This article is part of the series on
Administrative divisions of France
(incl. |||} Metropolitan France As of January 1, 2008, Metropolitan France is divided into 22 regions (including Corsica, although |||} Metropolitan France As of January 1, 2008, Metropolitan France is divided into 22 regions (including Corsica, although France is divided into 26 regions or régions (in French of which 21 are in continental Metropolitan France, one is the island of Corsica, overseas regions)
(incl. Overseas region (Région d'outre-mer is a recent designation given to the overseas departments which have similar powers to those of the regions of Metropolitan In the context of the political and geographic organization of France and many of its former colonies a department (département depaʁtǝmɑ̃ is an Administrative division overseas departments)
Others in Overseas France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. Overseas department (départements d’outre-mer or DOM) is a designation under the 1946 Constitution of the Fourth Republic that was given to the The 100 French departments are divided into 342 arrondissements, which may be translated into English as districts. The cantons of France are territorial subdivisions of the French Republic's 341 arrondissements and 100 departments. The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. In France urban communities (communauté urbaine are the most integrated form of intercommunality in France. An agglomeration community ( French: communauté d'agglomération) is a metropolitan government structure in France, created by the Chevènement A communauté de communes (French for "community of communes " is a federation of municipalities (communes in France. In France associated communes (communes associées were created by the Commune Merger Act of July 16 1971 (also called the Marcellin Act) The municipal arrondissement (arrondissement municipal pronounced /aʀɔ̃dismɑ̃ mynisipal/ is a subdivision of the commune, used in the three largest cities Paris The French Overseas Departments and Territories ( French: départements d'outre-mer and territoires d'outre-mer or DOM-TOM) consist broadly of The French overseas collectivities ( collectivités d'outre-mer or COM) like the French regions, themselves are first-order Administrative divisions For the former North American fur-trading district see New Caledonia (Canada, and for the Scottish colony in Panama see Darien scheme. Overseas country ( French: pays d'outre-mer or POM) is the new designation for the Overseas collectivity of French Polynesia. Clipperton Island ( French: Île de Clipperton or Île de la Passion) is a nine-square-kilometre coral Atoll in the Eastern Pacific Examples of administrative divisions English terms In many of the following terms corresponding to British cultural influence areas of relatively low mean population This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. The French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, meaning a small gathering of people sharing a common life, from Latin communis, things held in common. Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the Liturgical language of the medieval Communes in Europe in the Middle Ages were sworn allegiances of mutual defense (both physical defense and of traditional freedoms among community members of a town or city Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome.
French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities/cities in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany. A municipality is an administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population and commonly denotes a City, Town, or Village, or The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. French communes have no exact equivalent in the United Kingdom, having a status somewhere in between that of English districts and civil parishes. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially ' shire districts', are a type of local government district in England. A civil parish in the United Kingdom is a unit of local government.
A French commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants like Paris, a town of 10,000, or just a 10-person hamlet. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city
As of March 1, 2007, there were 36,780 communes in France, 36,568 of them in metropolitan France and 212 of them overseas. Events 86 BC - Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army enters in Athens, removing the Tyrant Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Metropolitan France (France métropolitaine or la Métropole, or colloquially l'Hexagone) is the part of France located in Europe, including This is considerably higher than in any other European country. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in This peculiarity is explained in detail in the history section below; briefly, French communes still largely reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution more than two centuries ago. A parish is a Local church; it is an administrative unit typically found in episcopal or presbyterian churches The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an
|Metropolitan France||Overseas France|
|Jan. Metropolitan France (France métropolitaine or la Métropole, or colloquially l'Hexagone) is the part of France located in Europe, including The French Overseas Departments and Territories ( French: départements d'outre-mer and territoires d'outre-mer or DOM-TOM) consist broadly of 1, 1999||36,565||214|
|Jan. 1, 2000||36,566||214|
|Jan. 1, 2001||36,563||214|
|Jan. 1, 2002||36,565||214|
|Jan. 1, 2003||36,564||214|
|Jan. 1, 2004||36,568||214|
|Jan. 1, 2005||36,570||214|
|Jan. 1, 2006||36,571||214|
|Jan. 1, 2007||36,569||214|
|Mar. 1, 2007||36,568||212|
It should also be noted that, unlike that of some other countries such as the United States, the whole of the territory of the French Republic, outside of some small overseas possessions, is divided into communes. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the On the territory of the French Republic there is no such thing as unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority. In Law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any Municipality. (This is similar to the situation in the New England region of the United States. History See also History of New England New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian -speaking Native Americans including the ) Any piece of land in the French Republic is part of a commune, both in metropolitan France and in its overseas extensions (including uninhabited mountains or rain forests), with only the exceptions of:
In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 is 14.88 km² (5. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. To help compare sizes of different geographic regions we list here Areas between 10 km² (1000 Hectares and 100 km² (10000 hectares 75 sq. miles, or 3,676 acres). The median area of metropolitan France's communes (as of 1999 census) is even smaller, at 10.73 km² (4. In Probability theory and Statistics, a median is described as the number separating the higher half of a sample a population or a Probability distribution To help compare sizes of different geographic regions we list here Areas between 10 km² (1000 Hectares and 100 km² (10000 hectares 14 sq. miles, or 2,651 acres). The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than in most of the European countries, such as Italy where the median area of communes (comuni) is 22 km² (8. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest In Italy, the comune, (plural comuni) is the basic Administrative division of both provinces and regions and may be properly approximated in 5 sq. miles), Belgium where it is 40 km² (15. The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those 5 sq. miles), Spain where it is 35 km² (13. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. 5 sq. miles), or Germany where the majority of Länder have communes (Gemeinden) with a median area above 15 km² (5. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular 8 sq. miles).
This very small size of the French communes is due to the extremely high number of communes, mentioned above, in a medium-sized territory such as France. In 2000, Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, and Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz is one of the 16 federal states (German Bundesländer) of Germany. is the northernmost of the 16 ''Bundesländer'' in Germany. The former English name was Sleswick-Holsatia the Danish name is The Free State of Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen is located in central Germany. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics.
The communes of French overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards, larger than communes of metropolitan France. Overseas department (départements d’outre-mer or DOM) is a designation under the 1946 Constitution of the Fourth Republic that was given to the Réunion ( French: Réunion or formally La Réunion; previously Île Bourbon) is an island located in the Indian Ocean, east of French Guiana (Guyane française officially fr ''Guyane'' is an Overseas department (French département d'outre-mer, or DOM) of France They usually group into the same commune several villages or towns, often with sizeable distances between them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes. Réunion ( French: Réunion or formally La Réunion; previously Île Bourbon) is an island located in the Indian Ocean, east of
The median population of metropolitan France's communes as of the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. In Probability theory and Statistics, a median is described as the number separating the higher half of a sample a population or a Probability distribution Again this is a very small number, and here France stands absolutely apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries (communes in Switzerland or Rhineland-Palatinate may have a smaller surface area, as mentioned above, but they are more populated). This is a list of countries in Europe with their English and domestic language long and short names and associated capital cities Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz is one of the 16 federal states (German Bundesländer) of Germany. This small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium where it was 11,265 inhabitants, or even Spain where it was 564 inhabitants. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that differences in size are extreme among French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2,000,000 inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a village of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a couple hundred inhabitants; but there also exists a small number of communes that are highly populated.
In metropolitan France, there are 20,982 communes with fewer than 500 inhabitants, which is 57. 4% of the total number of communes. In these 20,982 communes there live only 4,638,000 inhabitants, or 7. 7% of the total population of metropolitan France. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. In other words, only 7. 7% of the French population live in 57. 4% of the communes, while 92. 3% of the population concentrate in just 42. 6% of the French communes.
The Alsace region, with a land area of 8,280 km² (3,197 sq. Alsace (Alsace alzas Alsatian and Elsass pre-1996 German: Elsaß; Alsatia is one of the 26 Regions of France, located on the eastern France is divided into 26 regions or régions (in French of which 21 are in continental Metropolitan France, one is the island of Corsica, To help compare Orders of magnitude of different geographical regions we list here areas between 1000 km2 and 10000 km2 miles), is the smallest region of metropolitan France, yet it is divided in no fewer than 904 communes (903 communes until 2006, but the communes of Bosselshausen and Kirrwiller, which had merged in 1974, demerged on January 1, 2007, thus bringing the total to 904). Metropolitan France (France métropolitaine or la Métropole, or colloquially l'Hexagone) is the part of France located in Europe, including Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Bosselshausen is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin département and the Alsace region. Kirrwiller is a French commune in the Bas-Rhin département and the Alsace région. Year 1974 ( MCMLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. This high number of communes is not special when compared to other regions of metropolitan France, but when examined at the European level it reveals the peculiar situation of French communes. Metropolitan France (France métropolitaine or la Métropole, or colloquially l'Hexagone) is the part of France located in Europe, including
With 904 communes, the small Alsace region has for example three times more municipalities than the kingdom of Sweden whose large territory covering 449,964 km² (173,732 sq. "Sverige" redirects here For other uses see Sweden (disambiguation and Sverige (disambiguation. miles) is divided into only 290 municipalities (kommuner). The Municipalities of Sweden ( kommun) are the Local government entities of Sweden. Alsace has more than double the number of municipalities in the Netherlands which, despite a population 9 times larger and a land area 4 times larger than Alsace, is divided into only 443 municipalities (gemeenten). The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands |||} All provinces of the Netherlands are divided into municipalities ( gemeenten) together 443 (2007
Despite the Germanic heritage of Alsace, most of the Alsatian communes have aligned with the vast majority of communes in other French regions in their rejection of French laws pushing communes to merge with each other, whereas in most of the German states bordering Alsace the municipalities (Gemeinden) have been merged in various waves since the 1960s, thus massively reducing their numbers. Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular Municipalities ( Gemeinde) are the lowest level of territorial division in Germany.
In the state of Baden-Württemberg, just across the Rhine River, the number of Gemeinden was reduced from 3,378 in 1968 to 1,108 as of Sept. Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states ( Bundesländer) of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge Year 1968 ( MCMLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. 2007.  In comparison, the number of communes in Alsace was only reduced from 945 in 1971 (just before the Marcellin law enticing French communes to merge with each other was passed, see Current debate section below) to 904 as of Jan. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. 2007. As a result, the Alsace region, despite a land area only a fifth the size of Baden-Württemberg and a total population only a sixth the population of Baden-Württemberg, has almost as many municipalities as this German state. The small Alsace region has more than double the number of municipalities in the very large and very populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia (396 Gemeinden as of Sept. North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen usually shortened to NRW, official short form NW is the westernmost and - in terms of population and economic output - the 2007) where municipalities mergers were carried out more extensively than in Baden-Württemberg, and nearly as many municipalities as in the also very large state of Lower Saxony (1,022 Gemeinden as of Sept. Lower Saxony ( German: Niedersachsen ch is pronounced before an s --> lies in north-western Germany and is second 2007). 
Despite enormous differences in population, each of the communes of the French Republic possesses a mayor (maire) and a municipal council (conseil municipal) which manage the commune from the mairie (city hall), with exactly the same powers no matter the size of the commune (with the city of Paris as the only exception, where the city police are in the hands of the central state, not in the hands of the mayor of Paris). A city hall or town hall is the chief administrative building of a City or Town 's administration and usually houses the city or This uniformity of status is a clear legacy of the French Revolution, which wanted to do away with the local idiosyncrasies and tremendous differences of status that existed in the kingdom of France.
The size of a commune still matters, however, in two domains: French law determines the size of the municipal council according to the population of the commune; and the size of the population determines which voting process is used for the election of the municipal council. A municipal council is the Local government of a Municipality.
Since the PML Law of 1982, three French communes also have a special status in that they are further divided into municipal arrondissements: these are Paris, Marseille, and Lyon. The municipal arrondissement (arrondissement municipal pronounced /aʀɔ̃dismɑ̃ mynisipal/ is a subdivision of the commune, used in the three largest cities Paris Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Marseille, ( English alt Marseilles mɑrˈseɪ — French: maʁsɛj locally — Provençal Occitan: Marselha maʀˈsijɔ ||-||} Lyon, also known as Lyons in English is a city in east-central France. Municipal arrondissement is the only administrative unit below the commune in the French Republic, but it exists only in these three communes. The municipal arrondissement (arrondissement municipal pronounced /aʀɔ̃dismɑ̃ mynisipal/ is a subdivision of the commune, used in the three largest cities Paris These municipal arrondissements are not to be confused with the arrondissements that are subdivisions of French départements. The 100 French departments are divided into 342 arrondissements, which may be translated into English as districts. In the Terminology of Political geography and Historiography a National department (département departamento is an administrative
French communes have had legal "personality" since 1837: they are considered legal entities, and they have legal capacity. Note This Wikipedia entry deals with the legal concept legal person. Municipal arrondissements have no legal personality, and no budget of their own.
The rights and obligations of communes are governed by the Code général des collectivités territoriales (CGCT) which replaced the Code des communes (except for personnel matters) with the passage of the law of 21 February 1996 for legislation and decree number 2000-318 of 7 April 2000 for regulations. Events 362 - Athanasius returns to Alexandria. 1245 - Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland Year 1996 ( MCMXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar) Events 529 - First draft of Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in Jurisprudence) is issued by Eastern Roman Emperor 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar.
French communes were created at the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789-1790. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an
Before the French Revolution, there existed nothing such as the communes we know today. The lowest level of administrative division was the parish (paroisse), and there were up to 60,000 of them in the Kingdom of France. A parish is a Local church; it is an administrative unit typically found in episcopal or presbyterian churches A parish was essentially a church, the houses around it (known as the village), and the agricultural land around the village. It should be remembered that France was the most populous country of Europe until the 19th century, more so even than Russia, with a population of approximately 25 million inhabitants before the Industrial Revolution (England had only 6 million inhabitants before the Industrial Revolution) -- this accounts for the stunningly-high number of parishes in the Kingdom of France. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland French Kings often prided themselves on ruling over a "realm of 100,000 steeples".
However these parishes lacked the municipal structures of post-Revolution communes. Usually there was only a building committee (conseil de fabrique where 'fabrique' is related to the English word 'fabricate'), made up of villagers, which managed the buildings of the parish church, the churchyard, and the other numerous church estates and properties -- and sometimes also provided help for the poor, or even administered parish hospitals or schools. The priest in charge of the parish was also required to record baptisms, marriages, and burials, since the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts of 1539 by Francis the First. The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts is an extensive piece of reform Legislation signed into law by Francis I of France on August 10, Francis I (September 12 1494 &ndash March 31 1547 was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547 Except for these tasks, villages were left to handle other issues as they pleased. Typically, villagers would gather to decide over a special issue regarding the community, such as agricultural land usage, but there existed no permanent municipal body. In many places, the local feudal lord (seigneur) in his castle was still intervening in the village’s affairs, still collecting taxes from tenant-villagers and ordering them to work the corvée, still determining which agricultural land was to be used and when, and how much of the harvest should be given to him. Corvée is labour often but not always unpaid that persons in power have authority to compel their subjects to perform unless commuted in some way such as by a cash payment sometimes this was
On the other hand, there existed chartered cities that had received charters during the Middle Ages, either from the king himself, or from local counts or dukes (such as the city of Toulouse chartered by the counts of Toulouse). A charter is the grant of authority or rights stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified Toulouse ( pronounced in standard French, and in the local accent ( Occitan: Tolosa, pronounced) is a city in southwest These cities were made up of several parishes (up to several hundreds in the case of Paris), and they were usually enclosed by a defensive wall. See also List of cities with defensive walls A defensive wall is a Fortification used to defend a city or settlement from potential aggressors These cities had been emancipated from the power of feudal lords in the 12th and 13th centuries, they had municipal bodies which administered the city, and bore quite a resemblance with the communes that the French Revolution would establish except for two key points: 1- these municipal bodies were not democratic, they were usually in the hands of some rich bourgeois families upon whom, over time, nobility had been conferred, so they can be better labeled as oligarchies rather than municipal democracies; 2- there was no uniform status for these chartered cities, each one having its own status and specific organization. Oligarchy' ( Greek, Oligarkhía) is a Form of government where Political power effectively rests with a small elite segment
In the north of France, cities tended to be administered by échevins (from an old Germanic word meaning judge), while in the south of France cities tended to be administered by consuls (in a clear reference to Roman antiquity), but Bordeaux was administered by jurats (etymologically meaning "sworn men") and Toulouse by capitouls ("men of the chapter"). ( Gascon: Bordèu) is a port city in southwest France, with one million inhabitants in its metropolitan area at a 2008 estimate Jurat (through French from mediaeval Latin jurat, "he swears" Lat Toulouse ( pronounced in standard French, and in the local accent ( Occitan: Tolosa, pronounced) is a city in southwest Usually, there was no mayor in the modern sense; all the échevins or consuls were on the same footing, and rendered decisions in collegiality; but for certain purposes there was one échevin or consul ranking above the others, being a sort of mayor, although not with the same authority and executive powers as a modern mayor. This "mayor" was called: provost of the merchants (prévôt des marchands) in Paris and Lyon; maire in Marseille, Bordeaux, Rouen, Orléans, Bayonne and many other cities and towns; mayeur in Lille; premier capitoul in Toulouse; viguier in Montpellier; premier consul in many towns of southern France; prêteur royal in Strasbourg; maître échevin in Metz; maire royal in Nancy; or prévôt in Valenciennes. A provost (introduced into Scots from French) is the ceremonial head of many Scottish local authorities. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city ||-||} Lyon, also known as Lyons in English is a city in east-central France. Marseille, ( English alt Marseilles mɑrˈseɪ — French: maʁsɛj locally — Provençal Occitan: Marselha maʀˈsijɔ Rouen (ʁwɑ̃ in French) is the historical capital city of Normandy, in northwestern France on the River Seine, and currently the capital This article is about the French city of Orléans for other meanings see Orleans (disambiguation. Bayonne ( French: Bayonne bajɔn Gascon Occitan and Basque: Baiona) is a city and commune of southwest Lille (lil Rijsel is a city in northern France. It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest Metropolitan area in the country Montpellier ( Occitan Montpelhièr) is a City in the south of France. Strasbourg (Strasbourg stʁazbuʁ Alsatian: Strossburi,; Straßburg) is the capital and principal City of the Alsace région Metz (mɛs in French) is a city in the northeast of France, capital of the Lorraine région and Préfecture Nancy (nɑ̃si archaic Nanzig Nanzeg is a city and commune in the Lorraine région of northeastern France Valenciennes (Old Dutch: Valencijn, Latin: Valentianae) is a Town and commune in northern France in the
On July 14, 1789, at the end of the afternoon, following the storming of the Bastille, the provost of the merchants of Paris, Jacques de Flesselles, was shot by the crowd on the steps of Paris City Hall. Events 1223 - Louis VIII becomes King of France upon the death of his father Philip II of France. Year 1789 ( MDCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Bastille was a Fortress - Prison in Paris, known formally as Bastille Saint-Antoine —Number 232 Rue Saint-Antoine—best known today Jacques de Flesselles (1721 &ndash July 14, 1789) was a French provost, a post roughly equivalent to Mayor. Although in the Middle Ages the provosts of the merchants symbolized the independence of Paris and even had openly rebelled against King Charles V, their office had been suppressed by the king, then reinstated but with strict control from the king, and so they had ended up being viewed by the people as yet another local representative of the king, and no longer as the embodiment of a free municipality. Charles V ( 21 January 1338 – 16 September 1380) called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death and a member
Following that event, a "commune" of Paris was immediately set up to replace the old medieval chartered city of Paris, and a municipal guard was established to protect Paris against any attempt made by King Louis XVI to quell the ongoing revolution. Louis XVI ( 23 August 1754 – 21 January 1793) Louis-Auguste de France, ruled as King of France and Navarre Several other cities of France quickly followed suit, and communes arose everywhere, each with their municipal guard. On December 14, 1789, the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) passed a law creating the commune, designed to be the lowest level of administrative division in France, thus endorsing these independently-created communes, but also creating communes of its own. Events 1287 - St Lucia's flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses killing over 50000 people Year 1789 ( MDCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The National Constituent Assembly (Assemblée nationale constituante was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789, during the first stages of the In this area as in many others, the work of the National Assembly was, properly-speaking, revolutionary: not content with transforming all the chartered cities and towns into communes, the National Assembly also decided to turn all the village parishes into full-status communes. The Revolutionaries were inspired by Cartesian ideas as well as by the philosophy of the Enlightenment (les Lumières). The Age of Enlightenment or The Enlightenment is a term used to describe a phase in Western philosophy and cultural life centered upon the eighteenth century They wanted to do away with all the peculiarities of the past and establish a perfect society, in which all and everything should be equal and set up according to reason, rather than by tradition or conservatism.
Thus, they set out to establish administrative divisions that would be uniform all across the country: the whole of France would be divided into départements, themselves divided into arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons, themselves divided into communes, no exceptions. In the Terminology of Political geography and Historiography a National department (département departamento is an administrative The 100 French departments are divided into 342 arrondissements, which may be translated into English as districts. The cantons of France are territorial subdivisions of the French Republic's 341 arrondissements and 100 departments. All of these communes would have equal status, they would all have a mayor (maire) at their head, and a municipal council (conseil municipal) elected by the inhabitants of the commune. This was a real revolution for the tens of thousands of villages that never had experienced organized municipal life before. A communal house (mairie) had to be built in each of these villages, which would house the meetings of the municipal council as well as the administration of the commune. Some in the National Assembly were opposed to such a fragmentation of France into tens of thousands of communes, but eventually Mirabeau and his ideas of one commune for each parish prevailed. Honoré Gabriel Riqueti Comte de Mirabeau ( March 9, 1749 &ndash April 2, 1791) was a French writer popular orator and statesman
On 20 September 1792, the recording of births, marriages, and deaths also was withdrawn from the priests of the parishes and became the responsibility of the mayors. Events 451 - The Battle of Chalons takes place in North Eastern France. Year 1792 ( MDCCXCII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year Civil marriages were established and started to be performed in the mairie with a ceremony not unlike the traditional church ceremony, with the mayor replacing the priest, and the name of the law replacing the name of God ("Au nom de la loi, je vous déclare unis par les liens du mariage. " – "In the name of the law, I declare you united by the bonds of marriage. "). Priests were forced to surrender their centuries-old baptism, marriage, and burial books, which were deposited in the mairies. These abrupt changes profoundly alienated devout Catholics, and France soon was plunged into the throes of civil war, with the fervently religious regions of western France at its center. A civil war is a War between a State and domestic political actors that are in control of some part of the territory claimed by the state It would take Napoleon I to re-establish peace in France, stabilize the new administrative system, and make it generally accepted by the population. Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821 was a French military and political leader who had a significant impact on the History of Europe. Napoleon also abolished the election of the municipal councils, which now were chosen by the prefect, the local representative of the central government. Prefect (from the Latin praefectus, perfect participle of praeficere: "make in front" i
Today, in their general principles, French communes are still very much the same as those that were established at the beginning of the French Revolution. The biggest changes occurred in 1831, when the French Parliament re-established the principle of the election of the municipal councils, and in 1837 when French communes were given legal "personality", being now considered legal entities with legal capacity. Note This Wikipedia entry deals with the legal concept legal person. The Jacobin revolutionaries were afraid of independent local powers, which they saw as conservative and opposed to the revolution, and so they favored a powerful central state. This page describes the political term "Jacobin" For discussion of the political organization of the French Revolution era see Jacobin Club. Therefore, when they created the communes, they deprived them of any legal "personality" (the départements likewise), with only the central state having legal "personality". In the Terminology of Political geography and Historiography a National department (département departamento is an administrative By 1837 that situation was judged impractical, as mayors and municipal councils could not be parties in courts. The consequence of the change, however, was that tens of thousands of villages which had never had legal "personality" (contrary to the chartered cities) suddenly became legal entities for the first time in their history. This is still the case today.
During the French Revolution approximately 41,000 communes were created (), on a territory corresponding to the limits of modern-day France (the 41,000 figure includes the communes of the departments of Savoie, Haute-Savoie and Alpes-Maritimes which were annexed in 1795, but does not include the departments of modern-day Belgium and Germany west of the Rhine, which were part of France between 1795 and 1815). Savoie ( Arpitan: Savouè d’Avâl) is a French department located in the Rhône-Alpes ( Rôno-Arpes Haute-Savoie ( Arpitan: Savouè d’Amont / Hiôta-Savouè) is a French department, named for its location in Alpes-Maritimes ( Occitan: Aups Maritims) is a department in the extreme southeast corner of France. The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge This was less than the 60,000 parishes that existed before the revolution (in cities and towns, parishes were merged into one single commune; in the countryside, some very small parishes were merged with bigger ones), but 41,000 was still a very big number, without any comparison in the world at the time, except in the empire of China (but there, only county level and above had any permanent administration). China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National A county is a Land area of Regional Government within a larger State.
Since then, tremendous changes have affected France, as they have the rest of Europe: the Industrial Revolution, two world wars, and the rural exodus all have depopulated the countryside and increased the size of cities. The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the A world war is a War affecting the majority of the world's most powerful and populous nations Rural exodus (or rural flight) is a term used to describe the migratory patterns that normally occur in a region following the mechanisation of Agriculture. French administrative divisions, however, have remained extremely rigid and unchanged. Today about 90% of communes and departments are exactly the same as those designed at the time of the French Revolution more than 200 years ago, with the same limits. As a consequence, countless rural communes that had hundreds of inhabitants at the time of the French Revolution now have only a hundred inhabitants or less. On the other hand, cities and towns have grown so much that their urbanized area is now extending far beyond the limits of their commune which were set at the time of the revolution. The most extreme example of this is Paris, where the urbanized area sprawls over 396 communes. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city
Paris in fact was one of the very few communes of France whose limits were extended to take into account the expansion of the urbanized area. The new, larger, commune of Paris was set up under the oversight of Emperor Napoléon III in 1859, but after 1859 the limits of Paris became rigid. Napoléon III, also known as Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (full name Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte) (20 April 1808 9 January 1873 was the first President Unlike most other European countries, which stringently merged their communes to better reflect modern-day densities of population (such as Germany and Italy around 1970), dramatically decreasing the number of communes in the process – the Gemeinden of West Germany were decreased from 24,400 to 8,400 in a few years' time – France only carried out mergers at the margin, and those were mostly carried out during the 19th century. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular West Germany ( Inf German: Westdeutschland or West-Deutschland) was the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany ( From 41,000 communes at the time of the French Revolution, the number decreased to 37,963 in 1921, and 36,568 in 2004 (in metropolitan France).
France is by far the country with the largest number of communes in Europe. For instance, reunited Germany (one-third more inhabitants than France) has only 12,291 communes (Gemeinden, as of Sept. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. 30, 2007, down from ca. 46,300 communes in 1900 within the post-1990 borders of Germany), and Italy (almost as many inhabitants as France) has only 8,101 communes (comuni, as of 2001 Italian census). Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest In Italy, the comune, (plural comuni) is the basic Administrative division of both provinces and regions and may be properly approximated in In Europe, only Switzerland has as high a density of communes as France, and even there an extensive merger movement has started in the last ten years. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Municipalities (sometimes called communities or communes, after the French/Italian names are the smallest government division in Switzerland and are called To better grasp the staggering number of communes in France, two comparisons can be made: 1- the European Union (of 15 members, before May 2004) is made up of approximately 75,000 communes, and metropolitan France alone accounts for 35,568 of these, which means 47. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in 5% of the communes of the European Union are in metropolitan France alone (France represents 16% of the total population of the European Union of 15 members). 2- the United States, with a territory 14 times larger than that of the French Republic, and nearly five times its population, had 35,937 incorporated municipalities and townships as of the 2002 Census of Governments, fewer than that the 36,782 communes of the French Republic. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Local governments are administrative offices that are smaller than a State. A civil township is a widely used unit of Local government in the United States, subordinate to a county.
For more than 30 years, there have been calls in France for a massive merger of communes, including such distinguished voices as the president of the Cour des Comptes (the central auditing administrative body in France). The Cour des Comptes ( French for "Court of Accounts" is a French government Quasi-judicial body charged with conducting Audits of most So far, however, local conservatism has been very strong, and no mandatory merging proposal ever has made it past committee in the French Parliament. In 1971 the Marcellin law offered support and money from the government to entice the communes to merge freely with each other, but the law had only a limited effect (only about 1,300 communes agreed to disappear and merge with others). Raymond Marcellin ( Sézanne, August 19, 1914 - September 8, 2004) was a French politician
So, those in favor of mergers complain that French cities have a ridiculously light weight compared to their European counterparts, because their limits still are those set more than 200 years ago. A city is an Urban area with a large Population and a particular Administrative, Legal, or Historical status For instance, the city of Lyon is a geographically small commune with only 465,300 inhabitants living within its administrative borders, which ranks below many other European cities, whereas in fact the metropolitan area of Lyon has 1. ||-||} Lyon, also known as Lyons in English is a city in east-central France. The aire urbaine is an INSEE (the national statistics office of France statistical region comprising a Couronne périurbaine commuter belt around a contiguous 7 million inhabitants and ranks as one of the major metropolises of Europe, on a par with a metropolitan area such as Munich. Munich (München; Minga is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. As a matter of fact, the population and economy of the Munich metropolitan area is very comparable to that of Lyon, but the population of the city (Gemeinde) of Munich is about 1,320,000 inhabitants, nearly three times that of the commune of Lyon, reflecting the much larger municipal territory of Munich (310 km²/120 sq. miles), 6. 5 times larger than the municipal territory of Lyon (48 km²/18. 5 sq. miles).
Mayors of French cities often complain that their significance is undervalued when they travel outside of France, due to the fact that they preside over only a small territory at the center of wider metropolitan areas. A good example of this phenomenon is Paris: although the metropolitan area of Paris is one of the very few in the world to have more than 10 million inhabitants, the population of the city of Paris itself is only 2,145,000 inhabitants, less than the population of the city of Rome (2,550,000 inhabitants), whose metropolitan area of 3. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 5 million inhabitants is dwarfed by that of the metropolitan area of Paris.
At the other end of the scale, there exist some countryside communes which rural exodus has left with few inhabitants, and which struggle to maintain and manage such basic services as running water, garbage collection, or properly-paved communal roads. Rural exodus (or rural flight) is a term used to describe the migratory patterns that normally occur in a region following the mechanisation of Agriculture.
Mergers, however, are not easy to achieve. A first obvious issue is that they reduce the number of available elected positions, and thus are not popular with local politicians. A more serious issue is that citizens from one village may be unwilling to have their local services run by an executive located in another village, who may be unaware or inattentive to their local needs.
The expression "intercommunality" (intercommunalité) denotes several forms of co-operation between communes. Such co-operation first made its appearance at the end of the 19th century in the law of 22 March 1890 which provided for the establishment of single-purpose intercommunal associations. The 19th century of the Common Era began on January 1, 1801 and ended on December 31, 1900, according to the Gregorian calendar French lawmakers having long been aware of the inadequacy of the communal structure inherited from the French Revolution for dealing with a number of practical matters, the so-called Chevènement law of 12 July 1999 is the most recent and the most thoroughgoing measure aimed at strengthening and simplifying this principle. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an Jean-Pierre Chevènement (born 9 March 1939) is a French Politician.
In recent years it has become increasingly common for communes to band together in intercommunal consortia for the provision of such services as refuse collection and water supply. A consortium is an association of two or more individuals companies organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities with the objective of participating Suburban communes often team up with the city at the core of their urban area to form a community charged with managing public transport or even administering the collection of local taxes.
The Chevènement law tidied up all these practices, abolishing some structures and creating new ones. In addition, it offered central government finance aimed at encouraging further communes to join together in intercommunal structures. Unlike the only partially successful statute enacted in 1966 and enabling urban communes to form urban communities, or the more marked failure of the Marcellin law of 1971, the Chevènement law met with a large measure of success, so that a majority of French communes are now involved in intercommunal structures. Raymond Marcellin ( Sézanne, August 19, 1914 - September 8, 2004) was a French politician
There are two types of intercommunal structures:
These three structures are given varying levels of fiscal power, with the Community of Agglomeration and the Urban Community having most fiscal power, levying the local tax on corporations (taxe professionnelle) in their own name instead of those of the communes, and with the same level of taxation across the communes of the community. The communities must also manage some services previously performed by the communes, such as garbage collection or transport, like the old syndicates, but the law also makes it mandatory for the communities to manage other areas such as economic planning and development, housing projects, or environment protection. Communities of Communes are required to manage the least number of areas, leaving the communes more autonomous, while the Urban Communities are required to manage most matters, leaving the communes inside them with less autonomous power.
In exchange for the creation of a community, the government allocates money to them based on their population, thus providing an incentive for the communes to team up and form communities. Communities of Communes are given the least amount of money per inhabitant, whereas Urban Communities are given the most amount of money per inhabitant, thus pushing the communes to form more integrated communities where they have less powers, which they would have been loath to do if it were not for government money.
The Chevènement law has been extremely successful in the sense that a majority of French communes now have joined the new intercommunal structures: quite a feat in such a conservative country as France. As of January 1, 2007, there were 2,573 such communities in metropolitan France (including 5 syndicats d'agglomération nouvelle, a category currently being phased out), made up of 33,327 communes (91. New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Metropolitan France (France métropolitaine or la Métropole, or colloquially l'Hexagone) is the part of France located in Europe, including 1% of all the communes of metropolitan France), and 52. 86 million inhabitants, i. e. 86. 7 % of the population of metropolitan France. 
However these impressive results may hide a murkier reality. In rural areas, many communes have entered a Community of Communes only to benefit from government funds. Often the local syndicate has been turned officially into a Community of Communes, the new Community of Communes in fact managing only the services previously managed by the syndicate, contrary to the spirit of the law which has established the new intercommunal structures to carry out a much broader range of activities than that undertaken by the old syndicates. Some say that, should government money transfers be stopped, many of these Communities of Communes would revert to their former status of syndicate, or simply completely disappear in places where there were no syndicates prior to the law.
In urban areas, the new intercommunal structures are much more a reality, being created by local decision-makers out of genuine belief in the worth of working together in the urban area. However in many places local feuds have arisen, and it was not possible to set up an intercommunal structure for the whole of the urban area: some communes refusing to take part in it, or even creating their own structure, so that in some urban areas like Marseille there exist four distinct intercommunal structures! In many areas, rich communes have joined with other rich communes and have refused to let in poorer communes, for fear that their citizens would be overtaxed to the benefit of poorer suburbs of the urban area. Moreover, intercommunal structures in many urban areas are still new, and fragile: tensions exist between communes; the city at the center of the urban area often is suspected of wishing to dominate the suburban communes; communes from opposite political sides also may be suspicious of each other.
Two famous examples of this are Toulouse and Paris. In Toulouse, on top of there being six intercommunal structures, the main community of Toulouse and its suburbs is only a Community of Agglomeration, although Toulouse is large enough to create an Urban Community according to the law. This is because the suburban communes refused an Urban Community for fear of losing too many powers, and opted for a Community of Agglomeration, despite the fact that a Community of Agglomeration receives less government funds than an Urban Community. As for Paris, no intercommunal structure has emerged there, the suburbs of Paris fearing the concept of a "Greater Paris", and so disunity still is the rule in the Paris metropolitan area, with the suburbs of Paris creating many different intercommunal structures but all without the city of Paris.
One major problem with intercommunality, often raised, is the fact that the intercommunal structures do not have representatives directly elected by the people, so it is the representatives of each individual commune that sit in the new structure. As a consequence, civil servants and bureaucrats are the ones setting up the agenda and implementing it, with the elected representatives of the communes only endorsing key decisions. At the local level, this situation is quite like the one existing in Brussels, where power shared by many independent European states has resulted in that power being exercised by a bureaucracy not elected by citizens.
The first five years of the 21st century have seen great changes at the communal level in France, but the situation still is unsettled. The new intercommunal structures, designed to solve the problem of a country with too many small communes, have met with clear success, but their powers -- as well as their relationship with the communes below them and the départements above them -- still need to be defined in practice. In the Terminology of Political geography and Historiography a National department (département departamento is an administrative
It is unclear yet where the trend is going. Will the intercommunal structures have representatives directly elected by the citizens in the future, as the Mauroy Report proposed in 2000? But then, wouldn't this leave the communes as hollow administrative units? Already, a few well-known mayors of large French cities (communes) have abandoned their mayoral seats to become presidents of the Urban Communities, as in the case of the Urban Community of Lille Métropole. Pierre Mauroy (born 5 July 1928 in Cartignies) is a French Socialist politician The Urban Community of Lille Métropole ( French: Lille Métropole Communauté Urbaine) is the intercommunal structure gathering the commune Or will these intercommunal structures break up, in the end, after the state stops transferring money? Or perhaps, as some believe, the Chevènement law was just a first step toward a massive merger of communes, an attempt to have the communes work together and see the advantages of it, before they are eventually merged. In any case, the debate is sure to rebound in the next few years.
The most elevated commune of the French Republic (and of Europe) is Saint-Véran (267 inhabitants), in the French Alps: the altitude of the village at the center of the commune is between 1,990 meters (6,529 feet) and 2,040 meters (6,693 feet) above sea level. Saint-Véran is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France in the Queyras Regional Natural Park
Names of French communes are normally in French. French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people In areas where other languages than French were spoken, the names have been adapted to French spelling and pronunciation, such as Toulouse (formerly Tolosa in Occitan), Strasbourg (formerly Straßburg in Alemannic), or Perpignan (formerly Perpinyà in Catalan). Toulouse ( pronounced in standard French, and in the local accent ( Occitan: Tolosa, pronounced) is a city in southwest Occitan ( IPA BrE: /ˈɒksɪtn/ AmE: /ˈɑksəˌtɑn/ known also as Lenga d'òc or Langue d'oc (native name occitan Strasbourg (Strasbourg stʁazbuʁ Alsatian: Strossburi,; Straßburg) is the capital and principal City of the Alsace région Alemannic German ( Alemannisch) is a group of Dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. Perpignan ( French: Perpignan, pɛʀpiɲɑ̃ Catalan Perpinyà,) is a commune and the Préfecture (administrative Catalan ˈkætəˌlæn ( català kətəˈla or) is a Romance language, the national and official language of Andorra, and a co-official However, many smaller communes have retained their native name. Here are examples of retained names in the languages once spoken, or still spoken, on the territory of the French Republic:
INSEE codes: INSEE gives numerical indexing codes to various entities in France, notably the communes (they do not coincide with postcodes). The INSEE code is a numerical indexing code used by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE to identify various entities including communes A postal code (known in various countries as a post code, postcode, or ZIP code) is a series of letters and/or digits appended to a The 'complete' code has 8 digits and 3 spaces within, but there is a popular 'simplified' code with 5 digits and no space within: