Lorraine — a brief history

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The roots of Lorraine lay in the Carolingian kingdom of Lotharingia. Divided into Upper and Lower Lorraine in the tenth century, the duchy as it was in the late medieval and early modern period was not established until it came into the possession of René of Anjou (1431–53), by which time previous Lorraine territories such as Bar, Verdun, Metz and Toul had broken away. Under Charles III (1545–1608) the duchy experienced a golden age, to then fall into the misfortune of war during the reign of Charles IV (1625–75). The dukes were in exile in the empire until the restoration of Leopold I (1698-1729). His son, Francis III (1729–37), relinquished the duchy to the former king of Poland, Stanislas Leszczynski, to become Francis I, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1737. When Stanislas died in 1766, Lorraine was annexed by the kingdom of France.


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