Hello, my name is Moria Crowley. I will be guest writing on France and Great Britain for the next few weeks. Both countries are quite famous for their food, politics, entertainment, and historical impact. My articles will be a general overview of Great Britain and France with a follow-up focus on the criminal justice systems in each country. Her is France.
Bonjour? Comment ça va? France is a large country (the largest in Europe) with many famous things about it. It is a place of food and drink and history. Here is des amuse-gueule.
[Map of France with cities]
A long time ago France used to be known as Gaul. This was during the time that Julius Caesar won in the Gallic Wars in the year 51 BCE. The Romans kept a ton of records about the places they conquered. One thing they recoded was the three ethno-linguistic groups of the region: the Gauls, the Aquitani, and the Belgae. French, as a language, as not developed then. Instead people spoke Gallic. After the fall of the Roman Empire there was much turmoil. Almost a hundred years later Charlemagne ruled as the strongest Frankish king. He is also one of the famous. One of the most important contributions he made was the development of the kingdoms of France and Germany. After he died (after just thirteen years of ruling), France evolved into its own monarchy. The Hundred Years War was a victory for France over Britain. This lead to the death of Jeanned’Arc. She became a famous mayiter and a French champion.
[Painting of Jeanned’Arc, housed in the Centre Historique des Archives Nationales]
After the Hundred Years War there was much turmoil. This reached a peak in the 18th century during the French Revolution (1789-99). It was governed as a Republic until was was established as an Empire by Napoleon Bonaparte. He lead France on a military campaign of French dominance for years. However, this was a drain on resources, and after his imprisonment his methods were abandoned. France fought with Great Britain and the US in World War I. The occupation of France by Nazi Germany marked the end of the Third Republic. In 1944 the Fourth Republic was established. However, it was quickly dismantled. The Fifth Republic was established in 1958 and continues today.
France is currently on the Fifth Republic. Their constitution is the Constitution of the Fifth Republic. It was created almost entirely by General Charles de Gaulle, and as such is referred to as Gaullist. The French legal system is based in part on Justinian’s Code (Corpus Juris Civilis) and is a civil law system. An interesting fact is that France was the first modern country to legalize same-sex sexual activity. This happened in 1791. Unlike the UK, France has a president. The president’s role is to assure the county’s independence and make sure it adheres to the constitution. They also have a premier (a.k.a. prime minister). The premier is appointed by the president. They direct government operations – but the president decides policy. The Council of Members is similar in function to a cabinet government. Members are selected by the premier, approved by the president, and offer advice and opinion on important issues. The Parliament is bicameral; the Senate and the National Assembly. They are the upper and lower chambers respectively.
Famous places to visit in France
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable structures in the world, alongside the Great Wall and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
[Photograph by Scott Stulberg, Corbis]
Possibly the most famous landing site of WII, Nomandy is now a popular destination for historians and beachgoers.
[Photograph by Anton Bielousov]
More to come…
During my trip I will document the places I go and the things I see. I hope you enjoy following along.
An American who goes to the University of North Texas in Denton. That is where she is studying Criminal Justice and Journalism and holds a certification from Université catholique de Louvain.She has traveled to Italy, France, the UK, Mexico and Canada. Her interests include writing, photography, and playing the violin. In addition to writing for RedDeer International she posts to National Geographic’s YourShot community.
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