pepin the Short. This road was constructed by serfs from the Saint-Dié region of the Valley of Galilée; this road passed through Lièpvre into the plain of Alsace. The road no longer exists today, was reeplaced in 1761 by another road that passed through to Col de Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines. In 770 Fulrad began the construction of a priory named Fulradocella; the construction of the priory took eight years. During the first year of his reign, on January 13, 769, Charlemagne donated Saint-Dié's convent to Fulrad. Thirty kilometers of Lièpvre's territory was taken by the royal treasury of King Childéric II from the mayor Wulfoald. Wulfoald was plotting against Pepin the Short. Wulfoald was condemned to death. In return, Wulfoald gave King Childéric II his possessions, which included the Saint Mihiel abbey in the diocese of Verdun. On September 14, 774, Charlemagne granted properties in the royal domain of Kintzheim to Fulrad.
In 781 Charlemagne granted a vast area of forests from Kintzheim to the abbey of Saint Denis, as well as the tithes of Lièpvre's nearby lands. He named the convent for Saint Alexander and Saint Cucuphas. Saint Alexander's relics were first transported to Paris transferred to Lièpvre. In year 835 the relics of Saint Alexander and Saint Cucufat were transferred to the abbey of Saint-Denis under Hilduin's abbatiate. Cucuphas's relics were brought back from Spain between 777 and 778, when Sulaiman Ibn-Al Arabi governed the region of Barcelona. Sulaiman submitted to Pippin the Short between 756-753 to send Cucuphas's bones away from Spain to avoid the Moslems; the bones were given to Fulrad. The church was continued until the fifteenth century. In 750 Fulrad began alteration works on the abbey Merovingian; these works began after Pepin the Short's death in 771. On February 24 775 Fulrad dedicated the church reconstruction of Saint Denis to Charlemagne. Fulrad was based at other convents during the reconstruction, the most notable of which were Salonne near Castle Salt
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
Alsatian is a Low Alemannic German dialect spoken in most of Alsace, a disputed region in eastern France that has passed between French and German control five times since 1681. A dialect of Alsatian German is spoken in the United States by the so-called Swiss Amish, whose ancestors emigrated there in the middle of the 19th century; the 7,000 speakers are located in Allen County, with "daughter settlements" elsewhere. Alsatian is related to other nearby Alemannic dialects, such as Swiss German and Markgräflerisch as well as Kaiserstühlerisch, it is confused with Lorraine Franconian, a more distantly related Franconian dialect spoken in the northwest corner of Alsace and in neighbouring Lorraine. Like other dialects and languages, Alsatian has been influenced by outside sources. Words of Yiddish origin can be found in Alsatian, modern conversational Alsatian includes adaptations of French words and English words concerning new technologies. Many speakers of Alsatian could, write in reasonable standard German.
For most this would be rare and confined to those who have learned German through work. As with other dialects, various factors determine when and with whom one might converse in Alsatian; some dialect speakers are unwilling to speak standard German, at times, to certain outsiders and prefer to use French. In contrast, many people living near the border with Basel, will speak their dialect with a Swiss person from that area, as they are mutually intelligible for the most part; some street names in Alsace may use Alsatian spellings. C, Q, X are only used in loanwords. Y is used in native words such as Dytschi, but is more common in loanwords. Alsatian has a set of 19 consonants: Three consonants are restricted in their distribution: /kʰ/ and /h/ only occur at the beginning of a word or morpheme, only if followed by a vowel. Alsatian, like some German dialects, has lenited all obstruents but, its lenes are, voiceless as in all Southern German varieties. Therefore, they are here transcribed /b̥/, /d̥/, /ɡ̊/.
The phoneme /ç/ has a velar allophone after back vowels, palatal elsewhere. In southern dialects, there is a tendency to pronounce it /x/ in all positions, in Strasbourg the palatal allophone tends to conflate with the phoneme /ʃ/. Short vowels: /ʊ/, /o/, /ɒ/, /a/, /ɛ/, /ɪ/, /i/, /y/. Long vowels: /ʊː/, /oː/, /ɒː/, /aː/, /ɛː/, /eː/, /iː/, /yː/ Since 1992, the constitution of the Fifth Republic states that French is the official language of the Republic. However, along with other regional languages, is recognized by the French government in the official list of languages of France. France is a signatory to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages but has never ratified the law and has not given regional languages the support that would be required by the charter; the policies of the Paris government have had the deliberate effect of weakening the prevalence of native languages in France that are not "French." As a result, the Alsatian dialect of German has gone from being the prevalent language of the region to one in decline.
A 1999 INSEE survey counted 548,000 adult speakers of Alsatian in France, making it the second most-spoken regional language in the country. Like all regional languages in France, the transmission of Alsatian is declining. While 43% of the adult population of Alsace speaks Alsatian, its use has been declining amongst the youngest generations. Adolphe Stoeber François Héran, et al. "La Dynamique des langues en France au fil du XXe siècle". Population et sociétés Ined. "L'Alsacien, deuxième langue régionale de France" Insee, Chiffres pour l'Alsace no. 12, December 2002 Brunner, Jean-Jacques. L'Alsacien sans peine. ASSiMiL, 2001. ISBN 2-7005-0222-1 Laugel-Erny, Elsa. Cours d'alsacien. Les Editions du Quai, 1999. Matzen, Léon Daul. Wie Geht's? Le Dialecte à la portée de tous La Nuée Bleue, 1999. ISBN 2-7165-0464-4 Matzen, Léon Daul. Wie Steht's? Lexiques alsacien et français, Variantes dialectales, Grammaire La Nuée Bleue, 2000. ISBN 2-7165-0525-X Media related to Alsatian language at Wikimedia Commons'Hover & Hear' Alsatian pronunciations, compare with equivalents in English and other Germanic languages.
Euromosaic: The status of Germanic languages in France. Alsatian placenames Wörterbuch der elsässischen Mundarten Alsatian artists Webschnuffler, article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on new versions of Microsoft programs in Alsatian ^ When Amish communities become too big, a number of families move away and form a new settlement, referred to as a daughter settlement; the settlement from which they leave is the mother settlement