The Middle Ages slowly but surely dealt with feudal disunity. The emperors blossomed and crumbled. In fire and hardship there was an understanding that a single state needed a strong central authority. In the same way, slowly and hard, the unification of France took place. In this agricultural country became and strengthened the city, developed all kinds of craft and trade. How was the unification of France, described in this article.
In the first millennium
The ninth century put an end to the empire of Charlemagne. It flew apart like a plate on the floor - into small pieces. One such fragment - the country of the Western Franks - became a kingdom where the descendants of the Emperor Charlemagne - Carolingi - received the reign, the dynasty weakened, marked by the stamp of degeneracy. At that time, the royal power could not be called even weak - there was practically no power. Who was opposed to the unification of France? Is that time.
When the last caroling died, the whole of France could fit in a shepherd's bag - a small shred of Ile-de-France with lands around Orleans and Paris. In 987, King Hugo Capet was anointed. Naturally, neither Hugo nor the other Capetians on the throne of France were satisfied with this state of affairs when their vassals, the Dukes of Normandy, for example, became not just richer than kings, but also more powerful than them many times. Can there be other reasons for the unification of France?
Survived the first Capetian on the throne, literally balancing on one leg, but resisted, survived, grew stronger and ruled until 1328, constantly growing the territory and taming the vassals. A very healthy family, with long-livers who introduced the continuity of the main political course. The elder sons were usually crowned during their lifetime, so there was no dispute about succession to the throne.
Of course, "the family is not without a freak," not all Capetians showed themselves as skilful rulers. However, this situation should be viewed objectively. How was the unification of France, in what conditions? The medieval world is so disconnected and cramped for any initiative, which is surprising how it was possible to increase the hereditary possessions so much (the royal domain). The first successes of the unification of France are quite justly written off to the Capetians.
Hardly had Louis Louis VI managed to extinguish the baronial mutinies, having made it a rule to support the nominees from the people, giving them even the highest state posts in the calculation of future devotion; Barely rebuilt the old Carolingian church in the first truly Gothic monastery of Saint-Denis, taking from there and an adviser to himself the abbot of Sugeria, as the Duke of Wilhelm appeared in Normandy. Yes, the same one is the Conqueror.
The political situation to the last extreme was complicated by the conquest of England by England in 1066. As a vassal of the French king, Wilhelm himself became the king - and the king of a much more powerful house, increasing its power at a much greater speed than the Capetians. Henry II already had the "Angevin mini empire", becoming the ruler of England, Normandy, Anjou, Aquitaine and many of the lands that make up most of modern France. The most offensive is that if you ask yourself who was opposed to the unification of France, you will have to answer - your own vassals.
Young, yes early
Fifteen-year-old King Philip II resolutely undertook the correction of this state of affairs. He is very clever, prudent and even occasionally useful for business, he was one of the most patient and far-sighted politicians of the Middle Ages. It was not in vain that Philip was called Augustus. Anyone who was opposed to the unification of France became the enemy of the king.
The choice of foreign policy was the collection of land and the rounding of the territory, the internal - the consolidation of the acquired. Philip coped equally well with both. It was attended by a variety of talents - a fine commander, a crafty diplomat, a wise legislator and an excellent manager got along in this young, but by no means fragile creation.
Philippe v. England
Henry II, King of England, Norman and then on the list, got a lot from the new ruler of France. Despite the fact that an alliance was concluded between the two powers, Philip intrigued so successfully that the sons of Henry greatly weakened the Angevin Empire by constant mutinies.
With Henry's successor, Richard I, Philip, who had grown up by that time, did not intrigue, but a friendship and joint crusades resulted . But with the next ruler - John the Landless managed to cope quickly, easily and with relatively small losses. The goal of the unification of France was worth it.
At first, Philip gave John to trial for the murder of his nephew, Arthur, who, indeed, died under very mysterious circumstances. John did not appear in court. Then Philip confiscated all his possessions that were on the mainland, for violating a vassal oath.
Four years after the war and after the defeat of the English in 1214, Philip added to the French lands not only Normandy, but also Anjou, and in addition a number of areas in the north. This was the first success of the unification of France.
The Albigensians were a cheerful people. Pope did not like it at once: troubadours, knights, poets are clearly covered in heresy, if they say that the Lord is not all-powerful and not all-powerful. This Albigensian heresy permeated several provinces of the south of France - Toulouse, Languedoc, Provence. At the court of Count Raymond of Toulouse the most talented and brilliant people of his time gathered.
The French North, at the call of the Pope of Rome, marched against the Albigensians. Meanwhile, Philip strengthened the northern borders, while his vassals stoked the culture of the Languedoc in blood.
The faith of the barons was fanatical, and greed helped greatly. The southern regions and, in particular, the Languedoc - destroyed and executed, also went under the rule of France. Philip, however, this is not found. By 1224, the result of the crusade was received, as the next step towards the unification of France.
On the landmarks of the reign of King Philip Augustus, you can trace the stages of the unification of France. In addition, consolidation and consolidation of unified power and the creation of a rather harmonious and efficient administrative system have become positive moments. But it should be noted that Philip did not disdain to achieve his goals.
Ludovic the Holy reigned by France from 1226 to 1270. He was so pious and wise that he was canonized by the Roman church. Repeatedly he acted as an arbitrator in litigation between the monarchs, but, being a violent crusader, he never lost the benefits to unification of France and very much strengthened the royal authority.
France flourished with it, having turned into a beautiful country, a cultural center, which it remains in Europe, and throughout the world to this day. And then under the wing of a wise monarch, the best theologians, troubadours, writers flocked from everywhere. Great cathedrals were built in Chartres, Amiens and Reims. This is how the unification of France took place under King Louis.
Despite his future holiness, with Rome, Louis IX had a complex relationship. In 1269, the Pragmatic Sanction was published, which freed France from taxes and contributions to the Roman treasury and declared the independence of the Church of France from the Church of Rome. The actions of Pope Innocent IV Louis strongly criticized.
Philip IV The Beautiful and National State
The grandson of Louis the Holy could be called Philip the Unscrupulous. But they called Beautiful. Beauty was stronger than conscience. Apparently, it is also stronger, because the reign of Philip was at the time of the decline of feudal power, which allowed to strengthen monarchism in the country, in which he succeeded. He continued the work of his ancestors in every possible way, as far as possible. The reasons for the unification of France have not gone anywhere. Philip prepared the country to join the new territories.
The policy of this king was dominated by aggression and cruelty. Such were the conditions of the era. But here's an interesting fact: early widowed, he did not remarry, keeping fidelity to the deceased spouse. This reconciles many even with his excessive ambition. Stages of unification of France and after the reign of Philip did not end. This process took almost the whole period of the Middle Ages.
The influence of France under Philip in Europe has strengthened, even from the losses - the war with Flanders and the massacres of the Templars - the country and its army received a good jackpot, replenishing the budget and armament. Again, the conflict that broke out with the British did not add to Gascony - the possession of Edward I. Flanders, too, could not be taken in hand. But Philip even arrested Pope Boniface VIII. And then managed to elect the pope of the Frenchman Clement V, who moved the residence from Rome to Avignon. It was a huge victory, as there was a unification of France - albeit not territorially, but nationally and confessional.
Results of the unification of France
Gradually began to form a single language, so the heterogeneous population of the country began to feel like a single people. There were favorable conditions for the development of culture, the arts prospered, education was established.
But only towards the end of the 15th century France was able to acquire all the features of a centralized monarchical state. Under Louis XI, serious reforms and reforms took place. Cities were exempted from military service. Vassals were able to pay off military service. The army became hired, a special tax was imposed on it.
The state administration was almost completely transformed. Relations with other countries became possible only at the highest - royal level, vassals it was forbidden.
Taxes have become permanent. There were officials to manage all this economy. General states have ceased to be convened. Foreigners were invited to create industry, which contributed to the growth of cities and trade.