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    France History
    Source: France Ministry of Foreigh Affairs, The Library of Congress Country Studies and other sources.

    Photograph of Omaha Beach, Normandie, France

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    Feudal Kindgoms of the Middle Ages

    Ninth-century Viking invasions greatly weakened the power of the Carolingians and France broke up into estates, some of them effectively independent countries, ruled by great aristocrats. Among the most important were the duke- doms of Aquitaine and Burgundy and the counties of Flanders, Blois, and Anjou.

    In 911 the Vikings, who had repeatedly raided the Atlantic coast of France, established the duchy of Normandy.

    The Carolingian dynasty died out in France in 987 (although it survived in the Holy Roman Empire) and was replaced by a new line, the Capetians. Steadily expanding in both territory and power from their base in Paris, the Capetians solidified the foundations of the French monarchy. Paris became a great monastic and university city as well as a center of trade and manufacturing. Under the crusader-king Louis IX (St. Louis), France also became an international power.

    See also Roman History at

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    NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of French History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France History should be addressed to The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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    Revised 26-Jul-05
    Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)