History Meme | 1/1 War: The First Italian War (1494-1498)

The Italian Wars is a term used to describe a series of Wars between sovereign states of Italy during the early 16th century which involved many states of Europe, and evolved into a continent-wide struggle for power between France and Spain. The series of wars, changing alliances, and reversals which occurred during this period is exceedingly complicated, but the final outcome was the rise in influence of the Hapsburg empire at the expense of France, and also a greatly impoverished Italy. By the end of the Italian Wars, the proud, independent republics of Italy were significantly weakened, and much of Italy was in the hand of the Hapbsburgs. The First Italian War began when the Duke of Milan invited the French to pass through his territory and invade the Kingdom of Naples. This resulted in the formation of a League created to oppose the French consisting of Venice, Spain, the Papal States, and the Holy Roman Empire. The French, under Charles VIII of France, were initially successful, but the tide turned against them, particularly as a great Spanish hero, Gonsalvo de Cordova arose to the defense of the Kingdom of Naples, and drove France from the scene. The Battle of Fornovo, during which Charles VIII was driven from Naples was the end of the first campaign but only the beginning of the Italian Wars. (x)

Image: Battle of Fornovo, 6 July 1495.

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