Designed during the French Revolution of the 1790's, the metric system brought order out of the conflicting and confusing traditional systems of weights and measures then being used in Europe. Prior to the introduction of the metric system, it was common for units of length, land area, and weight to vary, not just from one country to another but from one region to another within the same country. As the modern nations were gradually assembled from smaller kingdoms and principalities, confusion simply multiplied. It was adopted in France in 1795 and is now used officially in almost all countries.