An Open Landscape
Much of francophone Switzerland (the Romandie) was a region open to rival political powers. Savoy controlled the Chablais and the Vaud, but Burgundy had designs upon the Romandie, and so did France, both in respect of the Franche-Comté and eastwards across the Jura mountains to the county of Neuchâtel. Alsatian cities and western Swiss cities, principally Bern, in turn had western ambitions, whether active or reactive. The principal means of securing influence in this open landscape was the protective alliance (Burgrecht), granted to lords, ecclesiastical foundations, and towns in return for admission to citizenship in the cities, some of whom became in due course associated members of the Confederation. The many and renewed Burgrechte between Bern (and Fribourg) and Savoy came under strain, however, because the cities accepted Savoy subjects as citizens, latterly citizens of Geneva, over which Savoy asserted jurisdiction.
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