Kingdom of France (987–1792)


July 5, 2022

The Kingdom of France or Kingdom of the French was a kingdom in Western Europe. The term Kingdom of the Franks was in use up until the 13th century, since the kingdom goes back to the West Frankish Kingdom founded in 843. The latter in turn is based on the royal rights of the Frankish partial and total empires that existed under the umbrella of the Frankish Empire. The Frankish Empire has a forerunner in the Sal-Franconian Empire, which brought together the individual Frankish kingdoms at the end of the 5th century. The French kingdom was ruled by two dynasties: the Carolingian (853-987) and the Capetian dynasties (987-1792). The latter is divided into the direct Capetians (987-1328), the House of Valois with branch lines (1328-1589) and the House of Bourbon with branch lines (1589-1792).

Designation of the state or heads of state

In the Carolingian era up to the division of the kingdom of Verdun (751-843), the title King of the Franks continued to exist. Charles I (Charlemagne) also assumed the title of Roman Emperor in 800, which his successors also adopted. The partial kingdoms continued to be important. The result of the division of the empire in 843 was, among other things, the West Frankish kingdom, which became the kingdom of France. However, the West Frankish rulers retained the title King of the Franks until the 13th century, and they continued to be elected. Charles II (Charles the Bald) was also a Roman Emperor. Even after the change of dynasty in the West Frankish Empire from the Carolingians to the Capetians in 987 - in historiography often regarded as the beginning of the French kingdom along with 843 - the title of King of the Franks (Roi des Francs) persisted for a long time. Fellow kings secured the dynastic existence. Until the last French king in 1848 (July Monarchy), the kings came from the Capetian dynasty, albeit from different houses (direct Capetians 987-1328, Valois and branch lines 1328-1589, Bourbon and branch lines 1589-1792, 1814/1815-1848) . Philip II (1180–1223) first used the title King of France (Roi de France, Franciae Rex, more rarely Rex Franciae) around 1190. Louis IX (1214–1270) changed his official title from King of the Franks to King of France during his reign. However, the title King of the Franks remained in use until Philip IV (1268–1314). Francorum Rex can even be found on coins up to the 17th century. The title King of France and Navarre (Roi de France et de Navarre) was valid from 1285 to 1328 and again from the accession of Henry IV to the throne in 1789. Between 1328 and 1589 only King of France was used again. The addition Most Christian King came under Charles VII. The constitution of September 3, 1791 made Louis XVI. to the King of the French (Roi des Français). He retained this title until the republic was proclaimed on September 21, 1792. Instead of referring to the territory, reference was now made to the citizens. Parallel to the designation of the ruler, the expression Kingdom of France (Royaume de France) also came into use only in the 13th century and replaced Royaume des Francs (Kingdom of the Franks) or Francie occidentalis (Western Franconia). The constitution of September 3, 1791 turned the absolute into a constitutional monarchy. The outward sign of this was that the king now had to bear the title of King of the French. Designations of heads of state: 10th century - 12th/13th Century: King of the Franks (Rex Francorum) 1285–1328: King of France and Navarre (Roi de France et de Navarre) 12./13. Century - 1589: King of France (Roi de France) 1589–1791: King of France and Navarre (Roi de France et de Navarre) 1791/92: King of the French (Roi des Français)State designations: 1