France is weird. Why is it the biggest sea country in the world? Why was it the most powerful? Why is it not even the most powerful in Europe anymore? Why is it the only country in the continent that belongs both to the north and the south? While most nations in the continent have formed in the last couple of centuries, France has been around for over a thousand years. Why so long?
What a gem you hid in the footnote “The issue is not only what the reality is. It’s also how reality is perceived.” This is the crux of so much human behavior at any scale. The extent unexamined past conditions our future. It’s why Buddhists joke “Don’t believe everything you think”. BTW section 5 with the maybes and consequences is incredible. It’s like an exercise in reverse futurism. How do you lay that out? A massive white board?
It's also fun to point out that the power and economic weight of France was great enough by the 17th century that it had become possible to *actually build a canal* from Toulouse to the Mediterranean. The Canal du Midi today is mostly just for tourism (the river cruise is remarkably fun), but when it opened in 1681 it was the first inland river route from the Atlantic Garrone river system to the Mediterranean. Technically, the canal was about 200m rise with around 80 to 90 locks (fewer today), and was fed by a perennial water source in the Massif Central so as to be a manageable flow year round. The basic design is pretty much exactly what wound up being implemented in Panama over two centuries later. It's really remarkable civil engineering, especially for its day, and it's worth a visit if you're ever in that part of France.
There was no Roman Empire in 62 BC. In 62 BC it was the Roman Republic.
Great article, thank you !
Could you briefly explain why France’s destiny is to merge with Germany ?
Is it based on geography too ?
"This is the 2nd article in the series about France: If you missed the 1st one, go read France’s Bowels: A Secret Medieval Sect, an Angry Pope, an Opportunistic Lord, a Genocide, and Europe’s Destiny."
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About french colonies: what do you mean by "status"? I would use a rather different term and that would be "strategy". Thanks to colonies they have military ports everywhere.
Great piece of article as always !!
One question : have you ever thought of publishing a book compiling all your geographical-historical articles ? My daughter is 1,5-year-old and a day will come when I would love to read such a book to her ;) In any case, thank you and keep it up
Excelente explicación y resultados. Mil gracias de nuevo y mi admiración ¡¡
Super interesting article, very informative read.
I hesitate to mention a couple of minor corrections but it's the North Sea, not the Northern Sea. And towards the end when you say "Then, in the 1700s, it pioneered the ideas of the illustration" I think you mean the Enlightenment.
Mildly interesting geography/genetics fact to add to all this : on 23andme, they put french and german in the same genetic group.
Then they can divide by region (and they're very accurate), but the bigger group is "french and german", same as "british and irish" and "spanish and portuguese". Easy to see the effect of geography on population flux.
this is an interesting article Tomas , it could be really two countries with Marseille the capital of the south.
There are several points that I want to raise about the colonial history of France and its effects until now , is it normal that several countries in Central and West Africa still not have an independent currency and and independent monetary policy '' ,les réserves de change de ces pays vont au trésor français '' until now.
In 1958 during the African tour of Mr de Gaulle to promote the story of the French African Community , he visited Guinea where the great Ahmed Séko Touré said no to this disguised independence and wanted the immediate independence of Guinea which was the only country that refused the Franc CFA , his famous historical words still resonate until now '' «Nous préférons la pauvreté dans la liberté à la richesse dans l’esclavage» ''
After that decision , the french government decided to make the secret '' opération Percil '' to destabilise the post independence government of Guinea , there is a book written by a former french minister called '' le ministre Afrique '' that talked about it , Guinea is the second producer of Bauxite and has also diamonds and gold .
you can read more here Mr Tomas
I pass to Algeria , if I'm going to talk about it I need a long time , you said that French gave it its independence easily despite that 1 million of its citizens lived there. I'm sorry more than 1 million Algerians died to give the independence of their country , the atrocities that France committed in Algeria are well known by all , the Algerian war of independence was a struggle , you make it sound very easy..
I hope you will talk about the scramble of Africa , colonisation and the wealth of our great African continent taken by these countries ..
Not sure what you mean by this: Note that they did control what’s today southern France, but nothing beyond the mountains. That’s what limited the Romans to the greatest extent: the mountains.
You know that the Roman empire reached a big part of the Netherlands? This above, does not sound correctly. There is a map here that shows that the Roman empire in 117AD stretched until the Netherlands: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Atlas_of_the_Netherlands#/media/File:Pre_Migration_Age_Germanic.png
Where do you find those beautiful maps, so acute and detailed ?