United Kingdoms of Burgundy and the NetherlandsTimeline: The Once and Never Kings
OTL equivalent: Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Burgundy
Location of the Luxembourg territories in green.
|Official languages||Luxembourgish, Dutch, French|
|Regional Languages||Burgundian, German, Frisian|
|-||Election of Henry VII to Holy Roman Emperor||1312|
|-||Marriage of Charles II to Mary of Burgundy||1479|
Let others wage war, but you, O happy Luxembourg, shall marry - attributed to King Charles II, Holy Roman Emperor and Emperor of Francia
The United Kingdoms of Burgundy and the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Burgundy-Netherlands, UKBN, Burgundy-Flanders (only in the Francian Parliament), is a constitutional monarchy straddling the western border of the Holy Roman Empire and the eastern border of Francia. It borders many member states of both entities, including Friesland, Münster, Prussia, Trier, Lorraine, and Champagne.
It is a member of both the Holy Roman Empire and Francia, though its capital, Luxembourg is located in the HRE.
Originally only a small Imperial county, Luxembourg initially appeared destined to have a relatively uneventful history, its rulers paying homage to more powerful states. But Henry VII changed this in 1308 when he was elected "King of the Romans" (the elected heir to the Holy Roman Empire). He became Holy Roman Emperor in 1312.
Henry's son, John, married the last Premyslid heir to Bohemia, Elizabeth, and would be subsequently elected King of Bohemia. His son, Charles, would add Brandenburg. Charles' grandson, Sigismund, would then add Hungary to their lands via marriage.
The Luxembourg dynasty would also inherit much of the Low Countries in the early to mid fifteenth centuries, either through inheritance or purchase.
But probably one of the more significant expansions, was the marriage of Charles II to Mary of Burgundy in 1479. Mary was the daughter of the last independent Duke of Burgundy, Phillip IV, and was unable to properly inherit its territories of Flanders, Artois, and Boulogne as they practiced Salic law. The marriage gave the Luxembourg two electoral votes in Francia. Combined with his two electoral votes in the HRE (Bohemia and Brandenburg), he was successfully able to become the only person to be both Holy Roman Emperor and Emperor of Francia.
But the Luxembourgs fortunes began to decline afterward, the Reformation wash heating up, and the Schmalkaldic League had formed, which John III had to fight in the Schmalkaldic War. Thanks to the depleted treasury the war have Luxembourgs had to sell Brandenburg to the Hohenzollerns, though they still received homage from them. But this would be broken when both them and Austria attacked in the aftermath of Johns death. Bohemia would be lost to Austria, and Brandenburg would become completely free.
The populace began converting to Lutheranism later than many of the other German states. This was partly due to the Luxembourg family's stout adherence to Catholicism, but this changed when Leopold I converted shortly after his succession. This provoked protests from Hungary, whose nobility and citizens alike rejected Lutheranism and the other Protestant beliefs. Leopold had to put down three Hungarian revolts during his reign, sending several Hungarian pretenders to the headsman. His successor, Leopold II, didn't make matters better when he increased taxes on Hungary, looking to replenish the treasury as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, he didn't have his father's military command skill, and was defeated in a fourth Hungarian revolt and force to release it.
In the wake of the War of Bohemian Succession, Luxembourg never gave up hope on regaining Bohemia and Brandenburg. So, when Brandenburg and Austria chose different sides at the beginning of the Forty Years War, it decided Brandenburg would be and easier target for reconquest, and joined the Catholic side. Luxembourg nearly switched to the Protestants when Denmark (who claimed Luxembourgish territories in the New World) joined the Catholics as well. Only Denmarks swift defeat by Svealand prevented it. Luxembourg initially enjoyed relative impunity, ransacking various Protestant states around it, until its armies met that of Svealandic King Gustav. Defeated at the Battle of Brunswick, and again at the Battle of Cologne, Luxembourg itself was invaded. Gustav nearly took Brussels before leaving ahead of rushed Luxembourgish reinforcements. But it would be Luxembourg who defeated him at the Battle of Mainz, and knocked Svealand from the war. By 1658, its treasury was, yet again, empty, and taxes were as high as the peasantry was willing to allow, and counseled Austria to call for peace. Austria, in a similar situation, heeded it. Luxembourg was refused both Brandenburg and Bohemia, and had to recognize the right of both Catholics and Lutherans to practice.
Turning to its rapidly expanding colonial empire, it was able to transform its forts in northeast Eriksbjod into a sizable colony, New Netherlands (otl New England). Its position in the Caribbean was less established, however. It had to fight off attempts by Castile, Wessex, and Denmark to take their possessions. It was later a Dutch explorer, Jonathan van Slyke, who discovered and mapped what he called "New Holland" and "New Zeeland", though it would be another forty years before his discoveries were confirmed.
Luxembourg has recently enjoyed good relations with the Kingdom of Jorvik. This a result of the Bloodless Revolution, where King John IV, at the behest of his wife Anna of Jorvik, ousted the Catholic House of Northampton. John, his and Anna's son John V, and his brother Henry IX would all ruler both Luxembourg and Jorvik together, to be divide between the brothers of Henry and Charles. The current ruling house of Jorvik, the House of Durham, is directly descendant from the House of Luxembourg.
Joining Austria and its old enemies of Prussia and The Hansa in a broad coalition in the Polish-Imperial War, it since been re-engaging in Imperial politics. Holding the Imperial throne twice through the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it has frequently teamed up with Austria to push Imperial legislation. This partnership has also shown up in recent years, as Luxembourg has shown interest in moving Burgundy and Flanders fully into the Holy Roman Empire. This has repeatedly been blocked by the Francian parliament, often lead by Brittany. Prussia has also come out against it, partially as retaliation for Luxembourg blocking Posen from joining the Empire, and partially to keep as few Luxembourg representatives in Frankurt as possible (ironically the reason why Luxembourg blocks Posen).
The UKBN is divided between the individual kingdoms of the Netherlands and Burgundy. Both have relative autonomy from each other, a consequence of their split membership. Burgundy is a full member of Francia, and holds the electorate of the old duchy of the same name. The Netherlands, meanwhile, is a full member of the Holy Roman Empire, but its territories of Flanders, Artois, and Boulogne lay within Francia, making the Netherlands a nominal member.
Luxembourg is divided into 21 provinces, all various duchies, principalities, and counties, whose titles fall to the Luxembourg monarch. The split membership between the Holy Roman Empire and Francia, there is a confusing patchwork of laws and jurisdictions, which is one of the main causes of Luxembourgs desire to ditch its Francian membership and transfer its territories completely into the Holy Roman Empire. It has tried to usher this in by moving the Franche-Comte provinces out of Francias borders (but not yet into the Holy Roman Empire's), but even this has lead to threats of action by the leading states of Francia.
In light of this, Luxembourg has been returning interest to the internal affairs of the Holy Roman Empire, pursuing military alliances with Austria and Prussia. It has also increased joint military exercises with Jorvik and Aragon.