Struggle Between The Carolingians and The House of Odo

The aristocracy of the northern part of the West-Frankish kingdom chose (in 888) as their king, in place of the incompetent Charles the Fat, the valiant Odo, Count of Paris, Blois, and Orleans. He was a powerful lord and held extensive domains besides the regions he ruled as count. But, in spite of his advantageous position, he found it impossible to exert any real power in the southern part of his kingdom. Even in the north he met with constant opposition, for the nobles who elected him had no idea of permitting him to interfere much with their independence. Charles the Simple, the only surviving grandson of Charles the Bald, was eventually elected king by a faction opposed to Odo.

For a hundred years the crown passed back and forth between the family of Odo and that of Charlemagne. The counts of Paris were rich and capable, while the later Carolingians were poor and unfortunate. The latter finally succumbed to their powerful rivals, who definitely took possession of the throne in 987, when Hugh Capet was elected king of the Gauls, Bretons, Normans, Aquitanians, Goths, Spaniards, and Gascons,—in short, of all those peoples who were to be welded, under Hugh's successors, into the great French nation.

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