king of the Franks and ruler of much of Gaul from 481 to 511, a key period during the transformation of the Roman Empire into Europe. His dynasty, the Merovingians, survived more than 200 years, until the rise of the Carolingians in the 8th century. While he was not the first Frankish king, he was the kingdom’s political and religious founder.
1066 is considered one of those dates in Medieval England which is difficult to forget. At the start of 1066, England was ruled by Edward the Confessor. By the end of the year, a Norman – William the Conqueror – was king after defeating Edward’s successor, Harold, at the Battle of Hastings. With three kings in one year, a legendary battle in October and a Norman in charge of England, it is little wonder that people rarely forget the year 1066. Many historians view 1066 as the start of Medieval England.
The laws introduced by William the Conqueror after his victory at Hastings in 1066, had an impact on everybody in England. These laws were introduced by William to control the English. William has gained a reputation of being nothing more than a tyrant in England. However, these laws, designed to control a conquered nation, could have been a lot worse. At the start of his reign, William wanted to appeal to the English. He tried to learn the English language, as an ex.
The Battle of Hastings was to shape the future of Medieval England. However, the battle took place about seven miles from Hastings – so in many respects it is misnamed. Why, then was the Battle of Hastings so-called? In 1066, Battle was an important area. Even in the Domesday Book, this part of Sussex was valued at £48 before the battle and £30 in 1066 itself. Compared to other parts of Sussex, Battle was wealthy. However, the title Battle of Battle would not have worked, and for convenience sake, the nearest large town was selected – Hastings. The battle itself was fought by the current Battle Abbey – however, the main thrust of the battle concerned Harold’s position on Senlac Hill, a short distance from the current abbey.
The Hundred Years War was a series of wars between England and France. The background of the Hundred Years War went as far back as to the reign of William the Conqueror. When William the Conqueror became king in 1066 after his victory at the Battle of Hastings, he united England with Normandy in France. William ruled both as his own.
Joan of Arc, a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. With no military training, Joan convinced the embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead a French army to the besieged city of Orléans, where it achieved a momentous victory over the English and their French allies, the Burgundians. After seeing the prince crowned King Charles VII, Joan was captured by Anglo-Burgundian forces, tried for witchcraft and heresy and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. By the time she was officially canonized in 1920, the Maid of Orléans (as she was known) had long been considered one of history’s greatest saints, and an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism.
In 1625, Charles became king of England. Three months later, he married Henrietta Maria of France, a 15-year-old Catholic princess who refused to take part in English Protestant ceremonies of state. Charles's reign was rocky from the outset.
Louis XIV was the son of Louis XIII and dominated France in the second half of the Seventeenth Century. Louis XIV called himself the ‘Sun King’ and his reign is famous for the extension of absolute royal rule and the building of the palace at Versailles which seemed to summarise Louis XIV’s reign. The two politicians who are most associated with Louis XIV are Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Jules Mazarin.
Louis XVI became the heir to the throne and the last Bourbon king of France upon his father's death in 1765. In 1770, he married Austrian archduchess Marie-Antoinette, the daughter of Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I. After a slew of governing missteps, Louis XVI brought the French Revolution crashing down upon himself, and in 1793 he was executed. His wife, Marie-Antoinette, was executed nine months later.
Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), also known as Napoleon I, was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century. Born on the island of Corsica, Napoleon rapidly rose through the ranks of the military during the French Revolution (1789-1799). After seizing political power in France in a 1799 coup d’état, he crowned himself emperor in 1804. Shrewd, ambitious and a skilled military strategist, Napoleon successfully waged war against various coalitions of European nations and expanded his empire. However, after a disastrous French invasion of Russia in 1812, Napoleon abdicated the throne two years later and was exiled to the island of Elba. In 1815, he briefly returned to power in his Hundred Days campaign. After a crushing defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he abdicated once again and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died at 51.