France (Lyonnaise: France; Frankish: Frankenland) is a historic region in western Europe, centered on the lower Rhine valley and delta. It is named for the Franks, a Germanic people who occupied the area in the early Middle Ages and whose language is still widely spoken today. The region was once united under the Duchy of France, a founding state of the Holy Roman Empire, but the duchy was dismembered while under Aquitanian occupation during the First World War. Its territory today is divided between Saxony, Lyonesse, Belgium and Holland.
Lyonnaise is spoken in the south-west, while the main language in the north and east has historically been Frankish. However, external influences have caused Saxon and High German to become common east of the Rhine in the last century.
There has been some degree of Frankish nationalism ever since the fall of the duchy. Belgium and Holland both have major political parties advocating reunion, as does the Saxon province of Rhineland.
France has had significant influence in Europe in the past. For a brief period of about 150 years during the early Middle Ages Frankish warlords conquered and subjugated much of Gaul and Germania, though they were forced out after their defeat at the Battle of Castras. Later, Charles II, Duke of the Franks, temporarily restored the greater realm and became known as Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor.