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France has seen its fortunes wax and wane over the centuries as it was once a major player in world politics. After the golden era of Napoleon, France went into decline, culminating in the crushing defeat of the Great War and the World War by both the United States of America and Germany.
For the better part of the 20th Century France existed as two nations and two distinct cultures have arisen, with separate languages. Following the Spasm and the nuclear attack against Paris, the governments of the Frances began negotiations and an era of rapprochement was ushered in, culminating in Le Traité de l'Union des deux Frances
France put aside its ancient rivalry with England in 1863 to recognize the existence of the Confederate States of America. This move, coupled with a disenchantment with the United States of America's foreign policy, led to a bitter rupture that resulted in the punitive damages brought against France and England following the Great War by the Alliance powers and the division of France following the World War.
The Great War
France was brutally defeated with her allies by the American-German Alliance, and through the poor negotiations of Georges Clemenceau, was horribly fettered with debts and war-reparations. Clemenceau, upon realizing the situation his failure had brought to France committed suicide in Luxemburg on January 3rd, 1920.
Ferdinand Foch exulted in the loopholes he saw in the treaty to friends in private, saying that "[the treaty was] not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years."
Interbellum and The Great Depression
France was hobbled by the war reparations demanded by the United States and Germany, and was further wracked by social upheaval as the French tried to survive the woes of the Depression Era.
Fueled by the Stavisky Affair and a growing Antisemitism and anti-Communism, French frustrations came to a head in the public riots of the 6 February 1934 Crisis, leading to the dissolution of the Third Republic, and François de La Rocque established as the Président-Géneral of the Fourth French Republic.
Among the first acts of the Fourth Republican Assembly was the dissolution of all parties involved in the Popular Front.
The World War
Throughout the last years of the 1930's La Rocque negotiated in secret with Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, Chancellor of England, and in 1938 created the Axis of Freedom. Through negotiations in Paris the Versailles Accords further enlisted the aid of Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Beginning with the re-industrialization and armament construction in 1936, France began increasing the army stealthily through various "youth-programs" and manufacturing apprenticeships that created the raw material needed for their final goal of restitution.
In 1938 all payment of reparations stopped to both the USA and Germany, and furtive negotiations began with the Confederate States of America to further prepare for an offensive to restore what was perceived as the status quo.
After the war began in late 1939, Germany and the USA were caught off guard, and were playing catch-up to the onslaught brought by the Axis powers. It is believed that had the assassination attempt by one Adolf Hitler been successful against Kaiser Wilhelm III, the war would have ended quite differently.
The war turned in 1943 and the Axis of Freedom was quickly beaten back by the Alliance powers. In the Greenwich Armistice, signed in 1945, the war was ended and France Partitioned, the United Kingdom dissolved and further partitioned among the winners of the war.
North France was established as a decentralized federalist nation, and for the first twenty years was lead by a Conseiller who was clandestinely appointed by the Hohenzollern throne. Internationally, between the powers of Russia, Germany and the USA, very little concern was shown for this puppet government, and North France was considered a German satellite.
Stringent efforts were made to normalize the language, leading to a strong sense of separatism in Brittany. North France was an immediate member of the Peace Contract of European Lands. The capital of North France remained in Paris.
South France was a loose confederation of the former departments of France, only loosely functioning as more than a collection of nation states. A capital was tentatively established in Avignon, however no real effort to run a national government existed, and most of South France worried about their own local region, and South France quickly became a political backwater for much of the 20th Century. In a reversal of opinion, Occitan was adopted as the national language, as most of the south saw the troubles of France stemming from the poor decisions of Paris, and thus North France.
Occitan was forcedly taught in school, but local dialects were also encouraged. Great pride was taken in being incomprehensible to those from North France who would visit the South.
After the Spasm
With the nuclear assault against Paris, the government of North France was left in disarray and South France was at first reticent to assist. In 1988, however, negotiations began, and after 10 years of rapprochement the two countries signed Le Traité de l'Union des deux Frances. Tensions remain between France and Ireland, the government in Avaricon refusing to recognize the annexation of Brittany.