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PARIS, France

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Author Topic: PARIS, France  (Read 6828 times)
Bianca
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« on: July 08, 2008, 08:54:35 am »



The skyscraper business district of La Défense.










Twentieth century


 
During World War I, Paris was at the forefront of the war effort, having been spared a German invasion
by the French and British victory at the First Battle of the Marne in 1914. In 1918-1919, it was the scene
of Allied victory parades and peace negotiations. In the inter-war period Paris was famed for its cultural and artistic communities and its nightlife.

The city became a gathering place of artists from around the world, from exiled Russian composer Stravinsky and Spanish painters Picasso and Dalí to American writer Hemingway.

In June 1940, five weeks after the start of the Battle of France, Paris fell to German occupation forces who remained there until the city was liberated in August 1944, two months after the Normandy invasion.

Central Paris endured World War II practically unscathed, as there were no strategic targets for Allied bombers (train stations in central Paris are terminal stations; major factories were located in the suburbs), and also because of its cultural significance. German General von Choltitz did not destroy all Parisian monuments before any German retreat, as ordered by Adolf Hitler, who had visited the city in 1940.

In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development since the end of the Belle Époque in 1914.

The suburbs began to expand considerably, with the construction of large social estates known as cités and the beginning of the business district La Défense. A comprehensive express subway network, the RER, was built to complement the Métro and serve the distant suburbs, while a network of freeways was developed in the suburbs, centred on the Périphérique expressway circling around the city.

Since the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially the north and eastern ones) have experienced deindustrialization, and the once-thriving cités have gradually become ghettos for immigrants and oases of unemployment.

At the same time, the city of Paris (within its Périphérique ring) and the western and southern suburbs have successfully shifted their economic base from traditional manufacturing to high value-added services and high-tech manufacturing, generating great wealth for their residents whose per capita income is among the highest in Europe.

The resulting widening social gap between these two areas has led to periodic unrest since the mid-1980s, such as the 2005 riots which largely concentrated in the northeastern suburbs.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 09:24:01 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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