The Swiss and Their Neighbours, 1460-1560: Between Accommodation and Aggression

ISBN : 9780198725275

Tom Scott
240 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Renewed interest in Swiss history has sought to overcome the old stereotypes of peasant liberty and republican exceptionalism. The heroic age of the Confederation in the fifteenth century is now seen as a turning-point as the Swiss polity achieved a measure of institutional consolidation and stability, and began to mark out clear frontiers. The Swiss and their Neighbours, 1460-1560 questions both assumptions. It argues that the administration of the common lordships by the cantons collectively gave rise to as much discord as co-operation, and remained a pragmatic device not a political principle. It argues that the Swiss War of 1499 was an avoidable catastrophe, from which developed a modus vivendi between the Swiss and the Empire as the Rhine became a buffer-zone, not a boundary. It then investigates the background to Bern's conquest of the Vaud in 1536, under the guise of relieving Geneva from beleaguerment, to suggest that Bern's actions were driven not by predeterminate territorial expansion but by the need to halt French designs upon Geneva and Savoy. The geopolitical balance of the Confederation was fundamentally altered by Bern's acquisition of the Vaud and adjacent lands. Nevertheless, the political fabric of the Confederation, which had been tested to the brink during the Reformation, proved itself flexible enough to absorb such a major reorientation, not least because what held the Confederation together was not so much institutions as a sense of common identity and mutual obligation forged during the Burgundian Wars of the 1470s.



PART I: Accommodation
1 Setting the Scene
2 The Occupation of the Thurgau
3 From War to Peace
4 Trouble in the Thurgau
5 Konstanz's Dilemma
6 The Swiss or Swabian War of 1499
7 Raids and Retaliation
8 The Peace of Basel and Its Aftermath
9 The Hereditary Agreement of 1511
10 Calm Amidst the Storm
11 A Last Hurrah
12 Conclusion: Frontiers Mental and Physical

PART II: Aggression
13 The Romandie: An Open Landscape
14 The Romandie: A Commercial Crossroads
15 The Burgundian Wars
16 A Contested Outcome
17 The Troubled Inheritance of Duke Charles II of Savoy
18 The Dufour Affair
19 All Unquiet on the Western Front
20 Savoy Strikes Back
21 The Struggle for Geneva
22 War or Peace?
23 Religion or Politics?
24 The Year of the French
25 The Vagaries of Conquest
26 The Spoils of War
27 Faction in Geneva
28 The Romandie Reconfigured
29 Conclusion: Motives and Outcomes


Before joining the Institute of Reformation Studies in St Andrews in 2004, Tom Scott was based in the School of History at the University of Liverpool. Before that he was a research fellow at Clare College, Cambridge. His main publications include: Regional Identity and Economic Change: The Upper Rhine, 1450-1600 (1997); Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany (2005); The City-State in Europe, 1000-1600 (2012); and The Early Reformation in Germany between Secular Impact and Radical Vision (2013)