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WI: Charles VII of France dies in 1422?

This very nearly did happen IOTL. In October 1422, Charles the Dauphin, Charles VI (of Mad King fame)'s disinherited son, was holding court at La Rochelle when the floor of the room he was staying in collapsed under him. He fell from an upper to a lower story, and the brush with disaster even killed some members of his entourage, including Pierre de Bourbon, lord of Preaulx. Historically, Charles managed to escape with only some bruises, and would later write a letter reminiscing about this traumatizing event several years after the fact. Here, the POD is very simple: Charles is not so lucky and dies immediately in this accident, of a snapped neck or broken back or whichever option seems most viable.

Why is this important? Because as the last living son of Charles VI, the Dauphin was the key figurehead holding together the Armagnac party against the Plantagenets and their Burgundian allies, which together controlled much of northern France. The next-in-line according to Armagnac reckoning, Charles of Orleans, was a prisoner in England after being captured at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, and would not be released any time soon, if at all. Making matters worse, the next-in-line after him, John of Angouleme, was also in English custody. To complete the catastrophe, Charles the Dauphin had not married yet, as his marriage to Marie of Anjou was slated for December 1422, so the mainline Valois would die with him.

The Armagnacs are essentially decapitated at this point. The sons of Louis II of Anjou and Yolande of Aragon would probably come to the fore to take charge of France, though they appeared to be much more interested in pursuing their claim on Naples IOTL. On the other hand, that was when they were several degrees removed from the throne, barriers which are removed in this scenario as both their king and his heir are locked away in England. Nor do I see a woman as formidable as Yolande yielding her power and influence so easily, even if she won't be the Queen Mother ITTL. Whatever the case, there won't be a certain peasant girl coming forth to restore the Dauphin since the Dauphin is long dead and gone by 1429.

But England is not in the best spot either. Henry VI is a minor and would grow up to be...rather incapable. John of Bedford won't live forever, even if the defeats at Orleans and Patay would be avoided. The manpower and economic differential between France and England was just too strong to be overcome by pure military force. Philip the Good could even decide to go for the crown of France if the Anjous are brought low in their attempts to push out the English, or decide to pursue their ambitions elsewhere instead. However, its undeniable that the death of Charles VII and the subsequent absence of Joan of Arc would help the Plantagenet position in the short-medium term, which in turn would put less stress on the Anglo-Burgundian alliance.

So, what does everyone think? 1422 had already seen two kings fall before Charles - Henry V of England, and Charles VI of France. What happens if a third king joins that list?
 
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though they appeared to be much more interested in pursuing their claim on Naples IOTL.
Isn't Louis III in Naples atm? That'd be a problem.

Real chance the Anglo-Burgundian alliance collapses fast, Philippe was in it to avenge his father and witj Charlie dead and Bedford yet to marry Anne....what's keeping him there? In addition Gloucester's invading Hainaut etc, further alienating Burgundy.

Odds are the English still wind up undermanned, feuding, and ill supplied at an alt Orléans.
 
Louis could be recalled from Naples as he was pretty much losing anyways. The problem is, Louis does not seem to have been a particularly good leader. While Rene is 12 and in Lorraine.
 
Maybe with the French demoralised, some Armagnac faction members defect to the Burgundians? Louis XI is just a child and the last of the main line Valois IIRC, so not exactly a figure to rally behind.
Real chance the Anglo-Burgundian alliance collapses fast, Philippe was in it to avenge his father and witj Charlie dead and Bedford yet to marry Anne....what's keeping him there?
The free real estate that just formed could keep Burgundy in the war.
In addition Gloucester's invading Hainaut etc, further alienating Burgundy.
I thought John married Anne before Humphrey married Jacqueline?
 
Isn't Louis III in Naples atm? That'd be a problem.
Louis could be recalled from Naples as he was pretty much losing anyways. The problem is, Louis does not seem to have been a particularly good leader. While Rene is 12 and in Lorraine.
From what sources I could scour, Louis III would soon be adopted by Queen Joanna II, while Alfonso V's Neapolitan adventures would be cut short by a war between Castile and Aragon. The adoption might be butterflied away if Louis withdraws back to France and could not meet the Queen personally. He was definitely unremarkable in all ways that mattered, and would probably be killed in one of the post-1422 campaigns (at an alt-Verneuil, possibly) sooner rather than later. Rene was more competent, but the Burgundians would have every reason to try and neutralize him before he grows up, though whether they succeed is a different question entirely.
Real chance the Anglo-Burgundian alliance collapses fast, Philippe was in it to avenge his father and witj Charlie dead and Bedford yet to marry Anne....what's keeping him there? In addition Gloucester's invading Hainaut etc, further alienating Burgundy.
What's keeping Philip the Good there is the English holding the new Armagnac king and his heir hostage, as well as the fact that the Anjous won't share power any more than Charles VII would - I see no reason for Yolande of Aragon to alter her foreign policy from OTL, only now its her own sons acting as the primary agents for the Armagnacs rather than her son-in-law. I don't doubt that in the absence of Charles VII, Philip would see himself as the natural leader of France and try to extend his influence south of the Loire, but once his attempt is rebuffed by Anjou/Armagnac partisans he will fall back to an alliance with Bedford. Not only would natural ambition and dissension preclude cooperation between the Princes of the Blood, the Anjous also own Lorraine, making them natural enemies to the Burgundians.

As RedKing mentioned, Gloucester and Jacqueline's marriage is several months after the POD, and their invasion is years away if it comes at all. The shotgun wedding could be butterflied away, nor is there a guarantee that war would break out over Hainault.
Maybe with the French demoralised, some Armagnac faction members defect to the Burgundians? Louis XI is just a child and the last of the main line Valois IIRC, so not exactly a figure to rally behind.
Indeed, and perhaps some Burgundians won't turn their cloaks for Armagnac in the first place - men like Arthur de Richemont would be less likely to defect if there is no other King of France they could turn to. Louis XI isn't born yet nor will he be, as the POD is months before Charles VII's wedding, so the Armagnacs literally have no one to provide leadership outside the aforementioned Anjous.

In such a scenario where the Kingdom of Bourges suddenly suffers from a power vacuum, I think its safe to say that something like the Treaty of Amiens is still signed and agreed to between all parties. And the Armagnac nobility would soon find themselves fighting and bleeding and dying for men who are prisoners in England and seem likely to continue that way for decades on end. Even if they don't recognize Henry VI as King of France, would their defiance translate into anything more than de facto independence and a refusal to pay taxes, instead of a series of unified campaigns to drive the English out of France? That's the crux of the scenario here.
 
Joan of Arc would still have come out of the woodwork in 1428, as Charles dying earlier would not have
affected her one bit. Meanwhile, someone else may well have set himself up as the Dauphin- & if, as noted
above, none of the alternatives to Charles seem very inspiring- well if the truth be told in 1428 IOTL Charles wasn’t very inspiring either. And if you have another Dauphin(or @ least someone claiming to be
the Dauphin)than probably Joan would have gone to him and.....
 
From what sources I could scour, Louis III would soon be adopted by Queen Joanna II, while Alfonso V's Neapolitan adventures would be cut short by a war between Castile and Aragon. The adoption might be butterflied away if Louis withdraws back to France and could not meet the Queen personally. He was definitely unremarkable in all ways that mattered, and would probably be killed in one of the post-1422 campaigns (at an alt-Verneuil, possibly) sooner rather than later. Rene was more competent, but the Burgundians would have every reason to try and neutralize him before he grows up, though whether they succeed is a different question entirely.
Although you might argue Yolande of Aragon was basically carrying the Dauphin's coalition anyways even back when he was still alive, so maybe they do just need a figurehead and a Joan of Arc.
Indeed, and perhaps some Burgundians won't turn their cloaks for Armagnac in the first place - men like Arthur de Richemont would be less likely to defect if there is no other King of France they could turn to. Louis XI isn't born yet nor will he be, as the POD is months before Charles VII's wedding, so the Armagnacs literally have no one to provide leadership outside the aforementioned Anjous.

In such a scenario where the Kingdom of Bourges suddenly suffers from a power vacuum, I think its safe to say that something like the Treaty of Amiens is still signed and agreed to between all parties. And the Armagnac nobility would soon find themselves fighting and bleeding and dying for men who are prisoners in England and seem likely to continue that way for decades on end. Even if they don't recognize Henry VI as King of France, would their defiance translate into anything more than de facto independence and a refusal to pay taxes, instead of a series of unified campaigns to drive the English out of France? That's the crux of the scenario here
But this seems more likely. The Armagnacs need to figure out the dilemma of whether they're fighting for a king who might never be released (and they don't actually have the authority to speak for) or if they're deliberately hoping the Orleans brothers die so they can crown an Anjou. That's a tough balancing act without seeming incoherent.

Maybe the Kingdom of Bourges just tries to cut a deal with the English at that point.
 
Louis could be recalled from Naples as he was pretty much losing anyways. The problem is, Louis does not seem to have been a particularly good leader. While Rene is 12 and in Lorraine.
Idk, him being losing is one thing and going about 1500 kms to serve as Regent of another losing party seems....stupid?
The free real estate that just formed could keep Burgundy in the war.
Lorraine is all that matters.

Must have Burgundy conquer Lorraine.

What's keeping Philip the Good there is the English holding the new Armagnac king and his heir hostage, as well as the fact that the Anjous won't share power any more than Charles VII would - I see no reason for Yolande of Aragon to alter her foreign policy from OTL, only now its her own sons acting as the primary agents for the Armagnacs rather than her son-in-law.
Considering the English were effectively holding Henry2 borders minus parts of Aquitaine when Philippe jumped ship, with John fucking Bedford alive, I don't know. He had dreams of creating a unified state that both the Plantagenets and the Valois could not rival FWIG, so personally can't really see him sticking around much longer than OTL. Tho in hindsight was wrong to think/imply he'd just say "haha fuck you" to the guys who are winning.
Joan of Arc would still have come out of the woodwork in 1428, as Charles dying earlier would not have
affected her one bit.
No Dauphin to drag for a start XD
Maybe the Kingdom of Bourges just tries to cut a deal with the English at that point.
That could be fun.
 
Louis could be recalled from Naples as he was pretty much losing anyways. The problem is, Louis does not seem to have been a particularly good leader. While Rene is 12 and in Lorraine.
But Charles IOTL wasn’t a particularly inspiring figure in 1428, & even beyond( Charles was content to not lead armies himself but let others do all the fighting for for him, as demonstrated by his nickname “Charles the Well-Served”). In other words Louis would, in 1428, have cut just as bad a figure, I think, as Charles actually did IOTL. But he would have served, like Charles did, to serve as SOMEONE the French would have(probably quite desperately)rallied to as the only alternative to the English. Thus, a certain peasant
girl would, in 1428, have journeyed to see him....

I would also like to think that if Joan had been able to do for Louis what she did for Charles- turn the whole tide of the HYW & make him King to boot- he then would have behaved like an honorable person, showed some gratitude, & not, if she was captured by the English, do nothing & let her get barbecued(yes, I realize Charles did eventually develop into a pretty good king- & I suppose Machiavelli would have advised a ruler that you always get rid of the one who put you on the throne- but I have never been able to forgive Charles VII for his treatment of Joan of Arc).
 
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