Franco-Habsburg War, 1542-1544

A.) Causes for the War

Continued French-Habsburg animosity (after the Franco-Hansburg Wars of 1521-1529 and 1535-1538); the French desire to reclaim Milan.

B.) The War

Francis I. concluded an alliance with Henry VIII. of England and invaded Northern Italy in 1542. The French won the Battle of Ceresole (1544 April 14); however, the French failed to profit from it; the Spanish remained in command of all major fortified places in the vicinity. Emperor Charles V. and King Henry VIII. of England now invaded France. Peace was concluded in 1544, on the basis of the status quo ante, and confirmed in 1546.

C.) The Legacy

Charles V. held on to Milan, the French objective thus not achieved. After the death of Francis I. (1547), his son and successor Henry II. would support the German princely opposition, fight yet another war against the Emperor.
The peace treaty of 1544 was significant, because it permitted the convocation of a church council attended by representatives from both France and Germany - the Council of Trent.

Biography of Francis I., from Catholic Encyclopedia
Biography of Gaspard de Coligny, from Columbia Encyclopedia (fought at Ceresole)
Outbreak of War between France and the Emperor, p.76, Battle of Ceresole, 1544, p.77, Henry VIII and Charles V invade France; Peace of Crepy, 1544, p.78, from Habsburg and Valois, by Stanley Leathes

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 6th 2003, last evised on November 17th 2004

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