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What is the history of France?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore France. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
"France, a republic, one of the most populous and influential states in the world, constituting the most westerly portion of Central Europe, lying between lat-42° 20' and 51° N. and lon. 4° 50' W. and 8° 25' E.; bounded N. by the English Channel, the Straits of Dover, and Belgium; W. by the Atlantic Ocean; S. by Spain and the Mediterranean; E. by Italy, Switzerland, and the German Empire; and N.E. by German Lorraine, Luxemburg, and Belgium. The salient points on the map of France are the N., the W., the E., the S.W., and the S.E. extremities. By connecting these points by straight lines, a pentagon is formed including the whole of the French territory. The coast-line of France, without allowing for minor indentations, measures 1320 miles; the continental boundary-line, 962; the whole perimeter being thus 2282 miles. The total area of France is 207,107 square miles... "

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott

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Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from France

, France
Paris - Les Grands Boulevards (1900)

, France

, France

, France
L'Hotel de Ville, Niort

, France
La Rochelle - Le Port et les Yachts
Family Historian 6 Genealogy and Family Tree Software by Calico Pie

History and News of France

Add History/News
  • 1429 - Joan of Arc leads French troops against the English at Orléans, ending a siege by the British during the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. destination/ france/ history-timeline
  • 1534 - Jacques Cartier of France discovers the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River (North America)
  • 1603 - March 15: Samuel de Champlain set sail for Quebec from Honfleur, France following in the path of Jacques Cartier to the St Lawrence River and Tadoussac places-timelines/ 19-france-timeline.htm
  • 1617 - Louis XIII crowned at the age of 17 (France)
  • 1635 - France enters Thirty Years War as an active combatant. Franco-Spanish War begins.
  • 1638 - King Louis XIV born in France
    History of France : Highlights from Louis XIV to Napoleon

    Thunderworks (
  • 1643 - King Louis XIII dies, Louis XIV assumes French throne
  • 1659 - France and Spain sign the Treaty of the Pyrenees.
  • News  On August 26, 1660, Louis XIV made a triumphal entry into Paris with his wife, Marie-Therese. The royal couple took their places...
    Louis XIV wasn't just a ceremonial king who represents the kingdom, but makes no decisions of his own... His regime was considered an absolute... Read MORE...

  • 1700 - Population of the Kingdom of France - 21,000,000
  • 1713 - February 18 - French invade under Jacques Cassard on Curacao
  • 1715 - September 1 - Louis XIV (King of France) dies
    after a reign of 72 years—the longest of any major European monarch.
  • 1717 - February 1 - Henri d'Aguesseau's 1st appointment as chancellor of France
  • 1718 - January 9 - France declares war on Spain
  • News  1720 - May 25 - The Ship "Le Grand St Antoine" reaches Marseille, bringing Europe's last major plague outbreak. Kills around 100,000.
    May 25, 1720
  • 1758 - French power in Canada declines as the British capture Ft. Louisburg places-timelines/ 19-france-timeline.htm
  • 1773 - A census is taken in France that finds 2370 Acadians living there. acadtime.htm
  • February 6, 1778 - France signed the Treaty of Alliance with the United States.
    February 6, 1778
  • News  1783 - November 21 - Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes make 1st manned free balloon flight in a Montgolfier balloon
  • News  1789 - July 14 - French revolutionaries storm the Bastile (a royal fortress). This marks the beginning of the French Revolution.
    July 14, 1789
  • 1791 - Revolutionary France gives women equal inheritance rights (although they lose them later, when the monarchy is restored).
  • 1793 - French King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette are executed. France bans Catholicism.
  • 1799 - Napoleon Bonaparte leads coup to overthrow government
  • 1799 - Rosetta Stone discovered
  • 1800 - Populaton of the French First Republic (French Republic) - 26,758,000
  • 1812 - Napoleon leads French invasion of Russia, resulting in catastrophic defeat for French. War of 1812 begins with U.S. declaration of war on the United Kingdom.
  • 1814 - Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to St. Elba according to the terms of the Treaty of Fontainebleau. Representatives from Austria, Russia, Prussia, Britain, and France meet at the Congress of Vienna to discuss future of Europe.
  • 1815 - The War of 1812 ends with the Treaty of Ghent. Napoleon escapes Elba in an attempt to reestablish his power. Coalition forces defeat him at the battle of Waterloo.
  • 1824 - Charles X becomes king of France
  • 1829 - The sewing machine is invented (Barthélemy Thimonnier, France)

    Lyons, France, Aug. 23. - (Correspondence of Associated Press) - A monument is to be erected here... Read MORE...

  • 1830 - Charles X (King of France) overthrown
  • 1839 - January 2 – First photograph of the Moon taken by photographer Louis Daguerre.
    January 2, 1839
  • 1852 - Louis Napoleon Bonaparte declares himself Emperor Napoleon III of France
  • 1864 - Pasteurization is invented (Louis Pasteur, France)
    Perfect Pasteurization Means Perfect Protection

    Pasturization is simply heating milk - not boiling it.

    By raising the temperature of the milk...

  • 1870 - France declares war on Prussia and Emperor Napoleon III is overthrown
  • News  1870 - Thirty per cent of the population of France can neither read nor write.
    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    May 14, 1870
  • 1870 to 1871 - Franco-Prussian War, ending in French defeat, loss of Alsace-Lorraine and end of the Second Empire
  • 1881 - France grants women the right to own bank accounts; five years later, the right is extended to married women, who are allowed to open accounts without their husbands’ permission.
  • Fascinating Historical Picture Postcards of France.

    Fascinating Historical Picture Postcards of France. (
  • 1900 - Population of France - 38,900,000
  • 1914 - World War I - Germany invades France
  • News  1930 - July 13 – The first FIFA World Cup starts: Lucien Laurent scores the first goal, for France against Mexico.
    July 13, 1930
  • 1939 - World War II - France and the United Kingdom declare war on Germany

France Genealogy

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Updated: 4/29/2019 12:10:23 PM

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