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Silesia originally was a part of Poland. In the 13th century however, Germans started to settle in the area, gradually dominating the Poles.
1301, Poland felt threatened by the Germans and the Przemyslids. The king tried to fight them to break free, so a coalition of the Teutonic Order, Bohemia, Moravia and the HRE under king Otto IV formed against him. The war between Germans and Poles ended 1308, not in the latter's favor. Silesia became a German fief; the western third went to Brandenburg, which already had acquired the Lower Lausitz / Lusatia earlier. Bohemia and Moravia acquired Silesia south of the Oder river.
In 1379, Vaclav III, who was the last of the Bohemian Przemyslids, died. The duke of Austria and Carinthia Heinrich II inherited Bohemia, Moravia and (parts of) Silesia, which made him the mightiest prince in the Holy Roman Empire by far.
But his power wasn't lasting: As soon as 1386, the Czechs rebelled against his rule. In fact, a lot of ressentiment caused by hunger, poverty and some religious quarrels was mixed in. The deposed king tried to reconquer his lands from Austria and Silesia, but since the other princes of the HRE (including the Roman king Gerhard I) weren't interested in helping him, Hungary had to deal with the Rum-Seljuks and Poland with the Teutonic Order, noone helped him. In Bohemia, the property of the church was confiscated, preaching in Czech and the translation of the bible legalized, and some other reforms implemented. In 1389, the victorious Czechs formed a quasi-republic, with a parliament that elected a king. The nobles, the church, the peasants and the cities sent representatives to it, one quarter each. Heinrich had to accept the Czech independence, only got the southernmost parts of Bohemia and Moravia (which were German-settled). The electorate of Bohemia officially went to Austria.
In 1408, duke Ottokar II of Austria (and titular king of Bohemia) asked the Roman king to conquer Bohemia back for him. When king Gerhard II declined, Ottokar had himself elected anti-king with Bavarian help and started a war against Bohemia. In 1413, after his armies had been defeated severely several times by the Czech leader Prokop, he put down the crown again and apologizes.
In 1511, after the death of Ottokar III of Carinthia, the Przemyslid dynasty ended. His lands were divided between his daughters - Maria, who married the duke Ludwig II of Württemberg, got the electorate, Carinthia and Styria (and theoretically Austria), and Elisabeth, who married the duke Waldemar II of Brandenburg, got Silesia. From then on, its history was connected to that of Brandenburg.
After the third French Republican War, Silesia became the Silesian Republic, a French satellite, in the peace of Frankfurt. This situation lasted until the German Uprising in 1818, when it became a part of united Germany.
|List of Roman kings of the HRE|
|Nations that joined the HRE later: Poland | Prussia|
|Nations that left the HRE: Bohemia | Florence | Switzerland|
|Nations that became defunct|