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Kingdom of France
Timeline: The Kalmar Union
Pavillon royal de la France Grand Royal Coat of Arms of France
Flag Coat of Arms
Capital
(and largest city)
Paris
Language French, Occitan
King Charles XIII
Prime Minister Jacques Dampier
Population 21,475,000 
Independence 843
Currency FLV


The Kingdom of France, France, is a large constitutional monarchy in western Europe. It has borders with Brittany-Maine, Wessex, United Kingdom of the Netherlands (Luxembourg), Burgundy, Auvergne, Arles, Aragon, Armagnac, Confederation of the Pyrenees, and Castile. The population is about 21.4 million. Its capital is Paris.

The official languages are French and Occitan.

The head of state is King Charles XIII..

The currency is the French Livre (FLV).

History

Though the largest of the French states, the Kingdom of France has rarely been able to exert its will over the historical area known as Francia. The wider authority of the Frankish kings largely fell apart during the reign of Charles the Simple who ceded power and authority to his peripheral lords.

By 987 the French kingdom had fallen to its lowest ebb as most territory outside of the the central royal domain exercised complete autonomy. The last Carolingian king, Louis V, died young, having 'done nothing', and the Francian nobles elected the Duke of the Franks, Hugh Capet, as the new king. His unanimous election would give him and his successors a certain cache of power which the later Carolingians could have only dreamt of in their own limited realm, but the struggle to project their power in their wider theoretical domain was met with increasing hostility from their confident nominal vassals and upstart neighbours. Normandy, Maine and Anglia all sought to turn their nominal vassalage into full-blown independence and the French kings' haphazard policies, minorities and civil war largely meant Flanders and the Wessex Channel were firmly removed from the decrees emitted from Paris. The Treaty of Compiegne (1184) saw the French kings restricted to Ile de Paris and the Orleanais. Berry, which had originally been purchased in 1101 was returned not long after the treaty. Sustained war with Wessex and Brittany over Normandy and Maine achieved little and fatally damaged its ambitions in the south. Defeated by Aragon and Auvergne during the Albigensian War (1209-1218) it was effectively locked out of the south for several centuries.

An attempt in 1413 to integrate the Duchy of Bar into the realm, while the Holy Roman Empire was busy with internal struggles and then the Hussite Wars, would eventually falter when Joanna of Wantzenau rallied the troops of Lorraine and Bar to expel the French. Later French kings would suffer diplomatically from charges of illegitimacy and this led to a defensive outlook. Rather than force its neighbours to accept French domination the country instead sought to uphold the status quo, championing the rights of the smaller states of the Rhineland and arbitrating over succession disputes. This led to the peaceful annexation of Lyonnais and Pitou in the 1400s finally giving it a seaport.

Seizing on the War of Anglian Succession as a perfect opportunity to regain some influence over Flanders, Henry II weighed in on Denmark's side in 1502. He had already seen off Auvergne, whom the Empire regularly used as a proxy to attempt to neuter France, but Henry proved less capable at matching Wessex and Luxembourg's combined military power. An assassination attempt and yet another Auvergnese invasion damaged France's focus and by 1517 France faced Luxembourg alone. The Treaty of Cleves signed in 1519 firmly took Flanders out of the French sphere and, worse, gave the vacant County of Champagne to Luxembourg.

Hemmed in, and financially depressed, the country soon found itself divided by religious schism as the Lutheran reformation took hold. A state of virtual civil war was effectively only calmed on the accession of Charles VI in 1619 though his father had enjoyed enough stability to reform the military and create a more centralised state. Charles was determined to seize back some of lost momentum and 1623 joined the rapidly widening Fifty Years War on the Lutheran side. A refreshed France achieved little for the vast expense and destruction the war caused but showed a country far more capable than its enemies had given it credit for. In due course France was frequently relied upon to provide a balancing role in Germany ensuring the status quo held. France and Luxembourg would frequently be at war as the limits of each other's power would be tested along the Rhineland. This essentially culminated in the War of Bavarian Succession, (or Eleanor's War) (1802-1805).

Its vital role in resisting the Iberian Revolution and containing Del Olmo's ambitions, was widely acknowledged in the final peace treaty and it was given various islands in the Carib and South Seas (most notably the Loaisa Islands) as compensation for absorbing the brunt of the war and its casualties. The ducal house of Aquitaine had also fallen vacant during the war and France was endowed with its European lands as well as its Taino island colony of Xaymaca. At the same time France renounced any territorial ambitions on its fellow French states which allowed a much more co-operative Francia to emerge.

A period of political instability in the 1950s led to a four-year period of direct rule by Charles XII. Despite his general light touch mounting protests finally led to democracy being reinstated in 1961 and a strengthening of the constitution.

Government

France is governed by a bicameral Parlément with elections held as and when required. The monarchy has very limited powers under the 1961 constitution and is effectively barred from entering the Commons' chamber.

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