WORLD HISTORY – UNIT 3: THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
HIGH MIDDLE AGES: MONARCHIES AND THE CHURCH
In the midst of this setting, medieval countries began to emerge. England and France began to develop strong monarchal systems of government. Spain and Portugal emerged as monarchies near the end of the Middle Ages. Germany and Italy never developed strong monarchies. Here are your goals for this lesson:
Identify key political leaders, especially of France and England, during the High Middle Ages. ·
Identify key personalities of the Christian church during the High Middle Ages.
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France. As the Carolingian Empire declined and the rulers weakened, a split occurred in the region of France between two factions. One faction supported Charles the Simple; the other supported the Count of Paris. This second faction eventually won out and a new family of Capetian kings ruled the kingdom of France. The Capetian kings ruled France for over three hundred years from 987[->5] to 1328[->6]. Hugh Capet, the Count of Paris, was elected king by the French nobles in 987[->7]. Capet formed alliances with other nobles and began extending his territory through warfare. His strength was in his feudal alliances and in the support given him by the church. He insured Capet succession by crowning his eldest son associate king. The early Capetian kings ruled as lord among other lords rather than a sovereign. The anointing of each king by the church set them apart from the others. The first strong Capetian king was Louis VI (Louis the Fat). Louis VI ruled from 1108[->8]-1137[->9] and established the strong leadership needed to lay the foundation of royal power in France. He gained complete control over the lle de France, the area around Paris, and established it as the center of royal law. Philip II (Philip Augustus) grandson of Louis VI, ruled from 1180[->10]-1223[->11] and began expanding the kingdom. He captured Normandy, Anjou, and some of the other English territories in France. Philip Augustus also founded the University of Paris, and in 1200[->12] began construction of the Louvre, the palace of the French Kings. The Capetian kings proved themselves stronger than the feudal lords. They encouraged the development of towns so that king and townspeople could be allies against the feudal nobility. Another Capetian king, Louis IX (St.Louis), ruled from 1226[->13] to 1270[->14] and was considered the ideal king of his age. He is famous for enacting judicial reforms that allowed both rich and poor to receive equal justice. He also led the Seventh and Eighth Crusades. He was considered a saint during his lifetime and was canonized by the Roman Church in 1297[->15], less than thirty years after his death. In 1328[->16], the Capetian dynasty ended because the king left no male heir. The house of Valois claimed the throne because Philip VI , of the house of Valois, was the nephew of Philip the Fair. However, Edward III of England, also claimed the throne because he was the grandson of Philip the Fair.
Edward III paying homage to Philip VI
This double claim to the throne led to The Hundred Years' War, which lasted from 1338[->17]-1453[->18]. Many long and bitter battles were fought between England and France, all on French soil. The English dominated the war until 1429[->19], gaining large territories in France. In 1429[->20], however, a young girl, Joan of Arc, led an army to break the English siege at Orléans and insured the coronation of Charles VII. Joan was captured by pro-English Frenchmen, led by the Duke of Burgundy. She was then turned over to the English, who returned her to the French for a trial. She was burned at the stake in 1431[->21]. During a second trial in 1456[->22], she was re-tried and declared innocent. The events of 1429[->23] were the turning point of the Hundred Years' War for France. From this point France regained...
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