Alternate History

Central Europe 1350-1400 (Chaos)

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General tendencies:

The popes centralize the Catholic church more and more, and also try to make more and more money. Selling of indulgences is wide-spread and often criticized.

The kings of the Holy Roman Empire have more and more difficulties to do any politics in the HRE - they need too much money to be elected, to be crowned emperor (if at all), and everything else.

While the artisans and merchants in the cities make more and more money, the knights and lesser nobles don't. As a result, many become "robber barons" and oppress their peasants.

1353: First university in the HRE founded (in Innsbruck, Tyrol). Vienna, Prague and Heidelberg soon follow.

1354: Switzerland conquers the lands of the Rudolfine sideline of the Habsburgs, Aargau and Thurgau. The Habsburgs are angry, and the Roman emperor even is on their side, but when he dies, the Habsburgs have to fight alone.

1357: Golden Bull in the HRE: It says that the Roman king is elected solely by the seven electors, the pope isn't necessary. The seven electors are the same ones as OTL.

1362: Grote Mandränke (great man-drinking; a big flood) in the German Sea. More than 100,000 people are said to have died.

1363: Anjou dynasty in Hungary dies out. The nobles elect Wladyslaw IV of Poland new king.

1366: Venice defeats its old rival Genoa. However, in reality both powers have already somewhat suffered since the rise of the Rum-Seljuks and the fall of Constantinople.

1368: Famine in Western Europe.

1370: Maffeo Servitore is born.

1371: Beggars' hordes moving through Italy actually manage to overwhelm the government of Parma. A radical preacher and the government which couldn't pay the mercenaries anymore also can be blamed for the revolution. Since the other little states of Italy are in a similar situation, having to fight religious movements and beggars, and often being close to financial collapse, they can't interfere. In the city, all the property of the church, all opponents of the new government, and many people considered to be "too rich" is confiscated and divided among the people.

In Hungary, after the death of incompetent and often absent king Kazimierz / Kázmér / Casimir, the nobles elect Sigismund of Luxemburg.

1375-78: Süddeutscher Städtebund (South German league of cities) formed. Various South German princes, led by those of Württemberg and Habsburg, fight them. With the help of the Swiss, the cities stay victorious, and other than IOTL, their alliance isn't interdicted by the Roman king. In this war, the Habsburgs lose most of their territories except Freiburg with the Black Forest.

1376: Giovanni de Medici gets dictatorial power in Florence. Since the republic feels threatened by the beggars roaming in Italy, the Medici can keep their power.

1379: Vaclav III, last of the Bohemian Przemyslids, dies. The duke Heinrich II of Austria and Carinthia inherits Bohemia, Moravia and (parts of) Silesia, which makes him the mightiest prince of the HRE by far.

1380: Florence, which already has taken over other city states like Pistoia and Arezzo, now conquers Ghibelline Pisa, acquiring a harbor (later replaced by Livorno).

1383: Another famine in Western Europe.

1386: The Czechs rebel against king Heinrich's rule. In fact, a lot of ressentiment caused by hunger, poverty and some religious quarrels is mixed in. The deposed king tries to reconquer his lands from Austria and Silesia, but since the other princes of the HRE (including the Roman king) aren't interested in helping him, Hungary has to deal with the Seljuks and Poland with the Teutonic Order, noone helps him. In Bohemia, the property of the church is confiscated, preaching in Czech and the translation of the Bible legalized, and some other reforms implemented.

1387: Florence defends successfully against various mercenary groups who roam through Italy after the First Aquitainian War ended. The family degli Albizzi tries to cooperate with the mercenaries to oust the Medici from power, but are banned.

1389: The victorious Czechs form a quasi-republic, with a parliament that elects a king. The nobles, the church, the peasants and the cities send representatives to it, one quarter each. Heinrich has to accept the Czech independance, only gets the southernmost parts of Bohemia and Moravia (which are German-settled). The electorate of Bohemia officially goes to Austria.

1391: A group of radical Begines (=religious movement) topples the bishop of Utrecht, Eastern Netherlands, working together with his peasants. Although they're relatively peaceful, and probably couldn't have lasted in a war, the stupid bishop manages to anger all his potential allies in the area (the Netherlands are divided between Holstein-Holland-Hennegau, Luxemburg-Limburg, Brabant, Geldern and the (quasi-)republics of Flanders and Frisia at this time). So the new republic continues.

1392/93: Black Death strikes Hungary, being introduced by returning crusaders. The king also dies of it.

1394/95: Black Death hits the HRE. Poland is also affected, but by imposing a quarantine it's mostly saved; so is Flanders. Persecuted Jews flee to Poland, Flanders, Seljuk Balcans.

1394: Black Death arrives in Venice.

Yet another famine in Western Europe.

1395: Other Italian states are hit by the Black Death (although there are some exceptions, like Florence and Savoy). The divine republic of Parma is especially shocked - their preachers promised them that God would spare them, which doesn't happen.

1396: The lands of the Teutonic Order are struck by Black Death.

1399: Florence buys Corsica from Genoa. The current ruler, Cosimo de Medici, plans to build up a fleet and becoming a naval power in the Mediterranean.

As a fast result of the Black Death, two new addictions spread through Europe: Liquor, known by the alchemists for longer time already, is (mis-)used as a cure against the plague. So is tobacco, which is brought from the New World and sold for high prices.

The Jews have to suffer under pogroms ITTL too. Many have to flee from their places, especially in Castille and Germany.

Chaos TL in blocks
Earlier in time:

Central Europe 1300-1350

Central Europe


Later in time:

Central Europe 1400-1450

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