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The TREATY OF VERDUN, signed in August 843, was the first of the treaties that divided the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
into three kingdoms among the three surviving sons of Louis the Pious , who was the son of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
. The treaty, signed in Verdun-sur-Meuse , ended the three-year Carolingian Civil War .

CONTENTS

* 1 Background * 2 Provisions * 3 Legacy * 4 See also * 5 Notes * 6 External links

BACKGROUND

Following Charlemagne's death, Louis was made ruler of the Carolingian empire . During his reign, he divided the empire so that each of his sons could rule over their own kingdom under the greater rule of their father. Lothair I was given the title of emperor but because of several re-divisions by his father and the resulting revolts, he became much less powerful. When Louis the Pious died in 840, his eldest son, Lothair I , claimed overlordship over the entirety of his father's kingdom in an attempt to reclaim the power he had at the beginning of his reign as emperor . He also supported his nephew, Pepin II\'s claim to Aquitaine
Aquitaine
, a large province in the west of the Frankish realm . Lothair's brother, Louis the German
Louis the German
, and his half-brother Charles the Bald refused to acknowledge Lothair's suzerainty and declared war against him. After a bloody civil war, they defeated Lothair at the Battle of Fontenay in 841 and sealed their alliance in 842 with the Oaths of Strasbourg
Oaths of Strasbourg
which declared Lothair unfit for the imperial throne, after which he became willing to negotiate a settlement.

PROVISIONS

Each of the three brothers was already established in one kingdom: Lothair in Italy
Italy
, Louis the German
Louis the German
in Bavaria
Bavaria
, and Charles the Bald in Aquitaine
Aquitaine
. In the settlement, Lothair (who had been named co-emperor in 817) retained his title as emperor and:

* Lothair received Middle Francia , the central portion of the empire. His domain later became the Low Countries
Low Countries
, Lorraine , Alsace , Burgundy , Provence
Provence
, and the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
(which covered the northern half of the Italian Peninsula ). He also received the two imperial cities, Aachen
Aachen
and Rome
Rome
, as well as the imperial title, but it conferred only nominal overlordship of his brothers' lands. * Louis the German
Louis the German
received the eastern portion of the empire. He was guaranteed the kingship of all lands to the east of the Rhine
Rhine
and to the north and east of Italy
Italy
, which was called East Francia . It eventually became the high medieval kingdom of Germany
Germany
, the largest component of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
. * Charles the Bald received the western portion, which later became France
France
. Pepin II was granted the kingdom of Aquitaine
Aquitaine
, but only under the authority of Charles. Charles received all lands west of the Rhône
Rhône
, called West Francia
West Francia
.

After Lothair's death in 855, Upper and Lower Burgundy
Lower Burgundy
( Arles
Arles
and Provence
Provence
) passed to his third son, Charles of Provence
Provence
, and the remaining territory north of the Alps
Alps
to his second son, Lothair II , after whom the hitherto nameless territory was called Lotharingia
Lotharingia
. It would then become modern Lorraine . Lothair's eldest son, Louis II , inherited Italy
Italy
and his father's claim to the Imperial throne.

LEGACY

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The division reflected an adherence to the old Frankish custom of partible or divisible inheritance amongst a ruler's sons, rather than primogeniture (i.e., inheritance by the eldest son) which would soon be adopted by both Frankish kingdoms.

The division of the Frankish realm by the Treaty of Verdun, carried out without any regard to linguistic and cultural continuities, resulted in conflicts in Western Europe
Western Europe
until the 20th century. Since the Middle Frankish Kingdom combined lengthy and vulnerable land borders with poor internal communications as it was severed by the Alps
Alps
, it was not a viable entity and soon fragmented. This made it difficult for a single ruler to reassemble Charlemagne's empire. Only Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
achieved this briefly.

In 855, the northern section became fragile Lotharingia, which became disputed by the more powerful states that evolved out of West Francia (i.e., France
France
) and East Francia (i.e., Germany
Germany
). Generations of kings of France
France
and Germany
Germany
were unable to establish a firm rule over Lothair’s kingdom. While the north of Lotharingia
Lotharingia
was then composed of independent countries , the southern third of Lotharingia
Lotharingia
, Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
, was traded back and forth between France
France
and Germany from the 18th to the 20th century. In 1766, it passed to France
France
after the death of Stanislaw Leszcyznski , who had acquired the region from the German Habsburgs by the Treaty of Vienna (1738) ending the War of Polish Succession (1733-1738). In 1871, Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
became German, after the victory of Prussia
Prussia
and its German allies over the French in the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
(1870-1871). In 1919, it became French again by the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
(1919), following the French victory over the Germans in World War I
World War I
(1914-1918). In 1940, Germany
Germany
reannexed Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
following Germany's successful invasion of France
France
. Finally, in 1945, after World War II
World War II
(1939-1945), Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
was solidified as French territory, which it remains to this day, more than a thousand years after the Treaty of Verdun. The collapse of the Middle Frankish Kingdom also compounded the disunity of the Italian Peninsula, which persisted into the 19th century.

SEE ALSO

* Oaths of Strasbourg
Oaths of Strasbourg
* Treaty of Prüm (855) * Treaty of Meerssen (870) * Treaty of Ribemont
Treaty of Ribemont
(880)

NOTES

* ^ A B "What was the Treaty of Verdun?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-05-15. * ^ Friedrich Heer, The Holy Roman Empire, pg. 20 * ^ "Codoh.com The Significance of the Treaty of Verdun and the Emergence of the German Reich". codoh.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15. * ^ "Treaty of Verdun: 843". www.thenagain.info. Retrieved 2017-05-15.

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