France is a Western European country. Its coast lines are on the North Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
Humans settled there as far back as prehistoric time. Remains were discovered dating back 100,000 years.
The Gauls which existed mainly of Celtic origin migrated from the Rhine Valley to France in around 1,200 BC.
The Romans invaded and conquered the area of France in 50 BC. When the Roman Empire fell in AD476 they were invaded by many tribes from all over Europe. Many rulers tried to conquer but the most powerful one was Emperor Charlemagne. He conquered and expanded his Empire over most Western Europe.
Charlemagne’s dynasty was the Carolingians
In 1326 when Philip I succeeded on the Throne it changed to the Capetians. Philip started the HUNDRED YEARS’ WAR and England lost all its French territories apart from Calais.
France eventually became a unified state after the defeat of the English and the Burgundians at the end of 15th century. After that France became the leading power in Europe.
In 1789 the French Revolution began and brought the end of the monarchy. In 1792 the first French Republic was declared.
In 1804 Napoleon crowned himself as Emperor Napoleon I and replaced the Republic.
In 1814 it reversed and the Bourbon monarchy under Louis XVIII was restored
In 1830 Charles X tried to bring back an absolute monarchy but was overthrown and replaced by Louis Philippe on the throne. He abdicated in 1848 and the Second Republic was declared which lasted till the Second Empire of Napoleon III in 1852. France’s Empire expanded into North Africa, South-east Asia and the Pacific.
In 1870 the Third Republic was announced after Napoleon III was exiled and after a defeat in the FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR
In 1940 the Republic was defeated by Nazi Germany. The FREE FRENCH RESISTANCE movement was established by Charles de Gaulle assisting the Allies and paving the way for the liberation of France in 1944.
Then followed the Indochina-war and the colonies demanded independence. It put an end to this republic in 1958. Charles de Gaulle was voted in as the president of the Fifth Republic and he granted independence to the colonies and established France as a prominent power in Europe.
In 1957 the country became a founder member EIROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY. Francois Mitterand became France’s first socialist president in 1981. He called a referendum in 1992 that narrowly endorsed the Maastricht Treaty attempting to unify Europe.
In 1995 Jacques Chirac was voted in as president
In 2012 Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party became president