Portal:France

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Map of France in the world and position of its largest single land territory in continental Europe.

France (French: [fʁɑ̃s] Listen), officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a country, primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea. It borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland, Monaco and Italy to the east and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. The country's 18 integral regions (five of which are situated overseas) span a combined area of 643,801 km2 (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.07 million (). France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice. France, including its overseas territories, has the most time zones of any country, with a total of 12.

During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a collection of Celtic tribes. The area was annexed by Rome in 51 BC, developing a distinct Gallo-Roman culture that laid the foundation of the French language. The Germanic Franks arrived in 476 and 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.

For much of the High Middle Ages, France was a highly decentralized feudal kingdom in which the authority of the king was barely felt. King Philip Augustus achieved remarkable success in the strengthening of royal power and the expansion of his realm, doubling its size and defeating his rivals. By the end of his reign, France had emerged as the most powerful state in Europe. In the mid-14th century, French monarchs were embroiled in a series of dynastic conflicts with their English counterparts, which lasted over 100 years. Emerging victorious from said conflicts, disputes with Spain and the Holy Roman Empire soon followed during the Renaissance but were ultimately less successful. However, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world. The second half of the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots), which severely weakened the country. But France once again emerged as Europe's dominant cultural, political, and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV following the Thirty Years' War. An inadequate financial model and inequitable taxation system as well as endless and costly wars to maintain its predominant position, the Seven Years' War and American War of Independence among them, left the heavily indebted kingdom in a precarious situation by the end of the 18th century. The French Revolution in 1789 saw the fall of the absolute monarchy that characterized the Ancien Régime and from its ashes, rose one of modern history's earliest republics, which drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The declaration expresses the nation's ideals to this day.

Following the revolution, 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. After the collapse of the empire and a relative decline, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating in the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870 in the midst of the Franco-Prussian War. France was one of the prominent participants of World War I, from which it emerged victorious, and was one of the Allied powers in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War. The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all other French colonies became independent in the 1960s, with most retaining close economic and military connections with France. (Full article...)

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Talbot Tagora 2.2 saloon
The Talbot Tagora is an executive car developed by Chrysler Europe and produced by Peugeot Société Anonyme (PSA). The Tagora was marketed under the Talbot marque after PSA took over Chrysler's European operations in 1979. PSA presented the first production vehicle in 1980 and launched it commercially in 1981. The Tagora fell short of sales expectations, described as a "showroom flop" just a year after its launch, and PSA cancelled the model two years later. Fewer than 20,000 Tagora models were built, all of them at the former Simca factory in Poissy, near Paris, France. (Full article...)

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Lemoine.jpg
Émile Michel Hyacinthe Lemoine (1840–1912) was a French civil engineer and a mathematician, a geometer in particular. He was educated at a variety of institutions, including the Prytanée National Militaire and, most notably, the École Polytechnique. Lemoine taught as a private tutor for a short period after his graduation from the latter school.

Lemoine is best known for his proof of the existence of the Lemoine point (or the symmedian point) of a triangle. Other mathematical work includes a system he called Géométrographie and a method which related algebraic expressions to geometric objects. He has been called a co-founder of modern triangle geometry, as many of its characteristics are present in his work.

For most of his life, Lemoine was a professor of mathematics at the École Polytechnique. In later years, he worked as a civil engineer in Paris, and he also took an amateur's interest in music. During his tenure at the École Polytechnique and as a civil engineer, Lemoine published several papers on mathematics, most of which are included in a fourteen-page section in Nathan Altshiller Court's College Geometry. Additionally, he founded a mathematical journal titled, L'intermédiaire des mathématiciens.

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Aligot is a dish made from cheese blended into mashed potatoes (often with some garlic) that is made in L'Aubrac (Aveyron, Cantal, Lozère, Occitanie) region in the southern Massif Central of France. This fondue-like dish from the Aveyron department is a common sight in Auvergne restaurants.

Traditionally made with the Tomme de Laguiole (Tomme fraîche) or Tomme d'Auvergne cheese, aligot is a French country speciality highly appreciated in the local gastronomy with Toulouse sausages or roast pork. Other cheeses are also used in place of Tomme, including mozzarella, Cantal and Laguiole. The choice of cheese is important, and strongly affects the end result. Tomme is not easily available outside France; many other cheeses are reported to be too strong. The cheese must be mild, with a lactic tang, but not too much salt, and melt easily. A comparison of the cheeses available in the UK found creamy (rather than the crumbly variety) Lancashire to be best, rejecting most other suggestions; other cheeses will be needed where neither Tomme nor Lancashire are available. Floury, rather than waxy, potatoes are preferable. (Full article...)

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The All Blacks performing a haka prior to a Test match against France in 2006

The national rugby union teams of France and New Zealand (the All Blacks) have been playing each other for over a century; as of 19 October 2015, they have played 56 Test matches against each other. The first encounter, during the historic 1905–1906 All Blacks tour of Europe and North America, which was also France's first Test, took place in Paris in January 1906 and was won by New Zealand 38–8. It was not until their third meeting, in 1954, that France secured their first win over New Zealand (3–0).

France first toured New Zealand in 1961 – before any of the Home Nations – and the All Blacks won all three Tests. The All Blacks' first full tour of France was in 1977,[i] when they won one of the two Tests. France first defeated the All Blacks in New Zealand on Bastille Day 1979. France achieved a first series win in New Zealand in 1994, when they won both Tests. Since 2000, the two teams have contested the Dave Gallaher Trophy. (Full article...)
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Looking west along the Champs-Élysées avenue toward the Arc de Triomphe during Christmas season.
Photo credit: Anthony Atkielski

Cover of Der yidisher arbeyter.

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