France has long been a major power in Europe. French conquerors like Emperor Napoleon and King Charlemagne united large parts of Europe under the French flag. The country also built the world's second largest colonial empire. The French kingdom first came into existence when it grew out of the western part of the Frankish empire during the High Middle Ages. France - and indeed the world - was shaken on its foundations by the French Revolution of 1789.
Initial government is Despotism.