The cultural heritage of France dates back to thousands of years and is as old as the country itself is. The French population has very diverse origins, contributing to the development of a cosmopolitan culture.
See Article History Alternative Titles: Historically and culturally among the most important nations in the Western world, France has also played a highly significant role in international affairs, with former colonies in every corner of the globe.
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Seathe Alps and the PyreneesFrance has long provided a geographic, economic, and linguistic bridge joining northern and southern Europe.
The French people look to the state as the primary guardian of liberty, and the state in turn provides a generous program of amenities for its citizens, from free education to health care and pension plans. Even so, this centralist tendency is often at odds with another long-standing theme of the French nation: This tendency toward individualism joins with a pluralist outlook and a great interest in the larger world.
Even though its imperialist stage was driven by the impulse to civilize that world according to French standards la mission civilisatricethe French still note approvingly the words of writer Gustave Flaubert: I am no more modern than I am ancient, no more French than Chinese; and the idea of la patrie, the fatherland—that is, the obligation to live on a bit of earth coloured red or blue on a map, and to detest the other bits coloured green or black—has always seemed to me narrow, restricted, and ferociously stupid.
At once universal and particular, French culture has spread far and greatly influenced the development of art and science, particularly anthropology, philosophy, and sociology. France has also been influential in government and civil affairs, giving the world important democratic ideals in the age of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution and inspiring the growth of reformist and even revolutionary movements for generations.
The present Fifth Republic has, however, enjoyed notable stability since its promulgation on September 28,marked by a tremendous growth in private initiative and the rise of centrist politics.
Although France has engaged in long-running disputes with other European powers and, from time to time, with the United Statesits longtime allyit emerged as a leading member in the European Union EU and its predecessors.
As one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council —together with the United States, Russiathe United Kingdomand China —France has the right to veto decisions put to the council.
Metropolitan Paris has now extended far beyond its ancient suburbs into the countryside, however, and nearly every French town and village now numbers a retiree or two driven from the city by the high cost of livingso that, in a sense, Paris has come to embrace the desert and the desert Paris.
Paris skyline at dusk. Page 1 of In the French Revolution resulted in the end of the monarchy, and a torrent of bloodshed during a turbulent time in the history of France.
In France declared war on Austria. Louis XVI was apprehended in his attempt to flee France, and executed soon after. French political power reached a zenith under the rule of Louis XIV, The history of France starts with the election of Hugh Capet The Assembly also replaced France's historic provinces with eighty-three departments, uniformly administered and approximately equal to one another in extent and population.
Nov 09, · Watch video · The French Revolution was a watershed event in modern European history that began in and ended in the late s with the ascent of Napoleon Bonaparte.
French ethnographic research in France is funded by the Mission du Patrimoine Ethnologique, which is part of the Ministry of Culture. The Mission participates in the journal Ethnologie Francaise and publishes its own journal, Terrain. Historic Culture For hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, the native Mi'kmaqs hunted and fished the bountiful lands and waters of present-day Nova Scotia.
Soon after John Cabot's exploration of North America in , European fishermen sailed to the shores of the new land, eager to take ad. Cultural events such as opera, ballet, classical concerts, theater performances, and other traditional events are valued highly, as is the French natural ability for art.
Politeness and a degree of formality are customary in France, as the French are private people by nature.