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Regional Identity and Economic ChangeThe Upper Rhine 1450-1600$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.001.0001

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Territories and Boundaries

Territories and Boundaries

Chapter:
(p.41) 2 Territories and Boundaries
Source:
Regional Identity and Economic Change
Author(s):

Tom Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206446.003.0003

The vagueness and permeability of the Upper Rhine's natural frontiers in the later Middle Ages were reflected in the boundaries of territorial authority. Only the Vosges, separating the lordships of Alsace from the duchy of Lorraine, constituted in any sense a political frontier. On the right bank of the river, the territories of the margraves of Baden, the counts of Fürstenberg, and the Habsburg archdukes all rode effortlessly over the ridges of the Black Forest mountains. Still less did the river Rhine itself mark a clear political divide. Aside from the enclaves of the secular territory of the bishops of Basel on the right bank around Schliengen and Istein, and the district of Beinheim on the left bank opposite Rastatt which the margraves of Baden had acquired in the fourteenth century, it was above all the extensive Habsburg possessions on the Upper Rhine, known collectively as Outer Austria, which spanned the river. Here the Rhine served only as a convenient distinction between administrative districts.

Keywords:   Upper Rhine, boundaries, Vosges, territories, Baden, margraves, Rhine, political frontier, administrative districts, Outer Austria

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