One cannot deny the fact that France is one of the most beloved countries in the world, especially by the people of India. The country has its reputation and stature in the world, that is unmatched when it comes to the fascination that we all hold for it. While a literature lover cannot resist but admire the country and its culture to the fullest, Hodophiles and vagabonds have it marked on their bucket list! So, as a person who loves learning French, you must have felt curious about the origin of the language. Also, if you still have not considered evaluating the history of the French language, you should start doing so, as it will help you build your foundation as a well-informed speaker.

As a French lover, you will find it fascinating and intriguing to know about the great French Empire and the origins of French speaking countries. It will also aid your learning process as the more you indulge in it with utmost curiosity and dedication. Take part in activities and speeches that revolve around the cultural and historical development of France to know how the country turned out to become one of the dominant names in the world. Let us have a look at some of the facts and information about the French Empire, and the language too!

First French Empire
An artistic recreation of the First French Empire at the time of Napoleon rule. Source: napoleon.org

Learn French: Some Historical Facts

History connects people of different civilisations and culture in the thread of togetherness, or at least, that is what the world believes! As an aspiring learner who is yet to know it all about French, starting with some historical facts about France can make things interesting, especially if you love history. Learn French history and know about the biggest secrets that the name holds in its development.

  • France takes its pride in being one of the oldest heritage sites in the world. It dates back to as far as 600 BC. The territory was named “pagan Franks” at that time, and Clovis I was the first appointed leader. He was the one who united the territories into one nation, and later it became “France” under his rule.
  • The famous ancient rock formation Stonehenge has its similar counterpart Carnac in Brittany, France. Yes, England is not the only country to possess those ancient rocks as scientists have claimed both to be similar.
  • The Papal Headquarters were a part of France for over 70 years before the Rome Empire took its possession under their geographical boundaries.
  • The ancient Bastille Prison in Paris, the place we know as Place de la Bastille, is the historic location where the French revolution started in 1789.
  • Place De La Concorde, one of the most beautiful locations in Paris was once a pool of blood as the revolutionaries began their “Reign of Terror” by beheading over 17000 men. Most of those men took their last breather in this place.
  • Louis-Antoine Duke of Angoulême experienced the shortest and most conservative ever reign in France that did not last for even 30 minutes.
  • As surprising as it sounds, the Parisians did not approve of the Eiffel Tower at the time of its construction, thinking it is too tall and would destroy the aesthetics of the beautiful city.
  • The English word “Camouflage” originates from France.

French Classes: The French Empire

You must have heard of the French Empire in Class VI or VII as we all have while attending the history classes. Although most of the students dreaded the subject, probably because they deemed it boring, history has its special essence. The second-language speakers who are doing French Classes should know about the French language culture and its emphasis over the world. Therefore, it becomes our sole responsibility and duty to take part in the learning process intently.

The First French Empire

The First French Empire was under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte who wore the crown on 2 December 1804. Before Napoleon’s rule, no man possessed such authority that could drive an entire nation. He was also the First Consul, a part of the three members who took a seat at the French Consulate.

The First Empire revolved around a period of 10 years, constitutionally from 1804 to 1814. In 1812, the Empire ruled over 44 million subjects with 130 departments, while maintaining a military presence in Spain, Germany and Italy. If you study this phase of France, you will realise how Napoleon rose to power after the Reign Of Terror.

French Empire teacups
A pair of French Empire teacups with saucers, a depiction of crockery used in the 19th Century. Source: artscollection.com

The Second French Empire

The Second French Empire existed for a period spanning from 1852 to 1870 under the reign of Napoleon III (Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew). The Empire received a lot of criticisms from historians on the ground of his reckless decisions and foreign policies. However, domestic policies were beneficial, especially after he liberalised his rule in 1858. However, Napoleon III failed to lead peacefully and ended up with no allies or governance at the end of his reign in 1870. The common European framework with a million French speakers encapsulates this period in details.

The French Colonial Empire

The French Colonial Empire was precisely in two parts; the First Empire and the Second Empire. This Empire constituted the territories administered by France spanning from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. This period saw both the rise and fall of the Empire while the focus was on the expansion of the rule to countries like North America, India and the Caribbean. You will find this historical venture a very inquisitive one with European Framework reference. 

Francia: The Frankish Empire Of Charlemagne

Francia commonly referred to as the “Kingdom of the Franks” existed from 481 BC to 843 BC. This was the time when some parts of the French lands inhabited the Franks, a West Germanic Tribal Confederation. Clovis I was the ruler at that time who united the people together. If you are deeply into ancient history, you can read about the Frankish Empire. The period saw a lot of crucial events in the history of French language. You can also speak to native French speakers about these events to improve your speaking skills as well.

Empire Style: The 19th Century Design Movement

The Empire Style was a design movement that started in the early 19th century focused on furniture, architecture, visual arts and other decorative arts while representing the rising phase of Neoclassicism. The focus of this style was to idealise the condition of French state and leadership at the time of Napoleon I.

French Empire Style
A private residence in the French Empire Style interior design by Aristo Artisans Co. Source: Houzz.com

The Second Empire Architecture

Just like the Empire Style focused on the footsteps of Napoleon I, the Second Empire Architecture was on the footnotes of Napoleon III. It was about the highly elective style of decorative arts and architecture. It used the elements of different and distinct historical styles and also made the use of glass skylights and iron framework. Some of the major examples of this Empire include the Opera Garnier, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Church of Saint Augustine, etc. You can learn a lot about the development of French architecture and its development in the country. Make the most of your French official language by explaining your experience.

Know The Basics About France

Knowing about France is as vital as speaking fluent French. A part of your development will depend upon the progressive knowledge that you will gain as a learner. Now that you know about the French Empire, you should also start discovering about France as it is now! Keep thinking of future possibilities as a speaker if you want to become the best in your field. Some very rare individuals can make the right use of their skills. You should focus on building your foundation stronger than others to beat them in the race. Remember, only enhanced individuals lead others on the path to success!

What Are The Opportunities After Learning French?

Learning the French language will give you the liberty of choosing your career in different fields. If you are concerned about - “What are the opportunities after learning French?”, you should look at the job availability in foreign lands. Make the most of the language that originates from vulgar Latin and strengthen your speaking skills. You can work in any country that has French in one of its official languages. In India, your scope will improve as a foreign ambassador and representative.

Second French Empire
An artistic representation of the Second French Empire and its rule in the country. Source: wikiwand.com

French official languages are a part of over 28 countries in the world. So, the French language facts will help you develop a detailed learning process where you can flourish as a speaker. You can also be a part of the organisation Internationale Francophonie by doing online French courses. Enjoy your learning experience and also enlighten yourself with the historical reminiscences of the country!

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Anurag

Graduated but my love for writing is in no mood of taking any pause. I work with a team of excellent and highly experienced content writers. Also, love to play football and have a special love for tech stuff and gadgets.