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
French Flanders is a part of the historical County of Flanders in present-day France where Flemings were traditionally the dominant ethnic group and where a dialect of Dutch was or still is traditionally spoken. The region lies in the modern-day region of Hauts-de-France and corresponds to the arrondissements of Lille and Dunkirk on the southern border with Belgium. Together with French Hainaut and the Cambrésis, it makes up the French Department of Nord. French Flanders is flat marshlands in the coal-rich area just south of the North Sea, it consists of two regions: French Westhoek to the northwest, lying between the Lys River and the North Sea the same area as the Arrondissement of Dunkirk. Once a part of ancient and medieval Francia since the inception of the Frankish kingdom under the Merovingian monarchs such as Clovis I, crowned at Tournai, Flanders fell under the control of the English and Spanish, becoming part of the Spanish Netherlands and retained by Spain at the end of the Eighty Years' War.
When French national military power returned under the Bourbons with King Louis XIV "The Sun King", a part of French Flanders was returned to the Kingdom. The region now called "French Flanders" was once part of the feudal state County of Flanders part of the Southern Netherlands, it was separated from the county in 1659 due to the Peace of the Pyrenees, which ended the French-Spanish conflict in the Thirty Years War, other parts of the region were added in successive treaties in 1668 and 1678. The region was ceded to the Kingdom of France, became part of the province of Flanders and Hainaut; the bulk became part of the modern French administrative Nord departément, although some western parts of the region, which separated in 1237 and became the County of Artois before the cession to the French, are now part of Pas-de-Calais. During World War II,'French Flanders' referred to all of Nord-Pas de Calais, first attached to the military administration of German-occupied Belgium part of "Belgien-Nordfrankreich" under a Reichskommissar, part of a theoretical Reichsgau of Flanders.
Rich in coal, facing the North Sea, bordered by powerful neighbors, French Flanders has been fought over numerous times in the thousand years between the Middle Ages and World War II. The traditional language of northern French Flanders, related to the Dutch language, is known as West Flemish a subdialect known as French Flemish, spoken by around 20,000 daily speakers and 40,000 occasional users; the traditional language of Walloon Flanders, is Picard. Many schools in this region teach Flemish to schoolchildren in an effort to revive the language. In 2008, the success of the movie Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis illuminated this part of France to a wide audience. Walloon Flanders Burgundian Netherlands Frisians Greater Netherlands Seventeen Provinces Wallonia Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustré, 1952. French Flanders Ethnologue Report for West Flemish Flemish in France The Extent of Flemish in France in 1970, contains language maps
Estourmel is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It is well known by the families of the Cambrai area for its petting zoo, Le Parc d'Estourmel, opened in 1967 and located in the center of the village, it covers 6 hectares. Communes of the Nord department INSEE commune file Official web site
Abancourt is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. Communes of the Nord department INSEE commune file
Lille is a city at the northern tip of France, in French Flanders. On the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium, it is the capital of the Hauts-de-France region, the prefecture of the Nord department, the main city of the European Metropolis of Lille; as of 2015, Lille had a population of 232,741 within its administrative limits. Lille is the first city of the Métropole Européenne de Lille with a population of 1,182,127, making it the fourth largest urban area in France after Paris and Marseille. Archeological digs seem to show the area as inhabited by as early as 2000 BC, most notably in the modern-day quartiers of Fives and Vieux Lille; the original inhabitants of this region were the Gauls, such as the Menapians, the Morins, the Atrebates, the Nervians, who were followed by Germanic peoples: the Saxons, the Frisians and the Franks. The legend of "Lydéric and Phinaert" puts the foundation of the city of Lille at 640. In the 8th century, the language of Old Low Franconian was spoken here, as attested by toponymic research.
Lille's Dutch name is Rijsel. The French equivalent has the same meaning: Lille comes from l'île. From 830 until around 910, the Vikings invaded Flanders. After the destruction caused by Norman and Magyar invasion, the eastern part of the region was ruled by various local princes; the first mention of the town dates from 1066: apud Insulam. At the time, it was controlled by the County of Flanders; the County of Flanders thus extended to the left bank of the Scheldt, one of the richest and most prosperous regions of Europe. A notable local in this period was Évrard, who lived in the 9th century and participated in many of the day's political and military affairs. There was an important Battle of Lille in 1054. From the 12th century, the fame of the Lille cloth fair began to grow. In 1144 Saint-Sauveur parish was formed, which would give its name to the modern-day quartier Saint-Sauveur; the counts of Flanders and Hainaut came together with England and East Frankia and tried to regain territory taken by Philip II of France following Henry II of England's death, a war that ended with the French victory at Bouvines in 1214.
Infante Ferdinand, Count of Flanders was imprisoned and the county fell into dispute: it would be his wife, Countess of Flanders and Constantinople, who ruled the city. She was said to be well loved by the residents of Lille, who by that time numbered 10,000. In 1225, the street performer and juggler Bertrand Cordel, doubtlessly encouraged by local lords, tried to pass himself off as Baldwin I of Constantinople, who had disappeared at the battle of Adrianople, he pushed the counties of Flanders and Hainaut towards sedition against Jeanne in order to recover his land. She called her cousin, Louis VIII, he unmasked the imposter, whom Countess Jeanne had hanged. In 1226 the King agreed to free Infante Count of Flanders. Count Ferrand died in 1233, his daughter Marie soon after. In 1235, Jeanne granted a city charter by which city governors would be chosen each All Saint's Day by four commissioners chosen by the ruler. On 6 February 1236, she founded the Countess's Hospital, which remains one of the most beautiful buildings in Old Lille.
It was in her honour that the hospital of the Regional Medical University of Lille was named "Jeanne of Flanders Hospital" in the 20th century. The Countess died in 1244 in the Abbey of Marquette; the rule of Flanders and Hainaut thus fell to her sister, Margaret II, Countess of Flanders to Margaret's son, Guy of Dampierre. Lille fell under the rule of France after the Franco-Flemish War; the county of Flanders fell to the Duchy of Burgundy next, after the 1369 marriage of Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Lille thus became one of the three capitals of said along with Brussels and Dijon. By 1445, Lille counted some 25,000 residents. Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, was more powerful than the King of France, made Lille an administrative and financial capital. On 17 February 1454, one year after the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, Philip the Good organised a Pantagruelian banquet at his Lille palace, the still-celebrated "Feast of the Pheasant". There the Duke and his court undertook an oath to Christianity.
In 1477, at the death of the last duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy married Maximilian of Austria, who thus became Count of Flanders. The 16th and 17th centuries were marked by a boom in the regional textile industry, the Protestant revolts, outbreaks of the Plague. Lille came under the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519; the Low Countries fell to his eldest son Philip II of Spain in 1555. The city remained under Spanish Habsburg rule until 1668. Calvinism first appeared in the area in 1542. In 1566 the countryside around Lille was affected by the Iconoclastic Fury. In 1578, the Hurlus, a group of Protestant rebels, stormed the castle of the Counts of Mouscron, they were removed four months by a Catholic Wallon regiment, after which they tried several times between 1581 and 1582 to take the city of Lille, all in vain. The Hurlus were notably held back by the legendary Jeanne Maillotte. At the same time, at the call of Elizabeth I of England, the north of the Seventeen Provinces, having gained a Protestant majority, su
Aibes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. Communes of the Nord department INSEE commune file
The Franks were a collection of Germanic peoples, whose name was first mentioned in 3rd century Roman sources, associated with tribes on the Lower and Middle Rhine, on the edge of the Roman Empire. The term was associated with Romanized Germanic dynasties within the collapsing Roman Empire, who commanded the whole region between the rivers Loire and Rhine, they imposed power over many other post-Roman kingdoms and Germanic peoples, still they were given recognition by the Catholic Church as successors to the old rulers of the Western Roman Empire. Although the Frankish name does not appear until the 3rd century, at least some of the original Frankish tribes had long been known to the Romans under their own names, both as allies providing soldiers and as enemies; the new name first appears when their allies were losing control of the Rhine region. The Franks were first reported as working together to raid Roman territory, but from the beginning these raids were associated with attacks upon them from outside their frontier area, by the Saxons, for example, with the desire of frontier tribes to move into Roman territory with which they had had centuries of close contact.
Frankish peoples inside Rome's frontier on the Rhine river were the Salian Franks who from their first appearance were permitted to live in Roman territory, the Ripuarian or Rhineland Franks who, after many attempts conquered the Roman frontier city of Cologne and took control of the left bank of the Rhine. In a period of factional conflict in the 450s and 460s, Childeric I, a Frank, was one of several military leaders commanding Roman forces with various ethnic affiliations in Roman Gaul. Childeric and his son Clovis I faced competition from the Roman Aegidius as competitor for the "kingship" of the Franks associated with the Roman Loire forces; this new type of kingship inspired by Alaric I, represents the start of the Merovingian dynasty, which succeeded in conquering most of Gaul in the 6th century, as well as establishing its leadership over all the Frankish kingdoms on the Rhine frontier. It was on the basis of this Merovingian empire that the resurgent Carolingians came to be seen as the new Emperors of Western Europe in 800.
In the Middle Ages, the term Frank came to be used as a synonym for Western European, as the Carolingian Franks were rulers of most of Western Europe, established a political order, the basis of the European ancien regime that only ended with the French revolution. Western Europeans shared their allegiance to the Roman Catholic church and worked as allies in the Crusades beyond Europe in the Levant, where they still referred to themselves and the Principalities they established as Frankish; this has had a lasting impact on names for Western Europeans in many languages. From the beginning the Frankish kingdoms were politically and divided between an eastern Frankish and Germanic part, the western part that the Merovingians had founded on Roman soil; the eastern Frankish kingdom came to be seen as the new "Holy Roman Empire", was from early times called "Germany". Within "Frankish" Western Europe itself, it was the original Merovingian or "Salian" Western Frankish kingdom, founded in Roman Gaul and speaking Romance languages, which has continued until today to be referred to as "France" - a name derived directly from the Franks.
The name Franci was not a tribal name, but within a few centuries it had eclipsed the names of the original peoples who constituted it. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the English adjective "frank" meaning "free". There have been proposals that Frank comes from the Germanic word for "javelin". Words in other Germanic languages meaning "fierce", "bold" or "insolent", may be significant. Eumenius addressed the Franks in the matter of the execution of Frankish prisoners in the circus at Trier by Constantine I in 306 and certain other measures: Latin: Ubi nunc est illa ferocia? Ubi semper infida mobilitas?. Latin: Feroces was used to describe the Franks. Contemporary definitions of Frankish ethnicity vary both by point of view. A formulary written by Marculf about 700 AD described a continuation of national identities within a mixed population when it stated that "all the peoples who dwell, Romans and those of other nations, live... according to their law and their custom."
Writing in 2009, Professor Christopher Wickham pointed out that "the word'Frankish' ceased to have an exclusive ethnic connotation. North of the River Loire everyone seems to have been considered a Frank by the mid-7th century at the latest. Apart from the more respected History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours, two more colourful early sources that describe the origin of the Franks are a 7th-century work known as the Chronicle of Fredegar and the anonymous Liber Historiae Francorum, written a century later; the author of the Chronicle of Fredegar claimed that the Franks came from Troy and quoted the works of Vergil and Hieronymous, the Franks are mentioned in those works, by Hieronymous. The chronicle describes Priam as a Frankish king whose people migrated to Macedonia after the fall of Troy. In Macedonia, the Franks divided; the Eur