Borgognoni

Article

November 27, 2021

The Burgundians were one of two parties that fought in the civil war of the first half of the 15th century in France, a phase of the larger conflict of the Hundred Years War. The Burgundians took their name from the family of the Dukes of Burgundy, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty and therefore cousins ​​of the French kings. Their opponents were the Armagnacchi, headed by another cadet branch of the royal family, that of the Dukes of Orleans. Originally, the conflict pitted the Duke of Burgundy, John without Fear, against his cousin Louis Duke of Orleans, who were disputing control of the kingdom. In fact, following the madness of the king, Charles VI, France, from 1393, was governed by a regency council chaired by Queen Isabella. Being the queen inexperienced in politics, the most influential member of the council had been the Duke of Burgundy (Philip the Ardito) who was also the uncle of the king, Charles VI; but when Philip the Bold died the Burgundian influence was questioned.

Formation of the party

When Philip the Ardito died in 1404, his son, the new Duke of Burgundy, John without Fear, found himself having much less influence on the regency council than his father. By contrast, after the death of Philip the Bold, the king's brother, Louis d'Orléans (who was rumored to have become the queen's mistress), had instead become a very influential member of the regency council. Louis d'Orléans, in addition to opposing John without Fear, preventing him from achieving a territorial continuity of his possessions between Flanders and Burgundy, in agreement with the queen, applied a new tax, to restore order to the finances of the kingdom. John without Fear refused to pay the new tax for his territories and, in 1405, he presented himself in arms in Paris, putting Louis d'Orléans and the queen to flight. After two months, also because hostilities with the English had resumed, the Duke of Burgundy and Louis d'Orléans made peace and at the end of 1406 both carried out two military campaigns, Louis in Guienna and Giovanni in Calais, accusing each other of hindering and damaged the respective initiative. In 1407, the Duke of Orleans, returning home after a visit to the Queen, was assassinated by a gang of armed men. The investigations of the provost of Paris came to the truth about the murder and Giovanni without Fear confessed to having been the instigator, and, although blamed by everyone (including the regency council, which promised to prosecute the guilty), he did not undergo any measures, indeed, whenever the Duke of Burgundy came to Paris, he was welcomed with all honors, despite Luigi's widow, Valentina Visconti, asking for an exemplary punishment. Even the party that had gathered around the new Duke of Orleans, the young son of Louis, Charles, had to accept a humiliating reconciliation (March 1409). A second reconciliation took place in November 1410, after the Orleanists had allied themselves with the Count of Armagnac, Bernard VII, who brought together a considerable number of Gascon knights in the alliance (for this reason the faction of the Orleanists took the name of armagnacchi) and who took command of the faction fighting the Duke of Burgundy. Therefore the faction that was headed by the Duke of Burgundy and grouped mainly knights of north-eastern France, above all the possessions of John without Fear, was called "of the Burgundians". From that moment on, the kingdom of France was torn apart by the struggles of the two factions.

Antagonism with the King of France and end of the party

After the end of the civil war (treaty of Arras of 1435), while the party of the Armagnacs dissolved, the party of the Burgundians continued to support the new Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, who made himself recognized for independence by the king of France Charles VII; the Borgognone party then continued to be influential too

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