The livre was the currency of Kingdom of France and its predecessor state of West Francia from 781 to 1794. Several different livres existed; the livre was the name of both units of account and coins. The livre was established by Charlemagne as a unit of account equal to one pound of silver, it was subdivided into each of 12 deniers. The word livre came from a Roman unit of weight; this system and the denier itself served as the model for many of Europe's currencies, including the British pound, Italian lira, Spanish dinero and the Portuguese dinheiro. This first livre is known as the livre carolingienne. Only deniers were minted, but debasement led to larger denominations being issued. Different mints in different regions used different weights for the denier, leading to several distinct livres of different values. "Livre" is a homonym of the French word for "book", the distinction being that the two have a different gender. The monetary unit is la/une livre, while "book" is masculine, le/un livre.
For much of the Middle Ages, different duchies of France were semi-autonomous if not independent from the weak Capetian kings, thus each minted their own currency. Charters would need to specify which region or mint was being used: "money of Paris" or "money of Troyes"; the first steps towards standardization came under the first strong Capetian monarch, Philip II Augustus. Philip II conquered much of the continental Angevin Empire from King John of England, including Normandy and Touraine; the currency minted at the city of Tours in Touraine was considered stable, Philip II decided to adopt the livre tournois as the standard currency of his lands replacing the livre of Paris, the currencies of all French-speaking areas he controlled. This was a slow process lasting many decades and not completed within Philip II's lifetime; the result was that from 1200 onwards, following the beginning of King Philip II's campaigns against King John, the currency used within French speaking lands was in a state of flux, as the livre tournois was introduced into other areas.
Until the thirteenth century and onwards, only deniers were minted as coin money. Both livres and sous did not exist as coins but were used only for accounting purposes. Upon his return from the crusades in the 1250s, Louis IX instigated a royal monopoly on the minting of coinage in France and minted the first gold écu d'or and silver gros d'argent, whose weights were equivalent to the livre tournois and the denier. Between 1360 and 1641, coins worth 1 livre tournois were minted known as francs; this name persisted in common parlance for 1 livre tournois but was not used on coins or paper money. The official use of the livre tournois accounting unit in all contracts in France was legislated in 1549. However, in 1577, the livre tournois accounting unit was abolished and replaced by the écu, at that time the major French gold coin in actual circulation. In 1602, the livre tournois accounting unit was brought back. Louis XIII of France stopped minting the franc in 1641, replacing it with coins based on the silver écu and gold Louis d'or.
The écu and louis d'or fluctuated in value, with the écu varying between three and six livres tournois until 1726 when it was fixed at six livres. The louis was worth ten livres, fluctuated too, until its value was fixed at twenty-four livres in 1726. In 1667, the livre parisis was abolished. However, the sole remaining livre was still referred to as the livre tournois until its demise; the first French paper money was denominated in livres tournois. However, the notes did not hold their value relative to silver due to massive over–production; the Banque Royale crashed in 1720. In 1726, under Louis XV's minister Cardinal Fleury, a system of monetary stability was put in place. Eight ounces of gold was worth 9 sols; this led to a strict conversion rate between gold and silver and established the values of the coins in circulation in France at: the Louis d'or of 24 livres the double Louis d'or of 48 livres the demi-Louis d'or or half-Louis of 12 livres the écu of 6 livres or 120 sols, along with 1⁄2, 1⁄4 and 1⁄8 écu denominations valued at 60, 30 and 15 sols the sol denominated in 1 and 2 sol units valued at 1⁄20 livre per sol the denier denominated in 3 and 6 denier units valued at 1⁄4 and 1⁄2 sol respectively.
A coin of value 1 livre was not, minted. Yet in 1720 a special coin minted in pure silver was assigned an over-value of 1 livre. Additionally, France took Navarrese 20-sol coins minted in 1719 and 1720, re-struck them as 1⁄6 écu creating a coin worth 1 livre; these re-struck coins, however were assigned the value of 18 sols. A kind of paper money was reintroduced by the Caisse d'Escompte in 1776 as actions au porteur, denominated in livres; these were issued until 1793, alongside assignats from 1789. Assignats were backed by government-held land. Like the issues of the Banque Royale, their value plummeted; the last coins and notes of the livre currency system were issued in Year II of the Republic. In 1795, the franc was intro
National emblem of France
This article outlines current and historical national emblems of France, including heraldic coats of arms, first employed in the Middle Ages, as well as more recent, unofficial non- or quasi-heraldic emblems. The French Republic uses two emblems: In 1953, France received a request from the United Nations for a copy of a national coat of arms to be displayed alongside the coats of arms of other member states in its assembly chamber. An interministerial commission requested Robert Louis, heraldic artist, to produce a version of the Chaplain design; this did not, constitute an adoption of an official coat of arms by the Republic. It consists of: 1) A wide shield with, on the one end, a lion-head and on the other an eagle-head, bearing a monogram "RF" standing for République Française. 2) An olive branch symbolises peace. 3) An oak branch symbolises perennity or wisdom. 4) The fasces, a symbol associated with the exercise of justice. One has been a symbol of France since 1912, although it does not have any legal status as an official coat of arms.
It appears on the cover of French passports and was adopted by the French Foreign Ministry as a symbol for use by diplomatic and consular missions using a design by the sculptor Jules-Clément Chaplain. Fleur de Lys, a popular symbol during monarchical times, today used by overseas people of French heritage, like the Acadians, Québécois or Cajuns. Flag of France Great Seal of France National symbols of France Armorial of presidents of France Armorial of France Armorial of the Capetian dynasty Media related to National coats of arms of France at Wikimedia Commons
Henry III of France
Henry III was King of France from 1574 until his death and King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575. Henry was the thirteenth king from the House of Valois, the sixth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch, the last male of his dynasty; as the fourth son of King Henry II of France, he was not expected to inherit the French throne and thus was a good candidate for the vacant throne of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, where he was elected King/Grand Duke in 1573. During his brief rule, he signed the Henrician Articles into law, recognizing the Polish nobility's right to elect their monarch. Aged 22, Henry abandoned Poland-Lithuania upon inheriting the French throne when his brother, Charles IX, died without issue. France was at the time plagued by the Wars of Religion, Henry's authority was undermined by violent political parties funded by foreign powers: the Catholic League, the Protestant Huguenots and the Malcontents, led by Henry's own brother, the Duke of Alençon, a party of Catholic and Protestant aristocrats who jointly opposed the absolutist ambitions of the king.
Henry III was himself a politique, arguing that a strong and religiously tolerant monarchy would save France from collapse. After the death of Henry's younger brother Francis, Duke of Anjou, when it became apparent that Henry would not produce an heir, the Wars of Religion developed into a succession crisis, the War of the Three Henrys. Henry III's legitimate heir was King Henry III of Navarre, a Protestant; the Catholic League, led by Henry I, Duke of Guise, sought to exclude Protestants from the succession and championed the Catholic Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon, as Henry III's heir. In 1589, Jacques Clément, a Catholic fanatic, murdered Henry III, he was succeeded by the King of Navarre who, as Henry IV, assumed the throne of France after converting to Catholicism, as the first French king of the House of Bourbon. Henry was born at the royal Château de Fontainebleau, the fourth son of King Henry II and Catherine de' Medici and grandson of Francis I of France and Claude of France, his older brothers were Francis II of France, Charles IX of France, Louis of Valois.
He was made Duke of Angoulême and Duke of Orléans in 1560 Duke of Anjou in 1566. He was his mother's favourite, his elder brother, grew to detest him because he resented his better health. The royal children were raised under the supervision of Diane de Poitiers. In his youth, Henry was considered the best of the sons of Catherine de' Medici and Henry II. Unlike his father and elder brothers, he had little interest in the traditional Valois pastimes of hunting and physical exercise. Although he was both fond of fencing and skilled in it, he preferred to indulge his tastes for the arts and reading; these predilections were attributed to his Italian mother. At one point in his youth he showed a tendency towards Protestantism as a means of rebelling. At the age of nine, calling himself "a little Huguenot", he refused to attend Mass, sang Protestant psalms to his sister Margaret, bit the nose off a statue of Saint Paul, his mother cautioned her children against such behaviour, he would never again show any Protestant tendencies.
Instead, he became nominally Roman Catholic. Reports that Henry engaged in same-sex relations with his court favourites, known as the mignons, date back to his own time, he enjoyed intense relationships with them. The scholar Louis Crompton maintains; some modern historians dispute this. Jean-Francois Solnon, Nicolas Le Roux, Jacqueline Boucher have noted that Henry had many famous mistresses, that he was well known for his taste in beautiful women, that no male sex partners have been identified, they have concluded that the idea he was homosexual was promoted by his political opponents who used his dislike of war and hunting to depict him as effeminate and undermine his reputation with the French people. His religious enemies plumbed the depths of personal abuse in attributing vices to him, topping the mixture with accusations of what they regarded as the ultimate devilish vice, homosexuality, and the portrait of a self-indulgent sodomite, incapable of fathering an heir to the throne, proved useful in efforts by the Catholic League to secure the succession for Cardinal Charles de Bourbon after 1585.
Gary Ferguson found their interpretations unconvincing: "It is difficult to reconcile the king whose use of favourites is so logically strategic with the man who goes to pieces when one of them dies." Katherine Crawford, by contrast, emphasizes the problems Henry's reputation encountered because of his failure to produce an heir and the presence of his powerful mother at court, combined with his enemies' insistence on conflating patronage with favouritism and luxury with decadence. In 1570, discussions commenced arranging for Henry to court Queen Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth 37, was expected by many parties in her country to marry and produce an heir. However, nothing came of these discussions. In initiating them, Elizabeth is viewed by historians as having intended only to arouse the concern of Spain, rather than contemplate marriage seriously; the chance of marriage was further blighted by differing religious views and his opini
The livre tournois, French for the "Tours pound", was: one of numerous currencies used in France in the Middle Ages. The denier tournois coin was minted by the abbey of Saint Martin in the Touraine region of France. Soon after Philip II of France seized the counties of Anjou and Touraine in 1203 and standardized the use of the livre tournois there, the livre tournois began to supersede the livre parisis, up to that point the official currency of the Capetian dynasty; the livre tournois was, in common with the original livre of Charlemagne, divided into 20 sols, each of, divided into 12 deniers. Between 1360 and 1641, coins worth one livre tournois were minted, known as francs. Other francs were minted under Henri III of France and Henri IV of France; the use of the name "franc" became a synonym for livre tournois in accounting. The first French paper money, issued between 1701 and 1720, was denominated in livres tournois; this was the last time the name was used as notes and coins were denominated in livres, the livre parisis having been abolished in 1667.
With many forms of domestic and international money circulating throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, the use of an accounting currency became a financial necessity. In the world of international banking of the 13th century, it was the florin and ducat that were used. In France, the livre tournois and the currency system based on it became a standard monetary unit of accounting and continued to be used when the "livre tournois" ceased to exist as an actual coin. For example, the Louisiana Purchase treaty of 1803 specified the relative ratios of the franc and livre tournois; the official use of the livre tournois accounting unit in all contracts in France was legislated in 1549, but it had been one of the standard units of accounting in France since the 13th century. In 1577 the livre tournois accounting unit was abolished and accountants switched to the écu, at that time the major French gold coin in actual circulation, but in 1602 the livre tournois accounting unit was brought back..
Since coins in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Early modern period did not have any indication of their value, their official value was determined by royal edicts. In cases of financial need, French kings could use the official value for currency devaluation; this could be done in two ways: the amount of precious metal in a newly minted French coin could be reduced while maintaining the old value in livres tournois or the official value of a domestic or foreign coin in circulation could be increased. By reversing these techniques, currencies could be reinforced. For example: the worth of an écu d'or, a French gold coin, was changed from 60 sols to 57 sols in 1573. to curb increasing use of the Spanish real, its official worth was decreased to 4 sols 2 deniers in the 1570s. Royal finance officers faced many difficulties. In addition to currency speculation and the intentional shaving of precious metal from coins, they had the difficult problem of setting values for gold, silver and billon coins, responding to the large influx of foreign coin and the appearance of inferior foreign coins of intentionally similar design.
For more on these issues, see Monetary policy and Gresham's Law. A glyph for the livre tournois was added to Unicode 5.2, in the Currency Symbols block at code point U+20B6: ₶. French livre Livre parisis French franc Louis Luxembourgish livre Écu Roman currency
The thaler was a silver coin used throughout Europe for four hundred years. Its name lives on in the many currencies called dollar and the Samoan tālā, until also in the Slovenian tolar; the name thaler was used as an abbreviation of Joachimsthaler, a coin type from the town of Joachimsthal in the Kingdom of Bohemia, where there were silver mines and the first such coins were minted in 1518. This original Bohemian thaler carried a lion, from the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia, on its reverse side. Etymologically, Thal is German for "valley", a thaler is a person or a thing "from the valley"; the Czech spelling was tolar. In the 1902 spelling reform, the German spelling was changed from Thal and Thaler to Tal and Taler, which however did not affect the English spelling of thaler; the Dutch daalders carried the picture of a lion, which gave them the name leeuwendaalder. From an abbreviation of leeuwendaalder come the names of three present-day Balkan currencies, the Romanian and Moldovan Leu and the Bulgarian Lev.
The roots and development of the thaler-sized silver coin date back to the mid-15th century. As the 15th century drew to a close the state of much of Europe's coinage was quite poor because of repeated debasement induced by the costs of continual warfare, by the incessant centuries-long loss of silver and gold in indirect one-sided trades importing spices, porcelain and other fine cloths and exotic goods from India and the Far East; this continual debasement had reached a point that silver content in Groschen-type coins had dropped, in some cases, to less than five percent, making the coins of much less individual value than they had in the beginning. Countering this trend, with the discovery and mining of silver deposits in Europe, Italy began the first tentative steps toward a large silver coinage with the introduction in 1472 of the lira tron in excess of 6 grams, a substantial increase over the 4-gram gros tournois of France. In 1474 a 9-gram lira was issued but it was in 1484 that Archduke Sigismund of Tirol issued the first revolutionary silver coin, the half Guldengroschen of 15.5 grams.
This was a rare coin a trial piece, but it did circulate so that demand could not be met. With the silver deposits—being mined at Schwaz—to work with and his mint at Hall, Sigismund issued, in 1486, large numbers of the first true thaler-sized coin, the Guldengroschen; the Guldengroschen, nicknamed the guldiner, was unqualified success. Soon it was being copied by many states who had the necessary silver; the engravers, no less affected by the Renaissance than were other artists, began creating intricate and elaborate designs featuring the heraldic arms and standards of the minting state as well as brutally realistic, sometimes unflattering, depictions of the ruler. By 1518, guldiners were popping up everywhere in central Europe. In the Kingdom of Bohemia ruled together with Hungary by Louis II of the Jagiellonian dynasty, a guldiner was minted— of similar physical size but less fineness—that was named in German the Joachimsthaler, from the silver mined by the Counts of Schlick at a rich source near Joachimsthal where Thal means "valley" in German.
Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary, was portrayed on the coin along with the Bohemian lion. Similar coins began to be minted in neighbouring valleys rich in silver deposits, each named after the particular'thal' or valley from which the silver was extracted. There were soon so many of them that these silver coins began to be known more as'thaler' in German and'tolar' in the Czech language. From these earliest'thaler' developed the new thaler – the coin that the Holy Roman Empire had been looking to create as a standard for trade between the regions of Europe; the original Joachimsthaler Guldengroschen was one ounce in weight. The Empire's Reichstaler was defined as containing 400.99 grains of silver and became the coin of account of the whole Empire. In the 17th century, some Joachimsthalers were in circulation in the Tsardom of Russia, where they were called yefimok – a distortion of the first half of the name; the zenith of thaler minting occurred in the late 16th and 17th centuries with the so-called "multiple thalers" called Lösers in Germany.
The first were minted in Brunswick, indeed the majority were struck there. Some of these coins reached as much as sixteen normal thalers; the original reason for minting these colossal coins, some of which exceeded a full pound of silver and being over 12 cm in diameter, is uncertain. The name "löser" most was derived from a large gold coin minted in Hamburg called the Portugalöser, worth 10 ducats; some of the silver löser reached this value, but not all. The term was applied to numerous similar coins worth more than a single thaler; these coins are rare, the larger ones costing tens of thousands of dollars, are sought after by serious collectors of thalers. Few circulated in any real sense so they remain in well-preserved condition. In the Holy Roman Empire, the thaler was used as the standard against which the various states' currencies could be valued. One standard adopted by Prussia was the Reichsthaler, which contained 1⁄14 of a Cologne mark of silver. In 1754, the Conventionsthaler was introduced.
In 1837, the Prussian thaler beca
The denier or penny was a medieval coin which takes its name from the Frankish coin first issued in the late seventh century. Its appearance represents the end of gold coinage, which, at the start of Frankish rule, had either been Byzantine or "pseudo-imperial". Silver would be the basis for Frankish coinage from on; the denier was minted in France and parts of the Italian peninsula for the whole of the Middle Ages, in states such as the patriarchate of Aquileia, the Kingdom of Sicily, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Siena, the crusader state Kingdom of Jerusalem, among others. Around AD 755, amid the Carolingian Reforms, Pepin the Short introduced a new currency system, adjusted so that 12 pence equaled one shilling and 20 shillings equaled one pound. Three deniers equaled one liard. Only the denier was an actual coin; this system and the denier itself served as the model for many of Europe's currencies, including the British pound, Italian lira, Spanish dinero and the Portuguese dinheiro.
In Ancien Régime France, the denier was used as a notional measure of interest rates on loans. Thus, a rate of 4% would be expressed as "denier 25". Denarius dinar dinero penny pfennig
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war, it was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, the development of strong national identities in both countries. Tensions between the crowns of France and England can be traced back to the origins of the English royal family itself, French in origin. For this reason, English monarchs had held not only the English Crown, but titles and lands within France, the possession of which made them vassals to the kings of France; the status of the English King's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages.
French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing the French royal domain. In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne. In 1328, Charles IV of France died without brothers, his closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased King. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. Furthermore, political sentiment favoured a Frenchman for the crown rather than a foreign prince; the throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. The English had not expected their claim to meet with success, did not press the matter when it was denied.
However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne. Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Agincourt—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, convinced the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy prevented the English kings from completing the conquest of France. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Orléans, Patay and Castillon concluded the war in favour of the House of Valois, with England permanently losing most of its possessions on the continent. Historians divide the war into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War, the Caroline War, the Lancastrian War. Local conflicts in neighbouring areas, which were contemporarily related to the war, including the War of the Breton Succession, the Castilian Civil War, the War of the Two Peters in Aragon, the 1383–85 crisis in Portugal, were availed by the parties to advance their agendas.
Historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass all of these events, thus constructing the longest military conflict in European history. The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. By its end, feudal armies had been replaced by professional troops, aristocratic dominance had yielded to a democratisation of the manpower and weapons of armies. Although a dynastic conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism; the wider introduction of weapons and tactics supplanted the feudal armies where heavy cavalry had dominated, artillery became important. The war precipitated the creation of the first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire, thus helping to change their role in warfare. With respect to the belligerents, in France, civil wars, deadly epidemics and bandit free-companies of mercenaries reduced the population drastically. In England, political forces over time came to oppose the costly venture.
The dissatisfaction of English nobles, resulting from the loss of their continental landholdings, as well as the general shock at losing a war in which investment had been so great, became factors leading to the Wars of the Roses. The root causes of the conflict can be found in the demographic and political crises of 14th century Europe; the outbreak of war was motivated by a gradual rise in tension between the kings of France and England about Gascony and Scotland. The dynastic question, which arose due to an interruption of the direct male line of the Capetians, was the official pretext; the question of female succession to the French throne was raised after the death of Louis X in 1316. Louis X left only a daughter, his posthumous son John I lived only a few days. Furthermore, the paternity of his daughter was in question, as her mother, Margaret of Burgundy, had been exposed as an adulterer in the Tour de Nesle affair. Philip, Count of Poitiers, brother of Louis X, positioned himself to take the crown, advancing the stance that women should be ineligible to succeed to the French throne.
Through his political sagacity he won over his adversaries and succeeded to the French throne as Philip V. By the same law that he procured, his daughters were denied the succession, whi