France is the country from which the language of French is said to be originated from and is a pioneer in the French-speaking world. France has a long history and was formed over 2,000 years ago, but besides the big country of France in Europe; the French people took to conquering other lands during the Age of Exploration. It was during these times that France conquered some lands in the continent now known as North America including Canada and some parts of the United States, and also some islands in the Caribbean. Of the islands conquered Martinique is one of the French-speaking islands of France. This island is part of the West Indies and lies between the 61 degrees West longitude line and the 14 degrees with 30 minutes North latitude line. The island of Martinique has an oval shape and covers approximately 425 square miles of land which is about 1,100 square kilometers. Among the island there are many volcanic mountains with its highest and most famous being Mount Pelée. This mountain rises 4,583 feet which is 1, 397 meters. This volcano suddenly erupted in 1902 and destroyed the city of St. Pierre killing approximately 28,000 people with only one survivor. Ironically enough, this survivor was a prisoner, Ludger Sylbaris, sentenced to death in accusation of murder, in a local prison in a windowless cell with only one door facing away from the volcano. He later joined Barnum and Bailey's circus touring America as a minor celebrity as "the man who lived through Doomsday" and becoming the first black man to star in the segregated show. The island was discovered in 1502 when Christopher Columbus reached it on his fourth voyage. However, it wasn't until 1635 that the French commenced to colonize the island. The capital of Martinique is Fort-de-France which translates into "extremely of France" was made in 1692, but was originally called Fort Royal. The first wife of Napoleon the first, Empress Josephine, was in fact born on the island...
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