ORIGINS (of 58 front. J.-C. with 887)
FEUDALITY (from 887 to 1483)
Any power of Feudality
Decline of Feudality
One Hundred Years old war
MONARCHY (of 1483 to 1789)
Wars of Italy
Wars against the house of Austria
Wars of religion
Apogee of monarchical France
Decline of monarchy
Ruin Ancien Régime
Louise of Savoy.
Louise of Savoy, girl of the duke of Savoy, was only twelve years old when it married Charles of Angouleme, eighteen years when it gave the day to François 1st and that it lost her husband.
She lived withdrawn until the death of Anne of Brittany, which hated it (1514).
In 1515 it exerted regency during the countryside of Italy, but it was especially after Pavia, during the captivity of her son, whom it revealed his qualities of regent, by organizing a league against Austria.
Later it negotiated with the aunt of Charles-Quint the Cambric treaty, which for this reason was called the peace of the Injuries (1529).
The younger brother by Charles VI, Louis of Orleans, assassinated in 1407, had left two sons: one, Charles of Orleans the poet, had as son Louis XII; the other, Jean of Angouleme, had as Charles son of Angouleme.
It is marriage of this one with Louise of Savoy which was born François 1st (1494).
It married in 1514 the girl of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany, Claude of France, which brought to him in dowry Brittany.
It was of a gigantic size; rider admirable, robust, brave, burning, prodigal, it liked the pleasures, but also the beautiful blows of sword and the beautiful ones towards; it was the best knight of the kingdom.
Marguerite de Valois.
Marguerite de Valois or of Angouleme, born in 1492, was the girl of Charles of Angouleme, and sister of François 1st.
After having been required in marriage by Charles of Austria and the constable of Bourbon, it married the duke of Alençon.
Widow without children in 1525, it went to Madrid to comfort her captive brother, who liked it tenderly and who called it the Marguerite of the Daisies.
She remaria in 1527 with king de Navarre, gave asylum to the calvinists, attracted at her court Calvin and Clément Marot the poet, and composed itself of poetries and the tales.
She had as a girl Jeanne d' Albret, the mother of Henri IV.
Battle of Marignan.
The battle of Marignan lasted two days (September 13, and 14 1515), and deserved to be called "a combat of giants" the first day, the Swiss ones, trained in thick battalions, without cavalry and without artillery, attacked lowered head the French positions, climbed the plate, and seized several guns, in spite of the balls which removed them by files, and in spite of the knighthood, which charged them more than thirty times.
The night suspended the fight, but the two armies were like committed one in the other, and François 1st slept, says one, on a mounting, with thirty steps of the enemy.
A little before the day, the royal trumpets sounded, the Swiss horns answered them, and the combat started again with fury.
François 1st had skilfully laid out his artillery; the Swiss bands, perforated by the balls, were finally forced to give up the plate, and their retirement was difficult on the slopes through the vines: 12 000 of them remained on the battle field, and François 1st was a Master of the Milanese.
The FRENCH ARMY UNDER FRANÇOIS 1st
Since the fifteenth century, France had a standing army: Charles VII had created the companies of ordinance or gendarmerie, and had given to artillery his first organization; Louis XI had in his turn trained a regular infantry, the bands of Picardy.
Louis XII associated with the gendarmerie or large cavalry, of the lighter troops, the light horsemen, where entered much from abroad, and strengthened the infantry by the creation of the bands of Piedmont, where the noble ones were accustomed to be useful to the commoners.
All these elements, François 1st added whole bodies mercenaries of all countries: in Marignan the infantry, strong of 26 000 men, counted 4000 French of the old bands, 14 000 Germans, 6000 Gascons and 2000 Gênois.
The cavalry did not offer more unit, and the French had as auxiliaries of the German reîtres, the Italian arquebusiers, the Spaniards and to Albanians.
After Marignan, François 1st reconciled himself with the Swiss ones that it had overcome, and from perpetual peace to the Revolution of 1789, our kings maintained a many body constantly Swiss soldiers.
It was calculated that, since Louis XI until 1830, a million Swiss had been useful in the French Army.
François 1st, avid of glory, undertake a forwarding in Italy the year even of his advent (1515); great-grandson of Valentine Visconti, it takes advantage of his rights on the duchy of Milan, crosses the Alps with the collar of Argentière, beats in Marignan the Swiss ones which make the army of the duke of Milan (1515), and makes the conquest of the Milanese.
He benefits from his victory to reconcile the Swiss ones and the pope.
Perpetual peace ensures France the contest of the Swiss mercenaries (1515), the Legal settlement, treaty concluded with Leon X, rule equitably the rights of the pope and the king in the ecclesiastical businesses (1516).