Maximum realistic French territorial expansion (excluding colonies) in the centuries before the French Revolution?

Mar 2016
1,089
Australia
#11
I thought that war could have been avoided had Philip V of Spain renounced his succession rights to the French throne much earlier; am I wrong?
What right did the Habsburgs have to demand this? They'd done the exact same thing 200 years ago with Maximilian passing the succession of Austria to Charles, thereby making him the most powerful monarch in Europe. The succession of the Bourbons to the throne of Spain was completely legal by all standards of the time, however much it frustrated the Habsburgs.
 
Sep 2016
1,103
Georgia
#12
What about before Louis XIV?
Also, what about the possibility of additional personal unions eventually resulting in political unions? I mean, that's how Navarre ultimately joined France--its King Henry III became King Henry IV of France after the Valois died out in the male line in 1589.
War of the Burgundian Succession in 1477 - 1482 and Italian Wars were good opportunities for that.

By Treaty of Arras in 1482 Maximilian agreed to marry his daughter Margaret of Austria to Charles VIII. That would bring the Imperial County of Burgundy ( Franche-Comte) to the French crown as her dowry. France also retained most of its Burgundian fiefdoms except for the County of Flanders, which passed to Maximilian. However, Charles VIII married Anne of Brittany in 1491 in order to annex Brittany. He was also getting ready for campaign against Naples and signed Treaty of Senlis in 1493. Habsburgs would regain Arras, Charolais and Count of Burgundy.

Children of Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII died in early childhood. The main line of Valois died out in 1498 with Charles VIII. The throne went to the Orleans branch. Louis II Duke of Orleans became a new King under the name Louis XII. His grandfather Louis I Duke of Orleans was the younger brother of Charles VI ( King of France ). Louis II/XII was the son of Charles Duke of Orleans, who was the eldest son of Louis I. He also married Anne to secure Brittany. They had a daughter together - Claude, who was going to inherit Brittany after the death of her mother. Upon his ascension in 1515, Francis I married Claude and she gave birth to his son and future King Henry II. That would once and for all bring Brittany into the hands of French Kings.

Francis I himself was from the cadet branch of Valois-Orleans. His grandfather was the younger son of Louis I Duke of Orleans and the younger brother of Charles ( who became Duke of Orleans after the death of his father and then had a son Louis X. He inherited Angouleme and founded a new House of Valois-Angouleme.

Both Francis I and Louis XII were descendants of Valentina Visconti. She was married to Louis I Duke of Orleans and gave birth to his children. Francis was her great-grandson and Louis XII her grandson. Which is why they both had a claim to Duchy of Milan. Valentina Visconti was the daughter of powerful Gian Galeazzo Visconti Duke of Milan.

Louis XII had a real chance to gain not only Milan, but Kingdom of Naples as well. However, he lost Naples to Spanish. Though he retained Duchy of Milan and French influence in Northern Italy.

Francis I also regained Milan in 1515 after his famous victory at Marignano.

In 1536 - 1538 French actually conquered Piedmont and Turin. France retained those territories up until 1559.

By the way, Henry IV was the grandson of Marguerite of Angouleme. She was the sister of Francis I and married to Henry II of Navarre. Henry IV of France also had the Valois blood in him.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#13
Why did France give up on Italy in 1559?

Also, how do you think that the 16th century would have unfolded for France and Italy had the future Francis I been born a girl and thus Charles IV, Duke of Alencon (between 1515 and 1525) and Charles III, Duke of Bourbon (since 1525) would have been the French King after the death of Louis XII?
 
Sep 2016
1,103
Georgia
#14
Why did France give up on Italy in 1559?
France restored Piedmont and Turin to the Duke of Savoy by the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559.

Also, how do you think that the 16th century would have unfolded for France and Italy had the future Francis I been born a girl and thus Charles IV, Duke of Alencon (between 1515 and 1525) and Charles III, Duke of Bourbon (since 1525) would have been the French King after the death of Louis XII?
They didn't have a claim to Italy. However, maybe they would try to press the claim solely because they were successors to Louis XII.

Louis XII's claim to Naples was much weaker than claim to Milan. The claim to the Kingdom of Naples was really King Charles VIII's claim. However, Louis demanded recognition of the claim solely because he, Louis, was the successor to Charles VIII.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#16
France restored Piedmont and Turin to the Duke of Savoy by the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559.
By why? What was the incentive for France to do this?

They didn't have a claim to Italy. However, maybe they would try to press the claim solely because they were successors to Louis XII.

Louis XII's claim to Naples was much weaker than claim to Milan. The claim to the Kingdom of Naples was really King Charles VIII's claim. However, Louis demanded recognition of the claim solely because he, Louis, was the successor to Charles VIII.
Please keep in mind that Charles III, Duke of Bourbon is the son of Clara Gonzaga, though. The Gonzaga family ruled Mantua back then.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#17
What right did the Habsburgs have to demand this? They'd done the exact same thing 200 years ago with Maximilian passing the succession of Austria to Charles, thereby making him the most powerful monarch in Europe. The succession of the Bourbons to the throne of Spain was completely legal by all standards of the time, however much it frustrated the Habsburgs.
I think that the fear was that a single power would dominate Europe.

Also, didn't the English complain about this as well? It wasn't just the Hapsburgs--was it?
 
Sep 2016
1,103
Georgia
#19
Also, didn't the English complain about this as well? It wasn't just the Hapsburgs--was it?
That was one of the reasons why it became much easier for England to stop fighting in War of Spanish Succession after the death of Joseph and ascension of Charles VI. Also pro-peace Tories winning 1710 elections.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,039
SoCal
#20
Yeah, Mantua would work. I was talking about Milan and Naples.
So, do you think that there would have been a realistic chance of France trying to conquer Mantua if Charles III, Duke of Bourbon would have become the French King?

That was one of the reasons why it became much easier for England to stop fighting in War of Spanish Succession after the death of Joseph and ascension of Charles VI. Also pro-peace Tories winning 1710 elections.
Why exactly was Joseph's death relevant here?