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The modern French government is run very much like the government of the
United States. France is a democratic republic that is divided into three branches,
the Executive branch, the Legislative branch, and the Judicial branch.
The Legislative branch is made up of the Parliament, which like the United
States Congress, is divided into two houses. Those being the Senate and the
National Assembly. The National Assembly has 577 members and is the more
powerful of the two houses, while the Senate has 319 members in this somewhat
less influential house. This branch is in charge of passing and repealing laws.
The Judicial branch is in charge of the courts, and criminal trials.
As in the United States there is the Executive branch, which is headed by
the President and Prime Minister. This branch is in charge of carrying out laws and
bills passed by the parliament.
The French government is quite unique, in that during times of a national
emergency, such as a war, the President of France has the authority to assume
almost complete power.
The Local government is divided into twenty-two regions, that are further
divided into ninety-five departements, which are again divided into smaller
arrondissements which are then divided into communes. There are approximately
36,500 communes in France. The communes are run by mayors appointed by local
An interesting fact about the French government, is that we get the
expressionsof a left-wing party and a right-wing party from the French Revolution,
because at the National Assembly, the radicals would sit on the left, and the
conservatives on the right.
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