France is considered the largest Western European country. It is shaped roughly like a hexagon, and three of its six sides are bounded by water and the English Channel on the northwest, the Atlantic Ocean and Bay of Biscay on the west, and the Mediterranean Sea on the southeast (Turnpike, Pg. 515). The remaining sides are mainly mountainous and are shared by seven European neighbors and Belgium and Luxembourg on the northeast: Germany, Switzerland, Italy on the east, Spain, and tiny Andorra on the south.
A France’s ally is Monaco, located on the Mediterranean coast near Nice and entirely surrounded by French territory. In ancient times France was part of the Celtic territory known as Gaul or Gallia. Its present name is derived from the Latin Francia, meaning “country of the Franks,” a Germanic people who conquered the area during the 5th century, at the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It became a separate country in the 9th century. Since the 17th century France has played a major role in European and world events.
In the 20th century it has experienced numerous crises, including the devastation of two world wars, political and social upheavals, and the loss of a large empire in Indochina, Algeria, and West and Equatorial Africa. It has, however, survived and emerged from the ruins of World War II to become an important world supplier of agricultural and industrial products and a major partner in the European Union (EU) (Turnpike, Pg. 528). Today, the term metropolitan France refers to the mainland departments and Corsica, a large island located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy that has been a part of France since 1768. France has six overseas departments and French Guiana in South America; Guadeloupe and Martinique in the West Indies; Mayotte, an island formerly part of the Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean; Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean; and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, islands off the east coast of Canada.
France has numerous small possessions called overseas territories (Bobley, Pg. 2120). These include the widely scattered islands in the South Pacific that are administered from Tahiti and are known collectively as French Polynesia. French Southern and Antarctic Territories. New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna Islands; and many small islands in the southern oceans, including the Kerguelen and Crozet archipelagoes, and the islands of St.
Paul and Amsterdam (Indian Ocean). The overseas departments and territories are represented in the French National Assembly (Bobley, Pg. 2125). Another reasons why I think France is an exciting country is because France is well known for their arts consisting of their world-famous novelists, poets, playwrights, and philosophers. Many of the new movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, including impressionism and cubism, began in France.
A ministry of culture was established in 1959 to preserve this rich cultural heritage and to make it more widely available outside of Paris. Cultural institutions have now been established throughout the country, and numerous expositions and festivals are held during the summer. (Fetzer, Pg. 394-395)Major efforts have been made since World War II to improve and modernize the extensive French transportation system and to lessen its historical focus on the Paris metropolitan area. Train service, provided by the state, is fast and efficient. (Brian Sookram, Pg.
115) The French National Railways’ Trains Grande Vitesse (TGV, “high speed trains”) are world famous. The English Channel Tunnel completed in 1994, established the first direct rail link between France and Britain. Airlines are also state run; Air France is one of the world’s largest airline companies. France’s road system provides access to all parts of the nation.
The network of is in the process of being expanded. In 1990 there were 23 million passenger cars and more than 5 million trucks and buses. Waterways carry much of the nation’s bulk freight; the three principal waterways deep enough to accommodate the 1,500-ton barges common in Europe are the Rhine River, the Seine between Le Havre and Paris, and the canalized section of the Moselle below Metz. (Balerdi, Pg.
118)Further more, thats why France is one of the most interesting countries in the world. Bibliography:This is one of my analitical research papers. it is a hit.