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France. Essay

1670 words - 7 pages

France has been greatly influenced due to this country's location, size, and power. France is located in Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. To find France on a map, the exact coordinates are 46 00 N and 2 00 E. This reasonably large country in roughly 547,030 square miles, and to better understand its size, France is slightly less then twice the size of Colorado. The terrain includes mostly flat plains, which dominates northern France, and gently rolling hills in the west. The Central Uplands lie mainly in the central and eastern area. France also possesses a volcanic area in the south central section of the country. But the chief physiographic features of France are its natural Eastern and Southern boundaries, which borders Germany and Switzerland, a south plateau, and vast plains. The boundaries refer to the Alps and Jura mountains. Mount Blanc is the highest peak towering 15,771 feet and is the second largest mountain in the continent of Europe. The lowest point in France is Lac de Cazaux et de Sanguinet at 10 feet below sea level. France has four major and important rivers: the Seine, Loire, Garonne, and Rhone. Bordeaux, Boulogne, Cherbourg, Dijon, and Marseille are just a few of France's key ports and harbors.Since 1958, this hexagonal shaped country has constructed a presidential democracy far different from the earlier practiced parliamentary democracies. Which brings us to the French Revolution. It all started with the idea of starting a new type of justice, but with this idea came much dissatisfaction from the now hungry and poor inhabitants with the injustices that started to exist in society. King Louis XVI, the man responsible for the downfall, tried to deal with these crisis's by assembling the old Estates-General, a body clergy, nobles, and commoners. But soon the clergy and nobles clashed with the newer class of commoners. This uncommitted group later broke away and affirmed themselves a National Assembly. An angry mob, thinking the king would suppress the new assembly, stormed the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789. Soon later peasants revolted in the countryside and belligerence had sprung up everywhere in many of the cities. Faster then anyone had expected, the French Revolution had begun. Before long the National Assembly had grown stronger and gained much control, which ended the feudal system for good. In 1971, a new constitution changed the absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy and the National Assembly divided the country. When the King and Queen tried to flee the country, they were spotted, arrested, and thrown in prison and forced to sign the new constitution. Royalist throughout Europe tried to restore Louis to his former power but nothing had changed. The French revolutionaries declared war against Austria and Prussia. The revolution then moved up an added level. Extremist Jacobins under Danton, Marat, and Robespierre came to power and set up the Commune of Paris. Massacres and...

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