Free State of the Three Leagues
|Status||Associate of the Old Swiss Confederacy|
|Historical era||Renaissance, Baroque|
• League of God's House founded
|January 29, 1367|
• Grey League founded
• Grey League government
|March 16, 1424|
• League of the Ten Jurisdictions formed
|June 8, 1436|
|late 15th century|
• Bundesbrief constitution
|September 23, 1524|
• Annexed to the Helvetic Republic
|April 21, 1799|
The Three Leagues was the alliance of 1471 of the League of God's House, the League of the Ten Jurisdictions and the Grey League, leading eventually to the formation of the Swiss canton of Graubünden (Grisons).
The League of God's House was formed in what is now Switzerland on January 29, 1367 to resist the rising power of the Bishopric of Chur and the House of Habsburg. The League allied with the Grey League and the League of the Ten Jurisdictions in 1471 to form the Three Leagues. The League of God's House, together with the two other Leagues, was allied with the Old Swiss Confederacy throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. After the Napoleonic wars the League of God's House became a part of the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
The League of the Ten Jurisdictions was the last of the Three Leagues founded during the Middle Ages in what is now Canton Graubünden of Switzerland. The League was created in the County of Toggenburg after the counts of Toggenburg died out. The League initially existed to resist the power of the House of Habsburg, and quickly allied with the Grey League and the League of God's House. In 1524 the three leagues joined together to become the Free State of the Three Leagues, which existed until the Napoleonic dissolution of the Free State.
The Grey League, sometimes called Oberbund, formed in 1395 in the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein valleys, Raetia. The name Grey League is derived from the homespun grey clothes worn by the people. The league became part of the canton of Graubünden. The Grey League allied itself to the two other powers of Raetia in 1471, forming the Three Leagues. It was also an associate and ally of the Swiss Confederation and played a role in the buildup to the Thirty Years' War.
The territory corresponds to the core territory of Raetia Curiensis (ruled by the bishops of Chur), the early medieval remnant of the Roman province of Raetia prima.
Raetia Curiensis was an Early medieval province in Central Europe, named after the preceding Roman province of Raetia prima which retained its Romansh culture during the Migration Period, while the adjacent territories in the north were largely settled by Alemannic tribes. The administrative capital was Chur in the present Swiss canton of Grisons.
On January 29, 1367, the League of God's House (German : Gotteshausbund, Italian : Lega Caddea, Romansh :
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a protected language in these countries. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.
Romansh is a Romance language spoken predominantly in the southeastern Swiss canton of Grisons (Graubünden), where it has official status alongside German and Italian. It is used as the medium of instruction in schools in Romansh-speaking areas. Romansh has also been recognized as a national language of Switzerland since 1938, and as an official language in correspondence with Romansh-speaking citizens since 1996, along with German, French and Italian. It is sometimes grouped by linguists with Ladin and Friulian as a Rhaeto-Romance language, though this is disputed.
The instrument of union was signed by envoys of the cathedral chapter, the episcopal Ministerialis, the city of Chur and the districts of Domleschg, Schams, Oberhalbstein, Oberengadin, Unterengadin and Bergell. Other districts joined the league subsequently, including the Poschiavo in 1408 and the Vier Dörfer in 1450.
Ministerialis were people raised up from serfdom to be placed in positions of power and responsibility. In the Holy Roman Empire, in the High Middle Ages, the word and its German translations, Ministeriale(n) and Dienstmann, came to describe those unfree nobles who made up a large majority of what could be described as the German knighthood during that time. What began as an irregular arrangement of workers with a wide variety of duties and restrictions rose in status and wealth to become the power brokers of an empire. The ministeriales were not legally free people, but held social rank. Legally, their liege lord determined whom they could or could not marry, and they were not able to transfer their lords' properties to heirs or spouses. They were, however, considered members of the nobility since that was a social designation, not a legal one. Ministeriales were trained knights, held military responsibilities and surrounded themselves with the trappings of knighthood, and so were accepted as noblemen. Both women and men held the ministerial status, and the laws on ministeriales made no distinction between the sexes in how they were treated.
Chur or Coire is the capital and largest town of the Swiss canton of Grisons and lies in the Grisonian Rhine Valley, where the Rhine turns towards the north, in the northern part of the canton. The city, which is located on the right bank of the Rhine, is reputedly the oldest town of Switzerland.
The Kreis Domleschg forms, together with the sub-districts of Avers, Rheinwald, Schams and Thusis, the Hinterrhein District of the Canton Graubünden in Switzerland. The district office is located in Fürstenau.
For some time, Unterengadin, Münstertal and the upper Vinschgau were disputed between the Bishopric of Chur and the County of Tyrol. While the first two could shake off the rule of the Habsburgs as count of Tyrol, in 1618, Untercalven was separated from the League as the last part of the Vinschgau.
Val Müstair is a municipality in the Engiadina Bassa/Val Müstair Region in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. It was formed on 1 January 2009 through the merger of Tschierv, Fuldera, Lü, Valchava, Santa Maria Val Müstair and Müstair.
The Vinschgau, Vintschgau or Vinschgau Valley is the upper part of the Adige or Etsch river valley, in the western part of the province of South Tyrol, Italy.
The (Princely) County of Tyrol was an estate of the Holy Roman Empire established about 1140. Originally a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of the Counts of Tyrol, it was inherited by the Counts of Gorizia in 1253 and finally fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363. In 1804 the Princely County of Tyrol, unified with the secularised Prince-Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen, became a crown land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary.
With its capital in Chur, the League was composed of the following districts:
Fürstenau(Romansh: Farschno) is a municipality in the Viamala Region in the Swiss canton of Graubünden and the smallest town to hold city rights with a market right received from Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor in 1354.
Greifenstein Castle is a ruined castle in the municipality of Filisur of the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. It is included on the register of the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance.
Sur is a village and former municipality in the Sursés in the district of Albula in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. On 1 January 2016 the former municipalities of Bivio, Cunter, Marmorera, Mulegns, Riom-Parsonz, Salouf, Savognin, Sur and Tinizong-Rona merged to form the new municipality of Surses.
The Grey League (Romansh :
In Trun, on March 16, 1424, a governing federation was established, comprising:
Even before 1440, the lordships of Löwenberg, Thusis, Tschappina and Heinzenberg joined the League, despite the count of Werdenberg-Sargans having forbidden them from doing so. In 1441 Cazis Abbey joined; in 1480, the neighborhoods of Mesocco and Soazza in Misox and, in 1496, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio assisted with the union of the remainder of the county of Misox, with the districts of Misox and Calanca.
The Grey League was administered in eight districts:
A third league was established on June 8, 1436 by the people of ten bailiwicks in the former county of Toggenburg, as the dynasty of Toggenburg had become extinct. The league was called League of the Ten Jurisdictions (German : Zehngerichtebund; Romansh :
The alliance was mainly designed to resist Habsburg expansion into the region and was administered in seven districts:
The three separate Leagues initially worked together informally, such as in 1450, in the Schamserfehde , a conflict with the house of Werdenberg-Sargans, during which the League of the Ten Jurisdictions allied with the League of God's House. Joint meetings of the three Leagues are evidenced from 1461; closer links date to 1471, when the two leagues allied with the Grey League, but there is no documentary proof of this date. In 1497 and 1498 the Leaguesallied with the Old Swiss Confederacy after the Habsburgs acquired the possessions of the extinct Toggenburg dynasty in 1496, siding with the Confederacy in the Swabian War three years later. The Habsburgs were defeated at Calven Gorge and Dornach, helping the Swiss Confederacy and the allied Leagues to be recognised.
After 1499, the Free State de facto separated from the Holy Roman Empire and developed, during the 16th century into a political entity that was unique in early modern Europe. In the early 17th century, it was the only territory in Europe where all decisions were made by communalism, with the Leagues founded, governed and defended by cooperative decisions.
The Musso war of 1520 drove the Three Leagues closer to the Swiss Confederacy.
With the Bundesbrief of 23 September 1524 was created a constitution that endured until the Napoleonic dissolution of the Free State. The supreme power in the Free State was a Bundestag, composed of 63 deputies with responsible to constituencies; this Bundestag alternated between Ilanz, Chur and Davos. By today's standards, the Three Leagues would be considered a federation of three states, rather than a single, unified state; the union had few competencies and virtually all affairs of the Free State were settled by referendum.
The Ilanz Articles of 1524 and 1526 reduced the power of the Bishop of Chur and strengthened the alliance between the Three Leagues. The first articles, adopted 4 April 1524, required priests to live in the communities they served, to earnestly care for the spiritual needs of their congregation and to live a righteous life. The communities had the right to approve their priests and restricted the bishop from judging secular matters. The second articles were adopted on 25 June 1526. They completely removed the bishop's secular power. The parishes could now chose their own priests and appointments to bishop required approval of the entire Bundestag. Additionally church leaders could no longer appoint secular officers, the monasteries were placed under government oversight and various tithes were abolished or reduced. The articles remained the law of League until the 1798 French invasion.With the articles, the secular League authorities became the highest power in the region.
With the invasion of Switzerland by the French Revolutionary Armies, the Three Leagues were absorbed into the Helvetic Republic, as the canton of Raetia. With the Napoleonic Act of Mediation, the Leagues were incorporated into a restored Swiss Confederacy — as the canton of Graubünden — in 1803; the current constitution of the canton dates from 1892.
The districts of Chiavenna, Valtellina and Bormio, previously dependencies of the Leagues, were never a part of the canton of Raetia, however, having permanently been detached from the Leagues after Revolutionary France fomented revolt there, leading them to be annexed to the Cisalpine Republic on October 10, 1797. The districts subsequently joined the Austrian client kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia after the Congress of Vienna and eventually become the Italian province of Sondrio. The town of Campione was similarly detached from the Landvogtei of Lugano at the same time, leading to its current position as an Italian enclave within Ticino.
The canton of (the) Grisons, or canton of Graubünden, is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. It has international borders with Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Its German name, Graubünden, translates as the "Grey Leagues", referring to the canton's origin in three local alliances, the League of God's House, the Grey League, and the League of the Ten Jurisdictions. Grisons is also home to three of Switzerland's ethnic and linguistic groups, whose spoken languages—Swiss German, Italian, and Romansh—are all native to the canton. It is the only officially trilingual canton and the only canton where the Romansh language has official status.
There are 106 municipalities in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland.
Pfäfers Abbey, also known as St. Pirminsberg from its position on a mountain, was a Benedictine monastery in Pfäfers near Bad Ragaz, in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
The Romansh people are a Romance ethnic group, the speakers of the Romansh language, native to the Swiss canton of Grisons (Graubünden).
The Rheinwald is a valley in the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. The river Hinterrhein flows through three valleys in Graubünden; the Rheinwald is the highest of the three.
The Schams is a section of the Hinterrhein valley in the Swiss canton of Graubünden.
Rietberg Castle is a castle in the municipality of Pratval of the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. It was the site of the murder of Pompeius Planta in 1621 by Jörg Jenatsch during the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants known as the Bündner Wirren.
Ortenstein Castle is a castle in the municipality of Domleschg of the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
Belmont Castle is a ruined castle near Flims, Graubünden, Switzerland. It was the home of the Barons of Belmont.
The ruins of the former Splügen Castle lie east of the village of Splügen in the Rheinwald forest in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. It is the only castle in the valley.
The noble family von Sax were a medieval noble family in eastern Switzerland. They owned estates and castles on both sides of the Alps in the modern cantons of St. Gallen, Graubünden and Ticino. The origin of the family is unknown, but they probably stem from Churrätien nobility and were related to the da Torre family. The family divided into two main lines; the Grafen von Sax-Misox and the Freiherren von Hohensax.
Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts in the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. It was created on 1 January 2017 as part of a reorganization of the canton.
Heinzenberg Castle German: Burg Heinzenberg is a ruined castle in the municipality of Cazis in the Viamala Region of the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.
Neu-Süns Castle, Neu-Sins Castle or Canova is a ruined castle in the municipality of Domleschg in the Viamala Region of the canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.
Rhäzüns Castle is a castle near Rhäzüns, Graubünden, Switzerland.
Castelberg Castle is a ruined castle in the municipality of Ilanz/Glion of the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland.
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