League of Public Welfare

League of Public Welfare

 

(in French, Ligue du Bien Public), a coalition of the feudal aristocracy that rebelled against the policy of state centralization conducted by the French king Louis XI. Formed in 1464–65, the League of Public Welfare was for all intents and purposes led by Charles the Bold (its nominal leader was Charles of Berry, brother of Louis XI). It also included the duke of Brittany and the duke of Bourbon. Members of the league, hoping for the support of broad segments of French society, depicted themselves as protectors of “public well-being” and fighters against royal tyranny (for example, they made demagogic demands for the elimination of indirect taxes). On July 16, 1465, in a battle at Montlhéry the League of Public Welfare defeated the royal forces. Louis XI made concessions to different members of the league, concluding treaties with them in September and October 1465 at Conflans and St. Maur (in particular, granting Charles the Bold cities on the Somme River). Louis XI succeeded in undermining the bases of the League of Public Welfare and gradually renounced all the concessions he had made.

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