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The purity of the language is officially protected by the Académie Française established by Cardinal Richelieu in the seventeenth century, whose forty members rule over the inclusion of new words in the language.
In 1966, the government instituted a further safeguard by establishing a commission on the French language whose role is to discourage borrowings from English and franglais (the combination of the two languages).
Then president François Mitterrand established the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie in 1984, which sponsors summit meetings among French-speaking countries. Numerous national symbols are associated with the French Revolution, which established the nation as a democratic republic at the end of the eighteenth century.
They were further reinforced during the Third Republic at the turn of the twentieth century.
The winds that sweep across the territory have regional names and are connected to regional identity, the most famous being le Mistral in the Rhône valley. In an attempt to keep the population up, family allowances are given to each family per child, with no income restriction.
There is much population mobility from urban to rural areas and from region to region.
The most recent update of national language policy regarding education came in 1995, permitting the teaching of regional languages at the primary and secondary levels. The nation historically has been divided into two linguistic regions: that of the langue d'oeil to the north and that of the langue d'oc to the south.
National identity is closely identified with the French language.
France borders Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, and Switzerland.
Political and linguistic unification, especially through mass education, has been an ongoing project of nationalism.
The immigrant population comes mainly from Portugal and northern Africa, although there has been increasing immigration from eastern Europe.
It gradually was introduced as a more widespread term to denote that territory, formerly known as Gaul, after the Frankish invasion and the retreat of the Romans.
The name "Francia" was applied to various territorial units until the Middle Ages, when it came to signify the kingdom of the French sovereign.