French people
Frenchy people
Total population
65.8 million
Regions with significant populations
Majority Population
France France 65,800,000 [1]
Minority Population
Canada Canada 10,421,365 [2]
United States United States 11,800,000 [3]
Switzerland Switzerland 6.07 million [4]
Belgium Belgium 4.3 million [5]

French · Occitan · Arpitan · Ligurian · Corsican · Catalan · Breton · Basque


Christianity Predominantly Christianity
Mostly Roman Catholicism

Islam Islam

Related ethnic groups

Spaniards, Germans, Celtics, other Western Europeans

The French people (French: Les Français) are a nation who share a common French culture, characterized by the French language regardless of their ethnic origin as people of France contain a mix of Latinic and Germanic ancestry. French people are defined by citizenship in France, whereas they are viewed as an ethnic group in the world. Today, the French people are known for their fashion, arts and their prestigious cuisine - France is the world's top quality producer of wine.


The terms French and France originate from the name Francia, this was the name of Frank territory which was a Germanic kingdom that conquered the Roman territory of Gaul.


Early History and AncestryEdit

The French people contain a mix of Latinic, Germanic and Celtic people - namely the Gauls as well as Iberian and Greek ancestry.[6][7][8]

Celtic and Roman GaulEdit

The region known as Gaul (Latin: Gallia) composed of what is today France, Luxembourg and Belgium, a
Roman Gaul

Northern Gaul "sou", 440-450, 4240mg.

majority of Switzerland, and the northern part of Italy as well on the western banks of the Rhine River. It was divided into several parts according to the Roman emperor Julius Ceasar, Gallia Celtica, Belgica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls of a cultural sphere of influence known as  La Tène, which covered all of Gaul, as well as Central Europe during the fifth through the first century B.C. During the second and first centuries B.C., the Romans conquered Gaul: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 B.C. and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 B.C. Gaul was invaded by Germanic tribes after 120 B.C., but the Romans defeated them in 103 B.C., and the entire region was captued by Julius Caesar in his remaining seven-year campaiangs that lasted from 58 to 51 B.C.

The Romans controlled Gaul for five centuries, until it suffered invasions from a Germanic confederation known as the Franks, who conquered the the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons in 486 A.D. they adopted a Gallo-Roman culture afterwards.

Frankish Kingdom 3rd century–843 A.D.Edit

Clovis and Son

The partition of the Frankish kingdom among the four sons of Clovis with Clotilde presiding, Grandes Chroniques de Saint-Denis (Bibliothèque municipale de Toulouse).

The Frankish Kingdom (Latin: Regnum Francorum), which is known by other names such as Francia or Frankia, was ruled by the Germanic confederaton known as the Franks through the Late Antiquity period and the early Middle Ages. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of a succession of kings - Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious—father, son, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century. The Salians were the dominant tribe among the Franks, their rulers were responsible for uniting the Frankish tribes during the late half of the fifth century. Salian rulers were referred toa as Merovingians because they descended from an entity known as Merovech who the Franks believe was a divine descent. In 482 A.D., a Merovingian king by the name of Clovis ascended the throne and elimianted opposing Frankish tribes. In 486 A.D., he conquered northern Gaul which would become known as the Nuestria which means "new land" in Latin.In 496 A.D., he conquered another Germanic confederation known as the Alemanni.[9] He converted to Christianity afterwards, after his queen influenced him to he named converted to the Roman Catholic Church.The kingdom was divided among the four sons of Clovis after he did in 511 A.D. Very little unity followed, as the Merovingian kings would later prove to be
Gaul division

The political divisions of Gaul at the inception of Clovis' career (481). Note that only the Burgundian kingdom and the province of Septimania remained unconquered at his death (511).

belligeren and unstable rulers who often died without bearing any children.

Charlemagne was another significant Frankish ruler, he acquired the throne after the death of his father Pepin the Short in 768 A.D. In 774, Charlemagne ruled Italy after invading due to a threat against the Pope (Catholic leader) by another Germanic tribe known as the Lombards. Charlemagne however had to deal with a fiesty Saxon army in the north, and waged a war against them that lasted from 772-804 A.D. Bavaria, a region in what is today's Germany was annexed as a Frankish state after its rulers conspired to overthrow Charlemagne it is then that the other rulers - those of Central Europe and Eastern Europe recognized Chalemagne's supremacy. He experienced less success against the Arab armies who took the Balaeric Islands in 798.

Kingdom of FranceEdit

The Kingdom of France was formed out of the states that resulted from the quarreling of Charlemagne's descendants, the sons of Louis the Pious. He divided the kingship among his sons, Lothar, Louis the German and Pepin and this collective realm would become referred to by historians as the Carolingian Empire which was the ruly by the dynasty that succeeded the Merovingian dynasty of the same name and was known to be a precursor of the modern-day states of France and Germany. In 823, Louis the German tried to bring one of his sons into the throne, but that was met by resistance from the others and a civil war ensued by the end of his reign. In 843, the three signed the Treaty of Verdun. In 987, the throne was replaced by the Capetian dynasty and along with the Spanish Borboun dynasty would rule France for 800 years.[10] In 1202, France and England would engage in a war for control of Normany, between the Phillip II of France and John of England. The French would decisively defeat the British and German forces in the Battle of Bouvines in 1214.[11] The Ceptian dynasty would meet its end after the death of King Charles IV, he would bear no male heirs - by law, women were not allowed to be heirs. The throne was passed to Phillip VI of the House of Valois and it is during this dynasty that the Kingdom of France would enter the Hundred Years' War - a fight between the French and British for control of the throne that would become a precursor to the rivarly between the two kingdoms that would ensue. In 1337, Edward III, the king of England refused to pay homage to Phillip VI, in which Edward III's lands were confiscated in the region of Aquitaine. The Hundred Years' War was fought for a multitude of reasons - succession of the throne, terrorial and military disputes and the lenght of the war is decribed in that title, a century-long war fought between France and England and was also characterized by peasant revolts. Spain was also involved in the war. Fighting between religious factions (the Catholics and Protestants) were also predominant in the war. It lasted 116 years and in the end, in 1453, the French emerged victorious and the House of Valois retained control of the French throne.

Reign of Louis XIV 1643-1715Edit

Known as the "Sun King", Louis XIV led the longest reign of any European monarch. His reign was marked by an era of upsurge in the arts, architecture and music. Louis XIV was born in 1638, to nobles, a French father and Anne of Austria, of the Habsburg dynasty. He was known as a "god-given" child.[12] During his childhood, the cardinals (a member of the higher Catholic clergy) held the positions as chief ministers. In 1661, Mazrin who was the cardinal of Louis XIV's childhood, died which left Louis XIV to appoint himself as the chief minister, ending the dominion of cardinals in that position. Louis XIV was able to bring stability in the kingdom, organized laws, criminal procedures. Money was spent on enormous building projects in France. In 1671, the Academie Francaise was turned into a royal court. Among other large building projects included the Louvre Palace, and the Palace at Versailles which was once Louis XIV's hunting lodge.[13] In 1682 when he moved to Versailles, an elegant court was held for him which also had rebellious princes and other members of the aristocracy attending. Louis XIV also sustained foreign relations and also extended the borders of the kingdom. He was also embraced morality, and granted all of his illegitimate children legitimacy.

French Colonization of North AmericaEdit

The French people were among one of the earliest Europeans in the continent of North America. During the Age of
Colonial America

Map of North America (1750) - Britain (pink), France (blue), and Spain (orange)

Exploration, France shared a similar goal with the other European powers - a thirst for a westward route to the Asia-Pacific region. The explorations took place under the rule of King Francis I. Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano who worked for France, explored regions between what is today Florida and Newfoundland and named them Francesca and Nova Gallia. In 1534, Jacques Cartier, a French explorer explored the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in Canada, and mapped them out becoming the first to do so. He named it the "Country of Canadas" where he encountered native Iroqouis tribes and found two big settlements, Stadacona (today Quebec City) and Hochelaga (today Montreal).[14] In 1535, Cartier returned and encounted the native Hurons and named their island Mont Réal, which means "Mount Royal" in France (Montreal). Although he failed to find a westward route to Asia (known by European monarch as the Northwest Passage) to gain access to the products from Asia as Portugal had, he did gain a new product for France to monopoly in - fur which strengthened a fur trade between the French colonists and the Native Americans. In 1603, French explorer Samuel de Champlain to North America. A skilled cartographer and a map-maker, Champlain explored eastern Canada naming it "New France" and encouraged his French brethren at home to travel there. He set up a French settlement in the Saint Lawrence River and named it Kebec (Quebec).[15] French explorers were also sent to the Ohio River and Mississippi River and the Missouri River regions which extended the claims of New France. French explorer Rober de La Salle (full name: René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle) claimed the Mississippi River basin for France. In 1682, he and an Italian explorer by the name of Henri de Tonti began to claim the central part of North America, west of the Mississippi River for France and named it Louisiane in honor of King Louis XVI. In 1718, the French established New Orleans named after the French regent Philippe d'Orléans. In 1763, France, Britain and Spain and the other European powers signed the Treaty of Paris after the Seven Years' War, which sent more French (namely Cajuns) migration to New Orleans, where French culture still thrives today.

French Colonization of the Caribbean and South AmericaEdit

In 1664, Franch shared the western half of the island of Hispaniola with the Spanish Empire on the east. Saint-Domingue, what is today the country of Haiti was of interest to the French for its rich soil which the French used to grow sugar. Haiti became one of France's most prize colonial possessions, which literally fed the French colonial empire its sugar monopoly. In 1625, a French colony was established in Saint Kitts, which would today become French Guiana. In 1660, French colonization was met with the indigenous Carib people, the rebellion was put down which led to their expulsion and ethnic cleansing.

French RevolutionEdit

On July 4, 1776, the United States declared its independance from the British Empire and waged a revolutionary war that ended up in an American victory in 1783. The French were influenced by the American Revolution, and used it as an inspiration to overthrow the French monarchs and end the reign of King Louis XVI. The French caste
Estate caricature

Caricature of the Third Estate carrying the First Estate (clergy) and the Second Estate (nobility) on its back.

system was divided into three estates, the First Estate consisted of the monarchs and the clergy, the Second Estate consisted of landlords, merchants and lower-ranking nobilities and the Third Estate which consisted of peasants. Louis XVI failed to address the severe economic problems that plagued France and imposed heavy taxes on the Third Estate. The French government was also using much of its money towards the French army and their against Austria. The economic situation in France would devastated France's army, and often causing them to lose battles against Austrian forces. On July 14, 1793, French insurgents stormed the Bastille, a fortress which contained a cache of weapons and ammunition. On January 17, 1793, Louis XVI was condemned and accused of a conspiracy with France's enemies (Austria and Prussia as a result of threat to let them advance) and during a Convention, the majority of the French parliment chose to have him executed. On January 21, Louis XVI was executed and his head was severed via a guillotine. Unfortunately, the revolution only brought about a Reign of Terror in France and the French failed to achieve the same freedom that the Americans had. The Commitee of Public Safety (CPS) was formed, and its name gave but a false impression of its intention, as it was formed to counter any group suspected of trying to form the pre-revolution monarchy in France. Various radical political factions such as the Jacobins and the Girondins also formed. It was headed by a Jacobin tyrant by the name of Maximilian Robespierre, he would 16,594 people's heads severed from their bodies as a result of accusations by the CPS of conspiring a counter-revolution.[16] Many historians claim that 40,000 people were executed without trial.[17][18] On July 13, 1793, Jean-Paul Marat, a bloodthirsty Jacobin journalist and leader was killed by the Girondin leader named Charlotte Corday. In June 24, the Convention adopted a constitution, a republic constitution. Royalist peasants and those loyal the French monarchs waged a rebellion in the Vendée region of France against the new revolutionary government using a hit-and-run tactic known as a guerilla war.[19] The rebels lost the war, and more atrocities ensued thereafter.

Reign of NapoleonEdit

Amid the French Revolution, a brilliant military commander by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte led the French

Napoleon Crossing the Alps on the back of Marengo (1800), by Jacques-Louis David

armies to many successes against the Austrian forces. In 1797, France and Austria signed the Treaty of Campo Formio which had a territorial favor for France. Bonaparte came from a noble family in the island of Corsica near Italy at the same was an Italian territory. His noble status had no part to play in his family's economic conditions - they were pretty poor people.[20] In 1799, Napoleon took part in a coup against the French Directory. Napoleon would take over French politics and establish a three-member Consulate system and he would be the First Consul. Napoleon's reign was marked with great glory for the French people. He restored France to its pre-revolutionary stable conditions ending the Reign of Terror between rivalling political factions. He centralized the government, had a great support for arts and scientific studies and also established a banking system in the kingdom. He established an organized legal system for France, known as the Napoleonic Code which is still in use today in the modern state. In 1804, Napoleon officially proclaimed himself the emperor of France, he was lavishly coranated in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the city of Paris. In 1810, Napoleon married his second wife (due to the sterality of his first wife) Marie Louise who was an Austrian noble, the daughter of Austria's emperor and bore a son by the name of Napoleon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte and kingship of Rome was give to him.[21]

The Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815Edit

Bonaparte was a very skilled military leader, and a war would ensue between the French and a coalition of
Asterlitz battle

Battle of Austerlitz

European armies, namely British, Prussian, Austrian and Russian forces. This era known as the Napoleonic Wars began as early as 1799, amid Bonaparte's rise to power in France. Napoleon sold the Louisiana territory to the United States so he could pay for a military, known to American historians as the Louisiania Purchase. In 1798, a caolition of not only European armies but also Asian members such as the Ottoman Empire formed to put down the French juggernaut and engaged them in northern Italy and Switzerland. Bonaparte's forces defeated the Russians, and the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in 1800 - which caused the Russian army to pull itself out of the coalition. In 1805, another coalition was established to stand against French armies. In 1805, the French defeated Austrian forces in the city of Ulm in Germany, and Austerlitz in 1805 when they defeated Russian and Austrian forces which was the biggest victory of the French military. That battle was commonly referred to as the "Battle of the Three Emperors". In 1806, Napoleon led a decisive and successful offensive agains the Prussian army in the Battle of Jen in 1806, leaving Britain to be the only standing army that could challenge the French forces.[22] Napoleon placed his kinsman in the thrones of the kingdoms that he conquered or defeated, his brother Joseph Bonaparte king of Spain after Charles IV was dethroned. The Duke of Wellington emerged to be

Battle of Waterloo

Napoleon's military arch rival. He aided a group of Spanish guerillias that drove French forces out of Spain in 1813. This would be fifth time another coalition was formed, during 1809 but the Austrians were again defeated by Napoleon's armies in the Battles of Aspern and Wagram. Perhaps one of Napoleon's biggest military blunders was his decision to invade the snowy kingdom of Russia. His troops did manage to penetrate deep into Russian territory, defeated Russian forces but the harsh winters forced his army to retreat and caused the death of most of his army. The Russians also used a scorched-earth policy, which was to burn land where they retreated from to deprive the enemy of any possible resources. By the Sixth Coalition, Napoleon began to meet his imperial downfall although the French defeated this coalition in the Battle of Dresden, however lost at the Battle of Leipzig.[23] Although he managed to experience many more victories against the other European armies, Paris was captured in March 1814. He was forced to abdicate the throne, and was temporarily exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean. In Elba, Napoleon would create an army and navy and during his exile and gained the support of French soldiers whom he urged to kill him if they wished. Napoleon was considered an outlaw, and caused another coalition to go up against him, this time involving his rival the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon decided to conduct an offensive in Wellington, however he was once-more defeated in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 due to the harsh conditions that the rainy and muddy weather inflicted on his army. The artilleries also malfunctioned. He was finally exiled to Saint Helena, an island in the southern Atlantic region. Napoleon would perhaps become one of the greatest national heroines and military leaders in French history.

French Colonialization of North Africa and Horn of Africa 1830-1956Edit

Towards the end of 1700s, the French were determined to continue Napoleon's will by invading Africa. Charles X was also determined to carry out this campaign to win a civil war that had been raging in France. French General Count de Ghaisnes de Bourmont and Admiral Guy-Victor Duperré sent ground and naval forces in Algerian territory. The Ottoman governors of Algeria were unable to stop the French forces, who had artillery and superior military technology and were defeated in the modern-day Algerian municipality of Staouéli. Bertrand Clauzel, a French military leader who occupied the Algerian cities of Médéa and Blida. Clauzel administered Algeria and recruited native Berbers and Arabs into the French army, who were known as zouaves; natives of North Africa who served in the French infantries. In 1831, Baron Berthezène took Clauzel's spot and highly opposed colonialism, and was also a weak military leader who lost most of his battles against native resistance. In 1834, Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon became the official governer of the new French colony of Algeria. Emīr ʿAbd al-Qādir or his full name, Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine was a prominent Arab ruler in Algeria who led a resistance movement against France. A Berber army led by Qādir successfully defeated a French force led by Camille Alphonse Trézel in the city of Macta, which ended up humiliating and embarrassing the French armies but was later defeated in the Battle of Sikkak. Algerians consider ʿAbd al-Qādir to be a national hero and a modern-day version of Jugurtha. In 1881, Tunisia was established as a French protectorate. In 1883, France acquired Somalia which was known as French Somaliland (French: Côte française des SomalisSomali: Dhulka Faransiiska ee SoomaaliyaArabic: أرض الصومال الفرنسي) which today Djibouti. In 1912, Sultan Abd al-Hafid of Morocco signed the Treaty of Fez with the French that turned southern Morocco into a French protectorate while northern Morocco fell under Spanish control. Morocco did enjoy a period of self-identity under French rule, while absorbing much French influence. In 1956, Mohammad V, Morocco's sultan was able to give Morocco independence from French rule through diplomatic means. Other Berber-Arab nations in North Africa that had been under the rule of this European power included Chad, Mauritania (not to be mistaken for the ancient Berber state "Mauretania") and Burkina Faso. </span></span>

World War IEdit

305px-French bayonet charge

French bayonet charge

In 1914, a great world war would ensue that started as a result of territorial disputes, secret treaties and alliances and unresolved matters between the European powers. France's last three monarchs had turned it into a great military superpower. Russia was a protectorate of France and Serbia was a protectorate of Russia. On June 28, 1914; a group of Serbian militants known as the Black Hand murdered Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the city of Sarajevo, today a Bosnian city. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, Germany declared war on Russia and France declared war on Germany. France would enter the alliance known as the Triple Entente, meant to combat the Triple Alliance of the Central European powers. The French determination to end German militarism also heightened when the Germans invaded Belgium. World War I was a war of new inventions, machine guns, gas attacks, planes and tanks and a new style of warfare known as trench warfare. The name speaks it all, in which soldiers would dig deep underground trenches to avoid one another, anybody caught in the middle was a goner. The French and Germans would engage in a very brutal trench war that could seem to
800px-Soldats Argonne 2

French soldiers observing enemy movements inside a trench

get neither side moving. The First Battle of the Marne was fought between retreating French soldiers in the Marne River near Paris, and it ended up in a French and Allied victory but it was a very gruesome and devastating battle resulting in the death of 250,000 French troops.[24] The French forces also saved their British allies in the Battle of Le Cateau. On December 20, 1914 the French were part of the first Allied offensive against the Germans in the Battle of Champagne although thanks to trench warfare, no victor emerged and was also a costly battle. The Battle of the Somme was another costly, yet nearly inconclusive battle fought in the Somme River between French and German forces. The French would defeat German forces in the Battle of Verdun. Most of the Allied forces were led by French general Ferdinand Foch and played a crucial in latter offensive that would seal an Allied victory over Germany. On November 11, 1918 the Germans sued for an armistice. A series of negotiations took place in 1919 known as the Paris Peace Conference and one of the biggest results of it was the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919 by Germany and those who partook in the war which brought about economic taboo for Germany. It shrunk the German army and navy, forbade Germany from having tanks and required Germany to pay abnormally and unreasonably-priced war reparations to the allies. By this time, French enmity against Germany mounted. The devastation that the Treaty of Versailles brought upon Germany was something that greatly pleasured the French leader Georges Clemenceau who said, "It is a beautiful day" after the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

World War II 1940-1945Edit

Unfortunately, the Treaty of Versailles did anything but quell the Germans or extinguish any future German threats and the French people would find themselves in an even more-bitter war against the Germans. In Germany, enmity against the Treaty of Versailles grew into a nationalism that called for a German resistance against the unfair terms of the treaty. Adolf Hitler, an Austrian revolutionary and political activist created an uprising in the 1930s of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, known better by its more-accepted nickname the "Nazi party" which pretty soon came to sieze power in the German government. Hitler abrogated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, and restored Germany's pre-treaty military, and threatened to invade the European nations once more. Now the other European leaders had realized that they had undermined the consequences of their igorance, and begged Hitler not to invade the rest of Europe, a diplomatic and political tactic known as appeasement.

Battle of France 1940Edit

French troop rescue ship

French troops embarking in a British ship at Dunkirk

The Nazi German army grew into the juggernaut of Europe. Adolf Hitler broke his promises he had made during the appeasement, and carried his his offensive plans to conquer Europe. Only this time, Hitler and the Germans were much more-prepared and developed war tactics that had been foreign to all the other European armies. The German army was equipped with a new strategy they referred to as the blitzkrieg or "lightning war", where ground troops, tanks, war planes and military vehicles arrive in a certain destination at the same time to discourage the opponents and outdo them. The generals would lead the armies and stand on the front lines of the battle. The Maginot Line was a military installation filled with obstacles and fortifications that would deter future invasions, the French relied on the Maginot Line to defend themselves from the approaching Germans. The Germans develoed a unique strategy,
French POWs

French POWs at Veules-les-Roses

specifically aimed to penetrate through this line and established a decoy army while the real invaders passed through Belgium and the Netherlands and the Ardennes Forest, which was claimed to be unpenetrable. The Germans easily passed through the Maginot defenses, and the Ardennes Forst since the French Command failed to address these flaws. The Germans easily trampled over France's allies; namely the Swiss, Luxembourgish and Polish armies. Most of the the French defensive lines collapsed almost immedietely, low morale was not uncommon among French troops at the time. On June 16, 1940, French prime minister Paul Reynaud resigned due to political pressure. His succeeding prime minister, Marshal Philippe Pétain, sued for an armistice with Germany. Adolf Hitler, vengeful of Germany's loss in World War I chose to exact his revenge by mocking the conclusion of World War I and directing it against the French. He
Nazis in paris

Nazi troops march near the Arc de Triomphe

chose the armistice to be signed in the Compiègne Forest, where the 1918 Armistice had been signed.[25][26] It was signed on June 22, 1940, Hitler sat on the chair where Ferdinand Foch had when he dealt with politicans and representatives of the defeated German state after World War I.[27] What Adolf Hitler expected to be a war of extreme casualities filled with fierce French resistance, ended in six weeks with less than half of the casualities he expected. France's army did have the phsyical military means to face the Germans, even outnumbering them but were demoralized by the new German tactics. French and British officers and troops who were crucial to the latter victories escaped to Britain via the port of Dunkirk.

Liberation of France 1944Edit


American soldiers in the Arc de Triomphe

It four years for the other Allied powers (United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union) to fully mobilize their armies to stand up to the Nazi juggernaut. As time progressed, Adolf Hitler's decision to open an Eastern Front in the Soviet Union backfired on him and led to the downfall of the German army. Although the French government had surrendered to Nazi Germany, many armed groups of French soldiers and militants continued to resist German rule. The D-Day Invasion or Operation Overlord marked the beginning of French independance from Nazi occupation, in which Allied British, American, Free French and Canadian forces would storm German-held fortications in the shores of Normandy in France and begin to liberate the country from there. On June 6, 1944, boatloads of Allied forces arrived on five of Normandy's shores. Despite a slow start, the invasion proved to be successful as German forces fell back and retreated. The Allies used the art of deception against the German forces, using decoy armies and fake tanks to distract German forces, a similar tactic the Germans had used during the Maginot operations. Allied forces pushed through and eventually reached Paris. On August 25, 1944, the Germans finally surrendered the city of Paris initially freeing the French people from Nazi occupation. Parades filled the streets of Paris through the next four days. On December 16, 1944 the Germans launched their final offensive against the Allied forces, and fought them at the Battle of the Bulge. Nazi troops stole American uniforms and masqueraded as American soldiers. Despite some heavy losses inflicted as well as the confusion they brought on the Allies, the French and other Allied forces would still secure the victory in the Battle of the Bulge.

North AfricaEdit

During World War II, the French army in North Africa often recruited native Berber and Arab members. In 1935, Italian forces entered Ethiopia. Most of the battles took place in Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia. British forces in Egypt could not stand the Axis (Germany and its allies) invasion. Adolf Hitler sent his best and most talented general, Erwin Rommel to handle the British and French allies in North Africa which proved to be a success. The invasion of North Africa also fueled American intervention, even that did not help. It isn't until Britain sent Sir Bernard Montgomery and the United States sent George Paton, two generals who were considered national bests, to North Africa. Erwin Rommel was finally defeated at the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt.


Despite being of a majority Germanic ancestry, French people are native speakers of a Latinic language of the Italic family, today known as French. The French language is the driving force of what bonds the French nation and what France considers to be French people.

French, among other Italic languages such as Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are known as the "languages of love" because of its ideal use among love stories and romantic media. French was a very popular language, and before the inception of English as a worldwide lingua franca of bussiness, the French language was the language of the educated and wealthy classes even of non-French populations.

The French American colonies developed seperate dialects, such as the Mississippi dialect of French and the Cajun dialect spoken in Louisiana. The French language is an official language in 29 countries. In North Africa, most often French is an official language alongside Arabic since many Arab states were under French colonial rule. Although not an official language in Lebanon, it is also spoken in Lebanon primarily by the youth and used as a lingua franca alongside Arabic.

French is also a co-official language in Canada to English, the province of Quebec is the center of French Canadian culture. There are approximately 6.8 million speakers of French in Canada.

There is also a group known as the Basque people, who also inhabit Spain. These people do not consider themselves French, but rather show more regards to their Basque origin. Basque is their native and first language before learning French.


Most French people, both in France and overseas French Americans and French Canadians are Christians, namely Roman Catholics.[28]

Roman Catholicism is very important in the history of France and of the French people. The Catholic clergy often made up the ruling classes, and exerted greater power than the monarchs and nobility. During this time, Roman Catholicism was also a state religion in France, the French armies also aided the Spanish armies during the period in the history of Spain known as the Reconquista, when Christian armies reconquered European lands from Muslim armies.

Religious districts in France follow Latin influence and bear similarity to the churches in Spain and Italy or any other country with a large Catholic population. Of course, Christian preachers are known a priests. France's churches are organized into religious districts known as a diocese governed by bishops and divided into parishes. An even more prestigious rank would be an archdiocese and archbishop. The seat of a bishop is known as a see or an Episcopal see.

Other existing religions include having no religion at all, Anglicanism, Calvanists, Protestantism and Islam. Islam is France's second most practiced faith. Most of France's Muslims are of foreign origin, mostly Arab or Berber descent from the Maghreb or black African Muslims.

Protestantism is also an important part of France's history, the Protestant movements in France developed during the 16th-17th century. Their followers were known as Huguenots.


France is considered a haven for western arts and culture and the dominance of the French people can be found in almost every art category, whether it be music, entertainment, visual arts, architecture and especially fashion. These elements of French culture make Paris a very popular tourist spot, especially among westerners.

Visual ArtEdit

Some of France's visual art include both religious influence and non-religious influence. One type of art that dominates France is Romanesque art, which is the revival of ancient Roman culture. Also popular in France was

Central tympanum of the narthex of the Vézelay Abbey in Vézelay, 1140-1150

Gothic art, which included sculptures, panel painting, stained glass and fresco. During the seventeenth century, French artists embraced the Baroque-style of art, implementing ideas of mannerism, a style popularized by other famous European artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangalo. This French Baroque style of art is also known as the Louis XIII style. During the reign of Louis XIV and throughout the late parts of the seventeenth century, French art was referred to as Classicism. In the imperial history of France, most art was dedicated towards royal and grandeur purposes. Rococo is a style that developed in Paris in the eighteenth century that was formed to counter the grandeur art. Rococo was an ornate style that saw use of vanilla colors, designs that were asymmetrical and even precious metals such as gold.[29] Rococo also implemented camoflauge colors, something that was denounced by the Roman Catholic Church.[30] Although versions of Rococo were tolerated inside some
200px-Prometheus Adam Louvre MR1745

Prometheus by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam

Catholic churches. The theater and nude woman were two popular subjects of Rococo artists. In the mid-eighteenth century, French artists adopted Neoclassicism, embracing and emulating the ancient Greek and Roman icon.

Romanticism, was an artistic movment that embraced nature and the world. An off-shoot emerged into Naturalism. In the twentieth-century came the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, he spent most of his life in France. Along with Georges Braque, both artists introduced cubism in France.

France is also a haven for fashion arts, which deals with clothing. Paris is considered one of the fashion capitals of the world although this has been an element of European culture but it was only among the royalty. But it is part of French cultural arts.

Fauve art originated from the artist Henri Matisse. The term fauve is literally French for "beast", because the colorful works of Matisse were often ridiculed and criticized by other artists. Matisse's works were meant to counter

Henri Matisse. Woman with a Hat, 1905. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

the granduer and strictness of the all the other artists around him.

The visual art of France is highly integrated into its architecture - motifs, patterns and even statues of national heroines such as Napoleon Bonaparte are commonly found as three-dimensional art found on Paris's famous buildings.

220px-Christian Dior Dress

Evening dress, House of Dior, 1954. Indianapolis Museum of Art.

As a result, France is also well-known for housing many art museums which also attracts tourists. The most popular is the Louvre Museum, a landmark of Paris. The museum houses the famous Mona Lisa painting, although it is an Italian artwork but the ownership of the piece is acquired by the French Republic.

The Statue of Liberty in New York CityEdit

A world-renowned three-dimensional Neoclassical work of art would be the Statue of Liberty (French: La Liberté
Statue of Liberty
éclairant le monde
) or "Liberty Enlightening the World" located in the American state of New York, in New York Harbor. The statue was built as a gift from France to America, the symbolized the cooperation of the French and American people to symbolize freedom from oppression. The French politician Édouard René de Laboulaye is credited for making a comment that led to the project of the statue, "If a monument should rise in the United States, as a memorial to their independence, I should think it only natural if it were built by united effort—a common work of both our nations" near Versailles. The sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi would come to take Loboulaye's plan into an actual artistic manifestation, planning to build the sculpture after an Egyptian woman - a peasant or a fellah and build a lighthouse out of it. The statue would be constructed mostly of copper. Construction of the head started in France and was display on the Paris World's Fair in 1878 and was later continued. Over time, the Statue of Liberty's copper brightly glistened against the sun and would be an important site for European immigrants arriving at Ellis Island becoming an icon for freedom and liberty. Over time however, the Statue of Liberty's copper surface began to react with oxygen, giving a green patina which results from the oxidation of copper. It is one of New York City's

The Statue of Liberty with the pre-9/11 Lower Manhattan skyline in the background

most famous sites today. The statue is a representation of the Roman goddess of freedom Libertas, she is also known as "Lady Liberty" is shown holding a tablet inscribed with the date of American independance July 4, 1776 with broken chains beneath the feet. The Statue of Liberty also complements the skyline of Lower Manhattan.


Music is an integral part of the history of the French people, and has existed during most eras of French history. The organum was the predominant melody used during the Middle Ages in France. During the Baroque era of music, a distinct type known as a Air de cour developed during the reign of Louis XIII which is a secular form of music.

Opera music was also popular during the imperial age of France, the first was performed in 1646. During the reign

A musette accordion player.

of Louis XIV, the Italian-born French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully created a French version of the opera seria, an Italian opera music and created the tragédie lyrique which was a lyrical tragedy.

The music of Brittany is very Celtic-influenced, which includes the use of instruments such as the bagad pipe band and drums.

In Central France is the is the mechanical violin known as the vielle-à-roue.

France is home the fifth-largest music market in the world by value. The popular types of music in France include musette, cancan, cabaret, chanson and yéyé.

170px-Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 031

Toulouse-Lautrec, "Jane Avril dancing"

The musette is a style of dancing and music that originated in Paris sometime in the 1800s, which uses an instrument knwon as the accordion as the instrument. It is accompanied by a dance known as the Java, and was influenced by waltz.

Cancan is a musical dance that takes a lot of energy and motivation to do. It is performed by a chorus line of mostly female dancers wearing costumes such as long skirts, dark stockings and petticoats. High kicking and skirt-lifting are the two main parts of the dance.

The cabaret music is played mostly in diners, restaurants and bars. It features singing, dancing, comedic performances, spectacles and a polyphonic lyrical music known as chanson or Chanson Française.

Yéyé was a radio-originated music, that is popular with teenagers across France.

Contemporary music popular with French people include jazz, pop, hip-hop, rock, dancing and electronic music.


France is also popular for the haven of architecture that thrived in it, including Roman, Neoclassic and Reinassance architecture. Because of France's medieval history as a Christian state, cathedrals and other Christian religious structures are also predominant in French architecture. The Canadian province of Quebec is known for beautifying French architecture, and its people take very high pride in their French heritage.

Ancient Roman Architecture in FranceEdit

250px-Arenes de Nimes panorama

The amphitheatre at Nîmes

France is home to a number of ancient Roman structures, which themselves were emulated from Greek influence however the Romans extensively used domes and arches and concrete during the architectural period known as the Roman Architectural Revolution.

The Alyscamps is an old Roman necropolis near the French town of Arles that was built during the fourth century upon the arrival of Christianity. The Maison Carrée is the best-preserved Roman temple located in the city of Nîmes in France, which is known for its rich Roman influence. It was built in 16 B.C., and converted to a Christian church in the fourth century and a museum in 1823.[31]

One of the famous landmarks of Nîmes is the Arena of Nîmes, an ancient Roman ampitheatre. These structures

Maison Carrée

were used for entertainment and usually included brutal games that included killing. It is located in the center of the city and is one of the most visible structures and is still in use today, accomadating about 16,300 spectators and contains a heating system as well as a movable cover.[32] It was built around 70 A.D. and was used for bull-racing and bull-fighting in 1863.

Medieval ArchitectureEdit

Most of France's medieval architecture was of Gothic influence and was mostly dedicated to the building of Christian cathedrals which divided into four sub-categories and periods, they are: Early Gothic, High Gothic, Rayonnant and
Chartres cathedral

Chartres cathedral

Late Gothic also known as the Flambouyant style.

The Early Gothic architecture was adopted first in 1140 A.D., and implemented the use of the pointed-arch. The buildings were divided into four sections: the arcade containing most of the arches, triforium which includes arches within the inner-wall and clerestorey which are windows placed in the high parts of the building to allow sunlight to pass through as well as a main gallery.

The High Gothic architecture of the fourteenth century only used three tiers or sections, excluding the main gallery. The High Gothic-era cathedrals were usually taller and more majestic.

Neoclassical ArchitectureEdit

Main Article: French Architecture

The first phase of neoclassicism in France is expressed in the "Louis XVI style" of architects like Ange-Jacques Gabriel (Petit Trianon, 1762–68); the second phase, in the styles called Directoire and "Empire", might be characterized by Jean Chalgrin's severe astylar Arc de Triomphe (designed in 1806). In England the two phases might be characterized first by the structures of Robert Adam, the second by those of Sir John Soane. The interior style in France was initially a Parisian style, the "Goût grec" ("Greek style") not a court style. Only when the young king acceded to the throne in 1771 did Marie Antoinette, his fashion-loving Queen, bring the "Louis XVI" style to court.

From about 1800 a fresh influx of Greek architectural examples, seen through the medium of etchings and engravings, gave a new impetus to neoclassicism that is called the Greek Revival. Neoclassicism continued to be a major force in academic art through the 19th century and beyond— a constant antithesis to Romanticism or Gothic revivals— although from the late 19th century on it had often been considered anti-modern, or even reactionary, in influential critical circles. By the mid-19th century, several European cities - notably St Petersburg, Athens, Berlin and Munich - were transformed into veritable museums of Neoclassical architecture. By comparison, the Greek revival in France was never popular with either the State or the public. What little there is started with Charles de Wailly's crypt in the church of St Leu-St Gilles (1773–80), and Claude Nicolas Ledoux's Barriere des Bonshommes (1785-9). First-hand evidence of Greek architecture was of very little importance to the French, due to the influence of Marc-Antoine Laugier's doctrines that sought to discern the principles of the Greeks instead of their mere practices. It would take until Laboustre's Neo-Grec of the second Empire for the Greek revival to flower briefly in France.

The Eiffel TowerEdit

View of Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower (1887-1889), built by Gustave Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris. View from Trocadéro.

Perhaps the modern architectural symbol and icon of Paris is the Eiffel Tower, which was designed by the French architect Gustave Eiffel. The story behind the Eiffel Tower is a stark contrast of the tourist awe that it recieves. The design for the Eiffel Tower competed against others to built a temporary moment for the World's Fair event that would celebrate the centennial anniversary of the French Revolution. The design of Eiffel's new tower met much oppositions from artists and architecture alike, believing it to be an eyesore. Gustave Eiffel denounced these criticisms, promising that his new structure would surpass the Pyramids of Giza (which it did), once considered the world's tallest man-made structure at the time. In January 1887, construction foundations were laid for the Eiffel Tower and was completed in 1889. The Eiffel Tower reached a height of 986 feet and did perhaps surpass the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and was a perfect symbol of a type of

Interior of the Altitude 95 restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

architecture known as a "lattice work". The Eiffel Tower was originally hated but over time became the most-visited and paid monument in the entire world.[33] In 1889, more than 200,000,000 were said to have visited the Eiffel Tower at its opening[34], and 6,719,200 people in 2006.[35] The Eiffel Tower offers tourists a great panaromic view of Paris and are carried by elevator shafts within the tower. There are also two popular restaurants, Le 58 tour Eiffel on the first floor which is 311 feet above sea level, Le Jules Verne on the second floor which contains its own private lift.

Arc de TriompheEdit

220px-Paris July 2011-30

Arc de Triomphe

Standing at the center of the road junction of Paris known as the Place Charles de Gaulle is the Arc de Triomphe and carries the fighting national pride of France in architectural form. It honors French martyrs of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The arc was constructed in 1806, after the French emperor Napoleon defeated the European coalition in the Battle of Austerlitz. The Arc de Triomphe is a Neoclassical monument in France, adopting elements of ancient Roman and Greek architecture. It became a rally spot for French soldiers after
220px-Soldat inconnu 14 07 2006

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, Paris

victories they would achieve.

The Arc de Triomphe also includes a rich collection of sculptures and statues of soldiers in its attics. There are thirty shields all with engraved names of the major role players of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. In the inside walls include 660 people, including 558 French generals of the First French Empire.

Below the arc is the Tome of the Unknown Soldiers, a war memorial commemorating unidentified troops. This memorial was a World War I memorial, and an Armistice Day ceramony is held there every November 11.

Palace of Versailles and Louvre PalaceEdit

Versailles Palace

The interior court of the Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is a world UNESCO site and a type of royal house known as a château, and prior to its grandeur inception Versailles was a small but wealthy village. The construction of the Versailles palace was divide into four parts during the reign of Louis XIV. The Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée or "Pleasures of the Enchanted Island, a pre-construction party was throne before the first building campaign started in the palace. The Palace of Versailles contains 2,300 rooms and also accomadates musical performances. Many of the rooms were private rooms reserved for members of the nobility. There are also chapels in the palace. The complex also includes the Gardens of Versailles, one of thebst examples of French landscaping and gardening.  The Louvre Palace is located in Paris, construction starte
Louvre palace

Night view of the Louvre Pyramid in the centre of the Napoleon Courtyard of the Palais du Louvre

d during the Medieval Ages but progressed during the Louis XIV-era reign. The famous Louvre Museum, is located adjacent to the palace and also contains the famous black pyramid which symbolizes the merge between the old and the modern eras.


Main Article: French cuisine

French cuisine is known to be one of the world's most prestigious and expensive cuisine. A lot of careful timing and
120px-Foie gras en cocotte

Foie gras with mustard seeds and green onions in duck jus

preparation is put into place when preparing French food, especially on the display of the food. France is also the top-quality producer of wine.

French regional cuisines use locally grown vegetables.

Common fruits include oranges, tomatoes, tangerines, peaches, apricots, apples, pears, plums, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackberries, grapes, grapefruit, and blackcurrants.

Varieties of meat consumed include chicken, squab, turkey, duck, goose, beef, pork, lamb, mutton, rabbit, quail, horse, frog, and snails. Because France is surrounded by water, seafood is extremely predomiant in French cooking. Herbs and seasonings vary by region.

Fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as fish and meat, can be purchased either from supermarkets or specialty

French onion soup

shops. Street markets are held on certain days in most localities; some towns have a more permanent covered market enclosing food shops, especially meat and fish retailers. These have better shelter than the periodic street markets. The coastline supplies many crustaceans, sea bass, monkfish and herring. Normandy has top quality seafood, such as scallops and sole, while Brittany has a supply of lobster, crayfish and mussels. Normandy is home to a large population of apple trees; apples are often used in dishes, as well as cider and Calvados. The northern areas of this region, especially Nord, grow ample
Poulet à la Comtoise

Poulet à la Comtoise

amounts of wheat, sugar beets and chicory. Thick stews are found often in these northern areas as well. The produce of these northern regions is also considered some of the best in the country, including cauliflower and artichokes. Buckwheat grows widely in Brittany as well and is used in the region's galettes, called jalet, which is where this dish originated.[36] Burgundy and Franche-Comté are known for their wines. Pike, perch, river crabs, snails, game, redcurrants, blackcurrants are from both Burgundy and Franche-Comté. Amongst savorous specialties accounted in the Cuisine franc-comtoise from the Franche-Comté region are Croûte aux morilles, Poulet à la Comtoise, trout, smoked meat and cheese such as Mont d'Or, Comté (cheese) and Morbier (cheese) which are at the palate
Gateau de ménage

Gateau de ménage

best eaten hot or cold, the exquisite Coq au vin jaune and especial desert Gateau de ménage. Charolais beef, poultry from Bresse, sea snail, honey cake, Chaource and Epoisses cheese are specialties of the local cuisine of Burgundy. Dijon mustard is also a specialty of Burgundy cuisine. Crème de Cassis is a popular liquor made from the blackcurrants. Oil are used in the cooking here, types include nut oils and rapeseed oil.[37] Fruit and young vegetables are popular in the cuisine from the Rhône valley. Poultry from Bresse, guinea fowls from Drôme and fish from the Dombes lakes and mountain in Rhône-Alpes streams are key to the cuisine as well. Lyon and Savoy supply high quality sausages while the Alpine regions supply their specialty cheeses like Beaufort, Abondance, Reblochon, Tomme and Vacherin. Mères lyonnaises are a particular type of restaurateur relegated to this region that are the regions bistro.
Lynch Bages 1970; Leoville-Las-Cases 1970 in decanters

Wine from Bordeaux, France is known for its quality wine

Celebrated chefs from this region include Fernand Point, Paul Bocuse, the Troisgros brothers and Alain Chapel. The Chartreuse Mountains are in this region, and the liquor Chartreuse is produced in a monastery there.[38]

Bordeaux is known for its wine, with certain areas offering specialty grapes for wine-making. Fishing is popular in the region for the cuisine, sea fishing in the Bay of Biscay, trapping in the Garonne and stream fishing in the Pyrenees. The Pyrenees also support top quality lamb, such as the "Agneau de Pauillac", as well as high quality sheep cheeses. Beef cattle in the region include the Blonde d'Aquitaine, Boeuf de Chalosse, Boeuf Gras de Bazas, and Garonnaise. High quality free-range chicken, turkey, pigeon, capon, goose and duck prevail in the region as well. Gascony and Périgord cuisines includes high quality patés, terrines, confits and magrets. This is one of the regions notable for its production of foie gras or fattened goose or duck liver. The cuisine of the region is often heavy and farm based. Armagnac is also from this region, as are high quality prunes from Agen.[39]

Poulet Provençal

Poulet Provençal

The Provence and Côte d'Azur region is rich in quality citrus, vegetables and fruits and herbs – the region is one of the largest suppliers of all these ingredients in France. The region also produces the largest amount of olives, and creates superb olive oil. Lavender is used in many dishes found in Haute Provence. Other important herbs in the cuisine include thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, savory, fennel, marjoram, tarragon, oregano, and bay leaf. Honey is a prized ingredient in the region. Seafood proliferates throughout the coastal area. Goat cheeses, air-dried sausages, lamb, beef, and chicken are popular here. Garlic* and anchovies are used in many of the region's sauces, as in Poulet Provençal, which uses white wine, tomatoes, herbs, and sometimes anchovies, and Pastis is found everywhere that alcohol is served. The cuisine uses a large amount of vegetables for lighter preparations. Truffles are commonly seen in Provence during the winter. Thirteen desserts in Provence are the traditional Christmas
Crème caramel

Crème caramel

dessert,[40] e.g. quince cheese, biscuits, almonds, nougat, apple, and fougasse.

Rice is grown in the Camargue, which is the most-northerly rice growing area in Europe, with Camargue red rice being a specialty.[41] Onion soup is very popular in French cuisine as well. The soup is served with cheese and croutons on top  Crème caramel is a popular custard dessert of France, served in other European restaurants and is also popular in Spanish cuisine.

Notable French People or People of French OriginEdit

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc
A French national folk heroine and Roman Catholic saint, claiming to have divine powers - she led the French forces to numerous victories during the Hundred Years' War

Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier
French explorer who explored Canada and claimed it for France and named the St. Lawrence River settlements "The Country of the Canadas"

René Descartes

A French philosapher, mathematician and a writer (who lived most of his life in the Dutch Empire) who accredited for being the "Father of Modern Philosaphy", his writings and works paved the way for many western philosphical works today


Full name Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known by his stage name "Molière", a French playwright and actor considered one of the great masters of Western literature[42]

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal
A French physicist, mathematician, inventor, writer and Christian philosapher who is best-known for his contribution to the study of fluids in physics, and the concepts of pressure and vacuum - he also invented the mechanical calculator

Louis XIV

Louis XIV
A Borboun monarch who ruled France from 1643 to his death in 1715, he was the longest reigning monarch of France and ruled through its status as a world power


Voltaire musician
Full name: François-Marie Arouet, French enlightenment writer, historian and philosapher famous for his attacks on the Catholic Church, and his movements on religious freedom, expressional freedom and seperation of the church and state


Napoleon Bonaparte
The French military leader and emperor from Corsica who is famous for implementing the local Napoleonic Code and led the French army to many victories against entire European coalitions during the Napoleonic Wars

Victor Hugo

Victor hugo
French poet, novelist and dramatist of the Romantic movement - his famous works include Les_Contemplations Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831

Henry Matisse

A French artist and sculptor who led the way for the colorful artistic movement known as Fauvism

Alexandre Dumas

A French writer who is best known for historical works of adventure, his works are translated into nearly 100 languages

Évariste Galois

Évariste Galois
A French mathematician who pioneered being able to solve long-standing problems and latter creation of the Galois theory

Louis Pasteur

French chemist and microbiologist who is well known for discovering the microbial cause of diseases and finding a way to cure them, he created the first vaccine for anthrax and rabies

Jules Verne

A French novelist and poet who was best known for his adventure novels, and has exerted much influence on science fiction, along with publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel, he created famous works such as Voyages Extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days.

Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel
A French civil engineer and architect who was best known to be the architect of the Eiffel Tower but also a number of other fields such as the French railway system

Pierre de Coubertin

Pierre de Coubertin
A French educator and historian, who is considered the father of the Olympic Games as a result of founding the International Olympic Committee.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
A French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and illustrator who yielded a collection of provacative images of the life in Paris

Marie Curie

Marie Curie
A French-Polish chemist and physicist who is famous for her research in radioactivity and the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize

Auguste Comte

Auguste Comte
A French philosapher, born during the French Revolution he is known as the founer of the doctribe known as positivism and the study known as sociology, he the first to coin the term sociology

Émile Durkheim


A French sociologist, social psychologist and philosopher. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology. He was born of devout Jewish lineage, his ancestors were rabbis.

Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust
A French critic, novelist and essay writer known for his famous novel À la recherche du temps perdu

Ferdinand Foch

Ferdinand Foch
A French military theorist and soldier who led Allied offensives during World War I that defeated the German forces

Charles de Gaulle

Charles de Gaulle
A French general and politician who led the Free French Forces against German occupation during World War II, he established the Fifth French Republic in 1958 and served as its first president

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker
An American-born French danger, singer and actress who became an international and political music icon, although she herself is an African American she became A French citizen in 1937

Albert Camus

A French author, philosapher and journalist who was known for writing "absurd" works and contributed to the rise of the philosophical movement known as "absurdism", he is a Nobel Peace Prize winner

Édith Piaf

French chanson singer who is regarded as France's national diva, and greatest international stars her music reflected her life

François Mitterrand

François Mitterrand
The 21st president of France, who was the longest-serving president
Amin Maalouf
Amin Maalouf

A Lebanese-born French author. Although his native language is Arabic he writes in French, and his works have been translated into many languages. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for his novel The Rock of Tanios (English translation of Le rocher de Tanios). He has also been awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature in its 2010 edition. He was elected at the Académie française on 23 June 2011, on seat 29. Maalouf is the first Lebanese inducted as an academy immortal. He filled the vacant member seat of the late Claude Lévi-Strauss, French anthropologist and ethnologist.

Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot
A French animal rights activist, who was also an actress, singer and fashion model who was one of the sex symbols of 1950s and 1960s

Zinedine Zidane

An assistant coach and sporting director at Real Madrid, and a former French football player who won many championships and ranked as one of Europe's best, he has won the FIFA World Player of the Year three times, and the Ballon D'Or once, he was Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 1996, Serie A Footballer of the Year in 2001 and La Liga Best Foreign Player in 2002. He is ethnically of Berber origin

Tony Parker

Tony Parker
A French professional basketball player who currently plays as a point guard for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (American NBA), he has won four NBA championships (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014) and the Finals MVP for the Spurs' 2007 championship run, he is ranked one of the top European basketball players
André the Giant

A former French professional wrestler and actor. His best-remembered acting role was that of Fezzik, the giant in the film The Princess Bride. His size was a result of gigantism caused by acromegaly, and led to him being called "The Eighth Wonder of the World" In the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE), Roussimoff was a one-time WWF Champion and a one-time WWF World Tag Team Champion. In 1993, André was the inaugural inductee into the WWF Hall of Fame. He is much remembered-figure in WWE, and a legend of the company.

Marion Cotillard

A French actress who has recieved numerous critical acclaims, famous for her roles in the films La Vie en rose, Rust and Bone, A Very Long Engagement, My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument, Taxi, Furia and Love Me If You Dare and starred as the famous French singer Édith Piaf in the film La Vie en rose, won several film awards: Academy Award, BAFTA Award, César Award, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the first to win an Academy Award for a French-language performance film

Beatrice Rosen

Beatrice Rosen
A French actress who notable for playing Tamara in the 2009 film 2012, Natascha in The Dark Knight, Maryline Monique in the legal drama Harry's Law (2010-2011)

Hafsia Herzi

A French actress who is best known for her role in the Franco-Tunisian feature The Secret of the Grain, won the award for the best promising actress at the César Awards 2008 and the Marcello Mastroianni award for best emerging actress at the 64th Venice International Film Festival

Matt LeBlanc

Matt LeBlanc
An American actor who was best known for his performance as Joey Tribbiani on the American television sitcom series Friends born in New York City to a French Canadian father

Roubert Goulet

Robert Goulet
An American singer and actor known for his role as Lancelot in the 1960 broadway Camelot, and voicing Wheezy in the Disney film Toy Story 2


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