Last modified on March 28, 2018, at 07:20


The rise of a unified nation-state in France began with a line of kings known as the Capetians (A.D. 987-1328). Hugh Capet was the first of the Capetian kings. By the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Capetians had succeeded in bringing most of France under a centralized government. Philip II was a Capetian king who expanded France, seizing territories including Normandy from John of England, and establishing the official office of "bailiff", with tax collecting and royal court duties. Louis IX "the Pious" established an appeals court, with authority surpassing that of the local courts. Under the Capetian kings, a French legislative body known as the "Estates General" was created, including the "Third Estate," which allowed commoners to participate in lawmaking.