France 3 Essay, Research Paper
The future of France looks bright because the economy is advanced, the birth and death rates are low, and there aren t many problems with the political system.
The location is in Western Europe. To the north is the North Sea and to the south is the Mediterranean Sea. Germany, Switzerland, and Italy are located to the east and the Atlantic Ocean is to the west. (Rand McNally p136) The absolute location is 46.39N and .47E. (Rand McNally p284)
The climate varies from region to region. In the east there are warm summers, cool winters, and an ample amount of rainfall. In the west there is a cool climate with plenty of rainfall. In the south there are cool winters, hot summers, and limited rainfall. (Worldmark p79)
There are three major types of landforms: sedimentary basins and lowlands, worn-down Hercynian mountain blocks, and younger, folded mountain belts. There are also broad plains, low hills and plateaus, elevated plateaus, high mountains, and wide valleys. The coastline ranges from sandy and straight to deeply indented with capes and bays. (France)
The dominant language is French. It varies in different areas but regional dialects are rapidly declining. Customs are formal and affect everyday life such as cheek kissing and handshaking. Titles are always used when referring to a superior or stranger. Most of everyday transactions follow written texts or laws from Napoleon s Civil Code. French people take pleasure and pride in finding ways to bypass these rules and instructions. There are three major types of cuisine. The first, Haute Cuisine, originated from Louis XIV s twelve-hour feasts and is identified by its extreme richness and elaborate presentation. The second, Cuisine Bourgeoise, is known as high quality home cooking. Lastly, the Nouvelle Cuisine is a trendy new wave of cooking which has fresh ingredients and is prepared to increase its natural flavors. (france.com) Religion is a mix of Roman Catholic 90%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, and unaffiliated 6%. (CIA Pub.) Joan of Arc is a famous French heroin led troops to drive enemies from her home country. Claiming she was guided by visions of saints, she was burned at the stake. Joan of Arc had fought for king and country, which was a new idea that united the people in victory. (Joan of Arc) Another famous hero is Napoleon Bonaparte. He is one of the greatest military commanders in history who pioneered new strategies and tactics for battle. Napoleon founded the Bank of France, reorganized the educational system, established a strong centralized government, and restored the union of the Catholic Church with the state. (Napoleon I)
Many celebrated holidays are the same as those celebrated in the United States. These include New Year s Day, Christmas, Easter, Easter Monday, and Labor Day. Other holidays include Fete de la Victoire, Ascension Day, Whit
Sunday, Whit Monday, Bastille Day, Assumption, All Saint s Day, and
Armistice Day. (Culture) Recreation encompasses many types of sports such as bicycling, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, skiing, tennis, and water sports. (France)
Marriage, although considered a high institution, has become fragile. One out of three marriages ends in divorce. 86% of women are raising children alone. Live-in arrangements are increasingly common. People are getting married at a later age: between 25 and 28 years old. Only 5% of families have four or more children, where as 21% have three. (Culture) There is a large concern about always dressing well. The textile and garment industry is known for its high fashion. (france.com) In ancient times it was part of the Celtic territory known as Gaul or Gallia. The current name comes from the Latin word Francia which means “country of the Francs . The Francs were a Germanic people who conquered the area in the 5th century during the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the 9th century it became a separate country. In the 20th century there have been two world wars, political and social upheavals, and the loss of empire in West and East Equatorial Africa, Indochina, and Algeria. (France)
The national leader is President Jacques Chirac. Anyone over the age of 23 and has met the requirements concerning military service can run for office. The presidential term is seven years long. The president can stand for re-election an unlimited amount of times. (admiFrance)
Political problems include a high unemployment rate caused by generous
and extremely expensive social benefits. President Chirac has tried to reduce these benefits. One of these attempts led to a general strike that paralyzed Paris for three weeks. (france.com)
The main agricultural product is wheat with a total of 31,817,000. The second largest product is milk with a total of 27,250,000. The third largest product is corn; its total is 12,926,000. (MacGlobe)
The chief industrial product is construction and civil engineering. Its annual production is 797 billion francs and the annual turnover is 158 billion francs. The second largest product is chemicals, rubber and plastics. Its annual turnover is 348 billion francs. The third largest product is pharmaceuticals. Its annual turnover is 234 billion francs. (france.com)
The primary natural resource is iron ore with a total of 10,650,000. The second largest natural resource is salt with a total of 7,925,000. The third largest natural resource is bauxite with a total of 877,000. (MacGlobe)
391,926 million kilowatts of electricity and are produced per hour. 14,900,000 metric tons of coal, 27 million barrels of crude petroleum, and 3,030 million cubic meters are also produced. (MacGlobe)
The total of the GNP is 1.32 trillion dollars. The per capita income is 22,700 dollars. 71.1% of the GNP comes from services, 2.4% come from agriculture, and 26.5% comes from industry. (CIA Pub.)
6.5% of the population earns their living farming. 22.6% earns their living
through industry and 63.7% makes their living through services. (France)
The population in 1980 was 53,880. In 1990 the population was 56,735. (France) The estimated population for the year 2000 is 58,666. The time it takes for the population to double is 174 years. The male population consists of
27,619,000 and the female population is 28,977,000. (MacGlobe) The age group of 0-14 consists of 19% of the population. (CIA Pub.) People 60 years or older make up 20.4% of the population. The life expectancy of males is 73.8 years. The life expectancy of females is 81.3 years. The death rate is 9 per 1,000 and the birth rate is 12 per 1,000. The infant mortality is 7 per 1,000 live births.
The literacy rate is 99% of the adult population. (France) The number of students per teacher in primary school is 12, in secondary school there is 13, and in the third level there are 26.
There are 15,173 person per hospitals, 1,620 people per dentist, and 408 people per doctor. (MacGlobe) The primary causes of death are cancer and cardiovascular diseases. (France)
Since the 1950s there has been extremely rapid urbanization. Cities have increased in size at the expense of the rural population. There is a low rate of violent crime. Most crime committed is petty larceny, which frequently occurs during the tourist season. Freedom of speech is another problem. The government has created laws that ban the use of foreign words in advertising, official documents, scientific meetings and publications, radio, and television. (France) There is also a high unemployment rate that could cause an economic slowdown. Most political and economic problems aren t obvious to tourists.
The future of France looks bright because the economy is advanced, the birth and death rates are low, and there aren t many problems with
the political system. The economy has almost completely advanced to services. 71% of the Gross National Products is services. (CIA Pub.) The death rate is only 9 per 1,000 people and the birth rate is 12 per 1,000 people. (France) The main problem with the political system is a high unemployment rate caused by generous social benefits. Attempts made by the president have been unsuccessful. Otherwise, the political system seems well developed. These are some of the many reasons why France s future looks bright.
admiFrance (Online) Available http://www.admifrance.gouv.fr/cgibin/multitel/admifrance/sommaire, 1999
CIA Publications 1998 World Factbook. (Online) Available http://www.odic.gov/cia/publications/pubs.html, 1999
Culture. France (Online) Available http://frenchculture.miningco.com/
France: Country Report. MacGlobe Version 1.5.0 Diskette. Navato, CA: Broderbund,1993
France (Online) Available http://cyberzone.net/wharton/France/
france.com (Online) Available http://www.france.com/, 1999
Joan of Arc French National Heroine (Online) Available http://www.gale/cwh/joan.html
McNally, Rand. Goode s World Atlas: 18th Edition. New York: Edward B. Espenshade Jr., Editor, 1992
Napoleon I (1769-1821) (Online) Available http://www.cp.duluth.mn.us/ tmcs/NAPOLEON.htm
Worldmark. Encyclopedia of the Nations: 7th Edition (France). Singapore, 1988