France by Stephen C. Jett, Lisa Roberts

By Stephen C. Jett, Lisa Roberts

Describes the background, geography, executive, financial system, humans, and tradition of France.

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Meantime, because of almost continuous fighting, both the people and the national economy had suffered severely. THE SUN KING AND HIS SUCCESSORS Protestants benefited from the Edict of Nantes for less than 90 years. Henri IV’s successor, Louis XIII (reign 1601–1643), showed much less sympathy with Protestants. It was his successor, Louis XIV, however, who was most responsible for returning France to exclusive Catholicism. He was to become France’s most powerful and long-reigning king (reign 1643–1715).

Q 7/19/03 5:41 PM Page 55 France in the Modern Era (1830 – Present) The soldiers are on the British front lines in France during World War I. Almost an extension of the Franco-Prussian War, the Triple Alliance was victorious over Germany and Austria-Hungary but at a great cost. lines were badly disrupted. Nearly an entire generation of young men was wiped out or left physically or emotionally handicapped. France had become a nation of widows and spinsters (women who never marry). Enormous quantities of resources had been squandered, and war debts were high; the franc declined and taxes rose.

Jews were persecuted, and many French were removed to Germany to become forced laborers. q 7/19/03 5:41 PM Page 57 France in the Modern Era (1830 – Present) Local French Resistance fighters greet British troops in their village of Quillebeuf, France, in August, 1944. Such fighters assisted the Allies by spying and carrying out acts of sabotage against the Germans as well as helping downed airmen. occupiers and helped downed Allied airmen to escape. Many maquisards were Communists. Meanwhile, a former junior war minister who had escaped to England with other French troops began to exert his influence.

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