Education of the Swiss Union. Strengthening of territorial principalities

As a result of the fall of the dynasty of Staufen the Holy Roman Empire lost its former strength. German spiritual and secular princes became almost independent rulers. The main place among them was occupied by the Electors, the princes, who had the right to elect the king. In 1273, they elected Count Rudolph Habsburg from the poor Swabian clan to the throne.

At the end of the XIII century. The Holy Roman Empire was still the largest country in Western Europe, though fragmented into separate territorial possessions, of which there were more than one hundred. At the same time, new state entities continued to be born, for example, the Swiss Union in the mountain valleys of the Alps.

The peasants of the Alpine regions knew no personal dependence and were free. The greatest threat to them was the Habsburgs, who had estates here. In 1291, to fight the Habsburgs, three cantons – Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden – signed the Eternal Union of Self-Defense. This was the beginning

of the Swiss Union. The Cantons repented jointly to defend themselves against external enemies. Attempt of the Habsburgs to subordinate free local communities caused an active protest.

In 1315 the Swiss peasant army routed the horse knights of the Habsburgs. The newly formed union became the center of the unification of one of their cantons. Formally, it was part of the Holy Roman Empire, although in fact it was a sovereign state. Only at the end of the XV century. The Swiss achieved independence. They were the best warriors in Europe and served as mercenaries in the armies of other countries.

In the legend it is told that the uprising of the Swiss was raised by the peasant Wilhelm Tell. He did not want to bow to the hat of the Hapsburg governor, Hesler, whom he hung on a pole near his house. Peasant grabbed. The governor ordered Tell to shoot an apple from the head of his son. The archer was able to fulfill this crazy whim. But when Gesler asked why Tell had hidden one more arrow in his bosom, he replied that if he had accidentally got into the child, this arrow would fly to the governor. An order was issued to arrest Tell. But the archer managed to escape, ambushed and killed Gesler, which was the signal for an uprising against the Habsburgs.

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Education of the Swiss Union. Strengthening of territorial principalities