Middle Ages 500-1500 A.D.
Development of
France and England
Development of France and England
Germanic tribes
migrate across Europe
push/pull factors
herders and farmers
different culture from Romans
carve Western Europe into small kingdoms
Development of France
Franks: 400-700 A.D.
– strongest of Germanic tribes
• Clovis
– conquered Gaul
– united Franks in central Europe
– converted to Christianity
(religion of Gaul people)
– supported by Pope
Development of France
Charles Martel
– Carolingian
– rallied Frankish warriors against
Moors (Muslims)
• Battle of Tours – 732 A.D.
– Charles Martel stopped Muslim
advance into Europe
– Pope pleased with Carolingians
(Muslims were threat to papacy)
Development of France
• Charlemagne
– Hero of Middle Ages
• (Holy Barbarian, Charles the Great)
– 46 year reign – loved to battle
– organized kingdom of Franks with laws
– builds empire
• conquests reunited much of old Roman empire
– In 800, Pope Leo III asks for help with nobles
rebelling in Rome
• Frankish armies crush rebellion
– crowned Holy Roman Emperor for helping pope
• Christmas day 800 in Rome
• thus was born the Holy Roman Empire
Development of France
• Charlemagne
– wanted a united Christian Europe
• worked with Church to spread Christianity
– appointed powerful nobles to rule regions
• gave them land (fiefs)
– missi dominici
• officials sent out by Charlemagne
• controlled provincial rulers (nobles)
– ordered one of first great migrations
• made hundreds of thousands move to Russia
if they didn’t want to become Christians
Development of France
• Treaty of Verdun in 843 A.D.
– divided empire: Italy, Germany, France
• Feudalism and manorialsim flourished
– feudal warfare
• Successors to Charlemagne had little power
over great feudal nobles
Development of France
• Hugh Capet, count of Paris
– nobles elect him to throne 987 A.D.
– weak, no threat to powerful nobles
– lands smaller than many of his
– he and heirs increase royal powers
– play rival nobles against each
– increase royal lands
– won support of Church
and middle-class townspeople
Development of England
• Angles, Saxons, and Vikings settled in England
• Feudalism developed
• English rulers kept kingdom united
• 1066 King Edward the Confessor dies
– no heir
– council of nobles chose Harold
Development of England
• Duke William of Normandy
– claims throne
– raises army
– backed by pope
• Battle of Hastings in 1066
– William and knights defeat King Harold
– last invasion of England
Battle of Hastings
Development of England
• William the Conqueror → King William I
– crowned king of England Christmas day 1066
– French-speaking nobles dominated England
– over next 300 years, gradual blending of
Norman-French & Anglo-Saxon
customs, languages, traditions
Development of England
• King William I
– firm control
– fiefs to Church and Norman lords
– monitored who built castles and where
• Domesday Book - 1086
– complete and thorough census
– helped build efficient tax collecting
– no one could escape
• name compared to God’s final
judgment day
Development of England
• Henry II
– 1154 inherits throne
– expanded customs into law
(royal law)
• sent traveling justices to enforce
– foundations of English Common Law
• legal system based on custom and
court rulings
• protects property
– early jury system
– married Eleanor of Aquitaine
Development of England and France
• Eleanor of Aquitaine
– first married to France’s King Louis VII
– joined Second Crusade
• wore armor and rode horse with other Crusaders
– she ended marriage to Louis VII
– married England’s King Henry II
– 8 children
• Richard (“the Lion-Hearted”)
• John
– spurred several sons to overthrow Henry II
– revolt failed
– 15 years in prison
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Development of England
• Richard I
known as “the Lion-Hearted”
freed Eleanor from prison
popular national hero
reigned 10 years, less than 1 year in England
spent reign fighting, causing debt and taxes
a leader of Third Crusade
• went for religious reasons
• John ruled England for him
– on way home, captured
• held prisoner 14 months until ransomed at great cost
– brother John attempted to take English throne
– dies without heir
Richard I (Lionheart)
John I
Development of England and France
• John I
– faced 3 powerful enemies
• King Philip II of France
– lost war & all of England’s land in France
– English expelled from France
• Pope Innocent III
– battled over selection of Archbishop of
– excommunicated John and placed England
under interdict
• English nobles
– angered by oppressive taxes & other abuses of
Development of England
• John I
– provoked English nobles into revolt
– economic difficulties and high inflation
– civil war
• nobles took sides for or against John
– forced to sign Magna Carta in 1215
• “Great Charter”
Development of England
• Magna Carta - 1215
– 1st document in English history
where monarch does not have
complete or absolute power
• created limited monarchy
– ideas still influence systems of
government in many countries
around world today
Development of England
• Magna Carta - 1215
– places King of England under law
– statement of civil liberties for noblemen
• protects privileges of lords
• recognizes legal rights of townspeople and Church
– king agrees not to raise taxes without consulting the
Great Council
– representative body of lords and clergy
– in 1200s, evolves into Parliament
Evolution of English Government
Norman Conquest = William of Normandy defeats Anglo-Saxons
at Hastings.
Domesday Book = William I uses this survey as a basis for
Common Law = Henry II lays foundation for English legal system.
Magna Carta = John signs this document limiting royal power and
extending rights.
Model Parliament = Edward I summons Parliament, which includes
representatives of common people.
Development of England
• Parliament
– developed into 2 house legislature
• House of Lords
– nobles and high clergy (upper house)
• House of Commons
– knights and middle-class citizens, or
commoners (lower house)
– over centuries, gained crucial “power of the purse”
• right to approve new taxes
• checked or limited power of monarch
– many practices of U.S. Congress have roots in
practices of British Parliament
Development of France
• Philip II
– also known as Philip Augustus
– defeated John I and expelled
– most powerful ruler in Europe before
death in 1223
– strengthened royal government
• used paid middle-class officials
(more loyal)
instead of nobles
• quadrupled royal land holdings
Development of France
• Louis IX
most admired of his time
generous, noble, devoted to justice & chivalry
deeply religious, declared a saint
led France in 2 wars against Muslims
improved royal government
• outlawed private wars
• ended serfdom
• created strong national feeling (nationalism)
– established absolute monarchy
(complete authority)
– St. Louis named for Louis IX
Louis IX – St. Louis
Development of France
• Philip IV
– established Estates General
– tried to collect new taxes from clergy
• threatened to arrest those who did not pay
– power struggle with Pope Boniface VIII
• forbade taxation of clergy without papal
• threatened to excommunicate clergy who paid
– seized Boniface when traveling near French border
• escaped, but badly beaten
• humiliated and never returned to Rome
• died the next year
Development of France
• Estates General
– established by Philip IV in 1302 in attempt to tax clergy
• caused Babylonian Captivity
• led to Great Schism
– French legislature
• includes reps from all 3 estates, or classes
– clergy, nobles, townspeople
– did not develop same role at British Parliament
• never gained power of purse
• never served as balance to royal power
Development of France and England
• France
– Absolute Monarchy
• England
– Limited Monarchy