French history is vibrant and vivid. Early French history began with the conquests of Julius Caesar and the creation of Gaul, which then turned into the Kingdom of the Franks, a Germanic people most famously led by Charlemagne. The Kingdom of France went on to become a major power in Western Europe and became republican in the late 18th Century during the Revolution. One result of this Revolution was the Napoleonic Wars, which saw the greatest extent of French power. After the Napoleonic Wars, the nation of France underwent a humiliating defeat at the hands of the German Empire in the 1870s.
Since the 1910s, France has been preparing for an imminent global war. This includes development of new artillery and tank techniques, as well as creation of a defensive border with Germany, the primary French rival. From 1916-1917, France led the defeat of the Spanish in the Franco-Spanish War of 1916. This war ended with the Treaty of Le Havre, and gave Spanish colonies to France.
The current President of France is Raymond Poincaré, who was elected in 1913 and whose term is set to expire in 1920. Poincaré intends to run for re-election, according to sources inside the Democratic Republican Alliance (PRD-ARD), the current ruling party.
A list of Regions of France, with autonomous regions listed in italics.
- Upper Normandy
- Lower Normandy
In addition to all of the internal divisions of France, a number of colonies are maintained by the French colonial empire.
As shown by the map to the right, France is one of the world's largest colonial empires with lands extending from South America to Africa to China and the Indies.
Here is a list of all French colonies, sorted by the French Regional Directorate under which the colony fals.
- Regional Directorate of North Africa
- North Morocco
- Regional Directorate of Central Africa
- Cote de Ivorie
- Equatorial Guinea
- Regional Directorate of East Africa
- Comoros Islands
- Kugelen Islands
- Regional Directorate of China
- French China
- Regional Directorate of the Americas
- Greater Antilles
- Greater Guyana
- Regional Directorate of the Indies
- East Indies
- New Caledonia
The military of France is among the strongest militaries in the modern world. Ranking among the militaries of the US, UK, and Germany, France is known for its elite French Foreign Legion (Képi blancs) and its relatively modern navy.
France also has an intensive defensive system, spanning along the Franco-German border. The military is also actively investigating the possibilities of tank warfare, led by Renault and Peugeot.
Army of France
The army of France, while often viewed as inferior by tacticians to the German army, is quickly working to close that gap. Currently, about 115,000 men serve in the French Army.
The army also manages a fledgling air force of 135 airplanes which are also constantly under development to become more efficient.
- Dreadnought Battleships: 6
- Pre-dreadnought Battleships: 17
- Armored cruisers: 23
- Protected cruisers: 13
- Destroyers: 37
- Torpedo boats: 180
- Submarines: 53