The history of France

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The history of France

In the ancient history the correspondence to France was the Roman Gallic province. 200 ad. Germaniums started to wander round in Europe. In 400 ad the Franks, led by King Klodvig, a Meroving, captured Gallia. Later the realm went from the Germanium religion to Catholicism. Around 600 ad the major dumus in the kingdom got more power and after a while it went so far that the then major dumus took over the throne and started a dynasty called the Karolings. His son Charles 1 (Charles the great) became a very important person in the history when he made himself Roman emperor. 843 ad, a few years later, a very big event accrued: the empire splits and the emperor gives Francia Occidentalis, later to become France, to his son Karl 2. Just before the beginning of the 10:th century a new dynasty is established by Hugo Capet that was going to last in 800 years.

A lot of things happened in Europe during the Middle Ages, in 1100 ad the cities started to grow starts to grow and most of the country is acquired of England trough inheritance and marriages. It was also a flourishing time fore the learning and culture: the country got a University, the cathedral Notre-dame was build in Paris, a typical example on new, Gothic style. A lot of literature was done, fore example the betonian Romans writhen by among others Chrétien de Troyes and with subjects from the Keltish stories like the Arthur story. This time was also the beginning of the crusades to Asia. The person who started it was the pope Urban 2. He hold big speeches when he told the listeners to deliver holy places in Palestine, the holy grave fore example, from the Muslims. Fanatic people marked themselves with a red cross and followed the crusades on their mission. During the 13:th century Europe’s most beautiful castles and a lot of gothic Cathedrals like Chartes, Reims and Amiens was build.

1337 is the beginning of the 100 years war. The Frenchmen didn’t like that England had so much of their country. After more than 60 years of fighting a very important woman came in to the picture. She was Jeanne dÁrc, a very religious girl from the small village Domrémy. When she was about 20 years old she went to Chino and pursued the king that she had a mission from God to release France from the English. She got an army and was send to help Orléans that was occupied. She succeeded big and became one of the most legendary heroines in history. After just a few months the English took her and sentenced to the burning stake, but she had a big part of that France was free when the war ended in 1453. In the 16´th century a new war emerges, a civil war between the Catholics and the Huguenots, the Protestants. They where not happy with the politic in France and fore 30 years the wars relived each other, one bloodier than the other. The Huguenots got free religion and lost it several times. They had their main position in La Rochelle and they ware strongest in south France and in Normandy where they fore some periods had “a state in the state”. Henry 3 was the king that got things in control again.

When the French king Ludwig XIII died in 1643, his son Ludwig XIV became the new monarch, only 4 years old. As he was too young to rule the country himself, his mother Anna of Austria stood as his guardian agent, but the person who really had the power was the cardinal Mazarin. When the king was 23 years old Mazarin died and he declared that he would be the first minister himself. He turn into a great sovereign and he got the honour name le Roi Soleil, King sun. He stood in the centre of the culture and his court was very luxury and elegant. He build Versailles; the most brilliant castle in Europe. He made France the leading country in among more fashion, architecture and furniture. Thanks to his choice of good advisors he was also successful in his outland politic at first. He conquered many Spanish regions. In the beginning of the 18:th century he started to loose battles against England and Austria and if it wasn’t fore the adversaries disagreement it could have end with a disaster fore France. 1715 the king died, 77 years old.

Major conflicts in France

The big French revolution started in the summer 1789. France was the riches kingdom in Europe, but only the noblemen and the priests lived well. The feudal system and many years of bad harvest made the farmers live in poverty and oppression. The ideas about the human's native rights had started to grow during the later part of the 18:th century. The 14 July (which later became France’s national day) thousands of people got into the fort Bastille and demanded weapons and gunpowder. When the royal commander refused he got executed and his head was carried around the city. After that day the whole country revolted powerful; on the countryside the farmers killed noblemen and burned their houses. The dissatisfaction also grew about how the court worked. It took a long time fore the noblemen to get judged as all of the judges where aristocrats themselves. The revolutionists simply took the law in their own hands and killed thousands of prisoners. The people wanted the right to vote and in August the feudal system was replaced with a new sort of parliament and all men got the same rights. The leading words fore the New France were liberty, equality, brotherhood and the flag was called the tricolour (red, white and bleu). To spread the revolutionary ideas they started a war against Austria. The king Ludwig XVI tried to flee from France but he and the queen Marie-Antoinette got captured and executed with the new, modern guillotine. The revolution was not very well organised, it was hard to find a good way to lead the country. It got more and more disordered, the leaders started to kill each other and no one got control over the nation that just got bloodier. One of the leaders was Maximilien Robespierre, a former lawyer who got exterminated in the guillotine himself.

The revolution ended when a general from the revolution army came to rule France. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte and he came from a simple family in Corsica. He studied in a military school. By his determination he made career fast; at the age of 27 he was already general and led the French troops in Italy. He became first consul 1799 which gave him great power. He got France in war with most of the European countries in his ambitions to rule. Thanks to his great developed war strategy the nation was very successful in the beginning, but he wasn’t content with being a consul. 1804 he exclaimed himself emperor. The coronation was carried out in roman imperial style, which one can find a bit against his earlier rebellion ideas. He was a mighty leader in Europe; Spain, Italy, Austria, Preussen (north and middle Germany), Denmark and Norway were allied. Later on he began to loose several battles and was forced to abdicate from the crown. He was given the small island Elba in the middle ocean, but he returned to France one year later. Finally he was defeated by the English and Germans at the famous battle in Waterloo18 June 1815 and imprisoned on the island St: Helena in the south Atlantic. There h...

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Inactive member [2005-11-08]   The history of France
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