France’s population in 2015 was estimated to be around 66.6 million, making it the most populous country in the European Union. The majority of French citizens identify as Roman Catholic, with a minority of Protestants, Muslims and other religious groups also present. The French economy is one of the largest and most developed in the world, with services making up the majority of economic activity. Exports include machinery, chemicals and aircraft. France has strong trade ties with its European neighbors, particularly Germany, as well as other countries worldwide. In terms of politics, France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with a multi-party system. In 2015 the Socialist Party held power after winning the 2012 presidential election. In foreign relations, France is a founding member of both NATO and the European Union and is actively involved in international affairs such as peacekeeping operations. Relations with Russia have been strained since 2014 due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine but France has maintained close ties through diplomatic channels. See ehealthfacts for France in the year of 2005.
France. According to COUNTRYAAH, Paris is the capital of France which is located in Western Europe. The country was hit hard by Islamist terrorism during the year. On January 7, two brothers shot a total of twelve people, the majority of journalists, in an attack on the satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office. In related assaults, a third perpetrator murdered a police officer and four people in a Jewish grocery store. All three perpetrators were shot dead by police. The shock was great and “je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) became a widely used expression of sympathy for those affected and in support of freedom of expression and open society.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for France country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
The worldwide TV5 Monde station was hit in April by a multi-hour cyber attack when the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization took control of the digital broadcasts. In the same month, President François Hollande announced increased defense efforts of close to EUR 4 billion in response to the extremist threat.
In August, a man was disarmed on a high-speed train en route from Amsterdam to Paris. The man who, among other things, had an automatic weapon was overpowered by fellow passengers.
France, which had previously participated in the US-led bombing of IS in Iraq, expanded its attacks in September to include Syria.
On November 13, Paris was hit by one of the worst terrorist acts in Europe during the postwar period. A total of 130 people were killed in concerted attacks on a football arena, a concert venue and several restaurants and bars. Six perpetrators blew to death and one was shot by police, but a couple were believed to have escaped. An emergency permit was introduced in the country and the borders were closed. IS took on the deed.
The following week, police hit the suburb of Saint-Denis and killed three people. One of them was the suspected brain behind the November act, a wanted Belgian-Moroccan man sentenced to prison in Belgium for terrorist offenses.
All 150 people on board were killed when a German passenger plane on its way from Barcelona to Düsseldorf crashed in the French Alps in March, after the second pilot locked himself in the driver’s cabin and fled the plane straight into a rock wall.
Splits within the Socialist Party helped Prime Minister Manuel Valls twice use a rarely used special procedure to push through legislative changes without allowing the National Assembly to vote. This was partly due to changes in labor law and partly to an economic reform package. Both times, distrustful votes were demanded against the government, which it did, however.
A feud at the highest level within the right-wing party National Front (UN) deepened during the year. 86-year-old party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen repeated earlier statements that the Nazis’ gas chamber was a “historic detail”, despite efforts by the daughter and successor of party leader Marine Le Pen to curb racism and anti-Semitism in the party. As a result, Jean-Marie Le Pen was banned from speaking in the party’s name, and in August he was excluded from the party.
In the December regional elections, the United Nations went strong and became the largest party in the first round with close to 28% of the vote, just ahead of the leading bourgeois party that changed its name to the Republicans during the year (from the Union for a People’s Movement, the UMP). The ruling Socialist Party backed down and was supported by only 23% of voters. However, in the second round of elections, when two candidates were pitted against each other, the UN failed to take home the victory in any region.
The Prehistory of France
The prehistory of France encompasses the time from the Stone Age to the time the area was conquered by the Romans in the 100s before our era.
The scientific exploration of France’s prehistory began as early as the mid-1800s. The very rich finds from the Ice Age have made the country the classic area for paleolithic research. The post-glacial period, on the other hand, is little explored, and the prehistoric development through the younger Stone Age, Bronze and Iron Age is only partly known in rough terms.
The bronze age
The time around 2000–1500 BCE. Some are considered to be of the Bronze Age, as the knowledge of copper and gold, later also bronze, was spread throughout France during this time. However, domestic metal production did not grow, and the flint and stone industry continued to play a dominant role in the utility. However, metals from the oldest metal-producing centers in the western Mediterranean play a crucial role for cultural connections during this time and later in the Bronze Age.
In the northeastern landscapes, especially from the middle Bronze Age (around 1500–1200 BCE), rich finds are found from the large burial ground in the Haguenau forest in Alsace. The rest of the country belongs to the Western European cultural circle at this time and most of the younger Bronze Age; The Bronze Age here seems to be a period of cultural stagnation and isolation from the more important cultural areas of Central Europe and the Mediterranean, and for the most part the local cultural groups seem to continue unchanged until the beginning of the Iron Age.
The bronze forms themselves correspond to a large extent to the northern European types of swords, axes, spearheads and jewelery. In the south, impulses from the Iberian Bronze Age are more dominant and are reflected in a new group of unoriginal clay vessels.
In the younger Bronze Age (around 1200–900 BCE), the burial burials were replaced by large burial fields with fire graves in urns, all over the northeastern French region, and a rich bronze industry emerged with new weapon types, jewelery, tools, and bronze vessels. Both here and elsewhere in France, the depot finds are numerous and testify to a very extensive trade in bronze products. The material culture of the burial sites is largely uniform throughout Central Europe.
The iron age
In the southwestern France and northern Spain, a distinctive group of urn burial culture emerged in the late Bronze Age. It continued into the Iron Age and was quickly characterized by continuing cultural impulses that brought with it the original Central European Hallstatt culture from the Rhône Valley and eastern France. Thus, the distinction between Western European and Central European culture was blurred in France.
Older Iron Age Hallstatt culture can be shared in France in an older period (about 900–700 BCE) and a younger one (about 500 BCE). During this period, the areas we now call France experienced a large immigration of literate people (Greeks and Romans). On the other hand, the local people (cellars, galleys and ligurians) wrote little or not at all. It is archeology that largely forms the basis of our knowledge of the Iron Age in France.
Best known among the local groups is the eastern part of northeastern France and south to Burgundy. It joins close to the Central European Hallstatt culture and has yielded many discoveries from fortified villages and graves. The latter are built as unburied burials covered with piles, and especially in the younger period contains a rich burial ground of weapons, jewelery and other iron and bronze and decorated vessels. Not infrequently, they are also equipped with Greek and Etruscan import goods, some of which have found remains of tanks; these plants can be considered as excavators (see Vix).
The southwest group is best known from fortifications and burial sites in the district of Narbonne. Here, strong traditions of urn burial ground culture are prevalent in both pottery and costume needles, and the fire burial custom is dominant, while Greek trading colonies on the south coast bring a stronger classical element from around 600 BCE.
In the late Hallstatt era, the distinctive northwestern French Marne culture was formed. Unbranded flatmark tombs collected in larger graves are almost unanimous here, the weapons predominate in the graveyard, and in some tombs two-wheeled tanks have been found. Both the ceramics and the other equipment testify to traditions from the urn burial culture, while the La Tène stamp already applies.
The Celtic La Tène culture, which covers the last period of the Iron Age in France, was developed in the 5th century BCE. in the Rhine area and then spread throughout its first section (around 500-300 BCE) across most of the country. It emerges as a result of the strong classical impulses associated with the extensive trade in Greek – Etruscan import goods in the younger Hallstatt era, and its foremost feature is the rich ornamental art (La Tène style), which was developed independently among the Celts of the basis of the classic impulses.
By the way, there is no marked cultural difference between the Hallstatt and La Tène times in France, and the La Tène culture was spread mainly among the local Hallstatt groups as a result of the increasing pressure from Germanic tribes in the north and along the Rhine. In doing so, the various Celtic tribes set in motion, which led, among other things, to repeated emigrations from northwestern France to Britain. Through the growing production of metal cases and turned pots, the whole country was gradually transformed into a uniform, Celtic cultural area.
On the basis of the changing fashion direction in the design of jewelery needles and weapons, the La Tène culture itself is divided into three periods; the first is characterized by plastic decorated needles and short pointed swords, in the second period (about 300-100 BCE) longitudinal swords with curved odd and lowered paring rod appear, while the paring rod is completely looped on the corresponding swords from the final phase, which last down to the political and cultural of the Romans conquest of the land.