France is a country in Western Europe. It is formally known as the French Republic (République française).
At its height, the French Empire rivaled the British Empire, with colonies in every corner of the world. It continues to be a strong presence in academia and has been the birthplace of countless renowned scholars. It remains a powerhouse in the European Union, often at odds with the United Kingdom on issues of EU policy. The capital city is Paris, often called the "City of Lights" due to its renown for a center of learning and philosophy.
France is also renowned for its cuisine and its wines. Good food (often opposed to fast food) is highly valued in France.
It was a founding member of the European Coal and Steel treaty which led to the EEC and EU. It greatly assisted then-Great Britain's North American colonies both militarily and financially in their effort to gain independence, and established universal legal codes in much of the non-Anglo-Saxon west. It has made a number of philosophical contributions to the world, including Descartes and Sartre, existentialism and post modernism. It gifted the Statue of Liberty to the USA in celebration of its independence, echoing the French aid given to the colonies during the American Revolutionary War.
In March of 2003 A.D., France was one of over a hundred nations that did not participate in the alliance that liberated Iraq, with its aim of removing the Baathist regime of the dictator Saddam Hussein. French forces did, however, participate in the war in Afghanistan, and suffered casualties in the fighting 
Back during the time of the Roman Republic, France was a territory called Gaul, populated by Celtic tribes. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, thanks to the lack of unity among the tribes. Gaul remained an important part of the Roman Empire for several centuries.
Frankland under Clovis
France is named after the Franks, a Saxon tribe who established Soissons, the capital. A Frank called Clovis united the Franks and established Frankland. Franks were pagans but Clovis converted to Christianity (legend has it he prayed to Christ during a difficult battle, offering to become a Christian in exchange for victory ; shortly after that, the enemy fled).