France became an independent country in the ninth century. It was originally called Gaul and controlled by the Celts. The Romans took control of Gaul in the first century B.C. After the fall of Rome, Germanic tribes known as the Franks conquered the area in the fifth century A.D.
The first kings of what would become France hailed from the Merovingian blood line. This line of kings began in 481 with King Clovis, who made Paris the seat of government. He converted to Christianity in 500, and the rest of his subject followed, which allowed for his people and the Romans who stayed in the country to merge their cultures. He also kept many of the Roman customs.