This volume covers A.D. 1438-1516.
f soul, began to dominate brute force.
Charles the Bold stands as the representative of this brute force. He was the mightiest of the French nobles. His ancestors, a younger branch of the royal family, had been made dukes of Burgundy, and by skilful alliances and rapid changes of side through the long Hundred Years' War, they had steadily added to their possessions and their powers. The father of Charles found himself stronger than his king, possessor not only of Burgundy, but of many other fiefs from Germany as well as France, and lord of the Netherlands as well.
Charles was thus the last of those great, overgrown vassals so characteristic of feudal times. Like Hugh Capet in France, like William the Conqueror in England, he hoped to establish himself as an independent king. He opened negotiations for this purpose with the Emperor Frederick, Maximilian's father. He made himself practically independent of France. He wielded a military power greater than that of any other prince of the moment,