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Convergences and divergences of the rights of the Middle Ages

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The fall of the Roman Empire in 476 and the various attempts to restore the Empire, particularly that of Charlemagne is of great importance. The empire of Charlemagne was dislocated by son of Louis the Pious in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun. Lothario retained the title of Emperor but lost his authority, hanging on to only a strip of land from the Netherlands to Italy. Charles the Bald, in turn, received Francia occidentalis (Western Frankland) in the west. Louis received part of the Empire further east of the Rhine called Francia orientalis (Eastern Frankland). This treaty heralded the birth of French and German nations.

From the year 870, the administrative costs including administration of certain areas under the authority of Lothair were made hereditary. This inheritance encouraged territorial fragmentation and formed the basis of feudalism. However, we will not abandon the idea of creating a large empire in Western Europe. In the eighteenth century, Voltaire advocated that "a great republic [was] divided between several states, all corresponding to each other, all having the same religious background, all with the same principles of public law and policy." Rousseau recognized that Europe dreamed of a real company with its religion, its customs and its laws. The title of Emperor escaped to the descendants of Charlemagne. Otto I triumphed in the tenth century and its feudal lord became the king of Pavia before being recognized as emperor by Pope John XII in 962 who founded the Holy Roman Empire. In 1996, Otto III appointed his cousin as Pope and was crowned emperor of Rome. The Holy Roman Empire, however, happened to realize a real unity.

Public institutions stabilized in the tenth and eleventh centuries with the introduction of feudalism, which helped secure better trade. Around the Mediterranean, a cash economy was growing and required an organization to both technical and legal. Some ports were still at the end of Middle Ages such as Venice, Naples, Salerno. The Last Crusade raised awareness of the rich Mediterranean and developed new ports, new cities were becoming attractive business centers (Barcelona, Marseilles, etc). It also developed river systems of exchange from the North Sea along the Rhine, the Seine or the Thames. This trade allowed the development of powerful industries such as textiles in Flanders.

Other cities benefited from these new activities and these exchanges such as Lyon and Rouen, which were located on the northern route at the start of the Mediterranean. This renewal allowed cities to provide a degree of autonomy within the territory of a lord. From the thirteenth century onwards, these cities and bourgeois shopkeepers who sought charters of freedom. They wanted administration and decision-making in exchange for military help. Cities like London, Munich, Mainz, Cologne were granted charters. The growing population was also significant: the population of Bologna multiplied by five times in recent decades, Paris was the most populous city in Christendom with 100,000 inhabitants. Ghent was very powerful with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Tags: fall of the Roman Empire, Last Crusade, Charlemagne

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