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Cultural Analysis

1322 words - 6 pages

Cultural Analysis
History of France

While the typical example of a nation-state, France carries a varied and culturally rich historical identity spawning from its centuries of growth. France’s birth as a nation, though difficult to date, seems to center around the conversion to Christianity by King Clovis in 496 A.D. following through to the later part of the century with the coronation of Hugh Carpet in 987. The Carpetian dynasty, which reigned for almost 900 years, came to an end in 1789 with the declaration of France as a nation by the people and the French revolution.
In 843 A.D., the Treaty of Verdun roughly divided most of what is now Western Europe into the three territories of ...view middle of the document...

Authoritarianism began under Napoleon Bonaparte; however, in 1815 the Congress of Vienna pushed to return France to pre-Napoleonic time. Due to the installation of the middle class as well as industrialization, the motion by the Congress was futile and resulted in the driving of Louis Philippe out of France in 1848 and Napoleon III’s claiming of the throne. His coronation, however, was soon to come to an end with his defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the beginning of the 3rd Republic.
The aftermath of World War I saw France as the dominate European power. Its attempts to keep Germany weak failed, however, and on May 10, 1940, Nazi troops took over Paris, splitting the country into North and South France. Over four years later, Allied troops freed the country and a provisional government headed by Charles de Gaulle started to pull the pieces of the once glorious nation back into place. A new constitution, adopted on September 28, 1958, gave way for the election of a new president and eventually the modern, laissez-faire, ideas that now dominate the French style of government.

Geographical

France, located in Western Europe and bordered by the Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Belgium, Spain, Germany, The Mediterranean Sea, Luxemburg, and Switzerland, contains a generally mild climate. Cool winters are followed by mild summers except for the areas surrounding the Mediterranean. In those areas, the winters are much milder and follow much hotter summers. An occasional strong wind, called a mistral, will sweep its way across the country, bringing cold, dry air across the land. The land is primarily mountainous; however, the northern and western portions of the country start from the sea and progress into flat plains and then gently rolling hills.

Social Institutions
Family

The family in France plays a primary role in the development of self. Due to the lack of marriages as well as the increased rates of divorce, the percentage of married adults in the nation has greatly decreased over the past 50 years resulting in increasing percentages of unmarried men and women. Cohabitation, births out of wedlock, single parents, and “recomposed” families have replaced the once cultural norm of the family. Consequently, the extended family plays great importance in the cultural survival of the nation. When families are broken apart due to divorce and/or out of wedlock births, grandparents primarily keep the family connected through financial and organizational/planning means. They provide the link to aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. that otherwise would be loss due to increasingly prevalent fractured homes.

Education

The French education system, which has gone through radical development due largely in part to the increase in persons pursuing education beyond college, has responded strongly to the need for well educated and skilled working society. The socialistic style of education has opened the doors for the regular...

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