- Aug 2012
The statehood of both France and Germany ultimately go back to the Frankish Kingdom. The similarity of Francia and France does not mean that the French are somehow more entitled to the Frankish heritage; there are as well numerous toponyms in Germany that bear witness to the Frankish heritage, e.g. the city of Frankfurt or the region of Franconia.
The successive partitions of the Frankish Kingdom into ultimately West and East Francia were at first and foremost a family issue between brothers, but the rulers soon became aware of the different languages used in their respective realms. The language border between Romance and Germanic languages had been established during the migration period in the early medieval age, and then remained stable for more than a millennium. And it never followed the Rhine until the 20th century.
I propose that we should be examining how the French and Germans view nationality differently, because this is very important and different interpretations have led to huge conflicts in the past. We should also be looking at geography because the map is using the term 'natural borders', and not 'cultural borders'. I also suggest we take language less into account. If we are only looking at language to determine natural borders, then Germany's natural borders include Austria, and much of Switzerland; and France's natural borders should include part of North America and parts of Africa!