League of the Public Weal
The League of the Public Weal was an alliance of feudal nobles organized in
1465in defiance of the centralized authority of King Louis XIof France. It was masterminded by Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais, son of the Duke of Burgundy, with the king's brother Charles, Duke of Berry, as a figurehead.
The League's members included:
*Charles, Duke of Berry, the king's teenage brother
*Charles, Count of Charolais, son and heir of the elderly
Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy
Francis II, Duke of Brittany
*John II, Duke of Alençon
John II, Duke of Bourbon
John II, Duke of Lorraine
Jacques d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours
*John V, Count of Armagnac
Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint Pol
*Charles II, Count of Albret
*John, Count of Dunois, the illegitimate brother of the Duke of Orleans
Antoine de Chabannes
Frederick I, Elector Palatine
John I, Duke of Cleves
Duke of BavariaFact|date=February 2007
In keeping with the policies of previous Capetian and Valois monarchs, Louis asserted the supremacy of the king within the territory of
France. Over the course of the preceding centuries, and during the Hundred Years' War, the French kingseffected an administrative unification of the country. Unlike Germany, which languished as a miscellany of feudal factions, France emerged from the Middle Agesas a centralized state. But this centralization was opposed by the League of Public Weal, whose nobles sought to restore their feudal prerogatives.
Charles the Bold, as heir to the duke of Burgundy, whose fiefs in France included
Flanders, and who held the Imperial lands of Hollandand Brabant, aspired to forge a kingdom of his own between France and Germany, approximating the former domains of the Frankish Emperor Lothair I.
Louis's response to the League was characteristic of his underhanded
diplomacy. He seemed to yield to its demands by granting Normandyto his brother, returning contested cities on the Sommeto Burgundy, and even granting privileges to lesser nobles involved in the rebellion. But all these measures were merely calculated to break up the League. Within months of giving it up, he had reclaimed Normandy.
Both Charles and Louis were prone to overreaching themselves, and Louis's machinations nearly resulted in military defeat at Charles's hands. However, insurrections in his newly acquired territories of Lorraine and
Switzerlandweakened Charles's efforts. Charles himself was killed in the Battle of Nancyagainst the Swiss, and Louis was saved from his greatest adversary. He had already taken his revenge on Charles's allies within France. The great duchy of Burgundy was then absorbed into the kingdom of France. The League of the Public Weal was routed in its every objective.
Adams, George, "The Growth of the French Nation", Chautauqua Century Press, 1896.
Hoyt, Robert, "Europe in the Middle Ages", Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 2nd ed., 1966
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