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France France Introduction France, which is the largest nation in Western Europe, is a presidential republic. France is a very important nation in Europe and it continues to be involved in contemporary policy issues. Helping the world as one of the great trading nations, France is a very important trading partner with the United States. Not only is France important to the United States, they are also important to countries all over the world. Their abundance of both mineral and agricultural resources make them a very important supplier of products all over the world. I chose to report on France because it is an interesting county and I wanted to learn more about it.

Geography France is located in Western Europe and has an area of approximately 211,000 square miles. Along with being the capital, Paris is also the largest city in France. Spain borders France in the south, Italy and Switzerland in the east, and Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium in the northeast. The French Alps are located in the east where snow capped peaks, such as Mont. Blanc reach heights of 15,781 feet.

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About one-half of Frances total border is formed by coastline, with the Mediterranean Sea on the Southeast and the Atlantic and the English Channel on the west and northwest. Many rivers and canals run through France forming a vast network, tying different regions and cities together. The Seine is the countrys largest navigable river. It flows northwest from eastern France through the city of Paris, and empties into the channel at Le Harre. The Rhone River is the largest in the country in terms of volume of discharge. Along with its tributaries, it drains the French Alpine region. Although France has many rivers, it only has a few lakes.

One of the lakes in France is Lake Geneva (also known as Lake Leman), but in lies mainly in Switzerland. France is richly endowed with an excellent balance of both mineral and agricultural resources. The nation produces substantial amounts of iron ore. In addition, France has sizable deposits of antimony magnesium, pyrites, tungsten, salt, potash, radioactive materials, lead and zinc. Coal mining has decreased significantly since the 1960s, as many mines have been depleted and are now closed.

Currently, the production of natural gas and sulfur is being developed. History France has one of the most complete records of human history in all of Europe. Archaeologists have uncovered artifacts that are more than 100,000 years old. During the 16th century, Protestantism spread across France leading to a number of religious and civil wars. The wars between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics resulted in the massacre of some 3,000 Protestants in Paris on the eve of St.

Bartholomews Day in 1572. The statecraft of such royal advisers as the cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin helped France in becoming the greatest power in Europe during the 17th century. Unfortunately, defeats in a series of costly foreign wars during the 18th century caused France to loose many of their overseas territories, and brought the country near bankruptcy. In 1789 revolution toppled the King, Louis XVI, and proclaimed the rights of man. The French Revolution took a bloody turn and ended in a weak government of five directors.

France soon fell into the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte, who ruled from 1799-1814, first as consul, then as emperor. Napoleons far fetched military ventures ended in 1815 with his downfall. A limited monarchy was restored and, with the exception of a brief republican period (1848-52), brought about the creation of the Third Republic. After WWI, a resistance movement known as Free France was organized in Britain under the leadership of General Charles de Gaulle. Allied and Free French forces liberated France in 1944.

Parliamentary democracy was restored to France under the Fourth Republic. Another costly war against nationalist guerrillas in Algeria and other French colonies during the 1950s brought an end to the Fourth Republic. In 1958, Gaulle returned as president of the Fifth Republic. In 1981, France elected its first Socialist president, Francois Mitterand, who served 2 terms until 1995. Frances current president, elected in 1995, is Jacques Chirac. People One of the things that make France so unique is the people that live there.

Due to the current concerns with making money and being successful, more people are working in France than ever before. Great emphasis is being put on efficiency. Some say that France has been Americanized. This is because the United States is a world symbol of the technological society and its consumer products. Since the 1940s, the French population has been growing at a rapid rate.

The most recent estimate of Frances population is 58,804,944 people. This averages out to 280 persons per square mile. Out of these 58 million some civilians, 94% of them are natives of France and are of Caucasian decent. The largest foreign-born groups are Portuguese, Algerians, Moroccans, Italians and Turkish. More recently many elements in the modern French nation have come to include descendants of the Senegalese, Congolese, Indochinese, and other African and Asian peoples, as well as Germans, Russians, Poles and Spaniards.

Roman Catholicism is the faith of 81% of French residents. Islam is the next largest with about 5% of the population. Protestants and Jews account for about 1-2% respectively. In 1905, because of popular opposition to the political influence of the Roman Catholic church and to the Catholic country of public education, legislation prohibited the payment of public funds to the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish clergies. By the provisions of that and other subsequent legislation, the French government withdrew official recognition of religious denominations. The French are said to be tolerant of all kinds. This does not mean that they are wholly without prejudice, but in general they do not regularly exclude whole groups of people. There has always been a fairly continuous acceptance of newcomers. To be French is not so much to claim any certain ancestry as it is to “feel” French.

French is the official language of France. It is taught and spoken all over the country. Although French is the official language, as well as other countries sections of France speak languages such as German and Italian. Constitution France has a constitution that is somewhat similar to that of the Untied States. Also similar to the Untied States, Frances constitution is the bases of their governmental system.

Adopted in 1958, Frances constitution is fairly new. This document reduces the power of the parliament and enlarges authority of the president. This constitution puts the sovereignty of the republic in the French people, who exercise their political powers through a representative parliament as well as through referenda. The constitution of 1958 established a new body, the Constitutional Council, which has general power to supervise elections and referenda. They also have the power to decided constitutional questions.

The council consists of 9 appointed members and all former presidents of the republic. Constitutional amendments may be adopted after approval by both chambers of Parliament and by a subsequent popular referendum, or merely by approval of 3/5 of Parliament. National Government France is a multi party democracy dominated by a strong executive. Frances national government has three branches. The executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The president and the Prime Minister head the executive branch.

The president is elected for a seven-year term by direct popular vote. The president is commander of the armed forces and presides over High Council of the Judiciary, the Committee of National Defense, and the Council of Ministers. The president also designates the Prime Minister and he appoints cabinet ministers. The Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible only to the National Assembly, although they do have the right to ask the Senate for approval of a general declaration of policy. The Prime Minister oversees the day-to-day affairs of the government, while the president, as head of the state, focuses more on the direction of national policy and foreign affairs.

The president can dissolve the National Assembly and call for new elections at any time. In an emergency, he can assume almost complete power. Due to the stated powers of the president, the executive branch does hold some higher im …


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