- France: Topic Page
France is bordered by the English Channel (N), the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay (W), Spain and Andorra (SW), the Mediterranean Sea (S), Switzerland and Italy (SE), and Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium (NE).
- Bourgeoisie: Topic Page
Originally the name for the inhabitants of walled towns in medieval France; as artisans and craftsmen, the bourgeoisie occupied a socioeconomic position between the peasants and the landlords in the countryside. The term was extended to include the middle class of France and subsequently of other nations. The word bourgeois has also long been used to imply an outlook associated with materialism, narrowness, and lack of culture.
- Claude Monet (1840 - 1926): Topic Page
French landscape painter; the leading exponent of impressionism. His interest in the effect of light on colour led him to paint series of pictures of the same subject at different times of day.
- Eleanor of Aquitaine: Topic Page
Queen consort first of Louis VII of France and then of Henry II of England. Daughter and heiress of William X, duke of Aquitaine.
- Huguenots: Topic Page
French Protestants, followers of John Calvin. The term is derived from the German Eidgenossen, meaning sworn companions or confederates.
- Joan of Arc: Topic Page
Both a historical and mythical figure, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc, also known as Jeanne la pucelle) was a peasant maid who guided the weak and contested dauphin Charles, son of Charles VI who submitted to English rule in France, into regaining the French crown and territory during the Hundred Years War between France and England (approximate dates, 1337–1457).
- Victor Hugo: Topic Page
French novelist, poet, and dramatist.
- Charlemagne, Emperor: Topic Page
Charlemagne’s influence in both political and social spheres was so great that historians have nicknamed him the “father of Europe.” His use of military force and ability to improvise new systems expanded a struggling western Europe into a strong empire. Additionally, his emphasis on learning created a Carolingian Renaissance that helped form cultural identity in western Europe and laid the groundwork on which the Middle Ages flourished.
- Louis Philippe I: Topic Page
king of the French (1830-48), known before his accession as Louis Philippe, duc d'Orléans.
- Louis XIV: Topic Page
King of France (1643-1715), son and successor of King Louis XIII.
- Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821: Topic Page
French military leader and emperor.
- Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, 1808-1873: Topic Page
Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon Bonaparte), 1808-73, emperor of the French (1852-70), son of Louis Bonaparte (see under Bonaparte, family), king of Holland.
- Versailles: Topic Page
From 1678 Versailles was the principal residence of the kings of France until 1793, and the seat of government from 1682 to 1789.
- French Revolution: Topic Page
Fiscal crises and years of feudal repression were among factors leading to a revolution in France (1789–1799) marked by the storming of the Bastille, the guillotining of Louis XVI, and the Reign of Terror. Although the revolution abolished legal privilege based on birth and guaranteed freedom of religion, its legacy is ambiguous; gains must be seen in the context of the suffering produced by denunciations, purges, executions, and war.
- French Revolutionary Wars: Topic Page
Wars occurring in the era of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic era, the decade of 1792-1802. The wars began as an effort to defend the Revolution and developed into wars of conquest under the empire
- Georges Danton: Topic Page
French statesman and one of the leading figures of the French Revolution.
- Jacobins: Topic Page
Patriotic political club of the French Revolution.
- Jean Paul Marat: Topic Page
Swiss-born French Revolutionary leader, physician, and journalist.
- Marie Antoinette: Topic Page
Queen of France, wife of King Louis XVI and daughter of Austrian Archduchess Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I.
- Maximilien Robespierre: Topic Page
Leader of the Jacobins and one of the leading figures of the French Revolution.
- Reign of Terror: Topic Page
From 1793-94, a period of the French Revolution characterized by a wave of executions of presumed enemies of the state. Directed by the Committee of Public Safety, the Revolutionary government's Terror was essentially a war dictatorship, instituted to rule the country in a national emergency.