The battle of Morat, from Diebold Schilling's Berne Chronicle
|Commanders and leaders|
|Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy †|
The Burgundian Wars (1474–1477) were a conflict between the Burgundian State and the Old Swiss Confederacy and its allies. Open war broke out in 1474, and the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was defeated three times on the battlefield in the following years and was killed at the Battle of Nancy in 1477. The Duchy of Burgundy and several other Burgundian lands then became part of France, and the Burgundian Netherlands and Franche-Comté were inherited by Charles's daughter Mary of Burgundy and eventually passed to the House of Habsburg upon her death because of her marriage to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.
The dukes of Burgundy had succeeded, over a period of about 100 years, in establishing their rule as a strong force between the Holy Roman Empire and France. Their possessions included, besides their original territories of the Franche-Comté and the Duchy of Burgundy, the economically-strong regions of Flanders and Brabant as well as Luxembourg.
The dukes of Burgundy generally pursued an aggressive expansionist politics, especially in Alsace and Lorraine, seeking to unite their northern and southern possessions geographically. Having already been in conflict with the French king (Burgundy had sided with the English in the Hundred Years' War but then the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses, when Henry VI sided with France), Charles's advances along the Rhine brought him into conflict with the Habsburgs, especially Emperor Frederick III.
Initially in 1469, Duke Sigismund of Habsburg of Austria pawned his possessions in the Alsace in the Treaty of Saint-Omer as a fiefdom to the Duke of Burgundy for a loan or sum of 50,000 florins, as well as an alliance, Charles the Bold, to have them better protected from the expansion of the Eidgenossen (or Old Swiss Confederacy).[ citation needed ] Charles' involvement west of the Rhine gave him no reason to attack the confederates, as Sigismund had wanted, but his embargo politics against the cities of Basel, Strasbourg and Mulhouse , directed by his reeve Peter von Hagenbach , prompted these to turn to Bern for help. Charles' expansionist strategy suffered a first setback in his politics when his attack on the Archbishopric of Cologne failed after the unsuccessful Siege of Neuss (1474–75).
In the second phase, Sigismund sought to achieve a peace agreement with the Swiss confederates, which eventually was concluded in Konstanz in 1474 (later called the Ewige Richtung or Perpetual Accord). He wanted to buy back his Alsace possessions from Charles, who refused. Shortly afterwards, von Hagenbach was captured and executed by decapitation in Alsace, and the Swiss, united with the Alsace cities and Sigismund of Habsburg in an anti-Burgundian league, conquered part of the Burgundian Jura (Franche-Comté) when they won the Battle of Héricourt in November 1474. Louis XI of France joined the coalition by the Treaty of Andernach in December. The next year, Bernese forces conquered and ravaged Vaud , which belonged to the Duchy of Savoy, who was allied with Charles the Bold. In the Valais , the independent republics of the Sieben Zenden, with the help of Bernese and other confederate forces, drove the Savoyards out of the lower Valais after a victory in the Battle on the Planta in November 1475. In 1476, Charles retaliated and marched to Grandson, which belonged to Pierre de Romont of Savoy but had recently been taken by the Swiss, where he had the garrison hanged or drowned in the lake, despite its capitulation. When the Swiss confederate forces arrived a few days later, he was defeated in the Battle of Grandson and was forced to flee the battlefield, leaving behind his artillery and many provisions and valuables. Having rallied his army, he was dealt a devastating blow by the confederates at the Battle of Morat. Charles the Bold raised a new army, but fell in the Battle of Nancy in 1477 in which the Swiss fought alongside an army of René II, Duke of Lorraine.
With the death of Charles the Bold, the Valois dynasty of the dukes of Burgundy died out. The northern territories of the dukes of Burgundy became a possession of the Habsburgs, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who would later become Holy Roman Emperor, married Charles's only daughter, Mary of Burgundy. The duchy proper reverted to the crown of France under king Louis XI. The Franche-Comté initially also became French but was ceded to Maximilian's son Philip in 1493 by Charles VIII at the Treaty of Senlis in an attempt to bribe the emperor to remain neutral during Charles's planned invasion of Italy.
The victories of the Eidgenossen (Swiss Confederation) over what was one of the most powerful military forces in Europe gained it a reputation of being nearly invincible,[ citation needed ] and the Burgundian Wars marked the beginning of the rise of Swiss mercenaries on the battlefields of Europe.[ citation needed ] Inside the Confederacy itself, however, the outcome of the war led to internal conflict; the city cantons insisted on having the lion's share of the proceeds since they had supplied the most troops. The country cantons resented that, and the Dreizehn Orte disputes almost led to war. They were settled by the Stanser Verkommnis of 1481.
The history of Burgundy stretches back to the times when the region was inhabited in turn by Celts, Romans (Gallo-Romans), and in the 5th century, the Roman allies the Burgundians, a Germanic people originating in Bornholm, who settled there and established the Kingdom of the Burgundians.
Sigismund, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duke of Austria from 1439 until his death. As a scion of the Habsburg Leopoldian line, he ruled over Further Austria and the County of Tyrol from 1446 until his resignation in 1490.
Charles, nicknamed the Bold, was the Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477.
Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, reigned over the Burgundian State, now mainly in France and the Low Countries, from 1477 until her death in a riding accident at the age of 25.
Duke of Burgundy was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, from its establishment in 843 to its annexation by France in 1477, and later by Habsburg sovereigns of the Low Countries (1482–1556).
The Free County of Burgundy or Franche-Comté, was a medieval county of the Holy Roman Empire, predecessor to the modern region of Franche-Comté. The name franc(he) comté derives from the title of its count, franc comte, in German Freigraf 'free count', denoting imperial immediacy. It should not be confused with the more westerly Duchy of Burgundy, a fiefdom of France since 843.
The Duchy of Burgundy emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians, which after its conquest in 532 had formed a constituent part of the Frankish Empire. Upon the 9th-century partitions, the French remnants of the Burgundian kingdom were reduced to a ducal rank by King Robert II of France in 1004. Robert II's son and heir, King Henry I of France, inherited the duchy but ceded it to his younger brother Robert in 1032. Other portions had passed to the Imperial Kingdom of Arles and the County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté).
Charolais is a historic region of France, named after the central town of Charolles, and located in today's Saône-et-Loire département, in Burgundy.
The Old Swiss Confederacy began as a late medieval alliance between the communities of the valleys in the Central Alps, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, to facilitate the management of common interests such as free trade and to ensure the peace along the important trade routes through the mountains. The Hohenstaufen emperors had granted these valleys reichsfrei status in the early 13th century. As reichsfrei regions, the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden were under the direct authority of the emperor without any intermediate liege lords and thus were largely autonomous.
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.
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.
The Treaty of Arras was signed at Arras on 23 December 1482 by King Louis XI of France and Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg as heir of the Burgundian Netherlands in the course of the Burgundian succession crisis.
The Swabian War of 1499 was the last major armed conflict between the Old Swiss Confederacy and the House of Habsburg. What had begun as a local conflict over the control of the Val Müstair and the Umbrail Pass in the Grisons soon got out of hand when both parties called upon their allies for help; the Habsburgs demanding the support of the Swabian League, and the Federation of the Three Leagues of the Grisons turning to the Swiss Eidgenossenschaft. Hostilities quickly spread from the Grisons through the Rhine valley to Lake Constance and even to the Sundgau in southern Alsace, the westernmost part of Habsburg Further Austria.
The Burgundian Circle 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, 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.
Jacques of Savoy was Count of Romont and Lord of Vaud.
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.
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.
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.
The County of Ferrette was a feudal jurisdiction in Alsace in the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It roughly corresponds with the Sundgau and comprised the lordships of Ferrette (Pfirt), Altkirch, Thann, Belfort, Rougemont and others. These territories were not contiguous, but formed a patchwork of jurisdictions under the Holy Roman Empire.
The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy.