Louis XII of FranceLouis XII, father of the people (June 27, 1462 - January 1, 1515) was king of France from 1498-1515, the last French king from the Orleanist branch of the Valois Dynasty.
Later, he was part of a rebellion against King Charles VIII of France and was imprisoned from 1487 to 1490. After regaining the King's trust, he lead some troops in Charles' Italy invasion. He ascended to the throne when Charles VIII died childless; Louis had the Pope annul the marriage to Jeanne so that he could marry Charles' widow, Queen Anne de Bretagne (1477-1514). This marriage had nothing to do with love, but was a strategy designed to securely link her region of Brittany to Louis' kingdom of France.
Louis XII proved to be a popular king, introducing reforms in the judicial system and reducing taxes. These reforms and his caring nature earned him the epithet Father of the People. However, like his predecessor, he led several invasions of Italy. He successfully secured Milan in 1500, and then partitioned the Kingdom of Naples with Ferdinand of Aragon. Soon the two partitioning powers fell out with one another, and Spanish forces led by Hernandez Gonzalo de Cordoba drove the French from Southern Italy. The French grip on Milan remained strong, however, until 1511 when Pope Julius II formed the Holy League to oppose French ambition in Italy, and the French were driven from Milan by the Swiss in 1513. In an attempt to divert English troups from the war, he encouraged the Scots to attack the English, leading the Scots to disaster at the Battle of Flodden Field.
He was succeeded by his daughter Claude's husband, Francois I.
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