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The borders of modern France are roughly the same as those of ancient Gaul, which was inhabited by Celtic Gauls.
Gaul was then a prosperous country, of which the southernmost part was heavily subject to Greek and Roman cultural and economic influences.
It is also a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and La Francophonie.
Modern France is still named today Francia in Italian and Spanish, Frankreich in German and Frankrijk in Dutch, all of which have the same historical meaning.
France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453).
During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would be the second largest in the world.
In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, and saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day.
After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium, initially working gold, copper and bronze, and later iron.
The concept of Gaul emerged at that time; it corresponds to the territories of Celtic settlement ranging between the Rhine, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean.