1499 - Swabian War

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Following rising tensions between the Habsburgs and the Swiss Three Leaugues (an associate of the Old Swiss Confederacy that eventually became the east Swiss canton of Graubünden), on 20th January 1499 Habsburg troops occupied the Val Müstair and plundered the Benedictine Convent of Saint John.

Although the Habsburgs were driven back by the Swiss, and an armistice signed on 2nd February, the Swiss had already called on the Old Swiss Confederacy for help, and when troops from Uri encountered some Habsburg troops returning home, they did not take too kindly to the Habsburg insults being thrown at them, and killed them.

In retaliation, the Habsburgs sacked the village of Maienfeld and called on the Swabian League (formed 11 years earlier and comprising 22 cities of the Holy Roman Empire, along with a number of regional powers, including the Margraviate of Baden) for help. The conflict quickly descended into a series of small raids and plundering expeditions by both sides, punctuated by a few larger battles. At the Battle of Dornach (pictured) on 22nd July 1499 the heavily outnumbered Swiss army inflicted a severe defeat on the Habsburg forces, ending the conflict.

The war was formally ended on 22nd September 1499 by the Peace of Basel. Although the Habsburg leader Maximilian I tried to use his position as Holy Roman Emperor to characterise the conflict as being between the empire and a rebellious constituent, the treaty referred to him only as the "Duke of Habsburg". In this way the war was seen as a conflict between equals within the Holy Roman Empire - a personal conflict between the Habsburgs and the Old Swiss Confederacy.

As a consequence of the war, the Swiss finally freed themselves from the efforts of the Habsburgs to establish control over them. Officially they remained a part of the Holy Roman Empire, but actually achieved a de facto independence that lasted until the formal recognition of an independent Switzerland at the conclusion of the Thirty Years' War in 1648.

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Alamanicus is wandering his old Alemanni haunts, revisiting the places where once he used to drink, carouse, and beat up the odd Roman legionnaire or two. Things have moved on since his day, and the old Alemanni country now lies across south west Germany, French Alsace, and northern Switzerland. Cut through by the mighty Rhine, it is an area of great beauty, and a lot has happened there since Alamanicus last walked this land.


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