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The Burgundian Wars (1474–1477) were a conflict between the
Burgundian State The Burgundian StateB. Schnerb, ''L'État bourguignon'', 1999 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 d ...
and the
Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy (German language, Modern German: ; historically , after the Swiss Reformation, Reformation also , "Confederation of the Swiss (people), Swiss") was a loose confederation of independent small state ...
and its allies. Open war broke out in 1474, and the
Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the an ...
,
Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles I (Charles Martin; german: Karl Martin; nl, Karel Maarten; 10 November 1433 – 5 January 1477), nicknamed the Bold (german: der Kühne; nl, de Stoute; frenc ...

Charles the Bold
, was defeated three times on the battlefield in the following years and was killed at the
Battle of Nancy The Battle of Nancy was the final and decisive battle of the Burgundian Wars, fought outside the walls of Nancy on 5 January 1477 by Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles (Charles ...
in 1477. The Duchy of Burgundy and several other Burgundian lands then became part of France, and the
Burgundian Netherlands In the history of the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowl ...
and
Franche-Comté Franche-Comté (, ; ; Frainc-Comtou dialect, Frainc-Comtou: ''Fraintche-Comtè''; frp, Franche-Comtât; also german: Freigrafschaft; es, Franco Condado; all ) is a cultural and Provinces of France, historical region of eastern France. It is com ...

Franche-Comté
were inherited by Charles's daughter
Mary of Burgundy Mary (french: Marie; nl, Maria; 13 February 1457 – 27 March 1482), nicknamed the Rich, titular , reigned over the , now mainly in —with the exception of the returned to the (1477)—and the , from 1477 until her death in a ridin ...

Mary of Burgundy
and eventually passed to the
House of Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...
upon her death because of her marriage to
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (22 March 1459 – 12 January 1519) was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death. He was never crowned by the pope, as the journey to Rome was blocked by the Venetians. He was instead proclaimed ...

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
.


Background

The
dukes of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) 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 Netherlands, Habsburg sovereigns of the Low Countries (1 ...
had succeeded, over a period of about 100 years, in establishing their rule as a strong force between the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
and France. Their possessions included, besides their original territories of the and the
Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians The Kingdom of the Burgundians or First Kingdom of Burgundy was establ ...

Duchy of Burgundy
, the economically-strong regions of
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
and
BrabantBrabant is a traditional geographical region (or regions) in the Low Countries of Europe. It may refer to: Place names in Europe Belgium * Province of Brabant, which in 1995 was split up into two provinces and an autonomous region: ** Flemish Braba ...
as well as
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
. The dukes of Burgundy generally pursued an aggressive expansionist politics, especially in
Alsace Alsace (, also ; Low Alemannic German Low Alemannic German (german: Niederalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancie ...

Alsace
and
Lorraine Lorraine , also , , ; Lorrain language, Lorrain: ''Louréne''; Lorraine Franconian: ''Lottringe''; german: Lothringen ; lb, Loutrengen; nl, Lotharingen is a cultural and historical region in northeastern France, now located in the Regions of ...
, 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 The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
but then the
Yorkists The House of York was a cadet branch In history and heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the ...
in the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
, when
Henry VIHenry VI may refer to: * Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1165–1197) * Henry VI, Count Palatine of the Rhine (ruled 1212–1214) * Henry VI, Count of Luxembourg (crowned 1281, died 1288) * Henry VI the Older (before 1345 – 1393) * Henry VI, Count o ...

Henry VI
sided with France), Charles's advances along the Rhine brought him into conflict with the Habsburgs, especially Emperor
Frederick IIIFrederick III may refer to: * Frederick III, Duke of Upper Lorraine (died 1033) * Frederick III, Duke of Swabia (1122–1190) * Friedrich III, Burgrave of Nuremberg (1220–1297) * Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (1240–1302) * Frederick III of Sici ...

Frederick III
.


Conflict

Initially in 1469, Duke Sigismund of Habsburg of Austria pawned his possessions in the
Alsace Alsace (, also ; Low Alemannic German Low Alemannic German (german: Niederalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancie ...

Alsace
in the Treaty of Saint-Omer as a fiefdom to the
Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the an ...
for a loan or sum of 50,000 florins, as well as an alliance,
Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles I (Charles Martin; german: Karl Martin; nl, Karel Maarten; 10 November 1433 – 5 January 1477), nicknamed the Bold (german: der Kühne; nl, de Stoute; frenc ...

Charles the Bold
, to have them better protected from the expansion of the (or
Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy (German language, Modern German: ; historically , after the Swiss Reformation, Reformation also , "Confederation of the Swiss (people), Swiss") was a loose confederation of independent small state ...
). 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 , french: link=no, Bâlois(e), it, Basilese , neighboring_municipalities= Allschwil , neighboring_municipalities= Baselland (BL), Binningen, Switzerland, Binningen, Buschwiller (FR-68), Hégenheim (FR-68), Neuwiller (FR-68), Oberwil, Basel- ...

Basel
,
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Bas-Rhin (; Alsatian: ''Unterelsàss'', ' or '; traditional german: links=no, Niederrhein; en, Lower Rhine) is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, divi ...

Strasbourg
and , directed by his
reeve Reeve may refer to: Titles *Reeve (Canada), an elected chief executive in counties and some district municipalities *Reeve (England), an official elected annually by the serfs to supervise lands for a lord *High-reeve, a title taken by some English ...

reeve
, prompted these to turn to
Bern ,german: Berner(in),french: Bernois(e), it, Bernese , neighboring_municipalities = Bremgarten bei Bern Bremgarten bei Bern is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corpor ...

Bern
for help. Charles' expansionist strategy suffered a first setback in his politics when his attack on the
Archbishopric of Cologne The Archdiocese of Cologne ( la, Archidioecesis Coloniensis; german: Erzbistum Köln) is an archdiocese In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ord ...
failed after the unsuccessful
Siege of Neuss The Siege of Neuss, from 1474–75, was linked to the Cologne Diocesan Feud and part of the Burgundian Wars. The siege, led by Charles the Bold against the Free imperial city, Imperial City of Neuss, was unsuccessful. Charles was compelled by the ...

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 in 1474 (later called the or Perpetual Accord). He wanted to buy back his Alsace possessions from Charles, who refused. Shortly afterwards, 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 () when they won the Battle of in November 1474.
Louis XI of France Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), called "Louis the Prudent" (french: le Prudent), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France ruled from the establishment of the West Francia, Kingdom of the West Franks in 843 until ...

Louis XI of France
joined the coalition by the Treaty of Andernach in December. The next year, Bernese forces conquered and ravaged , which belonged to the
Duchy of Savoy From 1416 to 1847, the Duchy of Savoy ( it, Ducato di Savoia, french: Duché de Savoie) was a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasse ...

Duchy of Savoy
, who was allied with Charles the Bold. In the , the independent republics of the , with the help of Bernese and other confederate forces, drove the Savoyards out of the lower after a victory in the
Battle on the Planta The Battle on the Planta, fought on 13 November 1475 around Conthey near Sion, Switzerland, Sion, Canton of Valais, Valais, Switzerland, was part of the Burgundian Wars. Background In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Upper Valais (the eastern port ...
in November 1475. In 1476, Charles retaliated and marched to
Grandson In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...
, which belonged to 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 A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and fo ...
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 The Battle of Morat (also known as the Battle of Murten) was a battle in the Burgundian Wars (1474–77) that was fought on 22 June 1476 between Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, and a Swiss Confederate army at Murten, Morat/Murten, about 30 ...
. Charles the Bold raised a new army, but fell in the
Battle of Nancy The Battle of Nancy was the final and decisive battle of the Burgundian Wars, fought outside the walls of Nancy on 5 January 1477 by Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles (Charles ...
in 1477 in which the Swiss fought alongside an army of
René II, Duke of Lorraine René II (2 May 1451 – 10 December 1508) was Count of Vaudémont from 1470, Duke of Lorraine from 1473, and Duke of Bar from 1483 to 1508. He claimed the crown of the Kingdom of Naples The Kingdom of Naples ( la, Regnum Neapolitanum; i ...
.


Aftermath

With the death of Charles the Bold, the Valois dynasty of the
dukes of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) 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 Netherlands, Habsburg sovereigns of the Low Countries (1 ...
died out. The northern territories of the dukes of Burgundy became a possession of the Habsburgs, when
Archduke Maximilian of Austria
Archduke Maximilian of Austria
, who would later become
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
, married Charles's only daughter,
Mary of Burgundy Mary (french: Marie; nl, Maria; 13 February 1457 – 27 March 1482), nicknamed the Rich, titular , reigned over the , now mainly in —with the exception of the returned to the (1477)—and the , from 1477 until her death in a ridin ...

Mary of Burgundy
. The duchy proper reverted to the crown of France under king
Louis XI Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), called "Louis the Prudent" (french: le Prudent), was King of France from 1461 to 1483. He succeeded his father, Charles VII of France, Charles VII. Louis entered into open rebellion against his father ...

Louis XI
. The initially also became French but was ceded to Maximilian's son
Philip Philip, also Phillip, is a male given name, derived from the Greek language, Greek (''Philippos'', lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"), from a compound of (''philos'', "dear", "loved", "loving") and (''hippos'', "horse"). Prominent Philip ...

Philip
in 1493 by Charles VIII at the
Treaty of Senlis The Treaty of Senlis concerning the Burgundian succession was signed at Senlis, Oise Senlis () is a commune in the northern French department of Oise. The monarchs of the early French dynasties lived in Senlis, attracted by the proximity of t ...
in an attempt to bribe the emperor to remain neutral during Charles's planned invasion of Italy. The victories of the (Swiss Confederation) over what was one of the most powerful military forces in Europe gained it a reputation of being nearly invincible, and the Burgundian Wars marked the beginning of the rise of
Swiss mercenaries Swiss mercenaries (''Reisläufer'') were notable for their service in foreign armies, especially the armies of the Kings of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily ...
on the battlefields of Europe. 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 disputes almost led to war. They were settled by the of 1481.


See also

* Battles of the Burgundian Wars * Cologne Diocesan Feud


Further reading

*. *.


References


External links

* * {{Authority control 15th century in the Old Swiss Confederacy 1470s in the Holy Roman Empire 1474 in Europe 1475 in Europe 1476 in Europe 1477 in Europe