France Country Profile
France, formally called the French Republic, has played a major role in Western Europe history. It has been a consistent power for centuries. It was one of the original countries of the European Union, and has been a dominant factor in global trade. France has also been a driving force in the Common Market (CM), the European Economic Community (EEC), now called the European Union (EU), and is a permanent member of the United Nations.
France was established under a feudal system, first recorded in 843 with the crowning of Charles the Bald; France’s first King. As years passed, experiencing battles, wars, and coup d’états, France consistently has been known as a great power in Europe. From 1161-1715, Luis XIV reigned over France. He was the longest reigning king in French history (French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, 2011).
The first Republic was established in 1792. France was ahead of it’s time, forming the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789; claiming that men are free and equal at birth. France has toggled back and forth from monarchy to republic over the next several hundred years, until today, where it is governed under its fifth republic.
France suffered tremendous casualties in World War I at the Battle of Verdun on 1916, where over 300,000 men were killed. France also suffered in World War II, when in 1940 France as invaded by Germany and was under it’s control for nearly four years when in 1944, Paris, the capitol, was liberated and the Vichy government was overthrown. The European Economic Community (EEC) was established in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome, becoming the European Union (EU) in 1993, after the Treaty of Maastricht. France was instrumental in both treaties and the formation of the European Union.
France is the largest, and most western, country in the European Union. To the southwest, France borders Spain and a very small principality called Andorra, being separated by the Pyrenees Mountains. Southeast France borders Italy and Switzerland, sharing the Alps mountain range; and to the east and northeast respectively, borders Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium. To the north, divided by the narrow English Channel is Great Britain. Due west of France is the Bay of Biscay, which leads to the Celtic Sea, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, the south of France has 7,000 kilometers of coast along the Mediterranean Sea,...