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
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, one of the seven American uniformed services. Formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U. S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, it is the youngest branch of the U. S. Armed Forces, the fourth in order of precedence; the USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control; the U. S. Air Force is a military service branch organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the Air Force, through the Department of the Air Force, is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense, is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation.
The highest-ranking military officer in the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units and serves as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Air Force components are assigned, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commands, neither the Secretary of the Air Force nor the Chief of Staff of the Air Force have operational command authority over them. Along with conducting independent air and space operations, the U. S. Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field; as of 2017, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft, 406 ICBMs and 170 military satellites. It has a $161 billion budget and is the second largest service branch, with 318,415 active duty airmen, 140,169 civilian personnel, 69,200 reserve airmen, 105,700 Air National Guard airmen. According to the National Security Act of 1947, which created the USAF: In general, the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned.
It shall be organized and equipped for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. §8062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as: to preserve the peace and security, provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories and possessions, any areas occupied by the United States. The stated mission of the USAF today is to "fly and win...in air and cyberspace". "The United States Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance and Power for the nation".
The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved, are now articulated as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide, what the Air Force states as, global vigilance, global reach, global power. Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force". Offensive Counterair is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, launch platforms, their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible". OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and enjoys the initiative.
OCA comprises attack operations, sweep and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense. Defensive Counter air is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace". A major goal of DCA operations, in concert with OCA operations, is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats; the DCA mission comprises both passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy", it includes both ballistic missile defense and air-breathing threat defense, encompasses point defense, area defense, high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative", it includes warning.
Commercy is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. The 18th-century Lorraine historian Nicolas Luton Durival was born in Commercy. Commercy dates back to the 9th century, at that time its lords were dependent on the bishop of Metz. In 1544 it was besieged by Charles V in person. For some time the lordship was in the hands of Jean François Paul de Gondi, cardinal de Retz, who lived in the town for a number of years, there composed his memoirs. From him it was purchased by Duke of Lorraine. In 1744 it became the residence of Stanisław Leszczyński, king of Poland, who spent a great deal of care on the embellishment of the town and neighbourhood. Commercy is the home of the Madeleines referred to by Marcel Proust in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Nicolas Durival, historian Nicolas Alaidon, curé de Toul, emigrated during the French Revolution, author of the Journal d'un prêtre pendant la Révolution. Henri Braconnot, chemist Henri Brocard, mathematician Georges Mangin and explorer Benno Vigny, German-French scriptwriter and director Maurice Cloche, movie director Roger Lévy, Compagnon de la Libération Élisabeth de Miribel, Française libre Dominique Desseigne, entrepreneur Pascal Vigneron, trumpeter, director of the Toul Bach Festival.
Commercy is the key location for action in the 1964 film The Train although this did not use the town for filming purposes. It is twinned with the German town of Hockenheim. Communes of the Meuse department Office de Tourisme du Pays de Commercy Office de Tourisme du Pays de Commercy
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. The second son of Francis I, he became Dauphin of France upon the death of his elder brother Francis III, Duke of Brittany, in 1536. Henry was the tenth king from the House of Valois, the third from the Valois-Orléans branch, the second from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch; as a child and his elder brother spent over four years in captivity in Spain as hostages in exchange for their father. Henry pursued his father's policies in matter of arts and religion, he persevered in the Italian Wars against the House of Habsburg and tried to suppress the Protestant Reformation as the Huguenot numbers were increasing drastically in France during his reign. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, which put an end to the Italian Wars, had mixed results: France renounced its claims to territories in Italy, but gained certain other territories, including the Pale of Calais and the Three Bishoprics. France failed to change the balance of power in Europe, as Spain remained the sole dominant power, but it did benefit from the division of the holdings of its ruler, Charles V, from the weakening of the Holy Roman Empire, which Charles ruled.
Henry suffered an untimely death in a jousting tournament held to celebrate the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis at the conclusion of the Eighth Italian War. The king's surgeon, Ambroise Paré, was unable to cure the infected wound inflicted by Gabriel de Montgomery, the captain of his Scottish Guard, he was succeeded in turn by three of his sons, whose ineffective reigns helped to spark the French Wars of Religion between Protestants and Catholics. Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of King Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany, his father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, held prisoner in Spain. To obtain his release, it was agreed that his older brother be sent to Spain in his place, they remained in captivity for over four years. Henry married Catherine de' Medici, a member of the ruling family of Florence, on 28 October 1533, when they were both fourteen years old. At this time, his elder brother was alive and there was little prospect of Henry coming to the throne.
The following year, he became romantically involved with a thirty-five-year-old widow, Diane de Poitiers. Henry and Diane had always been close: the young lady had fondly embraced Henry on the day he, as a 7-year-old child, set off to captivity in Spain, the bond had been renewed after his return to France. In a tournament to honor his father's new bride, Eleanor and his older brother were dressed as chevaliers, in which Henry wore Diane's colors. Confident and intelligent, Diane left Catherine powerless to intervene, she did, insist that Henry sleep with Catherine in order to produce heirs to the throne. When his elder brother Francis, the Dauphin and Duke of Brittany, died in 1536 after a game of tennis, Henry became heir apparent to the throne, he succeeded his father on his 28th birthday and was crowned King of France on 25 July 1547 at Reims Cathedral. Henry's reign was marked by wars with Austria and the persecution of Protestants Calvinists known as Huguenots. Henry II punished them the ministers, for example by burning at the stake or cutting off their tongues for uttering heresies.
Henry II was made a Knight of the Garter, April 1515. The Edict of Châteaubriant called upon the civil and ecclesiastical courts to detect and punish all heretics and placed severe restrictions on Huguenots, including the loss of one-third of their property to informers, confiscations; the Edict strictly regulated publications by prohibiting the sale, importation or printing of any unapproved book. It was during the reign of Henry II that Huguenot attempts at establishing a colony in Brazil were made, with the short-lived formation of France Antarctique; the Eighth Italian War of 1551–1559, sometimes known as the Habsburg–Valois War, began when Henry declared war against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with the intent of recapturing Italy and ensuring French, rather than Habsburg, domination of European affairs. Persecution of Protestants at home did not prevent Henry II from becoming allied with German Protestant princes at the Treaty of Chambord in 1552; the continuation of his father's Franco-Ottoman alliance allowed Henry II to push for French conquests towards the Rhine while a Franco-Ottoman fleet defended southern France.
An early offensive into Lorraine was successful. Henry captured the three episcopal cities of Metz and Verdun, secured them by defeating the Habsburg army at the Battle of Renty in 1554; however the attempted French invasion of Tuscany in 1553 was defeated at the Battle of Marciano. After the abdication of Charles V in 1556, the Habsburg empire was split between Philip II of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I; the focus of Henry's conflict with the Habsburgs shifted to Flanders, where Phillip, in conjunction with Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, defeated the French at the Battle of St. Quentin. England's entry into the war that year led to the French capture of Calais, French armies plundered Spanish possessions in the Low Countries. Henry was nonetheless forced to accept the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, in which he renounced any further claims to territories in Italy; the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed between Henry and Elizabeth I of England on 2 April and between Henry and Philip II of Spain on 3 April 1559 at Le Cateau-Cambrésis.
Under its terms, France restored Piedmont and Savoy to
Meurthe-et-Moselle is a department in the Grand Est region of France, named after the Meurthe and Moselle rivers. Meurthe-et-Moselle was created in 1871 at the end of the Franco-Prussian War from the parts of the former departments of Moselle and Meurthe which remained French territory; the current boundary between Meurthe-et-Moselle and Moselle was the border between France and Germany from 1871 to 1919 and again between 1940 and 1944. The only subsequent change took place in 1997 and involved the incorporation, for administrative reasons, of the little commune of Han-devant-Pierrepont which had fallen within the Meuse department. Meurthe-et-Moselle is part of the administrative region of Grand Est and the traditional region of Lorraine and is surrounded by the departments of Meuse, Bas-Rhin, Moselle. Parts of Meurthe-et-Moselle belong to the Lorraine Regional Natural Park; the department is between 7 and 103 km wide. Its chief rivers are: the Moselle the Meurthe the Chiers the Vezouze The economy was dependent on mining until the 1960s.
There are iron and lime extraction sites. The urban area around Nancy has a dynamic economy based on services and higher education; the inhabitants of the department are known as Meurthe-et-Mosellans. The area around Nancy has become urbanized, whereas the Saintois in the south is quite rural. Arrondissements of the Meurthe-et-Moselle department Cantons of the Meurthe-et-Moselle department Communes of the Meurthe-et-Moselle department Prefecture website General council website Tourism website
Theuderic II, king of Burgundy and Austrasia, was the second son of Childebert II. At his father's death in 595, he received Guntram's kingdom of Burgundy, with its capital at Orléans, while his elder brother, Theudebert II, received their father's kingdom of Austrasia, with its capital at Metz, he received the lordship of the cities of Toulouse, Nantes, Saintes, Angoulême, Périgueux, Chartres, Le Mans. During his minority, he reigned under the guidance of his grandmother Brunhilda, evicted from Austrasia by his brother Theudebert II. In 596, Clotaire II, king of Neustria, Fredegund, Clotaire's mother, took Paris, supposed to be held in common. Fredegund her son's regent, sent a force to Laffaux and the armies of Theudebert and Theuderic were defeated. In 599, Brunhilda was forced out of Austrasia by Theudebert and she was found wandering near Arcis in Champagne by a peasant, who brought her to Theuderic; the peasant was rewarded with the bishopric of Auxerre. Theuderic welcomed her and fell under her influence, inclined to vengeful war with Theudebert at the time.
Soon and his brother were at war. He defeated Theudebert at Sens, but their cousin Clotaire's restless warmaking prompted them to ally against him. They, in 600, defeated Clotaire at Dormelles on the Orvanne; the land between the Seine and the Oise was divided between Theuderic and Theudebert, with Theuderic receiving the territory between the Seine and the Loire including the Breton frontier. They campaigned together in Gascony, where they subjugated the local population and instated Genialis as duke. At this point, the two brothers took up arms against each other resulting in Theuderic's defeat of Theudebert at Étampes. Theuderic's kingdom was invaded by Clotaire and his mayor of the palace, Berthoald in 604, was confronted by Clotaire's son Merovech and his mayor Landric. Theuderic met them at Étampes on the Louet. Theuderic won the day; the next mayor, Protadius, a partisan of Brunhilda, encouraged war with Austrasia, but the nobles assassinated him and battle was never met, a pact being enforced by Theuderic's men.
In 610, he lost Alsace, the Saintois, the Thurgau, Champagne to his brother and his men east of the Jura were soundly defeated by the Alemanni. However, he routed Theudebert at Toul and at Tolbiac in 612, he captured the fleeing Theudebert in the latter battle and gave him over—after taking his royal paraphernalia—to his grandmother Brunhilda, who had him put up in a monastery. Bishop Ludegast is said to have beseeched him in a fable to spare Theudeberts life. Brunhilda had Theudebert murdered to allow Theuderic to succeed to both thrones unhindered. Theuderic died of dysentery in his Austrasian capital of Metz in late 613 while preparing a campaign against his longtime enemy, who had, based on a treaty with Theuderic during the last fraternal war, retaken the duchy of Dentelin, he married Ermenberga, the daughter of the Visigothic king of Spain, Witteric, at Chalon in 606, the next year, he sent her home in disgrace and a quadruple alliance of Clotaire, Theudebert and the Lombard king Agilulf connived against him, but it all came to naught.
Thus depriving himself of the opportunity of having legitimate offspring, he was succeeded by his bastard son Sigbert II under the regency of Brunhilda. Theuderic had four sons by unnamed mistresses: Sigebert II, who succeeded him in both his realms Childebert Corbus Merovech, godson of Clotaire II Wallace-Hadrill, J. M. translator. The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar with its Continuations Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1960
Nancy is the capital of the north-eastern French department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine, the French province of the same name. The metropolitan area of Nancy had a population of 434,565 inhabitants at the 2011 census, making it the 20th largest urban area in France; the population of the city of Nancy proper was 104,321 in 2014. The motto of the city is Non inultus premor, Latin for "I'm not touched with impunity"—a reference to the thistle, a symbol of Lorraine. Place Stanislas, a large square built between March 1752 and November 1755 by Stanislaus I of Poland to link the medieval old town of Nancy and the new town built under Charles III in the 17th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first place in France and in the top four in the world; the earliest signs of human settlement in the area date to 800 BC. Early settlers were attracted by mined iron ore and a ford in the Meurthe River. A small fortified town named Nanciacum was built by Gérard, Duke of Lorraine around 1050.
Nancy was burned in 1218 at the end of the War of Succession of Champagne, conquered by Emperor Frederick II. It was rebuilt in stone over the next few centuries as it grew in importance as the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Nancy in 1477. Following the failure of both Emperor Joseph I and Emperor Charles VI to produce a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's next child; this turned out to be Maria Theresa of Austria. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Duke François of Lorraine, who reluctantly agreed to exchange his ancestral lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; the exiled Polish king Stanislaus Leszczyński, father-in-law of the French king Louis XV, was given the vacant duchy of Lorraine. Under his nominal rule, Nancy experienced growth and a flowering of Baroque culture and architecture. Stanislaus oversaw the construction of Place Stanislaus, a major square and development connecting the old medieval with a newer part of the city.
After Stanislaus' death in 1766, the duchy of Lorraine returned to the status of a regular French province. Nancy lost its position as a residential capital city with patronage; as unrest surfaced within the French armed forces during the French Revolution, a full-scale mutiny, known as the Nancy affair, took place in Nancy in the latter part of summer 1790. A few units loyal to the government shot or imprisoned the mutineers. In 1871, Nancy remained French; the flow of refugees reaching Nancy doubled its population in three decades. Artistic, academic and industrial excellence flourished, establishing what is still the Capital of Lorraine's trademark to this day. Nancy and other areas of France were occupied by German forces from 1940. During the Lorraine Campaign of World War II, Nancy was liberated from Nazi Germany by the U. S. Third Army in September 1944, at the Battle of Nancy. In 1988, Pope John Paul II visited Nancy. In 2005, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski inaugurated the renovated Place Stanislas.
It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nancy is situated on the left bank of the river Meurthe, about 10 km upstream from its confluence with the Moselle; the Marne–Rhine Canal runs through the city, parallel to the Meurthe. Nancy is surrounded by hills that are about 150 m higher than the city center, situated at 200 m above mean sea level; the area of Nancy proper is small: 15 km2. Its built-up area is continuous with those of its adjacent suburbs; the neighboring communes of Nancy are: Jarville-la-Malgrange, Malzéville, Maxéville, Saint-Max, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy and Villers-lès-Nancy. The oldest part of Nancy is the quarter Vieille Ville – Léopold, which contains the 14th century Porte de la Craffe, the Palace of the Dukes of Lorraine, the Porte Désilles and the 19th century St-Epvre basilica. Adjacent to its south is the quarter Charles III – Centre Ville, the 16th–18th century "new town"; this quarter contains the famous Place Stanislas, the Nancy Cathedral, the Opéra national de Lorraine and the main railway station.
The population of the city proper experienced a small decrease in population from 2009 to 2014, placing it behind Metz as the second largest city in the Lorraine. However, the urban area of Metz experienced population decline from 1990 to 2010 while the urban area of Nancy grew over the same period, becoming the largest urban area in Lorraine and second largest in the "Grand Est" region of northeastern France. Within the Nancy metropolitan area in recent years, the city population declined at the same time as a small increase in the population of its urban area. Nancy has an oceanic climate, although a bit more extreme than most of the larger French cities. By the standards of France it is a "continental" climate with a certain degree of maritimy; the temperatures have a distinct variation of the temperate zone, both during the day and between seasons but without being different. Winters are dry in freezing climates. Summers are not warm enough. Mists are frequent in autumn and the winds are light and not too violent.
Precipitation tends to be less abundant than in the west of the country. Sunshine hours are identical to Paris and the snowy days are the same as Stra