The Beginnings of Modern Europe (1250-1450)

By Ephraim Emerton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE NEW EMPIRE

The most important feature of imperial politics in the Middle Ages was the working out of what is best described as the "Hohenstaufen Policy." The several elements which made up this policy were as follows: (1) The Empire, in the hands of rulers of the Hohenstaufen family, was to be extended over the whole of Italy. (2) To accomplish this object, the powers of the independent Italian cities were to be treated as derived from an imperial law of which the emperor was the executor. (3) The Papacy, as the arbiter of Italian affairs and as claiming extensive rights over the Empire itself, was to be brought under imperial control. (4) The great territorial lords in Italy, that is, the great landed proprietors outside the cities, were to be dealt with as imperial vassals owing allegiance and service to the emperor and supported by him in their perpetual quarrels with the cities and with the Papacy. (5) Southern Italy and Sicily were to be united with the Empire by a permanent family union, so that with the help of the feudal lords of the North combined with this family possession in the South a pressure could always be brought to bear on the Papacy in the center which would make it the obedient servant of the Empire.

The "Hoh-
enstaufen
Policy"

This was the working program of the Hohenstaufen Policy. It was clearly indicated by the first Hohenstaufen, Conrad III ( 1137-1152); it was the life work of Frederic Barbarossa ( 1152-1190); it seemed to be on the point of success under his son Henry VI ( 1190-1197); and it occupied his grandson Frederic II during the whole of his long reign ( 1215-1250). It was taken up with desperate energy and heroic

Causes of
its Failure

-47-

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The Beginnings of Modern Europe (1250-1450)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents xiii
  • LIST OF MAPS xiv
  • The Beginnings of Modern Europe 1
  • Chapter II- The New Empire 47
  • Chapter III- (1300-1409) 106
  • Chapter IV- The Rise of a Middle Class 164
  • Chapter V- The Italian Republics to 1300 215
  • Chapter VI- The Hundred Years'' War 252
  • Chapter VII- The Age of the Councils 311
  • Chapter VIII- The Age of the Despots in Italy 358
  • Chapter IX- The Renaissance in Italy 461
  • Chapter X- The Northern Renaissance 509
  • Index 535
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