France - Country history and economic development

843. The treaty of Verdun roughly determines the borders of France. Charles the Bald becomes first monarch.

1338. The Hundred Years' War with England begins.

1643. Louis XIV's reign begins.

1789. The monarchy is overthrown by French Revolution. First Republic is founded.

1804. Napoleon Bonaparte declares himself the first emperor.

1870. France is defeated by Prussia in Franco-Prussian War.

1914. France is invaded by Germany during World War I and suffers enormous losses before winning the war, with the Allies, in 1918.

1940. France is invaded again by Germans during World War II. Allies liberate France in 1944. General Charles de Gaulle becomes head of the provisional government.

1946. France joins NATO.

1951. France plays a key role in the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the first step towards the eventual formation of the European Union.

1954. France withdraws from Indochina (Vietnam) after its military defeat there.

1967. The ECSC, the European Economic Community (EEC), and Euratom all merge to form the European Community (EC).

1968. Students and workers strike in Paris in opposition to government policies regarding the poor; De Gaulle resigns after losing referendum on constitutional reform.

1974. Conservative Giscard d'Estaing becomes president.

1981. Socialist Francois Mitterand becomes president; massive nationalization campaign by the government begins.

1986. Jacques Chirac becomes the prime minister of the center-right coalition; the government embarks on privatization efforts.

1988. Francois Mitterand is elected for a second term and brings France much closer to integration with the EU.

1991. Socialist Edith Cresson becomes the first woman prime minister of France.

1992. The Treaty of Maastricht is signed, which calls for the political and economic union of European countries. A common monetary policy and legal structure is announced.

1993. France tightens immigration requirements and makes it easier to deport foreigners.

1995. Jacques Chirac wins presidency on his third try, cements relations with Germany and the European union.

1997. Socialist Lionel Jospin becomes prime minister.

1999. EU adopts the euro as the currency.

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