History of France

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History of France
Chronological Eras
Celtic Gaul
Roman Gaul
France in the Middle Ages
Early Modern France
From the Revolution to WWI
France in modern times
Dynasties and Regimes
Merovingians (410-751)
Carolingians (751-987)
Capetians (987-1328)
Valois Dynasty (1328-1589)
Bourbon Dynasty (1589-1830)
First Republic (1792-1804)
    National Convention (1792-95)
    Directory (1795-1799)
    Consulate (1799-1804)
First Empire (1804-1814)
Restoration (1814-1830)
July Monarchy (1830-1848)
Second Republic (1848-1852)
Second Empire (1852-1870)
Third Republic (1870-1940)
Vichy France (1940-1944)
Fourth Republic (1946-1958)
Fifth Republic (1958-today)
Economic history
Military history
Art history
Literary history
French Culture
French Portal

The History of France has been divided into a series of separate historical articles navigable through the template to the right. The chronological era articles address broad French historical, cultural and sociological developments. The dynasty and regime articles deal with the specific political and governmental regimes in France. The history of other cultural topics such as French art and literature can be found on their own pages. For information on today's France, see France. For other information, go to Portal:France.


Historical Overview


Main article: Gaul
Main article: Roman Gaul

Settled mainly by the Gauls and other Celtic peoples (apart from a shrinking area of Basque population in the southwest and Ligurian population on the southern coast), the area of modern France comprised the bulk of the region of Gaul (Latin: Gallia) under the rule of the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.

France in the Early Middle Ages

Main article: Franks

In 486, Clovis I, leader of the Salian Franks to the east, conquered the Roman territory between the Loire and the Somme, subsequently uniting most of northern and central France under his rule and adopting in 496 the Roman Catholic form of Christianity (over the Arianism preferred by rival Germanic rulers).

After Clovis's death in 511 his realm underwent repeated division while the Merovingian dynasty eventually lost effective power to their successive Mayor of the Palace, the founders of what was to become the Carolingian dynasty. The assumption of the crown in 751 by Pepin the Short (son of Charles Martel) established Carolingian rule.

The new rulers' power reached its fullest extent under Pepin's son Charlemagne, who in 771 reunited the Frankish domains after a further period of division, subsequently conquering the Lombards under Desiderius in what is now northern Italy (774), incorporating Bavaria (788) into his realm, defeating the Avars of the Danubian plain (796), advancing the frontier with Islamic Spain as south as Barcelona (801), and subjugating Lower Saxony (804) after prolonged campaigning.

In recognition of his successes and his political support for the Papacy, Charlemagne was in 800 crowned Emperor of the Romans, or Roman Emperor in the West, by Pope Leo III: on the death of his son Louis I (emperor 814-840), however, the empire was divided among Louis's three sons (Treaty of Verdun, 843). After a last brief reunification (884-887), the imperial title ceased to be held in the western part which was to form the basis of the future French kingdom.

See also:

France in the Middle Ages

From the ninth to the fifteenth century.

Main article: France in the Middle Ages

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Early Modern France

From the fifteenth century to 1789.

Main article: Early Modern France

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France in the Nineteenth Century

From the Revolution to World War I.

Main article: France in the nineteenth century

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France In Modern Times

From World War I to today.

Main article: France in modern times

See also:

Related articles

Further reading

  • André Maurois, A History of France
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