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Charles VII

(1403—1461) king of France 1422–61


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(1403–61)

King of France (1422–61). During his youth France was badly ruled by his father Charles the Mad and much territory was lost. Internal quarrels and war with England dominated his reign. At the time of his accession to the throne, much of northern France was under English occupation, including Reims, where he should have been crowned. After the intervention of Joan of Arc, however, the French experienced a dramatic military revival and Charles was crowned at Reims in 1429. He established greater control over the Church in the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges of 1438, which upheld the right of the French Church to administer its property and nominate clergy to benefices, independently of the papacy. His reign eventually saw the defeat of the English and the end of the Hundred Years War. Having recovered most of the land his country had lost to the English, he modernized the administration of the army and did much to lay the foundations of French power in the following decades.


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