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Post French Revolution History (1790-1871)
In 1790, the shaky French monarchy seemed to be on the verge of collapse, the Bourbons were hiding out in the Palace at Versailles. Angry peasants were amassing outside of the gates and were demanding that the King relinquish his absolute rule over France.
King Louis XVI eventually relented to the demands of the rowdy citizens, signing the document that would turn France into a constitutional monarchy. The newly sworn in French parliament was made up of mainly left wing liberals who supported the monarchy, while the more radical republicans from both sides of the political spectrum were more or less the minority, since the people's anger had been quenched.
After years of hard work, the French government had managed to pay off most of their debt while keeping the populace somewhat happy. After stabilizing the nation, the Bourbons continued to colonise the unconquered areas in Asia, colonising Sumatra and Java in the mid 1830s, competing with the Dutch and British in the region. Africa was later colonised, with the French annexing Algeria in the 1860s, and Madagascar and parts of the Congo a few decades earlier.
After the formation of Germany and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine (via Treaty, rather than War in OTL, as the French were wary of the new powerful German Empire), the Communalists overthrew the weak German government and established the first Communalist state. The French government quickly fortified the German-French border and aided in forming the Maginot Line with the Dutch and Austro-Hungarian governments. The Bourbons also gave the remaining German and Polish Royals safe passage through to Portugal and the United Kingdom for the former, while the latter set up shop in Paris with the German House of Saxony, which married into the Polish nobility, allowing the bloodline to continue.
The Century Long Cold War (1889-1983)During the early 20th Century, Anti-Communalist sentiment was high, in 1941, Charles de Gaulle was elected Prime Minister, his policies would become what is now known as 'de Gaulism', promoting national unity, government participation in the economy (but not as far as the Communalists took it), secularism (Even though de Gaulle was a devout Catholic himself) and allowing everyone to have the same rights, regardless of who they were. De Gaulle's tenure was marred with a distrust of the British and American governments. De Gaulle was once quoted as saying: "No nation has friends, only interests"
De Gaulle's policies have shaped French policies over the years, the main tenets of his ideology are still present in the major French political parties, although the ideology of a lack of foreign policy has fallen out of favour in all sides of the political spectrum.
By the end of the Cold War, in the late 1970s and mid 1980s, the French government took a strategy of normalising relations with the ailing German Worker's Republic,even sending aid to the Polish after the Baltic Wars in 1989.
Modern Day (1983-Present)
In the modern era, France has become the 4th most powerful nation on Earth, boasting a decently sized, if ever shrinking nuclear arsenal. The French monarchy enjoys a high approval rating of around 90%, around the same levels of the other European monarchies, if only slightly lower. Many people wish to keep the status quo, as the current monarch remains a stabilizing force in the Government.
The French Navy is the 3rd largest Navy on Earth, only being beaten by the USA and the United Kingdom. The French have a decently sized Army too, boasting the fourth largest standing army on Earth. The pride and joy of the French Naval fleet, the HMFS Napoleon (Named after the Loyalist General who fought for the Monarchy in the Revolution), is one of the most advanced nuclear powered aircraft carriers in the world.
Special forces like the GIGN and the French Foreign Legion are some of the most highly respected fighting forces in the world, alongside the British and Australian SAS and American Green Berets. French spy agencies like the DGSE rank alongside the Austro-Hungarian Evidenzebureau, American OSS, and British MI6.
The French government, like most European monarchies, is a constitutional monarchy. The King (or Queen) holds some powers, but is generally dwarfed by the powers that the Parliament holds. The Monarch has the ability to declare war, dismiss the Prime Minister, among other powers. The Monarch also has the ability to suspend the constitution and have the military (including the nuclear arsenal) under his/her direct command, automatically overriding the rankings of top military commanders, who are forced to act in an advisory role. This ability was only used once, during the North Sea Crisis, when the Cold War reached its highest point to boiling over into full scale nuclear war.
As of 2015, French is the most spoken language in the Kingdom, second to Occitan and Breton. Occitan is spoken by over 85% of the population of Occitania (a region spanning most of southern France) in some form. Most children are taught both French and Occitan, but the latter is generally given precedence, but French is generally seen as the lingua franca for the country as a whole. Breton, is a Celtic language spoken by all 6.6 million citizens that make up the French Department of Brittany. The language is related to Cornish and Welsh (which are spoken in the UK). Basque and Catalan are minor languages that are spoken in the south of France, in close proximity to the Spanish border. Both languages are spoken by almost all of the population, alongside French.