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  • The Foundations Of European Global Dominance
    to use ether and chloroform to reduce pain during operations The Scottish surgeon Joseph Lister 1827 1912 developed new antiseptic practices that made major advances against the spread of infection Probably the most important single advance came with the substantiation of the germ theory of disease by Louis Pasteur 1822 1895 and Robert Koch 1843 1910 During his search for a cure to anthrax a disease that in the late 1870s destroyed over 20 percent of the sheep in France Pasteur established the principle that the injection of a mild form of disease bacterium will cause the body to form antibodies that will prevent the vaccinated individual from getting the severe form of the particular disease Koch discovered the specific organisms that caused eleven diseases including tuberculosis The work of Pasteur and Koch placed the sciences of bacteriology and immunology on a firm footing and gave promise that the end of such deadly diseases as typhoid and smallpox might be in sight Modern chemistry gained its foundations during the ninteenth century founded on the atomic theory advanced by an English Quaker schoolmaster John Dalton 1766 1844 In 1869 the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev 1834 1907 drew up a periodic table in which all known elements were classified according to their weights and properties From gaps in this table chemists were able to deduce the existence of undiscovered elements Other researchers made advances in the field of nutrition discovering significance of vitamins Biochemical research threw light on the presence and function of the ductless glands Chemotherapy advanced with the discovery of a chemical that could destroy the syphilis bacteria and of procedures that woud lead to the discovery of sulfa drugs penicillin and other antibiotics Revolutionary strides in physics came in the areas of electricity and thermodynamics of which the First Law was formulated in 1847 Michael Farady 1791 1867 prepared the way for the dynamo a device that made possible changes in communications the transmission of current over long distances and the development of the electric motor The Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell 1831 1879 and the German Heinrich Hertz 1857 1894 conducted basic research into the nature of electromagnetic phenomena such as light radiant heat and ultraviolet radiation Pierre 1859 1906 and Marie 1867 1934 Curie made major strides toward the discovery of the X ray and radioactivity When they extracted radium from uranium ore in 1896 the scientific world became aware of the strength of radioactivity Marie Curie was the first person to be awarded two Nobel prizes one in physics and one in chemistry At the beginning of the twentieth century the British physicist Ernest Rutherford 1871 1937 helped develop the electron theory It had been postulated that the atom contains particles known as electrons Rutherford contributed the idea that each atom has a central particle or nucleus that is positively charged and separate from the negatively charged electrons These discoveries destroyed one of the foundations of traditional physics that matter is indivisible and continuous New Certainties

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  • European Expansion
    Indies between 1618 and 1629 and founder of the company capital at Batavia in northwest Java At first he cooperated with native rulers in return for a monopoly of the spice trade When this involved him in costly wars against local sultans as well as their Portuguese and English customers Coen determined to control the trade at its sources In the resulting many conflicts and negotiations which lasted longer than Coen s time the Dutch acquired all of Java most of Sumatra the spice growing Moluccas and part of Ceylon They began operating their own plantations supplying pepper cinnamon sugar tea tobacco and coffee for a fluctuating world market Although commercially successful in Asia the Dutch were not able to found flourishing settlement colonies Many Dutchmen who went to the East wanted to make their fortunes and return home those willing to stay were usually mavericks uninterested in establishing families or permanent relationships After 1620 the Dutch East India Company experimented with a policy of bringing European women to the Indies but such efforts were abandoned when they failed to enlist much interest at home or in the foreign stations Consequently the Dutch colonies in Asia as well as those in Africa the Caribbean and Brazil remained primarily business ventures with little racial mixing compared with the Iberian areas After resuming war with Spain in 1621 the Dutch formed their West India Company charged with overtaking Spanish and Portuguese holdings in Africa and America The company wasted no time It soon supplanted the Portuguese in West Africa and by 1630 dominated the slave trade with America After driving the Spanish from the Caribbean the Dutch invited other European planters to the West Indies as customers keeping only a few bases for themselves The company then launched a successful naval conquest of Brazil from the mouth of the Amazon south to the San Francisco River In Brazil the Dutch learned sugar planting passing on their knowledge to the Caribbean and applying it directly in the East Indies See Batvia Batvia present day Djakarta on the island of Java became the headquarters of the Dutch East Trading Company when the Ditch ousted the Portuguese and took command of the East Indies trade in the 17th century Courtesy Dutch settlements in North America never amounted to much because of the company s commercial orientation In 1609 Henry Hudson d 1611 an Englishman sailing for Holland explored the river named for him and established Dutch claims while looking for a northwest passage Fifteen years later the Dutch West India Company founded New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island over the next few years it built a number of frontier trading posts in the Hudson Valley and on the nearby Connecticut and Delaware rivers Some attempts were made to encourage planting by selling large tracts to wealthy proprietors patroons Agriculture however remained secondary to the fur trade which the company developed in alliance with the Iroquois tribes This arrangement hindered settlement in 1660 only 5000 Europeans were in the colony The French Empire French exploration began early and was followed by attempted settlements in the New World but no permanent colonies were established until the opening of the seventeenth century France was so weakened by religious wars that most of its efforts beyond fishing and privateering had to be directed toward internal stability While the Dutch were winning their empire France was involved in the land campaigns of the Thirty Years War Thus serious French empire building was delayed until the reign of Louis XIV Early French colonization in North America was based on claims made by Giovanni da Verrazzano 1485 1528 and Jacques Cartier 1491 1557 The first a Florentine mariner commissioned by Francis I in 1523 traced the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Newfoundland Eleven years later Cartier made the first of two voyages exploring the Saint Lawrence River These French expeditions duplicated England s claim to eastern North America A wilderness stretching hundreds of miles separated the early French Canadian colonies from their English counterparts A first French settlement was made at Port Royal Nova Scotia in 1605 Three years later Samuel de Champlain 1567 1635 acting for a French chartered company founded Quebec on the Saint Lawrence The company brought in colonists but only a few came before Champlain s death in 1635 and only 2500 had arrived by 1663 The company s emphasis on fur trading the bitter cold of the winters and the nearly continuous skirmishes with the Indians retarded growth Montreal was established in 1642 after which French trapper explorers began penetrating the region around the headwaters of the Mississippi New France soon expanded over a wide area but population remained sparse Elsewhere the French seized opportunities afforded by the decline of Iberian sea power They acquired the Isle of Bourbon in the Indian Ocean 1642 for use as a commercial base In West Africa they created a sphere of commercial interest at the mouth of the Senegal where they became involved in the slave trade with only slight opposition from the Dutch Even more significant was the French presence in the West Indies They occupied part of Saint Kitt s in 1625 and acquired Martinique and Guadeloupe ten years later The burgeoning sugar trade helped make the French islands profitable but fierce attacks by the Caribs limited colonization and economic development The English Empire In terms of power and profit English foreign expansion before 1650 was not impressive Like French colonialism it was somewhat hampered by internal political conditions particularly by the poor management and restrictive policies of the early Stuart kings which led to civil war in the 1640s A number of circumstances however promoted foreign ventures The population increased from three to four million between 1530 and 1600 providing a large reservoir of potential indentured labor Religious persecution encouraged migration of nonconformists and surplus capital was seeking opportunities for investment Such conditions ultimately produced a unique explosion of English settlement overseas During the sixteenth century English

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  • Feudal System, An Overview of Feudalism
    lesser lords quickly followed the king s example Feudalism spread with the Frankish conquests into northern Italy Spain and Germany and later into the Slavic territories The Normans took it to England in 1066 and to southern Italy and Sicily a few years later From England feudalism spread to Scotland and to Ireland Finally the Near Eastern territories that the crusaders conquered were organized feudally Internally the system developed greatly in the course of the 9th century Of particular importance was the transformation of the benefice into a hereditary fief Royal power declined and local dynasties became in fact independent and started to build up small territorial states for themselves often they were at war with each other The church was largely feudalized Secular lords in return for homage would invest bishops and abbots with their ecclesiastical offices and with the temporalities that went with them In return the bishops and abbots owed the secular lord various services In the field of law and justice feudalism meant replacing the ancient courts of local dignitaries by courts composed of the vassals of a common lord The consequent dispersal and multiplication of courts made the judicial apparatus extremely complex From the 12th century onward feudalism came under attack from various rival forces The centralized state with its salaried officials and its mercenary armies was being built on Roman ideas about sovereignty and the safeguard of public order the relationship between subject and sovereign replaced that of vassal and lord as the basis of a well ordered society The towns growing in economic power and even forming their own militias was able to a large extent to impose their own concepts about society against those of the knights Finally the manorial system the material basis of the knightly class in the 12th and 13th centuries underwent a deep economic crisis Although feudalism by the end of the 14th century was no longer a political and social force it had left its mark on European society It exercised its greatest influence in the elaboration of modern forms of constitutional government Ideas about consent to taxes and resistance to and defiance of the lord and the whole balance of rights and duties between lords and vassals played a great role in coloring the outlook of early representative institutions Fief In European feudal society a vassal s source of income held from his lord in exchange for services The fief constituted the central institution of feudal society It normally consisted of land to which a number of un free peasants were attached the land was supposed to be sufficient to support the vassal and to secure his knight service for the lord Its size varied greatly according to the income it could provide It has been calculated that a fief needed from 15 to 30 peasant families to maintain one knightly household Fief sizes varied widely ranging from huge estates and whole provinces to a plot of a few acres Besides land dignities and offices and

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  • Feudal System, An Overview of Feudalism
    as from confusion to order The actual amount of dispossession was no doubt greatest in the higher ranks the smaller owners may to a large extent have remained in a mediatized position on their estates but even Domesday with all its fulness and accuracy cannot be supposed to enumerate all the changes of the twenty eventful years that followed the battle of Hastings It is enough for our purpose to ascertain that a universal assimilation of title followed the general changes of ownership The king of Domesday is the supreme landlord all the land of the nation the old folkland has become the king s and all private land is held mediately or immediately of him all holders are bound to their lords by homage and fealty either actually demanded or understood to be demandable in every case of transfer by inheritance or otherwise The result of this process is partly legal and partly constitutional or political The legal result is the introduction of an elaborate system of customs tenures rights duties profits and jurisdictions The constitutional result is the creation of several intermediate links between the body of the nation and the king in the place of or side by side with the duty of allegiance On the former of these points we have very insufficient data for we are quite in the dark as to the development of feudal law in Normandy before the invasion and may be reasonably inclined to refer some at least of the peculiarities of English feudal law to the leaven of the system which it superseded Nor is it easy to reduce the organization described in Domesday to strict conformity with feudal law as it appears later especially with the general prevalence of military tenure The growth of knighthood is a subject on which the greatest obscurity prevails and the most probable explanation of its existence in England the theory that it is a translation into Norman forms of the thegnage of the Anglo Saxon law can only be stated as probable Between the picture drawn in Domesday and the state of affairs which the charter of Henry I was designed to remedy there is a difference which the short interval of time will not account for and which testifies to the action of some skilful organizing hand working with neither justice nor mercy hardening and sharpening all lines and points to the perfecting of a strong government It is unnecessary to recapitulate here all the points in which the Anglo Saxon institutions were already approaching the feudal model it may be assumed that the actual obligation of military service was much the same in both systems and that even the amount of land which was bound to furnish a mounted warrior was the same however the conformity may have been produced The heriot of the English earl or thegn was in close resemblance with the relief of the Norman count or knight But however close the resemblance something was now added that made the two identical The change of the heriot to the relief implies a suspension of ownership and carries with it the custom of livery of seisin The heriot was the payment of a debt from the dead man to his lord his son succeeded him by allodial right The relief was paid by the heir before he could obtain his father s lands between the death of the father and livery of seisin to the son the right of the overlord had entered the ownership was to a certain extent resumed and the succession of the heir took somewhat of the character of a new grant The right of wardship also became in the same way a reentry by the lord on the profits of the estate of the minor instead of being as before a protection by the head of the kin of the indefeasible rights of the heir which it was the duty of the whole community to maintain There can be no doubt that the military tenure the most prominent feature of historical feudalism was itself introduced by the same gradual process which we have assumed in the case of the feudal usages in general We have no light on the point from any original grant made by the Conqueror to a lay follower but judging by the grants made to the churches we cannot suppose it probable that such gifts were made on any expressed condition or accepted with a distinct pledge to provide a certain contingent of knights for the king s service The obligation of national defence was incumbent as of old on all land owners and the customary service of one fully armed man for each five hides of land was probably the rate at which the newly endowed follower of the king would be expected to discharge his duty The wording of the Domesday survey does not imply that in this respect the new military service differed from the old the land is marked out not into knights fees but into hides and the number of knights to be furnished by a particular feudatory would be ascertained by inquiring the number of hides that he held without apportioning the particular acres that were to support the particular knight It would undoubtedly be on the estates of the lay vassals that a more definite usage would first be adopted and knights bound by feudal obligations to their lords receive a definite estate from them Our earliest information however on this as on most points of tenure is derived from the notices of ecclesiastical practice Lanfranc we are told turned the drengs the rent paying tenants of his archiepiscopal estates into knights for the defence of the country he enfeoffed a certain number of knights who performed the military service due from the archiepiscopal barony This had been done before the Domesday survey and almost necessarily implies that a like measure had been taken by the lay vassals Lanfranc likewise maintained ten knights to answer for the military service due from the convent of Christ Church which made over to him in consideration of the relief land worth two hundred pounds annually The value of the knight s fee must already have been fixed at twenty pounds a year In the reign of William Rufus the abbot of Ramsey obtained a charter which exempted his monastery from the service of ten knights due from it on festivals substituting the obligation to furnish three knights to perform service on the north of the Thames a proof that the lands of that house had not yet been divided into knights fees In the next reign we may infer from the favor granted by the King to the knights who defended their lands per loricas that is by the hauberk that their demesne lands shall be exempt from pecuniary taxation that the process of definite military infeudation had largely advanced But it was not even yet forced on the clerical or monastic estates When in 1167 the abbot of Milton in Dorset was questioned as to the number of knights fees for which he had to account he replied that all the services due from his monastery were discharged out of the demesne but he added that in the reign of Henry I during a vacancy in the abbacy Bishop Roger of Salisbury had enfeoffed two knights out of the abbey lands He had however subsequently reversed the act and had restored the lands whose tenure had been thus altered to their original condition of rent paying estate or socage The very term the new feoffment which was applied to the knights fees created between the death of Henry I and the year in which the account preserved in the Black Book of the exchequer was taken proves that the process was going on for nearly a hundred years and that the form in which the knights fees appear when called on by Henry II for scutage was most probably the result of a series of compositions by which the great vassals relieved their lands from a general burden by carving out particular estates the holders of which performed the services due from the whole it was a matter of convenience and not of tyrannical pressure The statement of Ordericus Vitalis that the Conqueror distributed lands to his knights in such fashion that the kingdom of England should have forever sixty thousand knights and furnish them at the king s command according to the occasion must be regarded as one of the many numerical exaggerations of the early historians The officers of the exchequer in the twelfth century were quite unable to fix the number of existing knights fees It cannot even be granted that a definite area of land was necessary to constitute a knight s fee for although at a later period and in local computations we may find four or five hides adopted as a basis of calculation where the extent of the particular knight s fee is given exactly it affords no ground for such a conclusion In the Liber Niger we find knights fees of two hides and a half of two hides of four five and six hides Geoffrey Ridel states that his father held one hundred and eighty four carucates and a virgate for which the service of fifteen knights was due but that no knights fees had been carved out of it the obligation lying equally on every carucate The archbishop of York had far more knights than his tenure required It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the extent of a knight s fee was determined by rent or valuation rather than acreage and that the common quantity was really expressed in the twenty librates the twenty pounds worth of annual value which until the reign of Edward I was the qualification for knighthood It is most probable that no regular account of the knights fees was ever taken until they became liable to taxation either in the form of auxilium militum under Henry I or in that of scutage under his grandson The facts however which are here adduced preclude the possibility of referring this portion of the feudal innovations to the direct legislation of the Conqueror It may be regarded as a secondary question whether the knighthood here referred to was completed by the investiture with knightly arms and the honorable accolade The ceremonial of knighthood was practised by the Normans whereas the evidence that the English had retained the primitive practice of investing the youthful warrior is insufficient yet it would be rash to infer that so early as this if indeed it ever was the case every possessor of a knight s fee received formal initiation before he assumed his spurs But every such analogy would make the process of transition easier and prevent the necessity of any general legislative act of change It has been maintained that a formal and definitive act forming the initial point of the feudalization of England is to be found in a clause of the laws as they are called of the Conqueror which directs that every freeman shall affirm by covenant and oath that he will be faithful to King William within England and without will join him in preserving his lands and honor with all fidelity and defend him against his enemies But this injunction is little more than the demand of the oath of allegiance which had been taken to the Anglo Saxon kings and is here required not of every feudal dependent of the King but of every freeman or freeholder whatsoever In that famous council of Salisbury of 1086 which was summoned immediately after the making of the Domesday survey we learn from the Chronicle that there came to the King all his witan and all the landholders of substance in England whose vassals soever they were and they all submitted to him and became his men and swore oaths of allegiance that they would be faithful to him against all others In this act have been seen the formal acceptance and date of the introduction of feudalism but it has a very different meaning The oath described is the oath of allegiance combined with the act of homage and obtained from all land owners whoever their feudal lord might be It is a measure of precaution taken against the disintegrating power of feudalism providing a direct tie between the sovereign and all freeholders which no inferior relation existing between them and the mesne lords would justify them in breaking The real importance of the passage as bearing on the date of the introduction of feudal tenure is merely that it shows the system to have already become consolidated all the land owners of the kingdom had already become somehow or other vassals either of the king or of some tenant under him The lesson may be learned from the fact of the Domesday survey The introduction of such a system would necessarily have effects far wider than the mere modification of the law of tenure it might be regarded as a means of consolidating and concentrating the whole machinery of government legislation taxation judicature and military defence were all capable of being organized on the feudal principle and might have been so had the moral and political results been in harmony with the legal But its tendency when applied to governmental machinery is disruptive The great feature of the Conqueror s policy is his defeat of that tendency Guarding against it he obtained recognition as the King of the nation and so far as he could understand them and the attitude of the nation allowed he maintained the usages of the nation He kept up the popular institutions of the hundred court and the shire court He confirmed the laws which had been in use in King Edward s days with the additions which he himself made for the benefit as he especially tells us of the English We are told on what seems to be the highest legal authority of the next century that he issued in his fourth year a commission of inquiry into the national customs and obtained from sworn representatives of each county a declaration of the laws under which they wished to live The compilation that bears his name is very little more than a reissue of the code of Canute and this proceeding helped greatly to reconcile the English people to his rule Although the oppressions of his later years were far heavier than the measures taken to secure the immediate success of the Conquest all the troubles of the kingdom after 1075 in his sons reigns as well as in his own proceeded from the insubordination of the Normans not from the attempts of the English to dethrone the king Very early they learned that if their interest was not the king s at least their enemies were his enemies hence they are invariably found on the royal side against the feudatories This accounts for the maintenance of the national force of defence over and above the feudal army The fyrd of the English the general armament of the men of the counties and hundreds was not abolished at the Conquest but subsisted even through the reigns of William Rufus and Henry I to be reformed and reconstituted under Henry II and in each reign it gave proof of its strength and faithfulness The witenagemot itself retained the ancient form the bishops and abbots formed a chief part of it instead of being as in Normandy so insignificant an element that their very participation in deliberation has been doubted The king sat crowned three times in the year in the old royal towns of Westminster Winchester and Gloucester hearing the complaints of his people and executing such justice as his knowledge of their law and language and his own imperious will allowed In all this there is no violent innovation only such gradual essential changes as twenty eventful years of new actors and new principles must bring however insensibly the people themselves passing away and being replaced by their children may be educated to endurance It would be wrong to impute to the Conqueror any intention of deceiving the nation by maintaining its official forms while introducing new principles and a new race of administrators What he saw required change he changed with a high hand But not the less surely did the change of administrators involve a change of custom both in the church and in the state The bishops ealdormen and sheriffs of English birth were replaced by Normans not unreasonably perhaps considering the necessity of preserving the balance of the state With the change of officials came a sort of amalgamation or duplication of titles the ealdorman or earl became the comes or count the sheriff became the vicecomes the office in each case receiving the name of that which corresponded most closely with it in Normandy itself With the amalgamation of titles came an importation of new principles and possibly new functions for the Norman count and viscount had not exactly the same customs as the earls and sheriffs And this ran up into the highest grades of organization the King s court of counsellors was composed of his feudal tenants the ownership of land was now the qualification for the witenagemot instead of wisdom the earldoms became fiefs instead of magistracies and even the bishops had to accept the status of barons There was a very certain danger that the mere change of persons might bring in the whole machinery of hereditary magistracies and that king and people might be edged out of the administration of justice taxation and other functions of supreme or local independence Against this it was most important to guard as the Conqueror learned from the events of the first year of his reign when the severe rule of Odo and William Fitzosbern had

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  • France a history of its beginnings
    for himself alone He extended his influence by entering into treaties pariages with minor lords often distant ones and by confirming the acts of nobles in unprecedented numbers he recovered the force of the royal guarantee The policy toward the lesser rural and urban populations was to increase their loyalty and contribution to the crown without significantly reducing their dependence on the king and other lords Philip offered his protection to exploited villages and especially during his early years he confirmed existing new towns extended their privileges to other villages and otherwise favored peasant communities Townsmen notably those in semiautonomous communes gained confirmation of their charters and the king created some new communes Most of the latter were located in strategic proximity to the northern frontiers of the expanded royal domain this fact together with the obligations of service and payment specified in the charters suggests that military motives were paramount in these foundations More generally evident in these charters as in others was the desire to gain the political fidelity of a prospering class At Paris Philip Augustus acted as did no other local lord to promote the civic interest improving sanitation paving streets and building a new wall Parisian burghers financed and administered these projects they were associated in the fiscal supervision of the realm when the king went on crusade but they were not favored with a communal charter French society in the early Middle Ages Social and political order A foremost circumstance of the later 9th and 10th centuries was the inability of the west Frankish kings to keep order The royal estates that had theretofore supported them mostly in the north and east were depleted through grants to retainers uncompensated by new acquisitions Hindered by poor communications the kings lost touch with lesser counts and bishops while the greater counts and dukes strove to forge regional clienteles in fidelity to themselves These princes as they were called were not rebels More often allied with the king than not they exercised regalian powers of justice command and constraint it was typically they who undertook to defend local settlements and churches from the ravages of Magyars invading from the east of Muslims on Mediterranean coasts and of Vikings from northern waters Of these invaders the Northmen as contemporaries called the Vikings were the most destructive They raided landed estates and monasteries seizing provisions and movable wealth Striking as far inland as Paris by 845 they attacked Bordeaux Toulouse Orléans and Angers between 863 and 875 From a base in the Somme estuary they pillaged Amiens Cambrai Reims and Soissons But they were drawn especially to the Seine valley In 856 860 they laid waste the country around its lower reaches and repeatedly attacked Paris thereafter Sometimes they were turned back by defenses but more often by payments of tribute After 896 the invaders began to settle permanently in the lower Seine valley whence they spread west to form the duchy of Normandy Maritime raiding continued into the 10th century then subsided Lords such as the counts of Flanders Paris Angers and Provence were well situated to prosper in the crisis They were often descended from or related to Carolingian kings Adding protectorates over churches to their inherited offices domains and fiefs while acquiring other lordships and counties through marriage they built up principalities that were as precarious as they were powerful The lords tried to avoid dismemberment of the patrimony by limiting their children s right of succession and marriage but it was only in the 12th century that these dynastic principles came to prevail in the French aristocracy The princes moreover found it almost as hard as the kings to secure their power administratively They exploited their lands through servants valued less for competence than for fidelity these servants however were men who tended to think of themselves as lords rather than agents This tendency was especially marked among the masters of castles castellans who by the year 1000 were claiming the power to command and punish as well as the right to retain the revenues generated from the exercise of such power In this way was completed a devolution of power from the undivided empire of the 9th century to a checkerboard of lordships in the 11th lordships in which the control of castles was the chief determinant of success This fragmented polity was a feudal regime at every level lords depended on the services of sworn retainers who were usually rewarded with the tenures of lordship called fiefs feudum a In the 9th century fiefs were not yet numerous enough to undermine the public order protected by kings and their delegates Indeed fiefs were at first rewards for public service made from fiscal royal lands this practice persisted in the south into the 11th century By then however castles knights and knights fiefs were multiplying beyond all control resulting in a fracturing of power that few princes succeeded in reversing before 1100 Counts were unwilling to admit that their counties were fiefs or that they owed the same sort of allegiance to kings or dukes as their vassals did to them Tainted with servility as well as with the brutality of needy knights on the make vassalage was slow to gain respectability The multiplication of fiefs was a violent process of subjugating free peasants and abusing churches Economic expansion The population still overwhelmingly agrarian was growing from about 900 AD probably most rapidly in the north where more flexible schemes of crop rotation led to better harvests Some peasants retained their independence as in the Massif Central and the Pyrenees but they were not much envied still small free properties nowhere entirely disappeared Most peasants however were organized in subjection to lords bishops abbots counts barons or knights whose estates assumed diverse forms In northern France lords typically reserved the proceeds of a domain worked by tenants who had their own parcels of land to live on Among such tenants were free men and slaves as well as a sizable intermediate estate of incompletely free villagers Increasing productivity stimulated the improvement of roads and bridges trade and the growth of towns as well as competition for the profits of agrarian lordship After about 1050 townspeople especially merchants sought to free themselves from the arbitrary lordship of counts and bishops usually peaceably as at Saint Omer but occasionally in violent uprisings as at Le Mans and Laon Religious and cultural life The Christian church was badly disrupted by the invasions In Normandy five successive bishops of Coutances resided at Rouen far from their war torn district which had lapsed into paganism Elsewhere standards of clerical deportment declined threatening the moral leadership by which Carolingian prelates had supported public order Renewal came in two influential forms First monks in Burgundy and Lorraine were inspired to return to a strict observance of the Benedictine rule and thereby to win the adherence of lay people anxious to be saved The monastery of Cluny founded in 910 by a duke of Aquitaine with a bad conscience not only stimulated a newly penitential piety that radiated beyond its walls but also encouraged reforms in other monastic houses In the 11th century Cluny came to direct an order of affiliated monasteries that extended throughout France and beyond Cluny s religious hegemony was challenged only in the 12th century with the rise of a yet more ascetic Benedictine observance of which St Bernard of Clairvaux 1090 1153 was the great proponent Centred at Cîteaux in Burgundy whence the appellation Cistercian this movement combined ascetic severity with introspective spirituality and economic self sufficiency A newly personal devotionalism was diffused from monastic cloisters into lay society Second the bishops in the absence of royal leadership renewed Carolingian sanctions against violence The Peace of God was instituted in synods of southern France in the later 10th century It was an effort solemnized in ritual processions and oaths to restrain the increasing number of knights from pillaging peasants and churches It was supplemented from the 1020s by the Truce of God which forbade fighting on certain days or during certain seasons of the year and which helped to mold a new conception of the knight as a Christian warrior prohibited from shedding the blood of Christian people Warmly embraced by the Cluniac pope Urban II when he preached the First Crusade at Clermont in 1095 this idea contributed to a new ideal of knighthood as an honourable estate of Christian leadership When young princes were dubbed to knighthood in the 12th century they assumed a mode of respectability fashioned by the church this eased the way for lesser knights to be recognized as nobles as well The growing wealth and stability of regional societies as in Burgundy Flanders and Normandy encouraged new impulses in the arts and letters Cathedral churches supported scholars who revived the traditional curriculum of learning stressing reading writing speaking and computation Fulbert of Chartres d 1028 was fondly remembered as a humane teacher by students who often became teachers themselves A century later famous masters could be found at Laon and Paris as well as probably at Chartres attracting young clerics to their lectures in swelling numbers The Breton Peter Abelard 1079 1142 taught and wrote so brilliantly on logic faith and ethics that he established Paris reputation for academic excellence Traditional pursuits of contemplative theology and history gave way to new interests in logic and law Men trained in canon and Roman law found their way increasingly into the service of kings princes and bishops Everywhere churches in Romanesque style were built and they continued to be built in the south long after some architects like Suger at Saint Denis in the 1140s introduced the new aesthetic of Gothic style Lay culture found expression in vernacular epics such as The Song of Roland in Old French and the Provençal lyrics of southern France These poems witness to diverse zones of linguistic evolution from spoken Latin by the 12th century the langue d oïl north of the Loire was broadly differentiated from the langue d oc to the south The cultural cleavage so marked ran deeper than language and was not entirely overcome by the spread of modern French from the langue d oïl The political history of France c 850 1180 France history of France in 987 The fragmentation of political power meant that the kings of France were forced into rivalries alliances and conflicts with the princes who were for many generations the real rulers of France Principalities north of the Loire Outside of the dynastic royal domain centered around Paris the foremost northern powers were Flanders Normandy Anjou Brittany Blois Champagne and Burgundy The northernmost of these was Flanders whose founder Baldwin I Iron Arm 862 879 managed not only to abduct the Carolingian king s daughter and marry her but also to win that king s approval as count of Ghent His authority was consolidated under his son Baldwin II 879 918 and grandson Arnulf 918 965 the latter a violent and ambitious prince who undertook to restore the Flemish church as if he were an emperor Fertile and precocious in trading activity Flanders well supported such energetic lords monks at Saint Bertin and Ghent celebrated the dynastic feats of the counts In the time of Robert the Frisian 1071 93 efforts were made to systematize the count s lordship over castles as well as his fiscal rights but the results fell short of giving the count effective sovereign power When the foreign born Charles the Good 1119 27 tried to pacify the county at the expense of lesser knightly families he was murdered Stability together with a new and centralized mode of fiscal accountancy was achieved by Thierry of Alsace 1128 68 and his son Philip 1163 91 Toward 1180 Flanders was a major power in northern France The duchy of Normandy was created in 911 when the Viking chieftain Rollo Hrolf accepted lands around Rouen and Evreux from King Charles III the Simple With its pastures fisheries and forests this old land was a rich prize and Rollo s successors extended their domination of it aggressively Early Norman history however is more obscure than Flemish lacking the records that only Christian clerics could write The acquisitions of the second duke of Normandy William I Longsword 927 942 were threatened when he was murdered by Arnulf I of Flanders in 942 It was only in the reign of his son Richard I 942 996 that something like administrative continuity based on succession to fiscal domains and control of the church was achieved The dukes as they then came to be styled allied with the ascendant duke Hugh Capet had little to lose from the latter s accession to the kingship in 987 it was at this time that a new Norman aristocracy in ducal control took shape Under Robert I the Devil 1027 35 agrarian and commercial prosperity favoured the multiplication of castellanies and knights and Duke William II 1035 87 William the Conqueror had to put down a dangerous rising of Norman barons and castellans in 1047 before proceeding surely in deliberate consequence to establish a firmly central control of castles that was without precedent in France His conquest of England in 1066 made William the most powerful ruler in France At the same time knights from lesser elite families in Normandy were establishing territorial lordships in southern Italy Norman ducal lordship was crude but effective Under Henry I 1106 35 a unified exploitation of patronage castles and revenues was developed for the kingdom of England and the duchy of Normandy alike Normandy passed to Henry s son in law Count Geoffrey of Anjou in 1135 and to his grandson Henry II 1154 89 in whose time it became the heartland of an Angevin dynastic empire Anjou in the lower Loire valley was among the lands delegated to Robert the Strong in 866 In the 10th century a series of vigorous counts established a dynastic patrimony that expanded under the great Fulk Nerra 987 1040 and his son Geoffrey Martel 1040 60 to include Maine and Touraine Strategically situated this principality prospered in its early times of external danger but it was surrounded by aggressive dynasts the control of castles and vassalic fidelities were the count s somewhat precarious means of power Brittany to the west of Anjou and Normandy was set apart by its strongly Celtic tradition It achieved identity in the 9th century under the native leader Nomenoë who seized Nantes and Rennes in defiance of Charles the Bald His successors badly battered by the Vikings were recognized as dukes in the 10th century but were unable to consolidate their power over lesser counts and castellans With little more than an unenvied independence the duchy persisted in the 12th century when a series of succession crises enabled King Henry II of England to subject it to the Plantagenet domains Only after 1166 were the Bretons to feel the impact of systematic territorial administration The area around Blois to the east of Touraine had also been entrusted to Robert the Strong and remained in his family s hands until about 940 when Theobald the Old seized control of it and founded a line of counts of Blois His successors notably the fearsome Eudes II 996 1037 annexed the counties of Sancerre 1015 and Champagne 1019 23 thereby creating a principality comparable in strength to Flanders and more threatening to the king whose patrimonial domains it encircled A dynastic aggregate lacking natural cohesion Blois Champagne achieved its greatest strength under Theobald IV the Great II of Champagne 1125 52 who was a formidable rival of Kings Louis VI and Louis VII The main lands were divided under his sons Theobald V 1152 91 and Henry 1152 81 themselves prestigious lords and the Champagne of Henry the Liberal was among the richest best organized and most cultured French lands of its day Finally there was Burgundy to the south of Champagne not to be confused with the old kingdom and the later imperial county of Burgundy which first achieved princely identity under Richard the Justiciar 880 921 Defeating Magyars and Vikings as well as exploiting the rivalries of his neighbours Richard was regarded like his near contemporary Arnulf of Flanders as virtually a king Ducal power was contested and diminished thereafter but it survived as the patrimony of a Capetian cadet family until 1361 Thus by the later 12th century France north of the Loire consisted of several large principalities some of them associated with the English crown coexisting with each other and with the king who struggled to impose his lordship on them The principalities of the south South of the Loire emerged another set of lands Provence Auvergne Toulouse Barcelona and Aquitaine Provence lay in what is now the southeastern corner of France it was not part of the west Frankish domains Included in the Middle Kingdom from 843 it passed to the kings of Burgundy after 879 and to the emperors in the 11th century But it was local counts once again who won prestige as defenders against pillagers in this case the Muslims and profited from urban growth to establish a dynastic authority of their own This authority was fractured in the early 12th century when the houses of Barcelona and Toulouse secured portions by marriage a cadet dynasty of Barcelona continued to rule the county until 1245 The county of Barcelona formed from a delegation of Frankish royal power in 878 came to dominate all other east Pyrenean counties in the 11th century Prospering at the expense of the Muslims Count Ramon Berenguer I 1035 76 reduced his castellans to submission like his contemporary William in Normandy His great grandson Ramon Berenguer IV 1131 62 organized the strongest principality in the south He and his successors acted as fully independent sovereigns although the king of France retained a theoretical lordship over Barcelona

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  • FRENCH REVOLUTION
    up their feudal rights Amid the wildest enthusiasm men weeping and embracing each other one noble after another gave up some exclusive privilege Finally a decree was passed which aimed at abolishing the entire feudal system That wild night of Aug 4 1789 marked the beginning of equality Remnants of feudal dues however kept the peasants uneasy until 1793 Meanwhile work continued on the constitution which the Assembly had promised to prepare for France It was finally finished in 1791 Nobility was abolished France was made a limited monarchy with a one house legislature The immortal part of the document was the Declaration of the Rights of Man It included the following points 1 All men were born free with equal rights 2 All citizens have the right to take part in electing representatives to make the laws 3 Every person shall be free to speak write or print his opinions provided he does not abuse this privilege 4 The amount of taxes which a person is called upon to pay shall be based on the amount of wealth that he possesses The Declaration of the Rights of Man came to be regarded as the charter of democracy The equality of all men in the eyes of the law is its essence Property was inviolable for the chief supporters of the new order owned property or desired to own it The King Wavers Louis XVI was a weak and indecisive king At first he did promise to obey the constitution which had been instituted in 1791 though it placed a narrow limit on his power Later however he listened to evil counselors and changed his mind Many nobles had fled before the Revolution broke These emigres as they were called later headed by the king s own brothers were in Germany Austria and Switzerland They were appealing to the princes of Europe to stop the Revolution in France and threatening a reign of bloodshed when they returned The people of France mistrusted the king and still more mistrusted Marie Antoinette the Austrian woman In October 1789 a mob had brought them and the Assembly with them from Versailles to Paris so that they might be more closely watched Overthrow of the Monarchy In June 1791 the suspicions against Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette became certainties for most of the people when the king and queen with their children tried to escape They were captured at Varennes on the edge of the Argonne before they reached the French border They were brought back to Paris From that day the monarchy was doomed These events helped divide the revolutionists into two parties the Constitutional Royalists and the Republicans The new Legislative Assembly which met as soon as the king had accepted the constitution September 1791 still wanted to keep the monarchy The Republican sentiment however increased rapidly as the king s weakness became more apparent On Aug 10 1792 a mob invaded the Tuileries and killed the guards The royal family sought

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  • The Franco Prussian War
    The Prussian statesman realized that this move would in all probability precipitate war but he knew that Prussia was prepared and he counted on the psychological effect of a French declaration of war to rally the south German states to Prussia s cause thus accomplishing the final phase in the unification of Germany THE WAR BEGINS On July 19 1870 France declared war on Prussia The south German states in fulfillment of their treaties with Prussia immediately joined King William in a common front against France The French were only able to mobilize about 200 000 troops the Germans however quickly marshaled an army of about 400 000 men All German forces were under the supreme command of William with the great strategist Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke as his chief of staff Three German armies drove into France led respectively by General Karl Friedrich von Steinmetz Prince Frederick Charles and Crown Prince Frederick William later Frederick III of Prussia and emperor of Germany The first engagement a minor skirmish was won by the French on August 2 when they drove a small Prussian detachment from the city of Saarbrücken near the border between France and Germany In the major battles at Weissenburg August 4 at Wörth August 6 and at Spichern August 6 however the French under Marie Edmé Patrice Maurice comte de MacMahon were defeated MacMahon was ordered to fall back on Châlons Achille François Bazaine in command of all French troops east of the city of Metz was directed to maintain his positions Metz itself was to be held at all costs These orders split the French forces which were unable thereafter to regain their unity or freedom of action On August 12 the French emperor handed the supreme command over to Bazaine who was badly beaten in the great battles of Vionville August 15 and Gravelotte August 18 and forced into Metz There he was besieged by two German armies MacMahon then was ordered to relieve Metz On August 30 the Germans surprised and defeated MacMahon s leading corps at Beaumont whereupon he decided to withdraw his army to the town of Sedan BATTLE OF SEDAN AND CAPTURE OF NAPOLEON III The decisive battle of the war opened in Sedan on the morning of September 1 1870 see Sedan Battle of At about 7 00 AM MacMahon was severely wounded and an hour and a half later General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen received the chief command The battle continued until 4 15 PM when Napoleon who meanwhile had arrived in Sedan resumed command Recognizing the hopelessness of the situation he ordered the white flag to be hoisted Terms of surrender were negotiated during the night and on the following day Napoleon together with 83 000 troops surrendered to the Germans Upon receiving intelligence of the capture of the French emperor Paris rose in rebellion the Legislative Assembly was dissolved and France was proclaimed a republic Before the close of September Strasbourg one of the last

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  • Frederick The Great Seizes Silesia
    hoped that as an indemnification the Queen of Hungary will not offer him less than the whole duchy of Silesia Nobody he added is more firm in his resolutions than the King of Prussia he must and will enter Silesia once entered he must and will proceed and if not secured by the immediate cession of that province his troops and money will be offered to the electors of Saxony and Bavaria Such were the King s notifications to Maria Theresa Soon after in a letter to the same Duke of Lorraine the husband of Maria Theresa My heart says Frederick for he wrote as if he conceived he had one My heart says Frederick has no share in the mischief which my hand is doing to your court The feelings of the young Queen may be easily imagined powerful in the qualities of her understanding with all the high sensibilities which are often united to a commanding mind and educated in all the lofty notions which have so uniformly characterized her illustrious house She resisted but her arms proved in the event unsuccessful She was not prepared and even if she had been the combination was too wide and powerful against her According to the plan of her enemies more particularly of France her greatest enemy Bohemia and Upper Austria spite of all her efforts were likely to be assigned to the Elector of Bavaria Moravia and Upper Silesia to the Elector of Saxony Lower Silesia and the country of Glatz to the King of Prussia Austria and Lombardy to Spain and some compensation to be allotted to the King of Sardinia It was therefore at last necessary to detach the King of Prussia from the general combination by some important sacrifice The sufferings the agonies of the poor Queen were extreme Lord Hyndford on the part of England as a mediating power prevailed on the helpless Maria Theresa to abate something of her lofty spirit and make some offers to the King At the beginning of the war said Frederick I might have been contented with this proposal but not now Shall I again give the Austrians battle and drive them out of Silesia You will then see that I shall receive other proposals At present I must have four duchies and not one Do not my lord said the King talk to me of magnanimity a prince ought first to consult his own interests I am not averse to peace but I expect to have four duchies and will have them At a subsequent period the same scene was to be renewed and Mr Robinson the English ambassador who was very naturally captivated with the attractions and spirit of Maria Theresa endeavored to rouse her to a sense of her danger Not only for political reasons replied the Queen but from conscience and honor I will not consent to part with much in Silesia No sooner is one enemy satisfied than another starts up another and then another must be contented and all at my expense You must yield to the hard necessity of the times said Mr Robinson What would I not give except in Silesia replied the impatient Queen Let him take all we have in Gelderland and if he is not to be gained by that sacrifice others may Let the King your master only speak to the Elector of Bavaria Oh the King your master let him only march let him march only But England could not be prevailed upon to declare war The dangers of Maria Theresa became more and more imminent and a consent to further offers was extorted from her I am afraid said Mr Robinson some of these proposals will be rejected by the King I wish he may reject them said the Queen Save Limburg if possible were it only for the quiet of my conscience God knows how I shall answer for the cession having sworn to the states of Brabant never to alienate any part of their country Mr Robinson who was an enthusiast in the cause of the Queen is understood to have made some idle experiment of his own eloquence on the King of Prussia to have pleaded her cause in their next interview to have spoken not as if he was addressing a cold hearted bad man but as if speaking in the House of Commons of his own country in the assembly of a free people with generosity in their feelings and uprightness and honor in their hearts The King in all the malignant security of triumphant power in all the composed consciousness of great intellectual talents affected to return him eloquence for eloquence said his ancestors would rise out of their tombs to reproach him if he abandoned the rights that had been transmitted to him that he could not live with reputation if he lightly abandoned an enterprise which had been the first act of his reign that he would sooner be crushed with his whole army etc And then descending from his oratorical elevation declared that he would now not only have the four duchies but all Lower Silesia with the town of Breslau If the Queen does not satisfy me in six weeks I will have four duchies more They who want peace will give me what I want I am sick of ultimatums I will hear no more of them My part is taken I again repeat my demand of all Lower Silesia This is my final answer and I will give no other He then abruptly broke off the conference and left Mr Robinson to his own reflections The situation of the young Queen now became truly deplorable The King of Prussia was making himself the entire master of Silesia two French armies poured over the countries of Germany the Elector of Bavaria joined by one of them had pushed a body of troops within eight miles of Vienna and the capital had been summoned to

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