Frankish and French Kings

The Franks were a collection of Germanic tribes who settled in Roman territory in the 4th century. They were accepted as foederati (allies) by the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate. Unity of all the Franks was achieved by Clovis in the early 6th century. Clovis was a descendant of the semi-legendary king Merovech, for whom the Merovingian dynasty was named.

In 743 the Merovingians were formally replaced by Pépin the Short and the line of the Carolingians, the de facto rulers of the state for several generations, who were named for Pépin's father Charles Martel. Pépin's son was Charlemagne (Charles the Great) who became Emperor and controlled a vast region of Europe. Charlemagne's son was Louis the Pious; after his death the kingdom of the Franks was divided amongst his children. The western portion, eventually called the Kingdom of France, went to Charles the Bald. (See Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors for other descendants of Charlemagne.)

As the Carolingian dynasty waned, France was ruled by the Counts of Paris starting with Odo in 888. His line led to Hugues Capet, who began the Capetian dynasty late in the 10th century. After the main Capetian line became extinct the throne was taken over by the Valois branch of the family, though claims by the English king Edward III led to the Hundred Years War in 1339. In 1589 the Valois dynasty was succeeded by the Bourbon kings, who ruled until being forcefully removed by the French Revolution, though they were later reinstated for a time.

France had two emperors in the 19th century: Napoleon and later his nephew Napoleon III.

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NameYearsOther Names
Merovechc. 447-c. 457
Childeric I457-481
Clovis I481-511
Theuderic I511-534
Childebert I511-558
Chlothar I the Old511-561
Theudebert I533-548
Charibert I561-567
Sigebert I561-575
Chilperic I561-584
Childebert II575-595
Chlothar II the Great584-629
Theudebert II595-612
Theuderic II595-613
Sigebert II613
Charibert II629-632
Dagobert I629-639
Sigebert III634-656
Clovis II639-655
Childebert the Adopted656-661
Chlothar III656-673
Childeric II662-675
Theuderic III673; 675-691
Clovis III675-676
Dagobert II676-679
Clovis IV691-695
Childebert III the Just695-711
Dagobert III711-715
Chilperic II715-721
Theuderic IV721-737
Childeric III743-752
Pépin the Short752-768
Carloman I768-771
Charles I the Great768-814
Louis I the Pious813-840
Charles II the Bald840-877
Louis II the Stammerer877-879
Louis III879-882
Carloman II879-884
Charles the Fat884-887
Odo Count of Paris888-898
Charles III the Simple898-922
Robert I Count of Paris922-923
Rudolf Duke of Burgundy923-936
Louis IV the Foreigner936-954
Louis V the Indolent986-987
Hugues Capet987-996
Robert II the Pious996-1031
Henri I1031-1060
Philippe I1060-1108
Louis VI the Fat1108-1137
Louis VII1137-1180
Philippe II Augustus1180-1223
Louis VIII the Lion1223-1226
Louis IX1226-1270
Philippe III the Bold1270-1285
Philippe IV the Fair1285-1314
Louis X1314-1316
Jean I1316
Philippe V the Tall1316-1322
Charles IV the Fair1322-1328
Philippe VI1328-1350
Jean II the Good1350-1364
Charles V the Wise1364-1380
Charles VI the Mad1380-1422
Charles VII the Victorious1422-1461
Louis XI the Spider1461-1483
Charles VIII1483-1498
Louis XII of Orleans1498-1515
François I1515-1547
Henri II1547-1559
François II1559-1560
Charles IX1560-1574
Henri III1574-1589
Henri IV1589-1610
Louis XIII1610-1643
Louis XIV the Sun King1643-1715
Louis XV1715-1774
Louis XVI1774-1792
Napoleon I1804-1815(Bonaparte)
Louis XVIII1814-1824
Charles X1824-1830
Louis Philippe1830-1848
Napoleon III1852-1870(Bonaparte)