French Government

     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 municipal councils. 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.