Portrait of Louis XI (1423-1483), King of France (1461-1483), 1470
Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1461 to 1483. He succeeded his father Charles VII. When Charles VII died in 1461, Louis left the Burgundian court to take possession of his kingdom. His taste for intrigue and his intense diplomatic activity earned him the nicknames "the Cunning" and "the Universal Spider", as his enemies accused him of spinning webs of plots and conspiracies. In 1472, the subsequent Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, took up arms against his rival Louis. However, Louis was able to isolate Charles from his English allies by signing the Treaty of Picquigny (1475) with Edward IV of England. The treaty formally ended the Hundred Years' War. With the death of Charles the Bold at the Battle of Nancy in 1477, the dynasty of the dukes of Burgundy died out. Louis took advantage of the situation to seize numerous Burgundian territories, including Burgundy proper and Picardy. Without direct foreign threats, Louis was able to eliminate his rebellious vassals, expand royal power, and strengthen the economic development of his country. He died in 1483 and was succeeded by his son Charles VIII.
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