cluny reform - We have already noted that one of the...

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We have already noted that one of the factors leading to the disintegration of the Carolingian empire was that its failure to expand turned the energies of its land- hungry class of fighting land-holders inward. The contending parties in the civil wars of the time needed assistance and had to purchase it. Dukes and counts, margraves and local officials first demanded that their land-holdings and offices be made hereditary, and, when this point had been won, often sought grants of land from the royal fisc . Soon the claimants to power in Neustria (France) had given away so much land that they had less wealth and power than some of their landholders. With hereditary lands and offices, these fighting landholders began to coalesce into a class that it often called the feudal aristocracy . The bishoprics and monasteries of the land no longer had the power of central government to protect their personnel and endowments, and the Church was inevitably drawn into serving the needs of the secular rulers. This period is sometimes called "The Feudalization of the Church." This occurred in various ways. Local aristocrats often established churches, monasteries, and convents that they then considered as family property, taking revenues from them, appointing friends and relatives to serve the institutions, and setting the duties that these men and women were to perform. The question arose was to whether the Church should benefit from protection and not contribute to the cost of that protection, and was usually answered in the affirmative. Church lands were expected to provide fighting men. This was sometimes accomplished by the local bishop or abbot becoming fighting men themselves and staffing their cathedral or monastery with fighting men. Needless to say, spirituality suffered under these circumstances. Sometimes the churchman would "hire" a warrior by granting him Church lands, only to find that their warrior soon turned his position and possessions into hereditary holdings. Other times, a noble - a count, for instance -- would take the post of bishop and convert it into a family possession so that some areas were ruled by men called prince-bishops . The most important practice was that which became common in the Germanies. For many reasons, disintegration in Austrasia (the Germanies) did not proceed as far as it did in Neustria but stopped at the level of the great tribal units ruled by hereditary dukes -- Saxony, Lotharingia, Thuringia, Franconia, and Bavaria. Menaced on many sides, the German dukes sought to create a federation. Henry the Fowler, duke-king of Saxony (912-936), agreed to act as leader on the proviso that he would have control of the Church in all of the Germanies. Although many rulers sought such power, only in
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cluny reform - We have already noted that one of the...

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