France is the largest country of Western Europe in area. Paris, the capital
of France and largest city in the country, ranks as one of the world's great
For hundreds of years, Paris has been a world capital of art and learning.
Its university is over 800 years old, and is one of the largest in the world. Paris attracts artists and writers of all nationalities. Many great artists have
produced their finest masterpieces there.
A Short Background
Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered
extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state.
Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and
is a leader among European nations.
Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy resistant to the
instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. In recent years,
its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the
economic integration of Europe, including the advent of the euro in January
Presently, France is at the forefront of European states seeking to exploit the
momentum of monetary union to advance the creation of a more unified and capable
European defense and security apparatus.
||59,551,227 (July 2001 est.)
||French 100%, rapidly declining
regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican,
1 EURO to US Dollar : 1,1962 (April 2004)
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