France 750 CE

The Kingdom of the Franks now covers all of the old Roman region of Gaul.

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What is happening in France in 750CE

One of the German tribes established in Gaul by the end of the fifth century, the Franks, expanded their realm greatly under Clovis and his successors, to cover most of modern-day France and much of western Germany. Internally, however, the realm was increasingly divided amongst different princes, whose rivalries sapped their power. Eventually, Clovis’ descendants were reduced to being mere figureheads, dominated by powerful officials called the Mayors of the Palace.

One of these officials, Charles Martel (the Hammer), reunited the Frankish lands and repulsed a powerful Muslim raid from Spain in 732 at Tours. He died in 741, and his son, Pepin the Short, who has succeeded him as Mayor of the Palace, will depose the last of the old line of kings in 751 and have himself elected king by the Frankish nobles.

Since Clovis’ day, the Franks have been loyal champions of the Catholic Church. The Church enjoys enthusiastic royal patronage, and the Frankish lands are covered by a well-established church organization, firmly loyal to the popes in Rome. Because it largely monopolizes literacy and learning, the Church is invaluable in helping administer the realm, and also in bringing stability and organization to newly conquered territories.

Next map, France in 979

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