Germany History – The Feudal Revenge Against the Hereditary Monarchy and the Struggle for Investitures (1056-1125) Part II

According to Answerresume, the struggle began in Saxony, where the regional autonomies were most deeply rooted, which in a certain way resulted in the inheritance of the ducal dynasty of the Billungs, and where the leaders of the feudal opposition such as Otto of Nordheim, duke had their vast allodial possessions. of Bavaria, and Egbert of Brünswick, Margrave of Misnia. On the other hand, in Eastern Saxony and Thuringia it was the most conspicuous part of the patrimonies of Henry IV, a legacy of the Saxon kings, which offered him the basis for his work of strengthening the royal power. The king’s action was first influenced by a bitter opponent of the Billungs, Archbishop Adalbert of Bremen, whom Henry IV had called to his side (1069); but it continued in the same address even after the death of the minister (1072). The renewed activity aimed at increasing those castles, which already under Henry III had aroused the distrust of the local lords, and the blow against Otto of Nordheim, who, accused of high treason, the king stripped of Bavaria, transferring it to a member of the nobility Swabian, Guelph of Altdorf (1070), were the signal of the revolt, which at first disordered and soon contained (1071), immediately rearranged (1073) and was a general in Saxony and Thuringia. The jealousies between the princes of southern Germany and the Saxon lords benefited the king, who had the first with him like the Lorraines, as well as the lesser aristocracy and the cities; and on 9 June 1075 with the victory of Homburg over the Unstrut he crushed the rebellion. On Christmas of that year, in Goslar, the great swore to recognize his son Corrado as the successor of Henry IV,

But a new element of great importance had intervened to determine a new phase in the conflict between the crown and the feudal opposition: the prohibition of investitures to ecclesiastics by the laity, which Gregory VII had proclaimed by the Roman council of February 1075. The Canonical deliberation thus affected the very structure of the kingdom, due to the vassalage relations of the high clergy with the crown, as well as the temporal interests of that. In Worms, 26 German bishops rallied around Henry IV to declare deposed Gregory VII (January 1076), who replied with the anathema of February 22, 1076. The great duel for investitures began, of which we will only talk about reflections on the history of Germany. Already for fear of an excessive increase in the power of the king, that his triumph in Saxony had aroused in the princes of southern Germany, was preparing the ground for the establishment of a united front among the great of the kingdom; the pope’s attitude now offered the feudal opposition a magnificent possibility of resolving the struggle forever with the weakening of the monarchy and its enslavement to regional and local interests. The Tribur diet (October 1076) and the election in Forchheim (March 15, 1077) of Rudolf of Rheinfelden, Duke of Swabia, as king, constituted a real revolution, whose aims were manifested in the obligation imposed on Rudolf of not to assert inherited rights to the succession in the child, and in the affirmed sole constitutional basis of the assumption to the throne in the fact of the election by the princes. But against the threatened hegemony of the great, the rural masses, the lesser aristocracy, the Danube and Rhenish cities, most of the bishops, turned to Henry IV, who had a large following in Lorraine, Burgundy, Carinthia and almost everywhere. in central and southern Germany, except in Swabia, where it was also fought by the proponents of religious reform, especially advocated by the monastery of Hirschau, under Abbot William (1069-1091). But even here his cause made progress for the value of the Swabian nobleman Frederick of Hohenstaufen, of the counts of Büren, whom Henry IV invested with the duchy (1079). The fight was concentrated in Saxony and Thuringia, where, at the battle of Hohenmölsen on the Elster (October 15, 1080), the antiré Rodolfo was mortally wounded. A new antiré was elected in the person of the Lorraine count Hermann of Luxembourg (Ochsenfurt, August 1081). However, the death of Otto of Nordheim (1083), the dissensions between the Saxon lords, the rapprochement of the Billungs to Henry IV, the pacification of a part of the German bishops (truce of God of Liege 1082, Cologne 1083, Mainz May 1085, with the intervention of the emperor) the general weariness gradually calmed the fury of the revolt, which still flared up only in a part of Saxony, and here and there in Swabia. Henry IV was able to stay three years in Italy (1081-1084); and returned to Germany, in May 1087, he was able to have his eldest son Corrado crowned and recognized as his future successor. The following year Hermann of Luxembourg (died September 28, 1088) renounced the crown, and withdrew to his Lorraine possessions.

Germany History - The Feudal Revenge Against the Hereditary Monarchy 2