Government of the Carolingian Empire

Government Of The Carolingian Empire

Government of the Carolingian Empire

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The government, administration, and organisation of the Carolingian Empire were forged in the court of Charlemagne in the decades around the year 800. In this year, Charlemagne was crowned emperor and adapted his existing royal administration to live up to the expectations of his new title. The political reforms wrought in his capital Aachen were to have an immense impact on the political definition of Western Europe for the rest of the Middle Ages. The Carolingian improvements on the old Merovingian mechanisms of governance have been lauded by historians for the increased central control, efficient bureaucracy, accountability, and cultural renaissance.

The Carolingian Empire was the largest western territory since the fall of Rome, but historians have come to suspect the depth of the emperor's influence and control. Legally, the Carolingian emperor exercised the bannum, the right to rule and command, over all of his territories. Also, he had supreme jurisdiction in judicial matters, made legislation, led the army, and protected both the Church and the poor. His administration was an attempt to organise the kingdom, church and nobility around him, however, it was entirely dependent upon the efficiency, loyalty and support of his subjects.


In the first year of his reign, Charlemagne went to Aachen (; ) for the first time. He began to build a palace twenty years later (788) after the death of his real father. He made it to dedicate his father and hoped that someday he...
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