Holstein was a northern German duchy under the Schauenburger dynasty, which also owned fiefs as far as southern Sweden. They could even influence the politics of nearby Denmark: 1326, king Christoffer II of Denmark was kicked out after he wanted to tax the nobles and the church; now Gerhard III of Holstein effectively ruled the country. 1331, he married countess Margarethe of Holland, Zeeland and Hennegau (in Wallonia) - preparing the eventual union with the Netherlands.
After coming of age, Danish king Henrik II tried to subdue his vassals since 1360, especially mighty Holstein, but he was defeated and lost most real power. Schleswig and Jutland were now completely under Holstein's control.
The strength of the Schauenburger grew further - thanks to the tobacco and pelts trade with Atlantis, they became even richer, and in 1381, they won the election for Roman king, with the duke of Holstein becoming emperor Gerhard I. 1406, he was murdered though by a Danish nobleman, who hated the all-powerful Germans. But now his son, Gerhard II planned revenge and toppled king Erik VIII, setting himself in the latter's place. Now the history of Schleswig and Holstein was connected to that of Denmark.
During the Twenty-Year War, Holstein acquired Lübeck (not the city itself; due to the complicated structure of the HRE, many cities were free cities, even though there were states around them named after them).
Being governed together with Denmark, Holstein went through turbulent times. The Danish Civil War followed on the toppling of mad king Gert II, until the famous Alasdair IV restored order and added Denmark and Holstein to his growing empire. In 1628, the Welf dynasty of Braunschweig ascended to the Danish throne, forming a great connected empire.
1788, the Welf dynasty died out too, and the country was governed by Stanislaw II of Poland, former Holy Roman Emperor. But in the third French Republican War, Sweden-Norway allied with republican France, conquering Denmark and leaving Braunschweig and Holstein to the French, who formed these lands into their satellite, the Engeric Republic. This was the situation until the German Uprising in 1818, after which Holstein became a part of united Germany.
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