Artevelde, Jacob van


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Artevelde, Jacob van

(yä`kôp vän är`təvĕldə), c.1290–1345, Flemish statesman, of a wealthy family of Ghent. In 1337 the Flemish cloth industry underwent a severe crisis. The pro-French policy of the count of Flanders in the conflict between Edward III of England and Philip VI of France cut off English wool imports and thus ruined the Flemish merchants and weavers. Ghent rebelled, and Artevelde was given dictatorial powers as head of the city government. He negotiated (1338) a commercial treaty with England and obtained recognition of Flemish neutrality. The other towns of Flanders followed his lead, the count fled to France, and trade revived and prospered. In 1340, Artevelde had Edward III recognized as king of France (and thus suzerain of Flanders) by the Flemish towns. Artevelde's firm leadership and wealthy origin inevitably aroused resentment. Enemies accused him of proposing the lordship of Flanders to Edward the Black Prince (of England). In 1345 a riot broke out in Ghent, and Artevelde was killed by the mob.

Artevelde, Jacob van

 

Born circa 1290; died between July 17 and 24, 1345. A rich weaver and merchant in the city of Ghent (Flanders).

In 1338, Artevelde led a revolt of the Ghent weavers, who were dissatisfied with the alliance between the count of Flanders and France because it hindered their trade with England. Artevelde became head of a new city council that had been founded during the revolt. By the end of 1339, after the count had fled the country, Artevelde ruled all of Flanders. He organized an alliance between Flanders, Brabant, Hai-naut, and Holland. In 1340 the alliance entered the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) on the side of England. Artevelde’s policy pursued in the interests of the city leaders, provoked an uprising of artisans during which Artevelde was killed.

REFERENCE

Werveke, H. van. Jacques van Artevelde. Bruxelles, 1943.
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