Part 3 - The reign of Lois 1145 - 1172
Lois de Provence assumed control of the realm and was determined to become free of the corrupt von Frankens and the influences of the Roman Empire. He continued his father’s efforts in wooing counts unhappy with the Emperor’s rule and soon controlled most of Upper Burgundy. An alliance was formed with the Duke of Holland and feeling he had enough power to declare his independence Lois left the Roman Empire. Other Dukes quickly followed Lois’s lead and the Roman Empire became embroiled in a civil war. Lois made it known that he was the rightful king of Burgundy and when the time was right declares war on the Empire to press his claim. The Duke of Holland recognized Lois’s claim and joined his war against the von Franken family, and with most of the realm in chaos the Emperor was forced to recognize Lois’s claim.
The Kingdom of Zirid also decided to take advantage of the chaos in the Empire and took large portions of northern Italy and then southern France. Once Lois had his coronation ceremony he turned his attention to the invading Muslims and sent his armies to free the lands of their influence. He first turned his attention to the lands in the duchy of Toulouse to establish a connection with the duchy of Barcelona and once the local Sheiks had been forced to give up their lands there he turned west into Genoa. The King of Zirid could not put up an effective defence of his new lands and was forced to cede it into Lois’s control.
With the Muslims subdued on his borders Lois again turned his attention to the Empire and in hopes of resting the title king of Italy from the von Franken family he declared war. Still fractured from the civil war the Emperor could not stand up to the armies of Burgundy and when the Duchy of Holland declared war to contest the title of Lotharingia and the French king declared war for the title of king of the germans and also the title of king of Lotharingia the Emperor’s fate was sealed. In less than two years the von Franken family was removed from power and the title of Emperor was left vacant.
Lois would have liked time to rest but the French, fresh off their success in Germany, looked south and decided it was time to reclaim the lands from Burgundy that had been lost. Outnumbered almost two to one Lois worried that all he had worked for in the last decade would be lost but the King of France had made an enemy of the Duke of Holland by denying him his rightful claim to the title king of Lotharingia and when the armies of France moved south the Duke’s men marched catching the French by surprise. The armies of France fell into disarray as the king was unsure of what threat to face first and the Burgundian armies took advantage of the confusion quickly liberating counties along the border and sparing the counts in exchange for pledges of loyalty to the Lois. By the time the first war of French aggression had ended Lois had gained control of the duchy of Dauphine and Toulouse and the French king lost his claim to the title king of Lotharingia to the Duke of Holland.
The death of the French king brought his brash son into power though and again Burgundy found itself at war. Tired of the French aggression Lois decided to put an end to the threat once and for all and pressed claims all over southern France. No count or duke in Aquitania was left out of the war and one by one they fell to the Burgundian armies. By the time Lois turned his attention to the King of France’s personal demense he had built up enough support in Aquitania to claim the title as his own. The fighting became bitter between the two rivals and Lois swore not to rest until he had stripped the French king of all his titles. It took over five years to resolve the war but finally the Burgundian army was triumphant and the french king was forced to recognize Lois as king of Aquitaine and France and was sent into exile in Germany. The rest of Lois’s reign was quiet and he passed away in 1172 leaving the kingdom to his eldest son Frederi.