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The Burgundian party was a political allegiance against France that formed during the latter half of the Hundred Years' War. The term "Burgundians" refers to the supporters of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, that formed after the assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans. Their opposition to the Armagnac party, the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, led to a civil war in the early 15th Century, itself part of the larger Hundred Years' War.
The Duke of Burgundy had inherited a large number of lands scattered from what is now the border of Switzerland up to the North Sea. The Duchy of Burgundy had been granted as an appanage to Philip the Bold in the 14th century, and this was followed by other territories inherited by Philip and his heirs during the late 14th and 15th centuries, including the County of Burgundy (the Franche-Comté), Flanders, Artois and many other domains in what are now Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and northeastern France. Prosperous textile manufacture in the Low Countries made this among the wealthiest realms in Europe, and explained their desire to maintain trade with wool-producing England.
Partisan use of the term "Burgundian" arose from a feud between John II, Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans. The latter was the brother of King Charles VI, the former was his cousin. When madness interrupted the king's ability to rule they vied for power in a bitter dispute. Popular rumor attributed an adulterous affair to the Duke of Orléans and French queen Isabeau of Bavaria. Supporters of the two dukes became known as "Burgundians" and "Orleanists", respectively.
Other than in Burgundy's own lands, the Duke's supporters were particularly powerful in Paris, where the butchers' guild, notably, closely supported him.
The partisan terms outlasted the lives of these two men. John, Duke of Burgundy ordered the assassination of Louis of Orléans in 1407. Burgundian partisans at the University of Paris published a treatise justifying this as tyrannicide in the belief that the Duke of Orléans had been plotting to kill the king and usurp the throne. Leadership of his party passed nominally to his son, Charles, but in fact to the young duke's father-in-law, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac. Bernard VII would form a league in opposition to the Burgundians in Gien, the Armagnac party. Both parties sought the support of the Kingdom of England. The Armagnacs through treaty with the English King Henry IV, to secure his military aid; the Burgundians by remaining neutral when the English invaded Normandy. That neutrality led to Orléans's capture by the English at Agincourt in 1415. After Armagnac's murder by a Burgundian mob in Paris in 1418, leadership of the party devolved upon the young Dauphin, who retreated to Bourges.
After 1418, then, Burgundy controlled both Paris and the person of the king. However, the whole dispute was proving deleterious to the war effort against the English, as both sides focused more on fighting one another than on preventing the English from conquering Normandy. In 1419, the Duke and the Dauphin negotiated a truce to allow both sides to focus on fighting the English. However, in a further parley, the Duke was murdered by the Dauphin's supporters as revenge for the murder of Orléans twelve years before.
Burgundian party leadership passed to Philip III, Duke of Burgundy. Duke Philip entered an alliance with England. Due to his influence and that of the queen, Isabeau, who had by now joined the Burgundian party, the mad king was induced to sign the Treaty of Troyes with England in 1420, by which Charles VI recognized Henry V of England as his heir, disinheriting his own son the Dauphin.
When Henry V and Charles VI both died within months of each other, leaving Henry's son Henry VI of England as heir to both England and France, Philip the Good and the Burgundians continued to support the English. Nevertheless, dissension grew between Philip and the English regent, John, Duke of Bedford. Although family ties between Burgundy and Bedford (who had married the Duke's sister) prevented an outright rupture during Bedford's lifetime. Burgundy gradually withdrew support for the English and began to seek an understanding with the Dauphin, by now Charles VII of France. The two sides finally reconciled at the Congress of Arras in 1435, resulting in a treaty which allowed the French king to finally return to his capital.
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.
Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461.
Charles VI, called the Beloved and later the Mad, was King of France from 1380 until his death. He is known for his mental illness and psychotic episodes which plagued him throughout his life. Charles's reign would see his army crushed at the Battle of Agincourt, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Troyes, which made his future son-in-law Henry V of England his regent and heir to the throne of France. However, Henry would die shortly before Charles, which gave the House of Valois the chance to continue the fight against the English, leading to their eventual victory and the end of the Hundred Years' War in 1453.
The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that King Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the French throne upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was formally signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of Henry's successful military campaign in France. It forms a part of the backdrop of the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War finally won by the French at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, and in which various English kings tried to establish their claims to the French throne.
John the Fearless was a scion of the French royal family who ruled the Burgundian State from 1404 until his death in 1419. He played a key role in French national affairs during the early 15th century, particularly in the struggles to rule the country for the mentally ill King Charles VI, his cousin, and the Hundred Years' War with England. A rash, ruthless and unscrupulous politician, John murdered the King's brother, the Duke of Orléans, in an attempt to gain control of the government, which led to the eruption of the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War in France and in turn culminated in his own assassination in 1419.
Isabeau of Bavaria was queen of France between 1385 and 1422. She was born into the House of Wittelsbach as the only daughter of Duke Stephen III of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Taddea Visconti of Milan. At age 15 or 16, Isabeau was sent to the young King Charles VI of France; the couple wed three days after their first meeting.
Yolande of Aragon was Duchess of Anjou and Countess of Provence by marriage, who acted regent of Provence during the minority of her son. She was a daughter of John I of Aragon and his wife Yolande of Bar. Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc's army in 1429 that helped tip the balance in favour of the French. She was also known as Yolanda de Aragón and Violant d'Aragó. Tradition holds that she commissioned the famous Rohan Hours.
The Armagnac faction was prominent in French politics and warfare during the Hundred Years' War. It was allied with the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans against John the Fearless after Charles' father Louis of Orléans was killed on a Paris street on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy on 23 November 1407.
Isabella of Bourbon, Countess of Charolais was the second wife of Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais and future Duke of Burgundy. She was a daughter of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy, and the mother of Mary of Burgundy, heiress of Burgundy.
The Congress of Arras was a diplomatic congregation established at Arras in the summer of 1435 during the Hundred Years' War, between representatives of England, France, and Burgundy. Toward the close of the Hundred Years' War, both the Congress and the subsequent Treaty of Arras represented diplomatic failures for England and major successes for France.
Odette de Champdivers was the chief mistress of Charles VI of France. She was called la petite reine by Charles and contemporaries.
The Lancastrian War was the third and final phase of the Anglo-French Hundred Years' War. It lasted from 1415, when King Henry V of England invaded Normandy, to 1453, when the English lost Bordeaux. It followed a long period of peace from the end of the Caroline War in 1389. The phase was named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.
Louis was the eighth of twelve children of King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. He was their third son and the second to hold the titles Dauphin of Viennois and Duke of Guyenne, inheriting them in 1401, at the death of his older brother, Charles (1392–1401).
Margaret of Nevers, also known as Margaret of Burgundy, was Dauphine of France and Duchess of Guyenne as the daughter-in-law of King Charles VI of France. A pawn in the dynastic struggles between her family and in-laws during the Hundred Years' War, Margaret was regarded as the future Queen of France at two separate times, as a result of her two marriages: first to the Dauphin and second to the Duke of Brittany.
The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage, forming what is now known as the Burgundian State.
The Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War was a conflict between two cadet branches of the French royal family — the House of Orléans and the House of Burgundy from 1407 to 1435. It began during a lull in the Hundred Years' War against the English and overlapped with the Western Schism of the papacy.
John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, was assassinated on the bridge at Montereau on 10 September 1419 during a parley with the French dauphin, by Tanneguy du Chastel and Jean Louvet, the dauphin's close counsellors.
The dual monarchy of England and France existed during the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War when Charles VII of France and Henry VI of England disputed the succession to the throne of France. It commenced on 21 October 1422 upon the death of King Charles VI of France, who had signed the Treaty of Troyes which gave the French crown to his son-in-law Henry V of England and Henry's heirs. It excluded King Charles's son, the Dauphin Charles, who by right of primogeniture was the heir to the Kingdom of France. Although the Treaty was ratified by the Estates-General of France, the act was a contravention of the French law of succession which decreed that the French crown could not be alienated. Henry VI, son of Henry V, became king of both England and France and was recognized only by the English and Burgundians until 1435 as King Henry II of France. He was crowned King of France on 16 December 1431.
The Treaty of Amiens, signed on 13 April 1423, was a defensive agreement between Burgundy, Brittany, and the English during the Hundred Years' War. The English were represented by John, Duke of Bedford, the English regent of France, the Burgundians by Duke Philip the Good himself, and the Bretons by Arthur de Richemont, on behalf of his brother the Duke of Brittany. By the agreement, all three parties acknowledged Henry VI of England as King of France, and agreed to aid each other against the Valois claimant, Charles VII. It also stipulated the marriage of Bedford and Richemont to Burgundy's sisters, in order to cement the alliance.
The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy.