Swiss History Part II

Consolidation of the Confederation

Between 1415 (conquest of the Habsburg Aargau) and 1474 (beginning of the Burgundian Wars), a solid state system was formed, the Swiss Confederation. It was expanded until 1536. The system comprised the “Thirteen Old Places” from 1513 (also known as the “Thirteen-Place Confederation”): aristocratic guild city republics (Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Basel, Freiburg im Üechtland, Solothurn and Schaffhausen) and “democratic” countries (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus, Appenzell), as well as the half-urban, half-rural train. In addition, allies of various degrees appeared as facing places, v. a. the cities of St. Gallen, Biel (BE), Rottweil (until the 17th century), Mulhouse and Geneva, the Abbey of St. Gallen, the Principality of Neuchâtel and the Diocese of Basel (not until 1579). The two Alpine republics, Valais and the Free State of the Three Leagues (Graubünden), had also gained closer contact with the Confederation of the “Thirteen Old Places”. Although they belonged to the entire federal system, they regarded themselves as independent republics organized internally as federations. The government system of the Confederation was that of a federation. The thirteen old places and some of the places facing them were represented by delegations of two at the daily statuterepresent. As a conference of ambassadors, this guarded the common affairs, without prejudice to the sovereignty of the individual place (canton). The cantons jointly administered subject areas (Landvogtei), results of conquest and acquisition (parts of today’s cantons Aargau and Sankt Gallen, today’s cantons Thurgau and Ticino).

Military successes and the end of expansion

After successfully overcoming the internal crisis in the Toggenburg War of Inheritance (1440–46 / 50), a last attempt by the Habsburgs to seize the lost territories, the Confederation of Swiss (thirteen-place Confederation) came to power. to regain with the help of the Armagnaks (Armagnac; victory at Sankt Jakob an der Birs, 1444; dissolution of the alliance between Zurich and Habsburg), to international reputation through the unexpected victories over Charles the Bold of Burgundy (Grandson and Murten, 1476; Nancy, 1477) whose wide-ranging territorial state ambitions were thus ended.

According to computergees, the Swiss, long known to be strong in combat, have since allowed recruiters from foreign powers to recruit the surplus young team as mercenaries (“foreign services”; including ” Swiss Guard”). The crisis between urban and rural cantons that arose over the application for membership from Freiburg and Solothurn (the latter were temporarily hostile to the reinforcement of the former) was settled through the mediation of Nikolaus von Flüe (brother Klaus) (Stanser Verkommnis, 1481). At the end of the 15th century, the Rütli myth was formed to legitimize the Swiss Confederation (including in the “White Book of Sarnen ”).

In the Italian War between the Valois and the Habsburgs, the Swiss tried to intervene independently in 1511-15 within the framework of the Holy League directed against France. It succeeded in driving the French out of northern Italy (1512) and securing the Duchy of Milan with the victory of Novara (1513), but French diplomacy succeeded in dividing the cantons. The military defeat of Marignano (Melegnano) 1515 led to a rethink. An “eternal peace” was concluded with France in 1516 and a close alliance in 1521, which was a treaty of friendship and pay. From the territorial conquests of these wars, the Swiss were left with the area of ​​today’s Canton of Ticino (Ennetbergische Vogteien) and the Valtellina (common rule of the Three Leagues). In 1536, Bern used a favorable opportunity in the Italian War to conquer the Vaud region (Vaud, Story). As a result, however, the Swiss share in world politics was again limited to the role of mercenary supplier. This was done through the granting of advertising licenses by the cantons, which received compensation (pensions) for this. For various reasons it was necessary to renounce an active foreign policy. The form of government of the federation was not suitable for uniform action; the division into two denominational blocs caused by the Reformation did the rest. The integration into a confederation was subject to geographical limits.

The development of the Confederation of the Thirteen Old Places (Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus, Zug, Freiburg, Solothurn, Basel, Schaffhausen and Appenzell), which remained territorially unchanged until 1798/1803, took place within the framework of the Holy Roman Empire completed (German history). Initially, the emperors (especially the Luxembourgers) promoted the development of the Swiss imperial cities and states (against the Habsburgs). The rejection of Maximilian I’s plans for imperial reform led to the Swabian War of 1499; it ended after Swiss successes (especially the battle of Dornach, 22.7.1499) with the compromise of the peace of Basel (22.9.1499). The Swiss Confederation retained its old privileges and effectively left the empire.

Reformation and denominational division

State church measures of the cantons as well as social movements in the peasantry of different cantons favored the advance of the Reformation. Basel and St. Gallen proved to be centers of humanistic criticism. In Basel, for example, B. Erasmus, J. Amerbach and H. Glareanus, in St. Gallen J. Vadianus. The political positions of the bishops were undermined everywhere. The Reformation fell into the crisis after the Milanese defeat and the reorientation towards France. In U. Zwingli, Zurich found a reformer who, far more consistently than M. Luther, tackled both the theological-ecclesiastical and the political-social side of the new order.

Swiss History 1