Communes of France  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Communes vary widely in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes typically are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes (Template:Lang or Template:Lang), the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers. Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials (mayor and a "conseil municipal") with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy.

Terminology

A Template:Lang is a town, city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, and implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history (after the rising of the Paris Commune, 1871, which could have more felicitously been called, in English, "the rising of the City of Paris"). There is nothing intrinsically different between "town" in English and Template:Lang in French.

The French word Template:Lang appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin Template:Lang, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin Template:Lang, 'things held in common'.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Communes of France" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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