Timeline and History Overview
Brief Overview of the History of France
- 600 - The colony of Massalia is founded by the Ancient Greeks. This would later become the city of Marseille, the oldest city in France.
- 400 - Celtic tribes begin to settle in the region.
- 122 - Southeastern France (called Provence) is taken over by the Roman Republic.
- 52 - Julius Caesar conquers Gaul (most of modern day France).
The land that today makes up the country of France has been settled for thousands of years. In 600 BC, a portion of the Greek Empire settled in Southern France and founded the city that is today Marseille, the oldest city in France. At the same time, Celtic Gauls were becoming prominent in other areas of France. The Gauls would sack the city of Rome in 390 BC. Later, the Romans would conquer Gaul and the area would become a productive part of the Roman Empire until the 4th century.
The Eiffel Tower
In the 4th century, the Franks, which is where the name France comes from, began to take power. In 768 Charlemagne united the Franks and began to expand the kingdom. He was named the Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope and is today considered the founder of both the French and German monarchies. The French monarchy would continue to be a great power in Europe for the next 1000 years.
In 1792, the French Republic was proclaimed by the French Revolution. This didn't last long, however, as Napoleon grabbed power and made himself Emperor. He then proceeded to conquer most of Europe. Napoleon was later defeated and in 1870 the Third Republic was declared.
France suffered greatly in both World War I and World War II. During World War II France was defeated and occupied by the Germans. Allied forces liberated the country in 1944 after four years of German rule. A new constitution was set up by Charles de Gaulle and the Fourth Republic was formed.
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