The French are descended from the Gauls. (Gaul) in the 1st century, then came under the rule of the Franks (the name France also comes from the word Frank) ruled by a monarchy recorded as of the 5th century when the god tea Marlemagne founded the Holy Roman Empire in 843, and covered France and Germany.
The culture of France has been shaped by geography, by historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture since the 17th century and from the 19th century on, worldwide. From the late 19th century, France has also played an important role in cinema, fashion, cuisine, literature, technology, the social sciences, and mathematics. The importance of French culture has waxed and waned over the centuries, depending on its economic, political and military importance. French culture today is marked both by great regional and socioeconomic differences and strong unifying tendencies. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw France ranked as the country with the fourth most positive influence in the world (behind Germany, Canada and the UK) in 2014