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Time invaders and the economies of the day put the evolution of great civilizations to the test Their survival however depends on their leadership and how these leaders cope with a changing society The French have a long and illustrious history that began to rise as the English and the Germans were forming their own independent societies These peoples now make up todays great societies Between the years of 400 and 1200 AD the French region saw a great many changes both in leadership and society Three families ruled the region within the Holy Roman Empire the Merovingians the Carolingians and the Capetians The most significant of these rulers were Clovis of the Merovingians Charles Martel and Charlemagne of the Carolingians and Hugh Capet of the Capetians Likewise the Battle of Tours and the Treaty of Verdun helped to shape the political and economic strata of the region Clovis son of Childeric ushered in a new era of Frankish history By breaking away from the traditional Roman ways he allowed a new society to rise Coming to power in 481 AD Clovis was one of several Frankish kings He took it upon himself to eradicate his opponents leaving himself as sole ruler and ensuring that his family would continue to rule Tierney 1999 Clovis significantly altered the religious structure of the Frankish territory as well By converting to Catholicism Clovis gained the respect of the Gauls and could then be seen as a liberator and by bringing his people to Catholic Christianity he made the Franks acceptable to the Gallo-Romans he wished to rule Holmes 1992 This Catholic trend still exists as the dominant religion in todays modern France Charles Martel founded the Carolingian dynasty and reigned from 714-741 AD Originally from Austrasia Martel secured his place as head of the Carolingian family by appointing relatives to various political positions By reunifying Gaul and recapturing Merovingian possessions Charles Martel sought to expand the Carolingian holdings
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