James Bryce Bryce.

The book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) online

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Italy found that after p et er of Aspeit, Archbishop of Mainz, in the adherence, as opportu-
her liberation from Ho- cathedral of that city, represents him with the nity offered, by friendly
henstauffen despotism, three kings whom he crowned Henry vn., overtures and conces-
far from securing peace, Lewis the Bavarian ' and John of Bohemia - sions. In this way the
she had been involved in the local feuds general body were thrown into confusion.

He was soon obliged to abandon festivals
and tournaments for siege operations and
punitive courts.

The king was also obliged, whether
he would or not, to avail himself of the
partisan help offered in the country.
The calculating Angevins of Naples had
never found it so easy to secure the
allegiance of their inheritance in most

of the Guelfs and Ghibellines ; these
animosities had increased so rapidly
that a mediator from beyond the Alps
would be welcome to the Ghibellines,
as the realisation of hopes which were
either far-reaching or selfish. Every Ger-
man who could see beyond his own imme-
diate convenience was at once attracted by
this return to the traditions of the Hohen-
staufien, which still survived among the

important towns in Upper Italy and

nation, though these feelings were now Rome. Henry's coronation as king of Lom-
manifested rather as a form of enthusiasm bardy, on January 6th, 1311, was easily



and rapidly secured. His imperial corona-
tion by three cardinals in the Lateran on
June 29th, 1312, was a less brilliant
affair, as he could not secure entrance
into St. Peter's. Meanwhile he had now
recognised Naples as his most formidable
opponent, and had begun a war in alliance
with the Aragonese king, Frederic of
_ Sicily. At this point Pope

of Kin*' Clement v - interpreted his
action, not as securing his

and Pope ... . TT

position in Upper Italy, but as
an attempt to revive the policy of Manfred
and Conradin, and as an open breach of
the guarantees which Henry had given.
Possibly Clement was correct in thinking
that this emperor would have become a
second Frederic II. in the event of success,
and would have eventually left Germany
unsecured. King Philip of France was
naturally no less excited than the Pope.
The Pope and the emperor fought by means
of legal experts and publicists, discussing
the correctness of their respective theories.
The imperial theory, which Henry was
bound to define by the exigencies of
his position, undoubtedly shook the justice
of French and papal imperialism and
its recent achievements. A powerful
fleet started from Italy and began
the appeal to arms, with much promise of
success. The emperor himself, who had
formed an armed camp in opposition to
Florence, which was ruled by the Guelfs
and Angevins, and constituted the central
point of hostilities in Upper Italy,
started southward from the faithful town
of Pisa. While this state of tension
was continuing, he succumbed to an illness
on August 24th, 1313, midway between
his friends and foes, after triumphs and

In Germany the Austrian party and that
of Luxemburg and Mainz now made their
preparations for the elections. These
parties were too comprehensive to leave
room for the existence of a third. As the

youth of John made a Bohe-
& Kin' 08 m i an candidature impossible,
Frankfort ^ or ^ s anc * other reasons the

Bohemian party supported the
candidature of the Wittelsbach against
the Hapsburg. Before the gates of the
election town of Frankfort in Sachsen-
hausen, on October loth, 1314, Frederic
III. the Fair, of Austria, son of Albert I.,
was elected by the exiled Henry of Carin-
thia, representing the Bohemian court,
and by Saxony, Wittenberg and Cologne ;


but on the following day, on the right
bank of the Rhine, Lewis IV., of Upper
Bavaria, was elected by Mainz, Treves,
Brandenburg, Saxony- Lauen burg, and by
John of Bohemia. The Hapsburg side
was joined against Lewis by his brother
Rudolf (the Stammerer) of the Pala-
tinate, with whom he had quarrelled.

Lewis was forthwith opposed by the
resistance which had thwarted the Swabian
ambitions of the Hapsburgs since the
middle of the thirteenth century a resist-
ance offered by the federal communities
of the Forest Cantons. This opposition
became a local war, in which Leopold,
Frederic's brother and best champion, suf-
fered the heavy defeat of Morgarten at the
hands of the Swiss and the peasants of
Uri, on November I5th, 1315. Modern
Switzerland rightly considers this federal
alliance, the earliest attested by documents,
between Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden,
on August 1st, 1291, as the initial date,
or, better, the jubilee date of its origin.
It must be remembered that neither
upon this nor upon other occasions of the
kind was there any proposal to break
away from the empire. On the
esis ancc con t rarVj f h e question at issue

Su rtmac rg was the maint enance of that
immediate dependence upon
the empire which, in the case of Uri, was
indisputable ; in other words, it was
resistance or revolt against the Hapsburg
supremacy. In this struggle the Forest
Cantons saw, on March 29th, 1316, the con-
firmation of Henry VII's promises of June
3rd, 1309, which Lewis of Bavaria now con-
sidered as equally important to himself.

His war against Frederic, which became
a struggle of skirmishes and attempts
to secure allies, was considerably ad-
vanced, on September 28th, 1322, by the
battle of Miihldorf, in which Frederic was
beaten and taken prisoner before Leopold's
arrival with fresh forces. It was not a
decisive battle, as neither party was over-
thrown. Frederic himself, who was re-
leased from the fortress of Trausnitz to
secure the retirement of Leopold, re-
turned home without accomplishing any-
thing. After a personal interview Lewis
granted him the rights of co-regency by the
treaty of Munich on September 5th, 1325.
The situation was not clear until Leo-
pold'.s death, on February 28th, 1326 ;
thenceforward Frederic remained in peace,
as the master of his hereditary territory,
with the title of King of the Romans, which


was very little more than personal. He
died on January I3th, 1330.

With the battle of Miihldorf begins the
supremacy of Lewis in Germany, al-
though he entirely lost the Luxemburg
and Bohemian friendship by his friend-
ship with Hapsburg. He had already
greatly offended John. After the extinc-
tion of the Ascanians in Brandenburg in
July, 1320, he had invested the Bohemians

Pope John XXII. in Avignon. The object
at stake was to secure the same submis-
sion to the papacy of the Wittelsbach,
which had been gained from Frederic's
father, King Albert I., though John
did not feel himself bound to the Haps-
burgs. On October 8th, 1323, this Pope
proceeded to complain that though Lewis
did not possess the papal recognition, he
had yet assumed the kingdom of Italy,


Elected Emperor of Germany in 1314, Lewis the Bavarian proceeded to Rome, where he was anointed by a bishop
who was not a cardinal a strange innovation and crowned by the capitano of the city. Lewis quarrelled with Pope
Benedict XII., and was excommunicated for denying papal authority in Germany. His stormy career ended in 1347.

with the fiefs of Bautzen, Lobau, and
Kamenz, but in the spring of 1323 he had
placed his own son Lewis in possession of
that electorate.

For Brandenburg itself the Wittelsbach
government was an interim with no par-
ticular influence upon the prosperity of the
country or the people, but rather tending
to impoverishment and internal disruption.
The more Lewis strengthened his position,
the stronger became the opposition of

and invited him to answer personally for
his conduct at Avignon on July nth, 1324.
The king and his legal advisers were sup-
ported in the struggle thus forced upon
them by a valuable body of helpers, the
Minorites. In particular, a certain fanatical
section of the Franciscan friars called
zealots or " fratricelli," who were con-
demned for heresy (November 22nd, 1323),
attacked the papacy, and not only the
papacy, but all clergy who declined to



endorse an extreme Franciscan doctrine of
poverty. This sect of friars proceeded to
offer a bold and clever literary defence,
criticising the foundations of the papal
position and claims. It made the cause of
Lewis its own ; and as it was widely spread
and popular in the towns, it easily per-
suaded the people to feel no apprehension
, of excommunication or papal in-

ew terdict. Lewis, who had no

_ ro k cause for fear respecting the
attitude of Germany, appeared
in Italy and advanced to Rome. He
was anointed by a bishop who was
not a cardinal a strange innovation
and crowned by the capitano of the city
of Rome, a Colonna, on January lyth. He
then pronounced the deposition of the
Pope as a heretic in April, 1328. No other
important consequences resulted from this
Roman journey, which ended disastrously
in December, 1329, apart from the new
impulse given to Roman animosity by
imperial claims and demands.

The action of John, who died in 1334, and
of his successor, Benedict XII., in Germany,
eventually led to the famous electoral
conference of Rhens on July i6th, 1338.
At this meeting the electors laid down the
principle that their choice conferred the
title and power of king upon the successful
candidate, as well as a claim to the empire ;
that empire and kingdom were therefore
independent of the papal power, and were
rather derived immediately from the grace
of God. These resolutions were accepted
by a diet which met at Frankfort in August
of the same year. It was then proposed
to make war on France in alliance with
England, since the king of France was
the protector of the papacy. King
Edward III. appeared at Coblenz on
August 3ist and seated himself on the
steps of the throne, upon which the em-
peror appeared in full imperial splendour.
Thus a further impulse was given to a
wider conception of German imperial
Pa al power, and the papal claims to

~? '. control the German crown were

isiaims on . .

Germany eventually shared in common
by every order in the empire.
Lewis might have had an opportunity of
refounding the power of the crown at this
moment, had not the efforts of the crown
been rather directed to territorial acquisi-
tion. Its subsequent attitude was that
of feeble conciliation towards France in
1342, and the Curia in 1343, followed by
illegal infringement upon their privileges,

John of Bohemia had married his son
John Henry to Margaret Maultasch, the
daughter and heiress of Henry of Carinthia
and Tyrol ; she was older than her husband
and therefore preferred the emperor's
eldest son, Lewis of Brandenburg. The
Pope, however, who was an enemy of
the Wittelsbachs, would not do them the
favour of dissolving the earlier marriage or
of providing the dispensation necessitated
by the near relationship of the contracting
parties ; these acts were therefore performed
by the emperor himself, who thus simply
superseded the rights undoubtedly belong-
ing to the spiritual authorities.

The further extension of territory at
which the Hapsburgs had long been
aiming was secured by the Emperor
Lewis, upon the death, in 1345, of
William, Count of Hainault, the ruler of
Holland and Zeeland. Lewis had married
the sister of Count William, by name
Margaret, as a second wife, and to her as
his heiress he transferred the government
of the vacant imperial fiefs, which were
then held in trust for her son William.
The Wittelsbach territory thus extended
from Hainault and Branden-

e burg to Tyrol, and the succession

c pc of a son of Lewis to the empire

was therefore inconceivable ;
attempts to turn the electors in his favour
proved hopeless. The new Pope, Clement,
resumed the struggle from Avignon, after
1346, with considerable vigour. Charles
of Moravia and Bohemia had been ruling
in place of his father, who had gone blind
in 1340 ; he was the Pope's personal
friend, and to do him a favour Prague had
been made an archbishopric in 1344, and
the metropolitan influence of Mainz thus
withdrawn from Bohemia and Moravia.
On April I3th, 1346, Clement solemnly
banned the Bavarian. Charles came to
Avignon in person, renounced the electoral
decrees of Rhens, admitted all papal
demands for supremacy, promised that the
emperor should spend no further time in
Rome than the single day of coronation,
and that the Pope should decide all com-
plications with France, etc. Besides his
great-uncle Baldwin of Treves the electoral
votes of Mainz, Cologne, and Saxony-
Wittenberg were secured for Charles, while
the votes of the Palatinate and Branden-
burg were refused, as these electors were
under an interdict ; thus Charles was
proclaimed king on July nth, 1346, at









/CHARLES IV. had not been long
>* recognised as emperor when, in the
winter of 1347-1348, he made a trium-'
phant progress through South Germany and
received homage in Regensburg, Nurem-
berg, and even in Ulm, and was favourably
met by a number of princes. The power-
ful Wittelsbachs, headed by Lewis of Bran-
denburg and Tyrol, were still bitterly
hostile to him. At their instigation King
Edward III. of England was, in January,
1348, elected emperor by four electoral
votes. But Charles induced Edward by
skilful diplomacy to renounce his election,
and he made at the same time great
advances in North Germany, in the
immediate neighbourhood of Brandenburg,
a Wittelsbach possession.

Not unconnected with this was the
appearance of a man who gave himself
out as the Waldemar who had been dead
for nearly thirty years, and, supported by
the enemies of Lewis, was
universally acknowledged in
the march to be the old lord.

an Impostor ,-., , , , . , , ,

Charles, who certainly had
nothing personally to do with the impos-
ture, naturally took the matter, so favour-
able to him, in a serious light, ordered the
stranger to be solemnly proclaimed as the
real Waldemar by people who had known
the latter, and gave him the fief of the
march in return for the concession of
Niederlausitz. The prospect, at the same
time, was held out to the dukes of Saxony
and the counts of Anhalt that they would
succeed to Waldemar's land in the event of
his dying without issue.

In any case Lewis had lost his support
in the north ; he could hold his own
only in Frankfort-on-Oder. He did not
wish to enter into negotiations with
Charles. Indeed, he set up a rival candi-
date, the energetic Count Giinther von
Schwarzburg, a petty lord, known as a
valiant warrior. On January 30th, 1349,
Giinther was chosen emperor on the plain
before Frankfort by the votes of the

How Charles

electors of Mainz, the Palatinate, Branden-
burg and Saxony ; a few days afterward
the town allowed him to make his entry.
But his following did not increase, and
Charles made great advances in the
empire, especially when in March he
married the daughter of the

f e D * C i palsgrave, and thus not only
of a Rival \ , , J

E drew the latter over to his side,

but at the same time broke up
the hostile alliance of the Wittelsbachs.
Since Giinther refused negotiations with
Charles, a short struggle for Castel and
Eltville ensued, from which Charles derived
considerable advantage.

Before matters came to a decision,
however, Lewis of Brandenburg himself
sued for peace. Giinther was 'abandoned
by his party, and very soon died at Frank-
fort, after he had formally relinquished
his claim to the empire. Charles now
gained the recognition of the princes by
making concessions to them. The electors
of Mainz, the Palatinate and Brandenburg
declared publicly that they had elected
Charles emperor after Giinther's death,
and he was solemnly crowned, together
with his consort, at Aix-la-Chapelle, by
Baldwin of Treves.

In Brandenburg, meantime, fortune had
favoured the side of Lewis. In a diet at
Bautzen the princes declared that they
could not consider the claimant as the
genuine Waldemar if they were called on
to swear to it. Charles, therefore, enfeoffed
Lewis the elder once more with the march
as well as with Carinthia and Tyrol, and
promised to take steps toward releasing
him from the ban. Lewis
Peace and Delivered up the insignia of the

Order in *-*-? t * 1-1

empire. The renewed ban did
1 him little harm. He reconciled
himself with his neighbours by concessions
of territory and payments of money,
and, finally, in 1355, with the counts of
Anhalt. But he transferred the march
as a whole to his younger brother, Lewis
the " Roman," in 1351. Tranquillity and



order again reigned in the empire. Charles
was the only and universally admitted

Charles was doubtless aided by an event
which bore on politics only through the
feelings with which it inspired princes and
statesmen. Toward the end of 1347 there
first appeared on the shores of the Mediter-
ranean an epidemic which had never yet
been known in Germany. It spread with
inconceivable rapidity over all Western
Europe and spared very few districts.
The pestilence was called
the " Black Death," and
men thought to explain it
by accusing the Jews of
having poisoned the wells.
Although Pope Clement, as
well as the Emperor Charles,
gave no credence to the
report, a universal san-
guinary persecution of the
Jews followed, accompanied
by hideous acts of cruelty.

The loss of life caused by
the plague cannot now be
even approximately stated.
Goswin, a monk of the Con-
vent of Marienberg in Tyrol,
considers that hardly a sixth
part of the whole population
of the country survived. Of
his convent brethren only
two lived through it, him-
self and another. Similar
results may have been found
in other districts. For years
afterward the deficiency in
population was noticeable.

The event made a marked
impression on contempor-
aries. Since many people
saw a divine punishment in
this terrible pestilence, a

emperor had little to contend* against :
men's minds were fixed on supernatural
issues. Charles now wished to be duly
crowned and consecrated ; but Clement,
who had been bitterly deceived in his
protege, refused his request. It was only
after Charles, in 1353, had taken for his
third wife Anne, daughter of Duke Bolko
of Schweidnitz-Jauer, and after Innocent
VI. had mounted the papal throne, that
the journey to Rome took place in 1355.
In Rome great hopes were entertained of
the grandson of Henry
VII. Rienzi hoped to re-
vive his power by help of
the new emperor ; but
Charles gave no encourage-
ment. The title of emperor
satisfied him. He marched
over the mountains with a
small retinue, received the
crown of Lombardy, and
was crowned emperor at
Rome. He left the Eternal
City the same day in
order to return soon to
Germany, laden with large
sums of money. By the
beginning of July he was
once more at Augsburg,
proud of the imperial title.
A few months later, he
entered Bohemia, and sum-
moned an imperial assembly
at Nuremberg, at which the
first part of the new state
charter, afterwards called
the Golden Bull, was dis-
cussed and solemnly pub-
lished on January loth,
1356. The second and
shorter part was made law
in the diet of Metz on
December 25th, 1356. The

course of life acceptable to P 1 * EMPEROR CHARLES iv. Golden Bull in allessential

~ , , , , r .. , . Charles IV. was not well received as . , ...

God seemed, to be the best Emperor of Germany by ail parties ; and points ratified the existing
means of propitiating the fiii V of e En|i r and in waf e!ected f ch^fe^ condition of affairs, and
wrath of heaven. Brother- however, induced him to withdraw! only in isolated sections
hoods were formed, especially in the Nether-
lands, and set before themselves the duty
of mortifying the body and of doing penance
by lacerating their flesh with scourges in
the presence of the whole population.

The " Flagellants " obtained every-
where so many followers that this new
mental disease caused for some time as
much excitement in Germany as the
physical disease of the Black Death. In

the strain of this terrible time the


decided for one of two antagonistic
parties. It was the foundation-stone of
the German constitution up to the peace
of Westphalia and still later, and was of
great importance in the development of
constitutional ideas.

With Poland and Hungary Charles made
political arrangements, but with France
and with Pope Innocent his relations be-
came troubled, as he made promises to
both which he could not possibly fulfil.


So, too, the question of the castle and
lordship of Donaustauf , which Charles had
acquired from the Bishop of Regensburg,
soon led to a bitter struggle with the
Bavarian Wittelsbachs. But the glory
of the Wittelsbachs was passed, and the
Hapsburgs in Austria had become the
leading southern power of Germany,
under Duke Albert, who died in 1358. His
son Rudolf, son-in-law of the emperor,
managed by forgeries of imperial grants
to secure to himself and
his house the rights which
the Golden Bull had con-
ceded to the electors.
Charles was obliged finally
to make some concessions,
although he was very little
disposed to acknowledge
the claims of Rudolf or to
agree to his acquisition
of Tyrol, which Margaret
Maultasch handed over to
him in 1363 as a gift.

To settle political dissen-
sions he chose Elizabeth,
the daughter of the duke of
Pomerania, for his fourth
wife. The marriage took
place at Cracow in May,
1363. At the beginning of
the next year a full peace
was concluded with Lewis
of Hungary and Rudolf of
Austria, and a little later
followed the important
agreement as to the succes-
sion between the houses of
Luxemburg and Hapsburg.

When Innocent VI. died,
in 1362, without having
accomplished any great
results as far as his Italian
policy was concerned, and
without having advanced Count

Pope himself performed the ceremony of

Urban was not opposed to the pro-
posal of leaving Avignon, but could
only point out to Charles the quite in-
calculable obstacles in his way. Charles
therefore resolved to go himself to Avignon
in order to remove the difficulties and to
guide the whole policy of Western Europe
into another channel. He entered Avig-
non at the end of May, 1365, and was
crowned as king of Bur-
gundy, thus proclaiming
his insistence on his right
and title. He then began
negotiations with the Pope
and the brother of the
French king about a crusade
which was intended especi-
ally to clear the country
from the roving mercenaries
who lived in France.

When Charles left Avig-
non he had made every
sort of arrangement with
Urban about the removal
to Rome. In the diet of
Frankfort he obtained the
consent of the princes to
an expedition to Rome, and
Urban promised to start in
the spring of 1367, and
in the first instance to live
at Viterbo. He sailed, in
fact, from Marseilles on
April 30th in an Italian
ship, took up his residence
at Viterbo, and entered
Rome on October i6th.

But the preparations for
war in Germany met with
obstacles. Sickness and
famine delayed the assem-
bling of the army so that
the emperor did not appear

the reform of the Church, set up as a rival emperor to Charles iv. in Italy before May, 1368.

TTrV>ar V wrac raic^rl tr> fVo in 1349 ' but he was soon deserted, and npt /itVi TWnahn H^

Urban V. Was raised me his death at Frankfort quickly followed. *C war Wltn XXTOAOO OS

-rankfort cathedral Visconti of Milan was un-

papal chair in order to Engraved from the to
continue the efforts of his predecessor in successful, so that a peace was concluded
Italy. It now seemed to the Emperor by the end of August. Charles, however,

marched on with only a few followers, had
a meeting with Urban in Viterbo, and both

Charles a favourable opportunity to en-
force the return of the Pope to Rome.
The close connection of the papacy with

made their entry into Rome. The emperor

France implied a danger for the whole of stayed this time two months in the city.

Western Europe. In the eyes of con-
temporaries, who, without exception,
attached great weight to externals, the
imperial dignity itself was bound to be
impaired if merely a legate and not the

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