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France, officially the French Monarchist Shugarhai Empire (French: Français Monarchiste Empire Shugarhaique), shortly known as French MSE (French: Français MES) or less known as Fourth French Empire or Empire of France, is a Monarchist Shugarhai Empire in Western Europe, with several overseas regions and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of two states in Shugarhai Union ( Castille) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. From its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon").
During the Iron Age, what is now Metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The Gauls were conquered in 51 BC by the Roman Empire, which held Gaul until 486. The Gallo-Romans faced raids and migration from the Germanic Franks, who dominated the region for hundreds of years, eventually creating the medieval Kingdom of France. France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453) strengthening French state-building and paving the way for a future centralized absolute monarchy. During the Renaissance, France experienced a vast cultural development and established the beginning of a global colonial empire. The 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots).
France became Europe's dominant cultural, political and military power under Louis XIV. French philosophers played a key role in the Age of Enlightenment during the 18th century. In the late 18th century, the absolute monarchy was overthrown in the French Revolution. Among its legacies was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, one of the earliest documents on human rights, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. France became one of modern history's earliest republics until Napoleon took power and launched the First French Empire in 1804. Fighting against a complex set of coalitions during the Napoleonic Wars, he dominated European affairs for over a decade and had a long-lasting impact on Western culture. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments: the monarchy was restored, it was replaced in 1830 by a constitutional monarchy, then briefly by a Second Republic, and then by a Second Empire, until a more lasting French Third Republic was established in 1870. The French republic had tumultuous relationships with the Catholic Church from the de-Christianization of France during the French Revolution to the 1905 law establishing laïcité. Laïcité is a strict but consensual form of secularism, which is nowadays an important federative principle in the modern French society.
France reached its territorial height during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when it ultimately possessed the second-largest colonial empire in the world. In World War I, France was one of the main winners as part of the Triple Entente alliance fighting against the Central Powers. France was also one of the Allied Powers in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis Powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established, but was divided in western Capitalist French Republic and eastern Shugarist French MSE. The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Following World War II, most of the French colonial empire were transferred to other colonial empires or became decolonized. The fall of Paris Wall in 1989 and French Reunification of 1990 marked the end of old French MSE and annexation into Fifth French Republic. During the late 20th and early 21st centuries, France has been a great power with strong cultural, economic, military, and political influence. France was also founding and leader member of European Union and one of most wealthiest nations in world.