King of France, called the good, son of Felipe VI and Joan of Burgundy, born in the castle of Gue-de-Maülui, near Mans, in 1319 and died in London in 1364. He instituted the order of the star.
He ascended the throne on the death of his father in 1350, and quickly stood out as a cruel and capricious King, adopted a series of arbitrary measures that were very unpopular. He did run the count of Eu accusing him of ridiculous shape; the count, who was prisoner of the English, had gone to France, under oath to return, to raise the money needed for their rescue; Juan II accused him of aiding and financing the British against France. To try to alleviate the difficult situation of his property devalued the currency, prompting the ruin of many of his subjects, with the same purpose pursued retailers looking for your money.
In 1352 on the occasion of the wedding between his daughter, Juana, and the King of Navarre, Carlos II the bad, it captured the navarro and forced him to cede a number of border territories. Carlos II the bad, was also a pretender to the Crown of France, and by both enemy of Juan II. Felipe, brother of Carlos, requested assistance to the Prince of Wales Eduardo, known as the Black Prince. This, willing to provide their services to anyone who fight against France (must not forget that both countries were competing in the hundred years ' war), he prepared his army and invaded France from the North; Juan II hurried to gather his troops and to cope with the invasion. In the month of July of 1356 Juan II received the news that two British armies, one under the command of the Duke of Lancaster and the other to the of the Black Prince, heading towards Normandy with the idea to meet with supporters of Navarra Carlos his brother Felipe had managed to mobilize.
Juan II had no qualms in resorting, in their confrontation against the Englishmen, mercenaries from the so-called white companies, famous for its total lack of scruples and his ferocity in combat. White companies were a scourge for France even during the time of truce, they were able to terrorize and devastate als populations hosting them. This ferocity was also suffered by the Kingdom of Castile to the companies in the service of Henry of Trastamara its fratricidal war against Pedro I the Cruel.
In 1353, a niece of Juan II, Blanca de Borbón, contracted double with Pedro I of Castile, in an attempt to unite both kingdoms against their common enemies, but Pedro I abandoned Blanca same day wedding, to return to the arms of his lover, María de Padilla. This affront coupled with the death of Blanca in 1361 and the suspicion overhanging on this event Pedro I, motivated Juan II support to Henry of Trastámarain the Castilian civil war, which sent troops under the command of Captain Bertrand Du Guesclin.
The English army managed to invade Poitou and bulldoze the entire area, but Juan II in front of the French troops prevented the union between the armies of the Duke of Lancaster and the Black Prince. This movement of the French King left the English Prince in a difficult situation, cornered and exceeded in number of troops, so it asked for peace. Juan II, who sought to destroy the power of England on the continent, refused. The 16 September 1356, the battle took place in Poitiers. Juan II accompanied by his sons, Carlos (future Carlos V) dolphin and the future Duke of Burgundy, Felipe the daring, launched the attack, but his bad approach and out-of-phase of their attack technique gave victory to the English, which annihilated the French King's men in the three days that the battle lasted. Juan II fell prisoner in the hands of Eduardo el Príncipe Negro, which led him to London.
Juan II never returned to the Parisian Court and the Government was in the hands of a young Dolphin Carlos, which was not prepared for the Government, so France was plunged into a vacuum of authority in which struggles for power and civil strife occurred resulting in several years of deep insecurity. During the imprisonment of the King the States General met to remedy the calamities of the Kingdom. In the streets of Paris broke out the dissatisfaction of the people, accusing the powerful appropriating King subsidies and allow his captivity in England. Étienne Marcel channeled the discontent of the capital to win power and proclaim the commune of Paris in March of 1357. To force Carlos V to accept the commune, he teamed up with Carlos, the bad of Navarre and pretender to the French throne, which liberated the prison in which remained for its continuous intrigues against Juan II. In 1358 the Regent Carlos V had to flee Paris, while in rural areas broke out a new uprising known as the Jacquerie (1358). All this climate of uncertainty and internal wars eventually ruin to France.
While France is factoring in infighting, Juan II tired already of their long captivity he swore and signed a shameful Treaty, in 1358 in London, with Eduardo III of England, whereby in Exchange for his freedom came to authorize the dismemberment of France, but neither the States-General and the Regent accepted the agreement, so that the English King raised a great army that invaded France. Carlos, to cope with the English attack, may 8, 1360, to the inability by the Regent was signed the peace in Brétigny. By the Treaty of Brétigny England the 1358 Treaty of London territorial conditions he imposed and formed a great Aquitaine ruled by the Prince of Wales (the Black Prince); In addition, England obtained Ponthieu, Calais and Güines. In return, Eduardo III renounced its legitimate rights over the French throne. With regard to the issue of the release of Juan II, was established to rescue to pay out three million shields instead of the four fixed in Poitiers; but a first payment of 600,000 shields would be sufficient to release the King. On October 24 was a payment of 400,000 escudos, everything that the States General had been able to meet; Juan was released and the Treaty of Brétigny ratified by both sovereigns. But according to the same, Eduardo renounced their rights over France and Juan to their rights over the territories ceded in the Treaty, that they believed more than one-third of the total territory of the French monarch. Finally, neither Eduardo nor Juan made any resignation, so the hundred years war lasted one more time.
Back in France, but not in Paris, Juan II incorporated Burgundy and champagne to the French territory. In Avignon he was about to begin a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, when it was reported that his son, the Duke of Anjou, who had been in England as a hostage, had escaped; bound by the spirit of Knight, Juan II went to England to take the place of his son. In 1364 he died in London, but his body was buried at Saint-Denis, France.
He married Bonne of Luxembourg, daughter of Juan I and Isabel Premyslovna, and the result of the same were born: his heir Carlos, the future Carlos V; Luis, Duke of Anjou; Juan, Duc de Berry; and Felipe, Duke of Burgundy. His three daughters gave in marriage to Carlos de Navarra; the count of Bar and Galeazzo Viscontti in Milan.