THE FRENCH NATION THROUGH HISTORY

FRANK TRIBAL LEADERS
The Franks are thought to have originated from the region of Pomerania, near the Black Sea. They moved up to the Rhine during the third century (the Period of Migration). The Salian (Western) Franks led the influx of Frankish and sub-Frank peoples into Gaul during the 4-5th centuries, and founded minor kingdoms along the line of their advance, such as at Cambrai and Yssel.
 
By 407 The Franks are already on the west bank of the Rhine. During the crossing of the Vandals (to avoid the Huns), they attack this apparent threat to their own position. The Alans, also crossing the Rhine, come to the aid of the Vandals and save them from destruction.
 
ar.417 Merovée Frankish leader. Sicambrian Frank. Semi-legendary.
409 - 427 Pharamond Frankish leader. Salian Frank. Semi-legendary.
426 - 448 Clodian / Chlodio VI Pharamond's son. First King of Cambrai. Salian Frank.
448 - 458 Merovée / Merovech / Meerwig the Young Son of Merovée. King of the Franks of Yssel.
458 - 496 Childeric I King of the Franks of Yssel.
 
MEROVINGIAN KINGS OF THE FRANKS
AD 476 - 751
The Frankish leader, Clovis, united the Salians with the Ripuarian (Eastern) Franks and they were converted to Christianity in 497. Their kingdom expanded under Clovis and his sons to include Neustria (northern France), Austrasia (Netherlands, Austria, northern Germany), Burgundy and Provence by 714.The Franks quickly became the dominant Germanic tribe in not only Gaul but throughout Central and Western Europe. The territory between modern-day France and Germany, and south to Central Italy, became known as Francia. The kingdoms this eventually encompassed included West Francia (France), East Francia (eventually to emerge as Germany), Burgundy, Lombardy, Lotharingia / Lorraine (only briefly an independent kingdom before it splintered into various interrelated principalities, known as the Stem Duchies), and the Papal States (which started life as the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna), which were centered on Rome. All of this territory was part of the Empire of Charlemagne.
 
456 - 511 Clovis I (Chlodwig) Son of Childeric. Founded kingdom 476. Married Chlothild.
486 Clovis occupies Northern Gaul.
496 The Franks conquer the Alemanni.
505 The Franks absorb the Alemanni (who later emerge as the Swabians).
507 The Franks defeat the Visigoths, forcing them out of Gaul.
511 The kingdom is divided between Clovis' four sons, ruling Austrasia, Orleans, Paris, and Soissons. Clotaire, king of Soissons was also the new king of the Franks. Soissons was incorporated directly under that rule.
511 - 560 Clotaire / Chlothar I Son. Established the basis of early Frankish monarchy in Gaul.
531 The Thuringians are conquered.
534 The Burgundians are conquered.
555 The Bavarians are conquered.
561 - 567 Charibert I King of the Franks.
561 - 584 Chilperic I Son. King of Neustria.
558 Orleans and Paris are drawn back under direct control of the king of the Franks.
584 - 629 Clotaire / Chlothar II Son. King of Neustria.
613 The Frankish Empire is reunified under Chlothar II’s rule, with Neustria (and the attached Swiss territories) forming its heartland. Austrasia becomes semi-independent again in 622.
629 - 632 Charibert II King of Acquitaine.
630 - 638 Dagobert I King of Austrasia. Defeated in battle by Carinthian Slavs.
633 - 656 Clovis II 633 could be year of birth.
656 Dagobert II
[ Grimoald Son of Pepin I. Carolingian Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia.]
656 - 661 Childebert Adoptivus Son. Adopted by Sigibert III of Austrasia.
662 - 675 Childeric II Son of Clovis II. King of Austrasia.
675 - 676 Clovis III
673 - 691 Theuderich III Son of Clovis II. King of Neustria, Burgundy, & Austrasia.
689 - 719 The Franks conquer the kingdom of Friesland.
691 - 695 Clovis IV Reunited Neustria & Austrasia under central government.
695 - 711 Childebert III Son of Theuderich III. King of Neustria, Burgundy, & Austrasia.
711 - 715 Dagobert III Son. King of Neustria, Burgundy, & Austrasia.
715 - 721 Daniel Chilperich II Son of Childerich II. King of Neustria.
717 - 720 Chlothar / Lothair IV Son of Theuderich III. King of Austrasia.
721 - 737 Theuderich IV Son of Dagobert III. King of Neustria, Burgundy, & Austrasia.
737 - 743 Interregnum, Carolingian mayors rule.
743 - 751 Childeric III Grandson of Childeric II. King of Neustria, Burgundy, & Austrasia. Deposed. Died 755.
751 With the Pope's blessing, the Carolingian Mayors of the Palace depose the Merovingians and take control of the empire. Neustria, Austrasia & Burgundy are controlled directly, and the former two names fade from common use.
 
CAROLINGIAN (FRANKISH) EMPIRE
AD 751 - 888
[628 - 639 Pepin I Mayor. His dau m. Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia.]
[687 - 714 Pepin II of Herstal (the Fat) Grandson. Mayor]
[714 - 741 Charles Martel (the Hammer) Son. Mayor. Defeated Islamic Spain at Poitiers in 732.]
[741 - 747 Carloman Son. Mayor]
[741 - 751 Pepin III the Short Brother. Mayor]
751 Pepin III deposes the last Merovingian king in 751 and, with the Pope's blessing, assumes the title.
751 - 768 Pepin III
768 - 814 Charles the Great / Charlemagne Son. King of France. French HRE (800-814).
768 - 771 Carloman I Brother. Joint King of France.
814 - 840 Louis I the Pious I of France, Italy, Germany, Burgundy, & Empire. Lost Croatia.
840 Louis wills the Frankish Empire to his sons, but tries to ensure that the eldest gains the biggest share, in order to avoid the fragmentation of territory that so weakened the Merovingians. Lothar receives Middle Francia (Rhine corridor and Italy); Charles the Bald receives Western Francia (France); Louis the German receives Eastern Francia (Germany).
840 - 855 Lothar I of Middle (Italian) Franks rules the Empire.
855 - 875 Louis II of Middle (Italian) Franks rules the Empire.
875 - 877 Charles II of Western Franks rules the Empire.
881 - 888 Charles III of Eastern Franks rules the Empire.
888 The rule of the Holy Roman Empire falls to non-Frankish emperors.
 
CAROLINGIAN KINGS OF WESTERN FRANKS (FRANCE)
AD 843 - 987
843 - 877 Charles II the Bald II of France & Empire. Emperor (875-877).
877 - 879 Louis II the Stammerer II of France.
879 - 882 Louis III III of France.
879 - 884 Carloman II II of France.
884 - 888 Charles III the Fat of Germany.
888 Charles III (his numbering is not strictly counted within the list of French monarchs) is deposed by the Germans and the Frankish Empire is officially divided between East and West. The western section becomes modern France, the eastern section, modern Germany.
888 - 898 Odo / Eudes Count of Paris. Elected by the nobility. Capetian ancestor.
898 - 922 Charles III the Simple Son of Louis II. Granted land to the Normans.
922 - 923 Robert I Brother of Odo. Count of Paris.
923 - 936 Rudolf / Raoul m. Emma, daughter of Robert I. Duke of Burgundy (921-936).
936 - 954 Louis IV d'Outremer Son of Charles III. Had been exiled in England (=outre mer).
954 - 986 Lothair V Son.
986 - 987 Louis V Son.
987 By this time the Carolingian kings and those drawn from the House of Paris had so weakened the effectiveness of the monarchy in France that it owned little land outside Paris. The Carolingian son of Louis V, Charles of Lorraine, was ignored in favour of passing the crown permanently to the House of Paris.
 
CAPETIAN DYNASTY
AD 987 - 1328
987 - 996 Hugh Capet
996 - 1031 Robert II the Pious
1031 - 1060 Henry I
1060 - 1108 Philip I
1108 - 1137 Louis VI
1137 - 1180 Louis VII
1180 - 1223 Philip II Augustus
1223 - 1226 Louis VIII
1226 - 1270 St. Louis IX
1270 - 1285 Philip III
1285 - 1314 Philip IV the Fair M. Jeanne I of Navarre.
1314 - 1316 Louis X Also Luis the Stubborn of Navarre.
1316 John I Reigned in France for eight days.
1316 - 1322 Philip V Also Philip of Navarre.
1322 - 1328 Charles IV Also Charles I of Navarre.
1328 Charles' daughter, Jeanne, is disqualified from occupying the French throne by Salic Law. Instead, she accedes the throne of Navarre, while the Valois succeed to France.
 
VALOIS DYNASTY
AD 1328 - 1589
1328 - 1350 Philip VI of Valois
1337 - 1453 Edward III of England invades France to press his own claim to the throne. The Hundred Years War begins.
1350 - 1364 John II
1364 - 1380 Charles V
1380 - 1422 Charles VI
1422 - 1461 Charles VII
1461 - 1483 Louis XI
1483 - 1498 Charles VIII
1498 - 1515 Louis XII of Orléans
1515 - 1547 Francis I of Angloulême
1532 Francis secures the Duchy of Brittany for France.
1547 - 1559 Henry II
1559 - 1560 Francis II
1560 - 1574 Charles IX
1574 - 1589 Henry III of Valois Previously King of Poland & Lithuania (1573-1574).
 
BOURBON DYNASTY
AD 1589 - 1792
1589 - 1610 Henry IV of Bourbon King of French Navarre (1562-1589).
1610 - 1643 Louis XIII
1643 - 1661 Regency Period. Queen Mother rules in Dauphine's name.
1661 - 1715 Louis XIV
1715 - 1774 Louis XV
1774 - 1792 Louis XVI Deposed and beheaded.
1792 Louis XVII Son. Never crowned.
1789 - 1792 French Revolution. King deposed in 1792 and executed in 1793.
1792 - 1803 First Republic.
1803 - 1814 First Empire under Napoleon I.
1814 Napoleon is defeated and the monarchy restored.
1815 Napoleon returns from exile for The Hundred Days rule.
 

 
BOURBON RESTORATION
AD 1814 - 1848
1814 - 1824 Louis XVIII Nephew of Louis XVI. Deposed by July Revolution.
1824 - 1830 Charles X Brother.
1830 - 1848 Louis Philippe of Orléans Abdicated under pressure.
1848 - 1852 Second Republic.
1852 - 1871 Second Empire under Louis Napoleon III.
1871 - 1940 Third Republic.
1940 - 1944 Occupation by German Nazi Third Empire. Vichy (Fascist) rule in southern France.
1944 - 1947 Provisional Government.
1947 - 1959 Fourth Republic. Discredited by inflation and colonial defeats.
1959 - Present Fifth Republic.
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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