France History – The Wars of Italy and the Struggle for Hegemony in Europe Part II

France History – The Wars of Italy and the Struggle for Hegemony in Europe Part II

According to Ezinereligion.com, Charles VIII came to Italy at the end of September 1494. On October 15 he is in Pavia, then he goes down to Tuscany, enters Florence. On December 31st Charles VIII enters Rome. Alexander VI, who had recently become hostile to the king, must come to an agreement with him. From Rome to Naples, the advance was just as easy: Alfonso, the new king, abdicated; his successor Ferrandino takes refuge in Ischia; the French are masters of the capital of the kingdom. So far everything had gone in the best of ways. But the situation quickly changed. Worried that they have pulled a master into their home, the Italian states move to the counter-offensive; and under the direction of the great intrigue Ferdinand the Catholic. On March 31, 1495, Venice, Ludovico il Moro, Alexander VI, Ferdinand the Catholic and Maximilian concluded a league clearly revolted against France. The reversal of the situation is such that Charles VIII has nothing left but to retire in a hurry, so as not to be trapped. The battle of Fornovo sul Taro (6 July), allows him to escape the grasp of the enemies; the treaty of Vercelli (October 1495) with the Moor, gives him the illusion that the Duke of Milan will return to him: but that of the Moor was a fake, but the French presidencies remaining in the Neapolitan area capitulated one after the other, but England joined the anti-French league. It was failure. illusion that the Duke of Milan will return to him: but that of the Moro was a fake, but the French presidencies remaining in the Neapolitan capitulated one after the other, but England joined the anti-French league. It was failure. illusion that the Duke of Milan will return to him: but that of the Moro was a fake, but the French presidencies remaining in the Neapolitan capitulated one after the other, but England joined the anti-French league. It was failure.

This did not prevent Charles’s successor, Louis XII, from resuming his plans. The main objective, however, became, in place of Naples, Milan, over which the new king, descendant of Valentina Visconti, boasted rights. A skilled diplomatic tinkering allowed Louis XII to secure alliances between the Italian princes, especially the alliance with Venice: and the expedition that, led by Trivulzio, in July-September 1499 ousted Ludovico il Moro of his duchy was militarily easy. it was difficult to buy back the Milanese, after the ephemeral return of Sforza, in the winter of 1499-1500.

But at this point the mistakes began. Recovered, too, from the chimera of the kingdom of Naples, Louis XII did not hesitate to ally himself with the most skilled of enemies that France had: with Ferdinand the Catholic (Treaty of Grenade, November 1800). And as soon as the French and Spaniards occupied the realm, discord broke out between the two allies, and the French had to abandon the Neapolitan (January 1504). Louis XII had installed his powerful rival in the South of the peninsula.

Other errors followed: the detachment from Venice, the detachment from the Swiss, who militarily constituted a very powerful weapon in the hand of the king of France, and which he began to alienate himself from the 1500s. Instead of holding these two cornerstones, the French government began to sketch out intrigues in other directions: seek an agreement with Philip the Fair, archduke of Austria, and with Maximilian emperor, at the cost of serious sacrifices for France (treaties of Blois, September 1504); then, he breaks the commitments made in Blois, returns to the old contrasts with the Habsburgs, and instead seeks an agreement with Ferdinand the Catholic (Savona convention, June 1507). Finally, he reaches the Cambrai agreements (December 1508) with Maximilian emperor, against Venice. How wrong was the French policy, dragged on this occasion by Habsburg diplomacy, she saw herself immediately after the victory of Agnadello (May 1509) gave Louis XII, for a moment, the feeling of being the arbiter of the situation. Julius II, who had joined the League of Cambrai, made peace with Venice, planning instead the expulsion of the French from Italy; Ferdinand the Catholic took the opportunity to put on his former friend; Henry VIII of England also joined the anti-French league. The Swiss, disgusted by the king’s behavior towards them, placed their weapons at the Pope’s service. who had joined the Cambrai league, he made peace with Venice, planning instead the expulsion of the French from Italy; Ferdinand the Catholic took the opportunity to put on his former friend; Henry VIII of England also joined the anti-French league. The Swiss, disgusted by the king’s behavior towards them, placed their weapons at the Pope’s service. who had joined the Cambrai league, he made peace with Venice, planning instead the expulsion of the French from Italy; Ferdinand the Catholic took the opportunity to put on his former friend; Henry VIII of England also joined the anti-French league. The Swiss, disgusted by the king’s behavior towards them, placed their weapons at the Pope’s service.

From the League of Cambrai it passes to the Holy League (October 1511). Never, from the end of the Hundred Years War onwards, had France found itself in such danger as it was in the period June 1513-spring 1514; the king’s troops beaten in Novara, Dijon, Guinegate; the Swiss in Franche-Comté, the English under Thétouanne, while Ferdinand the Catholic took possession of Spanish Navarre. It was fortunate that such profound conflicts arose between the allies against France as to prevent common action. Outraged against the Catholic, Henry VIII made peace and alliance with Louis XII (August 1514); the Swiss were appeased with money; the new pope, Leo X, did not have the same reasons for personal animosity against France as Julius II had. Thus the situation changed again, in favor of France. But to sum up, on the death of Louis XII, French politics ended at a clear disadvantage: lost the passengers territorial acquisitions in Italy; lost Roussillon, Navarre, Artois, Charolais. Despite this, Francesco I resumed the offensive in the peninsula, immediately reconquering the Milanese, thanks to the battle of Marignano (13-14 September); and, thanks to the success, Leo X managed to reconcile himself, snatching him the concordat of Bologna (18 August 1516), which placed the church of France under the king’s dependence (see below). And with the Swiss he concluded the perpetual peace (November 29, 1515), which placed the Swiss mercenaries at the disposal of France.

The Wars of Italy and the Struggle for Hegemony in Europe 2