France in the Middle Ages Notes

Advanced World History
France in the Middle Ages
Charlemagne Empire Divided into three parts:
Among grandsons: Charles the Bald, Lothar, and Louis the German
987: the Western portion became known as Kingdom of France
First ruled by Charles the Bald
New Dynasty: Capetian
1. Hugh Capet (chosen by a vassal of Charles the Bald)
a. Not a unified France- many time the nobles will out rule the king (Hugh Capet)
i. Rules only a small area around Paris
Crowns his son king prior to his death---allowing him to remain in power (proclaimed a
Series of relativity weak rulers: due to a marriage the English king actually holds more
land in France than the French king.
2. Philip II (1180-1223): begins to re-claim land from English
(will talk more about his role in the Third Crusade with Richard the
Creates the office of Bailli (bailiff) responsible for the application of
justice and control of the administration and local finances---led to a centralized
government (meaning power transferred from the nobles to the king)
King John: is a vassal to the king of France (as Duke of Normandy, because of
William the Conqueror), Philip II calls King John to court-doesn’t show up
England loses procession of Normandy to France
Relationship with Church: good; because of pervious Frankish-Papal Alliance
3. Philip IV (the Fair) 1285-1314
a. Very ambitions, wanted to have absolute authority
i. Uses lawyers to gain holdings----- royal law will trump feudal law
ii. Ends good relationship with the Church
Meets with the tree “estates” of French society (clergy, nobles, and townspeople) ----leds to the
Estates-General (France’s Parliament) ----kinda has representative government
Creates war with England--- attempts to solve offer with marriage
alliance- Isabella and Edward III (led to the Hundred Year’s War)—because Isabella was
daughter of a king and Edward her wife and therefore rightly king
Capetian dynasty ends in 1328: Charles IV (died without a male heir): not that weak of a ruler