The Languedoc-Roussillon region is usually just called Languedoc. This historical coastal region is in southern France. It stretches from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and to the Spanish border. Additionally, the region is part of Occitanie. The area produces famous wines. Consequently Vin de Pays d’Oc and sparkling Crémant de Limoux are among the world’s best-known varieties. The regional capital is Montpellier.
The principal country of France is situated in western Europe. This extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country owns 18 regions in total, five being overseas. They collectively span an area of 643,801 square kilometres.
A global contributor
France has long been a global contributor to art, science, and philosophy. It is one of the most visited countries in the world, receiving around 83 million foreign tourists annually. This country is also one of the most developed in the world (next to the UK). It ranks as the seventh largest worldwide economy. Internationally, this county is considered to be one of the major powers in the world. As one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, it has the right to veto. France is also an official nuclear power state.
The country is a semi-presidential Republic, meaning that there is both a President and a Prime Minister in government. Paris is the capital, the largest city and the main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux.
In the Late Middle Ages. After gaining victory in the historic Hundred Years’ War (1337 to 1453), France emerged as a significant European power. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished. A global Colonial Empire was established, and by the 20th century, it would become the second largest in the world. Religious civil wars dominated the 16th century. France then became Europe’s, political, dominant cultural and military power under Louis XIV. Close to the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, establishing one of history’s earliest Republics. This famous revolution saw the drafting of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”, which expresses the nation’s ideals, even to this day.
In the 19th century, Napoleon gained power and established the French Empire. His subsequent “Napoleonic Wars” helped to shape the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the French Empire, France endured a succession of different governments. This went on to finally culminate with the establishment of the French Third Republic, in 1870.
France was a significant participant in World War I. Once again, the French were one of the Allied Powers in World War II. Germany invaded and occupied the country from 1940 until nearly the end of the war. France had been a central vantage point, essential to the German war effort.