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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The towns were to pay 2\ per cent, of
their revenues, the Jews to pay one florin
poll tax. They thus hoped for an army
of some 30,000 men ; and the special duty

of the Council of Regency was to be the
administration of these funds. On this
head Maximilian for once agreed with the
states. The assembly, besides treating
these questions, was also occupied with
the foreign policy, especially the attitude of
France, from which an attack long seemed
imminent. An imperial embassy to the
court of Louis XII. was certainly unsuc-



cessful in its demands, but war was
temporarily avoided. Louis was now the
real master of Milan, and no one could
easily dislodge him from that position.
It therefore seemed most prudent to the
Council of Regency to offer him for a
large sum of money the investiture by
the empire. The king, indeed, was not
TK p quite sincere with his words ;

K but in order to outbid the

Master - , , .,, T

t \M-t princes he agreed with Louis in

of Milan , . .

October, 1501, as to his investi-
ture with Milan on condition that Louis
would assist him in his expedition to
Rome for coronation.

The Council of Regency resisted the
preaching of indulgences by the papal
legate, Cardinal Peraudi. At first the
cardinal hardly ventured to put foot
on the soil of the empire. He did so later,
when a pledge had been given that the
money should remain entirely in Germany.
Maximilian hoped for the fulfilment of his
wish, that in this way the means for the
campaign against the Turks would be
forthcoming. The Council of Regency
was forced in the end to allow preaching
and collecting ; but it interfered in the
matter, and hindered the enriching of the
papal treasury by German gold. Indeed,
the treasury of the empire was to be
benefited by the proceeds.

As far as the Pope was concerned, the
loudly expressed demand that the papal
Curia should give back annates already
paid, and the revenues from earlier indulg-
ences, was quieted by this undoubtedly
large concession. The German princes
naturally thought only of the money
itself. On no account was the Curia to
be enriched at the cost of Germany; but
nothing suggested the idea that the
states had attacked the indulgence itself
as an institution of the Church.

The preaching of indulgences had
doubtless revived the idea of crusades,
and a diet was summoned to Frankfort to

deliberate on the question. But
.Proposed .11- T i ,i

War Against the k % dld n , Ot a PP ea T ' the
. T , procedure was too troublesome
the 1 urks j , . ,111

for him. On the other hand,

he summoned the princes on his own
authority as a' feudal lord to a campaign
against the Turks ; but this was the most
direct violation by the king of the newly
created constitutional arrangement. Bert-
hold, from whom Maximilian had de-
manded the surrender of the imperial
seal, summoned, as a counter measure,

an electoral diet, after the old style, to
Frankfort in May. The assembled princes
attacked the king with vehement speeches,
but expressed their readiness to join in
the Turkish war, although only after long
and careful preparations.

Meanwhile, Maximilian tried to get
possession of the money derived from
the Jubilee Indulgence, but the legate
remained firm to his compact to hand
over the amounts raised to the council,
which seemed to be nearly ignored through
the turn of events. The king's attempt to
invite the electors to his court in order to
discuss the matter was ineffectual ; in fact,
on July 4th, 1502, a formal combination of
the electors took place, the object of which
was to oppose the king and protect the
constitution created at Worms and Augs-
burg. A diet, to which the other princes
were to be invited, was settled for Novem-
ber in Gelnhausen, in order to deliberate
about the Turkish expedition. Maximilian
summoned a " strengthened Council of
Regency " to the same town for August,
but countermanded it when he was certain
that no one would follow his orders. The
n assembly of the electors did

' nc " not take place, since the king

Between King N r ,,

. r . summoned for the same date

and Electors . , ,. , , ~ , ,

an imperial diet to Gelnhausen,

on which the electors wished to remove to

In the end Maximilian, for his part,
relinquished the plan of an immediate war
upon Turkey, and did not temporarily
contemplate calling an imperial diet.
Indeed, he once more set into operation
the high " imperial chamber," with its
undefined powers in law and legislation.
Permanently strained relations existed
between the king and the electors, but
neither side took any action, and the
king's financial position was improved,
since after the year 1503 really con-
siderable portions of the jubilee funds
flowed into his coffers. In October of this
year the electors once more met at Frank-
fort, but consented to an imperial diet
only if Maximilian himself would appear.
But Maximilian was now bent on the
journey to Rome and the expedition
against the Turks.

While all Upper Germany was being
agitated by the dispute as to the succession
in Landshut, which broke out after the
death of Duke George of Bavaria, and was
settled in the summer of 1505 by the
" award of Cologne," Maximilian achieved


a certain success in his foreign policy
by the treaty of Blois in September, 1504,
which was followed by a final accommoda-
tion with France at Hagenau, in April,
1505. Louis XII. was to be invested with
Milan, and Charles, son of Archduke
Philip, grandson of King Maximilian, who
was betrothed to his daughter Claudia,
was to be regarded as his heir. In this way
the Hapsburgs might again hope to gain
Milan ; besides this, Louis paid a large
sum to Maximilian for the investiture.

The two Hapsburgs, father and son, and
the king of France, now stood in close
alliance ; their spheres of interest in

attention once more to imperial reform.
He may have seen that reform was
impossible without an administrative
body, and therefore demanded a new
Council of Regency, which was not to
trench on royal prerogative, but was to
be merely advisory. The old idea of a
government by the states was completely
abandoned in the proposal. But the
princes would not consent to this, and
withdrew from the task of reform. A
renewed establishment of the Supreme
Court was determined, but remained on
paper, for it would have been impossible
to keep it up. The king now asked for

This quaint picture represents a court ball at Munich in the year 1500. Several of the dancing couples occupy the
floor of the ballroom; at the table in the background Duke Albert IV. is playing cards with a lady, while the
orchestras in the balconies play alternately, one set of musicians resting while the other is providing the music.

Italy were marked out. And although
the treaty was broken by Louis, the
international position of the house of
Hapsburg was nevertheless more favour-
able than in previous years, especially since
fairly cordial relations existed with Henry
VII. of England.

Maximilian turned his steps from
Hagenau down the Rhine to Cologne for
the diet, and now, encouraged by the
issue of the Bavarian War of Suc-
cession, as well as by the success of
his foreign policy and the conquests of
Charles of Guelders, he tried to give his

4,000 men from the empire for one year
in order to make good his claims to the
Hungarian succession, and his request
was granted. The means were raised in
the old way, by " register contributions " ;
thus the idea of a direct imperial tax was

But this time also the plan was not
carried out, and Maximilian entered into
closer diplomatic relations to Ladislaus,
as a result of which an arrangement was
made in March, 1506, that the Hungarian
princess Anne should be married to a
grandson of Maximilian. But the danger



was not thus ended, since there was the
fear that such a marriage would be
vigorously opposed by the Hungarian
nobles. The demand of the Hapsburgs,
that the nobility should renew their
guarantee which they gave in 1491 as
to the Hapsburg succession, actually
conjured up the war. King Maximilian
_ entered Hungary in June,

ermany j^g^ w j t h an imposing force,
at War with Xj

Oedenburg was captured and

Press burg fell. The struggle
was interrupted by the birth of a Hun-
garian prince, who received the name of
Lewis; he was now the only legitimate
successor of Ladislaus. But in the Peace
of Vienna, on July igth, 1506, Maximilian's
claims to the succession of Hungary were
nevertheless expressly established.

Meanwhile, it appeared as if the occasion
was finally suitable for the expedition to
Rome that had been settled at Cologne
in 1505, for Pope Julius II. had com-
pletely quarrelled with France and Arch-
duke Philip had won military successes
in Spain. But Julius suddenly turned
round, and in the autumn Rome and Milan,
Naples and Venice combined in order to
hinder the coronation journey of the
German sovereign. All details of the
march over the Alps had been arranged
in August, and notwithstanding the
gloomy tidings as to the turn of politics
in Italy, Maximilian had formed the bold
plan of forcing an entry into Rome, when
the news reached him of the death of his
son Philip, on September 25th, 1506. The
idea of an aggressive war against France
in combination with him had, therefore,
to be abandoned. But, in order to carry
out the expedition to Rome, which had
not been abandoned, Maximilian assidu-
ously sought the advice of the princes,
and could hardly wait for the imperial
diet convened for the beginning of 1507.

The relations of the Pope to France had
again become cooler towards the end of the
_, p , year 1506 ; in fact, he tried to
Coolness * mecua te between Maximilian

and Louis while the latter was
to r ranee . ,,

preparing to conquer Genoa.

The diet, which was eagerly desired in
Germany, finally met towards the end of
April at Constance. The work of internal
reform was actually concluded by a new
system of supreme judicature, but un-
fortunately the important question of the
executive was inadequately met. The
Supreme Court of Judicature met in


Regensburg about the end of the year, and
was transferred two years later to Worms.
The states granted the funds for the
journey to Rome, and fixed the amount
of the register contributions, which then
remained permanently in force. Maxi-
milian, on his own initiative, advanced
into Italy from Tyrol during the winter,
and assumed, on February 4th, 1508, the
title of " Roman Emperor Elect." Since
for the moment, owing to the complications
with Venice, an entry into the eternal city
seemed to lie in the remote future, a
vigorous campaign was now undertaken
against the great trading republic which
had seized Istria.

After a preliminary success at Trautson,
the Germans were completely defeated in
March near Pieve di Cadore, while the
emperor, far from the army, tried to get
reinforcements from Germany. The
Venetian commander, Alviano, had still
further successes ; he took the town of
Gorz in April, and attacked Trieste, which
surrendered on May 6th. All the ports
fell into the hands of the republic, and a
land army threatened Carniola. Maxi-
, milian repeatedly tried to

Ma ximihan s ^^ mQ frQm ^ ^^

Truce ,, f , J * , ,,

..... . but the urgent diet sum-

with Venice , , , I7 b ,

moned to Worms was several

times adjourned. So he had to consent,
on June 6th, to a three years' truce
with Venice.

This truce, which did not take into
consideration the interest of the French
king on the frontiers of the German
Empire, made Louis dissatisfied with his
former allies, the Venetians, and drew him
into closer relations with the emperor.
The latter, since the death of his son Philip,
was guardian of his infant grandsons,
Charles and Ferdinand, and had assigned
the regency of the Netherlands to his
widowed daughter, Margaret, a woman of
great practical ability. The English king,
Henry VII., was a suitor for her hand,
since he hoped in this way to win influence
over the Netherlands, but being rejected,
made proposals to enter into a matrimonial
alliance with the royal family of France.

Such a reconciliation between England
and France would have been fraught with
great danger to the Netherlands and
Germany, and it was necessary to avoid
this at all costs. Margaret, therefore,
induced her father to resume the former
negotiations with France. The result was
the arrangement made in December,



1508, at Cambray, which became possible
only through the provisional adjourn-
ment of the question of Guelders. In the
so-called " League of Cambray " the
kings of France and Germany had com-
bined with the Pope in common action
against Venice, and on the terms that the
Venetian territory was divided in advance
_. . between the three parties. Louis

on his part was enfeoffed with
of Venetian , , i j r nr -i

_, .. the kingdom of Milan on


payment of 100,000 crowns,

and the prospect of investiture held out
to him so soon as the French campaign
against Venice had actually begun.

While France placed an army in the field
against the republic, and won a victory in
May near Agnadello, Maximilian in vain
sought the means for carrying on the war.
Pope Julius and the French king took
possession of the parts of the country
guaranteed to them. Maximilian could
not co-operate, but appeared in the middle
of August for the siege of Padua. But he
abandoned the attack at the beginning of
October, and was by the end of the month
once more in Tyrol, while the imperial
army broke up, and Louis retired from the
seat of war, having gained his desired
object. Although Maximilian was con-
vinced that the struggle must be continued
during the winter, he could not induce his
allies to adopt suitable measures. In fact,
the strength of the league was somewhat
relaxed during the winter, so that the war
in 1510 was carried on unenergetically.

A new imperial diet met at Augsburg in
March. The emperor demanded military
support, and was now prepared to come to
an agreement in the matter of reform.
But the princes held back ; they agreed
to nothing, in the conviction that there
could be no permanent settlement with
this king on the basis of a constitution.
The influence of the Pope also was clearly
felt ; he was now desirous of a peaceful
arrangement, and had freed the Venetians
from the ban in February. His

eague o e ff orts were di rec t e d towards
Crush ,

the French revlvm g a new league to crush
the excessive power of the
French. It was impossible for Maxi-
milian in his financial weakness to follow
a policy of his own. Driven by necessity,
he continually drew closer to France, and
made an agreement with Louis in Novem-
ber that renewed the Treaty of Cambray
for the two powers who now alone par-
ticipated in it. This alliance was_ really


directed against the Pope, and the effective
weapon in this war was to be a stoppage
of supplies to Rome. A new council,
which eventually met at Pisa in November,
1511, was intended to deliberate afresh
about Church reform.

In consequence of these events, Pope
Julius was anxious to enter into relations
with each one of the allies, ostensibly in
order to restore peace in Italy in reality,
to break up the coalition. However, these
attempts miscarried in the spring of 1511.
But after the illness which made his life
precarious, he was allied with Spain and
Venice, and soon found a hearing with
Maximilian. He was already inclined
towards the " Holy League," especially as
England had joined it. In June, 1512, the
peace negotiations between Venice and the
emperor were concluded The Swiss, also, in
return for the assurance that Massimiliano
Sforza would be put in possession of Milan,
were ready to strike a blow at France.

The Bishop of Gurk was the em-
peror's envoy to the Pope ; the latter,
on the understanding that the council
at Pisa should be abandoned, and
D ^ e Lateran Council acknow-

t e * ledged, made the most valuable
the Pope i j

... concessions, since he depended

entirely on the emperor for his
position towards Venice. The former, even
in the winter of 1512-1513, had not com-
pletely broken with France until the death
of Pope Julius, in February, 1513, gave
a new turn to the matter.

Giovanni de Medici was elected as
Leo X. so rapidly that Maximilian could
not exercise any influence over the election
at all, and his plan of becoming himself
master of the states of the Church after
the death of Julius was thus finally
frustrated. Leo remained apparently loyal
to the Holy League, but soon released King
Louis from the ban, while Venice formed a
direct alliance with France in March. A
little later, King Maximilian, at his
daughter's instance, allied himself with
Henry VIII. of England. The new Pope
and Ferdinand of Spain were certainly
privy to this agreement. A joint attack
on the French territory was a precon-
certed arrangement. But neither Leo nor
Ferdinand was thoroughly sincere in the
matter. Ferdinand, indeed, concluded a
truce with Louis at the same time. The
situation was cleared up only when the
confederates, at the beginning of June,
1513, won a decisive victory over the

At Marignano, now Melegnano, on the Lambrp, on the 13th and 14th of September, 1515, Francis I. of
France defeated the famous soldiery of the Swiss, and Milan thus came into the possession of the French.

After the painting by Fragonard in the Museum of Versailles

French at Novara and forced them to
evacuate Italy. Ferdinand now showed
himself more amenable.

Henry VIII. appeared on French soil in
August, and the Swiss were ready for an
attack on Burgundy. Maximilian himself
appeared in the English headquarters, and
shared as a general in the victory of the
English army over the French, on August
i6th, 1513, near the selfsame Guinegatte,
where thirty-four years before he had
already distinguished himself. The fortress
of Terouanne, on the frontiers of the
Netherlands, surrendered a few days later.
The Swiss at the beginning of September
were before Dijon, but retired home again
without having made the least use of their
favourable position. At the beginning of
October the allies gained a victory in Italy
over the Venetians, who were now pre-
pared to open negotiations with Pope and

Although the royal house of England
formed more intimate relations with the
Hapsburgs through the betrothal of Arch-
duke Charles with Mary, sister of Henry

VIII., and although the English made
further preparations against France in
the winter of 1514, still King Louis
succeeded by skilful diplomacy in ridding
himself of his foes. In April, 1514, King
Henry, affronted at the breaking-off of his
sister's marriage, went over to the side of
France. In August a peace was struck on
the terms of the cession of Tournay to
England, and Maty, the king's sister, was
given in marriage to King Louis.

Under these conditions the emperor had
only the support of Ferdinand left. At his
advice he approached the Pope, and offered
him the imperial fief of Modena. But the
negotiations were still in suspense when,
on January ist, 1515, Louis XII. died, and
his son-in-law, Francis of Angouleme,
followed him on the throne.

The new king, who planned the marriape
of Archduke Charles, now of age, with
Renee, the surviving daughter of King
Louis, did not wish in the least to renounce
the French dominion in Italy, and made
immediate preparations to defend his
rights. An army was soon in Italy, and



Francis the
of Venice

won a victory in the two days' fighting at
Marignano,now Melegnano,onthe Lambro,
on September I3th and i4th, 1515, over
the famous soldiery of the Swiss. Milan
thus fell to the French. MassimilianoSforza

had for the future to live in

France. The unexpected death

of Ferdinand, in January,

1516, prevented a plan of
alliance with the English king, who was
willing to lend his help to defend Naples.
Venice greeted Francis as her protector.

Venetians and French marched together
against the Swiss, who were won over by
English gold, but were compelled in March,
1516, to retreat from the Mincio to the
Adda, and thence to Milan. Maximilian
delayed to strike a decisive blow, and
could not afterwards recover the lost oppor-
tunity, since his
Swiss mutinied.
He still hoped, it
is true, for a
renewal of the
struggle by help
of English gold.
Henry VIII. was
to receive Milan
in return. But
Henry drew
back, and Maxi-
milian, indignant
at this behaviour
in his ally, began
to take part in
the negotiations
pending between
his grandson
Charles and King
Francis, which
led, in December,
to an alliance
between them.
The basis of this
was the surrender
of Verona to
Venice for the

f A i. i j_ Lmr\\J IV II- l\_i_^ll JL 1 WiVi LJ \Jf iVmAilVlll~,i/\lN

II 200,OOO Maximilian died in 1519, and was buried in the church of St. George in
thalers in gold Wiener-Neustadt. The magnificent structure shown in the illustration, The Emperor
( $I5O,OOO), While des 'K ned after Maximilian's own idea, was raised in the royal chapel Maximilian had
R i v'a ' a n d at Innsbruck ' and not ' as he had desired, over his actual grave. a l wa y s been

Roveredo, together with Friuli, remained inspired with the wish
to the emperor. The treaty, which, in the
form of a five years' truce, was finally
renewed on August 26th, 1518, continu-
ously added to the extent of the emperor's
power in his hereditary land of Tyrol.


in other matters. A -continuance of
imperial reform was impossible from the
attitude of the princes. But the diet of
Augsburg in 1512 passed the constitu-
tionally important decree that all measures
adopted in the diets should be binding on
all the states. On the other hand, in
order to execute the judgments of the
Supreme Court of Judicature and to pro-
tect the public peace, ten circles with
separate organisation had been
established. The renewal of the
Swabian League in 1512 was of
importance for the maintenance
of internal peace ; but the simultaneous
formation of a " counter league " lessened
in many respects the effect of this ex-
cellently designed institution. The im-
poverishment of the German people by the
of the papal Curia
was discussed in
the diet of 1517 ;
and in 1518 anew
Turks' tax was
claimed on the
part of the Pope,
although it was
proposed to leave
the collection and
application of it
entirely to the
nation. But the
states refused to
hear of a tax in
any form what-
ever, and raised
against the papal
demands well-
founded com-
plaints, which
were no longer
irrelevant to the
doctrines begin-
ning to be ex-
pounded in those
days at Witten-

While foreign policy took up the em-
peror's attention, he had not been inactive



to increase the

power of his family. But the older he
grew, and the less pleasure he could find
in the empire and in his foreign policy,
the nearer to his heart must have lain the
arrangement of the succession. His grand-
son, Charles, had attained his majority
on January 5th, 1515, and had taken


the government of the Netherlands into
his own hands.

*ln the year 1517 tne succession in the
empire, about which Maximilian had
already entertained the most varied views,
became an important question owing to
his failing health ; and just before his
departure, Charles, on an understanding
with his grandfather, came forward as a
candidate. Indeed, the choice of a Roman
king during the emperor's lifetime was
most important if the Hapsburg succession
was not altogether to become doubtful.
Some concessions to the electors and
payment of old debts soon made them
compliant, and the election was fixed for
January, 1519, in Frankfort. Maximilian
promised at the same time to have his
own coronation as emperor completed,
and the Pope, according to all appearance,
was ready. But the monarch died on
January i2th, 1519, at Wels, before he
could carry out all these plans. He had
not made any definite settlement as to
his successor or appointed the pro-
visional government necessary
8 in the absence of both grand-
sons, and so his reign

Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 9) → online text (page 26 of 55)