Neustria, or Neustrasia, was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks. Neustria included the land between the Loire and the Silva Carbonaria the north of present-day France, with Paris, Orléans, Soissons as its main cities, it referred to the region between the Seine and the Loire rivers known as the regnum Neustriae, a constituent subkingdom of the Carolingian Empire and West Francia. The Carolingian kings created a March of Neustria, a frontier duchy against the Bretons and Vikings that lasted until the Capetian monarchy in the late 10th century, when the term was eclipsed as a European political or geographical term. Neustria was employed as a term for northwestern Italy during the period of Lombard domination, it was contrasted with the northeast, called Austrasia, the same term as given to eastern Francia. For this meaning of the term, see Neustria. Constant re-divisions of territories by Clovis's descendants resulted in many rivalries that, for more than two hundred years, kept Neustria in constant warfare with Austrasia, the eastern portion of the Frankish Kingdom.
Despite the wars and Austrasia re-united on several occasions, the first time under Clotaire I during his reign from 558 to 562. The struggle for power continued with Queen Fredegund of Neustria unleashing a bitter war. After his mother's death and burial in Saint Denis Basilica near Paris, Clotaire II continued the struggle against Queen Brunhilda, triumphed in 613 when Brunhilda's followers betrayed the old queen into his hands. Clotaire had Brunhilda put to the rack and stretched for three days chained between four horses and ripped limb from limb. Clotaire now ruled a united realm, but only for a short time as he made his son Dagobert I king of Austrasia. Dagobert's accession in Neustria resulted in another temporary unification. In Austrasia under the Arnulfing mayor Grimoald the Elder attempted a coup against his liege, Clovis II had him removed and again reunited the kingdom from Neustria, but again temporarily. During or soon after the reign of Clovis's son Chlothar III, the dynasty of Neustria, like that of Austrasia before it, ceded authority to its own mayor of the palace.
In 678, under Mayor Ebroin, subdued the Austrasians for the last time. Ebroin was murdered in 680. In 687, Pippin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of the King of Austrasia, defeated the Neustrians at Tertry. Neustria's mayor Berthar was assassinated shortly afterwards and following a marriage alliance between Pippin's son Drogo and Berthal's widow, Pippin became mayor of the Neustrian palace. Pippin's descendants, the Carolingians, continued to rule the two realms as mayors. With Pope Stephen II's blessing, after 751 the Carolingian Pippin the Short, formally deposed the Merovingians and took control of the empire, he and his descendants ruling as kings. Neustria and Burgundy became united under one authority and, although it would split once again into various eastern and western divisions, the names "Neustria" and "Austrasia" disappeared. In 748, the brothers Pepin the Short and Carloman gave their younger brother Grifo twelve counties in Neustria centred on that of Le Mans; this polity was termed the ducatus Cenomannicus, or Duchy of Maine, this was an alternative name for the regnum of Neustria well into the 9th century.
The term "Neustria" took on the meaning of "land between the Seine and Loire" when it was given as a regnum by Charlemagne to his second son, Charles the Younger, in 790. At this time, the chief city of the kingdom appears to be Le Mans, where the royal court of Charles was established. Under the Carolingian dynasty, the chief duty of the Neustrian king was to defend the sovereignty of the Franks over the Bretons. In 817, Louis the Pious granted Neustria to his eldest son Lothair I, but following his rebellion in 831, he gave it to Pepin I of Aquitaine, following the latter's death in 838, to Charles the Bald. Neustria, along with Aquitaine, formed the major part of Charles West Frankish kingdom carved out of the Empire by the Treaty of Verdun. Charles continued the tradition of appointing an elder son to reign in Neustria with his own court at Le Mans when he made Louis the Stammerer king in 856. Louis married the daughter of the King of Brittany and received the regnum from the Breton monarch with the consent of the Frankish magnates.
This unique relationship for Neustria stressed how it had shrunk in size to exclude the Île de France and Paris by this time, as it was distanced from the central authority of Charles the Bald and closer to that of Erispoe. Louis was the last Frankish monarch to be appointed to Neustria by his father and the practice of creating subkingdoms for sons waned among the Carolingians. In 861, the Carolingian king Charles the Bald created the Marches of Neustria that were ruled by officials appointed by the crown, known as wardens, prefects or margraves. There were two marches, one against the Bretons and one against the Norsemen called the Breton March and Norman March respectively. In 911, Robert I of France took the title demarchus, his family, the Capetians, ruled the whole of Neustria until 987, when Hugh Capet was elected to the kingship. The subsidiary counts of Neustria had exceeded the margrave in power by that time and the peak of Viking and Breton raiding had passed. After the Capetian Miracle, no further margraves were appointed and "Neustria" was eclipsed as a European political term (present, however, in some Anglo-Norman chronicles and revived as synonymous with Engli
Jimmy Casper is a French retired road bicycle racer, who competed as a professional between 1998 and 2012. He is best known for winning stage 1 of 2006 Tour de France, he has on two occasions finished in last place in the General classification of the Tour de France, thereby'winning' the red lantern. Casper was suspended from his team, Agritubel because he tested positive for corticosteroid, an asthma drug, banned unless the user has a medical exemption for its use, during the 2008 Tour de France by the Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage; the exemption had been renewed but with a previous asthma medication than the one prescribed and used during the Tour de France. He has been cleared of any charges during the hearing held by the Federation Francaise de Cyclisme. For 2009 he signed with the Besson Chaussures–Sojasun team, with whom he enjoyed success, winning two stages at the Étoile de Bessèges, a stage of the Critérium International, the Paris–Camembert, the Grand Prix de Denain. Casper joined the Ag2r–La Mondiale team for the 2012 season.
In December 2012, Casper announced his retirement as a professional cyclist. He had a total of 61 victories and stated that he would like to remain in the cycling environment with a coaching job
Desiderius was a king of the Lombard Kingdom of northern Italy, ruling from 756 to 774. He is chiefly known for his connection to Charlemagne, who married his daughter and conquered his realm. Born in Brescia, Desiderius was a royal officer, the dux Langobardorum et comes stabuli, "constable and duke of the Lombards," an office similar to the contemporaneous Frankish office of dux Francorum. King Aistulf made him duke of Istria and Tuscany and he became king after the death of Aistulf in 756. At that time, Aistulf's predecessor, left his monastic retreat of Montecassino and tried to seize the kingdom, but Desiderius put his revolt down with the support of Pope Stephen II. At his coronation, Desiderius promised to restore many lost papal towns to the Holy See, in return for the papacy's endorsement of his claim. Conflict with the Holy See under Pope Stephen III arose, for Stephen opposed Charlemagne's marriage to Desiderius' daughter. Desiderius ceased delivery of the towns after only a few. Seeking, like his predecessors, to extend the Lombard power in Italy, he came into collision with the papacy and the southern duchies.
In the same year Desiderius associated to his kingdom his son Adelchis. Alboin, the duchy of Benevento and Liutprand, that of Spoleto were coaxed by Pope Stephen to commend themselves to the Franks and thus separate themselves again from monarchy, they placed themselves under the protection of Pippin, the king of Franks. In 758, Duke Liutprand of Benevento rebelled. Desiderius defeated him and granted his duchy to one Arechis, tying the duchy more to Pavia than it had been since Grimoald's time. In that same year, Desiderius deposed Alboin of Spoleto and exercised himself the ducal powers there. Intervening in the crisis that ensued after the death of Pope Paul I in 767, Desiderius seized a priest named Philip from the Monastery of St. Vitus on the Esquiline Hill in Rome on Sunday, July 31, 768, summarily appointed him pope. Antipope Philip was never recognized nor gained a significant following, so he left the same day and returned to his monastery where he was never heard from or seen again.
Stephen III opposed Charlemagne's marriage to Desiderius' daughter, Desiderata, in 768, but by Stephen III death in 772, he had made peace with the Lombards. The new pope, Adrian I, implored the aid of Charlemagne against him, for the marriage of dynasties was dissolved by Charlemagne's repudiation of Desiderata in 771. Charles sent her back to her father. Moreover, the widow of Charlemagne's brother Carloman, sought the protection of the Lombard king after her husband's death in 771; the embassies of Adrian and Desiderius met at Thionville and Charlemagne favored the pope's case. Such was the position when Charlemagne and his uncle Bernard led troops across the Alps in 773; the Lombards were defeated at Mortara and soon besieged in their capital of Ticinum, the modern Pavia. Desiderius' son Adelchis was raising an army at Verona, but the young prince was chased to the Adriatic littoral and fled to Constantinople when Charlemagne approached; the siege lasted until June 774, when, in return for the lives of his soldiers and subjects, Desiderius surrendered and opened the gates.
Desiderius was exiled to Corbie Abbey, where he died, his son Adelchis spent his entire life in futile attempts to recover his father's kingdom. Some sources state that his family were banished to a monastery at Liège, Belgium. Desiderius died sometime around 786; the name Desiderius appears in the romances of the Carolingian period. Charlemagne took the title rex Langobardorum, the first time a Germanic king adopted the title of a kingdom he had conquered; as stated by Paul the Deacon in the Historia Langobardorum, Charlemagne's father Pepin the Short was formally adopted by Lombard king Liutprand, thanks to the alliance, personal friendship, between the latter and Pepin's father Charles Martel. This fact would have legitimized both the ascent of Pepin to the throne of the Franks, as he was the son of a king, the claim of his son Charlemagne to be the King of the Lombards, he married Ansa and, as well as a son, had four daughters: Anselperga, abbess of San Salvatore monastery of Brescia Adelperga, married Arechis II of Benevento Liutperga, married Tassilo III of Bavaria Desiderata, married Charlemagne in 770, was repudiated in 771 Adelchis, patrician in Constantinople Davis, Jennifer R..
Charlemagne's Practice of Empire. Cambridge University Press
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Hauts-de-France region; the north central area of the Somme was the site of a series of battles during World War I. Significant was the 1916 Battle of the Somme; as a result of this and other battles fought in the area the department is home to many military cemeteries and several major monuments commemorating the many soldiers from various countries who died on its battlefields. The 1346 Battle of Crécy, a major English victory early in the Hundred Years' War took place in this department; the Somme department is in the current region of Hauts-de-France and is surrounded by the departments of Pas-de-Calais, Aisne and Seine-Maritime. In the northwest, it has a coast on the English Channel; the main rivers are its tributaries as well as the Bresle. At the beginning of the First World War, during the Race to the Sea of September and November 1914, the Somme became the site of the Battle of Albert.
The battle was a five-day engagement between 25 and 29 September, with the French Tenth Army attacking at Albert and pushing toward Bapaume, the German Sixth Army counter-attacking back towards Albert. The line settled around the town of Thiepval and remained there until July 1916, when the Battle of the Somme was fought on and around the same ground; that Battle of the Somme was one of the most costly battles of World War I, by the number of troop casualties, as Allied forces attempted to break through the German lines along a 40 kilometres front north and south of the River Somme. The Allies had intended the Somme to be the site of one of several simultaneous major offensives by Allied powers against the Central Powers in 1916. However, before these offensives could begin, the Germans attacked first, engaging the Allies at the Battle of Verdun; as this battle dragged on, the purpose of the Somme campaign shifted from striking a decisive blow against Germany to drawing German forces away from Verdun and relieving the Allied forces there.
By its end the losses on the Somme had exceeded those at Verdun. While Verdun would bite deep in the national consciousness of France for generations, the Somme would have the same effect on generations of Britons; the battle is best remembered for its first day, 1 July 1916, on which the British suffered 57,420 casualties, including 19,240 dead—the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army to this day. As terrible as the battle was for the British Empire troops who suffered there, it affected the other nationalities as well. One German officer, General D. Swaha, famously described it as "the muddy grave of the German field army". By the end of the battle, the British had learned many lessons in modern warfare while the Germans had suffered irreplaceable losses. British historian Sir James Edmonds stated, "It is not too much to claim that the foundations of the final victory on the Western Front were laid by the Somme offensive of 1916". For the first time the home front in Britain was exposed to the horrors of modern war with the release of the propaganda film The Battle of the Somme, which used actual footage from the first days of the battle.
The Somme experienced war twice more in the First and Second Battles of the Somme of 1918. Cantons of the Somme department Communes of the Somme department Arrondissements of the Somme department Somme General Council GPS-Teamproject "Verdun - Somme - 1916" War diary of RFC Wireless Operator at start of the Battle of the Somme Prefecture of Somme website General council's website Photos from Somme
Departments of France
In the administrative divisions of France, the department is one of the three levels of government below the national level, between the administrative regions and the commune. Ninety-six departments are in metropolitan France, five are overseas departments, which are classified as regions. Departments are further subdivided into 334 arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons; each department is administered by an elected body called a departmental council. From 1800 to April 2015, these were called general councils; each council has a president. Their main areas of responsibility include the management of a number of social and welfare allowances, of junior high school buildings and technical staff, local roads and school and rural buses, a contribution to municipal infrastructures. Local services of the state administration are traditionally organised at departmental level, where the prefect represents the government; the departments were created in 1790 as a rational replacement of Ancien Régime provinces with a view to strengthen national unity.
All of them were named after physical geographical features, rather than after historical or cultural territories which could have their own loyalties. The division of France into departments was a project identified with the French revolutionary leader the Abbé Sieyès, although it had been discussed and written about by many politicians and thinkers; the earliest known suggestion of it is from 1764 in the writings of d'Argenson. They have inspired similar divisions in some of them former French colonies. Most French departments are assigned a two-digit number, the "Official Geographical Code", allocated by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques. Overseas departments have a three-digit number; the number is used, for example, in the postal code, was until used for all vehicle registration plates. While residents use the numbers to refer to their own department or a neighbouring one, more distant departments are referred to by their names, as few people know the numbers of all the departments.
For example, inhabitants of Loiret might refer to their department as "the 45". In 2014, President François Hollande proposed to abolish departmental councils by 2020, which would have maintained the departments as administrative divisions, to transfer their powers to other levels of governance; this reform project has since been abandoned. The first French territorial departments were proposed in 1665 by Marc-René d'Argenson to serve as administrative areas purely for the Ponts et Chaussées infrastructure administration. Before the French Revolution, France gained territory through the annexation of a mosaic of independent entities. By the close of the Ancien Régime, it was organised into provinces. During the period of the Revolution, these were dissolved in order to weaken old loyalties; the modern departments, as all-purpose units of the government, were created on 4 March 1790 by the National Constituent Assembly to replace the provinces with what the Assembly deemed a more rational structure.
Their boundaries served two purposes: Boundaries were chosen to break up France's historical regions in an attempt to erase cultural differences and build a more homogeneous nation. Boundaries were set so that every settlement in the country was within a day's ride of the capital of a department; this was a security measure, intended to keep the entire national territory under close control. This measure was directly inspired by the Great Terror, during which the government had lost control of many rural areas far from any centre of government; the old nomenclature was avoided in naming the new departments. Most were named after other physical features. Paris was in the department of Seine. Savoy became the department of Mont-Blanc; the number of departments 83, had been increased to 130 by 1809 with the territorial gains of the Republic and of the First French Empire. Following Napoleon's defeats in 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna returned France to its pre-war size and the number of departments was reduced to 86.
In 1860, France acquired the County of Nice and Savoy, which led to the creation of three new departments. Two were added from the new Savoyard territory, while the department of Alpes-Maritimes was created from Nice and a portion of the Var department; the 89 departments were given numbers based on the alphabetical order of their names. The department of Bas-Rhin and parts of Meurthe, Moselle and Haut-Rhin were ceded to the German Empire in 1871, following France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. A small part of Haut-Rhin became known as the Territoire de Belfort; when France regained the ceded departments after World War I, the Territoire de Belfort was not re-integrated into Haut-Rhin. In 1922, it became France's 90th department; the Lorraine departments were not changed back to their original boundaries, a new Moselle department was created in the regaine
Louis-Lucien Klotz was a French journalist and politician. He was the French Minister of Finance during World War I. Klotz was born in Paris to Alsatian Jewish parents, he was the nephew of a wealthy silk dealer. After completing his legal education, he enrolled as an advocate at the Cour d'Appel in Paris. In 1888, at the age of twenty, he founded Vie Franco-Russe, an illustrated paper intended to increase popular support for the Franco-Russian Alliance. In 1892 he became editor of Voltaire, campaigned against the reactionary policy of Jules Ferry. In 1895, he founded Français Quotidien, a patriotic daily paper devoted to national defense, into which Voltaire was merged. Klotz was an unsuccessful candidate for the National Assembly from his Paris district in the 1893 election, he lost again a few years later. In the 1898 election, he ran for the Assembly from Montdidier as a Radical Socialist; this time, he was elected by an overwhelming majority. He retained this seat until 1925, he was noted for his industry in government posts.
He served as president of the Customs Commission as Rapporteur General of the budget. He held the following prominent ministerial posts: Minister of Finance, 3 November 1910 – 2 March 1911, in the second government of Aristide Briand. Minister of Finance, 27 June 1911 – 22 March 1913, in Briand's third government. Minister of the Interior, 22 March-8 December 1913, in the government of Louis Barthou. At this time, there were large protests and demonstrations against the "Three Years Law" for military conscription. Minister of Finance, 12 September 1917 – 20 January 1920, in the second government of Georges Clemenceau, he was responsible for negotiating reparations from Germany. His policy was characterised by his famous formula: "The Boche will pay!" In 1924, Klotz published his memoirs of De La Guerre à La Paix. Klotz was a member of several civic and charitable societies, including the Society for the Defense of Children, the Prison Society and the Central Committee for Labour. After his retirement, he became involved in dubious and risky financial speculations and lost all his money.
In 1929, he was sentenced to imprisonment for two years. He died less than a year later. With no further hope of settlement, his creditors seized his Paris residence at 9 Rue de Tilsitt, which he had inherited from his brother, his lack of financial acumen was noted years earlier by Clemenceau, who commented "My finance minister is the only Jew in Europe who knows nothing about money." "Klotz, Louis Lucien". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920. Newspaper clippings about Louis-Lucien Klotz in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
Henry IV of France
Henry IV known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, he led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; as Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood."
Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law. He kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith; as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby ending the Wars of Religion. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death, he was admired for his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education.
During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in Voltaire's Henriade. Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn, his parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre; as a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre. At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici; the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed.
Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict, he named Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years. Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574; because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries.
Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras. In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would restore his authority. However, the populace rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized, his power was limited to Blois and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of his Huguenots; the two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of