Mod: Praetor's more historical Provence minimod
Start Date: 1/1/1462
The Angevin Empire, that is, the territory ruled by the descendants of King Charles I of Sicily was once vast and fearsome. It included Hungary, Poland, both Sicilies, Jerusalem, part of Greece, and part of France.
Now, the lands held by the House of Anjou are limited only to the County of Provence, half of the Duchy of Anjou, the Duchy of Lorraine and the Duchy of Bar. Rene, the patriarch, was until recently the King of Sicily but was driven out of those lands by the late Alfonso V of Aragon who seized Naples for himself. Now, Alfonso's own succession has been left in question and the Catalan nobles in Aragon have called for Rene, whose mother was an Aragonese princess to take their throne. Without hesitation, Rene was more than happy to pour his armies across the French border into Aragon. He ceded the northernmost Aragonese territories to the King of France in exchange for the right to traverse through royal French territory, and continued on with his armies to virtually swallow up the Catalan kingdom. He captured Barcelona and moved on Saragossa, but an army led by his rival Juan, brother of the late Alfonso marched from Valencia to recapture Barcelona. He would have to give up the siege of Saragossa in order to save the capital.
The Story Begins
The Aragonese/Provincal forces under his command would win the battle, but sadly King Rene would not live to see the victory. He was struck down by an enemy blade and succeeded by his son Charles. The death of Rene emboldened Juan de Trastamara and his forces who, upon receiving reinforcements from Palermo, had far larger numbers at his disposal than did Charles. The young king, however, was not the standard tactician like his father. He engaged in fast paced battles and was able to get his forces to march twice as fast as most commanders thought possible. Everywhere Juan's main army went, Charles' entire force would be. After a war of attrition, and dozens of battles, the entire Trastamara army was either routed or captured. Charles, son of Rene the Good signed a treaty with Juan that forced Juan to recognize Charles, and not his own son Fernando as his heir. Juan also paid regular tribute to Charles and had to assist Charles in war.
It was a total victory for the Angevins, but sadly King Rene had not been there to see it. Feeling unsatisfied, Charles felt the urge to right the wrong of two decades before when his father had been removed as King of Sicily and Naples fell to the Aragonese. Now ruled by Ferrante, the bastard son of Alfonso V, Sicily was not subject to the treaty with Aragon, so Charles sent his armies into Naples and with minimal resistance took the southern half for himself, leaving Ferrante with the northern half and a similar condition that he pay tribute and name Charles his successor.
[Provence and her tributaries after the war with Naples]
Winning the Peace
Things would not go smoothly after the Neapolitan war. Calabrians had grown fond of the bastard son of Alfonso, as he ruled from their lands and spoke their tongue. Charles, on the other hand governed his Italian territories through a viceroy and found the Sicilian language to be barbaric. While there were no rebellions due to his tolerant policies, there was always the possibility for trouble, and he was forced to attempt to compromise with the local nobility that he intended to rule. It was much of the same in Aragon, although he did not hold any lands there directly and traveled under the protection of Juan. While visiting Aragon he received word that his brother, the Duke of Lorraine had died, leaving that duchy to Charles. It would be a sign of what was to come, as shortly thereafter Ferrante would be assassinated ironically by Sicilian radicals who had demanded he break his treaty with Charles, to no avail.
But for Aragon, It would be a full twenty years since his father had initially invaded before he would be crowned King of Aragon. When Juan died, his Castillian cousins invaded and placed his bastard son Enric on the throne. They took Saragossa for themselves and left Enric to his own fate. Within days his government was toppled and the Cortes invited Charles to be crowned their king. He would then have a similar ceremony in Palermo to be crowned as King of Trinacria before he formally reunified the two Sicilies.
[The Angevin Empire after Charles' inheritance of Aragon]