Leila Payer, Ava Samson Montes


Area inhabited/ruled [if members of your group emigrated, immigrated, or established settlement (colonies) outside of their home country you should include an explanation of that travel or settlement in this section; include places traveled and reasons for leaving home country]

France’s geography in the mid-15th century shows that France was smaller than it is today. It had many surrounding provinces, such as Navarre, Roussillon, Calais, County of Foix, Artois, Cerdagne, and Flanders. It grew a little bigger to the end of the 1650s. This was the area in which many kings have ruled. There were 15 rulers of France between 1400-1650. The first ruler in the beginning of the 1400s was Charles VI, who was king from 1380-1420. After him was Henry V came in and he also ruled England; he ruled from 1420-1422. Next, when Henry V died, came Henry VI, who also ruled England. Charles VII took over the throne in 1422 even though it was rumored that Henry VI was still the actual ruler. When Charles VII died, Louis XI became ruler in 1461. After Louis XI died in 1483, Charles VIII became ruler. In 1498, Louis XII to the throne and became ruler. After him came Francis I, in 1515. Next in line was Henry II, who was ruler until 1559. When he died, Francis II became ruler of France and ended his reign in 1560. Charles IX took over in 1560 when Francis II died. Then came Henry III, the last blood ruler of the Capetian dynasty when he died in 1589. That started the Bourbon dynasty with Henry IV, the first monarch. When he died in 1610, Louis XIII took over and died in 1643. His 5 year old son Louis took over the throne with Cardinal Mazarin as his regent. Louis ended his reign in 1715, becoming the last ruler between 1400-1650.

Social and Political Organization
The French had many social classes in the 1400s-1650s. The three main divisions of social orders were the nobles, the commoners, and the clergy. The nobility division included Royalty and Nobility. The commoner division included the Laborares. The clergy division included the Clergy.
The first division is nobility. Royalty is part of the nobility division. It was the most exclusive class. The French only allowed people who were related to the current ruler to have the chance to be royalty. During that time France has been ruled by the family members of the previous ruler, until Henry III died with no heir to his throne, so Henry IV took his place, becoming the first monarch of the Bourbon dynasty. The Noble’s class was less restrictive, but it wasn’t easy. Nobility was also inherited by blood. A noble would have to have things that required wealth, including land, military service, swords and armor, horses, manors and castles, and feasting and hunting. A noble could lose everything, but could still have the local respect and was exempted from paying certain taxes. They could still lose their status if their children and their children married commoners, although it didn’t happen a lot. It depends on the social direction. A king could make anyone a noble, such as rewarding a commoner for doing something heroic or for some civil service. The kings could also just sell the titles, they also made up more of them so they could make more money.
Then there’s the Laborares in the commoners division. The Laborares had many possible jobs. If they had a good education they could be anything that they wanted in the field of law. As long as they had good fortune and skill, they could become jurists or doctors. If a family didn’t plan for their kids to marry a noble, then they would have most likely sent their son to a university. Wealth could make a person locally important such as a village, where families with more land and money were the leaders, except that they were in the same class as the peasants in their village. Where there was still Serfdom, a free man had higher social ground than an unfree man.
Next, there was the Clergy in the clergy division. A person who’s a clergy isn’t going to be in a court, but they will be under the authority of a bishop. The clergy didn’t have to pay lay taxes and didn’t have military service. A clergy could be rich or poor, resented or respected, and still nobody viewed that person being the same. In the church, a clergy had many possibilities to be upgraded, such as becoming a cardinal, a bishop, or even a pope. The church had its own patronage and educational system.
The religions known in France between 1400-1650 were the Catholics and the Protestants. The Protestants were also known as Huguenots. They became known as Huguenots between 1500-1580. During the Wars of Religion, many Protestants were killed in religious persecutions. The Protestants followed the Holy Bible, which was made into many different translations for them. They followed Christian life because they relied on God for salvation, put their faith in God, and obeyed the Bible. They didn’t believe that they should follow the Pope as if he were God like the Catholics thought.
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The Catholics in France were actually called the Roman Catholics. Their French church is under the spiritual rule of the curia in Rome, the Pope, and the Conference of the French Bishops. More than half of the French population were Catholics (51%). Even though few of them were regulars in church. The Catholics also opposed the Huguenots, who were fighting against the Catholics because of past attacks on Huguenot congregants and priests. The Protestant Reformation was made by Protestants, who were protesting against the rituals, the doctrines, and the ecclesiastical structure of the French Catholic Church. The Reformation was led by John Calvin, Martin Luther, and other Protestants. Around 1534, many Protestants fled France because of the religious persecutions and went to settle in Geneva. This led to the Wars of Religion.
The Catholics in France were at war with the Huguenots, the French Protestants. The reason of this was because of the factional disputes involving the aristocratic houses in France, including the Houses of Guise and Bourbon. Historians agreed that the Massacre of Vassy in 1562 started the wars and the Edict of Nantes at least ended the religions’ conflicts.
The Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in August 1572 killed many Huguenots in all of France. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre was directed against the Huguenots by a selective group of assassinations and a violent mob of French Catholics. This was during the Wars of Religion in France. The attack was two days after the attempted assassination of the Huguenots’ political and military leader, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. When it started on August 23, 1573, the massacre lasted for several weeks. The estimate in people killed was 5,000 to 30,000 in all. This made the Huguenots’ political movement fall apart. This was caused by losing many aristocratic leaders, with many re-conversions by the file and rank, and the others who remained were much radicalized.
There was also the Massacre of Mérindol. The Massacre of Mérindol took place in 1545, when the Waldensians were attacked, under the order of Francis I of France, to be punished for not following Catholic religious activities. The leaders of the massacre were Antoine Escalin des Aimsars and Jean Maynier d’Oppéde. They destroyed about 22-28 villages in the process. The army killed hundreds or thousands of people while many others were forced to work in the galleys.
Next came the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes is a document stating the Protestants’ rights in a nation that is still considered a Catholic nation. It was issued by Henry IV on April 13, 1598. It separates religious unity from civil unity, it gave Protestants their civil rights back, and to let them work for the state or field, and to bring grievances to the king himself. The Edict of Nantes was what ended the Wars of Religious.


This is about the artillery in France between the 1400s-1650s. In the 1400s France had large guns that were called bombards, which were large guns that shot stone balls that weighed up to 300 lbs. The guns themselves weighed up to 3 tons. Then, there were the veuglaires, they were 2 meters long and weighed from 150 kilograms to several tons. The crapaudaux were about 4 to 8 feet long and lighter than the veuglaires. The French also had hand cannons, which were the modern firearms in that era. There were also serpentines and couluvrines.

Then, there are the Women’s styles in clothing. A woman in the 15th century usually wore a gown that usually had sleeves, which was worn over an undergown or kirtle, which came with a linen smock which was worn next to the skin. The gowns had a V-Neck, which was low cut so it showed a bit of decoration that was on the kirtle. Also, there were different types of overgowns. It was called a cotehardie. The cotehardie covered from the shoulders to the hips. It included sleeves that were tight and ended at the elbow with hanging streamers called tippets. It was able to be tight because of buttons or lacing. It became something of the past when the houppelande stepped in. It was a full robe that came with a high collar along with wide sleeves. Later, it was altered so that the sleeves were snug at the wrists, making a bag sleeve. It was sometimes slashed in the front to let the lower arm reach through the sleeve. Then, the gown was developed so that it had a V-Neck that showed a bit of the square-necked kirtle. The sleeves were very long, that they were covering half of the hand, and were usually decorated with embroidery. Very nice sleeves were usually switched from one dress to another. Other gowns later were calledgiornea, verdugada, and farthingale.
Next, there are the men’s styles in clothing. Men in this period usually wore a shirt, a hose, and a doublet, including a gown that’s worn over their clothing. The shirts they wore were made of linen and next to the skin. Soon, it began to have sleeves with low, wide necklines. They were pulled through pieces of doublet that were slashed to make puffs. Wealthy men had their shirts applied with a braid or had them embroidered. The doublet on the other hand is worn over the shirt. The sleeves were usually full and tight-feeling at the waist to have it look like there was a skirt below it. The doublet was very fashionable when it was worn with a chaperon when the sleeves were very puffy. The hose were strikingly patterned when the short tops were exposed. They could also be embroidered. The hose were also cut on the cross-grain for stretch.


The Roman Empire has a lot of unique things to its land, but we are going to start off with one: The Geography. France is basically 80% the size of Texas, so a decent size. It has some mountainous spots but mostly flat. France has long streams that flow west, and 2 that flow into oceans. Next, is the Government in the French Empire. The French Empire was a Monarchy, as far as the Government goes. The Sultans ruled the Ottoman Empire as absolute monarchs. As long as the tribute and taxes kept flowing back to the central government and the governors supplied military contingents for campaigns, these governors were left more or less to their own devices.


The French Empire came up with many things, and ways to protect their land and their people. The things they used to protect them were weapons. The French used flattened pieces of metal as shields; this had many advantages to it. First it was light weight, which meant it wasn’t too heavy or light on the person. Also men would add more over it to protect them from bad weather. They had swords, bows, helmets, and musketeers. The French designed their swords, to be sharper, but lighter. So, they would be more effective and easier to use during use. There are 3 types of bows, and they are all made up of 4 parts: the wood, horn, tendon, and adhesive. The helmets were conical in form, they get big around the base and curves as it collects around to its apex. In the front of the helmet there was usually a visor and a nasal. Around the sides there were a side, a back, and a guard of chain. Musketeers were like guns, they were used in the 16th century, by the French and the Spanish.

Everyday Life and Things

A daily life in the French Empire consisted of many things. One thing is that they would weave. They would weave carpets, carpets were very common in the French empire. They would also make jewelry, the jewelry would b made out of gold and silver, and it would be made by silver-smiths. They would also always listen to court music, which was just singing with no music in the background or anything. They would also dance a lot. This was one of the most popular things to do in spare time in the French Empire.


Developed Culture

The French Empires land was surrounded by the Medditerranian Sea and the Black Sea. The people would always do arts, and traditions. As the French Empire moved more West they sort of took in more religion and things like that. They also considered marriage a lot in their elite culture. The architecture in the French Empire was supposedly influenced by the Persian, Greek, and Islamic. The rising first period was when all the French became interested in the Arts. The kind of music they listened to our "produced" was "classical music". This was supposed to be a great deal in the education in the French Empire. They say this because the people who were most interested in school and music became famous and very successful in the French Empire. They would sometimes celebrate traditions in the fields. They would celebrate with food, music, leisure, and architecture.

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