Luxembourg History

Luxembourg History

According to Localcollegeexplorer, the election of Duke Henry IV (1288-1313), to the rank of king of the Romans in 1308 (Henry VII), opens a new phase in the history of Luxembourg. In 1310 he gave it to his son, the Bohemian King John, known as the Blind Man. Although he united Ivoy, on the Chiers, with Luxembourg, he paid relatively little attention to his county. This was raised to a duchy in 1354 by his son, Emperor Charles IV, in favor of his brother Wenceslaus I, who became Duke of Brabant and Limburg in 1355, following his marriage to the Duchess Giovanna. Wenceslas completed the territorial formation of the duchy, acquiring in 1364 the county of Chiny, located to the west of its possessions. After his death in 1383, his personal union with Brabant and Limburg ended: Luxembourg passed to Wenceslaus II,

The Duke of Orleans, struggling with the Duke of Burgundy for hegemony in France, tried to make Luxembourg a foothold against his adversary; as early as 1397 he began to form a party among the nobles, under the direction of Huart d’Autel and in 1403 he redeemed the rights of Jost of Moravia. But in 1407 the Duke of Burgundy, Giovanni Senzapaura, averted the danger: Louis d’Orléans was assassinated. In 1409 Elizabeth of Görlitz, granddaughter of Wenceslaus and heir of the duchy, married Antonio, duke of Brabant and of Limburg, brother of Giovanni Senzafear; and Antonio, whose dukedom had been mortgaged in 1411, had the greatest difficulty in getting his authority and that of his wife recognized in Luxembourg. He had to set up four military operations (1412-1414) against Huart d’Autel and the members of the ancient Orleanist party supported by the Emperor Sigismund – a Luxembourg – who sought to prevent the Dukes of Burgundy from extending their power over the Netherlands and to defeat his attempt to restore imperial authority there. Antonio’s death in 1418 put an end to the union with Brabant once again. In 1435 and 1441 the Duke of Burgundy Philip the Good redeemed the rights of Elizabeth of Görlitz. Emperor Albert II of Habsburg tried in vain to support Duke William of Saxony against him. In 1451 the states of the duchy took an oath of loyalty to Philip. From that moment Luxembourg followed the fate of the other provinces of the Netherlands (v.belgium ; the netherlands).

Luxembourg was a rural country, with few cities and not a large and important one. Therefore the nobility had retained a preponderant influence there. But also on the agricultural side, it was a poor country: only the exploitation of the woods provided somewhat serious resources. Only from the century XVI – and especially in the XVII and XVIII centuries – the possibility of producing charcoal and the presence of iron in the southern part allowed the development of the rural metallurgical industry. The construction in 1770 of a paved road linking it to Namur and Leuven then made the duchy profit from a considerable transit trade.

Until the end of the old regime, the central institutions of the duchy consisted of a council of Luxembourg, a superior court of justice and a superior administrative authority. Created by Charles V in 1531, this council perhaps had a relationship, in its origins, with the government council established by Philip the Good. The “states” of Luxembourg were made up of representatives of the nobility, the abbots of the great monasteries and the magistrates of the city. They appeared since the century. XIV.

The country had to suffer many damages in the 16th and 17th centuries from the wars in which the Netherlands were involved: it lost a part of its territory. With the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659) the southern part, ie the provostures of Thionville, Montmédy, Damvillers, Ivoy, Chauvency and Marville, was ceded to Louis XIV (1659). In 1711, the king of Spain, Philip V, having ceded the Netherlands to the elector Maximilian of Bavaria during the war of the Spanish succession, the duchy of Luxembourg, which was not occupied by the allies, effectively passed under his authority until Treaty of Rastadt of 1714.

Together with the rest of the Austrian Netherlands, Luxembourg, conquered by the French troops in 1749, was annexed to the Republic in 1795. In 1815 it returned to exist, but in another form; the Treaty of Vienna amputated it, to the advantage of Prussia, of various eastern cantons (especially Saint-Vith and Bitburg). Most of the territory of the old duchy was constituted in a grand duchy of Luxembourg, in favor of the king of the Netherlands, and called to be part of the Germanic Confederation. Indeed, Luxembourg divided the existence of the Netherlands into all, no other than the real provinces of the kingdom. In 1830 it took part in the Belgian revolution, except for the city of Luxembourg (see) which the Prussian garrison maintained in obedience to the king-grand duke.

Luxembourg was associated with the life of Belgium during the first years of its independence. But the treaties of April 19, 1839, which definitively regulated the international status of Belgium, determined another territorial division. Only the western part of the Grand Duchy, largely Walloon, remained united to the new kingdom and constituted, with Arlon as its capital, the province of Luxembourg (v.). The eastern part, mostly German-speaking, continued to constitute, under the sovereignty of the King of the Netherlands, a grand duchy, a member of the Germanic Confederation.

The relations between the Grand Duchy and the Kingdom of the Netherlands then took on an increasingly character of simple personal union. Luxembourg had a life of its own. In 1841 the King-Grand Duke William II granted him a constitution, the liberal character of which was accentuated in 1848, diminished in 1856, to reappear in 1868 and be accentuated again in 1919.

From 1842 the grand duchy entered the German customs union (Zollverein). Instead he broke all public law relations with Germany in 1866, following the dissolution of the Germanic Confederation. Napoleon III proposed at this time to the King-Grand Duke, William III, to buy back Luxembourg from him. Prussia opposed it and ran the risk of a war. The powers gathered in London in 1867 decided to neutralize the Grand Duchy. Nevertheless this was invaded, on the 1st of August 1914, by the German troops and occupied by them for the whole duration of the war. After the war, the Grand Duchy left the Zollverein and concluded a customs union with Belgium on 22 December 1921 (which went into effect on 1 May 1922).

After the extinction, in 1890, of the male descendants of the house of Orange-Nassau, Luxembourg broke the last ties that united it to the kingdom of the Netherlands. Another branch of the Nassau family ascended the throne, represented by the Grand Duke Adolfo, the last duke of the Nassau, dethroned in 1866. His lineage still occupies the throne today.

Luxembourg History