Gare de Vire
Gare de Vire is a railway station serving the town Vire, Calvados department, northwestern France. Gare de Vire at "Gares & Connexions", the official website of SNCF Timetables TER Basse-Normandie
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes, it is known for its rocky coastline. There is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state, including in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland; the capital is Augusta. For thousands of years, indigenous peoples were the only inhabitants of the territory, now Maine. At the time of European arrival in what is now Maine, several Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the area; the first European settlement in the area was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons.
The first English settlement was the short-lived Popham Colony, established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate and conflict with the local peoples caused many to fail over the years; as Maine entered the 18th century, only a half dozen European settlements had survived. Loyalist and Patriot forces contended for Maine's territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the War of 1812, the largely-undefended eastern region of Maine was occupied by British forces, but returned to the United States after the war following major defeats in New York and Louisiana, as part of a peace treaty, to include dedicated land on the Michigan peninsula for Native American peoples. Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede from Massachusetts to become a separate state. On March 15, 1820, under the Missouri Compromise, it was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state.
There is no definitive explanation for the origin of the name "Maine", but the most origin is that the name was given by early explorers after the former province of Maine in France. Whatever the origin, the name was fixed for English settlers in 1665 when the English King's Commissioners ordered that the "Province of Maine" be entered from on in official records; the state legislature in 2001 adopted a resolution establishing Franco-American Day, which stated that the state was named after the former French province of Maine. Other theories mention earlier places with similar names, or claim it is a nautical reference to the mainland. Attempts to uncover the history of the name of Maine began with James Sullivan's 1795 "History of the District of Maine", he made the unsubstantiated claim that the Province of Maine was a compliment to the queen of Charles I, Henrietta Maria, who once "owned" the Province of Maine in France. This was quoted by Maine historians until the 1845 biography of that queen by Agnes Strickland established that she had no connection to the province.
A new theory, put forward by Carol B. Smith Fisher in 2002, is that Sir Ferdinando Gorges chose the name in 1622 to honor the village where his ancestors first lived in England, rather than the province in France. "MAINE" appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 in reference to the county of Dorset, today Broadmayne, just southeast of Dorchester. The view held among British place name scholars is that Mayne in Dorset is Brythonic, corresponding to modern Welsh "maen", plural "main" or "meini"; some early spellings are: MAINE 1086, MEINE 1200, MEINES 1204, MAYNE 1236. Today the village is known as Broadmayne, primitive Welsh or Brythonic, "main" meaning rock or stone, considered a reference to the many large sarsen stones still present around Little Mayne farm, half a mile northeast of Broadmayne village; the first known record of the name appears in an August 10, 1622 land charter to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason, English Royal Navy veterans, who were granted a large tract in present-day Maine that Mason and Gorges "intend to name the Province of Maine".
Mason had served with the Royal Navy in the Orkney Islands, where the chief island is called Mainland, a possible name derivation for these English sailors. In 1623, the English naval captain Christopher Levett, exploring the New England coast, wrote: "The first place I set my foote upon in New England was the Isle of Shoals, being Ilands in the sea, above two Leagues from the Mayne." Several tracts along the coast of New England were referred to as Main or Maine. A reconfirmed and enhanced April 3, 1639, from England's King Charles I, gave Sir Ferdinando Gorges increased powers over his new province and stated that it "shall forever hereafter, be called and named the PROVINCE OR COUNTIE OF MAINE, not by any other name or names whatsoever..." Maine is the only U. S. state whose name has one syllable. The original inhabitants of the territory, now Maine were Algonquian-speaking Wabanaki peoples, including the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Kennebec. During the King Philip's War, many of these peoples would merge in one form or another to become the Wabanaki Confederacy, aiding the Wampanoag of Massachusetts & the Mahican of New York.
Afterwards, many of these people were driven from their natural territories, but most of the tribes of Maine continued, until the American Revolution
Huguenots are an ethnoreligious group of French Protestants. The term has its origin in early 16th century France, it was used in reference to those of the Reformed Church of France from the time of the Protestant Reformation. Huguenots were French Protestants. By contrast, the Protestant populations of eastern France, in Alsace and Montbéliard were ethnic German Lutherans. In his Encyclopedia of Protestantism, Hans Hillerbrand said that, on the eve of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572, the Huguenot community included as much as 10% of the French population. By 1600 it had declined to 7–8%, was reduced further after the return of severe persecution in 1685 under Louis XIV's Edict of Fontainebleau; the Huguenots were believed to be concentrated among the population in the southern and western parts of the Kingdom of France. As Huguenots gained influence and more displayed their faith, Catholic hostility grew. A series of religious conflicts followed, known as the French Wars of Religion, fought intermittently from 1562 to 1598.
The Huguenots were led by Jeanne d'Albret, her son, the future Henry IV, the princes of Condé. The wars ended with the Edict of Nantes, which granted the Huguenots substantial religious and military autonomy. Huguenot rebellions in the 1620s resulted in the abolition of their political and military privileges, they retained the religious provisions of the Edict of Nantes until the rule of Louis XIV, who increased persecution of Protestantism until he issued the Edict of Fontainebleau. This ended legal recognition of Protestantism in France and the Huguenots were forced either to convert to Catholicism or flee as refugees. Louis XIV claimed that the French Huguenot population was reduced from about 800,000-900,000 adherents to just 1,000-1,500, he exaggerated the decline, but the dragonnades were devastating for the French Protestant community. The remaining Huguenots faced continued persecution under Louis XV. By the time of his death in 1774, Calvinism had been nearly eliminated from France. Persecution of Protestants ended with the Edict of Versailles, signed by Louis XVI in 1787.
Two years with the Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, Protestants gained equal rights as citizens. The bulk of Huguenot émigrés relocated to Protestant states such as the Dutch Republic and Wales, Protestant-controlled Ireland, the Channel Islands, Denmark, Switzerland, the Electorate of Brandenburg and Electorate of the Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Prussia; some fled as refugees to the Dutch Cape Colony in South Africa, the Dutch East Indies, the Caribbean colonies, several of the Dutch and English colonies in North America. A few families went to Catholic Quebec. After centuries, most Huguenots have assimilated into the various societies and cultures where they settled. Remnant communities of Camisards in the Cévennes, most Reformed members of the United Protestant Church of France, French members of the German Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine, the Huguenot diaspora in England and Australia, all still retain their beliefs and Huguenot designation.
A term used in derision, Huguenot has unclear origins. Various hypotheses have been promoted; the term may have been a combined reference to the Swiss politician Besançon Hugues and the religiously conflicted nature of Swiss republicanism in his time. It used a derogatory pun on the name Hugues by way of the Dutch word Huisgenoten, referring to the connotations of a somewhat related word in German Eidgenosse. Geneva was the centre of the Calvinist movement. In Geneva, though Catholic, was a leader of the "Confederate Party", so called because it favoured independence from the Duke of Savoy, it sought an alliance between the city-state of the Swiss Confederation. The label Huguenot was purportedly first applied in France to those conspirators who were involved in the Amboise plot of 1560: a foiled attempt to wrest power in France from the influential and zealously Catholic House of Guise; this action would have fostered relations with the Swiss. O. I. A. Roche promoted this idea among historians, he wrote in his book, The Days of the Upright, A History of the Huguenots, that "Huguenot" is: "a combination of a Dutch and a German word.
In the Dutch-speaking North of France, Bible students who gathered in each other's houses to study secretly were called Huis Genooten while on the Swiss and German borders they were termed Eid Genossen, or'oath fellows,' that is, persons bound to each other by an oath. Gallicised into'Huguenot' used deprecatingly, the word became, during two and a half centuries of terror and triumph, a badge of enduring honour and courage." Some disagree with such triple non-French linguistic origins. Janet Gray argues that for the word to have spread into common use in France, it must have originated there in French; the "Hugues hypothesis" argues that the name was derived by association with Hugues Capet, king of France, who reigned long before the Reformation. He was regarded by the Gallicians as a noble man who lives. Janet Gray and other supporters of the hypothesis suggest that the name huguenote would be equivalent to little Hugos, or those who want Hugo. In t
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and Rollo, leader of the Vikings. The duchy was named for the Normans. From 1066 until 1204 it was held by the kings of England, except for the brief rule of Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror but unsuccessful claimant to the English throne. In 1202, Philip II of France declared Normandy forfeit to him and seized it by force of arms in 1204, it remained disputed territory until the Treaty of Paris of 1259, when the English sovereign ceded his claim except for the Channel Islands. In the Kingdom of France, the duchy was set apart as an apanage to be ruled by a member of the royal family. After 1469, however, it was permanently united to the royal domain, although the title was conferred as an honorific upon junior members of the royal family; the last French duke of Normandy in this sense was Louis-Charles, duke from 1785 to 1789. The first Viking raid on the region took place in 820.
By 911, the area had been raided many times and there were small Viking settlements on the lower Seine. The text of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte has not survived, it is only known through the historian Dudo of Saint-Quentin, writing a century after the event. The exact date of the treaty is unknown, but it was in the autumn of 911. By the agreement, Charles III, king of the West Franks, granted to the Viking leader Rollo some lands along the lower Seine that were already under Danish control. Whether Rollo himself was a Dane or a Norwegian is not known. For his part, Rollo agreed to defend the territory from other Vikings and that he and his men would convert to Christianity; the territory ceded to Rollo comprised the pagi of the Caux, Évrecin and Talou. This was territory known as the county of Rouen, which would become Upper Normandy. A royal diploma of 918 confirms the donation of 911. There is no evidence that Rollo owed any service or oath to the king for his lands, nor that there were any legal means for the king to take them back: they were granted outright.
Rollo does not seem to have been created a count or given comital authority, but sagas refer to him as Rúðujarl. In 924, King Radulf extended Rollo's county westward up to the river Vire, including the Bessin, where some Danes from England had settled not long before. In 933, King Radulf granted the Avranchin and Cotentin to Rollo's son and successor, William Longsword; these areas had been under Breton rule. The northern Cotentin had been settled by Norwegians coming from the region of the Irish Sea. There was much hostility between these Norwegian settlers and their new Danish overlords; these expansions brought the boundaries of Normandy in line with those of the ecclesiastical province of Rouen. The Norman polity had to contend with the Frankish and Breton systems of power that existed in Normandy. In the early 10th century, Normandy was not a monetary unit. According to many academics, "the formation of a new aristocracy, monastic reform, episcopal revival, written bureaucracy, saints’ cults – with different timelines" were as important if not more than the ducal narrative espoused by Dudo.
The formation of the Norman state coincided with the creation of an origin myth for the Norman ducal family through Dudo, such as Rollo being compared to a "good pagan" like the Trojan hero Aeneas. Through this narrative, the Normans were assimilated closer to the Frankish core as they moved away from their pagan Scandinavian origins. There were two distinct patterns of Norse settlement in the duchy. In the Danish area in the Roumois and the Caux, settlers intermingled with the indigenous Gallo-Romance-speaking population. Rollo shared out the large estates with his companions and gave agricultural land to his other followers. Danish settlers cleared their own land to farm it, there was no segregation of populations. In the northern Cotentin on the other hand, the population was purely Norwegian. Coastal features bore Norse names as did the three pagi of Haga and Helganes; the Norwegians may have set up a þing, an assembly of all free men, whose meeting place may be preserved in the name of Le Tingland.
Within a few generations of the founding of Normandy in 911, the Scandinavian settlers had intermarried with the natives and adopted much of their culture. But in 911, Normandy was not a monetary unit. Frankish culture remained dominant and according to some scholars, 10th century Normandy was characterized by a diverse Scandinavian population interacting with the "local Frankish matrix" that existed in the region. In the end, the Normans stressed assimilation with the local population. In the 11th century, the anonymous author of the Miracles of Saint Wulfram referred to the formation of a Norman identity as "shaping all races into one single people". According to some historians, the idea of "Norman" as a political identity was a deliberate creation of the court of Richard I in the 960s as a way to "to create a powerful if rather incoherent sense of group solidarity to galvanize the duchy's disparate elites around the duke". Starting with Rollo, Normandy was ruled by an long-lived Viking dynasty.
Illegitimacy was not a bar to succession and three of the first six rulers of Normandy were illegitimate sons of concubines. Rollo's successor, William Longsword managed in expanding his domain and came into co
The Vire is a river in Normandy, France whose 128 km course crosses the départements of Calvados and Manche, flowing through the towns of Vire, Saint-Lô and Isigny-sur-Mer flowing out into the English Channel. Its main tributaries are the Elle and the Souleuvre; the outflow of the Vire forms the port of Isigny-sur-Mer. The poets of the Vire valley are said to have given rise to vaudeville. Places along the river: Calvados: Vire, Pont-Farcy, Isigny-sur-Mer Manche: Tessy-sur-Vire, Torigni-sur-Vire, Condé-sur-Vire, Sainte-Suzanne-sur-Vire, Saint-Lô, Pont-Hébert, La Meauffe, Cavigny The brownish waters of the Vire are moderately alkaline having been tested by Lumina Tech as pH 8.31. The river waters are turbid, with a Secchi disc measurement of 12 centimetres. At the turn of the 10th century, the territorial lands of the Kingdom of Brittany had been expanded up to the Vire by their king Alan I. Atlas des Routes de France, Solar Press: Donnees IGN Hogan, C. Michael, Water quality of freshwater bodies in France, Lumina Tech Press, Scotland http://www.geoportail.fr The Vire at the Sandre database