France, Kingdom of: Information

France, Kingdom of (987 - 1792)

The Kingdom of France (French: Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe, the predecessor of the modern French Republic. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe, a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.

France originated as West Francia (Francia Occidentalis), the western half of the Carolingian Empire, with the Treaty of Verdun (843). A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king and founded the Capetian dynasty. The territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum ("king of the Franks") well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France ("King of France") was Philip II, in 1190. France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines - the Valois and Bourbon - until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution.

France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy. In Brittany and Catalonia (now a part of Spain) the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France. Initially, West Frankish kings were elected by the secular and ecclesiastic magnates, but the regular coronation of the eldest son of the reigning king during his father's lifetime established the principle of male primogeniture, which became codified in the Salic law. During the late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453). Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars (1494–1559).

France in the early modern era was increasingly centralised; the French language began to displace other languages from official use, and the monarch expanded his absolute power, albeit in an administrative system (the Ancien Régime) complicated by historic and regional irregularities in taxation, legal, judicial, and ecclesiastic divisions, and local prerogatives. Religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots. After a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion (1562–1598), tolerance was granted to the Huguenots in the Edict of Nantes. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France. Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America.

The Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year later and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the other great powers in 1814 and lasted (except for the Hundred Days in 1815) until the French Revolution of 1848.

France, Kingdom of: List of Rulers.
Reign / RuleFromToCoins Issued
King Hugh Capet 3 July 987 24 October 996
Robert II le Pieux (King Robert II the Pious) 24 October 996 20 July 1031
Henri Ier (King Henry I) 20 July 1031 4 August 1060
Philippe Ier l' Amoureux (King Philip I the Amorous) 4 August 1060 29 July 1108
Louis VI le Gros (King Louis VI the Fat) 29 July 1108 1 August 1137
Louis VII le Jeune (King Louis VII the Younger) 1 August 1137 18 September 1180
Philippe II Auguste (King Philip II Augustus) 18 September 1180 14 July 1223
Louis VIII le Lion (King Louis VIII the Lion) 14 July 1223 8 November 1226
Saint Louis (King Louis IX the Saint) 8 November 1226 25 July 1270
Philippe III le Hardi (King Philip III the Bold) 25 July 1270 5 October 1285
Philippe IV le Bel (King Philip IV the Fair) 5 October 1285 29 November 1314 1
Louis X le Hutin (King Louis X the Quarreler) 29 November 1314 5 June 1316
Jean Ier le Posthume (King John I the Posthumous) 15 November 1316 20 November 1316
Philippe V le Long (King Philip V the Tall) 20 November 1316 3 January 1322
Charles IV le Bel (King Charles IV the Fair) 3 January 1322 1 February 1328
Philippe VI de Valois, le Fortuné (King Philip VI the Fortunate) 1 April 1328 22 August 1350 1
Jean II le Bon (King John II the Good) 22 August 1350 8 April 1364
Charles V le Sage (King Charles V the Wise) 8 April 1364 16 September 1380
Charles VI le Bienaimé (King Charles VI the Beloved) 16 September 1380 21 October 1422
King Henry VI of England (disputed) 21 October 1422 19 October 1453
Charles VII le Victorieux (King Charles VII the Victorious) 21 October 1422 22 July 1461 1
Louis XI le Prudent (King Louis XI the Prudent) 22 July 1461 30 August 1483
Charles VIII l'Affable (King Charles VIII the Affable) 30 August 1483 7 April 1498
Louis XII le Père du Peuple (King Louis XII Father of the People) 7 April 1498 1 January 1515
François Ier le Père et Restaurateur des Lettres (King Francis I the Father and Restorer of Letters) 1 January 1515 31 March 1547
Henri II (King Henry II) 31 March 1547 10 July 1559
François II (King Francis II) 10 July 1559 5 December 1560
King Charles IX 5 December 1560 30 May 1574
Henri III (King Henry III) 30 May 1574 2 August 1589
Henri IV (King Henry IV) 2 July 1589 14 May 1610
Louis XIII le Juste (King Louis XIII the Just) 14 May 1610 14 May 1643 3
Louis XIV le Grand, le Roi Soleil (Louis XIV the Great, the Sun King) 14 May 1643 1 September 1715 8
Louis XV le Bien-Aimé (King Louis XV the Beloved) 1 September 1715 10 May 1774 6
Louis XVI le Restaurateur de la Liberté Française (King Louis XVI the Restorer of French Liberty) 10 May 1774 21 September 1792 4
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France, Kingdom of: Details
Official NameKingdom of France
Original NameRoyaume de France
FlagFlag of France, Kingdom of
WikiSee Wikipedia page
French West Indies 1635 1800