The Franks emerge as strongest Germanic tribes. The early rulers (taken from Merowech), hold power for about 300 years.
1) Solved local issues, stopped feuds, protected weak and raised army. 2) Messengers would go on anual inspections and report back. 3) Charlemagne himself went on inspections (peripatetic). 4) Forceful personality holds empire together.
Localized form of gov’t that stresses relationship of kings and nobles, decentralized.
Clovis becomes the first Germanic ruler to accept Catholicism. Military victories and religious conversion led to throne stability.
Charles "The Hammer" Martel rushes to Europe and defends the Europeans at the hands of the Muslims. The victory won him honor and sustained Christianity, the Muslims didn't come back.
Charlemagne becomes king. One gov't under one king, doubles borders to include Germany, France, northern Spain and most of Italy, formed schools (even though he was illiterate), preserved Roman manuscripts.
Charlemagne defend Pope Leo III from power hungry nobles. Leo crowns him king and creates an alliance between church and gov't. This helped, BUT the pope was indirectly saying that the monarchs were more powerful than the rulers.
He's buried in Aachen and his son Luis The Pious succeeds him.
They agree to divide the Frankish Empire...
Charles the Bald - western part (present-day France).
Louis the German - eastern part (present-day Germany).
Lothair - strip of land stretching from North Sea southward to Italy.