Swabian War 1499

A.) Prehistory of the War

The cantons of modern northern and eastern Switzerland, as well as adjacent Graubünden and southern Swabia were the battleground for the Swabian War. Here feudal claims still coexisted with peasant communities intent to establish or maintain their freedom from feudal duties. The Swabian League, established in 1488, supported Emperor Maximilian I. in his claims; the Swiss Federation and Graub&uum;nden the peasants.

B.) The War

In January 1499 Austrian troops occupied the monastery St. Johann in the Münstertal (Graubünden). The League of the House of God and the city of Chur applied to the Swiss Confederation for military aid. The allied Swiss and Graubündner were victorious in skirmishes at the Luziensteig, raided Hegau and Klettgau during the spring, were victorious at the Bruderholz near Basel (March 22nd), at Schwaderloh near Konstanz (Constance) April 11th, at Frastanz in Vorarlberg April 20th. On May 22nd the Graubündner, lead by Benedikt Fontana, defeated an invading Austrian force in the Battle at Calven; on July 22nd, the men from Solothurn, together with the Swiss, defeated their enemies near Dornach.
Meanwhile, the French had expelled Duke Ludovico il Moro (Sforza) from Milan; he mediated in negotiations between both sides, as he needed both support from the Emperor and Swiss and Graubünden mercenaries in order to retake Milan (War over Milan, 1499-1504). A peace treaty, terminating the Swabian War, was signed at Basel September 22nd 1499.

C.) The Legacy

The Swabian War in effect established the independence of Graubünden (Grisons). The Swiss Confederation was confirmed in the possession of Thurgau.

Worum ging es im Schwabenkrieg 1499 ? (What was the Swabian War 1499 about ?) by Thomas Maissen, in German
Schwabenkrieg 1499, Internet exhibition posted by Historicum, in German
REFERENCE Friedrich Pieth, Bündnergeschichte (History of Graubünden), Chur : Fr. Schuler 1945, 638 pp., in German
Leopold von Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation (German History in the Era of Reformation), (1839-1847), Emil Vollmer Verlag, reprint, n.d., pp.63-65, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 21st 2004, last revised on November 16th 2004

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