Valois Dynasty

Valois Dynasty

▪ French dynasty
      the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589, ruling the nation from the end of the feudal period into the early modern age. The Valois kings continued the work of unifying France and centralizing royal power begun under their predecessors, the Capetian dynasty (q.v.).

      The House of Valois was a branch of the Capetian family, for it was descended from Charles of Valois (Charles III), whose Capetian father, King Philip III, awarded him the county of Valois in 1285. Charles's son and successor, Philip, count of Valois, became king of France as Philip VI in 1328, and thus began the Valois dynasty. The house subsequently had three lines: (1) the direct line, beginning with Philip VI, which reigned from 1328 to 1498; (2) the Valois-Orléans branch, which consisted of one member, Louis XII (reigned 1498–1515), son of Charles, duc d'Orléans, a descendant of King Charles V; (Charles V) and (3) the Valois-Angoulême branch, beginning with Francis I, son of Charles, count of Angoulême, another descendant of Charles V; it reigned from 1515 to 1574 and was succeeded by the Bourbon (Bourbon, House of) dynasty, another branch of the Capetians.

      The early kings of the Valois dynasty were occupied primarily with fighting the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), which broke out under Philip VI (reigned 1328–50). During this period the monarchy was threatened both by the English, who at times controlled much of France, and by the revived strength of feudal lords, such as the Armagnac and Burgundian factions, which challenged the supremacy of the kings. Charles VII (reigned 1422–61) met these threats and began the task of restoring royal power.

      The Valois kings gradually increased their authority at the expense of the privileges of the feudal lords. The crown's exclusive right to levy taxes and to wage war was established; and many of the basic administrative institutions that had begun to develop under the Capetians continued to evolve under the Valois; for example, the Parlements (Parlement) (courts) were extended throughout France to dispense royal justice. Their strong position in France enabled three of the Valois kings ( Charles VIII, reigned 1483–98; Louis XII, reigned 1498–1515; and Francis I, reigned 1515–47) to undertake the ultimately unsuccessful Italian wars of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. These wars marked the start of Valois rivalry with the Habsburgs (Habsburg, House of) (ruling house of the Holy Roman Empire), a rivalry which lasted until the end of the French dynasty.

      The French Renaissance occurred during the reigns of Francis I and Henry II (reigned 1547–59). The Wars of Religion (1562–98) weakened the power of the last Valois kings, for militant Roman Catholic and Protestant factions dominated politics.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Valois Dynasty —    French royal dynasty between 1328 and 1589. The last strong king of the medieval Capetian dynasty, Philip IV (1285 1314), left three sons (Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV) who ruled in succession between 1314 and 1328. At the death of Louis… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Dynasty — A dynasty is a succession of rulers who belong to the same family for generations. A dynasty is also often called a house , e.g. the House of Saud or House of Habsburg . In the histories of Europe, much of Asia and some of Africa, ruling and… …   Wikipedia

  • Valois — /vann lwann / for 1, 3; /val wah/ for 2, n. 1. a member of a ruling family of France that reigned from 1328 to 1589. 2. Dame Ninette de /ni net /. See de Valois, Dame Ninette. 3. a county in the Île de France, which became united to the French… …   Universalium

  • Valois — noun French royal house from 1328 to 1589 • Hypernyms: ↑dynasty • Member Meronyms: ↑Henry II, ↑Henry III …   Useful english dictionary

  • Capetian dynasty — ▪ French history       ruling house of France from 987 to 1328, during the feudal period of the Middle Ages. By extending and consolidating their power, the Capetian kings laid the foundation of the French nation state.       The Capetians all… …   Universalium

  • Charles, Count of Valois — This article is about Charles of Valois (1270–1325). For other uses, see Charles de Valois. Charles Count of Valois Reign 1284 1325 Successor Philip …   Wikipedia

  • Margaret of Valois — Queen consort of France and of Navarre Tenure 1589–1599 …   Wikipedia

  • Charles of Valois — (March 12, 1270 ndash;December 16, 1325) was the fourth son of Philip III of France and Isabella of Aragon. His mother was a daughter of James I of Aragon and Yolande of Hungary. He was a member of the House of Capet and founded the House of… …   Wikipedia

  • Philip of Valois — noun king of France who founded the Valois dynasty; his dispute with Edward III over his succession led to the Hundred Years War (1293 1350) • Syn: ↑Philip VI • Instance Hypernyms: ↑king, ↑male monarch, ↑Rex …   Useful english dictionary

  • Angoulême Dynasty —       (reigned 1515–74), a branch of the Valois Dynasty (q.v.) in France. * * * …   Universalium

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