The Italian Wars Portal
The Italian Wars
were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, all the major states of western Europe (France
, the Holy Roman Empire
, the Republic of Venice
, the Papal States
, and most of the city-states of Italy
) as well as the Ottoman Empire
. Originally arising from dynastic disputes over the Duchy of Milan
and the Kingdom of Naples
, the wars rapidly became a general struggle for power and territory among their various participants, and were marked with an increasing degree of alliances, counter-alliances, and regular betrayals.
Warfare in the Italian Wars was a complicated and ever-changing art. Much of the period saw revolutionary developments in formation, equipment, and tactics as the great powers of Europe attempted to gain a decisive advantage against each other.
The Italian War of 1542–46 was a conflict late in the Italian Wars, pitting Francis I of France and Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Henry VIII of England. The course of the war saw extensive fighting in Italy, France, and the Low Countries, as well as attempted invasions of Spain and England; but, although the conflict was ruinously expensive for the major participants, its outcome was inconclusive.
The war arose from the failure of the Truce of Nice, which ended of the Italian War of 1536–38, to resolve the long-standing conflict between Charles and Francis. Having found a suitable pretext, Francis once again declared war against his perpetual enemy in 1542. Fighting began at once throughout the Low Countries; the following year saw a joint Franco-Ottoman attack on Nice, as well as a series of maneuvers in northern Italy which culminated in the bloody Battle of Ceresole. Charles and Henry then proceeded to invade France, but the long sieges of Boulogne and Saint-Dizier prevented a decisive offensive against the French.
Charles came to terms with Francis by the Treaty of Crépy in late 1544, but the death of Francis's younger son, the Duke of Orléans—whose proposed marriage to a relative of the Emperor was the cornerstone of the treaty—made it moot less than a year afterwards. Henry, left alone but unwilling to return Boulogne to the French, continued to fight until 1546, when the Treaty of Ardres finally restored peace between France and England. The deaths of Francis and Henry in early 1547 left the resolution of the Italian Wars to their heirs.
In such a state of mind and in such confusion of affairs, likely to lead to new distubances, began the year 1494 (I date according to the Roman usage)—a most unhappy year for Italy, and in truth the beginning of those years of misfortune, because it opened the door to innumerable horrible calamities, in which, one could say, for various reasons, a great part of the world was subsequently involved.
Guillaume Gouffier, Seigneur de Bonnivet
–February 24, 1525) was a French
soldier. In the imperial election of 1519
he superintended the candidature of Francis, and spent vast sums of money in his efforts to secure votes, but without success. An implacable enemy of the Constable de Bourbon
, he contributed to the downfall of the latter. In command of the army of Navarre
in 1521, he occupied Fuenterrabia
and was probably responsible for the renewal of hostilities resulting from its not being restored. Bonnivet succeeded Odet de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec
, in 1523, as commander of the army of Italy and entered the Milanese, but was defeated and forced to effect a disastrous retreat, in which the chevalier Bayard
perished. He was afterwards one of the principal commanders of the army which Francis led into Italy at the end of 1524, and died at the Battle of Pavia