France: Historical Overview                                  

For more in depth history of France navigate your way through different time periods here (scroll to France and click the down arrow to start)!

  • Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower and rank as a dominant nation-state.


  • Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations.


  • Since 1958, it constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier more purely parliamentary administrations.


  • In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common exchange currency, the euro, in January 1999.


  • At present, France is at the forefront of efforts to develop the EU's military capabilities to supplement progress toward an EU foreign policy.