Hugh Capet's Contribution To The French Revolution

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Only after the election of Hugh Capet and beginning of Capetian dynasty (987-1328) did France unite as a realm with a distinct territory. Hugh Capet recognized Paris as his power center, practically establishing the capitol, but the rest of the kingdom was controlled by powerful local lords. Under the Capetian dynasty, many of the basic administrative institutions of the French monarchy began to develop, while being the biggest contributor to the crusades, kings slowly solidified their power and influence over the kingdom. Philip II, for the first time, uses the title King of France, instead of King of the Franks, while his successor Louis IX enhanced the prestige of monarchy even further. Capetian Kings by extending and maintaining power,…show more content…
Both, more importantly the latter, will have colossal effect in fully structuring the French nation later on. Estates General was a representative assembly, consisting of three estates (social classes): First Estate (clergy) including Bishops and priests, the Second Estate (nobility) consists of former vassal lords and the Third Estate (bourgeoisie) envelopes all other members of the populace. (Palmer, p.567) The Estates General was first called in 1302, during the crisis of dispute between Philip the Fair and Pope Boniface VIII. Throughout the reign of monarchs Estates General was summoned a handful of times, including the meeting of 1614 conversing on the fierce clash of War of Religions, and later in 1789, during an economic crisis. It is evident, that at first Estates General could not become part of the French monarchy, but it made clear that these states could not agree and had different interests, it also highlighted the underrepresentation of the Third Estate, which later constructs something unimaginable to the monarchs of…show more content…
In contrast to Charlemagne’s feudalism, in Ancient Regime everyone was subject of the king, as well as of an estate and province, but nationality and citizenship didn’t exist. By this time, the military revolution has already begun, and with it absolutism rose in the political sphere of France. (Palmer) The Military Revolution was a product of insecurity and political tensions throughout Europe, which later requires the Balance of Powers within the continent. The feudal armies of the past were dispersing, so the possession of the army transferred from nobility to the King, granting him even more power. This aspect of military might became the key piece for centralizing power in France, controlling the army meant collecting taxes without the consent of the Estates General, therefore diminishing the power of Estates. This is the reason why the Military Revolution went hand-in-hand with the emergence of absolutism. Hatton describes “the term ‘absolutism’ denotes a form of power which is unrestrained; more specifically it implies that no external agency can suspend or delay the action of the sovereign power” (Hatton, 1976, p.18) Absolutism was also a product of power struggle between the King and the Estates, for example in France the Crown won, establishing monarchical
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