Europe » Archive "France"

Weather: France

Although it's not an island like its neighbour across the English Channel, France is bordered on three sides by water. The Atlantic and Mediterranean help to moderate the temperature swings that otherwise might occur at France's latitude. The ragged northwest coast of Brittany and Normandy has a climate not too dissimilar to much of Great […]

How does weather shape France’s wines?

More and more wine is being grown in places with hot Mediterranean-style climates, Australia and California among them. But France's unique blend of landscape and weather – its terroir – has nurtured the grape for centuries. Experts have found that wine grows best in regions with cool winters that are a little above freezing and […]

France’s Future

Prediction is always a chancy thing. We may ask, “What will France become in the future, how may she change?”We can give few firm answers, though.What we can do is to try to project a short distance into the future some of the trends of recent times, and to at least raise some possibilities with respect to certain matters. […]

France’s Economy and Communications

France ranks fourth among countries in terms of its economy, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of around $1.5 trillion. Per-capita purchasing power is the equivalent of about U.S. $24,500 per year (compared with the U.S.'s $34,100 in 2002). AGRICULTURE France is an agriculturally favored country—60% of its land is arable and over half is cultivated—and produces prodigious quantities of […]

France’s Government

NATIONAL GOVERNMENT The constitution of today's Fifth Republic—“a subtle blend of authoritarianism and parliamentary democracy” (wrote James Corbett)—provides for a president and for a bicameral legislature consisting of a Senate and a National Assembly. The president of the republic (currently, Jacques Chirac) is elected for a seven-year term by direct universal suffrage on the part of those over 18 years of […]

Population, Culture Regions, and Social Institutions

Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong,” goes the old saying, but there are now more than sixty million French citizens in metropolitan and overseas France. They account for 16% of the European Union's population and rank France twentieth among world countries. Approximately 75% of the country's population is urban, living in towns of 2,000 or more people. This is in […]

France in the Modern Era (1830–Present)

In many respects, a three-day Paris revolution in 1830, which installed Louis Philippe as king, marks the beginning of the modern era for France. In that year, the country began to rebuild an overseas empire, as the conquest of Algeria began. Important political changes occurred as well, including a reduction of lavish living by kings and the endorsement of more […]

French History to 1830

A deep sense of the past is very much part of French character. Glorious monuments of that dramatic and creative past are revered treasures, the inheritance of the nation. Because of its respect for the past, France exceeds most other countries in its historic-preservation efforts. The history of any country, France included, is made up both of important individual events […]

Natural Environments and Landscapes

France possesses a varied and productive physical environment. In this chapter, you will learn about the country's diverse land features, climates, soils, wild vegetation, and mineral resources. LANDFORMS Although considered a lowland country, France's physical geography is, in fact, extremely varied, ranging from high, rugged mountains to low-lying sandy coastal plains. Running northward and eastward through France is a major drainage […]

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Introducing France

Historically and culturally, France is one of the most significant nations of Western Europe. The country is favored by nature, with a variety of landforms, climates, and resources as well as with rich and varied agricultural lands. Strategically, it is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The country has played a pivotal economic, political, and cultural role in […]


Area 212,796 square mi (545,630 square km) Population 66.20 million 2014 Capital Paris Highest Point 15,863 ft (4,807 m) Lowest Point -6.6 ft (-2 m) GDP $2.829 trillion 2014 Primary Natural Resources coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, potash, timber. ONE OF THE DOMINANT nations of Europe since the 9th century, and of the world since […]