The Relationship between the Church and the State

             The period from the eighth to the fourteenth century was one of vast reforms, some for the better and some for the worse. During this period in Europe, commonly known as The Middle Ages, economic reforms took place as well as social, political, and religious changes. One common theme throughout The Middle Ages consisted of the relationship between the Church and the State. The Catholic church during this era held a prominent role in society, and it had an abundant amount of power and authority during this time. The Catholic Church exercised its authority in many different stages, in which a response from the people occurred because of the way the Church showed its power. The nature of the Catholic Church began its reform around the time Charlemagne, from 768 to 814, took control. He became a Christian emperor and the first great political leader in Western Europe. His main goal was to promote the Roman Catholic religion throughout all of the world known to man, and to do this Charlemagne coordinated with the pope, which in turn the pope crowned him the holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne strived to reestablish central authority and revive the culture of the Early Middle Ages, and he succeeded by gaining authority over a large area, including almost all of Western and Central Europe (Charlemagne p.130-131). Charlemagne also made many reforms, mostly Church and educational ones. He first reformed the monasteries by making them Benedictine; he also made sure that the churches were abiding by the rules and not doing anything wrong. Charlemagne designed a system in which four archbishops were set up in four different regions with their headquarters in cities in that particular region. The archbishops appoint bishops authority in their territories. As the Catholic Church's authority increases during this time, it also comes with consequences. This system of archbishops and bishops are great for the Church, but Charlemagne uses them as royal agents, which is part of royal policy.

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