IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > B. Early Modern Europe, 1479–1815 > 1. Europe, 1479–1675 > d. France
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1480)
d. France
CHARLES VIII. Death of the duke of Brittany (1488) called forth a coalition of the empire, Spain and England to preserve the independence of the duchy, but this proved futile. Charles married Anne, the heiress, in 1491 and concluded the Treaties of Senlis (with the emperor) and Étaples (with England). Spain was bought off by the cession of Roussillon and Cerdagne.  1
Charles's expedition to Italy to claim the inheritance of Naples (through his father from Charles, duke of Maine and Provence; see genealogical table). Charles marched victoriously through Italy and conquered Naples (bringing the venereal disease syphilis, which rapidly spread across Europe), but he was soon obliged to withdraw in the face of the Holy League (Emperor Maximilian, Pope Alexander VI, Spain, Venice, Milan, and England), formed to protect Italy from foreign domination. Expedition led to the introduction of Renaissance culture into France and marked beginning of Habsburg (Spanish)–Valois (French) conflict (1494–1559) over Italy.  2
HOUSES OF ORLÉANS AND ANGOULÊME. Branch lines of the house of Valois (since 1328), whose relation to the main line is shown on page LAST VALOIS KINGS (1498-1589).  3
LOUIS XII obtained a divorce from Jeanne, daughter of Louis XI, and married Anne of Brittany, widow of Charles VIII, in order to keep this duchy for the crown; as grandson of Valentina Visconti he laid claim to Milan and drove out Ludovico Moro, who was imprisoned when he tried to return (1500).  4
Louis, in alliance with Ferdinand the Catholic, king of Aragon, conquered the kingdom of Naples. The Spaniards and French soon falling out, the latter were defeated by the Spanish general Gonzalvo de Córdoba on the Garigliano (1503). Louis XII gave up his claims to Naples.  5
League of Cambrai (See 1508). In 1511 the pope, Ferdinand the Catholic, and Venice renewed the Holy League, with the object of driving the French out of Italy. The latter, under the young Gaston de Foix, duke of Nemours, nephew of Louis XII, were at first successful in the war, taking Brescia (1512) by storm and defeating the united Spanish and papal armies at Ravenna, with the aid of 5,000 German mercenaries, in the same year; they were, however, compelled by the Swiss to evacuate Milan. In 1513 the French formed a new alliance with Venice but were defeated by the Swiss at Novara and withdrew from Italy. Henry VIII of England, who had joined the Holy League in 1512, and the Emperor Maximilian, who had joined in 1513, invaded France.  6
1513, Aug. 17
They defeated the French at Guinegate, called the Battle of the Spurs from the hasty flight of the French.  7
France concluded peace with the pope, with Spain (1511), with the emperor, and with Henry VIII (1514). Anne of Brittany having died, Louis took as his third wife Mary, the sister of Henry VIII. He died soon after the marriage (1515).  8
Louis was succeeded by his cousin and son-in-law, the count of Angoulême, FRANCIS I.  9
1515, Sept. 13–14
Francis reconquered Milan by the brilliant victory of Marignano over the Swiss. Peace and alliance between France and Switzerland. Treaty of Geneva (Nov. 7, 1515); Treaty of Fribourg (Nov. 29, 1516). The latter (la paix perpétuelle) endured until the French Revolution.  10
Increase of the royal power by the concordat of Bologna with the pope, which rescinded the Pragmatic Sanction of 1438 and placed the choice of bishops and abbots in the hands of the king; the pope on the other hand received the annates, or the first year's revenue of every ecclesiastical domain where the king's right of presentation was exercised. Francis in return abandoned the principle of the council of Basel that the pope was subordinate to an ecumenical council.  11
Francis invited the Florentine artists Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea del Sarto, and Benvenuto Cellini and the architect Rosso to grace and decorate his court; established lectureships that formed the basis of the Collège de France; and supported the navigator Jacques Cartier (1491–1557), who established French interests in North America.  12
The humanist and theologian John Calvin (1509–64) published the Institutes of the Christian Religion (definitive edition 1559), a systematic theology for Protestantism; because of its social and economic implications and Calvin's remarkable facility with language (French) the work won a wide readership and many converts, especially in urban centers such as Paris, Lyons, and Grenoble. Members of the Reformed Church, as Calvinists were called, became the dynamic force in international Protestantism.  13
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.