They were really petty states begotten from the dismemberment of a great territory; those local governments were formed at the expense of a central power. From the end of the ninth pass we to the end of the tenth century, to the epoch when the Capetians take the place of the Carlovingians. Instead of seven kingdoms to replace the empire of Charlemagne, there were then no more than four.

Thus the claims of the two dynasties of Charlemagne and of Hugh Capet were united in his person; and, although the authority of the Capetians was no longer disputed, contemporaries were glad to see in Louis VIII. this two-fold heirship, which gave him the perfect stamp of a legitimate monarch.

Amidst this vast chaos and upon this double ruin was formed the feudal system, which by transformation after transformation became ultimately France. Hugh Capet, one of its chieftains, made himself its king. The Capetians achieved the French kingship.

The accession of the Capetians was a work independent of all foreign influence, and strictly national, in Church as well as in State. The authority of Adalberon was of great weight in the matter. As archbishop he was full of zeal, and at the same time of wisdom in ecclesiastical administration.

The city of Bourges was one of the most complete examples of successive transformations and denominations attained by a Roman municipality from the sixth to the thirteenth century under the Merovingians, the Carlovingians, and the earliest Capetians. At the time of the invasion it had arenas, an amphitheatre, and all that characterized a Roman city.

The king would have the peasant to till, the monk to pray, and the pilgrim and merchant to travel in peace. He was an itinerant regal justiciary, destroying the nests of brigands, purging the land with fire and sword from tyranny and oppression. Wise in council, of magnificent courage in battle, he was the first of the Capetians to associate the cause of the people with that of the monarchy.

According to Genoude, royalty, religion, and the national assemblies here are "the principles" of the French nation, which go back to the Merovingians. The Carlovingians fell away from them. The Capetians, being in accord with the people, made an effort to maintain them.

He not only regards Agamemnon, Achilleus, and Paris as actual personages, but he ascribes the same reality to characters like Danaos, Kadmos, and Perseus, and talks of the Pelopid and Aiolid dynasties, and the empire of Minos, with as much confidence as if he were dealing with Karlings or Capetians, or with the epoch of the Crusades.

On the other hand, by encouraging and protecting the first Capetians, Robert of Jerusalem and his son Baldwin VII made a very grave political mistake.

Never, perhaps, was king better served by circumstances or more successful in his enterprises; but he is the first of the Capetians who had a scandalous contempt for rights, abused success, and thrust the king-ship, in France, upon the high road of that arrogant and reckless egotism which is sometimes compatible with ability and glory, but which carries with it in the germ, and sooner or later brings out in full bloom, the native vices and fatal consequences of arbitrary and absolute power.