La Marseillaise The National Anthem Allons enfants de la Patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé ! Contre nous de la tyrannie, L'étendard sanglant est levé. (bis) Entendez-vous dans les campagnes Mugir ces féroces soldats ? Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras Égorger nos fils, nos compagnes ! Aux armes, citoyens ! Formez vos bataillons ! Marchons, marchons ! Qu'un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons ! Aux armes, citoyens ! Formez vos bataillons ! Marchons, marchons ! Qu'un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons !
Government The government of France is a semi-presidential system determined by the French Constitution of the fifth Republic, in which the nation declares itself to be "an indivisible, secular, democratic, and social Republic". The constitution provides for a separation of powers and proclaims France's "attachment to the Rights of Man and the principles of national sovereignty as defined by the Declaration of 1789.“ The French parliament is a bicameral legislature comprising a National Assembly ( Assemblée Nationale ) and a Senate. French politics are characterized by two politically opposed groupings: one left-wing, centered around the French Socialist Party, and the other right-wing, centered previously around the Rassemblement pour la République (RPR) and now its successor the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). The executive branch is currently composed mostly of the UMP. Type: Unitary Semi- Presidential Republic President: Nicolas Sarkozy Prime Minister: François Fillon
Brief History The borders of modern France are approximately the same as those of ancient Gaul, which was inhabited by Celtic Gauls . Gaul was conquered for Rome by Julius Caesar in the 1st century BC, and the Gauls eventually adopted Roman speech (Latin, from which the French language evolved) and Roman culture. In the 4th century AD, Gaul’s eastern frontier along the Rhine was overrun by Germanic tribes, principally the Franks, from whom the ancient name of “Francie” was derived. The modern name “France” derives from the name of the feudal domain of the Capetian Kings of France around Paris. The Franks were the first tribe among the Germanic conquerors of Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire to convert to Catholic Christianity.Existence as a separate entity began with the Treaty of Verdun (843) , with the division of Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire into East Francia, Middle Francia and Western Francia. Western Francia approximated the area occupied by modern France and was the precursor to modern France. During the 17th century France, ruled by a monarchy, possessed the largest population in Europe and had tremendous influence over European politics, economy, and culture. French became, and remained for some time, the common language of diplomacy in international affairs. Much of the Enlightenment occurred in French intellectual circles, and major scientific breakthroughs were achieved by French scientists in the 18th century. In addition, France obtained many overseas possessions in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
The monarchy ruled France until the French Revolution, in 1789. Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were executed (in 1793). After a series of short-lived governmental schemes, Napoleon Bonaparte seized control of the Republic in 1799. Following Napoleon's final defeat in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, the French monarchy was re-established, but with new constitutional limitations. France was a victorious nation in World War I and World War II. The human and material losses in the first war exceeded largely those of the second, even though only a minor part of its territory was occupied during World War I. The interbellum phase was marked by a variety of social reforms introduced by the Popular Front government. Following the German blitzkrieg campaign in World War II metropolitan France was divided in a occupation zone in the north and Vichy France, a puppet regime loyal to Germany, in the south. In recent decades, France's reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the political and economic integration of the evolving European Union, including the introduction of the euro in January 1999.
May 8: WII Victory Day (Fete de la Victoire 1945) July 14: Bastille Day (Fete Nationale) Aug 15: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assumption) November 1: All Saints Day (La Toussaint) December 26: 2 nd Day of Christmas (in Alsac and Lorraine only) National Holidays
Fun Facts The borders of modern France are approximately the same as those of ancient Gaul. The name France comes from the Latin term Francia, meaning “land of the Franks” or “Frankland”. Famous French inventions include the adding machine, the hot air balloon, the airship, the parachute, the submarine, the ambulance service, photography, animation and cinema. The most visited landmark in Paris isn't the Eiffel Tower....nor the Louvre....nor Notre-Dame. Paris is a huge tourist destination and every year 13 million people visit Disneyland Paris! 5.5 million visit the Eiffel Tower, about 5 million visit the Louvre museum, and about 3.25 million visit Versailles Palace. There are 340 different types of French cheese. One for almost everyday of the year! The big McDonald’s “M” in Paris is the only one in the world that is white. Yellow was considered to be “too tacky”.
In France, lunch is the biggest and most important meal of the day. France is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg ,Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra and Spain. People often refer to France as L’Hexagone because of its geometric shape. Population: 61, 875, 822 The French read more magazines than anyone else in the world. French people keep more pets than any other people in the world: 25% of French people have at least one cat and 40% of French people have dogs.