Lorraine History

Before the region came under Roman rule in the 1st Century B.C., Lorraine was inhabited by two tribes called the Leuci and Mediomatrici. After the Romans took control, Lorraine became a part of the Belgium Province of the Roman Empire.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Lorraine came under the rule of the Merovingien King Clovis, and he held power in this region until his death in 511. After his death, his son Theodoric became King of Austrasia which increased his territory from the left bank of the Rhine River to the North Sea which also included Lorraine.

Lorraine was actually once an independent kingdom. It was formed in 843 when after King Charlemagne's death, his empire (known as the Carolingian empire) was divided among his three grandsons. Charles the Bald was given the western part of France, Louis obtained the eastern part and King Lothar received the Midlands (the North Sea to Rome) and heir to this region. The area and other territories controlled by Lothar became known as Lotharingia. In France, this eventually evolved into "Lorraine".

With the waning of Carolingian influence, the kingdom lost territories and eventually came under the rule of a duke, thus thereby reducing the former kingdom to a duchy.

Between the years of 1733 and 1766 it was ruled by Stanislaus I of Poland. Lorraine eventually became part of France in 1766 and was re-organized by the French government.

Due to its geographical position Lorraine (along with Alsace) has long been a contested territory between France and it's neighbour Germany. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, Lorraine was mostly populated by it's neighbours who vigorously opposed efforts to have the French language and customs imposed upon them. This was a process which Stanislaus I ended during his reign.

After France lost the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Germany took Lorraine. It then remained with them until the end of World War I in 1918 and then returned to France. During World War II in 1940, it was occupied again. After their defeat in World War II, Lorraine was returned to France in November 1944 by General Patton and his army.

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