Friday, April 22, 2005

History of France

History of France. This is an interesting (but uneven) overview to the history of the Eurpean nation of France.

From the site:

France was one of the earliest countries to progress from feudalism to the nation-state. Its monarchs surrounded themselves with capable ministers, and French armies were among the most innovative, disciplined, and professional of their day.

The treaty of Verdun (843) definitely established the partition of Charlemagne's empire into three independent kingdoms, and one of these was France. A great churchman, Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims (806-82), was the deviser of the new arrangement. He strongly supported the kingship of Charles the Bald, under whose scepter he would have placed Lorraine also. To Hincmar, the dream of a united Christendom did not appear under the guise of an empire, however ideal, but under the concrete form of a number of unit States, each being a member of one mighty body, the great Republic of Christendom. He would replace the empire by a Europe of which France was one member. Under Charles the Fat (880-88) it looked for a moment as though Charlemagne's empire was about to come to life again; but the illusion was temporary, and in its stead were quickly formed seven kingdoms: France, Navarre, Provence, Burgundy beyond the Jura, Lorraine, Germany, and Italy. Feudalism was the seething-pot, and the imperial edifice was crumbling to dust.

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