WI of Mary of Burgundy dies in childbirth?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Gonzaga, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    As says the title. WI Mary of Burgundy had died in 22 July 1478, when she gave birth to Philip the Handsome? Assuming the baby also dies the same day, what would happen to the Burgundian Inheritance? Could Maximilian claim it as he was the husband of the former Duchess? Would the French annex it? And who else could have claimed all her territories?
     
  2. Janprimus Well-Known Member

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    The eldest sister of Philip the Good, who despite his many bastards had only one legitimate child, his son Charles the Bold, Marie was married to duke Adolph of Cleves. So they would have the best claim in the territories, which allowed the female line to inherit. For the male line one needs to go back to the line of Burgundy Nevers (descended from the youngest son of Philip the Bold), count John II of Nevers, but most of these areas were already French.

    Maximilian could try to convince the estates, which could have proclaimed him successor (and imperial approval won't be an issue ;)) in exchange for concessions; but OTOH IOTL even as father of the children of the duchess Maximilian had a hard time.
     
  3. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    I thought about the Duke of Cleves. However, IOTL it was exactly Philip the Good who united most of the Burgundian territories. Before him, Namur, Brabant, Hainaut, Luxembourg, Holland, they had different rulers. So, once his line is extinct, would all these territories want to be under personal union? Or the inheritance of them would fall to Cleves anyway?

    Also, Charles the Bold gained Guelders and Zutphen not by inheritance, but because the duke Arnold sold them to him. Now that Charles' line is extinct, wouldn't they try to find other ruler?
     
  4. Vitruvius Well-Known Member

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    I would assume any claimant will have to make significant concessions to the various Burgundian states, much as Mary was forced to do with the Great Privilege. With Louis XI still around France is sure to try and grab as much as it can, presumably going after Artois and Flanders and of course the Duchy of Burgundy, which they are already occupying. John II of Nevers seems like a weak candidate, his only claim is based on male line descent, which isn't that important as most states don't have salic law, and yet he has no male children only a daughter so his claim by its very nature can't be advanced to his daughter. Yet neatly enough his daughter is already married to John I of Cleves who would be the heir by way of Marie, daughter of Jean sans peur.

    I assume that Charles of Egmond, Arnold's grandson and OTL's Charles II of Guelders, will take, or at least try to take, that Duchy. He actually held it for a brief period in rebellion against Maximilian OTL and the Habsburg position is even weaker now. Of course it is annoyingly right between Cleves and the rest of the Netherlands so if John of Cleves does get the Netherlands then Guelders will definitely be contested. I don't really see Maximilian successfully pressing a claim. He's almost certainly going to try and and perhaps he could even strike some kind of bargain with Louis but the price would be steep. OTL Treaty of Arras gave away the County and the Duchy as well as Artois, I can only imagine he'd have to give up more without an heir by Mary. Its a lot to give up but then again he has the pressure of needing to find a new wife in order to secure the Habsburg succession. And he's not Emperor yet, nor even King of the Romans so his leverage isn't so great.

    I could see some kind of deal brokered between France and Cleves where John II of Nevers gains the Duchy of Burgundy and maybe even Artois with the understanding that Burgundy, Nevers, Eu and Artois would fall to France on his death. The rest, the Netherlands and the County of Burgundy, would go to John of Cleves. And since he gave his Nevers inheritance to a second son OTL its possible he will partition his Burgundian territories. Perhaps a second son gains the County of Burgundy, which would be the least contiguous territory.
     
  5. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    Probably a good solution, unless the French king decides to take the lands promised to him immediately.

    But you pointed other problem caused by the POD: Maximilian still doesn't have his succession secured, and so he needs to remarry. Who could be a good candidate to become his wife around that time?
     
  6. DrakeRlugia Pop Punk Enthusiast

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    A daughter of the King of Poland? Maximilian was betrothed to one initially. Perhaps Anna, who married the Duke of Pommerania. A match with one of the daughters of the Elector of Saxony might be good as well, to help shore up support within the empire.
     
  7. Mikestone8 Well-Known Member

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    Possibly Elizabeth of York? Since the Flemish towns were economically dependent on the cloth trade with England, an alliance with Edward IV would give Max more leverage. Admittedly she's a bit young (12 in 1478) but such marriages were not unknown in those days.
     
  8. DrakeRlugia Pop Punk Enthusiast

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    Yes, it wasn't uncommon, but Maximilian needs a wife old enough to give him children, and he can't afford to wait. Even though Yorkist England was economically important, it's already been posited in this scenario that Maximilian wouldn't likely keep the Burgundian inheritance, with it going to the Duke of Cleves and France taking the Duchy of Burgundy of good, with Artois and (perhaps) Flanders with it. I don't think a marriage to Elizabeth is enough to give Maximilian any leverage. Plus, there's the nasty fact that the Yorkists would be soon to topple off: there's no hindsight, but with the loss of Mary, Maximilian would do better trying to secure his position as a whole, instead of focusing on a position in the Netherlands that is untenable. He really has no claim to the Netherlands without surviving issue; he could claim to serve as Philip le Beau's Regent, but even that was resented. Here he has absolutely no claim. It's not like Mary gave him the crown matrimonial, for instance. An alliance with Edward IV won't do him much good, especially if the French reassert themselves again and Edward IV is reluctant to get involved. He doesn't strike me as the type to do anything, especially as Edward IV made peace with France in 1475. I don't think he'd get involved in the Netherlands, another reason why the Duke of Cleves will certainly take the inheritance as the rightful heir.
     
  9. Xavier Imperator Belgicus

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    This is very interesting, I wonder how the Low Countries would develop during the 16th century with a ruler who has no other, bigger titles to distract him.
     
  10. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I thought about Elizabeth of York too, but as you said, Maximilian now probably couldn't wait until she is old enough to give him children. Maybe Christina of Saxony? She was going to marry the heir of Denmark in 1478, but they could still make other arrangement.

    Regarding the succession in the Burgundian territories, I agree that Louis XI would probably take Picardy, Artois and the Duchy of Burgundy, and probably Flandres too. I'm not sure about the France Comte, but considering that he tried to annex it IOTL it wouldn't be a surprise if he had taken advantage of the situation to take it ITTL too.
     
  11. Vitruvius Well-Known Member

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    I would tend to think that Louis would get the County of Burgundy before Flanders. Most agreements made OTL (Arras and Senlis) gave away Frache-Comte in exchange for claims to Flanders because Flanders was too rich and too central to the Netherlands to let pass to the French and France didn't have to strength to force the issue, which is why they agreed to a negotiated settlement in the first place. Assuming Louis strikes a bargain with Cleves he'll be getting Artois and the Duchy of Burgundy + the Counties of Nevers and Eu that John of Cleves would forfeit upon the death of John II of Nevers. So he's getting a good deal. If he really wants more I'd say the Count of Burgundy but thats it.

    Making things interesting is the fact that John of Nevers outlived Louis XI so there's time to repudiate the agreement after Louis is dead, perhaps during the Mad War. So Cleves may be able to get back Artois or the Franche-Comte in exchange for not contesting Nevers.

    As for Maximilian I was thinking he could go for one of the sisters of Rene II of Lorraine, Yolande or Margaret. At the time Rene II is fighting with Louis XI over the inheritance of Rene I of Anjou (Bar, Provence, Anjou, Claims to Naples) that Louis was trying to seize. An alliance with Lorraine would be mutually beneficial.
     
  12. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it makes sense, even more if Louis XI takes the France Comte, leaving Lorraine even more exposed to French expansion.

    I wonder how would the Habsburgs fare without the taxes and soldiers from Netherlands. Could the French get a better result in the "alternate Italian Wars" that could happen once Louis XII becomes king?
     
  13. DrakeRlugia Pop Punk Enthusiast

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    Did they make much of a difference in the long run? I suppose I could see the French holding on to Milan, but after they take Milan they'd certainly move on to Naples and overstretch themselves. I think they could do a bit better, but it'd involve not getting too greedy. After all, France did pretty well in the early Italian Wars before Charles V had the full weight of Spain, Burgundy, and the Habsburg domains in Austria behind him. In this scenario we might see the French hold Milan, but I can see them being forced to compromise and the Duchy being granted to their second son (thus creating a house of Orléans-Milan) rather than the French directing ruling it. The Duke of Orléans considered Milan their patrimony after all, I know Louis XII's grandfather impaled the arms of Milan with Orléans, for instance.
     
  14. Tobit Well-Known Member

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    This is a good discussion, I wonder if I may interject with question: What if Charles of Viana had a boy with Agnes of Cleves?

    Off topic but Agnes of Cleves was the daughter of Adolh of cleves and Mary of Burgundy (daughter of John the fearless). Could the Crown of Aragon under Charles of Viana (as opposed to Ferdinand) rule over Burgundy?
     
  15. DrakeRlugia Pop Punk Enthusiast

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    No, because Agnes was a younger daughter. She had three sisters before her (one who married the Prince of Shwarzburg-Blankenburg, another who married the Duke of Guelders, and a third who married the Duke of Bavaria and later the Count of Wuttermburg). She also had a surviving brother, who became the Duke of Cleves. This brother has a much better claim, and even if he died without issue, her three sisters have better claims (and more practical ones) than Agnes. Aragon would have no interest in ruling Burgundy. Her rights to the throne would involve her brother nor any of her sisters having any surviving issue. Not impossible, but quite unlikely.

    That question is better suited for another topic, as it involved a whole different POD.
     
  16. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    So, just make things clearer, here is an idea of how the succession could have gone:

    1478 - Mary of Burgundy dies in childbirth alongside her child (who would be Philip the Handsome). Initially Maximilian tries to keep the territories under his control, but fails.

    Guelders and Zutphen recognize the young Charles of Egmond as their ruler. The rest of the Burgundian territories are disputed between John II, Count of Nevers and John I of Cleves, with Louis XI of France pressing for lands too.

    John II of Nevers would be the claimant under Salic Law. However, few territories followed it, and with his eldest daughter and heir already married to John I of Cleves, he accepts a deal where he gets the Duchy of Burgundy, Artois and Flanders, but they all should be given to France once he dies. All the rest goes to John I of Cleves.

    1481 - Both Louis XI and John I of Cleves die, and John II of Nevers denounce the earlier treaty. The conflict gets mixed with the Mad War. Eventually he is forced to accept the arrangement made.

    1491 - John II of Nevers die. His territories are annexed by France. But when Charles VIII starts his Italian Wars John II of Cleves offers the Franche Comte to the French king in exchange for Flanders and an alliance during the conflict. The proposal is accepted.

    Is it likely?
     
  17. Mirza Khan Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Incidentally, the state that would form from all this (Netherlands+Belgium+United Duchies) looks an awful lot like the Netherlands of a TL I did about a year ago.:)

    Assuming the reformation still happens, how would an (effectively) independent Netherlands figure into it?
     
  18. frozenpredator Well-Known Member

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    methinks an Independent Netherlands would convert eventually, propably without a whole long war.

    can you btw post the map for that Netherlands you made?
     
  19. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I tried to make a map based on posted ideas of how the succession would go. However, it seems that is extremely hard to find a detailed and editable map of how the territories were during that period. If something is wrong please correct me.

    Firstly, the initial division in 1478:

    bourgondie1.gif
     
  20. Gonzaga Well-Known Member

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    And here, the final division after the death of John II of Nevers:

    bourgondie2.gif