The Franks Alicia Vejvoda

"To have another language, is to possess a second soul." ~Charlemagne


The Franks are an ancient Germanic tribe that slaughtered thousands of people for more land during their time. The Frank Dynasty itself was called Merovingian. Their dynasty went from the 5th to the 8th century A.D. Over the course of these 4 centuries, they had many leaders. The three most famous leaders are Clovis, Charles Martel, and Charlemagne. They all expanded the empire greatly during their time as rulers. The empire extended from The Pyrenees Mountains to Friesland and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Main River. The empire occupied the Netherlands, France and Belgium, but originated in Scandinavia.

The areas the empire extended to.


As Clovis takes rule, he converts the empire to Christianity. He had a well-disciplined army; his people respected him. For the empire, Christianity meant great influence and progress. With their new religion, individuals had a sense of respect and rights for themselves. The first churches were founded by the followers of Jesus. All churches claimed leadership over the other churches, but there was no real "lead" place until the Vatican came along. Thousands of graves have been found not with skeletons, but with weapons, jewelry, and other personal items.


The Franks were the military rule of Rome. They raided Roman armies and cities many times, even though some of the Franks themselves joined the Romans. Eventually, the Frankish Empire had majority rule over Europe. Because they weren't the only Germanic tribe wanting land and power, they had to fight their way to the top. Once they had control, they overtook any ruler or person standing in their way to have ultimate control. The Franks were able to control their whole empire while protecting their people. They were able to live as peacefully as possible around all the war over territory, but they were always protected. Life was better than most empires because the leaders, whether it be king or emperor, actually cared about their people.

Clovis getting baptized.


Most of the empire followed Salic Law, meaning women did not have rights to the dynasty or legacy left by fathers, brothers, husbands. Eventually kings start losing power to their own lieutenants. Many rulers also had a so-called "mayor of the house", who was in most cases the chief of administration. They also practiced feudalism; Nobility holding the land from the Crown in exchange for military or other services.


"Charlemagne wasn't like other Frankish rulers who didn't believe in education. He was very proud of his own ability to read Latin. Charlemagne even kept a slate and copy book next to his bed so he would be able to practice writing. He had many churches and monasteries start schools." Education is really the revolution of the time period. Without education, modern society wouldn't be what it is today. Because Charlemagne encouraged his people to be educated, he caused them to start questioning everything the church was teaching them. Even though he was all about Christianity, he didn't agree with everything he was being taught by priests. He learned Latin, some Greek, and his native Frankish language. He studied grammar, rhetoric, and mathematics. By being educated, he could make wiser decisions when it came to gaining land, trading and/or buying things from people, and just managing his people.

People started wanting a higher education. This is the ruler Clovis's name and tribe written in their language.

Social Structure

"The church was instrumental in acculturating the Germanic tribal peoples, giving them a common identity and common set of practices. It not only set up rules regulating marriage, divorce, and abortion and disseminated them upon the Germans, but also served as a civilizing influence, through education and the dissemination of historical and religious writings." Administration mostly came from the church(s). The pope was above any leader or king.

Decline of the Frankish Empire

Charlemagne; Emperor, King.

After Charlemagne's death, the rule went to his third son Louis. But the problem with this new emperor was he spent too much of his time in prayer, as he was very religious. His military leaders started doing things without advising Louis first. There was much disdain throughout the empire in light of their new king. Louis felt it his need to follow the Pope's rule very closely, unlike his father. When Louis died, his land was divided between his sons. They all fought each other for land and rule, which led to the end of the Frankish Empire.

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Alicia Vejvoda

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