- Published: 27 April 2008
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Philip Clendenin, age 14, of Casper, Wyo., for his question:
WHERE IS ALSACE LORRAINE?
Alsace Lorraine is a region in the northeastern part of France. It is located on the French German border and it covers about 12,000 square miles of territory. Switzerland lies to the south and Luxembourg to the north.
For hundreds of years, the inhabitants of the territory have been part German and part French. Today more than 3.5 million people live in Alsace Lorraine.
Alsace has two administrative districts: Haut Rhin and Bas Rhin. Lorraine has four districts: Moselle, Meurthe et Moselle, Meuse and Vosges.
Alsace and Lorraine have long been a prize in wars between France and Germany. In the A.D. 300s and 400s, Teutonic bands drove out the Celtic tribes then living in the region.
Alsace Lorraine became part of Charlemagne's empire in the late 700s but then it fell to Germany when his grandsons divided his empire.
Alsace and Lorraine remained under German rule until the 1500s when France gained control of them. But the people fought all efforts to turn them "French."
Then the French revolution of 1789 brought a change of heart in the people. The Alsatian people became so French in spirit that more than 50,000 moved to France when Germany got their territory in 1871.
The Germans resented the loss of Alsace Lorraine after World War I. They regained control of the area in World War II. The Germans moved thousands of people out of the region and replaced them with Germans, Poles and Russians.
The Allies drove the Germans out of Alsace Lorraine in 1944 1945, and France again took control of the entire region.
The French citizens in the Alsace Lorraine territory are great boosters for their area.
Important products of Alsace Lorraine include wheat, rye, barley, oats and wine. The wine industry, as a matter of fact, is highly regarded. Wine produced in the area wins praise around the world.
Mineral products include iron ore from Lorraine and potash from Alsace.
The Vosges Mountains district of the west supplies lumber, coal and salt. Streams in this district provide hydroelectric power. Alsace Lorraine also supports an important textile industry.
An interesting fact is that the term Alsatian dog is used by people in Britain and other Commonwealth countries for a German shepherd.
The leading city in Alsace is Strasbourg with a population of about 300,000. Metz with a population over 100,0000 is the largest city in Lorraine.