Beginning of the Carolingian dynasty. The formation of the Frankish state

France, like most Western European countries, has a turbulent history. At the dawn of its existence, it passed the period before the era of the domination of Rome, the era of Rome and the era of barbarian states. The time of the existence of the latter is the history of the crystallization of the future of France. Therefore, the ruling dynasties of those legendary centuries, including the rule of the Carolingians, left a big mark in the history of both France and Europe as a whole. More on this later. So, let's discuss the beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty. In what year did this happen and what was their path to power?

beginning of the Carolingian dynasty


The Carolingians are a dynasty in power during one of the key periods. They had a particularly great influence on the history of early medieval Europe. What is worth only the board of the famous Charlemagne, who shook the whole continent.However, many people ask when they hear about the rule of the Carolingian dynasty: "What age can it be?"

Dynasty ascended the throne in the VIII century. and was in power for several turbulent centuries. In their period, the Frankish state significantly increased and expanded, rising to the level of the empire. This situation is due to the fact that the kings and emperors of the new ruling family had the assistance of a large layer of small and small feudal lords interested in great victories, trophies and prisoners, the formation of a state structure for obedience and securing free peasant communes.


Rod Carolingian was able to connect the Frankish, rather loose, power under his scepter. Before them, in these lands were monarchs, weak Merovingians. The founder of the new dynasty, Charles, nicknamed Martell, was a well-known commander and courtier, although he was not a monarch. He managed to extend the rule of the Carolingian dynasty through the ages, managing to crush the rebellion of the old nobility and strengthen its almost unlimited power. Then he practically destroyed the Arabs in a fierce battle at Poitiers in 732. The victory made his descendants further approach the scepter inevitable.But before that it was necessary to make important transformations.

beginning of the Carolingian dynasty in which year

Martel Reform

The beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty, the formation of the Frankish state meant almost the same thing - the first reforms were so deep and large-scale. To conduct aggressive wars and protection from the terrible, for the time being invincible Arabian cavalry, it was necessary to form a stronger army of infantry and horsemen. Habitual Frankish clan militia from the communes could not meet the new time and its conditions. It was necessary to bear in mind that the Frankish peasants were ruined under the weight of exorbitant state taxes and were able to embark on distant military travels.

All this forced Karl Martel to carry out military reform — to form along with the communal militia a strong knightly army. Equestrian warriors, of course, could only be rich people who had the means to fight on a war horse and have the right armor and a sword. The ruler gave them land to hold.

rule of the Carolingian dynasty for centuries

Feudal lords

Before the reign of Martelle, a few monarch warriors received a certain payment in kind (feeding).The tip of the troops sold off land ownership in personal property. This contributed to the fact that a large proportion of royal possessions passed into the wealth of feudal lords. When the rule of the Carolingian dynasty began, Karl Martell used a new way of paying feudal lords for "work" - the principle of conditionality: the land was given for service and only for the period of life, it was impossible for descendants to leave a legacy. The one who acquired a conditional holding was made a vassal (subordinate under the conditions of possession), gave an oath of allegiance and the implementation of the required duties. He transferred the hold and became the lord (master) and had the right of supreme ownership of the land given to him, he had the opportunity to take it away in case of violation of his duties by the feudal lord.

when did the carolingians begin


Since the available free land was previously distributed to the feudal lords as personal property, Karl Martell transferred the land into conditional possessions at the expense of church possessions. The church nobility was forced to approve these steps of the uncrowned monarch. Somewhat later, at the church synod, it was decided to assume that the land secularized by the state would be owned by the church, the feudal lords of these possessions should transfer to it a certain amount.

It should be noted that Karl Martell generously rewarded the church for such submissiveness with regular land holdings in the occupied areas where Christianity was rapidly growing. The beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty was marked by the most favorable relations between the Catholic Church and the monarchical state.

Active policy

The strengthened Frankish state quickly strengthened its vast northern and eastern frontiers, pursued an active aggressive policy. Were broken, conquered and lined with heavy tribute to beaten more than once Germanic nationalities. The prospects for further progress to the north and east, which was carried out later by Charlemagne, were clearly visible.

However, under Martelle, bloody defensive battles had to be conducted on the southern borders of the Frankish state. Arabs who conquered the Iberian Peninsula attacked southern France. In 732, Karl Martell, having accumulated a significant army of infantry and heavy cavalry, as already noted above, defeated the Arabs in the battle of Poitiers. The leader of the aliens was killed. It was after this victory that Karl got the nickname "Martell" (hammer).

The defeat of the Arabs had a beneficial effect on the situation in the state. The invading nomad invasions ceased, although they remained in some territory of southern France.

Gradually, everything went to the fact that the nominal ruler would become formal and put on the crown of the king. However, Karl Martell failed to give rise to the rule of the Carolingian dynasty. He died in 741, remaining only one of the powerful feudal lords of the Merovingians. Therefore, the beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty, the date of accession to the throne, has been removed for another ten years.

when did the carolingian dynasty begin

Path to the throne

The son of Karl Martel Pipin, nicknamed Short, received from his father the title of steward (majordoma) of the royal house of the Franks after his death. That is, the heads of state remained kings from the Merovingian dynasty. Carolingians have not yet come to power in full, but already enjoyed considerable respect in various circles.

In the first years after the death of his father, Pepin was a strong, but not the only feudal lord, who had possessions in several provinces. Some share of his father’s estate was transferred to Brother Pipin. The brothers often fought in alliance against powerful enemies - other powerful feudal lords of the Frankish state. In 742, the ruler of Aquitaine Gunald began the war against the Carolingians.He, like most other representatives of the nobility, believed that soon the brothers would seize the scepter in the state and make their kin royal. Gunald managed to destroy a number of small towns, after which he was ousted from the occupied territories.

After a series of fierce battles, Pipin allowed Childeric III of the Merovingians to become the new monarch. However, this monarch did not possess actual power, having too little opportunity to fight his powerful subjects. The Carolingians remained powerful. The beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty was not far off now.

Rise to power

For several years of his political and military service, Major Pipin managed to pacify most of the major feudal lords in the state. In the end, deciding that he had become strong enough, Pepin went with an embassy to the Pope, Zachariah.

There was a symbolic conversation, during which Pipin inquired whether anyone who does not have real power was given the right to be a monarch. The pope answered, realizing that it was from him that they wanted, that the most powerful and strong should be at the head of the state.This lifted the last so-called religious restriction for Pipin. He enlisted the support of the church.

In order for the beginning of the rule of the powerful Carolingian family to be formally legal, Pipin did the right thing - he convened an ancient meeting of the Franks in Soissons. It happened in 751. A large number of loyal feudal lords and nobles came to him for Pepin. The former king Childeric was imprisoned in a monastery (it was still very merciful at that time).

Thus was laid the basis of the government of the Carolingian family. The year 752 of the birth of Christ became important for this family - the beginning of the Carolingian dynasty. The Carolingian era has begun.

Carolingian Board


When the rule of the Carolingians began, the new monarch soon had to show his own legitimacy and ability to rule the state. The most aggressive against the new official dynasty were the Saxons, who did not lose complete freedom. They raised a rebellion. Therefore, the domination of the Carolingian family began with a clash with this restless tribe. The monarch with numerous detachments reached the River Weser, where the Saxons were utterly defeated.After this unsuccessful war, they were forced to give the Franks more taxes than before. It should be noted that the Saxons were still pagans; therefore, it was during these years that Christian priests conducted their missionary work in the center of the still barbaric Germany.


Popes have always been loyal allies of the Carolingians. After all, it was with their submission that a new dynasty appeared, and the church declared the power of its representatives legitimate. Therefore, the new kings opposed the enemies of Catholic Rome at the first request. This also included the aggressive Lombards who dominated large parts of Italy.

It was already the beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty. In what year Pipin managed to announce his coronation - this happened in 752, - in the very first year of his reign the tribal leader of the Lombards Aistulf attacked the possessions of Rome. The next Pope Stephen III sent a tearful request to the head of the Frankish state to come to the rescue. As soon as the coronation procession passed, the new king headed to besieged Rome, despite the threats of numerous uprisings in the state.

However, the offensive was very successful.The tribe Langobards suffered defeat. Aistulf was forced to give the Pope the strategically important city of Ravenna. On top of this, he singled out a significant contribution to Pipin and for some time gave up an active foreign policy aimed at sacred Rome.

Domestic policy

In domestic state policy, the start of the Carolingian dynasty was constructive. Pepin was very active in helping the Catholic Church. He hoped that this spiritual structure could be one of the main and solid pillars of his power. The monarch introduced a new tax that existed until the time of the victory of capitalism - tithe. The funds were necessarily paid by all subjects of the Frankish power and received at the expense of the Church.

beginning of the Carolingian dynasty date

Pepin continued to develop the armed forces, both quantitatively and qualitatively. His father introduced the practice of allocating land for service on conditional holding. The new monarch continued to implement this policy, which gave him the opportunity to strengthen his power. Although in the future, it was these actions that became the leading cause of the developing feudal medieval fragmentation of the whole of Western Europe.


Pepin the Short died in 768, marking the beginning of the rule of the Carolingian dynasty. He became the founder of a new dynasty, whose rule lasted several centuries. The creation of a new type of Frankish power was successfully completed. After some time, his great son Karl will be emperor on the model of the Roman rulers of the famous European past of Ancient Rome.

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