Burgundian Circle

Last updated
Burgundian Circle
Burgundischer Kreis
1512–1806
Locator Burgundian Circle.svg
The Burgundian Circle after 1548 within the Holy Roman Empire
Historical eraEarly modern period
 Established
1512
 Secession of the
Seven United Provinces
1648
 Disestablished
1806
Today part of

The Burgundian Circle (German : Burgundischer Kreis, Dutch : Bourgondische Kreits, French : Cercle de Bourgogne) was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1512 and significantly enlarged in 1548. In addition to the Free County of Burgundy (present-day administrative region of Franche-Comté), the Burgundian Circle roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e., the areas now known as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and adjacent parts in the French administrative region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

Contents

The circle's territorial scope was reduced considerably in the 17th century with the secession of the Seven United Provinces in 1581 (recognized 1648)[ clarification needed ] and the annexation of the Free County of Burgundy by France in 1678. The occupation and subsequent annexation of Imperial territory to the west of the Rhine river by Revolutionary France in the 1790s effectively brought an end to the circle's existence.

Composition

After the 1548 Diet of Augsburg, the circle was made up of the following territories:

Seventeen Provinces

  1. the County of Artois, ceded by France in 1493, annexed by France in 1659.
  2. the Duchy of Brabant, including the Margraviate of Antwerp.
  3. the County of Drenthe, which seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  4. the County of Flanders.
  5. the Lordship of Frisia, which seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  6. the Lordship of Groningen which is a grouping of the former Ommelanden, which seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579, and the City of Groningen, which joined the United Provinces in 1594.
  7. the Duchy of Guelders, which, with the exception of Upper Guelders, seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  8. the County of Hainaut.
  9. the County of Holland, which seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  10. the Duchy of Limburg, held by the Dukes of Brabant.
  11. the Duchy of Luxembourg.
  12. the Lordship of Mechelen, a personal lordship of the Duke of Burgundy.
  13. the County of Namur.
  14. the Lordship of Overijssel, which seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  15. the Prince-Bishopric, later Lordship of Utrecht, which seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  16. the County of Zeeland, held by the Counts of Holland; seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.
  17. the County of Zutphen, held by the Dukes of Guelders; seceded to form part of the United Provinces from 1579.

County of Burgundy

  1. the Free County of Burgundy and
  2. the Imperial City of Besançon

both annexed by France according to the 1678 Treaty of Nijmegen. The Prince-bishopric of Liège remained a part of the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle until its dissolution in 1795.

History

The Imperial Seventeen Provinces emerged from the Burgundian Netherlands ruled in personal union by the French Dukes of Burgundy. Most of them had been fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire on the territory of Lower Lorraine, except for Flanders and Artois. In 1477 they fell to the House of Habsburg.

In 1363 the French king John II of Valois enfeoffed his youngest son Philip the Bold with the Duchy of Burgundy (Bourgogne). Philip in 1369 married Margaret of Dampierre, only child of Count Louis II of Flanders (d. 1384), whose immense dowry not only comprised Flanders and Artois but also the Imperial County of Burgundy. He thereby became the progenitor of the House of Valois-Burgundy who systematically came into possession of different Imperial fiefs: his grandson Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy from 1419, purchased Namur in 1429, inherited the duchies of Brabant and Limburg from his cousin Philip of Saint-Pol in 1430. In 1432 he forced Jacqueline of Wittelsbach to cede him the counties of Hainaut and Holland with Zeeland according to the Treaty of Delft and finally occupied Luxembourg, exiling Duchess Elisabeth of Görlitz in 1443.

Emperor Maximilian I and the coat of arms of the Burgundian provinces, wall fresco at the Vocklabruck City Tower, 1502 Vocklabruck Unterer-Stadtturm Maximilian.jpg
Emperor Maximilian I and the coat of arms of the Burgundian provinces, wall fresco at the Vöcklabruck City Tower, 1502

The Burgundian realm then bore a faint resemblance to the early medieval Lotharingia, it however fell suddenly with the death of the ambitious Charles the Bold. In 1473 he had made an agreement with Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg according to which he would marry his daughter Mary the Rich to the Emperor's son Archduke Maximilian I of Austria in exchange for the elevation of his Imperial territories to a "Kingdom of Burgundy", co-equal to the French kingdom of his Valois cousins. The Prince-electors, however, forestalled these plans, and the deprived Duke Charles started a desperate campaign against the Duchy of Lorraine and was killed at the 1477 Battle of Nancy. To secure her heritage against King Louis XI of France, his daughter Mary nevertheless married Maximilian in the same year. The Archduke defeated the French troops at the 1479 Battle of Guinegate and by the 1493 Treaty of Senlis annexed the Seventeen Provinces – including the French fiefs of Flanders and Artois – for the House of Habsburg. The sovereignty finally passed to the Empire in the Treaty of Cambrai in 1529. The Duchy of Burgundy proper was seized as a reverted fief by the French crown.

Maximilian's grandson and successor, Emperor Charles V of Habsburg eventually won the Guelders Wars and united all seventeen provinces under his rule, the last one being the Duchy of Guelders in 1543. The Burgundian treaty of 1548 shifted the seventeen provinces from the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle to the Burgundian circle, resulting in a significant territorial gain for the latter and increased tax obligation. The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 determined that the Provinces should remain united in the future and inherited by the same monarch. After Charles V's abdication in 1556, his realms became divided between his son, King Philip II of Spain, and his brother, Emperor Ferdinand I. The Seventeen Provinces went to his son Philip.

Conflicts between Philip II and his Dutch subjects led to the Eighty Years' War, which started in 1568. The seven northern provinces gained their independence as a republic called the Seven United Provinces. They were:

  1. the Lordship of Groningen and of the Ommelanden
  2. the Lordship of Friesland
  3. the Lordship of Overijssel
  4. the Duchy of Guelders (except its upper quarter) and the county of Zutphen
  5. the prince-bishopric, later lordship of Utrecht
  6. the county of Holland
  7. the county of Zeeland

The southern provinces – Flanders, Brabant, Namur, Hainaut, Luxembourg and so forth – were restored to Spanish rule thanks to the military and political talent of the Duke of Parma, especially at the siege of Antwerp (1584-1585). Hence, these Provinces became known as the Spanish Netherlands or the Southern Netherlands.

The northern Seven United Provinces kept parts of Limburg, Brabant and Flanders during and after the Eighty Years' War (see Generality Lands), which ended with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

Artois, and parts of Flanders and Hainaut were ceded to France in the course of the 17th and 18th century.

See also

Related Research Articles

Seventeen Provinces Union of states in the Netherlands in the 15th and 16th centuries

The Seventeen Provinces were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e. what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most of the French departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais (Artois). Also within this area were semi-independent fiefdoms, mainly ecclesiastical ones, such as Liège, Cambrai and Stavelot-Malmedy.

Southern Netherlands Historical region in Belgium

The Southern Netherlands, also called the Catholic Netherlands, was the part of the Low Countries largely controlled by Spain (1556–1714), later Austria (1714–1794), and occupied then annexed by France (1794–1815). The region also included a number of smaller states that were never ruled by Spain or Austria: the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, the Imperial Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy, the County of Bouillon, the County of Horne and the Princely Abbey of Thorn. The Southern Netherlands were part of the Holy Roman Empire until the whole area was annexed by Revolutionary France.

The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 was an edict, promulgated by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, reorganising the Seventeen Provinces of the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg into one indivisible territory, while retaining existing customs, laws, and forms of government within the provinces.

County of Hainaut countship

The County of Hainaut, was a territorial lordship within the medieval Holy Roman Empire, straddling what is now the border of Belgium and France. Its most important towns included Mons, now in Belgium, and Valenciennes, now in France.

County of Artois countship

The County of Artois was a historic province of the Kingdom of France, held by the Dukes of Burgundy from 1384 until 1477/82, and a state of the Holy Roman Empire from 1493 until 1659.

Burgundian Netherlands The Netherlands from 1384 to 1482

In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands were a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy in the period from 1384 to 1482 and later their Habsburg heirs. They constituted the Northern part of the Burgundian State. The area comprised the major parts of present-day Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Hauts-de-France.

Spanish Netherlands Historical region of the Low Countries (1581–1714)

Spanish Netherlands was the name for the Habsburg Netherlands ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs from 1556 to 1714. They were a collection of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries held in personal union by the Spanish Crown. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.

Duchy of Limburg duchy in Western Europe between 1065-1795

The Duchy of Limburg or Limbourg was an imperial estate of the Holy Roman Empire. Its chief town was Limbourg-sur-Vesdre, is today located within the Belgian province of Liège, with a small part in the neighbouring province of Belgian Limburg, within the east of Voeren.

Duchy of Luxemburg country in Western Europe during Late Middle Ages-Early Modern Ages

The Duchy of Luxemburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire, the ancestral homeland of the noble House of Luxembourg. The House of Luxembourg, now Duke of Limburg, became one of the most important political forces in the 14th century, competing against the House of Habsburg for supremacy in Central Europe. They would be the heirs to the Přemyslid dynasty in the Kingdom of Bohemia, succeeding the Kingdom of Hungary and contributing four Holy Roman Emperors until their own line of male heirs came to an end and the House of Habsburg got the pieces that the two Houses had originally agreed upon in the Treaty of Brünn in 1364.

Guelders Wars Series of conflicts in the Low Countries

The Guelders Wars were a series of conflicts in the Low Countries between the Duke of Burgundy, who controlled Holland, Flanders, Brabant, and Hainaut on the one side, and Charles, Duke of Guelders, who controlled Guelders, Groningen, and Frisia on the other side.

House of Valois-Burgundy noble family

The House of Valois-Burgundy, or the Younger House of Burgundy, was a noble French family deriving from the royal House of Valois. It is distinct from the Capetian House of Burgundy, descendants of King Robert II of France, though both houses stem from the Capetian dynasty. They ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1363 to 1482 and later came to rule vast lands including Artois, Flanders, Luxembourg, Hainault, the county palatine of Burgundy (Franche-Comté), and other lands through marriage, forming what is now known as the Burgundian State.

Habsburg Netherlands Historical region in the Low Countries, 1482–1581

Habsburg Netherlands, in Latin referred to as Belgica, is the collective name of Renaissance period fiefs in the Low Countries held by the Holy Roman Empire's House of Habsburg. The rule began in 1482, when the last Valois-Burgundy ruler of the Netherlands, Mary, married Maximilian I of Austria. Their grandson, Emperor Charles V, was born in the Habsburg Netherlands and made Brussels one of his capitals.

Burgundian inheritance in the Low Countries

The Burgundian inheritance in the Low Countries consisted of numerous fiefs held by the Dukes of Burgundy in modern-day Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Duke of Burgundy was a member of the House of Valois-Burgundy and, after 1482, of the House of Habsburg. Given that the Dukes of Burgundy lost Burgundy proper to the Kingdom of France in 1477, and were never able to recover it, they moved their court to the Low Countries. The Burgundian Low Countries were ultimately expanded to include Seventeen Provinces under Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The Burgundian inheritance then passed to Philip II of Spain, whose rule was contested by the Dutch revolt, and fragmented into the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch republic.

Upper Guelders

Upper Guelders or Spanish Guelders was one of the four quarters in the Imperial Duchy of Guelders. In the Dutch Revolt, it was the only quarter that did not secede from the Habsburg Monarchy to become part of the Seven United Netherlands, but remained under Spanish rule during the Eighty Years' War.

County of Flanders French fiefdom and historic territory in the Low Countries

The County of Flanders was a historic territory in the Low Countries.

The Burgundian treaty of 1548, also known as the Transaction of Augsburg, settled the status of the Habsburg Netherlands within the Holy Roman Empire.

War of the Burgundian Succession

The War of the Burgundian Succession took place from 1477 to 1482, immediately following the Burgundian Wars. At stake was the partition of the Burgundian hereditary lands between the Kingdom of France and the House of Habsburg, after Duke Charles the Bold had perished in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477.

Netherlands–Spain relations

Netherlands–Spain relations are the bilateral and diplomatic relations between these two countries. Spain has an embassy in The Hague and a consulate general in Amsterdam. The Netherlands has an embassy in Madrid and nine honorary consulates in Barcelona, Bilbao, Ceuta, Gijón, Palma, Benidorm, Sevilla, Tenerife, Torremolinos and Valencia. The relations between both countries are defined mainly by their membership in the European Union and by being allies in the NATO, as well as belonging to numerous International Organizations.

Burgundian State Historical government in what is now France and the Netherlands

The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy. It developed in the Late Middle Ages under the rule of the dukes of Burgundy from the French House of Valois, which was composed of French and imperial fiefs. That territorial construction outlasted the properly 'Burgundian' dynasty and the loss of the Duchy of Burgundy itself. As such, it must not be confused with that sole fief.

References