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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

phargle

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The History of the Duchy of Savoy

The County of Savoy was born out of the ashes of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was elevated to the status of Duchy in 1416 by Emperor Sigismund. Pressured in the West by its French neighbors and in the east by the Italians, Savoy was a country born of both worlds but belonging to neither. It therefore chose to embark on a quest to unify Italy and protect its French provinces on its own terms. What follows is the history of the Duchy of Savoy from 1419 to the present day.


Antipope_Felix_V.jpg


Amadeus VIII, First Duke of Savoy

1416-1434

Amadeus VIII saw his elevation to Duke as the first step in increasing the power of Savoy. The West was still embroiled in the Hundred Years' War, a conflict the Duke sought desperately to avoid. He therefore favored expansion in the south and the east through peaceful means and immediately worked to arrange marriages with his Italian neighbors. Amadeus' dream was to bring Genoa, Milan, and the surrounding city-states into confederation with Savoy. Unfortunately, Louis III became King of Naples in 1419 and had similar designs on the peninsula; as Count of Provence and with powerful allies in France, he saw a politically useful marriage to Savoy as the first step in becoming King of all Italy. He was therefore quite angry when Amadeus married his daughter Margaret off to the ruler of Milan instead. Not only was this a snub to Louis, but it also resulted in Milan effectively becoming a vassal of Savoy. The desires of Louis and Amadeus were bound to conflict with one another.

This was indeed what happened when a dispute broke out between the Pope and Naples. Amadeus, a deeply religious man, had allied himself with Pope Martin V and declared that his armies would march under the banner of Rome. Aragon, the main power in the south of Italy, sided with Naples but did not commit an army to fight. Savoy and Milan easily subjugated Naples and divided the Kingdom between themselves in 1423; Apulia went to Milan and Naples itself went to Savoy.

Since Aragon refused to recognize what the Italian states had done, the war unfortunately did not end. Amadeus ordered his army to continue and it assaulted an Iberian position at Messina. The battle was inconclusive, ending first in defeat for Aragon and then for Savoy. Amadeus withdrew his force and asked for peace, but Aragon was unwilling. The conflict spread as the other small Italian city-states backed Aragon. Pope Martin, unwilling to fight a broader war, declared that his armies had enough of conquest. This splintered Savoy's alliance and left it fighting half of Italy and a powerful Iberian state alone. Adding to his misfortune, Amadeus' wife Mary of Burgundy had passed away the year before. Savoy needed a military leader to end the war before it spiraled out of control. Instead, it had a priestly king who desired nothing more than to abdicate and withdraw from the world.

Niccolo of Modena led a joint Italian army to Emilia, defeating Savoy's forces gathered there in late 1424. Amadeus had thus maneuvered his country into a position of weakness; without allies or an army, and with a united Italian front arrayed against her, Savoy was an inviting prize for any nation bold enough to attack. Amadeus had been able to protect his realm against small cities or foes from far away, but his defeat in 1424 was significant in that it invited disaster. Disaster arrive on cue when France, slowly emerging from the Hundred Years' War as the victor, saw an opportunity to separate French Savoy from Amadeus' realm and take it for itself. On August 24th of 1424, France declared war. Amadeus' nightmare of being dragged into the Hundred Years' War had become reality. Savoy was now struggling to avoid catastrophe. An army was quickly raised and sent against Provence, where Louis was still Count and still claimed to be King of Naples. Despite a string of battles valiantly fought along the Luberon for three weeks, Savoy's army was defeated in the beginning of 1425 and retreated back to Piemonte. This setback was compounded by news that Naples had fallen to Albizzi of Florence the same week.

As luck would have it, the Albizzi family of Florence had problems of their own. A power struggle with the Medici required their attention in Tuscany, and they were looking for an excuse to leave the war. Filippo Visconti of Milan, the husband of Margaret, negotiating on behalf of Savoy, promised to assist Albizzi with dealing with the Medici in exchange for the return of Naples. This deal withdrew the Italian city-state alliance from the war in February of 1425.

memling4a.jpg
Filippo Maria Visconti

The army in Piemonte continued to try to thwart Louis but continued to be repulsed; only a victory over Scottish mercenaries in June kept Savoy's moral up and her hopes alive. Filippo told Amadeus that his men were willing to fight, but they lacked proper supplies. Amadeus agreed and permitted Filippo to borrow 200 ducats from Florence to arm and equip a new army. Under the command of Filippo, this force raided the French army besieging Piemonte until it finally defeated it in July of 1426. Still, another French army was on the way, so Filippo and Amadeus, spurred out of his depression by Savoy's success, conceived of a brilliant plan: they would invade France as a bluff, hoping that the foe would think them stronger than they really were.

With this in mind, while French armies from Bourbonnais were attempting to occupy all of Savoy, Filippo's men marched into Dauphine and started a siege. Louis of Provence was shaken by French inaction and agreed to peace in 1427. The seige continued into 1428 when France agreed to end the war as well. Money changed hands and Filippo's army marched home. Faced at last with peace, Amadeus sealed the deal by having Mary of Savoy marry the Frenchman John, Count of Angouleme and cousin to the French king.

The bluff engineered by Filippo and Amadeus worked. Savoy was saved. Unfortunately, it was also deeply in debt and ruled by a man with shaky resolve at best. Filippo, a much more capable and ruthless leader than Amadeus, resolved to help his brother-in-law rebuild what the French armies had destroyed. The two of them worked to pay off Savoy's debts until 1429, when republican assassins slew Filippo's condottiere Niccolò Piccinino. Filippo suddenly had business in Milan and could no longer guide Amadeus.

The cost of Filippo's withdrawal came due in 1432 when an Austrian alliance invaded Helvetia. Savoy had allied itself closely with Helvetia as part of Amadeus' vision of expanding his Duchy's borders peacefully. A joint Hungarian-Croatian army marched on Milan, defeating Savoy's soldiers along the way in Tirol and Lombardia. Amadeus retaliated by invading Tirol and defeated two armies before beginning a siege. The siege was broken and fighting was inconclusive until 1434, when Hungary and Croatia forced Savoy to retreat from eastern Helvetia and Austrian troops marched on Piemonte. Savoy could not withstand the superior numbers of Austria, Croatia and Hungary alone. Venice's entry into the war fractured the Austrian alliance and bought Savoy some time, but Amadeus would not be around to see the results. He died in Piemonte a month later at the age of 51.

The irony of Amadeus is that he viewed himself as a man of peace. Indeed, he remarked at one point that he was so uncomfortable commanding armies that he would rather have been Pope than be Duke of Savoy. This comment provides insight into his religious nature and his general misunderstanding of the way Italian politics worked. The man who claimed the surname 'The Peaceful' spent more than half the time he was Duke of Savoy at war, and managed to drag his nation into the second largest conflict in Europe over the question of who his daughter should have married. His legacy was a country at war with a vast Austrian alliance and with enemies in Iberia and the West. His primary desire, however, was never marriages or alliances. What Amadeus wanted was to create a Savoy that was the star around which Italy's city-states orbited. Despite the war, the leaders of the various duchies and cities in Italy regarded Savoy favorably and her relationship with the Pope was close. Savoy was also linked to powerful Milan through marriage. In this regard, Amadeus succeeded in laying the foundation for achieving his goals even as he placed Savoy in a difficult position geopolitically. His son, Louis I, would have to balance continuing his father's mission while extracting Savoy from the position into which it had been put.
 
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coz1

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Wow, phargle - very nice start. A great feel for how to write history, covering just enough to get the details in there but not too much to weight the thing down. And great to see a new Savoy AAR. I just had a great game with them and if yours is as good as mine, we are in for a treat with this AAR. Good luck.
 

MAlexander06

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I love the title :); I just had to listen to the song while reading the entry. Nothing like 80's music to enhance an AAR. The writing itself is also a nice start.
 

Grundius

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Nice start. Seems you had some rough times. Could you post a screenshot of Italy/Europe?

Good luck on creating Italy.
 

EvilSanta

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Good start.Can we have some pics maybe?
 

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This is a good AAR
 

Saulta

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phargle

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The History of the Duchy of Savoy

The County of Savoy was born out of the ashes of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was elevated to the status of Duchy in 1416 by Emperor Sigismund. Pressured in the West by its French neighbors and in the east by the Italians, Savoy was a country born of both worlds but belonging to neither. It therefore chose to embark on a quest to unify Italy and protect its French provinces on its own terms. What follows is the history of the Duchy of Savoy from 1419 to the present day.


louis.jpg


Louis I, Second Duke of Savoy

1434-1465

Louis I of Savoy recognized that his father's vision of Savoy dominating Northern Italy could not be accomplished while the threat from Austria loomed. He thus made the most important decision of his reign mere days after succeeding his father - he negotiated peace with the Austrian alliance. The constant warfare of Amadeus 'the Peaceful' had left Savoy drained of men and treasure, and Louis knew he would need both if Savoy were to survive another war with France. He was perfectly willing to sacrifice Helvetia if Savoy's safety demanded it.

What was significant about Louis' decision is that it transformed from a tactical maneuver into an overall strategy for survival. In 1434, Savoy and Austria made peace with one another. In 1435, the Pope and his allies attacked Milan; Savoy responded by withdrawing from its alliance. Helvetia, Savoy's only remaining ally, was left vulnerable to Hungary and lost eastern Schwyz. When Louis did choose to violate his principle of avoiding war at all costs, it was against a foe who was already overwhelmed and could not fight back. In 1435, he guided Savoy into an alliance with the French. This served two purposes. On the one hand, it protected Savoy from another war with France; on the other, it skillfully inserted Savoy into the Hundred Years' War in a way that maximized the potential gains and minimized exposure to any dangers. In 1437, Savoyard troops wiped out a rebellious army in Auvergne and pacified the city. Louis declared the province a vassal of Savoy but found it convenient to ignore Auvergne so long as it sent taxes to Turin. That it did for a full year until the French alliance annexed it. Louis characteristically did nothing and left the alliance in 1439 when France went to war with Genoa and the Pope. He was thus in and out of the Hundred Years' War in less than two years, an act that would have both horrified and never occured to his father Amadeus. It was clear that the son had a talent for diplomacy.

In 1442, Louis once again had Savoy tread a careful line between pursuing its goals and avoiding war. Swabia had become independent after seven years of Austrian rule and Louis desired to pursue an alliance, but he did so only when it became clear that the Austrians were not going to fight for their lost Helvetian province. Louis turned his attention west, pressuring Helvetia itself to submit to rule from Turin. Swabian independence had removed a major rallying point of Helvetian leaders and also weakened their leverage regarding Savoy by giving Louis a choice of Swiss allies. Faced with few realistic alternatives, Helvetia felt that a dynastic union with Savoy would improve its strength in the alliance. It therefore became Louis' vassal. Louis, always a wily negotiator, used this success to lay the groundwork for expanding his confederation in the east. Swabia enjoyed barely three years of independence before it, too, was forced to submit to Savoy as a vassal.

In eleven years of peace, Louis had accomplished what his father Amadeus VIII had failed to do in eleven years of war. Savoy dominated the lands of the old Kingdom of Burgundy. By the time the brilliant Filippo Visconti passed away in 1455, Louis had positioned himself perfectly to lay claim to the Duchy of Milan. Savoy now had twice as much territory and many times the population that it had before. Tiny Helvetia, separated from Swabia by the peace of 1442, was consumed. Louis was Duke of Savoy and Milan. He could now add rulership of the city-state Bern to his list of titles.

Louis' mastery of politics was due to a finely-tuned sense of opportunity. His actions in the Hundred Years' War seem senseless and risky until viewed in the context of the wider picture. England, having lost much of its territory in France, was overly focused on fighting in the coastal west. Burgundy was also preoccupied with newly acquired provinces in Eire; it had conquered that country just a few years earlier in 1433 and found it had little time for French adventures thereafter. Louis knew that France would use the distraction of its foes to solidify its power rather than provoke a general war, and he maneuvered Savoy to help Charles VII when that was exactly what happened. His actions vis a vis Milan in 1455 also make sense in the broader context of Louis' marriage. His wife was Anne of Lusignan, the legitimate heir to the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Cyprus. Both of these realms were ruled by others and Louis, presiding over a navy that had been disbanded by Amadeus VIII to save money, predictably saw no profit in embarking on a senseless war to press his wife's claims. He did, however, lay claim to the title of King of Jerusalem and Cyprus by marriage. This gave him sufficiently credibility to become Duke of Milan without any controversy.

annedechypre.jpeg


Anne of Lusignan
Louis's only set-back in his long and peaceful reign, until the events that would take his life, was in 1460 when a border skirmish between Swabia and Baden erupted into open war. Austria chose to help its ally Baden, but Louis once again showed his selfish but sober approach to foreign affairs. Seeing no gain in going to war with Austria and not wishing to jeopardize his position, he declared that Savoy would not assist its ally. Hungary involved itself in the war when it saw that Savoy would remain neutral. Swabia, after nineteen years as an independent nation and sixteen years as a confederated vassal of Savoy, was conquered by Hungary in less than two months. Nobles in Helvetia protested Louis' decision and agitated to liberate the lost province, but Louis would have nothing of it. He ruthlessly crushed a rebellion at Bern after eight months of difficult resistance.

Battle_of_Laupen.jpg


The Battle of Bern between Swiss rebels and Louis' army
It was not until 1463 that Louis' reputation for treachery caught up with him. Pope Pius II had declared a crusade against the Turks but found little support for it. In particular, Modena was not interested in allowing Apulia, which it had acquired in an earlier war, to be moved through by the crusading armies. This rendered the entire idea stillborn. Rather than endure the humiliation of a failed crusade, Rome demanded that its alliance take Apulia by force. Genoa and Tuscany agreed. This presented Louis with a conundrum. He had spent the last thirty years betraying allies when it was convenient to do so, but circumstances were conspiring to finally force the Duke's hand. First, Apulia bore special significance to the people of Milan, who had never forgiven Modena for seizing it. Second, Savoy's dream of expanding east and south would be blocked if allies, rather than Savoy, were allowed to occupy Modena and Apulia. And third, Savoy's historic alliance with the Pope and its role as a staunch defender of the Catholic faith was extremely popular with lord and peasant alike. Pressured between religion and politics and not wanting to preside over the end of Savoy's dreams of dominion, Louis was finally forced to make a decision. He went to war.

For the first time in Louis' thirty year reign, Savoy was confronted by an enemy that could actually threaten Turin. Louis gambled that the correlation of forces would prevent Modena from moving on Piemonte; this made sense since the tiny city-state was outnumbered four to one. At first, things went as planned. By the end of the year, the armies of Florence and Savoy had defeated Modena in Apulia and the province went to Tuscany. The Pope heralded this triumph as the first step to sailing against the hated Turk and called for peace, but Niccolo of Modena would not relent and was every bit as clever a strategist as Louis had been in his youth. Accepting the loss in the south, and recognizing that the Pope and his Italian confederates were not desiring of further conquest, he instead turned his forces on Savoy. Niccolo's force marched on Milan and laid a trap; Louis, seeing a lifetime of work crumble, demanded that his soldiers return from Apulia and expel Modena. His army was destroyed. With the Italian city-states indolent in their success in the south, Rome paralyzed by the death of the Pope in 1464, and Savoy's army wrecked, Niccolo had a free hand at Milan. The city was lost by the end of summer. This victory spurred Siena to declare its support for Modena and send soldiers north as well.

Louis' failure to trust his instincts and maintain Savoy's neutrality in the Italian War proved to be his ruin. Thirty years of cautious maneuvering to make Savoy great had been undone by thirty months of unnecessary warfare. In a panic, Louis assembled a force to confront Modena at Milan, but his army never arrived at the city. On March 30th, 1465, Louis died in Lombardia from wounds received in a minor battle that he could have avoided. The strain of seeing his accomplishments taken from him spurred him on, and he apparently chose suicide by war rather than the slow surrender of a lifetime's work. Like his father, he had grand dreams for Savoy's place in the world. Although he had realized those dreams for awhile, he also managed to leave Savoy much as he inherited it - bereft of allies and in a desperate war. Even the acquisition of the Duchy of Milan, the greatest triumph of Louis's reign, had been wrecked. Louis' sobriquet 'the Great' would die with him.
 
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coz1

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Hmm, tough times for Louis too. That's too bad he had to get into that last war, but I imagine Savoy will see better days ahead. You might try an alliance with Austria, at least after you regain Milan. I found them to be quite helpful in tearing France apart. In my game, I owned all of southern France (and a good bit of northern France) thanks to that alliance. Just a thought.

Also - any chance of a map screenshot? Just one every now and then might help to see what's what in case we forget.
 

Saulta

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I like this aar!!!
 

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The History of the Duchy of Savoy

The County of Savoy was born out of the ashes of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was elevated to the status of Duchy in 1416 by Emperor Sigismund. Pressured in the West by its French neighbors and in the east by the Italians, Savoy was a country born of both worlds but belonging to neither. It therefore chose to embark on a quest to unify Italy and protect its French provinces on its own terms. What follows is the history of the Duchy of Savoy from 1419 to the present day.


reital34.jpg


Amadeus IX, Third Duke of Savoy

1465-1472

Amadeus IX became Duke of Savoy at the age of thirty and represented a break from the past. A devout Catholic, he embraced neither the impious schemes of his father nor the religious universalism of his grandfather. Savoy had been ruled by Amadeus VIII the thwarted conquerer and Loius I the humiliated conniver. Amadeus would rule it as a gentle man of God. Although he sought neither conquest nor expansion, he would ironically prove to be the first Duke to leave Savoy stronger than he left it and, more importantly, at peace. Having the good fortune of being betrothed to Yolande of France while still a baby, his happy marriage was politically useful in that it gave Amadeus a strong link to King Louis IX. With the threat of war with France effectively suspended, Savoy had room to maneuver and Amadeus was determined to take advantage of that to ensure the safety of his realm.

Amadeus set for himself the goal of ending war with Modena and Siena. This happened with surprising speed; Savoy's armies crushed Siena within a week of Amadeus becoming Duke. Two months later, Milan had been liberated. With its ally defeated and its army shattered in Lombardia, Modena was unable to withstand an assault by Pope Paul II. The city-state become part of the Papal demesne a week later in June of 1465. This isolated Siena and effectively ended the war, although peace would not be declared for another two years. Siena managed to defeat Amadeus' armies in 1466, but Savoy emerging as the victor was a foregone conclusion. Siena's success merely preserved its existence and gave it the political fig leaf it needed to press for peace. By then, the political landscape of Italy had been changed, with every shift from the status quo being a boon for the Duchy of Savoy. Modena was gone, Milan was recovered, Siena was surrounded by Rome and Florence ruled Apulia. An Amadeus VIII or Louis I might have been encouraged to seek greater glory after achieving success of this magnitude, but Amadeus IX was neither of those men. Satisfied with his accomplishments, he managed to keep them - something no Duke of Savoy had ever done.

With Savoy's safety secured, Duke Amadeus went on to become an excellent ruler. His reputation among his subjects continued to grow as a result of his generosity and virtue. Despite suffering from poor health and epilepsy, Amadeus prayed and fasted regularly and lived simply. He insisted on virtue in his court as well, forbidding both blasphemy and corruption among the Duchy's bailiffs and lords. His generosity began to achieve legendary levels. Tales of the young Duke giving his own ceremonial jewelry as alms for the poor were commonplace. Savoy already had a celebrated role as a defender of the Church and had famously purchased what became known as the Shroud of Turin during the reign of Duke Louis I. The piety of Amadeus magnified Savoy's religious aura even more.

yolandefrance.jpg


Yolande of France becoming Ruler of Savoy

Eventually, poor health forced Amadeus to hand over administration of Savoy to his wife, Duchess Yolande. Even when opposition to the French princess formed, Amadeus' great reputation with his subjects still had an impact. An insurrection against Yolande ended before it began when it was confronted by Amadeus, so impressed were the peasants by the Duke's presence. Having performed this one last service for Savoy, Amadeus began to weaken considerable and knew he would soon die. His final admonition to his heirs was to "be just and love the poor, and the Lord will give peace to your lands." On March 30th, 1472, Amadeus IX died peacefully in Turin. His mourning subjects immediately declared their beloved Duke a Saint and the Patron of Savoy. It would take two centuries for Rome to beatify Amadeus, but the Church would eventaully recognize what the people of Savoy already knew.
 
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Grundius

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Great AAR so far. Is the part about Amadeus IX historically correct, was he declared a Saint in RL?
 

coz1

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It appears the path to a healthy and safe Duchy is piety. Who knew? :D
 

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Really rapid speed here. How many updates will it ve in 24h? :D
 

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The History of the Duchy of Savoy

The County of Savoy was born out of the ashes of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was elevated to the status of Duchy in 1416 by Emperor Sigismund. Pressured in the West by its French neighbors and in the east by the Italians, Savoy was a country born of both worlds but belonging to neither. It therefore chose to embark on a quest to unify Italy and protect its French provinces on its own terms. What follows is the history of the Duchy of Savoy from 1419 to the present day.


savd04.jpg


Philibert I, Fourth Duke of Savoy

1472-1482

Philibert, son of Amadeus IX, was destined to rule Savoy for a decade. His rule would prove to be neither significant nor damaging to the growing Duchy. He guided Savoy into no foreign adventures, but conversely took advantage of none of the opportunities that presented themselves in his ten years on the throne. One can perhaps excuse his caution when one realizes that Philibert was seven years old when he became Duke. His mother, Yolande of France, had been Regent of Savoy for a year already. She continued to act as such during Philibert's reign.

The general displeasure about Savoy's French Regent that manifested late in Amadeus IX's reign returned as memory of the beloved former Duke receded. An anti-France revolt in Turin broke out in 1474 and forced Yolande to flee the city. The peasants were supported by some nobles who did not agree with young Philibert being Duke. Yolande's return a year later was only after several bloody battles, but she defeated the dissidents. She then was forced to crush a Swiss rebellion at Bern. To solidify his legitimacy, Philibert was married to Bianca Maria Sforza of Milan in 1476. He was eleven years old.

The next few years saw Savoy's neighbors gain in strength. Austria inherited the Duchy of Burgundy, which interestingly gave it dominion over Eire. Castile became Spain and bound itself to Aragon by marriage. These two acts put enormous pressure on France and should have improved Savoy's geopolitical position, but Yolande would not take advantage of her brother Louis XI's misfortunes. Regardless, the various nobles of Savoy were too distrustful of Austria to desire an alliance; memory of the wars against the armies of Vienna were too recent. Even so, Yolande seemed to go out of her way to allow opportunity to evade Savoy. When Swabia once again became independent, this time after seven years of Austrian rule, she made no moves to bring the province back under Savoyard rule.

Philibert's rule was challenged by various relatives who did not appreciate Yolande's closeness with France. However, nobody mounted any serious opposition to his position of Duke after 1474. He continued to grow and engaged in sport and learning, earning the surname 'the Hunter'. After being moved to the city of Lyon by his guardians, Philibert mysteriously died on April 23rd, 1482 at the age of seventeen. He was succeeded by his younger brother Charles.
 
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phargle

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The History of the Duchy of Savoy

The County of Savoy was born out of the ashes of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was elevated to the status of Duchy in 1416 by Emperor Sigismund. Pressured in the West by its French neighbors and in the east by the Italians, Savoy was a country born of both worlds but belonging to neither. It therefore chose to embark on a quest to unify Italy and protect its French provinces on its own terms. What follows is the history of the Duchy of Savoy from 1419 to the present day.


savd05.jpg


Charles I, Fifth Duke of Savoy

1482-1490

One would have expected the Regency of Yolande to continue when fourteen year-old Charles I become Duke of Savoy, but the vibrant young man proved to have a powerful will to govern in his own right. He ended the French Regency and recommitted Savoy to an old alliance with Genoa, using Italian unity in old Lombardy to give him enough strength to negotiate with Swabia. The free Swiss cities there eagerly submitted to Savoy as vassals. Three years later, Charles officially inherited the titles of King of Jerusalem and Cyprus that his grandfather Louis I had claimed; his cousin Queen Charlotte of Cyprus invested him with both. When Genoa went to war with Georgia to protect its holdings in the Black Sea in 1486, Charles saw opportunity to press his hereditary rights in the east. He joined his ally in its war and began rebuilding the fleet. Enthusiasm for the navy boomed and there was talk of Savoy acquiring the Kingdom of Heaven. Of course, Venice ruled Cyprus and Jerusalem was governed by the Mameluks, but the impossibility of the whole idea didn't stop the growth of the navy. The navy never did set sail for Georgia, but the fact of its rebirth would become particularly relevant in later years.

Charles matched the restoration of Savoy's naval power with far-sighted economic projects. In particular, he focused on constructing a vast winery in Naples. The completion of this project in 1488 made Savoy into an important trading power. Charles also married Blanche of Montferrat a year earlier. This made good political sense as it helped end the divisions in Savoy that lingered from his mother's regency. It also meant there was no aspect of Savoy's growth, be it military, economic or political, in which Charles was not proving to be a successful and visionary leader. Unfortunately, he died suddenly in 1490 and left his one year-old son Charles Amadeus to become Duke. Charles had proven to be a strong enough young man to rule Savoy himself, but the extraordinary youth of his son meant another Regency was destined to emerge.
 

phargle

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The History of the Duchy of Savoy

The County of Savoy was born out of the ashes of the Kingdom of Burgundy and was elevated to the status of Duchy in 1416 by Emperor Sigismund. Pressured in the West by its French neighbors and in the east by the Italians, Savoy was a country born of both worlds but belonging to neither. It therefore chose to embark on a quest to unify Italy and protect its French provinces on its own terms. What follows is the history of the Duchy of Savoy from 1419 to the present day.


carlo_giovanni_amedeo.jpg


Charles II, Sixth Duke of Savoy

1490-1496

Charles II became Duke of Savoy at the tender age of one, and so his mother Blanche of Montferrat ruled Savoy as Regent. Her rulership was better received than that of Yolande eight years earlier, and Savoy experienced no unrest while Charles was Duke. Blanche was not a bold leader and hoped to take care of the affairs of the Duchy only until someone else could take over. As luck would have it, her caution served Savoy well. A powerful coalition of Bavaria, Poland, and Bohemia attacked Swabia, Savoy's vulnerable vassal. In this era of peace, Savoy had no army to speak of and declined to act; as a consequence, its alliance with Genoa and Florence fell apart and Swabia, after fourteen years as a free country, once again ceased to exist, this time being incorporated into Bavaria. On April 17, 1496, Charles II died at the age of seven and Amadeus IX's line of descendents ceased to rule Savoy.


1496savoy.jpg


Duchy of Savoy and Milan, circle 1496

savd07.jpg


Phillipe II, Seventh Duke of Savoy

1496-1497

Phillipe II, the fifty-eight year old son of Louis I, became Duke upon the death of Charles II. His single year on the throne included only one significant act. In 1497, when his wife Claudina de Brosse of Brittany passed away, Phillipe married the Spanish princess Maria de Silva y Mendoza. He died before any children could be conceived, but this flirtation with Spanish relations would soon become historically significant.
 

Grundius

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Whoah! Rapid successions and rapid updates! Keep it up!
 

SirCliveWolfe

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So I see a new AAR and think... well ok lets see what the first part is like... then I continue reading and thers several! :D

Nice start keep up the good work! :)