Tag: France

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France Morphology

France Morphology

France is a state of central-western Europe ; almost entirely embraces the French geographical region, between the Pyrenees to the S, the most rugged and elevated part of the Alpine chain to the SE, the Rhine valley to the NE and the sea on the other sides: the Atlantic Ocean to the West, the Canal of the Manche to the North and the Mediterranean to S.

The highest peaks of France are mountains of tertiary origin, on which the Quaternary glaciation strongly acted: the Alps form a diaphragm towards the Po Valley, with the highest European peaks (between French Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and Italian Courmayeur, the Mont Blanc massif, 4807 m); the Pyrenees constitute an equal diaphragm towards the Iberian Peninsula but lower (Montes Malditos, 3404 m). The French side of the Pyrenees is very steep; minus that of the Western Alps. Slightly more recent than the Alpine relief, but still high, are the Franco-Swiss Jura ranges to the North of it. The reliefs of the central and northern France are of more remote geologically origin: they were delineated following the orogenetic movements of the late Paleozoic (Hercynian corrugation) and have undergone further settling or sinking movements, so today they show themselves with more gentle and they are generally of modest altitude, divided and far from each other. Among them we can distinguish the Vosges (Ballon de Guebwiller, 1423 m) to the East and further to the North the Ardennes ; to O the Armorican Massif, which forms the peninsula of Brittany and the, and extends to the South of the furrow of the Loire, as far as the Vendée ; Finally, greater than the others, the Massif Central (Puy-de-Sancy, 1886 m), from which descend to the Loire N and O the Garonne. This massif is the most important because at the end of the Tertiary, influenced by the Alpine emergence, it was raised and rejuvenated (its highest edge, the Cévennes, is in fact to the East, and has a very steep slope towards the Rhone valley, while it slopes slowly towards the W), and was then affected by grandiose volcanic phenomena, due to which Auvergne stands out for its typical landscape of puys, extinct volcanoes with the original conical shape.

According to zipcodesexplorer.com, the French region lacks vast and uniform plains, but there are numerous flat stretches that fill the depressions or pits between the Hercinian massifs (Rhenish plain of Alsace ; Rhône plain downstream of Lyon). Frequent and wider are the areas of gentle and slight undulation, formed by sedimentary layers of secondary and tertiary age deposited in inland seas or lake depressions of the Hercynian relief (basins of Paris and Aquitaine).

The fundamental features of today’s French relief were already established, therefore, at the end of the Tertiary, and the Quaternary brought only superficial or marginal variations. The progress of erosion, alternating with periods of deposition along the main rivers, gave rise to the formation of terraces, especially in the Loire and Seine basins. Fertile silts, sometimes real Löss, covered the infra-mountain plains and the Parisian lowland. On the Alps and the Pyrenees, the hardening of the climate determined the expansion of glaciers, which sculpted the mountain relief (Savoy,, Pyrenees). The Massif Central also had its glaciers, which extended over the volcanic groups of the Cantal and the Monts Dore; other smaller ones covered the Jura (on whose margins the moraine deposits are very visible) and the Vosges (cutting off the free flow to the Moselle several times). Less extensive was the glaciation in the pre-alpine limestone reliefs (southwestern Provence).

Other changes suffered the coastline. The formation of the Calais pass does not seem to be prior to the first glacial periods, and thus the separation between the Norman Islands and the Cotentin. The southern coasts show very different features to the East and W of the Rhone delta: to the East, where the Alps plunge into the Mediterranean with steep slopes, the coast is rocky and rugged by peninsulas and bays, with numerous islands; to the West it is uniform with large lagoons behind coastal strips covered with dunes.

France Morphology

France Mining Industry

France Mining Industry

In France, industry develops more and more, without, however, exercising such an important function there as in England and Germany; the percentage of its industrial and urban population rose from 25% in 1850, to 42% in 1911, to 46.4 in 1921. The French subsoil is not devoid of raw materials: coal is extracted in almost sufficient quantities for the consumption of workshops; following the annexation of the mining basin of Lorraine, France has become the richest European country in iron; it also has abundant reserves of white coal. Forced to import most of the raw materials needed by the textile industry (linen, hemp, wool), it makes up for this defect thanks to the skill and taste of its industrialists,

Coal. – While remaining far from the coal production of England (about 250 million tons) and Germany (about 150 million), France is among the European states that produce it in greater quantities: 51,365,000 tons. in 1928, 53,736,000 in 1929, 53,884,000 tons. in 1930. Its coalfields cover 550,000 ha., and are distributed in various groups: a series of small basins are located on the edge of the Massif Central (Alès, Bessège, Saint-Étienne, Le Creusot, Commentry, Aubin, Decazeville, Carmaux, Graissessac); in the North, in continuation of the Belgian coal basin, there are the basins of the North (Anzin-Valenciennes) and of the Pas-de-Calais (Lens, Béthune, Liévin), much more important for the extension, for the power of the reserves and for the value of production which represents more than half of the total. L’ coal mining began in France at the time of Colbert and progressed slowly: in 1789 not even a hundredth part of the quantity of product they currently produce was obtained from the French mines. During the sec. XIX production gradually increased: it was 1,940,000 tons. in 1820, of 3,000,000 tons. in 1840, of 8,300,000 tons. in 1860, of 19,300,000 tons. in 1880, of 33,400,000 tons. in 1910, of 40,800,000 tons. in 1913. Before the war the northern region alone produced 66% of French hard coal. During the war the production figure dropped sharply: in 1915 it was 18,855,000 tons; in 1916 of 20,540,000 tons, in 1918 of 26,259,000 tons It then rose considerably starting from 1921, with the reconstitution of the invaded mines and with the return to the normal state of those not invaded: in 1924 it had already reached 44 million tons, in 1926 it exceeded 51 million tons. To the French production must be added the production of the Sarre mines, which with the Treaty of Versailles was assigned to France for 15 years. This production in 1929 was 13,579,000 tons. In a few years, therefore, France has re-established its situation with respect to hard coal; but production is always lower than consumption (by 23 million tons).

Iron ores. – France, with its 50 million tons. of iron ores, occupies the second place among the large producing countries, coming after the United States (70 million tons) and leaving England, Sweden and Germany far behind. The extraction of iron minerals has always been and still is more intense in the Lorraine part of the Marches de l’Est. It dates from the Middle Ages, but did not make noticeable progress before the century. XIX. On the eve of the war of 1870, the proximity of the Sarre coal mines encouraged the iron industry. The mining of the mineral alongside the hillocks and slopes of the Moselle côtes, at the upper limit of the Lias, extended from Nancy to Longwy: it is known that the outcrops of the minette Lorraine determined the layout of the frontier of 1871. Beyond this frontier, imposed by Germany, the owners of French ironworks discovered, deep under the Jurassic strata of the Briey plateau, a rich basin of iron ores, which in 1913 gave 17 million tons.

Until 1907, France did not produce sufficient iron ore for its consumption and had to buy mainly in Germany, Belgium and Spain; in that year, for the first time, the export of French minerals exceeded the importation of foreign minerals. The military operations of the years 1914-18 caused a huge decrease in production; but on the other hand, the return to France of the regions annexed by Germany in 1871 increased the possibilities of extraction by 100%. The Lorraine fields, which alone represent 95% of the total French production, yielded in 1928: the Metz-Thionville basin, 20,404,000 tons; the Longwy-Briey basin, over 25,000,000 tons; the Nancy basin, approximately one million tonnes; in the same year the secondary basins produced: the Normandy basin, 1. 300,000 tons; the basin of Anjou and Brittany, about 650,000 tons; the Pyrenees basin, 180,000 tons. French iron ore production has rapidly increased in recent years: from 28.9 million tons in 1924 it rose to 35.7 in 1925, to 39.4 in 1926, to 45.4 in 1927, to 49, 0 in 1928, to 50.5 in 1929; in 1930 the production was 48.4 million tons. of mineral.

Other minerals. – According to topb2bwebsites.com, the French production of copper ores can be said to be of no account: 12,000 tons. for a consumption of 100,000. The lead produced in France is mainly obtained from the mines of Pontpéan (Ille-et-Vilaine) and Pontgibaud (Puy-de-Dôme) and a certain quantity is given by the departments of Lozère, the Hautes-Alpes, Aveyron and Corsica.. The total production, somewhat fluctuating from one year to the next (11,800 tons in 1927; 24,500 in 1928; 12,100 in 1929; 19,200 in 1930), is in any case far from sufficient for the consumption of workshops dedicated to lead metallurgy, especially of those of Coueron (Ille-et-Vilaine) and of Noyelles-Godault (Pas-de-Calais). The deficit it is filled with imports from Belgium, England, Mexico and Germany. The mines of Malines (Gard) and of Bormettes (Varo) have the main centers for the extraction of zinc ores (the total French production of zinc ores reached 92,000 tons in 1928). The mineral is processed in the workshops of Viviez (Aveyron), d’Auby (North) and Noyelles-Godault. The French production of tin ores is of no importance, the Allier and Creuse mines give just a few tons, and the tin is then processed in the workshops of Dives and Harfleur. On a world production of approximately 28,000 tons. of antimony, the Auvergne, Mayenne and Vendée workshops supply 2,250 tons. In 1913 only two countries were major producers of bauxite: the United States (213,000 tons) and France (309,000 tons). After 1919 French production and consumption developed strongly and recently France is again in first place in the world for the production of this mineral, which it gives in quantities of over 500,000 tons. (597,800 in 1928, 643,000 in 1929, 538,300 in 1930). Similarly, aluminum metallurgy made progress: between 1913 and 1925 French production increased from 13,500 to 18,400 tons. and continued to increase in the following years: 25,000 tons. in 1927, 26,400 in 1928, 29,000 in 1929. The workshops in Savoy supply 64% and those in the Hautes Alps 19% of the total production. France is very rich in salt. In 1924, which can be considered a normal year, the salt mines of the east (Lorraine, Jura) yielded 878,000 tons. and those of the SO. (Landes, Low Pyrenees, Haute Garonne) 57,000, ie a total of 935,000 tons; the salt mines yielded 415,000 tons, of which 355,000 were produced by the six Mediterranean departments and 60,000 by the Atlantic departments. In the last three years, the total production of salt has fluctuated between 930,000 and 1,150,000 tons. (1928, 1.148.000 tons.; 1929, 931.000 tons.; 1930, 1.004.000 tons.). There was no French potash industry before the war: Germany was then the only major producing country. But after 1918, with the return of Alsace and therefore of the deposits of the forest of Nonnenbruch (north of Mulhouse), France found in its subsoil not only all the potash it needed, but also a sufficient quantity to make the strong competition from German industry abroad: the production of Alsatian mines rose to 2,619,000 tons. in 1928. Consumption became widespread in the north, where, for the intensive cultivation of beet, farmers were forced to use large quantities of potassium fertilizers, as in the regions cultivated with vineyards and in the vegetable gardens (department of Vaucluse). Overall, the average consumption of potassium is relatively low and lower than that of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

France Mining Industry

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part III

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part III

The aspirations of the humble found correspondence in the interests of the lords, who agreed to develop the system of taxes, tithes, corvee of the old closed economy. The gentleman who was formerly head, manager of the agricultural enterprise, is now on the way to being a simple if albeit formidable exploiter of agricultural income. This great transformation, which began in the century. XI and continues almost silently in the following, must not be explained either by the intervention of philosophical and religious principles, or by the politics of principles and governments. France, poorly populated, is forced to substitute more rational and organic systems of agricultural exploitation for arbitrary systems. Usually the change is peaceful; less often there are movements of groups and classes.

Even the city participates in the new economic movement by seeking better conditions, lighter taxes, the possibility of mutual defense, security in trade: while in the century. X the people of the city is only an instrument of feudalism, in the following century it already appears rich in demands and strength, so as to explain how in the century. XII there was the emancipation of the city, the elimination of what was arbitrary and uneconomic in the city organization itself. From the century XI to XII the number of urban centers multiplies, a consequence not so much of a great increase of population as of the development of rural colonization. The “new cities” (villes neuvesbastides); with privileges the residents are invited to run; the lands are divided and plowed; the abbey’s income grows. Often two gentlemen agree on a social exploitation of land at common expense (pariage); the inhabited area is built, the streets are drawn at right angles with the square and the market in the center. The residents flock to the guarantees against arbitrary taxes. These centers with deductibles (see deductible) form the great majority of settlements in France; they remain politically submissive to the lord. Feudataries and princes, even the king, imitate the abbeys in creating new cities, seeds of future secure incomes. Many urban centers get in the century. XII freedoms and privileges that make them enter the number of new or free cities. Their status varies according to the degree of the concessions made to them by the lord; some have privileges relating only to taxation, the others have complex, judicial and administrative privileges so extensive as to bring them closer to free cities. In this way abuses of officials were eliminated, making the domain more profitable; or the lord was driven by the desire to repopulate the city, or to enter into competition with a neighbor, or to obtain, in case of war, the good graces of his subjects,

According to thesciencetutor.org, the revolution in the city situation is more radical in the case of free cities, in which the lord was stripped of all or part of his sovereign prerogatives by means of the association of the residents agreed by mutual oath. This is the case of the commune proper, characteristic of northern France and of the consular city of southern France; there is no shortage of free cities in Alsace and Lorraine, in Franche-Comté and in some regions of the south-west, such as Bordeaux and Baiona. Even in France as in Italy, the existence of a sanctioning charter for municipal freedom is only the term ad quem, without being able to establish when and how emancipation took place. Usually it is to think of a development process that goes from the century. XI to XII; for some cases it must already go back to the century. X. Each city represents a particular phenomenon, an individuality acting on its own. But certainly everywhere there is a desire to react against an organization that seems outdated. And it cannot be denied that example has had a contagious influence.

All French life in the 18th century XII is transformed: but while the system of parallel balancing forces disappears in feudal life and the system of links between monarchy and fiefdom prevails, in the bourgeois and rural classes that of colleges and mutual aid prevails. Thus in the countryside the union of the rural people, the federation of villages, in the city the bourgeois association, the corporation of the markets tend to cross the border of the village, of the fiefdom, of the regional state. And the provincial dynasties which in a very limited measure manage to satisfy these new needs of the agrarian and industrial classes, find themselves deprived of the necessary basis just when outwardly they believe they have built a simulacrum of state in their native region. External facts of French history such as the wars, the crusades, pilgrimages act only to a limited extent on this phenomenon of internal transformation, dependent on purely internal causes. The communal revolution renews the fabric of French social life and the wars of hegemony of princes and kings receive their true value from the new situation in which the country finds itself socially.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) - Period of State Concentration 3

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part II

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part II

Various causes influence to determine this important and new phenomenon. The Christian expeditions of French feudalism in Spain and Syria react unexpectedly on the consideration of the monarchy which also did not participate in it, or participated badly with Louis VII himself. The memory of the glorious deeds of the Merovingians and Carolingians awakens; Charlemagne reappears in the eyes of the French generations of the century. XII through the exaltation of the chansons de geste. The king of Paris appears as the heir to all this glorious tradition; la douce France it is no longer just the royal territory, but the whole land over which Charlemagne already dominated. They are germs that bear fruit rapidly in the epoch in which provincial autonomies are threatened by the constitution of the Anglo-Norman empire. The lines of the old French monarchical life emerge, of the old royal unity. Throughout France they are felt in the century. XII sentiments of monarchical devotion, of adherence to a French unity that is not yet political, nor ethnic, nor linguistic; a unity which seems to have a body, the kingdom, a head, the king, but which has no certain consistency. These sympathies for the monarchy are manifested especially in central and eastern France. The signs of the ostentatious protection that the king accords to the churches act. The stay of Pope Alexander III in France, guest and protege of the king, while the

At the ascension to the throne of Philip II Augustus (1180) the conflict between the two antagonistic powers was still undecided. The Plantagenets had not been able to destroy the Capetian kingdom; this had not succeeded in crumbling the Anglo-Angevin-Norman block. The problem was solved by the new king of France thanks to the compactness of his state on the one hand, the civil struggles of the royal house of England on the other. Philip II Augustus was able to temporarily agree with the king of England in the peace of Gisors, humbling himself to accept the disdainful protection of the powerful king. He was then able to dissolve the coalition of the great feudatories of the north-east, Flanders, Champagne, Burgundy, Hainaut, Nevers, I decided to overthrow the king of Paris, or at least to lock him in his old feudal limits.

In 1187 the conflict between the two kings already broke out. Philip Augustus had prepared the action by allying himself with Frederick Barbarossa and weaving intrigues in the court of Henry II. The bitter war is suspended due to the death of the king of England and the third crusade, but then resumes violent; the French have terrible adversaries in Richard the Lionheart and in John Without Earth. In 1202 Philip Augustus had the king of England be tried by his judges for refusing obedience to the legitimate feudal ruler – the king of France – and had him stripped of all French fiefs. And immediately afterwards the royal army invades Normandy and conquers it; then Poitou, Anjou, Touraine, Brittany, Maine pass into the hands of the king. The kings of England barely keep the possessions of Gascony. The peace of 1208 marked the decision of the great conflict that lasted a century. The Anglo-French empire collapsed together with the castle of a French monarchy which had its center in the provinces of the west. The triumph of Philip Augustus represented the triumph of the Capetian monarchy of Paris, the prevalence of centripetal tendencies. Now no feudal state existed that had the capacity to contrast the future with the monarchy. From the beginning of the century. XIII France tends clearly towards unification. Now no feudal state existed that had the capacity to contrast the future with the monarchy. From the beginning of the century. XIII France tends clearly towards unification. Now no feudal state existed that had the capacity to contrast the future with the monarchy. From the beginning of the century. XIII France tends clearly towards unification.

According to thereligionfaqs.com, the triumph of the French monarchy coincides with the transformation of the entire social organization of the French countries, with the emergence of new social trends that were in a certain sense collaborators of the monarchical political tendencies, although not always conscious and not always sought. Feudalism, after having tried to exploit the economic institutions left by previous ages, in the need to organize and discipline itself, had set out on the path of economic and social transformation. The need to provide for a more profitable exploitation of the land led the feudal owner to abandon the heavier burdens from which the rural populations suffered.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) - Period of State Concentration 2

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part I

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) – Period of State Concentration Part I

At the beginning of the century. XII France seems to have reached a static situation. The feudal dynasties completely broke all links with the monarchy; and the Capetians of the Isle of France are reduced to the minimum power, to a simple feudal lordship. However, this equilibrium situation is not such that it can last long. If on the one hand the French regions seem to have reached an affirmation of provincial individuality, on the other the dynasties are driven by ambitions and interests in a policy of peace, alliances, wars, which creates a network of interprovincial relations. Tendencies to concentrate around certain nuclei soon appear; some dynasty is pushed to lead these tendencies, affirming a hegemonic claim. The sec. XII sees this polarization of French provincial forces. The area where the sharpest contrast takes place is the old free region between the Somma and the Loire; the states are those of Normandy, Paris, Anjou, Blois.

According to softwareleverage.org, the Capetian state emerged with Louis VI (1108-1137) from a period of inertia and passivity. The dynasty, forced to concentrate in a small territory, hoarded its energies and procured very wide possibilities for action in the short term. Louis VI, taking up some attempts by his father, also adopted a policy of territorial reorganization: to impose his authority on the rebel vassals, to reopen communications between the cities of the dominion, to restore peace in the countryside. The Capetian state proved to be completely renewed after three decades; a small force, but vibrant and organic.

The great enemy of the Capetian is the Norman. William the Conqueror in 1066 had created, with the conquest of England, a state blockade on both sides of the Channel that would cloud the kingdom of Paris. Under Henry I (1100-1135) the union of the two Norman states was redone and soon the fight broke out between the two kings who shared the Seine valley. Normandy concentrates all the feudal forces against the kingdom; he works to break the union between Normandy and England, instigating his relatives against Henry I, but barely manages to keep up with the enemy. In 1127 the heir of Normandy and England, Matilde, married the heir of the county of Anjou, Goffredo il Bello; even the German emperor Henry V allied himself with England, surrounding the Capetian monarchy with an enemy circle. But Louis VI reunited the forces of the state, clung to the clergy and the papacy; against the attacks of the German emperor he advances as far as Metz and poses as a national champion; and, brilliant response to the King of England, in 1137 he married his son and successor the only heir of the Duchy of Aquitaine, Eleonora daughter of William X, who brought Auvergne, Poitou, Limousin, Périgord and Gascony as a dowry to the new king of France. The Capetian dynasty brought its borders to the Pyrenees.

The duel between the Angevin-Norman group and the Capetian-Aquitanian group inevitably had to take place, deploying the French feudal forces in the two camps. Louis VII compromised the results obtained by his father: he imprudently broke off good relations with the Count of Champagne, who formed a league with the counts of Flanders and Soissons. Even more dangerous was the repudiation of the Duchess Eleonora of Aquitaine: the efforts to preserve possession of the great southern state were useless. Henry Plantagenet of Anjou took advantage of the king’s error, hastening to marry Eleonora; in 1154 Henry had already become king of England and master of Normandy, dragging the Norman fiefdom of Brittany into tow. Thus the whole of western France gathered around Anjou, along the Atlantic, from Somma to the Pyrenees: the union with England gave security to this feudal block. A French prince rather than an English one, Henry considered Anjou as the center of his activity; he believed it possible to absorb the feudal states of the south and east, driving the pretentious but weak kings of Paris to the north. For thirty years the Angevin policy invests all of France: Henry II affirms his sovereignty over Brittany, rejects the weak royal advance from Normandy, tries to impose his lordship on the county of Toulouse, allies himself with the Counts of Savoy, establishes relations with the Emperor of Germany and with the King of Castile. But all efforts to accord so many regional states were doomed to fail. Normans and Bretons, Angevins and Gascons, Limousines and Provençals were peoples full of lively life of their own: already in his last years, Henry II had to pay homage to these regionalistic tendencies, creating special governments in various provinces; but it was a temporary solution. The monarchy of Paris, after having unwittingly favored the Angevin projects, benefited from the subsequent failure of all the attempts of Henry II. In 1152 Louis VII gathers against the enemy a league of feudatories who feel threatened by the Anglo-Norman power; to get friends he marries a Castilian princess, later a princess of the house of Champagne; in 1159 he rushed to Toulouse to prevent the city from falling into the hands of the enemy; seeks agreements with the emperor of Germany, directs the rebellion of the sons of Henry II to their father. Thus Henry II’s French possessions are in constant turmoil and the lord’s efforts to organize them fail.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) - Period of State Concentration 1

France Literature Part II

France Literature Part II

Fiction has continued this decade to take the lion’s share of literary production. Here the example of the greatest contemporaries, already consecrated by fame, is still active and vital, whoever pays attention to what the unimaginative wisdom of a Gide and the coherent and steadfast work of G. Duhamel, J. de Lacretelle, A. Malraux, R. Martin du Gard, G. Bernanos, Br. Niauriac, J. Romains, with the strenuous psychological analysis which, combined with a fervent moral problem, identifies the environmental and structural situation of their characters. A little in the shade, the libertine coquetry of Colette, whose fortune we still cannot say how much it is due to the clarity of the page and how much to a worldly custom by now gone; left aside, for their political past, to silence the Chateaubriant and the sensual P. Drieu La Rochelle, turbid ideologue oscillating between communism and fascism, also the almost classically exemplary J. Chardonne and H. de Montherlant, P. Morand and J. Giono; but the various traditions of the story and the novel continue or are found in the passionate Catholicism of Daniel-Rops, in the lucid and ironic intelligence of the human relationship that is in Jouhandeau’s page, in the vast cultural and social interests of Schlumberger and Hamp, in the intense dramas of Chamson and Cassou, in the vigorous plasticity of Malaquais with his descriptions of rebels, criminals, refugees and adventurers and in the slang fruition of Audiberti not born from a naturalistic misunderstanding, but intended as a firm and resentful figure that takes moved by a strong will to style. Nor should we forget the minor skills of Plisnier, of Kessel, Éducation Européenne by Gary, from the no less popular Mon Village à l’heure allemande by Bory to the solid realism of Bosco and the intimate shots of Peyrefitte.

According to shoppingpicks.net, the literary affirmation of French existentialism of Heideggerian and immanentistic inspiration coincides with the disappearance of surrealism.

It is true that Catholic existentialism had begun its literary tests with the theater of Gabriel Marcel, but another thing is the transcendental existentialism of Sartre’s philosophy and therefore the poetics and the intentional accent of the word are very different. The literary reason for existentialism has been recognized in a need for verbal renewal denounced by the semantic instability of a terminology that was understood at the time of its creation, and therefore not yet scientifically technicized, but such as to make use of the deformation of common use. Undoubtedly, however, the impulse to artistic attempts lies in a sentimental situation that wants to be intuited and come to light: it is the feeling of anguish and nothingness that seeks a liberation in the reality of the word by expressing every content, even the least confessable. The doctrine has its own organ in Les Temps modernes. Since 1 October 1945 Sartre, also endowed with a strong polemical temperament, is its soul. They are part of the editorial board and assiduously collaborate with it. Simone de Beauvoir, very attached to Sarrian thought, Raymond Aron and Maurice Merleau-Ponty who possess, especially the latter, a marked theoretical individuality and therefore vividly manifest their independence, reacting to the fashion of existentialism, while other very young people also access this philosophy which is the most bitterly fought by Catholics, Marxists and bourgeois conservation. Only Simone de Beauvoir, alongside Sartre, dedicated himself to the novel and from the theater by declaring a clear profession of faith, where Camus proclaims his autonomy of convictions and taste.

The theater of J. Anouilh, on whose clear poetic elegance the memory of Giraudoux acts, and that of A. Salacrou are, alongside the slimy dramas of Sartre, the advanced points of an abundant and full of vitality repertoire while the representative vigor of Paul Raynal is not placed in oblivion and Stève Passeur, the Brasseur and many others assert themselves that it is not necessary to mention here.

The literature of thought (criticism, politics, biographical essays) hinges on the controversy between existentialists, Catholics (J. Maritain, H. Massis, etc.) and Marxists (H. Lefebvre, Navelle etc.). Not completely extinguished is the echo of Alain’s generic radical socialism and Benda’s democratic rationalism. E. Mounier, in the magazine Esprit which has been published since the end of 1944, promoted a dynamic Christian communism (personalism) which he laid the foundations in some writings of 1936. It is still premature to formulate a judgment, while it seems clear, from a political point of view, which is not a matter of mediation or overcoming, but of adherence to Marxism.

In general, the orientation of the young French critic persists in the “essayistic” taste of the page and of psychological analysis but, thanks to the most recent currents of thought, it is acquiring a greater theoretical awareness, especially if ideological dogmatism does not intervene to jam the freedom of research, with the accentuation of one’s theses. This is the case with the pseudo-aesthetics inspired by Marxism. No less careless, at times, is a certain Catholic criticism that is held along the lines of Rivière and Du Bos but leads it to extremes. The moralistic cancellation of the distinction between the empirical person and the work, the avoidance of judgment in conceiving texts as mere stimuli of the sentimental autobiography of the critic, the tendency to assimilate each one in the same profession of faith, an acute but often isolated and generic impressionism are the limits and the most serious deviations of a non-fiction literature that varies from tones of false lyrical intimacy to a specious procedure of a juridical appearance. A real philosophical investigation that gives the means to aesthetic evaluation is currently in France, for contemporary writers, very rare and episodic, in contrast to the severe discipline of study that continues, in university environments, towards writers of the past. . Among literary critics, subtle ingenuity and a shrewd theoretical preparation combined with great psychological sensitivity, shows Georges Blin, although somewhat lacking in him an adequate philological education.

France Literature 02

France Literature Part I

France Literature Part I

Several of the most prominent personalities of writers in the interwar period or already at the beginning of the century have disappeared or remained inactive in the last decade. Those who disappeared include Gide (1951), Alain (1951), J. Baruzi (1953), H. Bernstein (1953), P. Éluard (1952), Ch. Maurras (1952), J. Benda (1956), Céline (1958), Br. Carco (1958), Valéry-Larbaud (1957), R. Martin du Gard (1958). The industriousness of other elderly people is instead continuous even if rather than bringing real innovations, it constitutes the reaffirmation and sometimes the deepening of already evident reasons.

To the various dozen of his works G. Duhamel has added other novels: La pesée des âmes (1951), Cri des profondeurs (1951), Le complexe de Théophile (1958) and the five volumes of memories, Lumières sur ma vie. J. Romains is no exception with Violation des frontières (1951), Le fils de Jerphanion (1956), Une femme singulière (1957) and with a collection of poems, Maisons (1957). To P. Morand we owe Le flagellant de Séville (1951, rom.) And the books of short stories: La folle amoureuse (1956) and Fin de siècle (1957); to B. Cendrars (died January 21, 1961) the prose of Emmène – moi au bout du monde (1955) and Tropc’est trop (1957). J. Chardonne, opposed after the war for political reasons and then almost forgotten, published Vivre à Madère (1952, rom.), The Lettres à Roger Nimier (1952) and the essays by Matinales (1956) while his complete works are being printed in 7 volumes. Very active, even as a political journalist, Br. Mauriac validly continued his tragic analysis of man in the Journal, in the Bloc notes (1958), in the essays of La pierre d’achoppement (1948), flanked by the short psychological novels Le Sagouin (1951), Galigaï (1952), L’agneau (1954) and the plays Passage du Malin (1948), Le feu sur la terre (1951), Le pain vivant (1955)). According to shopareview.com, these years were no less intense for the disenchanted Montherlant who gave Pasiphaé to the theater (1949), Celles qu’on prese dans ses bras (1950), La ville dont le Prince est un enfant(1951), Port-Royal (1954), Brocéliande (1956), Don Juan (1958); to fiction La rose de saber (1954) and Les Auligny (1956), to poetry the Encore un instant de bonheur collection (1954) and to the memoir the Textes sous une occupation (1953), and the Carnets (1957). The tratral production of A. Salacrou has been enriched with numerous plays and comedies: Le soldat et la sorcièreUne femme trop honnête (1955), Le miroir (1957), Dieu le savait. A. Malraux, on the other hand, seems to neglect the narrative to devote himself to the critical and theoretical problems of art. Psychologie de dell’arte (1949), Les voix du silence (1951), Le musée imaginaire de la sculpture mondo (1952-54), La métamorphose des Dieux (1957) are very beautiful books for the efficacy of the descriptions and the vivacity of the approach, however aestheticizing, to the figurative works. Sartre and Camus alternated essays with creative works; the first with his fervent ideological participation in world political events from the Entretiens (1949) to the book on the Hungarian revolt (1956-57), to the controversies that followed, to the Questions de méthode (1957), in which he is increasingly looking for the juxtaposition of his existentialism with Marxism as well as with the enormous apologetic harangue Saint – Genêt comédien et martyr (1952), where his critical principles are pushed to the extreme and with the “pièces” Le diable et le bon Dieu (1951) , Kean (1954) Dumasian, Nekrassov(1955), Les séquestrés d’Altona (1959); A. Camus (d. 1960) highlighting his conception of life and literature even better in the most recent essays by Actuelles, in L’homme révolté (1951), in the Réflexions sur la peine capital (1957); no less important are the creative works: the prose art of L’eté (1954), the stories of L’exil et le royaume (1957), the confessions of a contemporary (La chute, 1956); the plays Les Justes (1949) and Requiem pour une nonne (1956), a dramatic adaptation by Faulkner.

Even apart from the figures whose importance is now sanctioned by the achieved international fame and by the establishment of a broad critical discussion against them, today’s literature usually appears to be characterized by an ideological commitment in the broadest sense. It therefore tends, more or less consciously, to the condition of the wise; and to this condition is approached the narrative and above all the novel, still dominant “genre”, although now far from its traditional form and subjected to contrary innovative solicitations. Catholics and Communists in various shades confirm their prevalence; “experimental” avant-garde loses its effectiveness to the extent that the awareness of its gratuitousness and, often, of its futility, is becoming increasingly clear. The existentialism itself now gives way to an unscrupulous and disinterested analytical observation which, by abolishing naturalistic objectivism, wants to be based only on the admission of the plurality of the possible and of relativity, of the anguish of the individual point of view, but of these same limits and difficulty in representing the events makes a weapon using them as the only means allowed to man to concretely penetrate his own and others’ behavior.

France Literature 01

The ‘French May’ and the after de Gaulle

The ‘French May’ and the after de Gaulle

In the presidential elections of December 1965 it was France Mitterrand who put forward his candidacy in opposition to de Gaulle within the left. At the head of the Fédération de la gauche démocratique et socialiste which he himself established (it was a formation closed in the center and supported by the Communists), Mitterrand forced the president in office, from whom the presence of a third centrist candidacy took away votes, to the unexpected shame of the ballot, after an electoral campaign in which for the first time the use of television was particularly prominent. The ballot took place on December 19 and was won by de Gaulle with 54.50% of the votes, against 45.49% obtained by Mitterrand. Reconfirmed President of the Republic, the ex general developed the already known foreign policy guidelines, deciding, among other things, in March 1966 the exit of France from NATO. On the domestic front, in view of the legislative elections, a Comité d’action pour la V was launched by the majorityAndRépublique, which also included the independent republicans of Giscard d’Estaing. On the left, Mitterrand strove for his part to consolidate the Fédération de la gauche démocratique et socialiste, deepening programmatic issues, establishing a shadow government on the British model in May 1966 and reaching an agreement with the Communists for the benefit of the respective candidate. best placed after the first round. The legislative elections of March 1967 saw a positive result for the Gaullists in the first ballot, which, however, was not repeated in the second, when the electoral agreement stipulated by the left obtained good results. Despite this, however, the majority in favor of de Gaulle was confirmed. 1968 was a crucial year in many ways. In the ‘French May’ the youth crisis, economic difficulties and political hesitations were intertwined. Ten million strikers, who also obtained important advantages, followed the student revolt.

According to programingplease.com, the government was overwhelmed until the moment in which de Gaulle offered the country, now tired of the disorder, early elections, in which the Gaullists, aided by the climate of tension, had 38% of the votes and, as a result of the electoral system, the majority of seats. Despite the good electoral outcome, de Gaulle wanted to aim for further reforms aimed at strengthening the system he had greatly contributed to creating. In April 1969, he tried to have a constitutional amendment approved by referendum, which included, among other things, a decentralization of the administration to the regional level and a reduction of the powers of the Senate. Beaten, even following the defection of his moderate allies, he resigned. The reaction to May 1968 had thus first stifled the radicalism of the protest and then Gaullist reformism, even if, in the longer term, the movement had to penetrate deeply into society (rejection of authoritarianism, feminism, environmentalism). Pompidou, natural leader of the parliamentary majority, easily won the presidential elections of 1969, also because, unlike what had happened in 1965, the deeply divided left were unable to present a single candidate. Conservative, but convinced of the need to modernize and industrialize France, Pompidou appointed as prime minister a historical Gaullist, J. Chaban Delmas, who promoted a vast project of a ‘new society’. This vision, which was essentially based on social negotiation, ended up putting the government in collision with the conservatives, without however being able to convince the left. On the death of Pompidou (April 1974), facing the new presidential elections, the left could dispose of the candidacy of Mitterrand, who re-emerged as first secretary of the renewed Socialist Party, after the partial eclipse that followed the events of May 1968, while on the right he started an electoral duel between Chaban Delmas and Giscard d’Estaing, representative of modernizing liberalism. The support of the Gaullists pompidoliens, led by J. Chirac, favored Giscard who achieved 51% of the votes in the second round, against the 49% obtained by Mitterrand, who, by supporting the strategy of unity of the left, had engaged the Communist Party in a ‘common program’. The Giscardian presidency (1974-81) began with the entry into the Chirac government (1974-76) of centrists and radicals not connected to the left, resulting in a left-right polarization that excluded the presence of intermediate forces. In a year there were major reforms, but the global economic crisis favored a conservative retreat. Tensions increased between the Giscardians (pro-Europeans and liberalists) and the neo-Gaullists (nationalists and more in favor of state intervention in the economic field), who, while constituting the greatest parliamentary force, they had no presidency and no good part of the ministries. Rivalry and divergences regarding the remedies of the crisis led to the replacement of Chirac with R. Barre (1976-81): the neo-Galilists thus also lost the post of prime minister.

The 'French May' and the after de Gaulle

Reform in France and the Wars of Religion

Reform in France and the Wars of Religion

At first the new doctrines spread above all in the world of high culture. Before the echo of the words of Luther and Zwingli reached France, there had already been evangelism French: a movement which recognized Lefèbvre d’Étaples as its leader, and which, without taking a position in clear antithesis with that of Rome, already preached the need for a reform of the Church. Reform of morals, above all, which gave rise to discontent against the high clergy, more concerned with wars and affairs of state than with the care of souls. In this regard, the consequences of the Concordat had been deleterious: entire dioceses remained, due to the non-residence of their head, in the hands of the lowly clergy, poor and ignorant. But here is the spread of Luther’s writings; and here is Lefèbvre accentuating his teaching, adhering to the Lutheran doctrine on faith. The Sorbonne condemns him; but between 1523 and 1524, especially in Lyons and Paris, the followers of the new ideas multiplied. From Lyon, the reformed ones operate in the valley of the lower Rhone; from Paris, to Picardy and Normandy; from Orléans, where university professors are almost all inclined to reform, in central France. And here is the movement to recruit its adherents, especially from the lower classes of the population, wool carders (like Meaux), weavers, artisans. And finally, Calvin appears giving the French movement a center, a doctrine, a directive (v.Calvinism).

Faced with this spread of heresy, the sister of Francis I, Margaret of Navarre, was decidedly in favor of the reformed. Francis I himself, at first, seemed to let it go; but starting from 1533 a policy of repression began which became increasingly harsh, under the influence of the cardinal of Tournon, and which forced many of the reformed (and Calvin among others) to abandon their homeland. In the footsteps of Francis I also moved Henry II. The creation, in 1547, of the Burning Room (v.); the promulgation of the edicts of Chateaubriand (1551) and of Écouen (1558), which imposed very severe measures against the reformed, meant the firm will of the monarchy to prevent, by force, the spread of the Reformation. Except that the measures proved ineffective; and instead the religious movement s’ it was complicating with political aspirations more evident every day. The conversion of many of the nobles, characteristic of French Calvinism between 1555 and 1560, if it increased the forces of the Reformed, also meant that claims of a very different character were accompanied by purely religious claims; and decisive in this regard was the adhesion that the princes of the blood, Anthony of Bourbon and Louis of Condé, gave to Calvinism around 1558-59. With these two men, of dubious religious sincerity, the Reformed became a political party, which cared not only for the official recognition of the evangelical cult, but for the fall of the Guise family and the re-establishment of the rights of princes of the blood. It was, after all, a resumption of the feudal struggle against the monarchy, which complicated the religious problem.

According to politicsezine.com, the political contrast between the Guise and the Bourbons was further aggravated by the fact that, during the very short reign of the young Francis II, which happened to Henry II, the supreme authority was effectively exercised by Francesco di Guisa and his brother, cardinal of Lorraine, the which shared the power. The constable of Montmorency had fallen from grace; Caterina de ‘Medici had adopted a prudent policy of reserve and waiting; the principles of the blood were completely set aside. And then, there were the first skirmishes of the civil war, with the conspiracy of Amboise (v.) And the consequent arrest of Condé, who was sentenced, as guilty of treason, heresy and conspiracy, to capital punishment. The sudden death of the king (4 December 1560), saved the life of the prince; since Caterina de ‘

At the States General of Orléans (1561), the chancellor Michele de l’Hospital presented a program of tolerance in which he tried to clearly separate political sedition from the contrast of opinions and beliefs. Then, when the States were closed, a great Ordinance was promulgated, in which, accepting some of the votes presented, many reforms were promised: abolition of the venality of offices, canonical elections of bishops, limitation of the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts, etc. In the summer, Catherine was still trying to obtain conciliation between Catholics and Calvinists, inviting the most conspicuous theologians of the two sides to a discussion (Poissy talks). Then, the Edict of Saint-Germain was issued (January 1562), to stop the persecutions against the Protestants.

But the Guise family reacted: an alliance pact was made between Francesco di Guisa, the constable of Montmorency and the marshal of Saint-André (the “triumvirate”), who also dragged the faithless Antonio of Bourbon with them; and in March 1562 the massacre, carried out by the Duke of Guise, of a group of Calvinists at Vassy, ​​sparked the civil war.

The triumvirs, stronger militarily, forced the regent Caterina de ‘Medici to join them. But the Condé responded to the superiority of the enemy forces by allying himself with Elizabeth of England, to whom, in exchange for her help, Calais and Le Havre were promised. For their part, the Catholics did not hesitate, not even they, to make agreements as well as with the pope, with Philip II of Spain himself. The war was a successful alternative for the two sides: some of the Catholic leaders perished, Antonio di Borbone, Francesco di Guisa, the Saint-André. The peace of Amboise (March 1563) was, moreover, only a brief respite. Although Catherine continued her policy of conciliation and tolerance, the Calvinists felt threatened when the regent went to Bayonne to deal with the envoys of Philip II (June 1565); and in September of ’67 the war was rekindled. New peace in Longiumeau (March 1568); and a new reopening of hostilities in ’69. The leaders disappeared one after the other: Montmorency had fallen in November of ’67; Condé falls to Jarnac. At the time of the peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570), only Coligny remained at the head of the Calvinists. And it was with Coligny that Calvinism sought, in the short period between the peace of San Germano and the massacres of August 1572, to ally the monarchy. At the time of the peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570), only Coligny remained at the head of the Calvinists. And it was with Coligny that Calvinism sought, in the short period between the peace of San Germano and the massacres of August 1572, to ally the monarchy. At the time of the peace of Saint-Germain (8 August 1570), only Coligny remained at the head of the Calvinists. And it was with Coligny that Calvinism sought, in the short period between the peace of San Germano and the massacres of August 1572, to ally the monarchy.

The situation seemed favorable: general tiredness from the long internal conflict and favorable the foreign situation, with the Netherlands in revolt against Philip II. It was precisely on a foreign policy level that Coligny set his action. France was to intervene in favor of the rebels in Flanders; thus striking at a vital point the Spanish power, regaining the European dominance that had escaped it. But, when Charles IX already seemed persuaded by the Huguenot leader, Caterina de ‘Medici intervened for political reasons (see caterina de ‘ medici); and instead of a French expedition to Flanders, the massacres of the Calvinists took place in France, on the night of St. Bartholomew and the following days.

The possibility of a Calvinistic monarchy in France was thus eliminated forever; but the civil war was reopened. On the contrary, the Calvinistic movement, which until this time had always tried not to appear anti-monarchical, now assumes in many parts a decidedly revolutionary attitude. Especially in the South the old autonomist traditions of the cities flourish; the bourgeoisie organizes itself, takes over the direction of the struggle, with clear tendencies towards self-government. And to make passions flare up more, Calvinist pastors and writers intervene: Francesco Hotman, Du Plessis-Mornay, to mention only the best known. And hundreds of pamphlets against Caterina de ‘Medici, the Italians, the Guise, stir up French public opinion. Furthermore, an ally offers itself to the Calvinists: the party of the politiques, recruited from men of different conditions and of different molds, but convinced of the need to put an end to fratricidal struggles and, therefore, to allow the reformed to exercise their cult, in order to save national unity. The politiques even manage to find a leader in the ambitious Duke of Alençon, the fourth child of Caterina de ‘Medici. Not even the paix de Monsieur (May 1576), who concluded the new war by making very large concessions to the reformed, managed to restore order to the country. Despite the peace act, the situation was still worsening. The Huguenots were wary, who in some regions of the South kept their autonomy tendencies; irritated the Catholics headed by Henry Duke of Guise. The same year of the peace of Monsieur, in the States General of Blois the majority of the representatives had rejected the thesis of the politiques and had proclaimed religious unity, revoking the edicts of tolerance. And the situation worsened again, after 1580, due to the question of the succession to the throne. The new king, Henry III, was childless; also childless was the Duke of Alençon, his brother: so that, when the latter died, in 1584, the heir to the throne officially became Henry of Navarre, the new head of the Calvinist party. This was a defining event. The Guise family tried to take cover against the new danger, making agreements with Philip II and proposing as a possible successor the old cardinal Antonio di Borbone, uncle of Henry of Navarre, a puppet in their hands. But this, and the intervention of Sixtus V who declared the king of Navarre unable to succeed, angered Henry III. Journé e des barricades, May 12, 1588). From this moment, the League had a mortal enemy in him. The humiliations that it inflicted on him in the new States General of Blois prompted him to act. On 23 December 1588 he had the Duke of Guise killed, and the following day the Cardinal of Lorraine, then faced with the violent revolt that followed the double assassination, appealed to all the faithful nobility. And the nobility replied: which shows how the arrogance of the Guise and the revolutionary excesses of the Sixteen had produced profound discontent in the country. The king also allied himself with Henry of Navarre and, the following year, the two armies invested Paris. The fate of the Leaguers appeared desperate when Henry III was assassinated by Jacques Clément (iAugust 1589). Before his death, the last of the Valois recognized Henry of Navarre (Henry IV) as his successor and recommended that he convert.

Reform in France and the Wars of Religion

French-speaking Literature

French-speaking Literature

In Europe, French-language literature has had an important development in Belgium (➔ # 10132;) and Switzerland (➔ # 10132;). On the other hand, the Francophone production of Val d’Aosta is of a minor and somewhat conventional nature, expressed in the nineteenth century in a Lamartinian or Parnassian-style poem and in the Romans nationaux, of republican and anti-militarist inspiration; in the 20th century, despite the growing dominance of Italian culture, the poet LM Manzetti, epigone of symbolism, and P. Lexert, a writer alien to the regionalistic and clerical tendencies of the Valle d’Aosta culture, prevailed.

A belated affirmation also had the French-language literature of Luxembourg, whose most significant authors, after the novelist France Thyes (19th century), were the poets M. Noppeney and P. Palgen, the novelists N. Ries, founder of the Cahiers luxembourgeois, and WE Gilson; subsequently, the poet E. Dune and the novelists J. Leydenbach and A. Borschette. In America, in addition to a literary movement in Louisiana, now extinct, French-speaking writers are present in Canada(➔ # 10132;), and in the Caribbean where, before being opposed by the rehabilitation of Creole, French-speaking literature has become the spokesperson of Caribbean cultural identity (➔ Haiti). In the Lesser Antilles e nella Guiana, il legame con i modelli culturali francesi è sopravvissuto più a lungo: ne sono prova il romanzo Batouala (1920) di R. Maran ; la rivista Lucioles di G. Gratiant; il manifesto d’ispirazione surrealista e marxista Légitime défense, diffuso a Parigi (1932) da É. Léro, R. Ménil, J. Monnerot; e, soprattutto, il movimento della negritudine (➔ #10132;) promosso intorno alla rivista L’Étudiant noir (1934-40) dal guianese L. Damas, dal martinicano A. Césaire e dal senegalese L.S. Senghor, che lo diffusero nella rivista Présence Africaine (1947).

According to physicscat.com, the Isle of Réunion, which was the birthplace of the poets A. Bertin (18th century), E. de Parny (18th -19th century), remains closely anchored to the cultural models of France, on the other hand, in the Indian Ocean.), C.-M.-R. Leconte de Lisle (19th century), L. Dierx (19th -20th century) and where a rich narrative production was also established, among whose exponents we must remember at least J.-F. Sam-Long and the writers D. Roméis and J. Brézé. In Mauritius, the search for a national literature, opposed by L. Masson with the choice of exile, he established himself with the novelists RE Hart and M. Cabon, and with the poets M. de Chazal, cantor of the mythical origins of the island, and É. Maunick, who claims the values ​​of hybridisation by combining them with negritude. ● In Asia, there is a literary production in French in the area of ​​former French Indochina and in the Middle East, in Lebanon (➔ # 10132;). The impact of French literature in Egypt should also be noted: in the twentieth century, before the advent of G. Nasser, the literary landscape was dominated by the social novel and surrealism which, introduced by G. Hénein in the magazine La part du sable, influenced E. Jabès and J. Mansour (for other French-speaking North African writers ➔ al-Maghrib).

French-speaking Literature

French Cinema

French Cinema

According to philosophynearby.com, contemporary French cinema is characterized by an eye to the past and another to the future, as on the one hand it has maintained an authorial identity, but on the other it has never lost its contact with the public. In a period in which cinema has experienced a crisis on an industrial level in many European countries, film has in fact gone against the trend. 2011 was an exemplary year: 272 films were produced and 215 million tickets sold. And there have been box-office comedies like Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (2008; Down in the North), by Dany Boon, and Intouchables (2011; Almost Friends) by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano: the story of the relationship between a rich quadriplegic and his young caregiver has been seen by 51 million people worldwide.

Even today, French cinema seems to offer the only model that can compete, in some respects, with that of American cinema. This was demonstrated, for example, by the success in the United States of some of his actors who became stars such as Marion Cotillard, or directors such as Michel Gondry (Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, 2004, If you let me cancel you ; L’écume des jours, 2013, Mood IndigoThe foam of the days), which alternated French and American productions, or even a film like The artist (2011, by Michel Hazanavicius) who won five Oscars, and Luc Besson’s work as a producer for EuropaCorp and as a director of spectacular genre films, including live-action (the trilogy inaugurated with Arthur et les Minimoys, 2006, Arthur and the Minimoys) and sci-fi thriller (Lucy, 2014).

Furthermore, the French one seems to be an ageless cinema. With some New Wave filmmakers who have continued to make films in which creative freedom and experimentation have continued to go hand in hand. Jean-Luc Godard continued on his path of breaking up traditional narrative and linguistic codes through a reading of the history of cinema that is intertwined with that of the other arts and which has been called into question with digital and 3D (Film socialisme, 2010 ; Adieu au langage, 2014, Farewell to language). Chance, theater, the show between life and representation have crossed the work of Alain Resnais in different forms (Les herbes folles, 2009, The crazy loves) and Jacques Rivette (36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup, 2009, A question of points of view), while Claude Chabrol continued to create works in which he analyzes the bourgeois class and everything that is hidden behind an apparent normality with its never dormant passion for noir (La fille coupée en deux, 2007, The innocence of sin). The discovery of new universes also marked the last part of Eric Rohmer’s career, where the literary adaptation becomes the starting point for other time journeys such as in his latest film, the Arcadian fable Les amours d’Astrée et de Céladon (2007 ; The loves of Astrea and Celadon). Cinema has also become an opportunity for Agnès Varda to take stock of her first 80 years between reconstructed moments of existence, film clips, returning to the places of her own life in Les plages d’Agnès (2008).

Samba scene

Among the directors who have come to the fore in recent years we must remember Jacques Audiard, with his dramatically exasperated physicality (Un prophète, 2009, Il profeta ; Dheepan, Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2015), Abdellatif Kechiche, with his impulsive cinema always suspended between desire and anger ( La vie d’Adèle , 2013, La vita di Adele), and Laurent Cantet who has definitively shattered the threshold between documentary and fiction (Entre les murs, 2008, La classe); both Kechiche and Cantet won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and 2008. In 2012, Léos Carax returned to feature films with Holy motors, played by his favorite actor Denis Lavant.

Even in the younger directors of French cinema there is a need to connect and confront themselves with the cinema of their fathers, seen not as a model, but just as a stimulus to get involved and film. So much so that the autobiographical component has been inseparable from Olivier Assayas’ cinema (Après mai, 2012, Something in the air ; Clouds of Sils Maria, 2014), for which cinema becomes the only illusion to make up for lost time. The continuous link with the New Wave, its questioning, the need to tell about oneself in the first person have also characterized the work of Christophe Honoré (Dans Paris, 2006) and Mia Hansen-Løve (Le père de mes enfants, 2009, The father of my children). In some cases, cinema and life come together as when the personal experience of the child’s illness becomes the starting point for a film of movements and actions such as in La guerre est déclarée (2011; La guerra è Decata), by Valérie Donzelli. With Hansen-Løve and Donzelli, a generation of female directors has established itself in French cinema who stage their conflicts through comedy (Au bout du conte, 2013, When you least expect it, by Agnès Jaoui; Un château en Italie, 2013, A castle in Italy, by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), or dramatic films such as Tomboy (2011) by Céline Sciamma, or 17 filles (2011; 17 girls) by sisters Delphine and Muriel Coulin.

A coherent line in the authorial path has continued to distinguish the filmography of André Téchiné (Les témoins, 2007, The witnesses), Bertrand Tavernier (La princesse deMontpensier, 2010), François Ozon (Jeune & jolie, 2013, Young and beautiful), Paul Vecchiali (Nuits blanches sur la jetée, 2014), Robert Guédiguian (Les neiges du Kilimandjaro, 2011, The snows of Kilimanjaro), Xavier Beauvois (Des hommes et des dieux, 2010, Men of God), Arnaud Des plechin (Un conte de Noël, 2008, A Christmas Tale), Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, 2014), Chantal Akerman (La folie Almayer, 2011), Catherine Breillat (Abus de faiblesse, 2013), Costa-Gavras (Capital, 2012) and Claire Denis (35 rhums, 2008). Some actors then embarked on a parallel career as directors: among them Mathieu Amalric (Tournée, 2010), Guillaume Canet (Les petits mouchoirs, 2010, Little lies among friends), Maïwenn (Polisse, 2011) and Sandrine Bonnaire (J’enrage de son absence, 2012).

Many genres have their leading names: from documentary (Chris Marker, Nicholas Philibert, Raymond Depardon), to horror (Alexandre Aja), from the reinterpretation of polar (Olivier Marchal, Fred Cavayé) to animated cinema (Michel Ocelot and, above all, Sylvain Chomet who with L’illusionniste, 2010, L’illusionista, brought back to the screen a project never realized by Jacques Tati; see also animation: France).

French Cinema

France Waterways

France Waterways

The rivers, although some of them have an irregular regime, represented until the century. XIX an important part in the transport of raw materials. From the time of Henry IV they began to be integrated with canals; and on the eve of the Revolution, France already possessed the Channel of the South, the Channel of Picardy and the very extensive network of Flemish canals. In 1800 there were just under 1000 km. of channels; to which the Restoration and the July Monarchy added almost another 3000 km. Already in 1847 1,800,000 tons. km. goods of all kinds were transported by water. The appearance of the railways at first caused a decrease in river traffic, which in 1870 dropped to 1,400,000 tons. km.; but the circulation later developed on all communication routes, and a billion spent between 1870 and 1900 brought the length of the navigable network (rivers and canals) from 11,260 to 12,150 km. Traffic by water was quadrupled. Since this traffic is almost entirely concentrated in the part of the territory included north of a line joining Le Havre to Lyon and especially in the NE region, during the war it was especially damaged by the invasion (1036 km. Of streets destroyed). But the reconstruction work is now almost completed, and, with the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, the development of French waterways has reached 17,400 kilometers, of which 5248 for the canals.

According to pharmacylib.com, the canals belong to three distinct groups: 1. Maritime canals, which have the function of facilitating access to ports located on estuaries: the Tancarville Channel belongs to this group, which allows barges and ships of medium tonnage to reach Rouen directly; the Caen Canal; the Lower Loire Canal, which makes Saint-Nazaire the outpost of Nantes; 2. lateral channels, which constitute real artificial rivers, parallel to the watercourses that cannot be used: lateral channels to the Garonne, the Loire, the Meuse, the Haute Seine, the Somma; 3. connecting canals, which, through a slight rise, connect, by means of locks, navigable waterways or nearby canals: few in the West, in the South.

The table below shows each region’s share in the total tonnage of waterways (rivers and canals) for the year 1925:

The Northern region and that of Paris occupy the first place in the general inland navigation movement, because they have a large number of navigable rivers and canals. Paris is the busiest river port in all of France, with a movement of 13,400,000 tons. in 1926. It comes immediately after Strasbourg, placed at the end of navigation on the Rhine, with 3,578,593 tons, which can increase its tonnage with the construction of a lateral canal to the Rhine and with the transformation of the Marne and Rhone canals. The great industrial development of the Creusot largely explains the 3 million tons. of the waterways of the center.

The network of waterways will be further developed, as new routes are already under construction: the North Canal, the canal from Montbéliard to the Haute-Saône, the great canal of Alsace, the canal from Marseille to the Rhone (recently inaugurated the Rove tunnel, 7 km long.). Furthermore, the construction of a connecting canal between the Dordogne and the Berry canals is planned.

France Waterways

France Trade with Abroad

France Trade with Abroad

The foreign trade of France so to 3 only over land borders, making use of roads, canals and railways, and 3 the way of the sea.

Commercial movement. – After a magnificent boost in the middle of the last century, French foreign trade appeared to remain stagnant from 1872 to 1902, its progress being negligible compared to that of England, Germany and the United States. In 1902, 8 billion were recorded (United States: 11 billion; Germany: 13; England: 21); but later there was a new impulse (11 billion in 1907, 13 in 1910, more than 15 in 1913). The repercussions of the war and the postwar period are evaluated by comparing two equal periods before and after 1914:

Before the war, the trade balance was passive, and the surplus of imports over exports fluctuated between 1 billion and 1 billion and a half francs; the liabilities increased at the beginning of 1915 and reached a maximum in 1919-20; but in 1921 there was a reaction, for which the situation returned to more or less normal. Then in 1924 a very important event occurred, which had not repeated itself after 1905: the surplus of exports over imports. It is evident that when one wants to compare the foreign trade balance of 1913 and that of 1924, one must take into account the changed value of money and therefore convert the 1924 paper franc into gold franc.

If, instead of imports and exports, we consider the tonnage, we will notice that from 1913 to 1924, after the crisis period, there is a more marked progress in terms of imports:

These figures should not be surprising, since France, although it is a producer of iron and potash, is distinguished by the purchases of raw materials and the sales of luxury items, which are often of low importance. In recent years, the lowering of the purchasing power of the French currency has brought with it a decrease in imports (47.428.000 in 1925, 45.813.000 in 1926). As for exports, their weight increased by over a third over 1913 (30 million tons in 1925; 32 million in 1926). Exports of manufactured objects increased in the extraordinary proportion of 110%.

Import trade. – In 1926 it was divided as follows:

According to payhelpcenter.com, three facts emerge from this prospectus: French imports have a distinctly industrial character, since France buys abroad most of the raw materials which are transformed in its factories; France, despite being a mainly agricultural country, imports a quantity of common food products, to replace those of superior quality that are exported from it; finally, French industry is not sufficient for the needs of the consumption of manufactured articles.

The United States now occupies 1st place, while it was 3rd in 1913, because after the war the great markets of cotton, wheat, tin and rubber were established there; although England is no longer in first place, France is the best customer of British hard coal and buys in England machines, fabrics, spun steel, and also certain products that pass through the English warehouses (wool, jute, rubber, skins). The major tax that France pays abroad is made up of textile materials: cotton from the United States, Egypt, English India; wool from Australia and Argentina; silk from China, Japan and Italy; followed by hard coal, mineral oils and the products of mechanical industries.

Export trade. – In 1926 it was divided as follows:

Exports, like imports, have a distinctly industrial character: France mainly sells manufactured articles and raw materials abroad (including 11 million tons of iron ore).

With respect to exports, foreign countries have taken over the place of 1913: at the head of all is England, followed by Belgium, Germany, the United States, Switzerland and Italy.

Agricultural France sells the products of its agriculture (wines, butter, cheeses, legumes, flowers, fruit) to industrial England; but he also sells them various manufactured items from his luxury industries (clothes, silk factories, gloves, cars). Among the French products exported, textile articles are of the greatest importance: yarns, fabrics and clothing items represent a total of 16 billion francs, or almost 28% of the total value of French sales abroad; after the products of the textile industry come the products of the mechanical industry (2 and a half billion for cars), metallurgy (2 and a half billion for iron and steel) and the chemical industry.

France Trade with Aborad

France Textile Industry

France Textile Industry

The textile industry is the oldest of the French industries, and still occupies the first place among them. In the past it had a family and rural character, being practiced in the regions where flax and hemp were grown and where sheep were raised; but soon a first concentration took place: the industry emigrated from the countryside to the cities, and settled in small workshops, where, under the direction of a maître, the members of a corporation worked. At the time of Henry IV and Colbert, the great factory appeared alongside the guild (silk factories of Lyons, Tours, and Nîmes; cloths of Abbeville; velvets of Amiens; tapestries of the Gobelins). Two centuries later the textile industry underwent a new transformation: mechanics replaced handwork almost everywhere; the tooling, as it improved, became more complicated; and they made raw materials come from outside: there followed another concentration of industry in the regions where the raw materials arrived with greater ease and more promptly, where the driving force (hard coal or white coal) was more abundant. Nevertheless, in certain areas of old France, small industry continues to exist in a rural form; the products of the small towns are sent to a large market: Lyon has succeeded in concentrating the silk factories of an entire economic region, and Troyes has become the metropolis of the production of caps for all of Champagne. In 1926 the workers employed in the textile industry were estimated at 2 million; a figure equal to about one third of French workers.

With its 2100 machines for combing wool, with its 3.000.000 spindles for spinning it (combed and carded), with its 65.000 looms for weaving it, France represents 14% of the world wool industry. Its production of raw wool (35,000 tons per year) is now, as before the war, much lower than consumption, and therefore it receives from Australia, Argentina and England an enormous quantity of raw materials, which it is estimated at 288,032 tons: France comes third, among the countries consuming wool all over the world. The very ancient wool industry, which for a long time was based in the localities where sheep were raised, is now thriving in new centers. The region in which it is most developed is the North: Roubaix, Tourcoing and Fourmies, Amiens and Abbeville, own half of the weaving looms;

According to oxfordastronomy.com, the silk industry production is centered around Lyon is the of French production: in 1925 it was calculated at 12,000 tons. of fabrics, for a total value of 4 billion and 300 million francs, a value which in 1926 rose to 5 billion and 482 million. In 1926 France produced 3,099,224 kg. of cocoons, an insufficient quantity for his consumption of raw silk: therefore in that same year France had to import 64,405 q. of herd thirst and 2119 q. of cocoons; but these raw materials were not all used in France: Lyon has become a world market, where Europe and the United States are supplied (exports: 3676 quintals of raw silks and 866 quintals of cocoons). The silk industry includes various operations: reeling, twisting, spinning and weaving. Spinning is done in 175 spinning mills (Gard, Ardèche, Valchiusa, Drôme, Hérault). For weaving, the primacy goes to Lyon,3 of the French seterie; follow: Saint-Ètienne, a great producer of ribbons; Calibrate, for the production of caps.

In the other regions, Troyes is very popular for caps and Calais for lace. French exports of silk factories were higher than on the eve of the war: in the year 1926 a total sum of 6 billion and 214 million francs was reached, equal to over 14% of total exports.

All the cotton that is consumed in France comes from abroad: most of it from the United States, then from Egypt, from British India, etc. Before the war, in the great centers – the East with the Vosges, the North (Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing) and Normandy (Rouen) – France had 7,500,000 spindles for cotton spinning; now it has not only reconstituted its pre-war equipment, but also far surpassed it, thanks to the reconstitution of the devastated regions and the contribution made by Alsace. In 1931 it had 10,350,000 spindles; the looms were 200,000 in 1930; the production of cotton yarns went from 1,970,000 quintals in 1913 to 3,250,000 quintals. in the period 1926-29.

Even for the linen industry, France is forced to import most of the raw material. The equipment for the processing of linen counts 500,000 spindles. Lille, which owns 52 of the 90 French factories, is the largest center of this industry, and all kinds of fabrics are manufactured there. They are followed by: Tourcoing, which produces rugs of linen thread; Amiens (table linen), Cambrai and Valenciennes (fine fabrics); Normandy and the Vosges (canvases).

As for the hemp industry, France buys almost all the raw material abroad and especially in Italy. The main rope factories are in Angers, Paris, Marseille and Le Havre.

France Textile Industry

France Territory

France Territory

The new French constitution, drawn up by the second Constituent Assembly (elected on 2 June 1946) was made valid as a result of the popular referendum of 13 October 1946 and entered into force on 24 December 1946. Art. 60 of it determines the figure of a new international entity: the French Union, which includes the French republic on the one hand, and the associated territories and states on the other.

The French republic in turn consists of metropolitan France and the overseas departments and territories, namely: the general government of Algeria (Departments of Algiers, Oran and Constantine, and Southern Territories), the overseas Departments (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion and Guiana), the Overseas Territories (French West Africa, French Equatorial Africa, Madagascar and dependencies, Comoros Archipelago, French Somalia, French plants in India, New Caledonia and dependencies, French plants in Oceania, S. Pierre and Miquelon), the two Mandate Territories (Togo and Cameroon) and the Anglo-French Condominium of the Hebrides. In total an area of ​​11.1 million sq km. with 76-80 million residents (without the Anglo-French condominium which is 12,000 sq. km. with 42,000 residents). The territories and associated states include: the two protectorates of Morocco and Tunisia, and the Indochinese Federation which is in turn composed of the republic of Vietnam (Tonkin and northern Annam), the kingdoms of Cambodia and Laos, the autonomous republic of Cochinchina, and the autonomous region of southern Indochina. Overall, territories and associated states cover an area of ​​1.3 million sq km. with 35.6 million residents Thus the Overall territories and associated states cover an area of ​​1.3 million sq km. with 35.6 million residents Thus the Overall territories and associated states cover an area of ​​1.3 million sq km. with 35.6 million residents Thus the Union fran ç aise, with an area of ​​12.4 million sq. Km., Occupies the third place (after the British Commonwealth and the USSR) and with its population of 115.6 million residents. fifth place (after China, Hindustan, the USSR and the US) among the great states (see French union).

According to neovideogames.com, the French republic – defined as indivisible, secular, democratic and social – is personified by its people, whose sovereignty is expressed through parliament and popular referendums. The parliament consists of the National Assembly and the Council of the Republic. The first, elected by direct and secret universal suffrage by all citizens over the age of twenty, includes 619 deputies, of which 30 belong to Algeria and other overseas departments and territories. The person appointed to the presidency of the Council of Ministers must obtain the vote of confidence before forming the Cabinet. The Council of the Republic comprises no less than 250 and no more than 320 members; currently it is 315, of which 200 elected by indirect suffrage on a departmental and municipal basis, 50 nominated by National Assembly taking into account the importance of the parties represented in it, 14 elected from North Africa and 51 from other overseas territories. The Council examines and gives its opinion on the proposals and bills voted in the first reading by the National Assembly, which, however, has the final decision. There is also an Economic Council of 144 members representing class organizations, chambers of commerce, free professions and other economic and social groups. The parliament elects the president, who remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected once; he is also president of the Union. The Council examines and gives its opinion on the proposals and bills voted in the first reading by the National Assembly, which, however, has the final decision. There is also an Economic Council of 144 members representing class organizations, chambers of commerce, free professions and other economic and social groups. The parliament elects the president, who remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected once; he is also president of the Union. The Council examines and gives its opinion on the proposals and bills voted in the first reading by the National Assembly, which, however, has the final decision. There is also an Economic Council of 144 members representing class organizations, chambers of commerce, free professions and other economic and social groups. The parliament elects the president, who remains in office for 7 years and can be re-elected once; he is also president of the Union.

The metropolitan territory is administratively divided (1946) into 37,989 municipalities (90% of which have a population of less than 1500 residents and 10 are totally uninhabited), united in 3,028 cantons, 311 districts and 90 departments.

France Territory

France Sources of Energy

France Sources of Energy

The French economic expansion of the last fifteen years has benefited from the diversification of energy sources, with a marked increase in imports of liquid and gaseous fuels.

According to naturegnosis.com, the production of hard coal tends to decrease more and more (25.7 million t in 1973 but 55.3 million t in 1961) due to the well-known unfavorable natural characteristics, the poor quality of the mineral and the always accentuated difficulty to find labor, however compensated by immigration from Mediterranean countries. However, the modernization of the plants by the state and the technical progresses have been considerable (making work more rational and increasing productivity), so much so that the extraction yield is the strongest in Western Europe: an average of 4,837 kg of coal per day, for each miner. However, the high extraction costs, compared to the international level, and even more the scarcity of certain qualities, make it necessary to annual import of 1520 million tonnes of coal products, in particular from other EEC countries. About 70% (37% in 1960) of all energy consumed comes from the hydrocarbon sector today. The national production of crude oil, always coming from the fields of Parentis-en-Born, Lacq and the Paris basin (1.3 million tons in 1973, a quantity that was already extracted in 1958), is insignificant compared to internal consumption and therefore France has to import very large quantities (115-120 million tons). The oil, mostly from Algeria and the Near East (particularly from Kuwait and Iraq), is refined in a series of large plants located mainly in the Paris region and near the mouth of the Rhone: in Lavéra, near of Marseille, the Southern European oil pipeline (797 km) to Strasbourg and Karlsruhe (Federal Republic of Germany). Other pipelines connect the Atlantic port of Gonfreville and the Lacq area to the industrial areas of Paris and Bordeaux, respectively. The export of a considerable part of refined products helps to mitigate the financial burden of imports. On the other hand, the French methane production is relevant, which now exceeds 7.5 million m3. A widespread network of methane pipelines connects Lacq to Paris and to the large industrial centers of the Atlantic region and the Rhône valley: 40% of the methane extracted is absorbed by industry (especially chemical), 34% by thermal power stations, 24% is injected into the urban center network and 2% is used as fuel. A large quantity of sulfur is also obtained from the gas (1.8 million t). In order to increase domestic consumption, large quantities of gas were imported from the Netherlands and Algeria.

In the sector of energy sources, a high contribution is always given by electricity, both of water, thermal and nuclear origin. The intense exploitation of water resources, following a development plan implemented in the 1950s, a greater use of extracted coal in thermal power plants (particularly in Lorraine), and a general strengthening of the power plants as well as the construction of others have greatly increased production. of energy, which in recent years has been around 150 billion kWh (76.5 billion kWh in 1961), of which 49 billion are given by hydroelectric power plants. Three quarters of the energy produced is supplied by the state public body (Electricité de France); the remainder from the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône. From the production of water plants, 60% comes from the Alps, 20% from the Center and the rest from the Pyrenees and Alsace. About 60% of the thermal energy comes from state power plants, 22% from coal mining power plants and 18% from those of the steel industry. Finally, an ever-increasing role has been taken by the nuclear energy sector, which in addition to national uranium (for which France with 1200 tons per year is in fourth place in the world ranking), uses minerals imported from former colonies African (especially from Gabon). The first thermonuclear power plants of Marcoule and Avoine (1958-59) were followed by those of Chinon, Pierrelatte, Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux, Malvezy, La Hague, Le Bouchet, etc. The installed power is now around 3 million kW, while the production of nuclear energy is almost 14 billion kWh; it is foreseen that in the near future nuclear power plants will be able to cope, alone, with the increase in energy consumption. There are also four nuclear research reactors: in Saclay, Grenoble, Cadarache and Fontenay-aux-Roses.

France Sources of Energy

France Sculpture and Painting in the Middle Ages

France Sculpture and Painting in the Middle Ages

The vast architectural movement also brought with it the other arts, and first sculpture. The decline of sculpture after the end of the Roman Empire is connected with the end of paganism and the penetration of oriental ideas. It survives only in the ivory and goldsmith works (Sens casket, consular diptychs, ivory chair in Ravenna, Porta di S. Sabina in Rome). The Carolingian Renaissance succeeded for a moment in galvanizing its activity. After the 9th century, wooden statuettes, often covered with gold and jewels, decorated as reliquaries (statuettes of Santa Fede in Conques, Aveyron, 10th century) began to be modeled in the Auvergne. Also worthy of note are the works of Rhenish and Moselle founders: the gold frontal of the cathedral of Basel (1020; now in the Cluny museum), caskets, ivories, isolated pieces such as the tomb of Hincmar (9th century), and that of Adalbéron, recently exhumed in Reims. But the great sculpture has disappeared. We assist throughout the century. XI to the attempts to awaken this long dormant art. Sages, indeed very barbaric, appear in the Loire region (Orchaise, Bourgueil, Azay-le-Rideau) and more often in the Pyrenees (Saint-Paul-les-Dax, architraves of Saint-André in Sorède and of Saint-Genis-des -Fontaines, 1020). Add the rough capitals of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (around 1010) and Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire. All this is more than primitive, insignificant in relief, a thousand times further away from life than the poorest works of prehistoric man. The most curious monument is the tomb of Isarn, abbot of St. Victor (d.1048) now in the museum of Marseille.

According to militarynous.com, Cluny also had to take the lead in sculpture. The disappearance of its portal, which we know only through the drawings, is an irreparable loss. The splendid capitals of the choir, depicting the rivers of paradise and the gates of music, now collected in the Orhier museum, do not seem to predate 1130. Probably the first hearth of the great sculpture were numerous abbeys and priories of the Languedoc: Saint-Semin in Toulouse, La Daurade, Moissac, staggered on the road to S. Giacomo di Compostella or dependent on Cluny. Numerous remains of ancient works can be found. they had and certainly served as models. And in the Toulouse area, imbued with Romanism, under the aegis of the great humanist abbots of Cluny, sculpture probably reasserted itself earlier. The bas-reliefs of the Saint-Sernin choir are from around 1080; the cloister of Moissac existed in 1100, that of La Daurade is from 1105 and that of S. Stefano from 1117 (fragments in the Toulouse museum). Almost contemporary is the door Miègeville, in Saint-Semin; and the great Moissac portal cannot be later than 1125. Il Christ of Moissac, that of Beaulieu (Dordogne), the Ascension of Cahors, the tumultuous prophets of Souillac (Dordogne) are extraordinary and unsurpassed works. Another center of works that are also admirable is found in Burgundy: the most notable are the two tympanums and the marvelous series of capitals of Autun and Vézelay (circa 1125-30), and above all the capitals of Cluny, the apogee of the Burgundian Romanesque art. It was then that Suger called the southern masters to work on the church of Saint-Denis. They created, before 1114, the portal (known only from the drawings of Montfaucon) with figures leaning against the columns: the Gothic portal was born.

The first remaining portal of this kind, and perhaps the most beautiful, is the “portal of the kings” of Chartres (v.), So called for the prophets or kings of Judah depicted, which dates from 1130-60 at the latest. As soon as it appeared it made school: the portals of Mans, Étampes, Angers, Saint-Ayoul de Provins, Vermenton, Saint Loup-de-Naud (around 1180), the best preserved of all, are inspired by it, as well as the Sainte- Anne at NotreDame in Paris. The ancient partition of Braisne and the portal of Senlis close the series. The influence of Chartres also extended to southern France, where the two large portals of St. Trofimo d’Arles (v.) And Saint-Gilles (end of the 12th century) are an evident imitation even under their stupendous appearance of Roman bas-reliefs. In turn these works exerted a strong influence on the great sculptor of Parma, Benedetto Antelami (v.). A period of activity began with the reconstruction of the cathedral of Chartres after the fire of 1194. The triple lateral portals, completed in 1220, were once again the school of France. The prophets of that wonderful biblical poem which is the north portal were immediately imitated in Reims. Around 1240 an atrium was added to the north and south portals with a crowd of new statues, including some, The prophets of that wonderful biblical poem which is the north portal were immediately imitated in Reims. Around 1240 an atrium was added to the north and south portals with a crowd of new statues, including some, The prophets of that wonderful biblical poem which is the north portal were immediately imitated in Reims. Around 1240 an atrium was added to the north and south portals with a crowd of new statues, including some, STeodoro and Santa Modesta, wonderful. The cathedral of Chartres with its sculptures is, in a certain way, the summa of the French Middle Ages: it gives the measure of the highest moral and intellectual virtues achieved by France during the Crusades.

It was the heyday of the realm: and Reims with Amiens represents the classical age of Gothic sculpture. The statuary of the cathedral of Amiens (v.) Is above all notable for its homogeneous character. Certain statues of Reims, such as St. PeterSt. Paul, the Visitation group, could be believed to belong to antiquity. All the plastic decoration of Notre-Dame de Paris has disappeared, except that of the lunette. But towards the middle of the century. XIII the apostles of the Sainte-Chapelle inaugurate a new more picturesque, freer, more animated style, with more lively attitudes, more decisive projections, more pronounced shadows, in a word a more modern style, which is found in Reims, in the most popular, in the Queen of Shebaand in the enchanting angel called the Smile of Reims.

Painting contrasts with the magnificent flowering of architecture and sculpture. Romanesque art has left an impressive number of beautiful works in France, which are divided into two schools: that of Burgundy, kingdom of Cluny, which is inspired by the great tradition of Byzantium (frescoes of Notre Dame de Puy and Berzé-la- Ville); that of Poitou and Berry, where the popular tradition derived from Carolingian art reigns: the vòlta of Saint Savin (Vienne, 11th-12th century) is a masterpiece. Other frescoes cover the walls of the Poitiers baptistery (12th century) of Notre-Dame du Liget, of the churches of Vic and Montmorillon. Gothic architecture, by eliminating the walls, suppressed painting, or at least forced it to find a new expression: the painted windows. The oldest stained glass windows (choir of Saint-Denis, facade of Chartres, etc.) date back to the mid-century. XII, and they are of a great beauty. The 13th century stained glass windows begin in the nave of Chartres (Chartres has kept almost all of its stained glass windows). Other very important series of windows are in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, in Bourges, in Sens, in Lyons, in the choir of St. Stephen of Mans, in Rouen, in San Quintino in Auxerre (v.). Stained glass art has special needs; his optics require extreme stylization. Everything is sacrificed to the clarity of the composition and above all to the splendor of the coloring. Technical limitations prevent it from being an art of imitation: a stained glass window is above all a carpet of colors, a splendid decoration, a festival of lights. The passion for this

The art of stained glass invaded all the other fields of drawing. For it, the cathedral opens ever larger windows. We find his rose windows, his lozenges, his medallions, his conventional perspective on the miniatures of the salteries, on the ivory discs of the ointment boxes and mirrors; his cartoons enclosed in small geometric squares become a source of inspiration for the sculpture. The façade of Amiens is decorated with fifty scenes, representations of Genesis and the Seasons, which are only reminiscent of the stained glass windows. Quadrilobal medallions with figures cover the pillars of the south portico of Chartres, the gate of Lyon and that of Auxerre, etc. The plastic of Auxerre, belonging to the late thirteenth century, with scenes from Genesis, the parable of the prodigal son, figures of Hercules and Bass.

France Sculpture and Painting in the Middle Ages

France Sculpture

France Sculpture

As for painting, also for sculpture some of the artists who in the first twenty years of the century had contributed to the renewal of the plastic language, have continued in the last decade an activity perhaps less important than their previous one, but in any case often of high quality.

In some cases it was the works of those same artists of whom we have already spoken as painters; Picasso for example, whose experience as a sculptor assumes the same importance, and reveals the same great freedom of imagination, of the more properly pictorial experience; Georges Braque, refined and imaginative researcher of plastic myths, made in sculpture with that appropriateness and fidelity to the craftsmanship that is typical of all his activity; Jean Arp, painter, poet, but above all sculptor, who was constantly in contact with the European avant-gardes and who was able to give them the contribution of his imagination, all aimed at restoring the value of the primordial form to rediscover the most hidden sense of purity some things. And younger of all Joan Miró who has instilled in the ceramics made in collaboration with Artigas the same surreal charge and the same chromatic happiness that are typical of his painting. Alongside them, some of the greatest sculptors of the century: Costantin Brancusi (born in Pestisani Gorij, Romania, in 1876 and died in Paris in 1957), daring creator of a new mythology of form, purified from all determinism, fantastic and real at the same time; Antoine Pevsner (b. 1884), creator with his brother Gabo of constructivist sculpture and still today looking for the meaning of reality of form and plastic space; Henri Laurens (Paris 1885-1954) and Ossip Zadkine (b.1890). to search for the meaning of reality of form and plastic space; Henri Laurens (Paris 1885-1954) and Ossip Zadkine (b.1890). to search for the meaning of reality of form and plastic space; Henri Laurens (Paris 1885-1954) and Ossip Zadkine (b.1890).

According to mathgeneral.com, the generation following these masters did not mark the pace and continued with originality the search for an ever new plastic expression: Alberto Giacometti (born in Stampa in Switzerland in 1901) belongs by full right to the École de Paris, for the contribution that to it he gave with his surreal sculptures, solitary and not devoid of dramatic contrasts despite the simplicity of the conception; André Bloc (b. 1896) and Émile Gilioli (b. 1911) have instead directed their research on a geometric modulation of forms, devoid of any contact and any allusion to reality. And the geometric module is also present in the works of Berto Lardera (born in La Spezia in 1911, in Paris since 1948) and Robert Jacobsen (born in Copenhagen in 1912, in Paris since 1947), but it is overcome by a certain surreal resolution that the artists arrive at working in the body itself, and in the space, generated by the metallic structures of the compositions. And the purity of geometry is used for the construction of an ideal anthropomorphic figuration in the sculptures of Henri Georges Adam (born in Paris in 1904), a painter and engraver of considerable quality as well as sculptor. Germaine Richier (born in Grans in 1904, died in Paris in 1959) also brought her figuration to a surreal level that could recall that of Giacometti or, at times, of Picasso himself, but with a different moral commitment, with a logical architecture of the form that corrected any automatic data of the compositions. François Stahly (born in Constance in Switzerland in 1911) gives a sense of almost spontaneous germination to the form,

Étienne Hajdu (born in Turda, Romania, in 1907) has passed from an anthropomorphic conception of the abstract image to a new approach to the problem of plastic relationships, in a sort of sculptural informal that does not seem to want to set limits on either space or of surfaces. A somewhat similar path is that of younger sculptors, such as César (César Baldaccini, born in Marseille in 1921), who passed from surreal figurations of enormous insects to variously wavy surfaces, with small shattered shapes on the surface, revealing a bold imagination and of great skill in the trade. And alongside César, one of the most promising of the young sculptors of the École de Paris, is JC Delahaye (born in 1928) who has already revealed his own originality in the field of autre taste.

France Sculpture

France Religion

France Religion

By far the predominant religion in France is Catholic. At a great distance from it come the various confessions of Protestants, all of which reaches about 1,000,000, with the most important centers in Paris, the Cévennes, Montbéliard, etc., and especially in Alsace (about 250,000); then follow the Israelites, scattered a little everywhere, but particularly in the shopping centers, and they add up to about 200,000 (in Paris alone about 140,000). Muslims, mostly from French possessions in North Africa, are relatively few in number.

By the law of December 9, 1905, the Church is separated from the State, therefore the latter is not interested in any form of worship nor does it have a budget for worship; however it allows the cultural Associations, established by the followers of the individual cults to organize and subsidize the cults themselves. Upon separation between Church and State, the buildings intended for worship (churches, etc.) and the annexes were devolved to the said Associations; with a subsequent law of January 2, 1907 it was established that, in the absence of the Associations, these buildings would continue to remain for the use of ministers and practitioners of their respective cults, but after an administrative act drawn up by the prefect in the cases of buildings belonging to departments or to the state, or drawn up by the mayor in the case of municipal buildings. Ecclesiastics over the age of 45 and with more than 25 years of ministry were required to receive a pension from the state upon separation, and others who did not reach such extremes were entitled to gratification for 8 years. As for religious orders and communities, already before, with the law on associations of 1 July 1901, it was established that religious associations had to be authorized by the state, and that no monastic order could be authorized without a particular law for each individual case. These provisions, however, were not extended after the World War to the departments of Moselle, Lower and Upper Rhine, that is to say to Alsace Lorraine which had already belonged to Germany: a special regime is in force for these departments. Likewise, despite the separation law,  France currently has its own extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador in Rome at the Holy See.

According to internetsailors.com, there are seventeen Catholic archbishoprics: Aix, with 6 suffragan dioceses; Albi, with 4; Auch, with 3; Avignon, with 4; Besançon, with 4; Bordeaux, with 6; Bourges, with 5; Cambrai, with z; Chambéry, with 3; Lyon, with 5; Paris, with 5; Reims, with 4; Rennes, with 3; Rouen, with 4; Sens, with 3; Toulouse, with 3; Tours, with 4.; there are also the dioceses of Metz and Strasbourg immediately subject to the Holy See. In all there are 17 archbishoprics and 72 bishoprics; to these must be added, in the various French colonies and possessions, 3 archbishoprics, 5 bishoprics, 24 apostolic vicariates and 6 apostolic prefectures.

The bishops are appointed by the Holy See, without any consent of the State, and the parish priests depend solely on them. The costs of worship fall on the faithful, who contribute according to rather complicated rules, but in a completely private and independent way from the state. However, the juridical condition of the Catholic cult and associations, especially after the World War, became much more favorable to them. The law against religious congregations is often not enforced, or is circumvented: many educational institutions are actually run by congregations, even though they are nominally headed by outsiders. Abroad then, and especially in places of mission or penetration, France has always favored the activity of its own congregations and other Catholic institutes. The French secular clergy is rather deficient in numbers: of the approximately 36,000 parishes almost a fourth part is without a titular; however, in recent times there has been a much greater turnout in ecclesiastical seminaries. Before the law of 1 July 1901, there were 910 recognized and 753 unrecognized associations in France; there were 19,514 religious houses, with 30,136 men and 129,492 women. French Catholics also maintain, at their own expense, five universities or higher education institutes: in Paris (with faculties of theology, law, etc.), in Angers (theology, law, literature, etc.), in Lille (theology, law, medicine, letters, etc.), Toulouse (theology, letters, etc.), and Lyon (theology, law, letters, etc.); also the Catholic faculty of theology at the University of Strasbourg.

After the separation law, the French Protestants formed their own Associations cultuelles, grouping themselves further according to the various tendencies: the Orthodox one constituted the Union des Églises réformées évangéliques, with theological faculty in Montpellier (transported there in 1919 by Montauban); the liberal tendency constituted the tnion des Églises réformées. Alongside these we should remember: the Union des eglises évangéliques libres, which includes about fifty communities; the Protestant Fédération, which includes communities of various confessions (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist); the Église de la Confession d’Augsbourg, purely Lutheran which includes communities of Alsace, Montbéliard, Paris and Nice.

The Israelites also formed their own Associations cultuelles, at the head of which is a Consistoire Central made up of 52 members and chaired by the major rabbi of France. The associations dependent on the Consistoire are, in France and Algeria, about 75. In Alsace-Lorraine (Metz, Strasbourg, Colmar) the ancient organization remained, even after the annexation to France, with three departmental consistories dependent on the respective rabbis major: these are paid by the government. Paris is home to an École rabbinique for the training of rabbis.

France Religion

France Relief and Coasts

France Relief and Coasts

Relief. – The general characteristics of the relief show a systematic distribution of the plains and mountains similar to that which governs the general course of the European relief. It has often been observed that a line, drawn in the direction SO.-NE. from the mouth of the Bidassoa (point where the Spanish border touches the ocean) to the confluence of the Lauter and the Rhine (north of Alsace), it leaves SE. almost all the higher reliefs and a NO. almost all the plains and hills. Indeed, while on the one hand the altitudes above 500 m. they represent more than half of the surface, on the other hand they are almost non-existent. France has the two types of mountain massifs known in Europe and all types of lowlands, except that of the plains of glacial origin,

According to hyperrestaurant.com, the recent mountains, of tertiary origin, exceeding 3000 m. in height, which strongly suffered the effects of the Quaternary glaciation and which still contain more or less extensive glaciers, are represented by the Pyrenees, which form the border with Spain, the Alps, which form the border with Italy and the Jura, branch of the latter, which is the border with Switzerland. The highest European peaks rise between France and Italy, between Chamonix and Courmayeur (Mont Blanc 4810 m.). The French Alps contain many peaks near 4000m.; height which the Pyrenees do not reach, whose culminating point, a little beyond the Spanish border, is the Maladetta (3404 m.). The Jura, although it is linked to the alpine folds, does not reach 2000 m. (Crêt de la Neige 1723 m.).

The Hercinian uprisings, whose folding dates back to the primary era, lower and of generally gentle forms, are represented by the Vosges and the Massif Central. Neither point of the two massifs reaches the height of 2000 meters (the highest point of the Vosges is the Ballon de Guebwiller, 1426m; the highest point of the Central Massif is the Puy de Sancy, 1886 meters). Other less elevated Hercinian massifs are found to the NW. of the diagonal mentioned above: the Ardennes massif, extremity of the Rhenish schist massif (culminating point in France 497 meters); the Armorican Massif, even less high (maximum height 417 meters), which forms the peninsula of Cotentin and Brittany and extends as far south as the Loire, with the Vendée.

The lowland and hill regions belong to two types. The one are true alluvial plains, which occupy a sinking area in the midst of Hercinian massifs, such as the plain of Alsace, or a depressed corridor on the edge of a folding arch, such as the Rhone furrow, which extends by beyond the elbow that the river makes in Lyon, with the plain of the Saone (Bresse). The others are rather regions of hills, formed by sedimentary layers of secondary or tertiary age, which are deposited in inland seas or in lake basins in the most depressed parts of the Hercynian area. Such are: the Parisian Basin, enclosed between the Central Massif, the Vosges, the Ardennes and the Armorican Massif; and the Aquitaine Basin, enclosed between the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. The layers of these ancient basins,côtes which is characteristic of the Parisian Basin, that is to say in lines of asymmetrical hills, all of which have a steep front on the side of the nearest Hercian massif.

Coasts. – The outline of the French coasts, which constitute half of the borders of the state, was naturally fixed during the Quaternary. The formation of the Pas de Calais does not seem to be prior to the first glacial periods; and the same can be said of the separation of the Norman Islands from the Cotentin. The meanders of the Seine, which continue sharply under the waters of the estuary, those of the Trieux in Brittany and those of the Aulne, which show the same phenomenon, indicate a positive movement of the sea, the importance of which is confirmed by the soundings, which have revealed Quaternary floods up to 30 m. at least in depth. Subsequently, the sea continued its work of reporting, interrupted by a last transgression of historical date, in the plain of Flanders and in the estuary of the Somma, which continues before our eyes.falaises), retreating rapidly, gave rise to the straight coasts characteristic of Normandy and Picardy, with their valleuses or suspended valleys. Behind the coastlines, the estuaries filled up rapidly, except that of the Seine, where Rouen is preserved as a seaport, while Abbeville sulla Somma can no longer receive but small boats, which go up a canal.

In the Armorican Massif the lower trunks of the valleys were invaded as a result of the transgression, and changed into narrow and branched estuaries, similar to the Spanish rias ; a swarm of small islands formed in correspondence with the banks of hard rocks. No coastline is more indented than that of Cotentin, Brittany and the Vendée; however, the work of regularization of the sea has begun to make its effects felt here and there. On the west coast of Cotentin, at the bottom of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay, and on the southern coast of Brittany, several coastlines block a number of bays and estuaries. South of the Vendée, an ancient gulf corresponding to a depression of the continental relief, in contact with the secondary covering of the ancient massif, formed theMarais poitevin, where some embankments, started in the Middle Ages and continued up to the century. XIX, they hastened the reconquest on the sea, creating a small Holland. Further on, the islands of Ré and Oléron protect some protrusions in connection with limestone reliefs, which rise just above the waves and are partly covered with dunes. South of the mouth of the Gironde, the coast of the Landes begins, bordered for 200 km. from high dunes, which bar the valleys and turn them into freshwater ponds, with a surface of water that is 10 m. above the nearby sea. Only the Bay of Arcachon remains open due to the tidal currents. However, the regularly rectilinear contour of the coast is not due only to accumulation: the sea gnaws almost everywhere on the continent, making the coastline retreat and discovering peat under the dunes.

The Mediterranean coast has two quite different types to the East. and W. of the Rhone delta: on the one hand it is steep, rocky, bumpy by peninsulas and bays and surrounded by islands; on the other it is flat, uniform, with large lagoons, behind coastlines covered with dunes. However, on both sides, the effects of recent positive movement are less visible than on the ocean coast. In Provence, the Alps themselves and their last buttresses plunge into the waters of the Mediterranean with so steep slopes that the sea cannot advance very far; moreover, recent ground movements have led to the emergence of some deltas in certain points, such as that of the Varo near Nice. The floods did not take long to fill some gulfs, such as that of Argens and the plain of Hyères; and one of the islands was re-attached to the mainland, forming the Giens peninsula. But the littoral current carries most of the floods to the Languedoc side. The detritus of the Alps and those of the Pyrenees give such an abundance of floods that the regularization of the littoral cord is perfect; behind these coastlines that lean on ancient limestone islands, like in Cette and Narbonne, or volcanic ones, like in Agde and Leucate, an almost continuous row of lagoons stretches, interrupted only by the great plain of the Aude.

France Coasts

France Rainfall, Winds and Atmospheric Pressure

France Rainfall, Winds and Atmospheric Pressure

Rainfall. – According to homosociety.com, the distribution of the rains is closely related to the relief, but their regime clearly marks the continental and maritime influences, and even more the particular characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. All depressions correspond to pluviometric minima, of which the most notable is in Colmar in Alsace and the largest is in the Paris Basin (see map on p. 883). The drought of Limagne and the Rhône corridor as far as the Saone plain should also be noted. The coasts are generally rainier than the interior, especially when they have a certain relief: the flat coast of the Landes receives considerable rainfall only where it is dominated by the Pyrenees; indeed, it is precisely there that the strongest average totals in France are noted. The hills of Brittany and Normandy, which do not exceed 400 m., they are enough to condense precipitations higher than 1200 mm.; and in the Massif Central the highest points are not those which receive the most abundant rainfall. The Limousin, directly exposed to the West winds, receives the same amount of water on the Millevaches plateau as the Auvergne. A particularly rainy location is the edge of the Cévennes towards the Aigoual, where the Atlantic rains and the Mediterranean rains fall at the same time and where the strongest precipitations that have been collected in a single day were found (Joyeuse, 797 mm. on October 9, 1927). The Mediterranean coast does not suffer at all from the drought that is usually attributed to it. Marseille receives as much water as Paris receives; Nice receives much more (750 mm.); only, the rains fall there in the form of showers, rare in every season and very rare in summer. The dominant rainfall regime in France is intermediate between the oceanic regime and the continental regime. The curve of the monthly averages in Paris has no accentuated minimum and has two weak highs in summer and winter. Only on the coasts can we see the true oceanic regime, with its very strong peak in autumn (Brest 30%); while the continental regime, with the maximum in summer, begins to take shape in the east of the Parisian Basin, and appears very clear in Alsace and in the Saone basin. In the Aquitaine Basin the regime is absolutely oceanic on the coasts and tends towards the Mediterranean regime towards the interior, without, however, presenting a real summer drought at any point. In Toulouse, the maximum is in spring (May, June) and the driest months are July and December. The Mediterranean regime dominates the entire coast of Languedoc and Provence, with highs in autumn and spring and with a very pronounced drought in summer. Marseille in three months (June-August) receives just 9% of the annual total; and often July and August pass, without a drop of water falling. This regime also reigns in the Rhone valley as far as Montélimar, in the valleys of the Alps as far as Sisteron on the Durance, and is also sensitive to the neighboring peaks.

Winds and atmospheric pressure. – Winds and variations in atmospheric pressure better than any other phenomenon explain all the characters of the thermal regime and of the rainfall regime. France is subject to the influence of cyclones with a Mediterranean trajectory and the influence of those with a more northern trajectory; and the latter make themselves felt there especially when they pass through England and the North Sea, causing the great rains which fall on the Armorican Massif and the Paris Basin, swept by the W and SW winds, which they carry with them. big cloud coverings. To them we owe the absolute dominance of the winds of the western quadrant throughout the north of France. The winds of E. are felt, either by the advance of Atlantic cyclones, or by the establishment of an anticyclone over central Europe. In the first case they are short-lived; coming from SE. the air is generally dry and warm, and in the summer the temperature rises rapidly together with the absolute humidity, making it possible to spend a few painful hours in Paris and sometimes even on the coast. The E. anticyclonic wind lasts longer, and is hot in summer and cold in winter. The cold shocks that occur in the eastern regions (Alsace and the Saone valley up to Lyon), which can cause the thermometer to drop down to −10 ° and even to −15 °, always depend on an anticyclonic regime; they, rarer in Paris, are all the more sensitive to it. The Aquitaine Basin is not directly subject, like the north of France, to the influence of Atlantic depressions, which explains the relatively continental character of its climate; gl ‘ Oceanic influences are limited to the coast and Toulouse has relatively cold winters, given its latitude. However, it often happens that a satellite cyclone accompanies, in the south, an Atlantic depression, whose trajectory passes through England; in this case the southern and eastern part of Aquitaine is subject to winds from the E. and SE., which are made particularly dry and violent by the influence of the Pyrenees and the south of the Massif Central.autan of Toulouse and the Pays Castrais. The cyclone, advancing, passes over Aquitaine itself, and usually reaches the Mediterranean; then the winds leap to the West and large showers of water often occur, accompanied by storms. This succession of events is frequent in spring, and explains the maximum rainfall of this season.

On the Mediterranean coast of France, the prevailing winds are light breezes with a northern component, which account for the purity of the sky and the rarity of the rains. The stability of the atmosphere is disturbed only in spring and autumn by the passage of cyclones, which come, one from the Atlantic via Aquitaine, the others from Morocco via the coasts of Spain. These depressions are mostly directed towards the Gulf of Genoa, and their passage causes a recall of air from the north, resulting in a wind fast enough to give an impression of cold and sometimes even violent enough to obstruct communications: this wind, which sweeps the clouds and dries up the plains, is the mistral. On the coasts of Provence and Languedoc it generally rains due to a SE wind, known under the name of marin, humid and warm.

France Rainfall

France Railways

France Railways

France has a network of railways 60,000 km long, of which 42,000 are roads of general interest and 18,000 are roads of local interest (often narrow-gauge), operated by various companies, subsidized by the departments. It took more than half a century to build this network. The first line, which came into operation at the end of the Restoration, was that between Saint-Ètienne and Andrézieux (1828). In 1842 there were only 500 km. of railways. The nine major lines departing from Paris were built from 1843 to 1859, and with them the length of the roads increased to 16,000 km; finally, from 1859 to today, under the regime of agreements between the state and large companies, the total number of lines in operation has reached 42,000 km. At the same time, the tonnage of trains has increased dramatically, the power of the machines, the number of passengers and the weight of the goods transported. The number of travelers, who numbered 6 million in 1841, rose to 165 million in 1880 and 460 million in 1906. After the war, the railway networks had to reconstitute their facilities and materials; and now that the reconstruction work has been completed, progress has also been made with respect to 1913, as can be seen from the following figures:

According to historyaah.com, the railways of general interest are divided into seven networks: State, North, East, Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean, Mezzogiorno, Orléans, Alsace-Lorraine, five of which have their headquarters in Paris and the major departure stations and ‘I arrive; the Mezzogiorno company has its administrative headquarters in Bordeaux and the Alsatian-Lorraine network in Strasbourg.

All the important lines converge fanwise in the direction of Paris; but if this arrangement has had favorable effects for the capital, it has had less favorable effects for the various regions, owing to the difficulty of getting from one end of the territory to the other, without passing through Paris. However, it should be noted that modifications have been introduced to the general route: large industrial centers (Lille, Nancy), large agglomerations (Lyon) and important ports (Bordeaux, Marseille) have attracted railways; and direct agreements between the companies led to the creation of rapid trains which, without passing through Paris, connect large centers (Calais-Basel or Marseille, Bordeaux-Lyon-Geneva, Bordeaux-Sète-Marseille-Nice).

Of all the French networks, that of the North (3865 km.) Is the densest due to the favorable conditions of the relief and the agricultural and industrial wealth of the regions covered. Its international lines facilitate relations between France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Eastern Europe; they all have a traffic exceeding 2,000,000 tons. The Eastern network (5072 km.) Is a dense continental network, serving agricultural Champagne and industrial Lorraine; its international lines connect Paris with Germany and Central Europe. Alongside a predominantly west-east traffic (Paris-Strasbourg line) there is traffic that increases more and more perpendicularly to the first, for the Reims-Belfort-Basel lines; Reims-Dijon. The Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean network (10,190 km.) connects France with Switzerland and Italy, and, for Marseilles, with the colonies of North Africa and Asia. There is little traffic on the lines that cross the Jura and the Alps, with the exception of the Lyon-Geneva line, in which it exceeds 1,500,000 tons. But the Paris-Marseille line is really the line of heavy traffic, so much so that part of the goods must even be diverted to the Bourbonese line and the Lyon-Nîmes line. The southern network is not very dense (length of the railways 4989 km.); the heavy traffic circulates on the Sète-Bordeaux line which is the main artery of the network; however the wealth of the Landes determines a heavy traffic on the line between Bordeaux and Spain. The Paris-Orléans network (8479 km.) Has less important traffic than the first three mentioned, due to the fact that it serves almost purely agricultural regions: on the main line of the network, Paris-Orleans-Bordeaux, the figure of 2 million tons. it is only passed on the Paris-Orléans and Angoulême-Bordeaux sections. The network of the state, which comes immediately after the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean for the kilometric length (9325 km.), Is the network of western France. While the traffic of goods can only be said to be really intense on the Paris-Rouen-Le Havre line, passenger transport is more active there than on any other network (seaside resorts in Normandy and Brittany, communications with America). The Alsace and Lorraine railways (2344 km.) Reveal an intense circulation from Switzerland to Luxembourg and Belgium (Basel-Strasbourg, Metz-Luxembourg-Ostend).

Traction on the various networks is not always by steam: on the contrary, most companies tend to implement a vast electrification program (see above: White coal). In 1926 the electrified lines represented: 759 km for the Mezzogiorno network. (Dax-Tolosa and branches towards the Pyrenees spas, Bordeaux-Hendaye); for Orléans, 232 km. (Paris-Vierzon); for the state network, 47 km. (lines in the Paris district); for the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean route, the routes on the Chambéry-Modane line.

France Railways

France Public Finance

France Public Finance

As early as 1914, inadequate taxation, budget deficits and fluctuating debt worries would have required drastic measures, despite the country’s financial strength. The war came with its many economic needs, which the normal budget revenues (significantly reduced following the invasion and the diminished revenue of the land tax, which was one of the main sources of income for the pre-war budget) could certainly not front, despite the introduction of new taxes and the aggravation of existing ones. The huge deficit, which in the period 1914-1919 is valued at a total of 188 billion, was covered with advances from the Bank of France to the state; by taking out long-term loans at home and abroad, and largely with the proceeds of the Bons de la défence nationale which were issued in September 1914 and whose circulation, at the end of the war, reached 60 billion. Nor could the balance of the budget be re-established in the following years, in which huge expenses were imposed on the reconstruction of the invaded lands; indeed, the establishment, in 1920, of a special budget des dépenses recouvrables (in which the expenses themselves and the war pensions were ideally compensated with the reparations that Germany would have to pay) delayed the adoption of measures to deal with the situation, and was not the least cause of the financial crisis.

According to franciscogardening.com, the requests for credit to the Bank of France and to private individuals by the state could not therefore decrease, the situation of the treasury at maturity was increasingly embarrassing, and the volume of circulation increased day by day together with the increase in prices and you change. It was only in March 1924, following the first serious exchange rate crisis, that the balance of the budget began to be prepared, and the recoverable expenditure budget was merged (which in the years 1920-25 had reached the total figure of about 75 billion) with the general state budget (which since 1922 had returned to being unique, following the reunion of the ordinary, extraordinary war and Alsace and Lorraine budgets), the limit on reconstruction loans was reduced to three billion,

However, the continuous devaluation of the franc soon neutralized the effect of these reforms, and the government was forced, also following the prolonged shortage of Germany, to borrow even more from the Bank of France and to increase the notes in circulation to in the face of maturities and current needs (circulation, from 43 billion in 1925 in fact passed to 54 in June 1926, and advances to the state correspondingly from 32 to 36 billion). A second exchange rate crisis occurred in July 1926, much more serious than in 1924, due to the combined action against the franc by foreign speculation and above all by domestic speculation. First of all, trust had to be restored and R. Poincaré’s cabinet began by not resorting to new advances from the Issuing institution to meet the deadlines of 31 July. To assure the holders of francs of his firm intention not to use them any more, it was necessary, however, to balance the balance sheet and ease the burdensome short-term commitments of the treasury (the floating debt then exceeded 90 billion). One was therefore voted on 3 August Loi de salut that it created new fiscal resources, direct and indirect, and authorized the government to provide by decree, within three years, to all the economies compatible with the good performance of public services; a series of political, judicial and administrative reforms followed, from which the economy of France was consolidated and rejuvenated. On 10 August, an autonomous fund for the management of national defense bonds and for the amortization of public debt was established (which came into operation on 10 October), with significant revenues, valued at six billion per year (net product of the tobacco monopoly, income from the new supplementary tax on the first transfers of property, goods and goodwill, fixed annuities and any budget surpluses, etc., in addition to the credit balance of the previous amortization fund), with the main function of preparing the gradual reduction of the floating debt. At the same time, with the law of 7 August, a legal status was given to the intervention of the Bank of France on the foreign exchange market, and the Bank was authorized to purchase gold and foreign currencies, and to issue in consideration notes not included in the official total of circulation. so the legal limit of circulation was essentially abolished. On 27 September the Bank was then authorized to purchase national gold and silver coins at a premium, and on 18 October it organized a real exchange service. In short, its availability of gold and foreign currencies payable on sight both inside and outside the country was such as to give it absolute command of the market,

Confidence was gradually restored, tax revenues increased and circulation decreased, due to the repayment to the Bank of part of its advances, requests for redemption of short-term bonds were overtaken by new subscriptions, the tension in exchange rates eased, and at the capital flight was followed by an accelerated repatriation and also an influx of foreign capital. The reversal of the situation, however, entailed the danger of a too rapid and strong rise in the franc and the Bank took steps to keep it within normal limits; moreover, in order to prevent the abundance of credit from producing the same effect as real inflation, attempts were made to reabsorb this potential inflation with more or less long-term investments; the loans opened by the Bank to the sellers of foreign exchange, went to the deposit banks, whose increased funds flowed in turn, in the form of short-term deposits, to the treasury, which used them to partially extinguish its debt to the Bank. With a wise financial operation, the de facto stabilization of the franc was thus achieved, which on 24 June 1928 then obtained its legal sanction. The consolidation work completed in such a short time, was then tenaciously continued, with regard to both the balance sheet and the monetary circulation, and the policy of consolidation, conversion and amortization of the public debt constantly followed, helped to strengthen the credit of the country.. However, the situation in France has undergone profound changes since 1930, in connection with the world crisis. The exodus of foreign capital and the slowdown in trade with the deficit of over 4.7 billion; nor can better forecasts be made for the financial year from April 1 to December 31, 1932. The adoption of rigorous reorganization measures is however underway, and various tax increases have already been voted on by parliament (July 16, 1932). At the same time, in order to face the critical situation of the treasury, the availability of which at the bank is very limited and which had almost reached the limit set for the issue of bonds, the government obtained, among other things, the authorization for a new issue. for 2 billion.

Budgets and public debt. – The budgets voted for the last few years (due to the particular functioning of the French financial system the final balances are approved with enormous delay) give in millions of francs:

Revenue comes almost exclusively from both indirect and direct fiscal resources; the latter, which were of minimal importance in the pre-war period, on the other hand show particular development in recent years, mainly following the introduction (1916) of the general income tax; among the former, the business tax, instituted in 1920, customs revenue and stamp duty or registration taxes are of particular importance. The largest expenditure items are those for public debt service and national defense.

The internal public debt, as of March 31, 1931, amounted to 283 billion francs, of which 228 long-term, 15.9 short-term and 39.1 floating debt. The external public debt consists of war debts with the United States and Great Britain (consolidated respectively in June 1925 and July 1926 at 4025 million dollars and 600 million pounds, to be repaid in 62 progressive annuities, which, discounted at 5%, represent on average a present value of 1681 million dollars and 227 million pounds), which as of March 31, 1931 were 3865 million dollars and 759 million pounds; and trade payables with the United States and Argentina which, on the same date, amounted to 182.6 million dollars and 5.7 million pesos.

Money and banks. – According to the law of June 1928, which stabilized the franc and brought it back on a gold basis, the monetary unit is 65.5 milligrams of gold at 900/1000 fine and its ratio with the pound is fixed at 124.2. According to the same law, the Bank of France, which has had a monopoly on the issue since 1848 (a privilege extended on 20 December 1918 for 25 years), is obliged to convert its notes into gold upon request and to hold a gold reserve. at least 35% of the total number of tickets in circulation and sight credits. As of February 12, 1932, notes in circulation amounted to 83,289 million francs and the reserve was 73,034 million.

The main banks are the Crédit foncier de France (founded in 1852), the Crédit Lyonnais (founded in 1863), the Société Générale (founded in 1864), the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris, the Banque de Paris et des Pays Bas, the Banque Nationale de Crédit.

France Public Finance

France Prehistory

France Prehistory

During the Clactonian period (see Mousteriana, civilization, XXIII, p. 989) the proximity of the springs is already very important for the establishment of settlements: the Clactonian stations located in the estuary of the Seine, at the Bec-de-Caux and on the beaches dei Régates, in Le Havre, Saint-Adresse, are spread over five kilometers near water sources.

The central-western part of France, a transit area and largely open to the Atlantic Ocean, has been populated since Quaternary times. Few stations, however, can refer to the Clactonian and Abbevillian. While Acheuléano is rare in the massifs of the Vendée and Limousin, it is instead very abundant in the plains of the Charente, of the Claise, of the Creuse. The Levalloisiano appears mainly in the lowlands, in contact with the Acheuléano, and on the highlands of Vienna. Its last phase merges with the Mousterian, known from the important deposits in caves or shelters under rocks, in stations located at the foot of rocks (La Quina, Petit-Puymoyen, Châteauneuf-sur-Charente, Charente), and on the plateaus of the Vienna. Under the Mousterian, traces of Rhinoceros MerckiiTestudo graeca) contemporary of the interglacial Riss-Würm.

According to ezinereligion.com, the Upper Paleolithic is well represented in certain privileged regions: Nontronnais, villages of La Rochefoucauld, Montmorillon, Boischaut. The Aurignacian is abundant in the Charente, in Vienna, in the Indre and, on the surface, in the Deux-Sèvres; it is absent in Upper Vienna and in the Maritime Charente.

The Solutréano is well characterized in the stations of Combe-à-Rolland, of Placard, of Roc-de-Sers, of Monthiers; the Magdalenian in Chaffaud and La Marche, in Saint-Marcel (Indre), in Montgaudier and in Placard (Charente). During the Magdalenian, caves were inhabited in the Gartempe, Tardoire and Charente valleys.

The Mesolithic is almost unknown in these territories.

The Dordogne is always one of the most important centers of Paleolithic discoveries. Apart from these famous deposits, some stations with splinter industries occupy the southern parts of the area, towards Saint-Cyprien, in well exposed depressions and in contact with flint outcrops and water sources. Deposits abound southwest of Mayrals; the most common are those belonging to the Mousterian of the Acheuléan tradition. In the Roc de Combe-Capelle station you can follow the various phases of the occupation: first the Perigordians I settled there, then the Aurignacians II, finally the Perigordians IV and V absorbed by the Solutréans. In Périgord the Aurignacian II witnessed a seismic movement that had disastrous consequences on the inhabited area when the sinking of the Blanchard and Castanet shelters in Sergeac, and Cellier in Le Ruth. In the Laugerie-Haute the evidence of this earthquake rests on the level of the Perigordian III, contemporary to the Aurignacian of the previous stations. The Cellier shelter had first been occupied by the Mousterians, set up halfway up the largest of the terraces. The Aurignacians and the Perigordians, who succeeded in the same place, preferred the highest of the terraces.

In Corrèze the Würmian flood had driven the Mousterians out of their settlements (Pech de Bourré and Pech-de-l’Azé). In this region the Abbevillians frequented the valleys of Maumont (Le Griffolet), of Corrèze (Montmort), of Vézère (Le Saillant) and the hills (Les Pigeonnies).

In the Middle Paleolithic, Acheuleo-Mousterians are found on both banks of the Corrèze, in the open-air deposits towards the Périgord. Rolled flints were thus collected on the alluvial terraces of 30 and 25 m. as in rivers.

The climate was then not very rigid, but the valley floors were not practicable; with the cold of the Würmian period, man settles in caves (“Chez Pourré”, “Chez Comte”, “Chapelle-aux-Saints”).

In the Upper Paleolithic the stations are generally grouped along the streams descending from Montplaisir, La Planche-Torte and its tributaries, the Couze, and in the caves south of Brive.

The typical Aurignaciano is very well characterized in la Coumba del Bouitou and in Chanlat, the transition between this industry and the Solutréano, in Font-Yves, Bas del Sert, “Chez Serre” in Noailles, the Font-Robert, at the Grotte des Morts ; the Solutréano in Pré-Aubert, in Basdegoule, in the Puy-de-Lacan; the Magdalenian in Terrasson and in the Planche-Torte valley. In the Mesolithic, whose industries tend to approach those of the upper Limousin, man established outdoor camps on the low terraces of the valleys. In the Neolithic it is installed on the plateaus; traces of it exist in the most important modern localities, in the most fertile regions, but the settlements are scattered. The densest occupation of the Corrèze is contemporary with the Mousterian and the Perigordian.

Starting from the Charente and the Dordogne, where its complexity is greatest, the Magdalenian can be divided into six levels, of which it is possible to specify the distribution through France: the Magdalenian I appears in the Dordogne from Jean-Blancs’ Solutréano; the Magdalenian II is found from Poitou to the Pyrenees; the Magdalenian III from the Jura to the Cantabrians; the development center of the Magdalenian IV seems to be located in the chain of the Pyrenees, from Bédeilhac and from Montesquieu-Avantès (Ariège) to Isturitz (lower Pyrenees), through the Mas d’Azil and Arudy. In the Tarn-et-Garonne and in the Dordogne it directly overlaps the Magdalenian III. It is missing in the Charente; the Magdalenian V has a very extensive distribution area, from the Pyrenees to the Loire and Ardèche; Magdalenian VI extends itself over these same territories and is its direct development.

During these epochs, and particularly in Magdalenian IV, the existence of artistic groups corresponding to hunting territories more or less already strictly delimited can be glimpsed.

The discovery in the Mas d’Azil cave of a strip of the Azilian layer confirms the absence of any pottery and any instrument that has undergone polishing. The blade, the squeegee, the rectangle, collected in this horizon, are no longer found in other Mesolithic civilizations. The problem that arises then is that of the Mesolithic chronology. The excavations of Martinet, Roc Allan (Lot-et-Garonne) and Cuzoul de Gramat (Lot) have made it possible to clarify the general stratigraphy of this period: between the Magdalenian-Azilian and Late-Nenoisian levels there is a Sauvetelrian horizon. The Sauveterrian and Late-Neoisian industries, which covered almost the entire old world, have been reported in the eastern caves of the sub-Pyrenees (La Crouzade, Bize, Aude), in the center (region of Sauveterre-la-Lémance, Gramat), in the Dordogne (Roc du Barbeau), in the Parisian basin (Piscop, in the forest of Montmorency) and in the Tardenois (Fère-en-Tardenois). In the north of France, as in Belgium and the Netherlands, the late Nenoisian stations are found on sandy soils carefully avoiding the layers of the löss.

In Piscop’s Late-Ninois group there are various workshops of cut quartzite stoneware whose very voluminous instruments have a very different appearance. Other similar deposits are scattered on the heights of the Montmorency forest where the Fontainebleau stoneware is found. They are certainly not all of the same era; Axes with a Neolithic appearance are sometimes found on the surface. Other deposits have yielded pre- Campanian -looking tranchets. But all have an industry characterized mainly by trihedron instruments with elongated ends, but which appear used only in the lateral corners.

This Montmorencian, an industry of men of the forest, seems to belong, due to the absence of any ceramics and any expressly Neolithic form, to a post-late-late Mesolithic. It is not yet possible to define its extension outside the surroundings of Paris and its relations with other contemporary cultures.

On the Atlantic coast, populations of hunters and fishermen had settled in the small islands of the Morbihan coast at Téviec and Hoëdic, halfway between the kitchen heaps of Muge (Portugal) and the Danish Kjöekkenmöddings

Aquitaine, little occupied during the Palaeolithic period, hosted a Late Ninoisian population in the Gironde estuary and on the banks of the river. During the Neolithic, two large groups divided the province: on the good lands, in the high points of the plain and on the northern and western edges of the plateau of the Chalosse, there were farmers. Towards the north there is no break with the contemporary civilizations of the Gironde, the Lot and the Gers. From Bigorre radiates a civilization of shepherds whose characteristic elements are rarefied in relation to their moving away from the starting point.

This southwestern civilization goes beyond the borders of Gascony, whose border is represented by the line of forests of the high terrace of the Garonne. From the Eneolithic, relations with the Iberian peninsula appear through the Ténarèze road, in the surface stations, continuation of those of the Chalosse, which also have relations with the center of Gaul (Grand-Pressigny flint). The Agenais then appears as a transition region, while the megaliths of Bas-Armagnac remain apart. The groups of Condomois and that of the mounds of the plateau of Gers are linked to the culture of the southwest.

It should be noted that the elements of south-eastern civilization surround the Aquitan basin without descending there, following the limestone of the Causses and avoiding the Aquitaine molasses. In the south contacts are established with the Cantabrian coast, and with trade the groups receive new techniques and objects. The pastoral economy dominates in the peaty moors and on the plateaus of the area below the Pyrenees. The Pyrenees do not constitute a border, and a very active circulation through the hills and the mule tracks unites the populations of the two sides of the chain. Newcomers related to the residents of the Hautes-Pyrenees, Haute-Garonne and Ariège, megalithic whose culture is different from that of the people east of the Garonne, succeed the burials, whose culture recalls that of the caves,

In the south-east of Gaul, early Neolithic sheep breeding groups are located in the moors (Fontbouïsse, Vacquères, Gard) and maintain trade relations with the Salenelles flint-cutting workshops. In the departments of the High and Low Alps, as in that of Drôme, the existence of groups of fortified establishments (groups of Vachères, Reilhannette, Cabestaing) located in the vicinity of easy to cross hills, dangerously open valleys, particularly locks in favor of organizing defensive positions. Haute Provence seems to have exerted its influence on the Neolithic groups of Tricastin, which sought sandy soils and instead neglected heavy and impermeable soils, such as pebbly slopes. The western part of the country,

As a continuation of the artistic province which, starting from the Aurignacian, is established in Gard (La Baume-Ladrone), in Hérault, in Ardèche and which has an affinity with the rock art of northern Spain, it develops from the Pyrenees to in Provence and Liguria, during the Eneolithic and the I period of the bronze, a complex of pictorial manifestations and engravings, closely related to the schematic art of the Iberian peninsula. It is located in the caves of Upper Ariège and Languedoc, in the Upper Caramy valley, in the Ollioulles and Evenos gorge, in the Croupatier massif (Var), in the valley of Destel, Roquepertuse, and Castelet d’Arles (Bocche of the Rhone).

In the center of Gaul, the latest Mesolithic discoveries in Périgord bring some clarifications on the conditions of the entry of the Neolithics into the province.

First we witness the progressive expansion of the Azilians who gradually install themselves in the shelters. Moreover, their stay must have been very short in the valleys of the Vézère, the Dordogne and the Isle, while in those of the Dronne, in Rocheraillé, they left important deposits. The Tardenoisians, who drove the Azilians out of the center of the Dordogne, survived the Neolithic invasion, which seems rather late (La Roque-Saint-Christophe, Les Marseilles, Laugerie-Haute).

In the Parisian basin, the Loing corridor was the route followed by the Neolithics to penetrate the territories between the Loire and the Seine. During the Campignano, the stations-workshops and the camps are numerous. In the Middle Neolithic we witness the fortification of the edges of the plateaus and in the recent Neolithic the descent of human groups into the valleys. The problem of water, the existence of light lands, easy to cultivate, explain how this population took place.

During the Bronze Age, smelters and itinerant merchants followed the natural path that traced them to the Loire valley; some Megaliths have settled in the Beauce.

France Prehistory

France Music From 15th to 17th Century

France Music From 15th to 17th Century

The song and the air. – The musical hegemony passes to Flanders, where the Flemish composers, who are influenced, among others, by the influence of the Chapel of the King of France and that of Burgundy, compose almost all their profane songs on French words. The French Antoine de Févin of Orléans, Carpentras, Gascogne, Moulu also belonged to the Flemish school. Also worth mentioning are Antoine Brumel, Loyset Compère, Clemens non Papa, Busnois, Pierre de la Rue, among the masters of the Franco-Flemish school. Most of these musicians, in addition to composing pages on sacred texts, illustrated the chanson française, which was also very popular in Italy, and in which the independence of the voices is achieved without damaging the overall effect and the vivacity of the rhythm. This genre, created by the masters of the North, reaches its apogee in Paris, in the mid-16th century, becoming descriptive, satirical, in a popular lyricism. The great master of French song is Clément Jannequin, whose wonderful vocal symphonies: The battle of Marignano ; The song of the birds ; The cries of Paris ; The chatter of women, had enormous success and were also imitated in Italy. These compositions, full of vivacity and panache, have pages of delicate sentiment and sometimes heroic accents, and are very characteristic of the French temperament. Other musicians who cultivated this kind are Claudin de Sermisy, delicious G. Costeley, from found surprising melodic, de Bussy, Antoine de Bertrand, J. Bony, Carton, G. Arcadelt, The Caves, Millot, Roussel, François Regnard, etc..

Under the influence of the humanist poets of the court, Ronsard and Baïf, and the Italian madrigalists, the French song became more learned and more valuable. Music and poetry were regarded as two sister arts, indispensable to each other; this aesthetic tendency led Antoine de Baïf to create the old-fashioned “measured music”, which faithfully followed the meters of the lines. In this new genre there were Claude le Jeune, famous for his psalms and his mass, Jacques Mauduit, France Du Caurroy, Thibault de Courville. This innovation had great influence on the further development of vocal music in France and aroused curiosity abroad. Monteverdi also imitated this genre in his musical Scherzi. In turn, the measured arias, accustoming the ear to freer rhythms, gradually led the musicians to the form of the so-called court aria (air de cour) lyrical melody mostly of a melancholic and elegiac character, which at the end of the sec. XVI becomes a true monody. Among the authors of this last form we can distinguish Jacques Mauduit, Gabriel Bataille, especially Guédron and Antoine Boisset, Moulinié, Louis de Rigaud, France de Chancy, Chevalier.

According to extrareference.com, the melodic form is often very beautiful; feature of these airs is then the rhythm instability that always oscillates between the 3 / 4, the 4 / 4, the 2 / 4, the 6 / 4 ; prosody and tonic accent are equally neglected, especially at the beginning of the century. XVII. Originally the court arias were for four voices, but they soon got into the habit of singing only the upper part, reducing the others for lute; and thus adapted they began to be published from 1571 by the Parisian publishers Adrien Le Roy and Robert: Ballard.

These same authors also wrote the récits (declaimed) for court ballets, a dramatic genre born in France in 1581 from the efforts made by humanists and poets to reconstruct the Greek tragedy. Rapidly developed, in the century. XVII it included a large number of monodic declamations, arias and choirs, combined with pantomimes and dances. Guédron wrote for Alcine (1609), the Délivrance de Renaud (1617), Tancrède dans la forêt enchanteePsyché, declaimed of great dramatic force. Another genre, no less characteristic, is the chanson à boire and the chanson à danser ; many, inspired by the rhythms and melodies of popular songs, composed Chancy, Sauvage, de Rosiers, Jean Boyer, Guillaume Michel, Louis de Mollier, etc. The last composers of court arias were Le Camus, Bénigne de Bacilly and Michel Lambert, who already announces Lulli in many parts; the fashion of chansons à boire continued throughout the century. XVII and XVIII.

Sacred music. – In comparison with the Flemish schools of the century. XV and Italian of the XVI, the French Renaissance school, with the exception of the brilliant work of the Orlando di Lasso valley, seems a bit poor; only now are the masses and motets of this school beginning to be published. Among the French masters we should mention: P. Cadeac, N. Gombert, Manchicourt, Mouton, Claudin de Sermisy, and then Claude Certon, P. Clereau, Jannequin, Claude le Jeune, and C. Goudimel, who harmonized the original melodies popular, on which the French Reformed sang the psalms in the poetic version of Clément Marot and Th. de Bèze. Claude le Jeune and P. Certon also composed psalms.

Instrumental music. – The French lutenists, disciples of the Italians Francesco da Milano and Alberto Rippe, first contented themselves with transcribing dances and vocal songs for lute. Guillaume Morlay, Varlet and then JB Bésard and Antoine Francisque published many of these transcriptions and some original pieces in their tablature: fantasies, preludes, branles, gagliarde, vaults, pavane, etc. The great lute school flourished in France between 1620 and 1680, and its production is characterized, as already in the court arias, by an elegiac, dreamy and melancholic sentiment. Except for some lively dance, the tablature of the century. XVII contain above all slow and grave preludes (without established measure and with unstable rhythms), tombeaux (funeral pieces), sarabandas, etc., already free from Italian dominion. The most famous French lutenists were the two Gautier, Pinel, Charles Mouton, Mésangeau; some of them also had fame abroad and Jacques Gautier settled in England. A little later, and especially during the first years of the reign of Louis XIV, the guitar was in vogue, in which De Visé and Ph. E. Lesage de Richée were highlighted.

Also for the organ and the harpsichord the French masters limited themselves at first to making transcriptions of polyphonic works, adorning them with flourishes; but in the sec. XVI there is a rapid development, above all for the perfection reached in the manufacture of the organs. The first great French organist is Jean Titelouze, born in Saint-Omer in 1563, organist of the cathedral of Rouen. His works are especially interesting for a very modern sense of modulation and for the nobility of sentiment. His successors were mostly inferior to him and cannot be compared with the great contemporary German and Italian masters. Worthy of mention are: Nicolas Boyvin, organist in Rouen from 1674 to 1706; France Roberday, Nicolas Gigault, both masters of Lulli; Antoine le Bègue (1630-1702), M. De la Barre, Buterne, G. Nivers, France Marchand, France Dandrieu, the latter known above all as harpsichordists. The harpsichord school only began around 1630, long after the English and Italian schools; in the sec. XVIII distinguished Louis Couperin, who still feels the influence of the lute style, but already highlights some particular possibilities of the instrument, and André Champion de Chambonnières (1602-1672), great virtuoso, creator of the French style of harpsichord, who contributes to the creation of theFrench suite, with four different dances: allemanda, current, sarabanda and giga. It remains to remember the music composed by the violinists of the great string orchestra so-called “dei Ventiquattro”.

Very little remains of the music performed in the feasts of the century. XVI from violins and wind instruments, but the danceries of Claude Gervaise, the Fantasie a quattro by France Du Caurroy and Claude le Jeune allow us to get an idea of ​​this somewhat decorative art. During the sec. XVII the orchestra of the Violons du roi includes valuable musicians, including Guillaume Dumanoir and Mazuel. Their dances, with a rather clumsy writing, and an irregular rhythm (which also informs the melody of itself) constitute an original genre typical of France, also appreciated in England and Germany, where French violinists such as Bocan and Louis Grabus were successful. The instrumental style of the Ventiquattro precedes the style of Lulli, in whose work all French music of the second half of the century is summarized. XVII.

France Music From 15th to 17th Century

France Music During The Middle Ages

France Music During The Middle Ages

Secular music. – According to ethnicityology.com, the liveliest splendor of French music occurred in the Middle Ages together with the flourishing of sculpture and architecture in the century. XII and in the XIII. Already in the century. X music was in great honor in monasteries and churches: main centers, S. Martial of Limoges, Rouen, Saint-Denis, Soissons, Paris and Reims, where Gerbert (later Pope Sylvester II), rector of that famous Schola, towards the 980 was concerned with perfecting the organs: among his disciples was King Robert the Pious. Baudry of Dol was also involved in the construction of the organs; in the abbey of Fécamp the abbot William of Dijon established the first brotherhood of jongleurs, who played during the officiating of the monks; also in Fécamp began the practice of a new species of organum, in which, having abandoned the crosstalk, one of the voices played long vocalizations while the other (often entrusted to the organ) played the tenor part in long notes. The notation of Gregorian chants (perhaps under the influence of the Parisian school) became more precise through the adoption of the staff; reform that had ardent propagator Guido d’Arezzo (v.). Other advances were made in the century. XI.

In the meantime the profane was developing on the fringes of religious music. The first songs we have date back to the 11th century and have a Latin text; mostly goliardic songs celebrating spring and love. With the flourishing of languages d’ocand d ‘oil, poetry and music flourish: songs in the form of pastiurelle, of sirventese, of jeu parti, are sung now on an aria already known, now on a new aria found by the author. Troubadours and troubadours sometimes perform their own songs, more often they have them performed by paid professionals, the jongleurs. Later some jesters become troubadours.

Nothing remains of the musical work of William IX, Count of Poitiers and the profane works of Abelard have been lost, to whom however is attributed that delightful prose of popular intonation, Mittit ad Virginem whose melody was used in many French verses. Trovieri and troubadours also composed dance songs that were often performed on instruments: carole, rondelli, ballads (with choral reprise of the refrain), stampite, branlesvirelais, etc. Very little also remains of the considerable production of the troubadours of the century. XII: Bernard de Ventadour, Rambaud de Vaqueiras, Jaufré Rudel, Marcabru, Gaucelm Faidit; while the few remaining songs of the oldest trophies (Gace Brulé, the castellan of Coucy, Conon de Béthune, Huon d’Oisy, Blondeau de Nesle, Gautier de Dargies, Montot d’Arras, Regnault), show poetic ingenuity and are d ‘ a delicious melodic freshness.

All these songs, in which the rhythm of the melody responds to that of the verse, are sung in three rhythmic modes: the first, composed of trochei, and the second, of iambs, are composed in a three-beat measure; the third, formed of three-syllable groups, corresponds to our 6 / 4.

At the beginning of the century XIII we are witnessing a magnificent flowering. It is the time when Perotino the Great begins polyphonic art. Troubadours and troubadours, however, content themselves with purifying the style of their ancestors into a less powerful, but more chiseled and precious art. The Arras troubadour group stands out among all: Gauthier de Coincy in the Miracles de Notre – Dame he inserts a series of religious songs, part of his own, part of him adapted to new texts, and marvelous for naive grace. The last of the great troubadours, Guiraut Riquier, who traveled to the “Saracen” country, found melodic accents of a wholly oriental color. Greater emotion and grandeur in the masters of the South than in those of the North, grouped around Thibaut de Champagne (1201-1253), and lovers mostly of slender and lively songs. We will mention Jean Bretel, Jehannet de l’Escurel, the famous Hunchback of Arras, Adam de la Halle; the latter practicing the polyphonic style. The influence of the art of the troubadours and troubadours is felt throughout Europe; Alfonso the Wise of Castile composes troubadour style songs and hosts Guillaume Riquier; in Italy the songs from France are sung everywhere, while renewing them according to the national melodic genius; in Germany i Minnesänger adopt the French troubadour notation, when in France it has already been abandoned for some time.

Holy music. – In the sec. XII, the discanto appears in France, which replaces the parallel motion with the opposite motion. The second voice moves towards greater independence and superimposes real melisms and ornaments on the main song. Also in this time one begins to practice the false staff (perhaps invented in England) with its sequences of sixths and thirds. The idea of ​​composing in several parts may certainly have derived in Perotino from the songs imported into France by English pupils of the Parisian schools; but in concrete terms Perotino’s style does not at all resemble the way of singing of the English of the time, and indeed English art hastens to imitate his innovations. Do not forget that Perotino like his predecessor Leonino was an organist and the organ is the polyphonic instrument par excellence. organum, discanto, false staff); he determined the laws concerning the relationship of the different intervals and found a notation which specifies the absolute value of each note and which, variously improved, is the basis of modern notation. After Perotino, the evolving Ars nova attracts musicians from all over Europe to Paris. The organist Pierre de la Croix (Petrus de Cruce), the two Francons, Philippe de Vitry and Jean de Muris still perfect the notation. Guillaume de Machaut summarizes, continues and concludes the work of the troubadours and the first polyphonists; his brilliant and fruitful work inspires the musicians of the century. XV, and his Mass, monument of the Gothic musical genius, becomes the model of the masses written in the following century.

France Music During The Middle Ages

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Sacred and Chamber Music

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Sacred and Chamber Music

The opera. – Giovan Battista Lulli, born in Florence in 1632, arrived in Paris at the age of 14 found himself in contact with French dance music and soon assimilated the style of violinists which he later perfected and made softer and more melodic. Lulli fused French and Italian stylistics with a very shrewd taste, while retaining an eminently French character to his creations. Possessing to the highest degree the sense of theater, which all the French composers of that time lacked, he created a recitative style exactly suited to the inflections of the French language and of such perfection that it was imitated for at least a century. The Italian works of Luigi Rossi, C. Caproli and PF Cavalli, performed between 1646 and 1662, had suggested to the French musicians the idea of ​​composing too they musical comedies. In 1669 the poet P. Perrin was granted a privilege to open a French opera house in Paris, and in 1672 he had the pastoral Pomone, with music by R. Cambert, a graceful opera composed of court arias and songs, without real intertwining and nothing properly theatrical. Lulli, who took possession of the Académie Royale de Musique, had his first musical tragedy, Cadmus et Hermione, represented there in 1673, and another sixteen he wrote before his death (1687). Characteristic of Lulli is his instinctive return to the form of the Florentine melodrama of the beginning of the century. XVII, then completely forgotten. The recitative is the main element, only interrupted here and there by melodic phrases. To break this monotony, Lulli multiplies the opportunities for entertainment which allow him to introduce songs, arias, trios, choirs, etc. The orchestra not only accompanies the voices almost continuously (especially in the latest works: RolandArmideAcis et Galatéé), but also performs highly developed descriptive symphonies of original form. The so-called symphonies and de sommeil (from their scenic motif) and the nocturnal ones precede the French impressionist style of the end of the century. XIX. Lulli also loves war marches, sacrifices, triumphs, fights, storms and in these cases he draws vast decorative frescoes. At the beginning of his works he places an Ouverture (v.) Of which he first created, in the Ballet d’Alcidiane (1657), the model that will tour Europe.

According to estatelearning.com, a period of great decline follows the death of Lulli. The great building erected by him is respected and the architecture of musical tragedy does not change until Gluck, but none of Lulli’s successors, not even J.-Ph. Rameau possesses his dramatic genius, so that the action is no more than a pretext for the entertainments and ballets that are inserted into it. Only with A. Destouches there are works containing live music; however P. Colasse wrote some interesting works in the style of Lulli and Marc Antoine Charpentier imitated him (mediocrely) in the Medée. The form of the opera – ballet is treated by all composers of this time, but the most successful example was given in the Europe Galante (1697), from the Provençal A. Campra (1660-1744), who was influenced by the Italian style already in use in cantatas: the ornaments proscribed by Lulli prevail and harmony became more sought after. Among the most important predecessors and contemporaries of Rameau, we must mention Mathieu Marais, whose work Alcyone (1707) was famous for his symphony La tempête, France Rebel and France Francoeur, who co-wrote countless ballets and operas, later M..lle De la Guerre, JM Leclair, T. Bertin de la Doué, J. Aubert, Salomon, Matho, M. Montéclair, author of the Jephté and beautiful cantatas, Colin de Blamont and the delightful J. Mouret who was with Rameau the best musical representative of the Louis XV style. L.-N. Clérambault in his cantatas was able to remain absolutely French, while dealing with a genre imported from Italy, and at times found pathetic accents of great melodic beauty.

Sacred and chamber music. – In the period between the death of Lulli and the Hippolyte and Aricie Rameau’s (1733) the most interesting musicians are devoted above all to sacred and chamber music and are less influenced by Lulli. Without losing their national character, they nevertheless feel the charm of the marvelous Italian school, while motets by G. Legrenzi, G.-B. are performed in Saint-André-des-Arts. Scarlatti and A. Bononcini. The French masters gladly resort to Talianisms (vocal ornaments, dissonant harmonies) and above all they use the architectural forms invented by the Italian masters, while remaining faithful to the cult of Lulli and like him (also author of motets) introducing recitative and pomp in sacred music proper to the work. Although sometimes under the influence of G. Carissimi, Lulli remained in the tradition of the French school of which Nicolas Formé (1567-1638) can be considered as the leader, which gave the first example in France of two-choir writing. Thomas Gobert, Formé’s successor in the royal chapel, was the first to use a less simple, more dramatic style, and Henri du Mont (1610-1684) definitively established the French style of the two-choir motet. Michel de la Lande’s 40 grand choir motets are one of the most characteristic monuments of French music; harmony, richer than in Lulli, already heralds Rameau; and, in absolute contrast to contemporary German and Italian sacred music, mystical effusions and painful confidences are lacking; it is decorative and triumphal music suited to the magnificence of the royal mass at Versailles. Nicolas Bernier, S. Brossard, L. Bourgeois etc. they also composed numerous motets in the style of La Lande; closest to the Italian manner is A. Campra in his psalms and motets. In the century XVIII there was a very rich flowering of religious music: the motets of Rameau, Gilles, N. Bernier, etc., give us a high idea of ​​the science and skills of the chapel masters of this time; unfortunately their works are scattered and little studied.

In chamber music the Italian influence is very strong. Lulli’s followers protest against this foreign style, and the crowd does not taste the harmonic and rhythmic daring of Scarlatti and Bononcini; but the masters take advantage of it, and on the other hand the strength of the traditions allows French music not to lose its characteristics. French works are written in the forms invented by the Italians: sonatas and cantatas instead of pièces and arias. The violin is influenced by A. Corelli and counts among the most personal composers Du Val, J.-F. Rebel, P. Senaillé and above all JM Leclair, who left four books of sonatas for violin and bass, of sonatas for two violins, concerts, etc., and had among his emulators J. Mondonville, P. Gaviniès, L’Abbé, JB Anet, P.-P. Grinning. The spirit of the ancient suite is still found in the French Sonata, and the pieces in the form of dance predominate. The violin dethrones the ancient stringed instruments and especially the violas for arm and leg, but not without a struggle: still in 1749 Hubert Le Blanc published a burlesque Défense de la Basse de Viole contre les entreprises du vioion et les prétentions du cellelle, and the viola da gamba, before disappearing, still had a few moments of glory thanks to the work of Mathieu Marais, disciple of Lulli, A. Forqueray and Caix d’Herveloix. In the century XVIII, for the flute that was very fashionable, La Barre, M. Blavet, Nandot, Caix d’Herveloix, wrote sonatas that have pages of exquisite beauty.

The French harpsichord school only indirectly and weakly suffered the Italian influence. A whole host of brilliant virtuosos and composers followed Louis Couperin and Chambonnières: Hardelle, Étienne Richard, Melle de la Guerre, J. d’Anglebert. In the second half of the century. XVII harpsichord music definitively freed itself from the influence of the lute and the curious preludes with rhythm ad libitum dear to Louis Couperin were abandoned. Le Bègue, Nivers, Le Roux, Marchand, Louis Daquin, Dandrieu, were strongly influenced by François Couperin the Great, perhaps the most representative genius of French taste at the time of the Regency, the “Watteau of music” and one of the most delicate harpsichord poets. Concerts Royaux, in the Sonatas in trio, he proposes to please, to enchant, to touch the heart, but without too much sentimentality and avoiding the passionate lyrical accents of the Italians. In his works, always of a descriptive nature, he likes to draw characters (especially female): L’EnchanteresseL’IngénueLa PrudeLa Lutine, or is inspired by rural scenes: Les MoisonneursLes Fauvettes plaintivesLes AbeillesLe Rossignol en amour, etc.

France Music - From Lulli to Berlioz - Sacred and Chamber Music

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Rameau and Gluck

France Music – From Lulli to Berlioz – Rameau and Gluck

Rameau and Gluck. – Much less sensitive than Couperin, J. Ph. Rameau, admirable technician, skilfully blends the French and Italian manner in works built with great confidence and vigor of accent, using the lively rhythms and pungent harmonies of a D Scarlatti.

According to ehistorylib.com, Rameau had in the musical world of the century. XVIII a part comparable to that of Voltaire in that of the letters. But he was above all a theorist, who in the practice of art brought the constant concern to justify his theories. He settled in Paris only in 1733 after having published his monumental Traité de l’harmonie and even afterwards he did not interrupt the research, exposed in numerous writings. Until the age of 50, he published no other musical works than the pieces for harpsichord; but then he wanted to show what he was capable of and attract public attention to his theories by writing a work. The representation of Hippolyte et Aricie (1733) was a considerable event not because Rameau changed the form of the musical tragedy introduced by Lulli, but because of the musical richness of the score. Rameau does not have the profound lyricism of Lulli, but he is one of the greatest masters of the form: his dances, his symphonic episodes are written with marvelous skill. A little dry at times, it excels in gallant and voluptuous scenes; it seldom rises to the pathetic, but sometimes reaches the grandiose. Although he did not ignore Italian music, he was only indirectly influenced by it: nothing is more French than Rameau’s melodies and his tendency to evoke images, portraits, environments through music. Like all his French contemporaries, he tries, according to the Du Bos precept, to “imitate nature”. Long fought by the belated admirers of Lulli, he became the champion of the opponents of the Italian Buffonisti (see), although he personally declared himself an admirer of Pergolesi. The representation of the Serva Padrona of these (1752), aroused endless controversies, in which D. Diderot, J. D’Alembert, France-M. Grimm, JJ Rousseau. The new generations were now tired of the opera-ballet, with its long mythological entanglements and preferred the painting of familiar customs and simple and human feelings. The Encyclopedists vigorously supported the Italian Buffonists and their French followers. With Les Troqueurs by A. Dauvergne there was the first French comic opera and the genre was nationalized so quickly in the hands of A. Philidor, by P.-A. Momigny and A.-E.-M. Grétry, who at the end of the century comic opera, freed from foreign influences, became a French specialty: Richard Coeur de Lion and Le déserteur they mark the beginning of a genre that after a century will still produce Carmen.

Meanwhile Gluck renewed Lulli’s musical tragedy. Author of comic operas on French librettos even before settling in Paris, with Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) he tries not without heaviness on Lulli’s recitatives; in 1777 he sets to music the same Armida already served to Lulli, thus using materials from the French opera, in which he knows how to infuse new spirit.

From this moment the French musicians disappeared; N. Piccinni, A. Sacchini, A. Salieri, then Spontini and Cherubini took over the theater while seconding, like Gluck, the tastes and habits of the French public. During the revolutionary era a great musician arose, J. Méhul, whose Joseph remains a masterpiece of simple and naive grace. J.-F. Lesueur, Berlioz’s teacher, wrote colorful scores in which they are the first announcements of musical romanticism.

Instrumental music. – In this area too, a revolution is taking place. In fact, around 1755 the harpsichordists abandon the traditional free and genre pieces to write sonatas, probably in the footsteps of Alsatians and Germans who settled in Paris, including J. Schobert, JG Eckardt, N.-J. Hüllmandel, J.-F. Edelmann. These artists exerted great influence on the young Mozart during his stay in Paris. At the same time the style of the solo and treble sonata evolves. The scheme is modified and the writing is simplified, while the sonatists are increasingly giving themselves to the art of opposing and combining two different themes. Mannheim’s musicians work for Paris, where artists from all over the world flock and where it is elaborated like this, with the fusion of Italian, French, German, the international language in which Mozart will express himself. The French have an important voice in this preparation: the knight of Saint-Georges, J.-B. Janson, France-J. Gossec wrote the first French symphonies, soon published in Paris; the concert flourishes, and an illustrious patron, A. de la Pouplinière, protector of Rameau, encourages new attempts. Towards 1780 France is at the forefront of musical nations.

But the Revolution interrupts this development bringing a great decadence in French musical art. Gossec, Lesueur, Méhul compose patriotic songs for immense choirs, sometimes accompanied by artillery salvoes. The favor of the general public turns to the theater; the violinist P.-F. Baillot will hear the quartets of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven under the Empire, but until the middle of the century. XIX chamber music is cultivated only in cenacles. Under the Restoration, Rossini and the Italian masters triumph, having as rivals only F-.A. Boïeldieu, whose graceful and sensitive melodies will be enjoyed throughout Northern Europe, D.-F. Auber, a somewhat cold but very lively stylist, L.-J. Hérold, France David, J.-FE Halévy. In 1828 Auber gives with La Muette de Portici the first model of the French romantic Grand Opéra. The following year Rossini with Guglielmo Tell definitively consecrates this genre, in which the French opera to Gluck-Méhul, the Italian to the Rossini and the German to the Weber are merged. This international genre, called “French opera” or Grand Opéra, was very popular all over the world and found its most advanced manifestation in the works of J. Meyerbeer, an Italianized and later broken German, gifted with great theatrical sense and skill in use. of voices and instruments. Robert the Devil (1831), The Huguenots (1836), The Prophet (1849) are models of this grandiloquent genre and far from the true French tradition. Meanwhile H. Berlioz wrote, amid the indifference of the public, Beatrice et Bénédict and the admirable score of the Troyens, which enjoyed success after the author’s death. At first Ch. Gounod’s Faust seemed revolutionary work, which today no longer seems so, but the voluptuous charm of the melody, the delicacy of the instrumentation have earned Faust a popularity that has not yet ceased.

France Music - From Lulli to Berlioz - Rameau and Gluck

France Music – Berlioz and the Modern School

France Music – Berlioz and the Modern School

From Berlioz, as from Wagner in Germany, the whole modern French musical movement derives. This great artist, still not sufficiently appreciated, broke the conventions of classicism by opening all the ways in which his successors set out. In 1829, with the Symphonie fantastique, he inaugurates new processes of development (especially the system of the conductor motif), creates the symphonic poem and renews the art of orchestration. He claims the rights of symphonic music in France when it seemed there was no place other than the theater. C. Saint-Saens and E. Lalo, initiators of the rebirth that occurs after 1870, are to a large extent his disciples and spiritual heirs.

Franck played a large part in this renewal of French music, especially for chamber music and organ music: while Lalo and Saint-Saens were above all brilliant harmonists, he maintained the tradition of contrapuntal writing. His disciples, V. d’Indy, E. Chausson, A. Magnard, G.-M. Witkowsky, J. Guy Ropartz, continued in the path he traced, saving polyphonic traditions and thus facilitating the resumption of counterpoint practices we are witnessing today.

Lalo with his orchestral and harmonic researches (especially in Namouna), and E. Chabrier with his exquisite sense of harmony, and with his subtle combinations of timbres, paved the way for Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas.

According to ehealthfacts.org, the opera house is now reopening to the French. Succeeding Gounod, who appears as a leader, G. Bizet, Saint-Saëns and Massenet create works such as CarmenSamson et DalilaManon and Werther, which exerted great influence throughout Europe. Gustave Charpentier (Louise, 1900), Alfred Bruneau, Georges Hüe, Gabriel Pierné, Raoul Laparra, Henri Rabaud, Gabriel Dupont, Samuel Rousseau, Henry Février, etc. In light music, Léo Delibes and Emmanuel Chabrier stood out, and operetta, with J. Offenbach, France Hervé, A.-Ch. Lecocq, Claude Terrasse, André Messager, continued the brilliant tradition, still illustrated today by the scores of Reynaldo Hahn and M. Yvain. However, the great operas that renewed the conception of opera in France were not by opera specialists, but by composers who dedicated themselves to it incidentally: C. Debussy (Pelleas et Mélisande, 1902), P. Dukas (Ariane et Barbe – Bleue), M. Ravel (L’heure espagnoleL’Enfant et les sortilèges), A. Roussel, A. Honegger (JudithAntigone), D. Milhaud, etc.

Around 1890, many French artists made themselves completely free from the Wagnerian influence, instinctively going back to the abandoned tradition of the masters of the century. XVII and XVIII. Chopin’s anti-Germanic influence also contributed to this. Gabriel Fauré, in his lyrics and his piano pieces, of refined writing, obtains special coloring effects with a singular technique of modulation; Eric Satie in the piano pieces finds a little groping aggregations of notes that will soon become commonplace; finally Debussy writes his admirable melodies on Verlaine’s poems, his quartet, the Prélude à l’Après – midi d’un Faune, and renews the genre of vocal lyric, the technique of the quartet, the form of the symphonic poem and the art of orchestration. He imposes a conception of music as new as his technical procedures and renews the language of music. He rejects the laborious classical development, seeking a more immediate lyrical expression. With a few notes, with a few chords he expresses the subtlest feelings, the most fleeting impressions; and shunning the outward manifestations of force, he is able to discreetly express the most intense feelings. With him the ranges and modes of antiquity and the East re-enter music.

Meanwhile also M. Ravel, a revolutionary who relied on the past to innovate, like his teacher G. Fauré also created new means of expression. The so-called “impressionist” school, however, reduced Debussy’s marvelous intuitions into formulas while drawing every possible bias from the compositions of Fauré and Ravel; and he sacrificed too much to nuance, he was too pleased with hues and grace. Igor Stravinsky came to free the French musicians from the magic circle, who still ignored the experience of A. Schönberg and Bela Bartók, showing them the possibility of new effects obtained with polytonality, with the use of a singular polyphony opposite to vertical style of the Impressionists, but far from the horizontal style of the Franckian school, finally with the adoption of a metric dynamism that radically transformed the conception of rhythm then dominant. Stravinsky, honored the brutal expression of force.

It should be noted that the Impressionist school did not represent all French music. P. Dukas built his robust work on the sidelines, France Schmitt built colossal architectures, while V. d’Indy built powerful lyric dramas. M. Ravel himself in the Valses nobles et sentimentales used a harmonic style that announced Stravinsky, and Debussy reacted to the disciples seeking but more naked, less congested music.

After the World War we see A. Honegger and D. Milhaud, reacting against impressionism by making use of a vigorous polyphony; the first applies atonality without rigor, the second polytonality, reducing the procedures of Bela Bartók and Stravinsky to a system. A new romanticism is manifested in their works and they are not afraid to build oratories of colossal proportions.

Other young people, including France Poulenc and G. Auric, with less ambitions, tend to like (following the directions of the old Eric Satie) attracted by popular music and jazz.

Meanwhile Maurice Ravel, by taking over the new means offered by polytonality and the new counterpoint, keeps himself at the head of the French school, while A. Roussel acquires unexpected importance with vigorous and original works in which he shows the double aspect of his ingenuity, made of energy and of grace.

If we now consider the vast historical framework of French music as a whole, we can easily observe how different and sometimes apparently opposing elements contribute to it, born especially from two great trends: one aimed at simplicity and the strength of the popular soul. (Jannequin, Lulli, Méhul, Auber, Berlioz, Bizet, Charpentier, Honegger, Milhaud), the other to the most refined taste and sensitivity (Costeley, Couperin, Rameau, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel). And, to understand the spirit of the French musical tradition, both these historical currents must be taken into account.

France Music - Berlioz and the Modern School

France Music

France Music

According to dentistrymyth.com, the teaching of O. Messiaen at the Paris Conservatory (harmony, since 1942; musical analysis, aesthetics and rhythm, since 1947) is of the highest importance for the development of French music in the second half of the century. Spiritual successor of R. Leibowitz – the first to introduce Webern’s dodecaphony in France -, he lays the foundations of the new music in a 1949 text, Quatre Etudes de rythme (in particular in the second, Mode de valeur et d’intensités), a model for those who referred to the post-Webernian style. At his school, and directly or indirectly at the school of Leibowitz, the major representatives of the avant-garde of the 1950s are formed in France, the most important of which is P. Boulez (see in this Appendix).

Alongside the works of Boulez of these years, the first compositions of Messiaen’s other pupils must be placed, including the Sonata for piano (1952) and Séquence pour voix et instruments (1950-55) by J. Barraqué (1928-1973), then arrived at the compositional principle he defined as the ” proliferating series ”; Le cercle des métamorphoses (1953) for orchestra, by M. Le Roux (b. 1923); the Mouvements for chamber orchestra (1958) and the Cahier d’epigrammes for piano (1964) by G. Amy (b.1936), who succeeded Boulez (1967) in the direction of the Domaine Musical and more recently arrived at a personal style in works such as Chin’amin Cha’anamin (1979); Paraboles (1964) and Cérémonie (1969) by P. Mefano (b. Basora, ῾Irāq, 1937), who was a pupil of Boulez himself in Basel and founder in 1972 of the musical animation group Ensemble international 2E 2M of Champigny.

Other students of Messiaen, including S. Nigg (1924-1960) and J.-L. Martinet (b.1912), adhere to the serial experience rather in a negative function with respect to tradition, quickly arriving at new experiences. Nigg in particular investigates a new universal language respectful of the communicative aspect of musical discourse: the renunciation of the dodecaphonic theory is already in the Concerto for piano and orchestra (1954) and in the Concerto for violin and orchestra (1957). Among his best works, the symphonic poem Jerome Bosch Symphonie (1960).

Outside serialism are H. Dutilleux (b. 1916), author of a Second Symphony in 1959 ; M. Constant (b. 1925), of which 14 Stations (1970) for 6 percussion instruments must be remembered; B. Jolas (b. 1926), who composed Musique de jour pour orgue (1975), a tribute to Bach and Monteverdi, and Stances for piano and orchestra (1987), with references to Chopin and Debussy.

The first reaction to post-Webernian serialism under the influence of J. Cage’s aleatory music dates back to the mid-1950s. Even Boulez, at first highly critical, with some works from these years heralds the overcoming of serial structuralism.

The aleatory music develops in France in the sixties, through composers not comparable to each other, such as A. Boucourechliev (b. Sofia 1925), author in 1967 of Archipel I for 2 pianos and 2 percussions; and the younger J.-C. Eloy (b.1938), who was a pupil of Boulez in Basel, author of Equivalences for 18 instruments (1963) and recently influenced by oriental music in Kamakala (1971), Gaku-Nô- Michi (1977) and Yo-In (1981).

The theoretical and compositional experience of C. Ballif (b. 1924), in charge of musical analysis at the higher conservatory of Paris, also belongs to post-serial research: he defined a writing system based on an eleven-note scale (metatonal). Among his most recent major works, Coup de dés (1979-81). Instead, M. Ohana (b. Casablanca 1914) turned to microtonalism with Sacral d’Ilx (1975) and Office des oracles (1975); and A. Banquart (b. 1934) who in 1976 composed A la mémoire de ma mort.

With the founding in 1948 of the Groupe de recherches de musique concrète of Paris by P. Schäffer (b.1910) with funding from the French radio, an address in electronic experimentation is established, destined to take on characteristics different from those of other European addresses in the same sector.

Aimed at the reproduction and reworking of sounds and noises existing in reality, Schäffer collaborated in those years together with P. Henry (b.1927) on the first significant elaborations of concrete music, such as the Symphonie pour un homme seul (1949-50) and the he opera Orphée, performed with a certain fanfare in Donauschingen in 1953. However, the most accomplished work of concrete music is for the first time with Deserts, for 7 instruments, 5 groups of percussion and magnetic tape (1950-54), by the French-American E. Varése (1883-1965), recorded at the Parisian center between 1954 and 1955. After Henry’s departure, who dedicated himself independently to electroacoustic music, Schäffer began a period of more rigorous experimentation at the end of the 1950s, also through the collaboration of younger composers, such as L. Ferrari (b. 1929), author in 1981 of Presque rien n. 2, broadcast by a loudspeaker orchestra; France-B. Mâche (b. 1935), which in 1979 presented Amorgos at the Metz Festival; and I. Maleć (b. Zagreb 1925), one of the most significant French composers in this sector, author of Cantate pour elle (1966) and of Vox, Vocis, France (1979).

One of the brightest figures in contemporary French music is that of the composer, as well as architect, philosopher and mathematician of Greek origin I. Xenakis (b. Brăila, Romania, 1922), who passed through the experience of concrete music working at the Schäffer center (Diamorphoses, 1957; Concret PH, 1958; Orient-Occident, 1960), therefore through a reworking of the principles of the alea by introducing the calculation of probabilities in the compositional procedure (“ stochastic music ”: Syrmos for 18 strings, 1959 ; Atrées (Hommage à Pascal) for 10 instruments, 1958-62); after the foundation in 1966 of the Equipe de mathématique et d’automatique musicales (Emamu) at the Ecole des hautes études in Paris, he turns his attention to the use of information technology.

Particular emphasis must be given to the work carried out in recent years by Boulez, especially through the foundation in 1976 in Paris of the Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique / Musique (IRCAM) at the Center Georges Pompidou and the creation of the Ensemble intercontemporain for performing contemporary music. In 1977 the IRCAM organized an important series of concerts (Passage du XX e siècle) with works by contemporary French and foreign authors: among others, P. Barbaud (b.1911), author of an ” algorithmic music ” ‘entrusted to the computer; M. Decoust (b. 1936), author of the electronic composition Interphone ; V. Globokar (b.1934), head of the instrument and voice department of IRCAM.

Grisey (b. 1946), founder in 1973 of the avant-garde group Itinéraire, belong to the younger generation ; T. Murail (b.1947), M. Levinas (b.1947) and H. Dufourt (b.1943).

France Music

Tour de France History

Tour de France History

The Tour de France is the world’s most famous multi-stage race for professional cyclists, which is held annually in France in July.

But what is the “Grand Boucle”, as the Tour de France is affectionately known by the French, so special? And how can it be explained that thousands and thousands of fans stand on the streets of France in the summer to cheer for a few seconds of rushing cyclists? To understand this, it is worth taking a look at the history of the tour.

The first Tour de France took place in 1903. Henri Desgrange (* 1865, † 1940) as editor-in-chief of the sports newspaper “L’Auto” and his staff had the idea and the courage to organize a cycling race across France over several days and stages. They struggled with a poor circulation of their newspaper. To increase sales, they decided to organize a bike race across France. On July 1, 1903, sixty daring racing drivers set off for Lyon in front of the “Réveil-Matin” inn in Paris, the first stage of 467 km. This was followed by another five stages with similar distances and intermediate stops in Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux and Nantes. The last stage ended again in Paris on July 19th. At the finish at the Prinzenpark, the remaining drivers were enthusiastically welcomed by 20,000 spectators. Only a third made it to Paris. The winner of the first edition was the Frenchman Maurice Garin (* 1871, † 1957), who among other things won three of the six stages. The tour was also successful for the organizers and their newspaper. Nothing stood in the way of a repetition in the following year.

The second edition was to be a great test for the young Tour de France and its organizers. On the almost identical course, last year’s winner Maurice Garin once again proved to be the strongest. However, the race was overshadowed by countless scams and manipulations. Parts of the audience, presumably at the behest of some drivers, threw nails on the road and even got physical to eliminate unpleasant opponents of their own favorites. Other drivers secretly used the train or the car to reduce debris. Maurice Garin received food from officials in an unauthorized manner and obviously influenced the race with his helpers. Because of these incidents, the organizers subsequently disqualified several drivers, including the first four of the overall classification, in December 1904. The fifth-placed Frenchman Henri Cornet (* 1884, † 1941) was declared the official winner of the second edition.

Despite the scandals, daring racing drivers set out on a modified course across France in 1905. Thanks to revised regulations and drivers who fought fairly, the third event went mostly smoothly. The race established itself in the following years and reinvented itself again and again through a wide variety of measures: A larger number of stages, which were on average a little shorter than in the early years. Changing routes along the national border and approaching more and more new regions in France. In 1910, for the first time in the history of the Tour de France, the Pyrenees were included in the program, and a year later the high Alpine passes as well. At that time, the drive through the high mountains was an unimaginable ordeal due to poor road conditions, partly snow-covered paths and the difficult weather conditions. Octave Lapize (* 1887, † 1917), who mastered the first Pyrenees passes fastest in 1910 and later also won the Tour de France, insulted the organizers as a “murderer” (“Vous êtes des assassins. Oui, des assassins!” «).

It was not until the outbreak of World War I that the annual competition for victory on the country roads of France stopped. The time during and immediately after the war years (1914-18 and 1940-1946) were the only times the Tour de France did not take place. Between the two world wars in the 1930s, Henri Desgrange decided, still director of the Tour de France, replacing the teams sponsored by well-known companies with national teams. His goal was to put the individual driver back at the center of the race and not the power play and money of the corporations that bought the best drivers away from each other. He also introduced a mountain prize and a time trial, in which the drivers had to tackle a stage alone against the clock, either individually or together with the team. His strategy worked, the race was livened up and attracted more and more spectators.

After the Second World War, Jacques Goddet (* 1905, † 2000) took over the office of tour director and had to maneuver the tour through the economically and politically difficult post-war years, always looking for the optimal form of organization: the tour started in foreign cities (for the first time 1954 in Amsterdam), return to company teams for economic reasons (1960), introduction of a prologue (a short time trial under 10 km at the start of a Tour de France) and the creation of new stimuli such as sprint ratings, time credits and mountain finishes. Goddet also establishedas the destination of the Tour de France, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris, where it first ended in 1975. Since then, the winners, as well as all the other drivers who have survived the tour to the end, have been celebrated by the countless spectators on this magnificent boulevard in the heart of Paris.

Tour de France History

 

France Business

France Business

According to abbreviationfinder, FR is the 2 letter abbreviation for the country of France.

Business and Economics

French business was long characterized by a fairly slow industrialization and economic development compared to the other Western European countries. Until the Second World War, agriculture was the largest industry. Since then, France has quickly become a country based mainly on service and industry. Especially during the 1960s, the economic growth rate was very high; industrial production increased rapidly while the agricultural sector was strongly de-populated.

Today, France is after Germany’s leading industrial nation in Western Europe. The country has a very varied industry, which employs 18 percent of the employed. However, industrial employment has never had the same significance as it has in, for example, the UK and Germany. The millions who left agriculture after World War II have largely gone to employment in the service business, which is now the dominant economic sector. The service sector employs 80 percent of the employed. Compared to most of Western Europe, retail and hotel and restaurant operations are very significant. In large parts of the country, the tourism industry has replaced agriculture as the main industry.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of France

Business

Year Change in GDP (%) Government debt share of GDP (%) Budget deficit or budget surplus share of GDP (%) Inflation (%) Unemployment of total workforce (%)
2016 1.1 98.2 0.4 10.0
2015 1.1 96.8 -3.5 0.9 10.4
2014 0.2 95.6 -4.0 0.6 10.3
2013 0.6 92.3 -4.0 1.0 10.3
2012 0.2 89.4 -4.8 2.2 9.8
2011 2.1 85.0 -5.1 2.3 9.2
2010 2.0 81.4 -6.8 1.7 9.3
2009 -2.9 78.8 -7.2 0.1 9.1
2008 0.2 67.8 -3.2 3.2 7.4
2007 2.4 64.2 -2.5 1.6 8.0
2006 2.4 64.2 -2.3 1.9 8.8
2005 1.6 67.0 -3.1 1.9 8.9
2004 2.8 65.5 -3.5 2.3 8.9
2003 0.8 63.9 -3.9 2.2 8.5
2002 1.1 59.8 -3.1 1.9 7.9
2001 2.0 57.9 -1.4 1.8 7.8
2000 3.9 58.4 -1.3 1.8 8.6

Source: Abbreviationfinder

Despite extensive privatization, France still has a large state ownership in the business sector. Several major privatizations have been met with extensive protests during the 00s and in some cases stopped.

The business sector shows remarkable regional differences in terms of industry distribution, the relative importance of agriculture, the value of service sector production and wage and price levels. The Paris region (Île-de-France) accounts for just over a quarter of the country’s total production. Per capita GDP here is almost twice as high as in the least developed industrial regions along the west coast (Brittany and Poitou-Charentes), in central France (Limousin and Auvergne) and in the south (Languedoc – Roussillon).

Agriculture

About 53 percent of the country’s area is usable land. Agriculture, along with fishing and forestry, employs 2 percent of the workforce. Agriculture differs a great deal across the country. Roughly speaking, eight different agricultural landscapes can be distinguished:

1) The open landscape of the Paris Basin with large units focused on intensive grain production;

2) the eastern parts with more forest and smaller, intensively used fields;

3) pasture-dominated areas mainly focused on livestock breeding and dairy production (Brittany, Normandy and the areas south of Loire);

4) forest landscape (an ancient cultural landscape with small, irregular fields and pastures, often bounded and fenced with vegetation) with medium-intensive agriculture and pasture with steak breeding (the areas north of the Central Massif and Jura Mountains);

5) Midi (Mediterranean) with largely irrigated cultivation of fruits, vegetables, flowers and rice (Camargue);

6) the Rand Mountains (Jura, the Alps and the Pyrenees) with predominantly livestock management and some agriculture in the valleys;

7) The central massif with rye and potato cultivation and breeding of sheep and goats;

8) Aquitaine, which forms a transition zone between different climates and has a very varied agriculture.

The specialized wine growing districts are located in or between these areas, in the north mainly in connection with the river valleys. See further French wines.

In almost all agricultural products, France is one of Europe’s largest producers. In total, the most important products are cereals, which are grown on just over half the arable land, and animal production, mainly meat and dairy products. Feed plants are grown on a quarter of the field. During the post-war period, agriculture has undergone a strong rationalization, which is actively supported by the state. As in Sweden, the goal has been for farmers to have a standard comparable to that of industrial workers. To achieve this, the focus on high-priced goods has been increasingly emphasized; animal production has increased dramatically, and the arable land has decreased by 1/7. The use units have become larger; the average size is over 25 hectares, but still almost a third of the farms are under 10 hectares. Operations have been mechanized and streamlined with, among other things, a radical increase in the use of artificial fertilizers. Agricultural employment has decreased by 80 percent. France is one of the world’s leading exporters of wheat, sugar, dairy products and wine. Imports consist mainly of rice, feed and fruit.

EU agricultural policy has benefited the export-oriented part of French agriculture, which has benefited from export subsidies. On the other hand, it has disadvantaged the more domestic market-oriented parts such as fruit and vegetable cultivation in Midi and Western France, which have been subject to increased competition from the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

Forestry

About 29 percent of the country’s area is covered by forest. The most wooded areas are found in the country’s eastern parts (Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine) and in the southwest, with the pine-planted sandy shores of Les Landes along the Atlantic coast. In addition, there are some larger forest areas around Paris, for example. Compiègne and Fontainebleau forests. Also south of the Loire Valley (Sologne), at the edge of the Central Massif and in Provence are forest areas. However, many parts of the country are fairly wooded, especially the northwestern parts, such as Normandy and Brittany. Today’s French forests are largely a product of a deliberate forest planting since the mid-1800s. The forest area has increased by about 50 percent in the last fifty years.

However, forests are, to say the least, varied, depending partly on the climate and soil, partly on the management, or lack thereof. Less than half of the forest area can be counted as truly productive forest land. Many woodlands are not used for anything other than hunting or recreation, others – especially in the south – mainly consist of pine forests that can only be used as fuel. The forest stock comprises 58 percent of deciduous forest and 27 percent of coniferous forest. Otherwise there are mixed forests, smaller groves and poplar stocks. Especially in Provence there are major problems with forest fires, which annually destroy tens of thousands of hectares of forest. The forest industry is not one of France’s more important branches of industry. However, the production of sawn timber is significant, while wood and pulp are among the country’s traditional import goods. About half of the wood consumption is imported.

Fishing

France is one of Europe’s largest fishing nations. The French fishing fleet’s total catch in 2010 was approximately 426,000 tonnes, of which approximately 338,000 tonnes were fish (mainly albacora, sardine, bonit and hake), 62,000 tonnes of molluscs (snails, mussels and squid) and approximately 18,000 tonnes of crustaceans. In the same year, approximately 224,000 tonnes of seafood were grown, mainly Japanese giant oysters, mussels and rainbows. The cultivation of oysters is of great economic importance.

By far the largest proportion of catches are recorded in the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea. The main fishing ports are in Brittany (Le Guilvinec, Concarneau and Lorient) and on the canal coast (Boulogne-sur-Mer, Caen, Cherbourg and Saint-Malo). The Mediterranean fishery is comparatively of little importance. France is one of the world’s largest fish importers.

Commodity Funds

Over the past twenty years, France’s mineral sector has changed from a combination of production and processing to almost exclusively processing. The country has quite varied mineral resources and the mineral sector has been significant but has lost weight in recent years. Nowadays, domestic production of mineral raw materials and metals is limited and the processing industry relies heavily on imports.

France is one of the major producers of diatomite and plaster (Taverny), pig iron and crude steel (among others Lorraine and Dunquerque), talc (Pyrenees) and rock salt (Vosges, Jurassic mountains and Pyrenees). There is also uranium ore in Limousin, but the industry is dependent on imports from Canada and Niger, for example, although the processing is done exclusively in France.

The most important assets have traditionally been coal and iron ore. The main coal areas were in the North and Lorraine region, but production has ceased. Lorraine has one of Europe’s foremost iron ore fields with phosphorous low-grade (about 30 percent iron content) mined ore, which has been quite shallow. These assets previously made France one of the world’s foremost iron ore exporters and steel producers, but during the late 1900s production was dramatically reduced.

Oil is mainly extracted in the Paris basin and gas around Lacq in Aquitaine, which also has some oil deposits.

Power consumption

The total energy consumption per capita is at a medium level compared to the rest of Europe. The distribution between different energy sources is, for the EU countries, quite unique. Nuclear energy expansion, Europe’s most extensive, has meant that this source of energy accounts for just under 80 percent of electricity production and covers just over 40 percent of total energy consumption (2009). The coal, which previously accounted for a significant part of electricity production, accounts for 4 percent of energy supply, oil for just over 30 percent and natural gas for about 15 percent. In 2011, the 58 nuclear reactors of the French nuclear power plants accounted for 17 percent of world production. France also has the continent’s largest water energy resources and, together with other renewable energy sources, accounts for about 8 percent of energy production with the goal of reaching 23 percent by 2020.

Of the consumption, private use (housing) and transport account for just under 30 percent and the transport sector for just over 15 percent (2009).

The state owns most of the energy sector and has actively worked to build the electricity generation industry into one of the country’s leading industrial branches. Unlike most other countries, the large nuclear program has received very little opposition and debate. Nuclear power plants have been located mainly on the periphery of the country, along the coasts and close to the borders of neighboring countries.

Industry

France is one of the world’s leading industrialized countries, with a very varied production characterized by an increasing emphasis on workshop products. The most important industries are the food industry, the electrical industry and the transport industry. The manufacture of clothing and textile products, paper products, metal products and steel has traditionally been a significant part of the country’s industry, but during the 00s these industries have decreased in importance. The pharmaceutical, aerospace and electronics industries, on the other hand, have had stable growth. Less significant are traditional but still vibrant industries such as perfume manufacturing, fashion (haute couture), glass and rubber manufacturing.

The French industry has traditionally been dominated by small businesses, but the importance of large companies has gradually increased. The last decades have been characterized by extensive structural rationalization with the reduction of traditionally important industries such as the iron and steel industry, the textile industry and the shipbuilding industry. Technically advanced industries have expanded. This restructuring has been actively supported by the state, which, through orders and export subsidies, has favored the development of certain industries, including the energy, telecommunications and transport sectors. These are areas where the French industry claims relatively well. The private sector dominates, but state ownership is more widespread than in any of the other major industrial nations.

Like industry in general, the industry shows significant regional differences. The most industrialized regions are around Paris, in the northeast and in the eastern central parts of the country. Île-de-France accounts for about 20 percent of the total manufacturing value of the industry and has a very high proportion of the most advanced, research-oriented industry. In addition to the Paris area, there is the most varied industry in Rhône-Alpes. By contrast, in the western, central and southern parts, except in the Loire Valley and around major cities such as Marseille and Bordeaux, there is a comparatively small and undiversified industry, often dominated by the food industry. Here, wages are also often lower. Brittany, Corsica and the Mediterranean coast are the regions where the industry is least significant.

Previously, many industries were geographically concentrated and made their mark on different regions and cities. These include Nord Pas-de-Calais (textile and steel), Lorraine (steel), Limoges (ceramics), Besançon (watches), Clermont-Ferrand (rubber) and Nantes (shipbuilding). Due to stagnation and cuts in such traditional industrial branches, this move has been faded.

The government has since the 1960s tried to remedy the regional imbalance through an ambitious localization policy. The result is that the industrial dominance of the Paris region has decreased somewhat and that some industrial growth centers (for example, Rennes, Grenoble and Toulouse) with relatively varied industry have been created, but this has hardly changed the basic balance problems. Increasing imports of minerals and energy raw materials have also led to strong industrial expansion in some coastal areas, such as Fos in the Rhône Delta.

Foreign trade

France is Europe’s second-largest total exporter and its third-largest importer, yet foreign trade is not very extensive in terms of GDP. There is usually a certain deficit in the trade balance and a positive service balance. Workshop products account for nearly 2/5 of exports, and food and chemical products account for 15 percent each. Of the imports, 36 percent consists of workshop products, 15 percent of chemical products and 13 percent of raw materials (of which crude oil 6 percent). Most of the trade is done with the EU countries. The most important trading partners are Germany, Belgium, Spain and Italy. Outside the EU, the US is most important.

Tourism and gastronomy

For many years, France has been the world’s largest tourist country in terms of foreign visitors; annually, the country is visited by about 80 million foreign visitors. According to Countryaah, most come from neighboring countries within the EU: the UK (15%), Germany (13%), Italy (8%), the Netherlands (7%) and Spain (6%). About 700,000 visitors a year come from Sweden.

Tourism, in the sense of people traveling for pleasure to rest or view places of interest, did not gain momentum in France until the 17th and 18th centuries; before that they traveled to Italy. Now France became a stronghold of art and culture and French the language that counted among the educated. The revolution and its aftermath caused the number of travelers to decline, but the development of literature and painting during the 1800s and early 1900s led the industry to regain momentum, now in combination with sun worshipers who sought the picturesque Mediterranean coast.

France offers memorials from 2000 years of European high culture, paired with a regional pride and investment in regional museums that also show the history and culture of the common people. In France, all tastes can be satisfied: food, wine, nature, winter sports, sea, art, architecture, theater, music, fashion; the supply is huge. Good communications, a modern road network and an old, expanded hotel and restaurant industry provide the best conditions.

Since 1950, a state-initiated, intensive effort has been underway to renovate and preserve historic buildings and to make as much access as possible to museums; The national museums with some of the world’s foremost art collections can be found in the capital, but every small town in the provinces has its own museums and conservation plans. In addition to Paris, the Mediterranean coast and Brittany-Normandy, the south-western Alps, the Loire Valley and Alsace are the areas that attract the largest number of tourists. However, there is a tendency to spread outside the traditional tourist areas as interest in genuine culture and nature experiences increases among today’s travelers. During the 00s, newer attractions such as Disneyland Paris and Parc Astérix have also attracted many visitors.