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France

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Coordinates: 47°N 2°E / 47°N 2°E / 47; 2

French Republic
République française (French)
Motto: "
Reverse
France in the World (+Antarctica claims).svg
Location of France (red or dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)

Capital
and largest city
Paris
48°51′N 2°21′E / 48.850°N 2.350°E / 48.850; 2.350
Official language
and national language
French[II]
Nationality (2021)
  • 7.7% Others[3]
  • Religion
    (2016)
    semi-presidential republic
    • President
    Emmanuel Macron
    Élisabeth Borne
    LegislatureParliament
    Senate
    National Assembly
    Establishment
    10 August 843
    3 July 987
    22 September 1792
    • Founded the EEC[III]
    1 January 1958
    4 October 1958
    106th)
    • Metropolitan France, estimate as of July 2022
    Neutral increase 65,707,000[9] (23rd)
    • Density
    121/km2 (313.4/sq mi) (89th)
    GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
    • Total
    Increase $3.667 trillion[10] (10th)
    • Per capita
    Increase $56,036[10] (24th)
    GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
    • Total
    Increase $2.936 trillion[10] (7th)
    • Per capita
    Increase $44,747[10] (28th)
    Gini (2020)Negative increase 29.3[11]
    low
    HDI (2021)Increase 0.903[12]
    very high · 28th
    Currency
    Time zoneUTC+1 (Central European Time)
    • Summer (DST)
    UTC+2 (Central European Summer Time[IX])
    Note: Various other time zones are observed in overseas France.[VIII]
    Although France is in the UTC (Z) (Western European Time) zone, UTC+01:00 (Central European Time) was enforced as the standard time since 25 February 1940, upon German occupation in WW2, with a +0:50:39 offset (and +1:50:39 during DST) from Paris LMT (UTC+0:09:21).[13]
    Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (AD)
    Driving sideright
    Calling code+33[X]
    ISO 3166 codeFR
    Internet TLD.fr[XI]
    Source gives area of metropolitan France as 551,500 km2 (212,900 sq mi) and lists overseas regions separately, whose areas sum to 89,179 km2 (34,432 sq mi). Adding these give the total shown here for the entire French Republic. The CIA reports the total as 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi).

    France (French: 

    semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre; other major urban areas include Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nice
    .

    Inhabited since the Palaeolithic era, the territory of Metropolitan France was settled by Celtic tribes known as Gauls during the Iron Age. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, leading to a distinct Gallo-Roman culture that laid the foundation of the French language. The Germanic Franks formed the Kingdom of Francia, which became the heartland of the Carolingian Empire. The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned the empire, with West Francia becoming the Kingdom of France in 987. In the High Middle Ages, France was a powerful but highly decentralised feudal kingdom. Philip II successfully strengthened royal power and defeated his rivals to double the size of the crown lands; by the end of his reign, France had emerged as the most powerful state in Europe. From the mid-14th to the mid-15th century, France was plunged into a series of dynastic conflicts involving England, collectively known as the Hundred Years' War, and a distinct French identity emerged as a result. The French Renaissance saw art and culture flourish, conflict with the House of Habsburg, and the establishment of a global colonial empire, which by the 20th century would become the second-largest in the world.[15] The second half of the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Huguenots that severely weakened the country. France again emerged as Europe's dominant power in the 17th century under Louis XIV following the Thirty Years' War.[16] Inadequate economic policies, inequitable taxes and frequent wars (notably a defeat in the Seven Years' War and costly involvement in the American War of Independence), left the kingdom in a precarious economic situation by the end of the 18th century. This precipitated the French Revolution of 1789, which overthrew the Ancien Régime and produced the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day.

    France reached its political and military zenith in the early 19th century under Napoleon Bonaparte, subjugating much of continental Europe and establishing the First French Empire. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of European and world history. The collapse of the empire initiated a period of relative decline, in which France endured a tumultuous succession of governments until the founding of the French Third Republic during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Subsequent decades saw a period of optimism, cultural and scientific flourishing, as well as economic prosperity, known as the Belle Époque. France was one of the major participants of World War I, from which it emerged victorious at a great human and economic cost. It was among the Allied powers of World War II but was soon occupied by the Axis in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, the short-lived Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The current Fifth Republic was formed in 1958 by Charles de Gaulle. Algeria and most French colonies became independent in the 1960s, with the majority retaining close economic and military ties with France.

    France retains its centuries-long status as a global centre of

    .

    Etymology and pronunciation

    Originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or "realm of the Franks".[22] Modern France is still named today Francia in Italian and Spanish, while Frankreich in German, Frankrijk in Dutch and Frankrike in Swedish all mean "Land/realm of the Franks".

    The name of the Franks is related to the English word frank ("free"): the latter stems from the Old French franc ("free, noble, sincere"), ultimately from Medieval Latin francus ("free, exempt from service; freeman, Frank"), a generalisation of the tribal name that emerged as a Late Latin borrowing of the reconstructed Frankish endonym *Frank.[23][24] It has been suggested that the meaning "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation,[25] or more generally because they had the status of freemen in contrast to servants or slaves.[24]

    The etymology of *Frank is uncertain. It is traditionally derived from the Proto-Germanic word *frankōn, which translates as "javelin" or "lance" (the throwing axe of the Franks was known as the francisca),[26] although these weapons may have been named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around.[24]

    In English, 'France' is pronounced /fræns/ FRANSS in American English and /frɑːns/ FRAHNSS or /fræns/ FRANSS in British English. The pronunciation with /ɑː/ is mostly confined to accents with the trap-bath split such as Received Pronunciation, though it can be also heard in some other dialects such as Cardiff English, in which /frɑːns/ is in free variation with /fræns/.[27]

    History

    Prehistory (before the 6th century BC)

    Lascaux cave paintings: a horse from Dordogne facing right brown on white background
    One of the Lascaux paintings: a horse – approximately 17,000 BC. Lascaux is famous for its "exceptionally detailed depictions of humans and animals".[28]

    The oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from approximately 1.8 million years ago.[29] Over the ensuing millennia, humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial periods. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life.[29] France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best-preserved, Lascaux[29] (approximately 18,000 BC). At the end of the last glacial period (10,000 BC), the climate became milder;[29] from approximately 7,000 BC, this part of Western Europe entered the Neolithic era and its inhabitants became sedentary.

    After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium, initially working gold, copper and bronze, as well as later iron.[30] France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptionally dense Carnac stones site (approximately 3,300 BC).

    Antiquity (6th century BC–5th century AD)

    Vercingetorix surrenders to Caesar during the Battle of Alesia. The Gallic defeat in the Gallic Wars secured the Roman
    conquest of the country.

    In 600 BC, Ionian Greeks from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia (present-day Marseille), on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This makes it France's oldest city.[31] At the same time, some Gallic Celtic tribes penetrated parts of Eastern and Northern France, gradually spreading through the rest of the country between the 5th and 3rd century BC.[32] The concept of Gaul emerged during this period, corresponding to the territories of Celtic settlement ranging between the Rhine, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. The borders of modern France roughly correspond to ancient Gaul, which was inhabited by Celtic Gauls. Gaul was then a prosperous country, of which the southernmost part was heavily subject to Greek and Roman cultural and economic influences.

    Maison Carrée was a temple of the Gallo-Roman city of Nemausus (present-day Nîmes) and is one of the best-preserved vestiges of the Roman Empire
    .

    Around 390 BC, the Gallic

    Brennus and his troops made their way to Italy through the Alps, defeated the Romans in the Battle of the Allia, and besieged and ransomed Rome.[33] The Gallic invasion left Rome weakened, and the Gauls continued to harass the region until 345 BC when they entered into a formal peace treaty with Rome.[34] But the Romans and the Gauls would remain adversaries for the next centuries, and the Gauls would continue to be a threat in Italy.[35]

    Around 125 BC, the south of Gaul was conquered by the Romans, who called this region Provincia Nostra ("Our Province"), which over time evolved into the name Provence in French.[36] Julius Caesar conquered the remainder of Gaul and overcame a revolt carried out by the Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix in 52 BC.[37]

    Gaul was divided by Augustus into Roman provinces.[38] Many cities were founded during the Gallo-Roman period, including Lugdunum (present-day Lyon), which is considered the capital of the Gauls.[38] These cities were built in traditional Roman style, with a forum, a theatre, a circus, an amphitheatre and thermal baths. The Gauls mixed with Roman settlers and eventually adopted Roman culture and Roman speech (Latin, from which the French language evolved). Roman polytheism merged with Gallic paganism into the same syncretism.

    From the 250s to the 280s AD, Roman Gaul suffered a serious crisis with its fortified borders being attacked on several occasions by barbarians.[39] Nevertheless, the situation improved in the first half of the 4th century, which was a period of revival and prosperity for Roman Gaul.[40] In 312, Emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity. Subsequently, Christians, who had been persecuted until then, increased rapidly across the entire Roman Empire.[41] But, from the beginning of the 5th century, the Barbarian Invasions resumed.[42] Teutonic tribes invaded the region from present-day Germany, the Visigoths settling in the southwest, the Burgundians along the Rhine River Valley, and the Franks (from whom the French take their name) in the north.[43]

    Early Middle Ages (5th–10th century)

    At the end of the Antiquity period, ancient Gaul was divided into several Germanic kingdoms and a remaining Gallo-Roman territory, known as the Kingdom of Syagrius. Simultaneously, Celtic Britons, fleeing the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, settled in the western part of Armorica. As a result, the Armorican peninsula was renamed Brittany, Celtic culture was revived and independent petty kingdoms arose in this region.

    The first leader to make himself king of all the Franks was Clovis I, who began his reign in 481, routing the last forces of the Roman governors of the province in 486. Clovis claimed that he would be baptised a Christian in the event of his victory against the Visigoths, which was said to have guaranteed the battle. Clovis regained the southwest from the Visigoths, was baptised in 508 and made himself master of what is now western Germany.

    Clovis I was the first Germanic conqueror after the fall of the Roman Empire to convert to Catholic Christianity, rather than Arianism; thus France was given the title "Eldest daughter of the Church" (French: La fille aînée de l'Église) by the papacy,[44] and French kings would be called "the Most Christian Kings of France" (Rex Christianissimus).

    painting of Clovis I conversion to Catholicism in 498, a king being baptised in a tub in a cathedral surrounded by bishop and monks
    With Clovis's conversion to Catholicism in 498, the Frankish monarchy, elective and secular until then, became hereditary and of divine right
    .

    The Franks embraced the Christian Gallo-Roman culture and ancient Gaul was eventually renamed Francia ("Land of the Franks"). The Germanic Franks adopted Romanic languages, except in northern Gaul where Roman settlements were less dense and where Germanic languages emerged. Clovis made Paris his capital and established the Merovingian dynasty, but his kingdom would not survive his death. The Franks treated land purely as a private possession and divided it among their heirs, so four kingdoms emerged from that of Clovis: Paris, Orléans, Soissons, and Rheims. The last Merovingian kings lost power to their mayors of the palace (head of household). One mayor of the palace, Charles Martel, defeated an Umayyad invasion of Gaul at the Battle of Tours (732) and earned respect and power within the Frankish kingdoms. His son, Pepin the Short, seized the crown of Francia from the weakened Merovingians and founded the Carolingian dynasty. Pepin's son, Charlemagne, reunited the Frankish kingdoms and built a vast empire across Western and Central Europe.

    Proclaimed Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III and thus establishing in earnest the French Government's longtime historical association with the Catholic Church,[45] Charlemagne tried to revive the Western Roman Empire and its cultural grandeur. Charlemagne's son, Louis I (Emperor 814–840), kept the empire united; however, this Carolingian Empire would not survive his death. In 843, under the Treaty of Verdun, the empire was divided between Louis' three sons, with East Francia going to Louis the German, Middle Francia to Lothair I, and West Francia to Charles the Bald. West Francia approximated the area occupied by and was the precursor to, modern France.[46]

    During the 9th and 10th centuries, continually threatened by Viking invasions, France became a very decentralised state: the nobility's titles and lands became hereditary, and the authority of the king became more religious than secular and thus was less effective and constantly challenged by powerful noblemen. Thus was established feudalism in France. Over time, some of the king's vassals would grow so powerful that they often posed a threat to the king. For example, after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror added "King of England" to his titles, becoming both the vassal to (as Duke of Normandy) and the equal of (as king of England) the king of France, creating recurring tensions.

    High and Late Middle Ages (10th–15th century)

    The Carolingian dynasty ruled France until 987, when Hugh Capet, Duke of France and Count of Paris, was crowned King of the Franks.[47] His descendants—the Capetians, the House of Valois and the House of Bourbon—progressively unified the country through wars and dynastic inheritance into the Kingdom of France, which was fully declared in 1190 by Philip II of France (Philippe Auguste). Later kings would expand their directly possessed domaine royal to cover over half of modern continental France by the 15th century, including most of the north, centre and west of France. During this process, the royal authority became more and more assertive, centred on a hierarchically conceived society distinguishing nobility, clergy, and commoners.

    The French nobility played a prominent role in most

    County of Toulouse was annexed into the crown lands of France.[49]

    From the 11th century, the House of Plantagenet, the rulers of the County of Anjou, succeeded in establishing its dominion over the surrounding provinces of Maine and Touraine, then progressively built an "empire" that spanned from England to the Pyrenees and covering half of modern France. Tensions between the kingdom of France and the Plantagenet empire would last a hundred years, until Philip II of France conquered, between 1202 and 1214, most of the continental possessions of the empire, leaving England and Aquitaine to the Plantagenets.

    Charles IV the Fair died without an heir in 1328.[50] Under Salic law the crown of France could not pass to a woman nor could the line of kingship pass through the female line.[50] Accordingly, the crown passed to Philip of Valois, rather than through the female line to Edward of Plantagenet, who would soon become Edward III of England. During the reign of Philip of Valois, the French monarchy reached the height of its medieval power.[50] However Philip's seat on the throne was contested by Edward III of England in 1337, and England and France entered the off-and-on Hundred Years' War.[51] The exact boundaries changed greatly with time, but landholdings inside France by the English Kings remained extensive for decades. With charismatic leaders, such as Joan of Arc and La Hire, strong French counterattacks won back most English continental territories. Like the rest of Europe, France was struck by the Black Death due to which half of the 17 million population of France died.[52]

    Early modern period (15th century–1789)

    The French Renaissance saw spectacular cultural development and the first standardisation of the French language, which would become the

    Huguenots were murdered in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572.[53] The Wars of Religion were ended by Henry IV's Edict of Nantes, which granted some freedom of religion to the Huguenots. Spanish troops, the terror of Western Europe,[54] assisted the Catholic side during the Wars of Religion in 1589–1594, and invaded northern France in 1597; after some skirmishing in the 1620s and 1630s, Spain and France returned to all-out war between 1635 and 1659. The war cost France 300,000 casualties.[55]

    Under

    in France.

    The monarchy reached its peak during the 17th century and the reign of Louis XIV (1643–1715). By turning powerful feudal lords into courtiers at the Palace of Versailles, military-integrated command unchallenged. Remembered for his numerous wars, he made France the leading European power. France became the most populous country in Europe and had tremendous influence over European politics, economy, and culture. French became the most-used language in diplomacy, science, literature and international affairs, and remained so until the 20th century.[57] France obtained many overseas possessions in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Louis XIV also revoked the Edict of Nantes, forcing thousands of Huguenots into exile.

    Under the wars of Louis XV (r. 1715–1774), France lost New France and most of its Indian possessions after its defeat in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). Its European territory kept growing, however, with notable acquisitions such as Lorraine (1766) and Corsica (1770). An unpopular king, Louis XV's weak rule, his ill-advised financial, political and military decisions – as well as the debauchery of his court– discredited the monarchy, which arguably paved the way for the French Revolution 15 years after his death.[58]

    Louis XVI (r. 1774–1793), actively supported the Americans with money, fleets and armies, helping them win independence from Great Britain. France gained revenge but spent so heavily that the government verged on bankruptcy—a factor that contributed to the French Revolution. Some of the Enlightenment occurred in French intellectual circles, and major scientific breakthroughs and inventions, such as the discovery of oxygen (1778) and the first hot air balloon carrying passengers (1783), were achieved by French scientists. French explorers, such as Bougainville and Lapérouse, took part in the voyages of scientific exploration through maritime expeditions around the globe. The Enlightenment philosophy, in which reason is advocated as the primary source of legitimacy, undermined the power of and support for the monarchy and also was a factor in the French Revolution.

    Revolutionary France (1789–1799)

    Ouverture des États généraux à Versailles, 5 mai 1789 by Auguste Couder
    drawing of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, smoke of gunfire enveloping stone castle
    The Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 was the most emblematic event of the French Revolution
    .

    Facing financial troubles, King

    Estates-General (gathering the three Estates of the realm) in May 1789 to propose solutions to his government. As it came to an impasse, the representatives of the Third Estate formed a National Assembly, signaling the outbreak of the French Revolution. Fearing that the king would suppress the newly created National Assembly, insurgents stormed the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a date which would become France's National Day
    .

    In early August 1789, the

    Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (27 August 1789), France established fundamental rights for men. The Declaration affirms "the natural and imprescriptible rights of man" to "liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression". Freedom of speech and press were declared, and arbitrary arrests were outlawed. It called for the destruction of aristocratic privileges and proclaimed freedom and equal rights for all men, as well as access to public office based on talent rather than birth. In November 1789, the Assembly decided to nationalise and sell all property of the Catholic Church which had been the largest landowner in the country. In July 1790, a Civil Constitution of the Clergy reorganised the French Catholic Church, cancelling the authority of the Church to levy taxes, et cetera. This fueled much discontent in parts of France, which would contribute to the civil war breaking out some years later. While King Louis XVI still enjoyed popularity among the population, his disastrous flight to Varennes (June 1791) seemed to justify rumours he had tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign invasion. His credibility was so deeply undermined that the abolition of the monarchy
    and the establishment of a republic became an increasing possibility.

    In August 1791, the Emperor of

    constitutional monarchy. In the newly established Legislative Assembly (October 1791), enmity developed and deepened between a group, later called the 'Girondins', who favoured war with Austria and Prussia, and a group later called 'Montagnards' or 'Jacobins', who opposed such a war. A majority in the Assembly in 1792 however saw a war with Austria and Prussia as a chance to boost the popularity of the revolutionary government and thought that France would win a war against those gathered monarchies. On 20 April 1792, therefore, they declared war on Austria
    .

    On 10 August 1792, an angry crowd

    Paris City Council seemed unable to stop that bloodshed.[59][61] The National Convention, chosen in the first elections under male universal suffrage,[59] on 20 September 1792 succeeded the Legislative Assembly and on 21 September abolished the monarchy by proclaiming the French First Republic
    . Ex-King Louis XVI was convicted of treason and guillotined in January 1793. France had declared war on Great Britain and the Dutch Republic in November 1792 and did the same on Spain in March 1793; in the spring of 1793, Austria and Prussia invaded France; in March, France created a "sister republic" in the "Republic of Mainz", and kept it under control.

    Also in March 1793, the civil war of the Vendée against Paris started, evoked by both the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of 1790 and the nationwide army conscription in early 1793; elsewhere in France rebellion was brewing too. A factionalist feud in the National Convention, smouldering ever since October 1791, came to a climax with the group of the 'Girondins' on 2 June 1793 being forced to resign and leave the convention. The counter-revolution, begun in March 1793 in the Vendée, by July had spread to Brittany, Normandy, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Toulon, and Lyon. Paris' Convention government between October and December 1793 with brutal measures managed to subdue most internal uprisings, at the cost of tens of thousands of lives. Some historians consider the civil war to have lasted until 1796 with a toll of possibly 450,000 lives.[62] By the end of 1793, the allies had been driven from France. France in February 1794 abolished slavery in its American colonies but would reintroduce it later.

    Political disagreements and enmity in the National Convention between October 1793 and July 1794 reached unprecedented levels, leading to dozens of Convention members being sentenced to death and guillotined. Meanwhile, France's external wars in 1794 were prospering, for example in Belgium. In 1795, the government seemed to return to indifference towards the desires and needs of the lower classes concerning freedom of (Catholic) religion and fair distribution of food. Until 1799, politicians, apart from inventing a new parliamentary system (the 'Directory'), busied themselves with dissuading the people from Catholicism and royalism.

    Napoleon and 19th century (1799–1914)

    had a major impact worldwide. Nationalism, especially in Germany, emerged in reaction against him.[63]

    battles of Jena-Auerstadt or Austerlitz. Members of the Bonaparte family were appointed as monarchs in some of the newly established kingdoms.[64]

    These victories led to the worldwide expansion of French revolutionary ideals and reforms, such as the metric system, the Napoleonic Code and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. In June 1812, Napoleon attacked Russia, reaching Moscow. Thereafter his army disintegrated through supply problems, disease, Russian attacks, and finally winter. After the catastrophic Russian campaign, and the ensuing uprising of European monarchies against his rule, Napoleon was defeated and the Bourbon monarchy restored. About a million Frenchmen died during the Napoleonic Wars.[64] After his brief return from exile, Napoleon was finally defeated in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo, the monarchy was re-established (1815–1830), with new constitutional limitations.

    The discredited Bourbon dynasty was overthrown by the July Revolution of 1830, which established the constitutional July Monarchy. In that year, French troops began the conquest of Algeria, establishing the first colonial presence in Africa since Napoleon's abortive invasion of Egypt in 1798. In 1848, general unrest led to the February Revolution and the end of the July Monarchy. The abolition of slavery and the introduction of male universal suffrage, which were briefly enacted during the French Revolution, was re-enacted in 1848. In 1852, the president of the French Republic, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, Napoleon I's nephew, was proclaimed emperor of the Second Empire, as Napoleon III. He multiplied French interventions abroad, especially in Crimea, Mexico and Italy which resulted in the annexation of the Duchy of Savoy and the County of Nice, then part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Napoleon III was unseated following defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and his regime was replaced by the Third Republic. By 1875, the French conquest of Algeria was complete, and approximately 825,000 Algerians had been killed from famine, disease, and violence.[65]

    animated gif of French colonial territory on world map
    Animated map of the growth and decline of the French colonial empire

    France had

    .

    Early to mid-20th century (1914–1946)

    Poilus
    posing with their war-torn flag in 1917, during World War I

    France was invaded by Germany and defended by Great Britain to start World War I in August 1914. A rich industrial area in the northeast was occupied. France and the Allies emerged victorious against the Central Powers at a tremendous human and material cost. World War I left 1.4 million French soldiers dead, 4% of its population.[66] Between 27 and 30% of soldiers conscripted from 1912 to 1915 were killed.[67] The interbellum years were marked by intense international tensions and a variety of social reforms introduced by the Popular Front government (annual leave, eight-hour workdays, women in government).

    In 1940, France was invaded and quickly defeated by Nazi Germany. France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north, an Italian occupation zone in the southeast and an unoccupied territory, the rest of France, which consisted of the southern French metropolitan territory (two-fifths of pre-war metropolitan France) and the French empire, which included the two protectorates of French Tunisia and French Morocco, and French Algeria; the Vichy government, a newly established authoritarian regime collaborating with Germany, ruled the unoccupied territory. Free France, the government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle, was set up in London.[full citation needed]

    From 1942 to 1944, about 160,000 French citizens, including around

    invaded Normandy and in August they invaded Provence. Over the following year, the Allies and the French Resistance emerged victorious over the Axis powers and French sovereignty was restored with the establishment of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF). This interim government, established by de Gaulle, aimed to continue to wage war against Germany and to purge collaborators from office. It also made several important reforms (suffrage extended to women, the creation of a social security
    system).

    Contemporary period (1946–present)

    revolt of May 1968
    .