Charlemagne 3 Essay, Research Paper
by: Javier V lez
Charlemagne was an ambitious king, aggressive and cruel, but was really good when having to deal with expansion and organization. His greed made him conquer many regions and build a large empire made up of 250 counties. Charlemagne was determined to strengthen his realm and to bring order to Europe through organization and dedication.
Charlemagne had an immense ability to organize and administrate. Because of his aggressiveness, Charlemagne converted many of his conquered places to Christianity, little by little maintaining peace throughout his empire. He developed a system in which a group of loyal counts helped him administer the 250 counties that made up the empire. Charlemagne had everything really organized and supervised. In order to supervise the counts, Charles the Great created missi dominici (royal messengers) who once a year, went to each county and made sure everything was properly working. These royal messengers were sent to check bribery, extortion, nepotism, and exploitation, to receive complaints and remedy wrongs, to protect the Church, the poor, and wards and widows, and the whole people from misconduct or tyranny, and to report to the King the condition of the realm.
Charlemagne legislated for agriculture, industry, finance, education, and religion as well as for government and morals. He built luxurious palaces and many churches, which at the time was the leading institution. Charlemagne was very generous to the Church. He made himself its master, and used its doctrines and personnel as instruments of education and government.
Unfortunately, Charlemagne s ambition came to notice, and that, was the system’s great weakness. As long as he was strong, the system was strong, but as soon as a weak king came along, or a child king, or no king at all, the great empire would end. This is what happened. Only Charlemagne could govern an empire that he had created. His two main virtues: organization and administration were essential for the development and maintenance of the empire after his death. The empire s strength rested more on Charlemagne than on anything else. After Charlemagne’s death in 814, only one of his three sons, Louis, was living. Louis’s weak rule brought many civil wars and revolts. After his death, his three fighting sons split the empire between them by the Treaty of Verdun in 843.
Charlemagne definitely created one of the most memorable empires ever. His level of organization and administration was hardly ever reached and was the model for many succeeding ambitious monarchs.