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Francis I, Holy Roman emperor
Francis I, emperor of Austria
Francis I, king of France
Wars with the Holy Roman Emperor
Francis resumed the Italian Wars, beginning his reign with the recovery of Milan through the brilliant victory at Marignano (1515). A candidate for the Holy Roman emperor's crown (1519), he was defeated by Charles V, king of Spain, whose supremacy in Europe Francis was to contest in four wars. In 1520 Francis tried to secure the support of King Henry VIII of England against the emperor in the interview on the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
Although no agreement was reached with the English king, Francis began his first war against the emperor (1521–25). He was defeated at La Bicocca (1522) and at Pavia (1525), where he was captured. Francis regained his freedom by consenting to the Treaty of Madrid (1526); he renounced his claims in Italy, agreed to surrender Burgundy to Charles, and abandoned his suzerainty over Flanders and Artois. Resolved to violate a treaty signed under duress, Francis created the League of Cognac (1526) with Pope Clement VII, Henry VIII, Venice, and Florence, and commenced his second war (1527–29) against Charles. It ended, unfavorably for Francis, with the Treaty of Cambrai (see Cambrai, Treaty of), which left Burgundy to France but otherwise duplicated the Treaty of Madrid.
Francis fulfilled the treaty's terms until 1535, when the death of the duke of Milan, Francisco Sforza, opened the question of the Milanese succession. In a third attempt to regain Milan, Francis invaded (1536) Italy. Charles retaliated by invading Provence, and in 1538 a 10-year truce was arranged at Nice. In 1542 with the support of the Ottoman sultan Sulayman I, Francis for the fourth time attacked the emperor, who allied himself (1543) with Henry VIII. Their invasion of France resulted (1544) in the Treaty of Crépy, in which Francis relinquished his claims to Naples, Flanders, and Artois. Peace with England (1546) confirmed the loss of Boulogne.
The French Renaissance
Other Aspects of Francis's Reign
See biographies by F. Hackett (1935, repr. 1968) and D. Seward (1973).
Francis I, king of the Two Sicilies
Born Feb. 12, 1768, in Florence; died Mar. 2, 1835, in Vienna. Austrian ruler from 1792; emperor of Austria from 1804. Member of the Hapsburg-Lorraine dynasty. Last Holy Roman emperor (as Francis II; 1792–1806).
Francis helped organize monarchist coalitions against France during the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. In 1810, however, he gave his daughter Marie Louise in marriage to Napoleon. He played an important role in the formation of the Holy Alliance. Francis’ domestic policies, especially after 1815, were aimed at strengthening the clerical-feudal police regime.
Born Sept. 12, 1494, in Cognac; died Mar. 31, 1547, in Rambouillet. French king from 1515. Member of the Valois dynasty.
Francis’ policies were aimed at transforming France into an absolute monarchy. He made the Royal Council the chief administrative body of the state, introduced general vicegerents in the provinces, supervised the activities of the governors, and limited the power of the parlements. In 1532 he annexed Brittany. Francis greatly increased taxes and eliminated the distinction between state taxes and royal revenue. In 1539 he issued the Edict of Villers Cotterets, which prohibited strikes and abolished workers’ “companionships.”
In 1516, Francis concluded the Concordat of Bologna with Pope Leo X. Edicts issued in 1535 and 1540 mandated the persecution of Calvinists as heretics. The king organized the mass extermination of the Waldenses in 1545.
In the Italian Wars of 1494–1559, Francis at first met with success; he gained a victory at Marignano in 1515 and captured Milan. In 1525, however, he was defeated by the army of Emperor Charles V near Pavia. Francis was captured and taken to Madrid, where he was forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Madrid in 1526. Upon his return to France later that year, he formed the League of Cognac with Pope Clement VII, Venice, and the duke of Milan. Francis resumed military operations in 1527 and continued fighting until 1529. In 1535 or 1536 he signed an advantageous treaty—known as the Capitulations—with Turkey.
A great patron of the arts, Francis brought many Italian architects and artists to France. In 1530 he established the humanistic lecteurs royaux, (royal scholars), an institution that in the late 18th century developed into the Collège de France. Francis, however, persecuted radical thinkers, such as the humanist Etienne Dolet, who was burned at the stake in 1546.
REFERENCESParis, P. Etudes sur François I, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1885.
Terrasse, C. François I, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1945–49.
Levis-Mirepoix, A. François I., Paris, 1953.
Bailly, A. François I. Paris, 1961.
A. I. KOROBOCHKO