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The Italian Wars

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:05 AM
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The Italian Wars 1494-1559: -


The key issues over which the Italian Wars were fought were primarily financial incentives for Charles VIII of France.   He declared that he intended to use Naples as a base to drive the Ottomans out of Europe and liberate Constantinople.   In actual truth his main motivation was self-glory and the mouth-watering prospect of acquiring some exquisite prizes of war.   On the way he would acquire rich cities and portable pieces of art.   It seems that this invasion had been planned for two years prior since Charles had already bought off potential rivals like Henry VII of England, Ferdinand and Macsimilion.   He had also enlisted the support of Genoa and Milan, both within Italy. The regent of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, needed allies and his invitation in 1594 seemed to Charles’ plans perfectly.   He accepted and the Italian wars began.   Also, the Cardinal of Genoa resented the current Pope, Alexander VI.   He invited Charles to come in, depose him and spark off the eagerly awaited church reform.

Events 1494-1516: -

There was a mixed reaction to the arrival of Charles in Italy.   Florence revolted against its leader, Piero de Medici.   The Popes army deserted him.   In Naples the king died and rather than unite against his son the populous decided to capitulate.

There was however some reaction against Charles’ activities.   Ferdinand of Aragon decreed that since Naples was subject to the papacy, that the Popes honour had been attacked.   He formed the League of Venice.   His main intentions were to expel Charles and become the ruler of a united Naples, Sicily and Aragon.   Charles began to withdraw to France and although he won a battle at Fornovo, his outnumbered garrisons couldn’t retain Naples.

By 1498 the situation in Italy was one of chaos and turmoil.   Charles died in 1498, which meant that there wasn’t going to be a re-invasion.   Popular...


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