Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • this video was made possible, like curiosity stream.

  • When you sign up with the link in the description, you'll also get access to Nebula, the streaming video platform that are L.

  • L is a part of.

  • If real life was like a game of civilization, then France started out in one of the luckiest possible positions on the entire map.

  • It's mostly pretty unfair.

  • The geography around France gives it a lot of pretty unique advantages and buffs that a lot of other civilizations in the game didn't really get it.

  • Here's how France straddles the boundary between northern and southern Europe, and it's the only country that could truly be considered a part of both regions.

  • Owing to a large Siris of big and easily navigable rivers like the Rhine Marne, Seine, Lua, Ron and Garone, France has the capability to exert trading power across every region of Western Europe.

  • But the rivers also helped to provide France with an abundance of arable land.

  • France has always been one of the leading agricultural powers in Europe for this reason, and the modern French state has significantly more arable land than any other country in Europe, except for Ukraine or Russia.

  • France has always had the capability to produce more food than historical rivals like England or Germany, and Paris is France's capital and administrative center.

  • For a very strategic reason as well.

  • It sits at the intersection of the sun and marred rivers and enables Paris to exert effective administrative control over trade in and out of the area to the rest of France and Europe.

  • France's interior is largely made up of highly productive farm lands on flat ground or gentle rolling hills in the north and the west, and slightly more mountainous terrain in the south.

  • Because of the high numbers of navigable rivers and the relatively easy to traverse terrain, France has always been easy to travel across.

  • And it's all therefore easily connected and ruled by the central authority in Paris, which has caused the entire region to share a common French identity all circumstances which led to France becoming one of the world's first true nation states.

  • But France's external borders are perhaps her greatest strength.

  • Surrounded by imposing geographic features, France's borders almost serve as a kind of geographic armor against any external threats.

  • To the north is the English Channel to the west is the Atlantic.

  • To the south are the Pyrenees mountains that are easy to defend the Mediterranean Sea, and to the southeast are the massive Alps.

  • The require almost nothing to defend to the immediate east is the intimidating Rhine.

  • But to the Northeast is France's only flaw in her geographic defense system.

  • Unopened plane That's part of the Greater North European plane that can serve as a funnel for enemy troops and people to just walk or drive across.

  • And for well over 1000 years now, French rulers across generations have been acutely aware of this week point in their defense.

  • 1000 years ago, the territory of France much resembled the territory of modern France, save for a bit more territory in the easternmost direction.

  • Today, France has always been protected by imposing natural geography from every direction except for the East.

  • And it's been one of the biggest foreign policy objectives for every French ruler.

  • To try and solve that problem through one of either two means by militarily conquering territory to expand the frontier to more easily defensible eastern terrain like the Alps or the Rhine, or through diplomatically controlling external threats under the rule of Louis, the 14th, France gradually expanded her territory to the Alps in the southeast and part of the Rhine in the immediate East in order to acquire better geographic armor.

  • But most of the Northeast still remained vulnerable across the plain.

  • During the French Revolution, many revolutionary thinkers began discussing the theory on the natural borders of France, which argued that France's natural borders should extend to cover all of the land in Europe.

  • West of the Rhine River, the Rhine was intended to complete Francis Geographic armor and finally secure the French borders with natural defenses in a 360 degree sense.

  • The revolutionaries feared attacks from the remaining monarcas powers in Europe and believed that the revolutionary gains in France had to be protected by expansion to the more easy to defend Rhine.

  • While the French Revolution succeeded in conquering this territory into France, Napoleon came around and expanded.

  • France's borders toe well beyond the natural borders of the pure unease, the Rhine and the Alps.

  • For a time, France shared land borders with Denmark, Austria and the Ottoman Empire.

  • But once Napoleon was defeated, France was essentially reset back to the same borders that she had after Louis the 14th and was pushed back away from most of the Rhine.

  • And with the weak spot in the northeast across the Plains restored, this would prove disastrous.

  • In the centuries to come.

  • France would fight three separate wars with Germany in 18 70 1914 and again in 1939.

  • And in all three of those instances, Germany was able to take advantage of the geographic weak point and invaded France across the plain.

  • In the northeast.

  • It worked perfectly the first time, almost worked the second time, and it worked perfectly again the third time.

  • France attempted to make the situation better after the second time by buffing the area up with manmade defenses in the form of the Maginot Line.

  • But Belgium didn't ever agreed to allow France to extend it across the Franco Belgian border until it was too late.

  • When Belgium finally agreed and France started construction, war and the German invasion across, it had already begun.

  • The French and the British knew the Germany would probably attacked through the plains again, so they moved most of their military into the area to defend it.

  • However, the French placed a bit too much faith in their geographic armor this time because they assumed that the Rdn region would be too rough of a terrain for the Germans to cross and subsequently only left a small force behind to defend it.

  • The Germans were, in fact capable of attacking quickly through the region, overwhelmed the light French defenses and hooked around to encircle most of the allied army and the planes.

  • Francis, weak point of the plains, was exploited by Germany on three separate occasions, and France was catastrophically defeated twice and Savi severely crippled.

  • The other time, France was only able to survive these attacks through the health of bigger allied powers and diplomacy.

  • France's borders were fully restored in 1945 again to what they have mostly been since the days of Louis the 14th.

  • But this time France has embarked on the other method that they've used to secure their geography, weakness, diplomacy through the creation of the European Union, France hoped that war between European powers would never happen again and particularly hoped that it would make another war between France and Germany impossible.

  • And with the modern day friendship and close partnership that exists between the two countries.

  • It seems that that European dream, at least, is alive and well.

  • War between France and Germany is completely unthinkable in the modern world because of things I think, European Union and a shared currency, all prime foreign policy objectives of France.

  • And because of that Francis Hole in her geographic armor is entirely secured.

  • Complex diplomacy is oftentimes much more effective than simple forts and bombs.

  • If you're interested in learning more about the ways the geography can screw over a country, how manmade defenses and forth can help provide some kind of a buff, or how a country can defend against a weak point in their borders, then oh, have I got the perfect thing for you.

  • Castle Siege Defense is a wonderful 54 minute long, professionally made documentary on curiosity Stream that examines multiple castles across the world.

  • Why they were built where they were built along with the various tactics that were used to defend them.

  • Even better is that Curiosity Stream has now partnered with Nebula, the streaming video platform built by myself, along with other independent educational YouTubers, to offer an incredible deal, a subscription to Curiosity Stream, which only costs $20 for the whole entire year.

  • Now comes with a subscription to Nebula to if you sign up at curiosity stream dot com slash real life floor or click the link in the description.

  • You can not only watch my nebula original Siri's reviewing cars or all of my existing videos without ads, but you also get toe watch any one of the thousands of top quality documentaries on curiosity stream.

  • So go ahead and check it out.

  • Now you'll learn a lot.

  • You'll be entertained and you'll be supporting real life floor at the same time.

  • And as always, thank you for watching.

this video was made possible, like curiosity stream.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 france geographic french curiosity stream defend germany

Why France's Geography is Almost Perfect

  • 18 2
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/25
Video vocabulary