Peasant Rebellion in Vorarlberg 1707

Vorarlberg is an Alpine territory with Switzerland as her western, Tyrol as her eastern neighbour, Territorial rights were fragnmentized and, in a lengthy process beginning in 1420 (which was not completed by the time of the rebellion) had been gradually acquired by the Habsburg Dynasty. The area was not important enough to justify either a separate Austrian administration or even an Austrian garrison, and, for much of its history, was administrated as an annex to the (Habsburg) County of Tyrol, seat of administration Innsbruck. However, communication between Tyrol and Vorarlberg was made difficult by the Arlberg, a mountain separating both.

From 1701 to 1714 the War of Spanish Succession was fought, facing Austria (i.e. Tyrol and Vorarlberg) against Bavaria, the northern neighbour of Vorarlberg and Tyrol. The lengthy war brought with it heavy taxation. In Vorarlberg, where Austrian rule had been felt as distant and where a considerable degree of local autonomy had been preserved, the peasants took measures aiming at limiting the tax burden and preventing abuse by holders of office. When a new tax on exported yarn was introduced by the Austrians, the peasants resorted to violence and expelled the tax collectors. They could only return under the protection of the Austrian military.

Article "Die Rebellion des Gemeinen Mannes", from Vorarlberg Chronik, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 18th 2006

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