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The Swiss and their Neighbours, 1460-1560Between Accommodation and Aggression$
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Tom Scott

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198725275

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198725275.001.0001

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The Burgundian Wars

The Burgundian Wars

(p.73) 15 The Burgundian Wars
The Swiss and their Neighbours, 1460-1560

Tom Scott

Oxford University Press

Debate over the origins of the Burgundian Wars now recognizes that the imperial cities of Alsace alongside Bern, Fribourg, and Solothurn, encouraged by Emperor Frederick III’s declaration of the hostilities as an ‘imperial war’, launched a pre-emptive strike against Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy in 1474/5. At the same time the western Swiss cities were equally keen to deter participation by the eastern cantons which might simply be an excuse for plunder. The early campaigns were led by the Bernese councillor and diplomat Niklaus von Diesbach, but after his death (August 1475) the campaigns continued, directed against the Savoy governor of the Vaud (a Burgundian partisan). Only then did Charles the Bold retaliate, leading to the famous Swiss victories at Grandson, Morat, and Nancy. A principal beneficiary were the Valais communes who annexed the Savoyard Lower Valais, while Bern and Fribourg took temporary control of the Vaud.

Keywords:   Alsatian cities, Bern, Niklaus von Diesbach, attacks on the Vaud, Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy, his defeats at Grandson, Morat, Nancy, Valais communes, Lower Valais

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