Valois-Habsburg Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Control of Burgundian lands, duchy of Milan, Navarre, and other Italian lands. Result: Spain gained control of Italy.
The Valois-Habsburg Wars were a continuation of the Italian Wars (1494-1559). They were extremely costly and disruptive. The primary issues were rivalries over the Burgundian lands, the duchy of Milan and other Italian lands along with Navarre. French king Francis I also feared being encircled by a strong Charles V.
The First Valois-Habsburg War (1521-1525) was fought largely in northern Italy and ended in a decisive victory for Charles V at the Battle of Pavia (February 24, 1525). Francis lost almost his entire 28,000-man army and was captured and forced to sign the Treaty of Madrid (1526). In it, he renounced all claims to Milan, Naples, and Genoa and ceded Burgundy, Artois, and Flanders to Charles. Francis, however, repudiated the terms immediately after his release from custody, declaring that he had been forced to sign the treaty under duress.
Alarmed at Charles’s magnificent victory, Pope Clement VII joined forces with Francis, forming the League of Cognac along with Milan, Venice, and Florence. In the spring of 1527, 12,000 of Charles’s troops, who had not been paid and had lost their leader, went on a rampage and sacked Rome. Clement VII sued for peace in 1529, and Francis joined him in signing the Treaty...
(The entire section is 713 words.)
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