The franc commonly distinguished as the French franc, was a currency of France. Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth 1 livre tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money, it was reintroduced in 1795. After two centuries of inflation, it was revalued in 1960, with each new franc being worth 100 old francs; the NF designation was continued for a few years before the currency returned to being the franc. The French franc was a held international reserve currency of reference in the 19th and 20th centuries; the first franc was a gold coin introduced in 1360 to pay the Ransom of King John II of France. This coin secured the king's freedom and showed him on a richly decorated horse earning it the name franc à cheval; the obverse legend, like other French coins, gives the king's title as Francorum Rex and provides another reason to call the coin a franc. Its value was set as one livre tournois. John's son, Charles V, continued this type, it was copied at Brabant and Cambrai and, with the arms on the horse cloth changed, at Flanders.
Conquests led by Joan of Arc allowed Charles VII to return to sound coinage and he revived the franc à cheval. John II, was not able to strike enough francs to pay his ransom and he voluntarily returned to English captivity. John II died as a prisoner in England and his son, Charles V was left to pick up the pieces, and so he did. Charles V pursued a policy of reform, including stable coinage. An edict dated 20 April 1365 established the centerpiece of this policy, a gold coin called the denier d’or aux fleurs de lis which had a standing figure of the king on its obverse, pictured under a canopy, its value in money of account was one livre tournois, just like the franc à cheval, this coin is universally known as a franc à pied. In accordance with the theories of the mathematician and royal advisor Nicolas Oresme, Charles struck fewer coins of better gold than his predecessors. In the accompanying deflation both prices and wages fell, but wages fell faster and debtors had to settle up in better money than they had borrowed.
The Mayor of Paris, Étienne Marcel, exploited their discontent to lead a revolt which forced Charles V out of the city. The franc fared better, it became associated with money stable at one livre tournoisHenry III exploited the association of the franc as sound money worth one livre tournois when he sought to stabilize French currency in 1577. By this time, inflows of gold and silver from Spanish America had caused inflation throughout the world economy and the kings of France, who weren't getting much of this wealth, only made things worse by manipulating the values assigned to their coins; the States General which met at Blois in 1577 added to the public pressure to stop currency manipulation. Henry III agreed to do this and he revived the franc, now as a silver coin valued at one livre tournois; this coin and its fractions circulated until 1641 when Louis XIII of France replaced it with the silver écu. The name "franc" continued in accounting as a synonym for the livre tournois; the decimal "franc" was established as the national currency by the French Revolutionary Convention in 1795 as a decimal unit of 4.5 g of fine silver.
This was less than the livre of 4.505 g, but the franc was set in 1796 at 1.0125 livres, reflecting in part the past minting of sub-standard coins. Silver coins now had their denomination marked as "5 FRANCS" and it was made obligatory to quote prices in francs; this ended the ancien régime's practice of striking coins with no stated denomination, such as the Louis d'or, periodically issuing royal edicts to manipulate their value in terms of money of account, i.e. the Livre tournois. The franc became the official currency of France in 1799. Coinage with explicit denominations in decimal fractions of the franc began in 1795. Decimalization of the franc was mandated by an act of 7 April 1795, which dealt with of weights and measures. France led the world in adopting the metric system and it was the second country to convert from a non-decimal to a decimal currency, following Russia's conversion in 1704, the third country to adopt a decimal coinage following the United States in 1787. France's first decimal coinage used allegorical figures symbolizing revolutionary principles, like the coinage designs the United States had adopted in 1793.
The circulation of this metallic currency declined during the Republic: the old gold and silver coins were taken out of circulation and exchanged for printed assignats issued as bonds backed by the value of the confiscated goods of churches, but declared as legal tender currency. The withdrawn gold and silver coins were used to finance wars and to import food, in short supply; as during the "Mississippi Bubble" in 1715–1720, too many assignats were put in circulation, exceeding the value of the "national properties", the coins, due to military requisitioning and hoarding, rarefied to pay foreign suppliers. With national government debt remaining unpaid, a shortage of silver and brass to mint coins, confidence in the new currency declined, leading to hyperinflation, more food riots, severe political instability and termination of the First French Republic and the political fall of the French Convention. Followed the economic failure of the Directoire
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
Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère and is an important European scientific centre; the city advertises itself as the "Capital of the Alps", due to its size and its proximity to the mountains. Grenoble's history goes back to a time when it was a small Gallic village, it gained somewhat in stature by becoming the capital of the Dauphiné in the 11th century, but Grenoble remained for most of its history a modest parliamentary and garrison city on the borders of the kingdom of France. Industrial development increased the prominence of Grenoble through several periods of economic expansion over the last three centuries; this started with a booming glove industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, continued with the development of a strong hydropower industry in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, ended with a post-World War II economic boom symbolized by the holding of the X Olympic Winter Games in 1968.
The city has grown to be one of Europe's most important research and innovation centers, with each fifth inhabitant working directly in these domains. The population of the city of Grenoble was 160,215 at the 2013 census, while the population of the Grenoble metropolitan area was 664,832; the residents of the city are called "Grenoblois". The many suburb communes that make up the rest of the metropolitan area include three with populations exceeding 20,000: Saint-Martin-d'Hères, Échirolles, Fontaine. For the ecclesiastical history, see Bishopric of Grenoble; the first references to what is now Grenoble date back to 43 BC. Cularo was at that time a small Gallic village of the Allobroges tribe, near a bridge across the Isère. Three centuries and with insecurity rising in the late Roman empire, a strong wall was built around the small town in 286 AD; the Emperor Gratian visited Cularo and, touched by the people's welcome, made the village a Roman city. In honour of this, Cularo was renamed Gratianopolis in 381.
Christianity spread to the region during the 4th century, the diocese of Grenoble was founded in 377 AD. From that time on, the bishops exercised significant political power over the city; until the French Revolution, they styled themselves the "bishops and princes of Grenoble". After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the city was part of the first Burgundian kingdom in the 5th century and the second Burgundian Kingdom of Arles until 1032, when it was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire. Arletian rule was interrupted between 970 due to Arab rule based in Fraxinet. Grenoble grew in the 11th century when the Counts of Albon chose the city as the capital of their territories. At the time, their possessions were a patchwork of several territories sprawled across the region; the central position of Grenoble allowed the Counts to strengthen their authority. When they took the title of "Dauphins", Grenoble became the capital of the State of Dauphiné. Despite their status, the Counts had to share authority over the city with the Bishop of Grenoble.
One of the most famous of those was Saint Hugh. Under his rule, the city's bridge was rebuilt, a regular and leper hospital were built; the inhabitants of Grenoble took advantage of the conflicts between the Counts and the bishops and obtained the recognition of a Charter of Customs that guaranteed their rights. That charter was confirmed by Kings Louis XI in 1447 and Francis I in 1541. In 1336 the last Dauphin Humbert II founded a court of justice, the Conseil delphinal, which settled at Grenoble in 1340, he established the University of Grenoble in 1339. Without an heir, Humbert sold his state to France in 1349, on the condition that the heir to the French crown used the title of Dauphin; the first one, the future Charles V, spent nine months in Grenoble. The city remained the capital of the Dauphiné, henceforth a province of France, the Estates of Dauphiné were created; the only Dauphin who governed his province was the future Louis XI, whose "reign" lasted from 1447 to 1456. It was only under his rule.
The Old Conseil Delphinal became a Parlement, strengthening the status of Grenoble as a Provincial capital. He ordered the construction of the Palais du Parlement and ensured that the Bishop pledged allegiance, thus forging the political union of the city. At that time, Grenoble was a crossroads between Vienne, Geneva and Savoy, it was the industrial centre of the Dauphiné and the biggest city of the province, but nonetheless a rather small one. Owing to Grenoble's geographical situation, French troops were garrisoned in the city and its region during the Italian Wars. Charles VIII, Louis XII, Francis I went several times to Grenoble, its people had to suffer from the exactions of the soldiers. The nobility of the region took part in doing so gained significant prestige; the best-known of its members was Bayard, "the knight without fear and beyond reproach". Grenoble suffered as a result of the French Wars of Religion; the Dauphiné was indeed an important settlement for Protestants and therefore experienced several conflicts.
The baron des Adrets, the leader of the Huguenots, pillaged the Cathedral of Grenoble and destroyed the tombs of the former Dauphins. In August 1575, Lesdiguières became the new leader of the Protestants and, thanks to the accession of Henry
1968 Winter Olympics
The 1968 Winter Olympics known as the X Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event, celebrated in 1968 in Grenoble and opened on 6 February. Thirty-seven countries participated. Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy won three gold medals in all the alpine skiing events. In women's figure skating, Peggy Fleming won the only United States gold medal; the games have been credited with making the Winter Olympics more popular in the United States, not least of which because of ABC's extensive coverage of Fleming and Killy, who became overnight sensations among teenage girls. The year 1968 marked the first time the IOC first permitted East and West Germany to enter separately, the first time the IOC ordered drug and gender testing of competitors. On 24 November 1960 the prefect of the Isère Département, François Raoul, the president of the Dauphiné Ski Federation, Raoul Arduin presented for the first time the idea of hosting the 1968 Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble. After the city council agreed in principle, different government agencies offered their support, the villages around Grenoble reacted positively, an application committee was formed and led by Albert Michallon, the former mayor of Grenoble on 30 December 1960.
The application was given to the IOC during a meeting between IOC executives and representatives of international sport agencies in Lausanne in February 1963. In the application the decision was not based on sport because in the Isère Département there had only been two important sport events, the Bobsleigh World Championships of 1951 in L'Alpe d'Huez and the Luge World Championships of 1959 in Villard-de-Lans. Between 1946 and 1962 the number of inhabitants in Grenoble increased from 102,000 to 159,000, the total inhabitants in the Département Isère increased from 139,000 to 250,000; the development of the infrastructure could not keep up with this rapid increase and was for the most part at the same level as before the Second World War. The people who were responsible never made a secret out of it that it was for them about using the Olympic Games to receive larger grants to develop dated infrastructure and support the local economy; the 61st IOC session, where the awarding of the Olympic Games should have been voted for, should have taken place in Nairobi.
This session was moved to Baden-Baden because Kenya refused entry to IOC members from Portugal and South Africa for political reasons. Due to a lack of time only the Summer Games of 1968 could be voted for; the vote took place in Innsbruck on 28 January 1964, one day before the start of the 1964 Winter Olympic Games. 51 members who were eligible to vote were in attendance and Grenoble were awarded the games after the third round of voting and were competing against Calgary, who were awarded the Games 20 years later. After Grenoble was voted as the host city the French National Olympic Sports Committee decided the foundation of the organisation committee; the Comité d'Organisation des dixièmes Jeux Olympiques, the committee for the organisation of the 10th Olympic Games, started to plan the games for the first time on 1 August 1964. Albert Michallon, alongside being the former mayor of Grenoble, was president of COJO; the upper panel was made up of the general assembly with its 340 members and the supervisory board conduct business with 39 members, 19 of which were appointed and the other 20 were voted for.
The general secretary consisted of 17 subordinate departments. The number of employees grew to 1920 in February 1968; the French government played a major role in the preparations for the Games because president Charles de Gaulle saw an opportunity in the Winter Olympic Games to present Grenoble as a symbol for a modern France. Minister for Youth and Sport Francois Missoffe formed an interministerial committee for the coordination of the work commissioned by prime minister Georges Pompidou. Just over 7000 soldiers of the French armed forces and employees of the ministries for Youth and Sport, Social Building, Post and Transport were employed; the sum of the investments contributed to 1.1 billion Francs. The government contributed 47.08%, the Isere Department 3.65%, the city of Grenoble 20.07% and the surrounding communities 1.37%. Different institutions, such as the train company SNCF; these means were used accordingly - 465.181 million Francs for the infrastructure of transport and communications, 250.876 million for the olympic village and press area, 92.517 million for the sports arenas, 57.502 million for television and radio, 45.674 million for culture, 95.116 million for the city's infrastructure and 90.429 million for the running of COJO.
They built a new airport, two motorway sections of 7.5 miles and 15 miles, a switchboard, a new town hall, a new police station, a fire station, a hospital with 560 beds, a congress and exhibition centre and a culture palace. They upgraded the access road to the outer sport arenas, an orbital road round Grenoble as well as relocating the rail tracks and removing the level crossings and building a new main train station. To test the new sport complex and to improve organisational processes they organized "International Sports Weeks". From 20 January to 19 February 1967 speed skating competitions and ski races took place, from 12 to 15 October 1967 an ice hockey tournament and from 23 to 25 November a figure-skating competition. On 16 December 1967, the olympic torch was lit in ancient Olympia in Greece; the ceremony should have taken place on 13 December but it had to b
Earthworks are engineering works created through the processing of parts of the earth's surface involving quantities of soil or unformed rock. Excavation may be classified by type of material: Topsoil excavation Earth excavation Rock excavation Muck excavation – this contains excess water and unsuitable soil Unclassified excavation – this is any combination of material typesExcavation may be classified by the purpose: Stripping Roadway excavation Drainage or structure excavation Bridge excavation Channel excavation Footing excavation Borrow excavation Dredge excavation Underground excavation Typical earthworks include roads, railway beds, dams, levees and berms. Other common earthworks are land grading to reconfigure the topography of a site, or to stabilize slopes. In military engineering, earthworks are, more types of fortifications constructed from soil. Although soil is not strong, it is cheap enough that huge quantities can be used, generating formidable structures. Examples of older earthwork fortifications include moats, sod walls, motte-and-bailey castles, hill forts.
Modern examples include berms. Heavy construction equipment is used due to the amounts of material to be moved — up to millions of cubic metres. Earthwork construction was revolutionized by the development of the scraper and other earth-moving machines such as the loader, the dump truck, the grader, the bulldozer, the backhoe, the dragline excavator. Engineers need to concern themselves with issues of geotechnical engineering and with quantity estimation to ensure that soil volumes in the cuts match those of the fills, while minimizing the distance of movement. In the past, these calculations were done by hand using a slide rule and with methods such as Simpson's rule. Earthworks cost is a function of hauled amount x hauled distance; the goal of mass haul planning is to determine these amounts and the goal of mass haul optimization is to minimize either or both. Now they can be performed with a computer and specialized software, including optimisation on haul cost and not haul distance. Contour trenching Cut and fill Earth movers, construction/engineering vehicles used for earthworks civil engineering Earth structure Gabion Keyline design Land restoration Regrading Spoil tip Terrace Finding Volume of Earthwork using Simpson's Rule
Lans-en-Vercors is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France. Lans-en-Vercors is twinned with: Saint-Donat, Lanaudière, Canada, since 1990 Communes of the Isère department Parc naturel régional du Vercors INSEE statistics Official site
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