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What economic policies did the Capetians employ to extend their influence?

The Capetians extended their influence through policies of centralisation, taxation, and fostering trade and commerce.

The Capetians, a dynasty that ruled France from the 10th to the 14th century, implemented a range of economic policies to extend their influence. One of the key strategies was centralisation. They sought to centralise power and control over the economic resources of the kingdom. This was achieved by gradually reducing the power of local lords and increasing the authority of the monarchy. The Capetians also established a system of royal officials known as 'baillis' and 'sénéchaux' who were responsible for collecting taxes and administering justice in their respective regions. This not only increased the royal revenue but also helped to extend the influence of the Capetians across the kingdom.

Taxation was another important economic policy employed by the Capetians. They levied taxes on a variety of goods and services, including salt (the gabelle), land (the taille), and sales (the aides). These taxes provided a steady source of income for the monarchy, enabling it to finance wars, build infrastructure, and support the arts. The Capetians also introduced the 'droit de régale', a right that allowed the king to receive the revenues of vacant bishoprics and abbeys. This policy not only increased the royal income but also strengthened the king's control over the Church.

The Capetians also sought to foster trade and commerce as a means of extending their influence. They granted charters to towns, giving them certain rights and privileges, such as the right to hold markets and fairs. These charters encouraged economic activity and attracted merchants and craftsmen, leading to the growth of towns. The Capetians also established trade agreements with other kingdoms and regions, promoting the exchange of goods and ideas. This policy not only boosted the economy but also increased the prestige and influence of the Capetian monarchy.

In summary, the Capetians employed a range of economic policies, including centralisation, taxation, and fostering trade and commerce, to extend their influence. These policies not only increased the wealth and power of the monarchy but also helped to shape the economic and social landscape of medieval France.

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