F rance is an independent nation in Western Europe and the center of a large overseas administration. It is the third-largest European nation (after Russia and Ukraine ).
I n ancient times France was part of the Celtic territory known as Gaul or Gallia . Its present name is derived from the Latin Francia, meaning "country of the Franks," a Germanic people who conquered the area during the 5th century, at the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It became a separate country in the 9th century.
S ince the 17th century, France has played a major role in European and world events. In the 20th century, it has experienced numerous crises, including the devastation of two world wars, political and social upheavals, and the loss of a large empire in Indochina , Algeria , and West and Equatorial Africa
T oday, the term metropolitan France refers to the mainland departments and CORSICA , a large island located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy that has been a part of France since 1768he Western Roman Empire . It became a separate country in the 9th century.