History of France
Before we enter deeply in the understanding of France, it is of great importance to know the origin of the country and also a brief background information of the same.
Going to Europe and America has really been a concern and great wish of Africans. They have always believed that, life is more enjoyable and successful on that side of the world.
Being black has been a source of discriminaton and inferiority in the Mind of Africans.
One point i want to confirm is that, racism is a major issue in France and only the current the generation can be able to deal with it and bring up the true meaning of oneness.
The country so called France, is located in Europe and the official name of the country is the French Republic (La République Française). It became a republic in 1792, after centuries of royal rule, as a result of the French Revolution. The Revolution started with the storming of the Bastille fortress on 14th July 1789, an event that is celebrated every year all over France on Bastille Day.
France as an organized and structured country has also a motto that helps the country to maintain her value and dignity. Liberty, equality and fraternity (or brotherhood) is the national motto of France. First appearing around the time of the Revolution, it was written into the constitution in 1958 and today you’ll see it on coins, postage stamps and government logos often alongside ‘Marianne’ who symbolizes the ‘triumph of the Republic’.
It is of importance to know the size of the country. France is the largest country in the EU. With an area of 551,000 square km, it's almost a fifth of the EU’s total area. About a quarter is covered by forest; only Sweden and Finland have more.
The size may seem not to be enough to have the complete image of France, Her shape can also add value to our knowledge. France is sometimes called ‘the hexagon'. Because of its six-sided shape, France is sometimes referred to as l’hexagone.
France still retains 15 territories overseas. This includes Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion and Mayotte. Back on the mainland, Metropolitan France (including Corsica) is divided into 22 regions and sub-divided into 96 departments. The country’s colonial past is one reason why there are more than five million people of Arab and African descent living in France.
Some 85 percent of the French population live in urban areas. The vast majority of France’s 65.5 million inhabitants live in urban areas, and Paris, the capital, has 2.2 million inhabitants alone, with metropolitan Paris home to a total of 11.9 million people in 2013, according to the Institut d'Amenagement et d'Urbanisme. France has the second largest population in Europe after Germany, making up 13 percent of the EU.
French is the official language and the first language of 88 percent of the population. However, there are various indigenous regional dialects and languages, such as Alsacian, Basque, Breton, Catalan, Occitan and Flemish. About 1 million French people living near the border with Italy speak Italian.
This is the flag of France and each color has a meaning.The flag is called Tricolour because of the Three Colors that are represented in the flag.
French President Charles de Gaulle is included in the Guinness Book of World Records as surviving more assassination attempts—32—than anyone in the world
Talking of France Leadership here is the list of Presidents that have led France since the timee of
I also have come across this information and I do believe that most people did not know of this before. Louis XIX who reigned in France for only 20 minutes as a King.
Image of Louis XIX.
The 500-year-old French Acadmy aims to preserve the French language. It seeks to preserve the French language by attempting to ban – somewhat unsuccessfully – foreign words such as blog, hashtag, parking, email, and weekend.
More than 80 percent of the population are Roman Catholic. Some 5–10 percent are Muslim, 2 percent are Protestant, 1 percent are Jewish – and 4 percent are not affiliated to any religion. Perhaps surprisingly for a predominantly Catholic country, three-quarters of women of childbearing age use contraception.
A French woman is the world’s oldest human. She lived to an incredible 122 years, 164 days, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Jeanne Louise Calment was born on February 21, 1875 (the year before Alexander Graham Bell got his patent for the very first telephone and Custer’s Last Stand) and died on August 4, 1997. Her compatriots generally live long longer than most other nationalities: France is rated sixth in the world for life expectancy at birth: 81.5 years (86 years for women and 79 for men).
France has the second largest economy in the Eurozone. With a GDP of EUR 1.9 trillion (USD 2.613 trillion) according to figures from the World Bank, France's economy is only second to Germany's. France is one of the largest exporters of luxury goods in the world, with the top four companies Cartier, Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton alone worth around EUR 30.8 billion. Its main exports are far less glamorous: aircraft, food, chemicals, industrial machinery, iron and steel, electronics, motor vehicles and pharmaceuticals.
In 2013 France sold more electric cars than any other European country. With 8,779 registered vehicles, France sold more than twice as many as Germany and Norway.
The world’s first artificial heart transplant and face transplant both took place in France. The heart transplant occurred in December 2013 at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. The bio prosthetic device, which mimics a real heart’s contractions, is powered by external lithium-ion battery, and is about three times the weight of a real organ. French surgeons were also the first to perform a face transplant in 2005.
France has one of the highest average ages for women having their first child. Good childcare facilities allow 85 per cent of French women to work. However, this high level of employment has had an impact on the average age at which women have their first child. This has increased to 30.1 years, one of the highest amongst the OECD countries.
Yet France has Europe's second highest birth rate. Giving birth older hasn’t affected fertility rates though: France has Europe’s second highest birth rate (after Ireland) and accounts for more than half of the EU’s natural population increase.
French workers retire younger than in other OECD countries. In 2012, the average age was 59.7 years for men and 60 for women, compared to the OECD averages of 64.2 and 63.3. People can claim a state pension at 62, which is one of the lowest retirement ages in the world.
France legalized same-sex marriage in 2013. When President Françoise Holland signed the bill into law on May 18, 2013, France became the ninth country in Europe and 14th in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Although polls at the time showed that between 55 and 50 percent of French people supported gay marriage, not everyone is happy about it: thousands of people defending the so-called ‘family values’ continue to take to the streets in protest.
Europe’s highest mountain is in the French Alps. Mont Blanc, at 4,810m, takes an arduous 10 to 12 hours to climb to the summit. Alternatively, you can take a leisurely 20-minute trip up on Europe’s highest cable car on the nearby Pic du Midi to get a brilliant view of Mont Blanc.
The LouvreMuseum in Paris was the most visited museum in the world in 2012. With an amazing 9.5 million visitors, it received almost the same amount of people as the population of Sweden!
The French have a strong sense of community. In the OECD Better life Survey 2013, 93 per cent of respondents said they knew someone they could rely on in times of need.
The legal system in France is still largely influenced by Napoleon. French law is still based on the principles set down in Napoleon Bonaparte’s Code Civil back in the 1800s.
Throughout its history, France has produced some of the world’s most influential writers and thinkers: Descartes and Pascal in the 17th century, Voltaire in the 18th, Baudelaire and Flaubert in the 19th and Sartre and Camus in the 20th. To date, France has won more Noble Prizes for Literature (15) than any other country.
France is the world's most popular tourist destination. Some 83 million visitors arrived in France in 2012, according to the World Tourism Organization.
April Fool's Day in France apparently stems back to the 16th century. If you’re in France on April Fool’s Day, don’t be surprised if children try to stick paper fish onto your back and call you a ‘Poisson d’Avril’ (April Fish). This April 1st tradition is supposed to have started in the 16th century when King Charles XIV of France changed the calendar and those who continued to celebrate the end of the New Year at the end of March were ridiculed as fools.
The above given information has been the result of my research and understanding of the discussion done in the lecture during our first 2 weeks.
Enjoy the reading and to know more of this Country, join the FRE 124 class offered in Daystar University Nairobi Campus.