Tuesday, May 23, 2017

16. Kingdom of the Franks

       


Most of the barbarian kingdoms formed from the destruction of the Western Roman Empire was short-lived. Saxons, Visigoths and other people succumbed to external pressures and eventually dominated or destroyed. Only the Franks were able to organize and take root in Gaul. Once expanded their control over territories that today correspond to France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and eight other European countries.
The first king of the Franks to unite all the barbaric nation was Clovis who reigned between 482 and 511, he promoted expansion of Frankish rule and converted to Catholicism, bringing the Catholic Church as a great ally to his kingdom. For a long time the Church and nobles were given land as a reward of religious sanction and military support.
Clovis came after several kings, but could not maintain the united kingdom as well as from 639, the dynasty was in crisis and the throne was taken over by a group of court officials known as "mayor of the palace". One of these mayors of the palace was Charles Martel, who was best known, ruled 714-741 gaining prestige and power for various reasons, but the biggest was that it prevented the advance of the Arabs on Europe at the Battle Poitiers in 732.
After his death, his son Pepin the Short inherited his political powers. Backed by the Church he fought against the Lombard’s, it was the people that threatened the power of the Catholic Church. In this battle he conquered the territories of the Italian peninsula, which donated the church, which became the State of the Catholic Church.
Charlemagne succeeded his father Pepin, after his death, and ruled the Franks 768-814. He made the Lombard’s and Saxons were converted to Christianity, so he gained prestige and power in the Christian world. In 800 Pope Leo III named Charlemagne Emperor of the New Roman Empire. Charlemagne was also responsible for the rebirth of the arts, religion, and culture through the Catholic Church. To successfully manage the entire empire Charlemagne divided the empire into counties, duchies and brands and also created the first written laws of the Middle Ages.
After his death his son Louis the Pious, took power, and reigned 814-840. With the death of Louis I his three sons vied for power, but only in 843 they signed a treaty, the Treaty of Verdun, where the whole territory was divided among themselves. This division has influenced the creation of several European states such as France, Germany and Italy.
With the weakening of the successors of Charlemagne from the ninth century to the twelfth century, a new social organization, economic and political took hold with the name of feudalism which favored the strengthening of the church in religious, economic and political fields of the season and the appearance cavalry and consequently the crusades.


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