• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index
“The Hexagon”: France's Political and Social Geography
“The hexagon”: France's political and social geography

Logically, we probably should have moved on directly to the two chapters on French history that follow. However, readers who know little about France would have a hard time making sense of its history without first knowing more about what the country is like today. Therefore this chapter covers four overlapping topics:

  • France's physical and geographic characteristics
  • Its social structure
  • Its economic conditions
  • Its European and global contexts
The Hexagon

The French often refer to their country as “the hexagon,” because its borders look a bit like that six-sided geometric figure.

France has almost 550,000 square kilometers of territory, which makes it about twice the size of Colorado. At that size, it is much larger than either Great Britain ...

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