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A Succinct History and Cultural Overview of France by Ashutosh Diwedi

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A Succinct History and Cultural Overview of France by
Article Posted: 04/06/2015
Article Views: 144
Articles Written: 8
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A Succinct History and Cultural Overview of France

Travel & Tourism

The geographical location of France made it a susceptible meeting ground for prowling tribesmen from the north and east and seafaring invaders from the west. It was because of its very location that France found itself in the middle of the converging streams of people which reached its peak at the fall of the Roman Empire.

A melting pot of peoples

Gauls, who sleeted from a Celtic people in Western Europe, are the direct intimates of the French people as well as a melting pot of Bretons, Aquitanians, Iberians and Greeks from the south of France. Later came the Germans from the north made up of Franks, Belgae, Visigoths, the Suebi, Marcomanni, the Vandals, Saxons, the Alemanni and the Burgandians, all previous the Vikings who invaded and settled in the country in the 9th century.

Early history
The Gallo-Roman culture

The whole of Gaul finally fell to the Romans in 51 BCE under the leadership of Julius Caesar thereby forging a continuous territory with the south-eastern part, already subjugated a century earlier and dotted with Roman settlements. The two parts of Gaul co-existed in what was known as the Gallo-Roman culture which witnessed the Gaulish language slowly being overtaken by Vulgar Latin, only to split later, developed and sophisticated into what is now the French language. The surviving remains of the Gaulish language is found in Brittany in the northwest, not because it survived the dual culture, but because it was brought across the channel from Britain by a Celt speaking Brythonic people.

The Norman Invasions

Another major gesticulate of invaders into France was led by Viking raiders who journeyed from Denmark and Norway further north. These were the dreaded Norsemen or Northmen later to be known as the Normans. They settled with Anglo-Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons in the northern region in what is now known as Normandy, as well as in western France in the 9th and 10thcenturies. They ultimately intermarried with local women and converted to Christianity. Pagans had become part of a civilized community which still had room to develop further.

The Kingdom of France

About 900 years after the Norman incursions, the population of France reached a constant level and had expanded its influence into the New World, acquiring possessions in Canada and Louisiana along with its colonies in the West Indies, the Mascarene Islands and Africa. Except for the emigration of Huguenots and Roman Catholic population to these newly found possessions, the majority of French people were satisfied and stayed home living under the reign of "The Sun King" Louis XIV of France.

French Modern History

Four very profound events occurred in France which would forever figure its social, economic and political destiny. These comprised the establishment of the French Republic, the Franco-Prussian War, the decrees of Adolphe Cremieux and the Industrial rebellion.

The Events
  • The nation state of France was established as a result of the French Revolution and Napoleon's empire. The events did away with the realm and instituted a dictatorship which later gave way to a republic. It forged French society into a singular entity notwithstanding the variety of races by creating the French citizen with rights and molded its language into a rational whole by eradicating the local languages.
  • The Franco-Prussian War was instrumental in consolidating the nation's nationalistic feelings and forced it into a stronger yearning for self-reliance and independence. The clash re-ignited French regard for the Alsace-Lorraine region which defined France as a nation along with the French people.
  • The decrees of Adolphe Cremieux transformed France into a country broadminded of other nationalities, especially the Jews, who were facing harassment on all sides. The decrees had the profound effect of making French citizenship available to a great number of Jews in the country against the wave of rising anti-Semitism. As a result French culture was enriched.
  • The decrees of Adolphe Cremieux transformed France into a country broadminded of other nationalities, especially the Jews, who were facing harassment on all sides. The decrees had the profound effect of making French citizenship available to a great number of Jews in the country against the wave of rising anti-Semitism. As a result French culture was enriched.

This article written by Devesh Rai behalf of MakeYouTravel, which provides the Cheap Domestic Tour Packages and Cheap International Tour packages with cheapest price.

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