The Politics of France

The ConstitutionA popular referendum approved the constitution of the Fifth Republic in 1958, greatly strengthening the authority of the presidency and the executive in relation to Parliament. The executive branchFrance has an original system with an executive headed by two officials: the President and the Prime Minister. The President of the Republic [img]325|left|Jacques Chirac[/img]Under the constitution, a president was originally elected for a seven year term; this however has now been reduced to five years. The president names the prime […]

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Armstrong says Wednesday is key day in Tour de France

FOR THE FIRST TIME: The Tour de France, in its 91st edition, features an individual time trial that will move up the winding face of the famous L’Alpe d’Huez. Cyclists will battle the clock while climbing 3,707 feet. There will be no teammates to pull the

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Celts

The Celts are an indigenous people of central Europe with large numbers in the United Kingdom, in France, and in Ireland where they are in the majority. The first literary reference to the Celtic people as keltoi or hidden people, is by the Greek Hecataeus in 517 BC. “Celt” is pronounced /kelt/, and “celtic” as /keltIk/ (in SAMPA). The pronunciation /seltIk/ should only be used for certain sports teams (eg. Boston Celtics NBA team). The Origins of the CeltsThe Urnfield […]

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France unveils national rival to Google Earth

A clear view of your favorite French beach or monument is only a click away

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Regions and Departments

The dÈpartements (or departments) are administrative units of France, roughly analogous to British counties and now grouped into 22 metropolitan and four overseas rÈgions. They are subdivided into 342 arrondissements. Administrative role Each dÈpartement is administered by a Conseil GÈnÈral elected for six years, and by a prÈfet appointed by the French government and assisted by one or more sous-prÈfets based in district centres outside the departmental capital. An administrative reform in 1982 transferred some of the prÈfet’s powers to […]

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Louis XVI

[img]737|left|Louis XVI|[/img]Louis XVI of France (August 23, 1754 – January 21, 1793) succeeded his grandfather (Louis XV of France) as King of France on May 10, 1774; he was crowned on June 11, 1775. His father, the dauphin, had died in 1765. On May 16, 1770 he married Marie Antoinette, daughter of Francis I of Austria and Empress Maria Theresa , a Habsburg. They had four children: Marie-Therese Charlotte (December 20, 1778 – October 1851); Louis-Joseph-Xavier-FranÁois (October 22, 1781 – […]

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Vaux-le-Vicomte

[img]274|left|Vaux-le-Vicomte[/img]Once a small castle located between the royal residences of Vincennes and Fontainebleau in France, the estate of Vaux-le-Vicomte was purchased by a 26 year-old parliamentarian, Nicolas Fouquet in 1641. Fifteen years later, construction began on what was then the finest chateau and garden in France. This achievement was brought about through the collaboration of three men of genius whom Fouquet had chosen for the task: the architect Le Vau, the painter-decorator Le Brun and the landscape gardener Le NÙtre. […]

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The Treaty of Versailles

Treaty of VersaillesFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was the peace treaty that was created as a result of the six-month-long Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which put an official end to World War I. The treaty was ratified on January 10, 1920 and required that Germany accept responsibility for the war and was thus obliged to pay large amounts of compensation (known as war reparations). Like many other treaties, it is named for the […]

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History of Paris

The historical nucleus of Paris is the Ile de la CitÈ, a small island largely occupied by the huge Palais de Justice and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. It is connected with the smaller Ile Saint-Louis, occupied by elegant houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries. A major characteristic of Paris is its tree-lined quays along the Seine River, in particular, along the Left Bank with its open-air bookstalls, the historic bridges that span the river, and the […]

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History of France

Gaul Settled mainly by the Gauls and related Celtic peoples (apart from a shrinking area of Basque population in the south-west), the area of modern France comprised the bulk of the region of Gaul (Latin Gallia) under Roman rule from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. Franks In 486, Clovis I, leader of the Salian Franks to the east, conquered the Roman territory between the Loire and the Somme, subsequently uniting most of northern and central France […]

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