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erica chae

on 27 October 2012

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West-Central Europe France and the Benelux Countries The Culture of France The Benelux Countries History Netherlands Belgium France Today Customs Ideas and the Arts Language and Religion Early History Modern History Revolution and Empire History of France - France was part of a land called Gaul during the Roman Empire
- Then the Franks, a Germanic people, conquered much of Gaul (where France gets its name)
- Charlemagne is the Franks' greatest ruler
- Normans - settled in northwest France: Normandy - France built a colonial empire
- Most French people lived in poverty and had few rights
- --> the French Revolution in 1798
- Then Napoleon took over - During both WWI and WWII, German forces invaded France
- During the 1950s and 1960s, many French colonies gained independence
- Now: a republic with a parliament and elected president
- The French are united by their common language, rich culture, and pride in their long history
- Most people speak French and are Catholic
- However, many immigrants have settled in France
- This immigration is making France more culturally diverse. - French saying: "Enjoyment of life"
- French enjoy good food, good company, and good conversation
- Therefore, great cooking - The French have made major contributions to the arts and ideas
- 1700s - France was center of the Enlightenment
- 1800s - France was center of impressionism, which is one of the most famous art movements of the modern age
- This style of painting uses rippling light to create an impression of a scene - Paris is the largest city in France, and also the capital of France
- Paris is the center of business, finance, learning and culture
- Famous landmarks: Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral
- Marseille and Lyon are other major cities
- France has a strong economy
- France is the EU's top agricultural producer - Also called the Low Countries b/c of their elevation
- Like Alpine Countries, they are small, but have used their geographic and human resources wisely to build strong economies and create high standards of living for their people. They have also been influenced by the larger countries in the region
- Many nations and empires dominated the Benelux region
- In WWII, Germany occupied the Benelux Countries
- After the war, they joined NATO for protection
- The location of the Benelux Countries has led to invasions but also promoted trade - Borders North Sea & is low and flat
- Sometimes called Holland; people & language called Dutch
- Rotterdam is a highly industrial and urban area
- Includes Amsterdam and the Hague
- Pg. 432 - CONNECTING TO TECHNOLOGY - The capital city, Brussels, serves as the headquarters for many international organizations, including the EU and NATO
- Language divides Belgium
- Flanders speak Flemish
- Wallooons speak French
These cultural differences have caused tensions - A very small, forested, hilly country
- Has one of the world's highest standards of living
- Mostly Roman Catholic & speak either French or German
- Earns most of its income from services such as banking Luxembourg
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