I INTRODUCTION Charlemagne was the king of the Franks and emperor of the Romans from 800-814. During his reign Charlemagne built a kingdom that included almost all of western and central Europe and he started Carolingian Renaissance. His empire had two main territories, East and west Francia that is now the major parts of two important European entities. West Francia is modern-day France, and East Francia became first the Holy Roman Empire and then the modern state of Germany. II BACKGROUND AND EARLY LIFE Charlemagne was born on about 742.
He was the oldest son of the Frankish leader Pepin the Short. Pepin was the mayor of the palace under the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings. Since he was in a long line of weak Merovingian kings, Pepin left as Mayor and in 751 he became king of the Franks. Pepin got the support of the pope in order to strengthen his rule.
Pope Stephen II officially crowned Pepin in 754 and he anointed both Charlemagne and his younger brother Carloman. During his father’s reign, Charlemagne fought with the Frankish army on campaigns to defend the pope against the Lombards. Lombards were a Germanic people who controlled northern and central Italy. As a result, Charlemagne learned the importance of both strong leadership on the battlefield and of close links between worldly power and the Roman Catholic Church. III THE RISE OF A NEW KING On Pepin’s death, his kingdom was divided between his two sons. For three years Charlemagne shared rule of the kingdom with his brother, Carloman.
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After Carloman died in 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, and went to Rome and strenght en his support of the pope. Charlemagne then began military campaigns to expand the Frankish kingdom. IV CHARLEMAGNE’S EMPIREA Administrative Reforms Charlemagne introduced new governmental reforms into his empire. He built on the existing system of seignorialism, whereby kings gave tracts of land to their nobles in exchange for loyalty and service.
Charlemagne granted large landholdings called fiefs to many tribal military leaders. In addition, he appointed numerous Frankish aristocrats to the posts of counts and margraves These officials were key to administering the empire. They were kings in miniature, with all of the administrative, judicial, and military authority of the emperor within their respective districts. Each political district had its parallel in a church district, or diocese, headed by a bishop, with similar authority in all matters related to the church. Both counts and bishops were vassals of the emperor, and were supervised by representatives of Charlemagne known who traveled throughout the empire overseeing economic and legal matters in his name. Every year, both counts and bishops attended a general assembly at Charlemagne’s court at Aachen where they would advise the emperor and hear his directives.
B Economic and Legal Reforms Charlemagne reorganized the economy of his empire. He fixed tolls, custom dues, weights and measures. He also constructed roads and bridges, and he even tried to dig a canal between the Rhine and Danube. Finally, he made the first silver coin since, which had his portrait. C The Carolingian Renaissance Charlemagne ordered bishops and abbots to set up schools for the training of monks and other clerics. The training was done in Latin, it promoted the standardization of a common written and spoken language in a huge empire of different languages.
Charlemagne also persuaded Alcuin of York and other renowned scholars of the day to come to his court and establish a new academy and library of pagan and Christian works. These scholars copied and transcribed many manuscripts, both from Greek times and from the Roman Empire and this helped in preserving the literary heritage of ancient Rome. V DECLINE OF THE EMPIRE Charlemagne’s empire lacked many of the important organizations that helped the old Roman Empire to survive the emperor’s death. Organizations such as economy, a strong governmental foundation, and a professional civil service.
... Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the emperor of Rome. 804- Charlemagne conquers Saxony 811- Charlemagne conquers Brittany 811- Charlemagne conquers Spanish March 31 ... west for help, showing that the empire had lost its great power in the East. 14. Schism- a formal breach ... to the monks. The schools were standardized when Charlemagne ordered all bishops and monasteries to establish schools to educate boys ...
These factors were needed to keep the empire from falling apart. Charlemagne’s empire was based on his ability to hold together a different tribes and ethnic groups. The size of the empire made it hard to administer. The empire fell after Charlemagne’s death in 814. Charlemagne’s heir Louis I ruled until his death in 840. After a disagreement between Louis’s heirs, A Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided Charlemagne’s empire among his three grandsons.
They were Charles II, he received West Francia. Lothair I got the title of emperor and an area running from the North Sea through Lotharingia, and Bourgogne to northern Italy. Louis II, the German, received East Francia. In 870, the Treaty of Mers en divided Lothair’s Middle Kingdom with Lotharingia going to East Francia and the rest to West Francia. The Carolingian dynasty ruled in West Francia until 987. The German branch of the family ruled in East Francia until 911.
The title of emperor of the Romans remained in the east.