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 Definition Western European republic (population c. 64.1 million; capital Paris) extending across Europe from the English Channel in the north-west to the Mediterranean in the south-east; bounded by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra and Spain; founding member of the European Union. Colonial power in Southeast Asia until 1954. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Geography and History [Editors asked to check categories]
 Subgroup category:  France
 Talk Archive none  English language variant British English

Land area

A non-member wrote me to say he questioned the land area figure. Could someone please look into that? --Larry Sanger 08:37, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

CIA World Factbook says:
  • total: 643,427 sq km; 547,030 sq km (metropolitan France)
  • land: 640,053 sq km; 545,630 sq km (metropolitan France)
  • water: 3,374 sq km; 1,400 sq km (metropolitan France)
  • note: the first numbers include the overseas regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion. --Robert W King 08:40, 30 September 2007 (CDT)
My old books say 547026 my new books say 543,965. German wikipedia and English wikipedia agree with the latter figure the French wikipedia has another figure. :-( Alexander Wiebel 09:02, 5 January 2008 (CST)

French History

I'm tempted to write something about the origins of Frances third Republic, but am unsure if this should go in the history section of this article (Seeing as there is currently nothing there) or in a seperate History of France article? Help, advice? Denis Cavanagh 16:17, 10 November 2007 (CST)

My guess would be to do... whatever. Just write. We'll find a place :) The right place may depend on the content. You may also see Poland as an example. Aleksander Stos 16:23, 10 November 2007 (CST)
I'd do both. Put a short history in this article, a longer explanation in the French history article. Additionally, you could do a detailed article at the French third republic or at least you could start something and other people will eventually fill it out further. Derek Harkness 00:14, 11 November 2007 (CST)

If no one minds, I'm going to go ahead and create a template for this article. Right now, I'm reading a book on the French Wars of Religion, so that will probably be what I write on first. Anyone else is, of course, quite welcome to fill out any sections I don't get to immediately. Steven Clark Bennett 20:51, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

What is France?

The name is used in three different ways:

  1. Metropolitan France, located in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra, and Spain[1]
  2. the above together with the overseas departments in Africa and the Americas; their people are French citizens, they elect members to the French Parliament and they are governed by French and European law[2]
  3. all the above together with overseas collectivities and territories; their people are also French citizens and they too elect members to the French Parliament, but they are governed by their own laws, not by French and European law[3]

The first sentence in the current version of the article implies sense 1, but the rest of the opening paragraph is sense 2. It seems to me that it would be better if the article actually explained all this. Peter Jackson (talk) 09:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. This sense is used by the following: the United Nations Statistics Division,[1] (lists France under Europe and overseas departments as separate countries); the International Standards Organization, [2]; World Gazetteer, [3] (omits France from list of transcontinental countries); Encyclopaedia Britannica; the internet (domain .fr)
  2. This sense is used by the following: the BBC,[4]; the CIA World Factbook, [5]
  3. Europa World Year Book, Routledge