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A research paper on France will examine the human history of France, including migratory, demographic, political and economic development. It will review statistical data to determine specific evidence of this development and look at reasons for development in different areas of France. It will also attempt to explain the human historical development of France during different time periods. Research paper topics below will demonstrate that France’s unique history guided its development, providing a unique relationship between urban and rural areas, and a strong industrial and agricultural economic base. This combination has made France one of the world’s leading nations for more than 500 years.


Measuring approximately 220,660 square miles France is Western Europe’s largest country, and about four-fifths the size of Texas. According to Short, France also had the largest population in Western Europe in 1800, but its cities grew much slower than surrounding countries during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. After World War II, modernization of agriculture caused many people to leave the countryside and move to cities, leaving France with almost three-fourths of its 58 million population living in cities today.

In past centuries, the human geography of France was primarily dictated by physical features of the land. That is, towns usually grew close to main waterways, which also served as trade routes in earlier times. Defense was also important for early settlements, and towns located on hilltops were common in the more mountainous regions of Southern France. The small towns established by Celtic tribes were similar to camps. Because France had been a crossroads of European trade for many centuries, three basic ethnic stocks, Celtic, Latin, and Teutonic, have blended over the centuries to make up its present population.

When the Romans invaded, they developed more established cities during the centuries they occupied the area. Then, between the eleventh and fourteenth century, increased trade and population resulted in more towns being built.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, French cities continued to grow. During the nineteenth century, France did not industrialize as quickly as its neighbors, Germany and Britain, whose rich coal supplies, fueled rapid industrial development. The advent of railroads in France during this era led to the further development of coastal towns such as Nice, Biarritz, and Vichy.

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