1648-1700 History of Italy 1770-1794

Graubünden 1700-1770

The outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession ended Graubünden's long-standing Spanish Alliance (since 1639), the pillar of her foreign policy. Graubünden renewed her quest for a Swiss alliance, which again was blocked by the Catholic Cantons; despite the fact that Graubünden was included in the Swiss defensive perimeter (since 1647 resp. 1668). Gr. concluded a separate treaty of alliance with Zürich in 1707. In 1701 the Gr. Bundestag declared neutrality in the ongoing war; in 1706 Gr. concluded an alliance with Venice. Austria was permitted to recruit mercenaries and have her Swiss mercenaries traverse Gr.
From 1706 Austria firmly was in control of the Duchy of Milan; in order to secure her communication with Milan, Austria had to overcome the Graubünden-Venetian blockade of the passes and placed pressure on Gr. In 1707 the Bundestag granted the right of passage to Austrian troops; in 1713 the country signed an alliance with the Dutch Republic. The Gr. desire for a revision of the Treaty of Milan (of 1639) was long disregarded by Austria; in 1726 a new treaty was signed which failed to comply with the Gr. request for the abolition of numerous customs tariffs, bridge dies etc. introduced since 1639, which were burdensome to Gr. traders - Gr. depended on the Milan trade. In 1729 Austria even expelled the protestants (hitherto tolerated) from the Valtellino.
In 1728 the Bishopric of Chur liberated herself from the influence of the League of the House of God; for the first yime in centuries, a foreigner was elected bishop. In 1728/1734 the new bishop sold his rights in the Münster Valley to Austria; the bishop's action was regarded treason and caused quite a stir. In 1748, Austria decided to sell her newly acquired rights to Gr.; the sum was paid in rates (1748-1763).
Gr., dissatisfied with the Treaty of Milan, threatened to orient her trade toward Venice. Since 1755 negotiations were underheld with Venice, concerning the construction of a road connecting Gr. with Bergamo. In 1762 the Austrian stadholder in Milan, informed about the negotiations with Venice, offered a number of concessions, and another Treaty of Milan was signed in 1762. Venice was angered by this treaty, cut diplomatic relations with Gr. and expelled the Graubünders - who formed a colony of considerable importance in the city on the Lagune - from her territory (1766)
Within Graubünden, influential families (the Planta, Salis, Travers etc.) and factions not only competed with each other, but at times reverted to schemes, ambush, intrigue and political murder.
The first newspapers in Gr. were published in 1706, the first magazines in 1763. The Bundestag, since 1700, passed a number of regulations regarding censorship, which was regarded necessary. The city council of Chur had them rigidly enforced; outside of the city little was done to implement the censorship regulations.

DOCUMENTS Resolutie inzake de reikwijdte van de resolutie tegen gemengde huwelijken van officieren (van 1738) bij Zwitsers en Grisons 1751 (Generaliteitslanden) (Resolution concerning the application of the resolution against mixed marriages of officers (of 1738) with Swiss or Graubünders, 1751), from Regelgeving in de Nederlanden (Herman de Wit), in Dutch
REFERENCE Friedrich Pieth, Bündnergeschichte (History of Graubünden), Chur : Fr. Schuler 1945, 638 pp., in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on August 16th 2003, last revised November 10th 2004

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