Timeline of Burgundian and Habsburg acquisitions in the Low Countries

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Territories of the house of Valois-Burgundy during the reign of Charles the Bold.

Around the 13th and early 14th century, various Dutch cities became so important that they started playing a major role in the political and economical affairs of their respective fiefs.[1] At the same time, the political system of relatively petty lords was ending, and stronger rulers (with actual power over larger territories) started to emerge.

In the case of the Dutch, these two developments resulted in the political unification of all Dutch fiefs within a supra-regional state. This process started in the 14th century, with the Flemish cities gaining previously unseen powers over their county. When Louis II, Count of Flanders, died without a male heir, these cities (Bruges, Ypres, and Ghent) arranged a marriage between his daughter and the Duke of Burgundy. By doing this, they set in motion a chain of events eventually leading to the Burgundian and, in 1482, the Habsburg Netherlands.

Under Burgundy[edit]

Under Habsburg[edit]

Politically, the Burgundian and Habsburg periods were of tremendous importance to the Dutch, as the various Dutch fiefs were now united politically into one single entity.[2] The period ended in great turmoil, as the rise of Protestantism, the centralist policies of the Habsburg Empire, and other factors resulted in the Dutch Revolt and the Eighty Years' War.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Low Countries, 1000–1400 A.D.", in Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000
  2. ^ Chapter 3, Forming Political Unity, paragraph 3; The Age of Habsburg (1477–1588).