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By Pierre Goubert

This stimulating one-volume heritage strains the social and financial evolution of France as a state from the founding of the monarchy in 987, to the current day.Against a historical past of structural swap, Goubert etches a shiny account of key occasions and personalities. His viewpoint is a well-liked one, and his major curiosity is in how political occasions and recognized humans have an effect on the country as a complete. The publication comprises the findings and views of contemporary monographic reports with readability and precision, however it is Goubert's personal decisions, direct, forceful and iconoclastic, which make this a useful textual content.

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The Course of French History

This stimulating one-volume historical past strains the social and fiscal evolution of France as a state from the founding of the monarchy in 987, to the current day. opposed to a historical past of structural swap, Goubert etches a shiny account of key occasions and personalities. His standpoint is a well-liked one, and his major curiosity is in how political occasions and well-known humans have an effect on the kingdom as an entire.

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Sovereigns disliked these activities and reacted even more strongly to the claims of the papal canon lawyers after the death of Emperor Frederick II in 1250. The canonists boldly affirmed that popes held not only spiritual power over Christendom but also the temporal power to judge kings, depose them, and dispose of their kingdoms. Saint Louis would never have accepted such pretensions; neither did Philip IV when he faced the intransigent Boniface VIII. The conflict began in 1296, abated, then resumed violently.

The Gothic inspiration in architecture, whether simplified or flamboyant, reigned for almost three centuries. Gothic sculpture and stained glass, two other great successes, were at first pure and sublime; then they evolved more rapidly, as can be seen in many great collections of medieval art. The thirteenth century also saw the rise of universities such as Paris, which acquired its independence between 1200 and 1231. These schools taught the newly rediscovered works of Aristotle as well as theological and philosophical disputation to a meager elite of wealthy young nobles.

ECONOMIC GROWTH All five thirteenth-century Capetians made contributions to the outpouring of opus francigenum, later known as the Gothic style. They encouraged the growth of cities and universities, but they were not alone in this work, for they had the good fortune to rule over a rapidly developing country. Economic growth was apparent, starting in the last quarter of the twelfth century, and represented the first great expansion, or ‘takeoff phase,’ of old Frankish Europe. The conquest of arable land was completed.

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