Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) Part I

According to ehealthfacts, the feudal dissolution of the century. X marks a clear break between the history of the old Frankish kingdom and the history of the new kingdom of France. Merovingians and Carolingians had built and tried to fix an immense state based on the small platform offered by the people of the Franks. But the Carolingian Empire disappeared and in the feudal pulverization all the tradition of the old kingdom disappeared. Now France has to make up for it, looking for another base: land. Thus the feudal period coincides with a grandiose clearing work, which began in the century. X, lasts until the XIII. The formerly scattered and dispersed French populations thickened and created the new populous France ready to claim the claimed inheritance of Merovingian and Carolingian rights.

Regnum Francorum disappeared, we begin to talk about France. While the term of eastern France disappears in the century. X and is replaced by that of Germany, while Lorraine loses the name of middle France, western France remains as France par excellence, the disputed kingdom between the Carolingians and Capetians. But on the other hand this France too seems to disappear: Aquitaine, Burgundy, Provence, Normandy, Brittany. France is the only country north of the Seine, the cradle of the Salian monarchy, the refuge of the monarchy at the end of the century. X: the Island of France. The kings who reside in Laon or Paris consider themselves, it is true, by right the lords of all the lands that stretch from the Schelde to the Ebro. But the line of the Meuse, the Saone, the Rhone blocks the royal pretensions. Lorraine, Burgundy, Provence are imperial lands. The Capetians to ascend the throne with the imperial approval they had to recognize imperial domination over Lorraine. Burgundy, to which Provence was annexed by Rodolfo, is an imperial dependence and under Corrado il Salico it becomes a true imperial annex.

Between the Meuse and the Pyrenees, the Atlantic and the Rhône-Saone lies the territory on which it takes place since the century. XI to XIV the action of the monarchy of Paris. At the beginning of the century XI the Frankish kingdom is a mosaic of feudal lands: in it nothing precise, rigid, neither in the territorial situation nor in the structure. The fiefdom is still in constant evolution, according to the results of inheritance, marriages, wars: violence is very influential, law is little. Fiefdoms come in all sizes and origins. The counts of Brittany, the dukes of Gascony are connected with the local dynastic traditions; the dukes of Burgundy, Aquitaine, Normandy, the counts of Flanders, Anjou and Toulouse are the successors and heirs of the officials of the Carolingian state, who took possession of state and sovereign prerogatives. Feudal entity is the monarchy. The Capetians, although they have monarchical ambitions, they are too tied to their feudal origins to be able to destroy them in the neighboring feudal dynasties. Indeed Ugo Capeto and his immediate successors are affected by the ruinous economic policy made during the century. X to acquire partisans and arrive at the kingdom: a lavish distribution of feudal lands has reduced to little the great territorial power of Robert the Strong. For this reason, a Ugo Capeto who wants to call himself king arouses little concern in the feudal lords. But in 987 Ugo Capeto conquered a title of great potential value: a whole tradition of greatness and power, the moral legacy of Clovis and Charlemagne. Could the new monarchs have enforced this moral legacy? moral legacy of Clovis and Charlemagne. Could the new monarchs have enforced this moral legacy? moral legacy of Clovis and Charlemagne. Could the new monarchs have enforced this moral legacy?

At the end of the century X the Capetians must be content with being tolerated and living. Ugo Capeto ensures the royal succession in the family, associating his son Roberto II; and he in turn associates his son Ugo and then Enrico. Maximum prudence in the face of the nearby feudal dynasties: Robert II marries the widow of the Count of Flanders, then divorces her and marries the widow of the Count of Blois. An act of energy is the occupation of French Burgundy (1012-15); but Roberto returns it to the feudal world, giving it to his second-born son in fiefdom. A meeting of the king with the German emperor, Henry I (1025), for general political problems; the negotiations with the Italian feudatories (1022-24) for the royal crown of Italy reveal higher and more spacious interests in Roberto than in the other feudal cases. In a special way, the Capetians think of the intermediate zone between France and the Empire, that is, of Lorraine. And to Burgundy, making the last efforts to assert the rights of the monarchy. Of course the forces are few and the results are scarce: Ugo Capeto reigns in Paris and Orleans, has the Island of France, has some counties of Brie, Beauce, Valois, Beauvaisis. The royal family is still torn by civil strife: Robert II is attacked by his children, they then fight each other and the struggles are all to the advantage of the feudal dynasties. The monarchy has a valid support in the Normans: the dukes of Rouen and the Capetians lend mutual aid; William the Conqueror is helped against the rebel feudal by the king who needs his ally against the count of Blois. Even the counts of Flanders, despite having reasons for friction for territories discussed with the Capetians, however they are pushed to tighten with the French monarchy by the fear of the empire. Great respect have the kings of the Angevin power, who with Folco Nerra d’Angiò (987-1040) fought with the counts of Brittany and with the counts of Blois.

Feudal France (Between 987 and 1108) 1