An history spanning more than eleven centuries
Most modern historians consider that France was born under the Carolingians after the dissolution of the Frankish Empire in AD 843. The country’s political history thus spans more than eleven centuries . A few key dates stand out.
843: Treaty of Verdun. Creation of France
1337-1452: 100-year war opposing France and England
1539: Ordinance of Villers Coterêts. Officialization of the use of the French language in official documents and contracts.
1789: French Revoultion
1792: Foundation of the First French republic
1804: Proclamation of the First French Empire
1814: Return of Monarchy
1848: Foundation of the French Second Republic
1851: Proclamation of the Second Empire
1870: French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Loss of Alsace-Lorraine. Foundation of the French Thrid Republic
1914-1918: World War I, Alsace-Lorraine returns to France.
1939-1945: World War II, Nazi occupation of France from 1940 until 1944.
1958: Foundation of the French Fifth Republic
2012: Election of François Hollande
But France’s past is made up of a heritage of landmarks and culture accumulated from the Stone Age to the present day, from the Lascaux caves to the Louvre Pyramid, including the cities of Roman Gaul, cathedrals, princely chateaux and industrial architecture.