The Italians Kings of France : The Valois Dynasty

The romanesque saga of the Italian Kings of France . The Valois Dynasty: King Louis XII of France

Born in Blois in 1462, died in Paris in 1515, Louis of Orleans future Louis XII is the son of the poet King Charles of Orleans and Marie de Cleves, grandson of Louis of Orleans and Valentine Visconti Duchess of Milan . He became Duke of Orleans on the death of his father in 1465.

Raised by his cousin Charles VIII and his godfather, King Louis XI, he was forced by him to marry in 1476 his daughter, 

Jeanne de France, sterile and counterfeit, the king hoping to dry up any possibility of descent in the branch of Valois-Orléans. During the minority of Charles VIII, he is one of the leaders of the party hostile to the regent, Anne de Beaujeu, and participates in the Crazy War alongside Francis II, Duke of Brittany. Captured at the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488, he remained imprisoned until 1491, then, pardoned by his cousin Charles VIII, with whom he participated in the first expedition of Italy from 1494 to 1495. In April 1498, Louis d ‘ Orleans succeeds his nephew Charles VIII, who leaves no heir, he ascends the throne of France determined to ensure the continuity of his lineage. He obtained from Pope Alexander VI Borgia the cancellation of his first marriage with Jeanne de France to marry the widow of the late king, Anne of Brittany, and thus retain the benefit of the personal union of the duchy with the kingdom of France.

As the grandson, of Valentine Visconti, and descendant of  Jean Galéas Visconti  , he engages France in the wars of Italy. With a powerful army , équipped with the best artiller in Europe (cannons, culverins, arquebuses), he managed to easily conquer the Milanese in 1499 with the condottiere assistance [1] Trivulce [2], who was appointed  governor.

With the help of Ferdinand of Aragon it is the kingdom of Naples that he takes in 1501 and must evacuate in 1504 following the betrayal of his ally. On this occasion he concluded an arrangement according to which he renounced his Italian pretensions and abandoned Burgundy against the promise of the marriage of his daughter Claude with the future Charles V.

He denounced this agreement  in  1506, choosing to marry his daughter to his cousin François, Duke of Angoulême future François 1er,  so that Brittany and Burgundy remain attached to France .François I  will over the torch of the wars of Italy, wanting to assert his blood rights on the Ducthy of Milan for he was also a descent of the Visconti family. he will be the last Valois King to undertake such actions. This  branc of Valois Angoulême will be at the origin , in spite of herself, of the end of the Valois reign and the advent of the Bourbon Kings.

Indeed, Marguerite of Angoulême, sister of François 1er is the mother of Jeanne of Albret, she herself mother of Henry III of Bourbon Navarre husband of Queen Margot and who will become King of France under the name of Henry IV. … If we go further, let us say that the Bourbons  following  reigning Louis XII through the Sun King and the current Louis XX, Duke of Anjou and pretender to the throne of France, well they have a little Valois blood in them and so much Italian blood !!!!

The Genoese uprising in 1507 is a pretext for the resumption of the Italian war. In 1508 he joined the League of Cambrai, which united Pope Julius II, Emperor Maximilian, Ferdinand of Aragon, and the Dukes of Ferrara and Savoy against the Venetians. He gets angry with Julius II who is defeated by Bayard during the battle of La Bastide. Louis XII convenes a council with a view to deposing Pope Julius II. The latter forms against France the Holy League, with Venice, Spain, the Empire and England, a coalition that will drive the French out of Italy and carry the war to Burgundy.

Widower of Anne, shortly before his death, he remarried with Mary of England, a child of sixteen years of age, sister of Henry VIII of England..

Nicnamed «father for his people» by the  1506  General States, Louis XII owes his popularity to circumstances.  Taille [3] reducer to the wealth from Italy, customs codifier, and adorned with the halo of the Justicier King, he had the chance to reign  during  a time of transition, beneficial to France, marked by the return of economic prosperity in Europe, the remoteness of armies beyond the borders nd thus peace within and the increase of population which reap the fruits of technical progress and the development of exchanges.

He died January 1st 1515 and his buried in Saint-Denis Basiclica necropolis to all the Kings of France near his beloved wife Anne of Brittany.

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