Advertisement

The Land and the People

  • Philip Ouston

Abstract

THE French inhabit 213,000 square miles of land astride the main cape of Western Europe: a nation of fifty-one million people occupying territory more than twice as extensive as either of its most powerful neighbours, Great Britain and Federal Germany, but with less than half their density of population (see Map 1).1 Its geographical setting, at once Atlantic, Mediterranean and continental, is comprehensively European, and its ethnic origins are correspondingly diverse. Continuously from prehistoric times, the land that is now France has been a racial and cultural melting-pot. The French nation was formed by the combined energies, characters and skills of Ligurians, Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Romans, Franks, Scandinavians, Jews, Spaniards, Italians, Russians, Poles, Portuguese, Algerians — coming in wave after wave, as hunters, warriors, farmers, traders, craftsmen, administrators, manual workers, refugees and teachers — just as surely as the French state was built, century after century, by the stubborn defence, against rival dynastic and national ambitions, of its patiently extended and consolidated frontiers.

Keywords

Paris Basin French Territory French Nation French Civilisation French Republic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 2.
    e.g. J.-M. Sourdillat, Géographie agricole de la France (Paris, 1964) PP. 18–19. 75, 83–4. 89, 91.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    F. R. Alleman, 'The Alsatians', Encounter, XXIII 5 (November 1964) 45–54; I. B. Thompson, Modern France: A Social and Economic Geography (London, 1970) pp. 277–88.Google Scholar
  3. F. R. Alleman, ‘The Alsatians’, Encounter, XXIII 5 (November 1964) 45–54; I. B. Thompson, Modern France: A Social and Economic Geography (London, 1970) pp. 577–88.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    A. Prost, ‘L’Immigration en France depuis cent ans’, L’Esprit(Apr 1966) pp. 532–45.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    C. Delmas, L’Aménagement du territoire (Paris, 1962) p. 118. The Cévennes mountains, which form the south-eastern escarpment of the Massif Central, have lost nearly three-quarters of their population since 1900 (J Beaujeu-Garnier, Geography of Population, trans. S. H. Beaver (London, 1966) p. 196).Google Scholar
  6. 14.
    Thompson, Modern France. Also J.-F. Gravier, L’Aménagement du territoire et l’avenir des régions françaises (Paris, 1964)Google Scholar
  7. J. Bastié, Paris en l’an 2000 (Paris, 1964)Google Scholar
  8. P. George, P. Randet and J, Bastié, La Région parisienne (Paris, 1964); and J. J. Branigan, Europe excluding the British Isles and the USSR (London, 1965).Google Scholar
  9. J. J. Branigan, Europe excluding the British Isles and the USSR (London, 1965).Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    La Région parisienne p. 54; P. Avril, Politics in France trans. J. Ross (London, 1969) p. 557.Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    Beaujeu-Garnier, Geography of Population, pp. 195–6, and La Population française (Paris, 1969) pp. 137–9; Thompson, Modern France, p. 440; J.-F. Gravier, Paris et le désert français (Paris, 1947) pp. 38–49.Google Scholar
  12. Beaujeu-Garnier, Geography of Population, pp. 195–6, and La Population française (Paris, 1969) pp. 137–9; Thompson, Modern France, p. 440; J.-F. Gravier, Paris et le désert français (Paris, 1947) pp. 38–49.Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    J. Ardagh, The New France (London, 1970) pp. 205–19.Google Scholar
  14. 27.
    P. Massé, quoted in J. Hackett and A.-M. Hackett, Economic Planning in France (London, 1963) p. 396.Google Scholar
  15. 28.
    A. Sauvy, Mythologie de notre temps (Paris, 1966) p. 188.Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    J. A. Lesourd and C. Gérard, Histoire économique, XIXe et XXe siècles (Paris, 1963) 1 558. The summary history of recent immigration that follows is based on the article by Prost, ‘L’Immigration en France depuis cent ans’, quoted above, n. 10.Google Scholar
  17. 32.
    M. Guibert, ‘Présentation des étrangers en France’, L’Esprit (Apr 1966) pp. 550–1.Google Scholar
  18. W. Petersen, Population (New York, 1969) p. 585.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Philip Ouston 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Ouston

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations