This thesis consists of an analysis of Charles the Bald's use of royal decrees, known as capitularies, as well as a critical English translation of the Edict of Pîtres (864), the most significant capitulary issued in Charles' reign. Charles the Bald (r. 840-877), king of West Francia, inherited the complex administrative system instituted by his Carolingian predecessors. The capitulary had been central to Carolingian administration and legislation since the time of his grandfather, Charlemagne, and it represents the most direct evidence of royal intentions in written form from Charles the Bald's reign. The capitulary was formulated by the king and his nobles, and then promulgated by a network of royal and ecclesiastical officials throughout the kingdom. The Edict of Pîtres is an important example of this capitulary tradition. It touches on a wide range of issues that fell under royal power, and it provides a snapshot of the political situation facing the king at the moment of its promulgation.