A Peculiar Agglutinatino of Composite States: Becoming the Swiss Confederation in the Late Middle Ages

Schmid, Regula (16 June 2018). A Peculiar Agglutinatino of Composite States: Becoming the Swiss Confederation in the Late Middle Ages (Unpublished). In: A Eurasia of Composite Polities, 1250-1500. Dublin, Trinity College. 16. Juni 2018.

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This contribution will address the question how the urban and rural communities between Rhine and Alps came to form, by 1500, a political body that was recognized both by European powers as by its participants as unequivocally localized in geography and history. II will do this in a three step argument: As starting point, I will examine the changing relationships between the major political stakeholders in the region from the 11th to the 15thc. It shows a political trajectory in which urban and rural communal communities emerged as the winners in the struggle for regional dominance. Wars, treaties of alliance based on mutual oaths as well as assiduosly crafted legal documents became the glue holding the evolving community of communal states together, both by the ensuing common experience enhancing and necessiting regular communications between communes, and by exclusive rituals, political language, and ideas of a common past and destiny. The communication will finally address the beginning (at the end of the 15th century) of more abstract discussions about the nature and purpose of the Swiss Confederation that eventually merged into the full-fledged political theories of the second half of the 16th century: Was the Swiss Confederation of the Ancien Régime a «composition of polities» or a «composite polity»?

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Medieval History

UniBE Contributor:

Schmid, Regula


900 History > 940 History of Europe




Regula Schmid Keeling

Date Deposited:

29 Oct 2018 12:07

Last Modified:

29 Oct 2018 12:07



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