France in 1477

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Map Code: Ax02120

In 1461, Louis XI of the House of Valois succeeded to the French throne, determined to strengthen France by reversing decentralization and seizing the lands of rebellious nobles, who were turning their provinces into semi-autonomous regions. Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, was his most formidable antagonist. He was determined that Louis XI would not take Burgundy and with the support of the English he took up arms against Louis XI. After the signing of the French-Anglo Treaty of Picquigny (1475) the One Hundred Years’ War formally ended and Bold was on his own. Meanwhile Burgundy became embroiled in wars with the Holy Roman Empire over disputed territories in the Netherlands (1474–77). When Charles the Bold died in battle (1477) his wife, Mary, quickly married Maximilian, the Holy Roman Emperor’s son. In the face of this alliance Louis XI realized that the Holy Roman Empire was too powerful to challenge. He was given the Duchies of Burgundy and Picardy (technically French territories), while the Holy Roman Empire received Flanders, Artois and the County of Burgundy.

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