Louis XI

(1423-1483)
   king of France
   Louis XI, the son and successor of Charles VII and of marie of anjou, reigned from 1461 to 1483. Born in Bourges, as king he would continue Charles VlI's work of restoring unity and stability to France after the ravages of the Hundred Years' War. In his youth, Louis had joined with discontented nobles in an unsuccessful rebellion (the pra-guerie) against his father. In 1440, he was pardoned and made governor of Dauphiné, where he demonstrated great administrative ability. After the death of his first wife, Margaret of Scotland, he defied his father by marrying Charlotte of Savoy (1457). From 1456 to 1461, he lived at the court of Philippe the Good of Burgundy. Louis was known as "the Spider" because of his appearance and the agility with which he outmaneuvered his enemies. As king, his greatest opponent became charles the bold, duke of Burgundy and Philippe's successor. Charles had formed a conspirational league with nobles against the king (1465), and Louis, in response and in his efforts to curb the powers of the French nobility, used the help of the lower nobility and the bourgeoisie. After Charles's defeat and death in 1477, Louis continued the war against marie of burgundy, Charles's daughter. By 1481, Louis had added Anjou, Provence, Maine, and other areas to his kingdom. In 1482, he divided the Burgundian territories with Maximilian of Habs-burg, Marie's husband. A despotic ruler, Louis XI, during the rest of his reign, consolidated power through diplomacy, intrigue, bribery, treachery, and war. In doing so, he laid the foundation for the absolute French monarchy and, by promoting commerce and industry, increased the country's wealth. He was succeeded by his son, who reigned as CHARLES VIII.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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