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After the death of Ulrich IV 1355, his two sons reigned the county together. 1375-78, various South German princes, led by those of Württemberg and Habsburg, fought the Süddeutscher Städtebund (South German league of cities). With the help of the Swiss, the cities stayed victorious. Things got even more complicated after their respective deaths in 1392/98, since both had two sons each, so the county now had four rulers. In 1456, Ulrich IX was removed from power for incompetence. His last descendants died 1515/46. 1480, Eberhard V, last descendant of Eberhard IV died too, so the country returned to a double rule. During 1485-95, the rulers decided for the internal division into Württemberg-Stuttgart and Württemberg-Urach; but 1495, Ludwig I took all power for himself, introduced primogeniture, and made Württemberg a duchy. During the Twenty-Year War, he acquired the territories of Ellwangen, Kaufbeuren, Memmingen and Biberach. His son Ludwig II inherited Styria, Carinthia and the titular rights for Austria 1511, through his marriage with Maria, the elder daughter of the last Przemyslid duke Ottokar III of Carinthia. In the same year, he joined the "Alliance des Alpes / Alpenbund" with Venice, Bavaria and France, which was mainly directed against the Rum-Seljuks. They fought in the first French-Seljuk War, and in the Peace of Krems (Austria) 1574, the Seljuks had to cede Austria back to Württemberg-Carinthia.
Being a member of the Alliance des Alpes, Württemberg also got involved in the other French wars against the Seljuks, and later in the anti-French War. This war wouldn't turn out good: First they lost the Battle of Coburg (1685, September) and the Battle of Schlitz (1686, February), and then uprisings against unpopular duke Karl II began in 1686. The brothers Eberhard and Ludwig (also of his family!) left his state and went to Hesse, to fight against him and France.
In September 1689, the Battle of Göppingen decided everything. The troops of duke Karl II were defeated, Württemberg was occupied. The brothers Eberhard and Ludwig were declared rightful rulers. In the Battle of Brünn in July 1693, the last Austrian army was defeated; Karl II went to exile in Hungary. In the peace of Amsterdam, Eberhard X (his father was counted as Eberhard IX, although he never officially reigned) became new grand duke, together with his brother Ludwig V.
The dynasty of the Eberhardiner wasn't always popular there, so in 1748 uprisings happened in Austria (religiously motivated) against the government of the unpopular dukes Eberhard XI and Eberhard XII.
1766/67, Württemberg-Austria got involved in the short Southern German War.
End of Independence
As the other German states, Württemberg got involved in the French Republican Wars. 1783, in "The thrust through Germany", French general Boulanger crossed the Rhine, marched through Württemberg and other states until arriving in Dresden at christmas. After the lost second French Republican War, in the Peace of Basel 1784 Württemberg proper became a part of the Swiss republic, which was now a French satellite. The HRE was dissolved. The Eberhardiner duke fled to Austria. It seems these events broke their spirit, because in 1816, the dynasty died with Ludwig VIII.
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