The French They Never Taught You 22: de France or de la France?

The general rule in French is that you express "from" or "of" a feminine country using de without the definite article la:

revenir de Russie - to come back from Russia

importé de Thaïlande - imported from Thailand

du fromage de Hollande - cheese from Holland (= Dutch cheese)

le gouvernement de Norvège - the government of Norway (= the Norwegian gov't)

le plus long pont d'Europe - the longest bridge in Europe

la reine d'Angleterre - the Queen of England

l'histoire de France - the history of France (= French history)

les vins de France - the wines of France (= French wines)

l'ambassade de France - the embassy of France (= the French embassy)

However, when a country is being mentioned as political or economic entity as opposed to a place of origin, the definite article is used:

les problèmes industriels de l'Italie - Italy's industrial problems

la politique économique de la France - the political economy of France

l'invasion de la Somalie - the invasion of Somalia

l'avenir de l'Australie - the future of Australia

la géographie de la France - the geography of France

la capitale de la France - the capital of France

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