Fraunce, offeecially the French Republic, is a kintra wi territory in wastren Europe an several owerseas regions an territories. The European, or metropolitan, aurie o Fraunce extends frae the Mediterranean Sea tae the Inglis Channel an the North Sea, an frae the Rhine tae the Atlantic Ocean. Owerseas Fraunce include French Guiana on the Sooth American continent an several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific an Indie oceans. Fraunce spans 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) an haed a tot population o awmaist 67 million fowk as o Januar 2017. It is a unitary semi-presidential republic wi the caipital in Paris, the kintra's lairgest ceety an main cultural an commercial centre. Ither major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse an Bordeaux.
In the Airn Age, whit is nou metropolitan Fraunce wis inhaibitit bi the Gauls, a Celtic fowk. The aurie wis annexed in 51 BC bi Roum, which held Gaul till 486, when the Germanic Franks conquered the region an formed the Kinrick o Fraunce. Fraunce emerged as a major European pouer in the Late Middle Ages, wi its victory in the Hunder Years' War (1337 tae 1453) strenthenin state-biggin an poleetical centralisation. During the Renaissance, French cultur flourished and a global colonial empire wis established, which bi the 20t century would be the seicont lairgest in the warld. The 16t century wis dominatit bi releegious ceevil wars atween Catholics an Protestants (Huguenots). Fraunce acame Europe's dominant cultural, poleetical, an militar power unner Louis XIV. In the late 18t century, the French Revolution owerthrew the absolute monarchy, established ane o modren history's earliest republics, an saw the draftin o the Declaration o the Richts o Man an o the Ceetizen, which expresses the naition's ideals tae this day.
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