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[[File: Charlemagne_coronation.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Charlemagne Being Crowned the Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III]]
When the Carolingian Empire came to power, most western European peasants were still using Roman era farming methods and technologies. Not only were most of these methods and technologies outdated and extremely labor-intensive, but they were also better adapted to the longer growing seasons of the Mediterranean basin. Two of the most important technological advances in farming made during the Carolingian Empire were the invention of the heavy wheeled moldboard plow and the modern horse harness. <ref> Misbach, p. 268</ref> These innovations helped make farming less labor-intensive, which meant that an individual could work either more land or more time could be dedicated to other pursuits. Along with these agricultural inventions, Charlemagne and the Carolingians began to view farming in a much different and more efficient way than the Romans did.
Toward the latter part of Charlemagne’s reign, the three-field crop system was introduced to western Europe. In the system, farmers would leave every third field fallow to replenish the nutrients in the soil. Western European farmers soon learned that the technique was a significant improvement on the Roman two-field system as they could get two harvests per year, even in the colder climates of the north. For example, barley, oats, or legumes would be harvested in the fall, while barley, wheat, or rye was harvested in the spring. <ref> Jotischky and Hull, p. 75</ref> The three-field system was so successful that it was common well into the modern period throughout Europe and was duplicated in other areas the world.
Emperor Charlemagne is rightly remembered for his many accomplishments that made him one of Europe's greatest monarchs. Charlemagne brought stability back to Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire and essentially provided a bridge from the Hellenic Civilization into what is known as Western Civilization. The emperor did this through force of arms and by allying with the Church, but almost as important were the economic policies he instituted. Charlemagne promoted a sound economic policy that resulted in a balanced economy that was able to withstand the vicissitudes of the Dark Ages. By promoting both local and long-distance trade, installing a sound monetary policy, and introducing new agricultural techniques and technologies, Charlemagne brought western Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the medieval period.
January 3, 2018.
[[Category:Wikis]][[Category:French History]] [[Category:History of the Middle Ages]] [[Category: Economic History]] [[Category: European History]]