Anjou

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Anjou

(äNzho͞o`), region and former province, W France, coextensive roughly with Maine-et-Loire and parts of Indre-et-Loire, Mayenne, and Sarthe depts. AngersAngers
, city (1990 pop. 146,163), capital of Maine-et-Loire dept., W France, in Anjou, on the Maine River. A business and trade center, it is known for its wine and the famous Cointreau liqueur.
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, the historic capital, and SaumurSaumur
, town (1990 pop. 30,150), Maine-et-Loire dept., W France, on the Loire River. Saumur is noted for its religious-medal industry (dating from the 17th cent.) and for its sparkling white wines. Aluminum products, clothing, and liquors are also produced.
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 are the chief towns. A fertile lowland, Anjou is traversed by the Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe, Loir, and Maine rivers. It is chiefly an agricultural area with excellent vineyards that produce the renowned Saumur sparkling wines. Occupied by the Andecavi, a Gallic people, the region was conquered by Caesar. Anjou fell to the Franks in the 5th cent. and became a countship under Charlemagne in the 9th cent. By the 10th cent. it was in the hands of the first line of the counts of Anjou (see AngevinAngevin
[Fr.,=of Anjou], name of two medieval dynasties originating in France. The first ruled over parts of France and over Jerusalem and England; the second ruled over parts of France and over Naples, Hungary, and Poland, with a claim to Jerusalem.
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 dynasty), who expanded their holdings vigorously. Fulk Nerra, who founded the Angevin dynasty, acquired Saumur from the counts of BloisBlois
, town (1990 pop. 51,549), capital of Loir-et-Cher dept., central France, in Orléanais, on the Loire River. A commercial and industrial center with an outstanding trade in wines and brandies, it is also one of the most historic towns of France.
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. His successor, Geoffrey Martel, won Touraine from Blois (1044) and Maine from Normandy (1051). FulkFulk
, 1092–1143, Latin king of Jerusalem (1131–43), count of Anjou (1109–29) as Fulk V, great-grandson of Fulk Nerra. He journeyed (1120) to the Holy Land as a pilgrim and returned there in 1129, making his son, Geoffrey Plantagenet, count of Anjou as Geoffrey
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 (d. 1143), the grandson of Fulk Nerra, after protracted wars with Henry I of England over the possession of Maine, married his son Geoffrey (Geoffrey Plantagenet) to Henry's daughter Matilda. Geoffrey ruled Anjou (1129–51) and conquered Normandy, of which he was crowned duke in 1144. His son, later Henry II of England, married Eleanor of Aquitaine and with her inheritance ruled most of W France. When Henry II's grandson, Arthur I, duke of Brittany, rebelled against his uncle, John of England, he won the support of Philip II of France, to whom he paid homage (1199) for Anjou, Maine, and Touraine. After Arthur's death, Philip II seized (1204) all Anjou. In 1246, Louis IX of France gave Anjou in appanage to his brother Charles, count of Provence, who later also became king of Sicily and Naples (see Charles ICharles I
(Charles of Anjou), 1227–85, king of Naples and Sicily (1266–85), count of Anjou and Provence, youngest brother of King Louis IX of France. He took part in Louis's crusades to Egypt (1248) and Tunisia (1270).
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). Charles II of Naples gave Anjou as dowry to his daughter Margaret when she married Charles of Valois, son of Philip III of France. When their son became (1328) King Philip VI of France, Anjou was again reunited to the French crown. John II of France, however, made Anjou a duchy (1360) and gave it to his son Louis (later Louis I of Naples). Louis XI of France inherited Anjou after the death (1480) of René, grandson of Louis I, and the death (1481) of Charles of Maine, René's nephew, the last of the Angevin line. Anjou was definitively annexed to France in 1487. In the 16th cent. Anjou was held as appanage at various times; the last duke was Francis of Alençon and Anjou. The region was devastated during the Wars of Religion (1562–98; see under Religion, Wars ofReligion, Wars of,
1562–98, series of civil wars in France, also known as the Huguenot Wars.

The immediate issue was the French Protestants' struggle for freedom of worship and the right of establishment (see Huguenots).
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). During the French Revolution the rising of the VendéeVendée
, department (1990 pop. 509,356), W France, on the Bay of Biscay, in Poitou. The offshore islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu are included in the department. Largely an agricultural (dairying, cattle raising) and forested region, the Vendée has many beach resorts
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, the Royalist revolt against the revolution, occurred in Anjou.

Anjou

a former province of W France, in the Loire valley: a medieval countship from the 10th century, belonging to the English crown from 1154 until 1204; annexed by France in 1480
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