War of the Thuringian Succession
The War of the Thuringen Succession (German: thüringisch-hessische Erbfolgekrieg) (1247-1264) was a military battle over a successor to the last Landgrave of Thuringia in present-day Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...


Source of the conflict

With the death of the childless Landgrave Henry Raspe in 1247, the Ludowingian line of Thuringian landgraves became extinct in the male line. His property included not only large parts of Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

, but also the Countship of Hesse had come into Ludowingian possession through the female line. In 1122, before his acquisition of the title of Landgrave, Count Louis I of Thuringia
Louis I, Landgrave of Thuringia
Ludwig I or Louis I was ruler of Thuringia from 1123 to 1140.-Biography:The son of Count Louis the Springer and his wife Adelheid, he was appointed Landgrave of Thuringia by the Emperor Lothair III in 1131....

 had married Hedwig of Gudensberg, the female heir of the Hessian countly family of the Gisonens. The Gisonens, whose lands were initially mainly in the upper Lahn, had previously come into the significant inheritance of Count Werner in Lower Hesse
Lower Hesse
Lower Hesse a historic designation for an area in northern Hesse, Germany.The term Lower Hesse originated in the Middle Ages for the so-called "lower principality" of Hesse, which was separated until 1450 from the so-called "upper principality" by the area Ziegenhain...

. Then, through the marriage of Giso IV with Kunigunde of Bilstein, they had also acquired widespread property and vogtship rights from the Counts of Bilstein.

Claims on the Ludowinger inheritance were made by Henry Raspe's niece and his nephew. Sophie of Thuringia
Sophie of Thuringia, Duchess of Brabant
Sophie of Thuringia was the second wife and only Duchess consort of Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Lothier. She was the heiress of Hesse which she passed on to her son, Henry upon her retention of the territory following her partial victory in the War of the Thuringian Succession in which she was...

, married to Henry II, Duke of Brabant
Henry II, Duke of Brabant
Henry II of Brabant was Duke of Brabant and Lothier after the death of his father Henry I in 1235...

 and Lothier, was the daughter of Henry Raspe's brother Ludwig IV
Ludwig IV of Thuringia
Ludwig IV or Louis IV was the Landgrave of Thuringia from 1217 to 1227.Louis was born in Creuzburg to Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia, and Duchess Sophia, daughter of Otto of Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria. Upon his father's death in 1216, Louis ascended the Thuringian throne at the age of...

 and claimed the territories on behalf of her son Henry. (Sophie's sister Gertrude was abbess of the imperial convent of Altenberg in Wetzlar
Wetzlar is a city in the state of Hesse, Germany. Located at 8° 30′ E, 50° 34′ N, Wetzlar straddles the river Lahn and is on the German Timber-Framework Road which passes mile upon mile of half-timbered houses. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Lahn-Dill-Kreis on the north edge of...

 and thus excluded from the succession.) Henry III, Margrave of Meissen
Henry III, Margrave of Meissen
Henry III, called Henry the Illustrious from the House of Wettin was Margrave of Meissen and last Margrave of Lusatia from 1221 until his death; from 1242 also Landgrave of Thuringia.-Life:Born probably at the Albrechtsburg residence in Meissen, Henry was the youngest son of Margrave Theodoric I...

, was the son of Henry Raspe's sister Jutta. Another competitor was the Archbishop of Mainz, who could claim Hesse was a fiefdom of the Archbishopric and now, after the extinction of the Ludowingians, demanded its return.

Results of the war

The war lasted over 17 years. Sophie did not succeed in winning the overall Ludowinger inheritance for her son Henry, but the war secured his Hessian possessions. This created the Landgraviate of Hesse
Landgraviate of Hesse
The Landgraviate of Hesse was a Landgraviate of the Holy Roman Empire. It existed as a unity from 1264 to 1567, when it was divided between the sons of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse.-History:...

. The Margrave of Meissen acquired Thuringia and also the title of Landgrave of Thuringia.

The importance of the dispute and its outcome lies in that an increasingly strong territorial principality of Hesse emerged and that, at the same time, the goal of the Ludowingians, building a strong territorial base in the heart of Germany through the combination of Hesse and Thuringia, came to an end. The Wettiners of the Margravate of Meissen did subsequently attain this. With the acquisition of the Electorate of Saxony
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony , sometimes referred to as Upper Saxony, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire. It was established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356...

in 1423, they gained a power center on the Elbe. Thuringia became a peripheral area, which, although governed by the Wettiner Prince, sank into political irrelevance until the beginning of the 20th century.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.