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Philip IV
Couronnement de Charles VI le Bien-Aimé.jpg
Philip IV
King of France
Reign 5th July, 1388 - 12th September, 1414
Predecessor John II
Successor John III
Born 4th April, 1378
Paris, France
Died 12th September, 1414
Reims, Champagne
Spouse Anne of Besançon
Issue Philip of Paris

Catherine of Troyes
Louis of Sens

House Capet-Orleanais
Father John II
Mother Joanna of Castile

Philip IV ruled France at the turn of the 15th century. His reign was relatively peaceful, at least at home, though would store up many of the issues his successors would have to painfully deal with.

Aged 10 in 1388 when he succeeded to the throne, his reign picked up where his father's had left off; namely building French power through collecting the Francophone states of the western Holy Roman Empire under Paris' aegis. This was achieved either by diplomacy or force and was masterminded by Philip's regents; his father's Guillaume de Vitry and his mother's Castilian confessor Cristóbal de Bruselas. The Empire had only just concluded a civil war to decide the new Emperor; Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg, and many of his subjects were openly rebellious. De Vitry eagerly sought these rebels out, especially Rupert of Wittelsbach.

Rupert controlled much of the Rhineland and was happy for the French to build their power up behind this, especially if this meant lessening Wenceslaus' powerbase, Bar for instance was ruled by Wenceslaus' cousin. Many of the Francophone states weren't particularly loyal to Wenceslaus either and when civil war was renewed in 1394 French power as it extended eastward was instrumental in Rupert's campaigns.

Philip would see action at Pforzheim, a minor engagement in August 1396. But Philip provided more than military power; the Anti-Pope Innocent VI resided in Paris. The aging Imperial-backed Pope Anastasius V was losing favour in Rome thanks to his rampant nepotism. Cristobal de Bruselas was quick to whip up anti-Anastasius propaganda in Francia and Iberia which bound more and more states to a broadly anti-Luxembourg alliance. Wenceslaus' death in late 1400 set off another round of civil war. Philip would once again see action, this time at the head of a broader Francian-Castilian army but Rupert's star was fading and Charles II was on the ascendant. The death of both Rupert of Wittelsbach and Innocent VI in 1408 left Charles in control of the Empire and the Papacy.

Trying to learn from his predecessors mistakes Charles divided his territories between his family, to better deal with religious issues appearing in Rome and in Bohemia. This however left Philip with more leeway in terms of gathering more states in his vague control and was soon making inroads into Burgundy and the Empire proper. The Duchy of Bar would be placed under French 'regency' in 1413 after Duke Charles suffered a bout of insanity, the ducal family soon escaping to exile in Lorraine. This appropriation of an Imperial state finally provoked a reaction from Emperor Charles.

Philip died in September 1414. As all of his own children would die in infancy he would be succeeded by his hapless nephew John III.

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