Week 34 – 15th century Italy and France

Discuss the rise and fall of Girolamo Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola became popular during the Medici time in Florence. Medicis grew their power in Florence and people didn’t like that. Girolamo preached against corruption and the spirit of Renaissance. Even sophisticated people who liked the Renaissance listen to him: Pico della Mirandola, Michelangelo and Botticelli were among them. Time goes by and Medicis are driven away from Florence, while Savonarola gets a little out of his head and starts wanting more power. This made people not like him any more, he gets exposed for lying and gets executed.

Discuss the Italian War of 1494-1498

Charles VIII set out in 1494 to become the king of Milan and the people there welcomed him. He wanted to claim Naples and he achieved that in 1495 with no trouble. His previous wish of recapturing Jerusalem for Christendom faded away, he preferred Naples more.

Alliance of powers forced him to get out of Naples and retreat. Soon after that he dies with no heir and so the crown is passed down to is nephew, who becomes Louis XII.

Discuss some of the significant aspects of the reign of Louis XI.

He was committed to centralizing France. He wanted it to be strong and he wanted war. Despite this, he was a sincere believer in God. His actions led representatives of over 500 noble families to form a league against him; his own brother, Charles, headed the revolt. Louis was forced to make concessions in 1465, so he gave Charles Normandy, but soon regained it. Louis accomplished his goal of centralized government, but local parliaments still tried to keep the king under at least some control.

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