The Capetian Kings and their bishops wished to build new cathedrals as monuments of their power, wealth, and religious faith.
Another important feature was the extensive use of stained glass, and the rose window, to bring light and color to the interior.
Another feature was the use of realistic statuary on the exterior, particularly over the portals, to illustrate biblical stories for the largely illiterate parishioners.
New structures in the style included Chartres Cathedral (begun 1200); Bourges Cathedral (1195 to 1230), Reims Cathedral (1211–1275), and Amiens Cathedral (begun 1250); At Chartres, the use of the flying buttresses allowed the elimination of the tribune level, which allowed much higher arcades and nave, and larger windows.
The early type of rib vault used of Saint Denis and Notre Dame, with six parts, was modified to four parts, making it simpler and stronger.
They allied themselves with the bishops of the major cities of northern France, and reduced the power of the feudal abbots and monasteries.
Their rise coincided with an enormous growth of the population and prosperity of the cities of northern France.
The term "Gothic architecture" originated in the 16th century and was originally very negative, suggesting something barbaric.
Giorgio Vasari used the term "barbarous German style" in his 1550 Lives of the Artists to describe what is now considered the Gothic style, and in the introduction to the Lives he attributed various architectural features to "the Goths" whom he held responsible for destroying the ancient buildings after they conquered Rome, and erecting new ones in this style.
You'll find names in 2 languages: English and French.