French History is a long and complex story that has shaped the course of European civilization. France has been an important political and military power since the Middle Ages and its influence has been felt around the world. The French Revolution of 1789 was a major turning point in modern history, leading to the establishment of a democratic republic and eventually a unified nation. Since then, France has seen its fair share of political turmoil, but it remains an influential country in global affairs.The ancient origins of France can be found in Gaul, which was inhabited by Celtic tribes before Rome conquered it in 51 BC. After the fall of Rome, Gaul was divided into several small kingdoms that were eventually united under Charlemagne’s rule during the 8th century AD. Charlemagne’s reign ushered in a golden age for French culture which lasted until his death in 814 AD. Over the next few centuries, various dynasties ruled over France including Capetian Kings, Valois monarchs and Bourbon kings who were overthrown during the French Revolution. The French Revolution marked a major transition period for both France and Europe as a whole as it ushered in an era of democracy and individual freedom that set off waves of reform throughout Europe. The revolution was followed by Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power as Emperor from 1804-1815 when he attempted to create an empire spanning most of continental Europe before finally being defeated at Waterloo in 1815 by British forces led by Duke Wellington. This ended Napoleon’s reign but had lasting consequences on many aspects such as reviving nationalism across Europe and inspiring social reforms such as abolishing serfdom and introducing religious tolerance across many parts of continental Europe which are still felt today . After Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo , Restoration Monarchs Louis XVIII & Charles X reigned from 1814-1830 however they faced numerous opposition & revolts from liberals who wanted greater freedoms & rights for individuals & increased democracy among other things . This gave rise to Louis-Philippe’s constitutional monarchy which lasted until another coup d’etat brought about Napoleon III’s Second Empire (1852 – 1870). This period saw rapid economic growth , industrialization & modernization however , it ended with Prussian forces under Otto Von Bismarck besieging Paris during the Franco-Prussian war ( 1870-71) causing another changeover to yet another Republic with new reforms being adopted including universal suffrage . Since then ,France has had multiple Republics with several periods where right wing governments have ruled such as during Vichy Regime ( 1940 – 1944 ) where collaborationist policies were adopted towards Nazi Germany or more recently when Nicolas Sarkozy was president from 2007 – 2012 . Despite these periods ,France is still one of world’s largest economies & most influential countries due to its strong diplomatic influence on international issues especially those concerning human rights etc .
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