The Lotharingian aristocracy, in attempting to assert its right to elect a sovereign, joined the other East Frankish lands in deposing their king, Charles the Fat, in 887. Under a series of dukes that began under the child king Louis IV in 903, the Lotharingians frequently swapped allegiance between the East and West Frankish kings. After brief wars in 876 and 879 West Francia ceded its half of Lotharingia to East Francia by the Treaty of Ribemont (880). Neither Lotharingia nor Middle Francia had any natural coherence, but each was conceived as a territorial division of a larger realm. It was born of the tripartite division in 855 of the kingdom of Middle Francia, itself formed of the threefold division of the Carolingian Empire by the Treaty of Verdun in 843. In 870 Lotharingia, after a brief interregnum, was divided by the Treaty of Meerssen between its neighbours, East Francia and West Francia. Lotharingia was a region in northwest Europe, comprising the Low Countries, the western Rhineland, the lands today on the border between France and Germany, and what is now western Switzerland.
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