French History



1)    The Course of French History, Pierre Goubert. Translated by Maarten Ultee. First Published France, Fayard/Tallandier, 1984. This edition Routledge, 1991.


987 - 1180: Under the Early Capetians

The Kingdom of France commences with King Hugh Capet (reign c987-996). Four more Kings, then Louis VII (c1137-1180).

1180-1314: The apogee of medieval France: the thirteenth century

Philip II (Augustus) (1180-1223)
Louis VIII (1223-1226)
Louis IX (Saint Louis) (1226-1270)
Philip III (the Bold) (1270-1285)
Philip IV (the Fair) (1285-1314)

All five 13th century Capetians made contributions to the outpouring of opus francigenum, later known as the Gothic style. Around 1170 the first great European silver mines were opened at Freiberg in Saxony, then others in Bohemia, Spain, and Massif Central. Kings and nobles reopened their seigneurial mintsand increased the supply of coinage. Local barter economies now entered national and international trade. 1192 Venice makes first silver gross coins which are twelve times as heavy as local deniers and thus more trustworthy, less scarce and indispensable in growing trade.

Recapture of Normandy, Anjou and Poitou under Philip II.

The misfortunes of the fourteenth century

The Hundred Years War (1337-1453, the traditional dates)

Last Capetian: Charles IV (1322-1328)

The First Valois: Philip VI (1328-1350)

The fifteenth century: a kingdom reborn from the ashes

1400-1428 - Anarchy
1429-1453 - Recovery
1435-1461 - Reforms of Charles VII
1461-1483 - The Struggles of Louis XI
1483-1493 - The Government of the Beaujeus, or the end of the French Middle Ages

1494-1552: The Beautiful Sixteenth Century

Louis XII (Father of the People) (1498-1515)
Francis I (1515-1547)
Henry II (1547-1559)

The Protestant Reformation

1560-1610: Difficult Times

Francis II (1559-1560)
Charles IX (1560-1574)
Henry III (1574-1589)

1545- The Council of Trent first called

1560-1574 - Eight Wars with as many truces and even more massacres

1598-1661: From Good King Henry to the Sun King

The first Bourbon: Henry IV (1589-1610)
Louis XIII (1610-1643)

1558-1610 - A Brief Renaissance: The work attributed to Sully

1661-1688: The pleasant seasons of a great reign

1689-1715: Autumn of the great century

1688-1697 - The Second Coalition

1702-1713 - The Last Coalition and the War of Spanish Succession

1715-1774: The Age of Louis XV