What is France known for?

significant creative

last played for Étoile Fréjus Saint-Raphaël. He was one of the best players in Bulgarian Levski Sofia. He writes poems, short stories, essays, critics, and drama, which have been published in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and several journals in Germany, France, Netherlands, England, and the United States. His poems are included in more than twenty anthologies. It developed in the 1980s and features significant creative use of in-season produce and sauces. It is somewhat related to the French (France) Nouvelle cuisine and often incorporates influences from Latin American (Latin American cuisine), Mediterranean (Mediterranean cuisine) and Asian (Asian cuisine) cuisine. The '''Scandola Nature Reserve''' (19.19 km²: 9.19 km² land; 10 km² marine), established in December, 1975, is located on the French (France) island Corsica, within Corsica Regional Park. The park and reserve has been recognized by the United Nations as a Natural World Heritage Site, and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983. Until 1798 many ancient tiaras existed in the Vatican (Vatican City). However invading French (France) troops stole and smashed all the tiaras they could get their hands on, stealing their jewels, which they transported back to Paris. It is unknown how the Gregory XIII's tiara survived the destruction. * ''California Challenge'', which included seven stages, each representing a section of a southbound crossing of the state of California. * ''European Challenge'', which allowed players to travel through six different European countries: the Netherlands (Netherlands), Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain. '''''Andromaque''''' is a tragedy in five acts by the French (France) playwright Jean Racine written in alexandrine verse. It was first performed on 17 November 1667 before the court of Louis XIV in the Louvre in the private chambers of the Queen, Marie Thérèse, by the royal company of actors, called "les Grands Comédiens", with Thérèse Du Parc in the title role. The company gave the first public performance two days later in the Hôtel de Bourgogne in Paris. Pocket Classiques (1998), page 166. Andromaque, the third of Racine's plays, written at the age of 27, established its author's reputation as one of the great playwrights in France. * Zhou Shaoning is selected as the Chief Chinese Operations Officer for Google China. (Yahoo!) * 11 Nepali Sherpa (Sherpa people) and 7 French (France) mountaineers (Mountaineering) are feared dead by an attempt to climb 6981 metre (20000 feet) Mount Kanguru in north-west Nepal. (NepalNews) (Reuters) (Japan Today) (Kantipuronline) * U.S. President George W. Bush nominates Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as chair of the Federal Reserve Board. (New York Times) (CNN) * Hurricane Beta, the first hurricane named with the Greek letter (Greek alphabet) Beta, approaches Nicaragua and Honduras as a Category 3 storm (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale), (BBC), and makes landfall on the Mosquito Coast at Category 2 intensity. Thousands of residents of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua have been evacuated to shelters. (VOA), (Scotsman) * Further rioting occurs overnight in the Parisian suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois following the electrocutions of two teenagers, aged 15 and 17, and a third teenager suffering severe burns when they entered a substation (Electrical substation) whilst fleeing police. Rioters attacked police and journalists. Critics allege that the teenagers were targeted because they were Muslim, though this claim has been denied by French (France) Interior Minister (Minister of the Interior (France)) Nicolas Sarkozy. (BBC) (ABC News) * After an official 3-day visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, President (President of the People's Republic of China) Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China returns to Beijing, having reached new directions in Sino-DPRK relations. This comes after North Korean Leader (Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea) Kim Jong-il called Hu the "most respected guest". (Xiaoxiang Morning News) (QQ News) '''Stéphane Pichot''' (born September 2, 1976 in Ernée) is a French (France) football player (football (soccer)) who plays as a defender for the Belgian Third Division side Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz. *Justice John Gomery releases the first part of the Gomery Commission report on corruption in the Liberal Party of Canada and the sponsorship scandal. Gomery exonerates current Prime Minister Paul Martin but criticizes former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his Quebec lieutenant Alfonso Gagliano. (CBC) * 2005 Paris riots continue for the fifth consecutive night, sparked by the death of two Muslim youths from electric shock. The controversy caused by police firing tear gas into a mosque on Sunday night led to families of the dead youths pulling out of a meeting with the French (France) Interior Minister. (news24) * Makybe Diva wins the Melbourne Cup thoroughbred horse race for the third consecutive year, becoming the first horse ever to do so. Shortly thereafter, owner Tony Santic announces her retirement from racing. (Herald Sun) * Azerbaijani citizens (Demographics of Azerbaijan) go to the polls in the Azerbaijan parliamentary election, 2005. Opposition parties have alleged that there is voting fraud. (Reuters) (Link dead as of 22:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC)) * The tenth night of the 2005 French riots is reported as being the most intense yet, and the riots are now the subject of crisis meetings in the French (France) government. President Jacques Chirac has called for the arrest, trial and punishment of the rioters. (BBC) * A tornado (Evansville Tornado of November 2005) estimated to be over ½ mile wide and of F3 strength on the Fujita scale hits around 2 a.m. near Evansville, Indiana. Over 20 are killed and 200 injured. (National Weather Service) (Yahoo! News) (Link dead as of 20:57, 14 January 2007 (UTC)) * An explosion at a chemical factory (Jilin chemical plant explosions 2005) on the Songhua River in northeastern China releases high levels of benzene into the river water. Authorities shut off the water supply for the downstream city of Harbin. (BBC) * The new Chancellor (Chancellor of Germany (Federal Republic)) of Germany, Angela Merkel, goes to Paris, France for her first foreign trip in office. Some observers see this as a signal that intra-European affairs will be a high priority. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) * Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is officially declared as the winner of the Liberian presidential runoff (Liberian elections, 2005), after she took 59.4 percent of the vote, making her Africa's first elected female head of state. (BBC) * New policy document on American involvement in Iraq, "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq", is published by the White House. (UPI) *Surgeons in France carry out the first human face transplant. (BBC) *Death toll in northeast China coal mine blast reaches 150. (Science Daily) right 400px thumb Irredentist Greater Syria (Image:SadheeSYRIA.jpg) as conceived by Antun Saadeh'''Syrian nationalism''' refers to the nationalism of Syria (Bilad al-Sham), or the Fertile Crescent as a cultural or political entity. It should not be confused with the Arab nationalism that is the official state doctrine of the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria)'s ruling Ba'ath Party, nor should it be assumed that Syrian nationalism necessarily propagates the interests of modern-day Syria or its government. Rather, it predates the existence of the modern Syrian state (independent (independence) from French (France) colonial (colonialism) rule in 1946), and refers to the loosely defined Levantine region of Syria, known in Arabic (Arabic language) as the "Bilad al-Sham". *Canada's BC Ferry (BC Ferries) system returns to normal operations after the company and its union agree to commit to binding arbitration. European Union defence policy is agreed upon by Britain (United Kingdom), France and Germany at the beginning of an EU summit in Brussels where the member countries will discuss a forthcoming constitution for the EU. Defence policy: EU constitution: *Paul Martin, Jr. is appointed Canada's 21st Prime Minister (Prime Minister of Canada), and takes his oath of office along with his cabinet (Cabinet of Canada). Notable Ministers include Deputy Prime Minister (Deputy Prime Minister of Canada) Anne McLellan in Domestic Security (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Canada)), Ralph Goodale in Finance (Minister of Finance (Canada)), Pierre Pettigrew in Health (Minister of Health (Canada)) and Intergovernmental Affairs (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Canada)), Lucienne Robillard in Industry (Minister of Industry (Canada)), Irwin Cotler in Justice (Minister of Justice (Canada)), Bill Graham (Bill Graham (politician)) in Foreign Affairs (Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada)) and David Pratt (David Pratt (Canadian politician)) in Defence (Minister of National Defence (Canada)). Citing increased "chatter" regarding potential terrorist attacks over the holiday period, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raises its terrorism alert level from "elevated" (yellow) to "high" (orange). A senior France French police source claims Diana, Princess of Wales was pregnant when she was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997. A Clarence House spokesperson for The Prince of Wales (Charles, Prince of Wales) refuses to comment on the issue. Mohamed Al-Fayed, the father of Diana's partner Dodi Al-Fayed had long insisted that Diana was pregnant with Dodi's baby and that she was murdered to stop her from giving birth. Quoting an unnamed senior British military intelligence officer, a report in the Sunday Express (Britain) claims that before Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops, he had already been discovered by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Kurdish forces had been alerted to his location by a member of the al-Jabour tribe whose daughter had been raped by Saddam's son Uday Hussein. his youth, Scalabrini Ortiz participated in a Marxism Marxist group called ''Insurrexit''; he also travelled to several provinces for work reasons, and at 26 he visited Paris, France, from where he returned disappointed by the xenophobic (xenophobia) attitude of its citizens. Like everyone in Argentina, he felt the effects of the Great Depression, and then saw the coup d'état against president Hipólito Yrigoyen that began the ''Década Infame'', marked by conservative rule perpetuated by electoral fraud. Swingle was born in Mobile, Alabama. He studied music, particularly jazz, from a very young age. He was playing in Mobile-area Big Bands before finishing high school. After high school, Swingle graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He then moved to France, where he studied piano with the celebrated Walter Gieseking. In the 1960s he was a founding member of Les Double Six of Paris, then took the scat singing idea and applied it to the works of Bach. Chadbourne, Eugene, "Ward Swingle Biography" at Accessed 2010 April 5. Ward Swingle biography at Accessed 2010 April 5. This concept would be the foundation for The Swingle Singers, a group Swingle founded and whose early recordings won five Grammy Awards. LA Times Awards Database. Accessed 2010 April 5. thumb right Marius Michel Pasha castle (File:Michel Pacha.jpeg) '''Blaise-Jean-Marius Michel''', Comte de Pierredon (1819-1907), also known as '''Michel Pasha''' or '''Michel Pacha''' in French, was a French (France) architect and lighthouse builder. When World War I intervened, he served in France with Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) units and was wounded on three occasions. After discharge, he worked in the British Government’s social services for a period. Commons:Category:France WikiPedia:France Dmoz:Regional Europe France

international critical

''Mein Kampf'' has additionally been examined as a book on foreign policy. For example, Hitler predicts the stages of Germany’s political emergence on the world scene: in the first stage, Germany would, through a programme of massive re-armament, overthrow the shackles of the Treaty of Versailles and form alliances with the British Empire and Fascist Italy (Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)). The second stage would feature wars against France and her allies in Eastern Europe by the combined forces of Germany, Britain and Italy. The third and final stage would be a war to destroy what Hitler saw as the "Judeo-Bolshevik" regime in the Soviet Union that would give Germany the necessary "living space". German historian Andreas Hillgruber labeled the plans contained in ''Mein Kampf'' as Hitler's ''Stufenplan'' (stage-by-stage plan). *1938 – In the United States, the House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session. *1940 – World War II: Battle of Dunkirk – In France, Allied (Allies of World War II) forces begin a massive evacuation (Dunkirk evacuation) from Dunkirk, France. *1942 – World War II: The Battle of Bir Hakeim takes place. *1416 – The Council of Constance, called by the Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy (Christian heresy). *1431 – Hundred Years' War: in Rouen, France, 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake (Execution by burning) by an English-dominated tribunal. Because of this the Catholic Church remember this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc. *1434 – Hussite Wars (Bohemian Wars) (Hussite Wars): Battle of Lipany – effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeat and almost annihilate Taborite

story classical

Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships . '''''My Story Classical''''' is a compilation with classical (Classical music) versions of songs from Ayumi Hamasaki's album ''My Story (My Story (Ayumi Hamasaki album))''. ''My Story Classical'' was released on March 24, 2005. Most of the tracks were recorded with the Lamoureux Orchestra of France, which was conducted by Yutaka Sado. Equipped with P-47D Thunderbolts (P-47), operations commenced on 12 August 1943. It was the fourth P-47 unit to join the Eighth Air Force. From Metfield the 353rd flew numerous counter-air missions and provided escort for bombers that attacked targets in western Europe, made counter-air sweeps over France and the Low Countries, and dive-bombed targets in France. Acheron Abramelin was formed in Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia) in 1988 under the name Acheron by guitarist David Abbott. Simon Dower (vocals), Jason Black (guitar), Derek Ackary (bass (bass guitar)) and Michael Colton (drums (Drum kit)) comprised the rest of the group. Tim Aldridge replaced Black and the band recorded a demo called "Eternal Suffering" before Jason Dutton and Justin Wornes took the places of Colton and Ackary. French (France) label Corpsegrinder Records released the EP "Deprived of Afterlife" in 1991 and a track from this release later appeared on the Dutch (The Netherlands) compilation album ''Appointment With Fear''. Following the release of the EP, Dutton left Acheron. His replacements was Craig Bailey. 1992 saw David Abott depart Acheron. He was replaced for a short time by Jason Kells (member of Australian doom band diSEMBOWELMENT (Disembowelment (band))) who, after a short period was replaced by bass player for the similarly aligned Necrotomy, Mark Schuliga. 1992 to 1994 saw Acheron tour with Carcass (Carcass (band)) and support Morbid Angel and Pungent Stench. Bailey left in 1994 to be replaced on by Euan Heriot. History According to Philip Gosse in "The Pirate's Who's Who" (1924) and Horwood and Butts in "The Pirates and Outlaws of Canada" (1984), the Cobhams were among the first St. Lawrence pirates to become known for giving “no quarter”, meaning all the captured crews were killed and the ships sunk. They were famous for their sadism and cruelty, including using survivors for target practice. They were pirates between 1720 and 1740 after which they relocated to Le Havre, France. They became members of the community and Eric was appointed a judge. Maria could not make the adjustment and went insane, finally committing suicide (or possibly being murdered by Eric). Eric had an attack of conscience after her death and confessed his sins to a priest and requested the true story of his life be published. This book was printed after his death, the family tried to buy and destroy this book, however there is allegedly a copy in the Archives Nationales, Paris. They were survived by 2 sons and a daughter. *...that '''selective yellow''' is a colour for automotive lamps (automotive lighting), defined by UNECE Regulations, and that it was designed to improve vision and reduce glare (Light pollution#Glare) by removing blue wavelengths from the projected light? *...that Senegalese marabout '''Mahmadu Lamine''' was executed by French (France) soldiers for leading an 1886 rebellion against the French colonial government (French West Africa)? *...that 1956 was the first time when a computer was able to play a chess-like game, '''Los Alamos chess'''? *...that the parents of Chicana (Chicano) fiction writer and Cornell University English (English language) professor (academia) '''Helena Maria Viramontes (Helena Maria Viramontes)''' met while working in the fields, and that the impact of César Chávez and the United Farm Workers later influenced her fiction? *...that the John Lennon song "'''Beautiful Boy (Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy))'''" features the lines "Every day in every way It's getting better and better", which were inspired by the mantra of French (France) psychologist (psychology) Émile Coué? *...that the earliest known patrilineal ancestors (genealogy) of the Romanov Dynasty of Russian tsars were a certain boyar '''Andrei (Andrei Kobyla)''', nicknamed "''The Mare''," and his son '''Fyodor (Fyodor Koshka)''', nicknamed "''The Cat''"? *...that the '''Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran''' was launched to secure oil (petroleum) for Britain (United Kingdom) and provide a route for Lend-Lease supplies desperately needed by the Soviet Union during World War II? *...that soul (soul music) singer '''Bettye Lavette''' ' s album ''Souvenirs'' was recorded in 1972, but was shelved by Atlantic Records until a French (France) music collector discovered it and released it in 2000, sparking a continuing surge of interest in the singer? *...that the English garden designer '''Batty Langley''' attempted to "improve" Gothic architectural (Gothic architecture) forms by giving them classical proportions, described in his book ''Gothic Architecture, improved by Rules and Proportions''? *...that the American (United States) photographer '''Arthur Rothstein''' is famous mostly for his photographs of '''Gee's Bend (Gee's Bend, Alabama)''' in Alabama, a poor African American tenant community? right 100px (File:Pettway Plantation Gees Bend Alabama.jpg) *...that French (France) naturalist and explorer '''Théodore Monod''' had the same great-grandfather as biologist Jacques Monod and director Jean-Luc Godard? *...that '''string instruments (List of string instruments)''' are bowed, plucked, or have their strings struck, with three exceptions : the Aeolian harp uses air movement, the Hurdy gurdy a rotating wheel and for Ellen Fullman's Long String Instrument it will take rosined (Rosin) hands? Commons:Category:France WikiPedia:France Dmoz:Regional Europe France

documentary music

for the popular television series ''Due South'' and the documentary ''Music for The Native Americans''. The lyrics of Akua Tuta are featured on over 50 websites, making this one of the most broadly accessible pieces of text written in any native North American language. Florent Vollant has also rendered several well known Christmas carols into Innu in his 1999 album ''Nipaiamianan''. novel In the The Phantom of the Opera novel by French (France) novelist Gaston Leroux, ''Don Juan Triumphant'' is ''lost'' unfinished piece that the Phantom had been working on for a period of 20 plus years. At one point, he remarks that once he completes it, he will take the score into the coffin he uses for a bed and never wake up. The Phantom plays a section of his opera following his unmasking at the hands of Christine Daae, who is stunned by the power of the music. '''USS ''Henley'' (DD-391)''', a ''Bagley''-class (Bagley class destroyer) destroyer, was the 2nd ship of the United States Navy to be named for Captain (Captain (United States)) Robert Henley (Robert Henley (naval officer)), an officer in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France, the War of 1812 and the Second Barbary War. '''USS ''Patterson'' (DD-392)''', a Commons:Category:France WikiPedia:France Dmoz:Regional Europe France

voice talent

in film 2000 French (France) film, a road movie written and directed by Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau. It stars Sami Bouajila as the title character. '''Roger Bancharel''', (born August 14, 1927 in Paris, France) better known by his stage name, '''Roger Carel''', is a French actor and voice talent, best known for his recurring film roles as Asterix or the French voice of ''Star Wars' (Star Wars)'' C3PO and the French voice

accomplishments created

French flower breeder who, among other accomplishments, created many of today's lilac varieties. As a result of his accomplishments, the term ''French lilac'' has come to mean all cultivars of the common lilac that have double flowers Lilacs the Genus Syringa by Father John Fiala , regardless of their origin. Lemoine was born at Delme, Lorraine (Lorraine (région)), France, and descended from a long line of gardeners and nurserymen. After completing college, he devoted several years to traveling and working in the leading horticultural establishments of his time, notably at that of Louis Van Houtte in Ghent, Belgium. In 1850 Lemoine established himself as a florist and gardener at Nancy (Nancy, France), France, and by 1852 the ''Revue Horticole'' mentioned Lemoine's double flowered portulaca. In 1854 Lemoine produced the first double potentilla (Gloire de Nancy), and the first streptocarpus hybrids. It was about the same period that Lemoine turned his hand to fuchsias and introduced many varieties, including the double flowered hybrid Solferino. By 1862 he had introduced a white ''Spiraea callosa'', in 1866 his ''Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora'' and the first genuine double-flowered zonal ''Pelargonium'' geraniums (Gloire de Nancy), and in 1868 the first of his hybrid weigelas. *Antefilms Production - Antefilms Production is a French (France) company that makes TV shows. It was established by Christophe Di Sabatino and Benoît Di Sabatino in 1990; *XANA Post-Production - The XANA Post-Production company is a part of MoonScoop. It does the post-production for their various shows; Commons:Category:France WikiPedia:France Dmoz:Regional Europe France

film sporting

for girls in Middlebury, Connecticut and in Paris, France. She made her Broadway theatre debut in 1917 and the following year appeared with her actress sister, Faire Binney(1898–1957), in the Maurice Tourneur silent film, ''Sporting Life (The Sporting Life (1918 film))'' based on the play by Cecil Raleigh and Seymour Hicks. In 1919, she starred opposite John Barrymore in ''The Test of Honor (Test of Honor (1919 film))''. '''FC Lourdais''' is a France French

debut feature

World Championships. He is 1.85 meters tall and plays as a passer. thumb 360px Martial Solal in 2006, with his Newdecaband (Image:Solal.jpg) '''Martial Solal''' (born August 23, 1927, Algiers, French Algeria) is a French (France) jazz pianist and composer, who is probably most widely known for the music he wrote for Jean-Luc Godard's debut feature film ''À bout de souffle (Breathless (1960 film))'' (1960). He has done extensive research on the history of the CUP during

manufacture including

prominent example. thumb 300px right At the War Museum, Athens (Image:War Museum Athens - Schneider 75mm mountain gun - 6757.jpg) The '''75 mm Schneider-Danglis 06 09''' ( ) was a Greek (Greece)-designed and French (France)-manufactured (all manufacture, including test construction, was made by the French Schneider (Schneider Electric) company) mountain gun. After his final season in England, Nalis went back in France

starring film

, and stars Harrison Ford as Linus Larrabee, Julia Ormond as Sabrina and Greg Kinnear (in his first starring film role) as David Larrabee. It also features Angie Dickinson, Richard Crenna, Nancy Marchand, Lauren Holly, John Wood (John Wood (English actor)), Dana Ivey and French (France) actress Fanny Ardant. '''Postal services in Andorra''' are unique in that they are not operated by the Principality itself, but by its two larger neighbouring countries, Spain and France. This is a legacy of the centuries of ''de facto'' control exercised by those two countries over Andorra. ''Correos'' of Spain and ''La Poste'' of France operate side by side; Spanish post boxes are red and French ones are yellow. Production notes Filming locations included the Palace of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Alincourt, Compiègne, and Paris in France, and St. Barbara Church, Lednice, and Valtice in the Czech Republic. Interiors were filmed at the Barrandov Studios in Prague. Early life Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Wiltz, Teresa. "The Swan." ''Essence (Essence (magazine))'' magazine (September 2004). A film director spotted her while she was attending Lycee Guebre Mariam (:fr:Lycée franco-éthiopien Guébré-Mariam) and introduced her to a French (France) modeling (model (person)) agent. After completing her studies, she moved to France to pursue work through a Parisian agency. Kebede later relocated to New York City. She has remarked that the modeling industry in Ethiopia is quite different from the catwalks on which she is now ubiquitous because in Ethiopia she had to provide her own shoes for each runway show. Later, he joined the wars against the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation and Spain (1865–1866). After the war, he became Governor of Valparaíso and minister to France. Blanco Encalada died in Santiago de Chile at the age of 86. Portuguese Restoration War In 1640, Portugal regained independence (Portuguese Restoration War) from neighbouring Spain, being forced to fight against its powerful navy in difficult conditions. This led to the loss of several regions of the empire and to peace agreements with England, France and the Netherlands. World War I During the first World War, the main role of the Portuguese Navy was to patrol Portuguese waters, search for submarines, escort merchant vessels and transport troops to France and Africa. The Portuguese Navy received additional submarines and destroyers and created a naval aviation (Portuguese Naval Aviation). In addition, several merchant ships were adapted and transformed into warships Commons:Category:France WikiPedia:France Dmoz:Regional Europe France


'''France''' ( and has a population of 66.6 million. It is a semi-presidential (Semi-presidential system) republic with its capital (Capital city) in Paris, the nation's largest city and the main cultural and commercial center. The Constitution of France establishes the country as secular (Laïcité) and democratic, with its sovereignty derived from the people.

During the Iron Age, what is now France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic (Celts) people. The Gauls were conquered by the Roman Empire in 51 BC, which held Gaul until 486. The Gallo-Romans faced raids and migration from the Germanic (Germanic peoples) Franks, who dominated the region for hundreds of years, eventually creating the medieval Kingdom of France. France has been a major power in Europe since the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453) strengthening French state-building and paving the way for a future centralized absolute monarchy. During the Renaissance (French Renaissance), France experienced a vast cultural development and established the first steps of a worldwide colonial empire (French colonial empire). The 16th century was dominated by Religious Civil Wars (French Wars of Religion) primarily fought between Catholics (Roman Catholic Church) and Protestants (Protestantism) (Huguenots).

Louis XIV made France the dominant cultural, political and military power in Europe, but by the late 18th century, the monarchy was overthrown in the French Revolution. One legacy of the revolution was the ''Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen'', one of the world's earliest documents on human rights, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. France was governed as one of history's earliest Republics (French First Republic), until the Empire (First French Empire) was declared by Napoleon Bonaparte, who dominated European affairs and had a long-lasting impact on Western culture. Following his defeat, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments: an absolute monarchy was restored (Bourbon Restoration), replaced in 1830 by a constitutional monarchy (July monarchy), then briefly by a Second Republic (French Second Republic), and then by a Second Empire (Second French Empire), until a more lasting French Third Republic was established in 1870.

France's colonial empire reached the height of global prominence during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when it possessed the second-largest colonial empire (French colonial empire) in the world. In World War I, France was one of the Triple Entente powers fighting against Germany and the Central Powers. France was one of the Allied Powers (Allies of World War II) in World War II, but it was occupied (German military administration in occupied France during World War II) by Nazi Germany in 1940. Following liberation (liberation of France) in 1944, a Fourth Republic (French Fourth Republic) was established, but it was dissolved in the course of the Algerian War and replaced by the Charles de Gaulle-led French Fifth Republic. Into the 1960s decolonization saw most of the French colonial empire become independent.

Throughout its long history (History of France), France has produced many influential artists, thinkers, and scientists, and remains a prominent global center of culture. It hosts the world's fourth-largest (List of World Heritage Sites in France) number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually – the most of any country in the world. . Centre national de documentation pédagogique, "2011, ANNÉE DES OUTRE-MER"

French citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings (International rankings of France) of education (Education Index), health care (Health care in France), life expectancy (List of countries by life expectancy), civil liberties, and human development (Human Development Index). France is a founding member of the United Nations, where it serves as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council). It is a member of numerous international institutions, including the Group of 7 (G7), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (NATO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and La Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la Francophonie). France is a founding and leading member state of the EU (member state of the European Union).

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