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France is historically and culturally among the most important nations in the Western world. The country has played a significant role in international affairs with former colonies in every corner of the world. France has long provided a geographic, economic, and linguistic bridge joining northern and southern Europe.

Introduction to France

France has played a pivotal economic, political, and cultural role in the history of its continent and of the world, with close historical and philosophical ties to the United States. As a result, France has a long tradition of friendly association with the United States. French ships and troops were instrumental to the success of the American Revolution for independence from Great Britain. The Statue of Liberty, which rises above New York Harbor as one of America's most familiar icons, was a gift from France to the United States in 1884.The United States came to the aid of Britain and France in World War I and World War II. Without American intervention, France could conceivably still be under German control today.

With its rich history, countless cultural contributions to the global community, and contemporary importance in the emerging European Union, France is and will continue to be one of the world's foremost countries. The country's influences in culture have been worldwide: art and architecture, music, theater and film, high fashion, perfume, wine, and the culinary arts. Artists and designers such as Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, Claude Debussy, Moliere, and Coco Chanel are recognized world-wide for their works. Gothic architecture first emerged in the region near Paris, influencing the design of church buildings and universities worldwide. Centuries later, French Impressionist paintings were unveiled to the world.

Taken from Introduction to France

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