THE LARGEST AMONG the nations of Western Europe, France boasts a long history of world leadership in the arts, sciences, and industrialization. As the first decade of the 21st century nears its end, France remains an influential nation with a Gross Domestic Product of $2,124 billion, and the sixth largest economy in the world. The nation's moderate climate and its ample agricultural land have made it the European Unions largest agricultural producer, ranking second only to the United States in the world market. Its varied coastlines, mountain ranges, vineyards, and cities rich in culture and tradition make France one of the most popular tourist sites in the world. Like other wealthy Western nations, France has been confronted with the problems attending urbanization, industrialization, and the ...

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