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History of Europe

What happened after Charlemagne's death?

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March 11, 2010 1:28AM

On 28 January 814, the great emperor Charlemagne died. His work did not survive him. The two founders of Catholic France, Clovis and Charlemagne, wrote the heroic beginning of its history. The prestige of Charlemagne's warrior alone had maintained political unity of his vast empire. Its too large size, diversity of peoples who had neither the same language, nor the same customs, nor the same interests, made his defense and his government impossible for successors who had neither the warrior values, neither authority of Charlemagne.

According to the Frankish custom, after the death of the Emperor, everyone of his sons received a kingdom . Louis received Aquitaine, Pepin, Italy, Charles, Germany. Pepin and Charles died before their father. This first division did not last. Louis known as the Pious and debonair would have made a good monk, but the burden of the empire was too heavy for him.

In October 817, the new Emperor meets a large assembly of his people convoked for the occasion. A first division of the Empire was decided. Lothair, the eldest child of Louis, was associated with the government of the Empire and designated as successor to his father. His two brothers Pepin and Louis, received two other portions of the Empire. The Pope approved the division who was in the tradition of the Franks. Louis the Pious seemed to continue the work of Charlemagne.

Another child was born to Louis the Pious, after a second marriage, a new division of territory was considered. The sons of Louis the Pious then rebelled against their father. Lothair was exiled; Louis appeased the other two by promising to increase their kingdom, but new troubles soon broke out as Pepin and his brother Louis claims a share in the government of the empire. Louis the Pious tried to fight but his supporters deserted him seeing that he was the weakest. He was formally stripped of his imperial dignity. and was confined in a monastery.

The three sons, who had agreed to depose their father, did not remain in agreement. Eventually, remorseful, Louis and Pepin decided to restore their father against Lothair. A new war broke out. Lothair was exiled in Italy and Louis the Pious was formally restored to the throne in 835. Three years after the death of Louis the Pious in 840, the division of the empire was established by the Treaty of Verdun in 843. The treaty gave to Louis the countries of Germany, on the right bank of the Rhine. Lothair retained the title of Emperor, Italy, the region between the Alps and the Aare, the Rhine, on the one hand, and the Rhone, the Saone and the Meuse. Charles received the western portion remaining.

The date of the treaty of Verdun, 843, is crucial in history because now the unity of the empire was dissolved.