Treaty of Trentschin - Prelude

Prelude

For centuries the rulers of Bohemia and Poland had disputed sovereignty over the Silesian region. In 1137 Duke Soběslav I of Bohemia urged by Emperor Lothair III had officially renounced the lands in favour of the Polish duke Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. Bolesław died the next year, and in his testament bequested the newly established Duchy of Silesia to his eldest son Władysław II the Exile. Władysław however was expelled by his Piast half-brothers and had to seek help from the Holy Roman Emperor to secure his and his son's rule in Silesia - the beginning of a gradual alienation, while after the death of Władysław's grand-grandson Duke Henry II the Pious in 1241 the Silesian duchy split into numerous petty states under his descendants of the Silesian Piasts.

In 1280 Duke Henry IV of Wrocław, induced by his ambition to gain the Polish Seniorate Province of Cracow, had paid homage to the German king Rudolph of Habsburg and indeed was able to succeed Leszek II the Black as Polish high duke in 1288. Meanwhile, considering the weakening of the Polish sovereignty, for the Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty the occasion arose to once again expand their sphere of influence into Silesia: King Wenceslaus II Přemyslid in 1289 made Duke Casimir of Bytom his vassal and in the renewed struggle of the Polish Seniorate Province upon the sudden death of Duke Henry IV in 1290 forged an alliance with Casimir's brother Bolko I of Opole against the rivaling Polish Piasts Władysław I the Elbow-high and Przemysł II, who finally had to cede Cracow to the Bohemian king one year later. However Wenceslaus at first failed to gain Polish regality, as Przemysł II became High Duke and was crowned in 1295 by Archbishop Jakub Świnka of Gniezno - the first Polish king after the deposition of Bolesław II the Bold in 1079. When Przemysł II was killed in 1296, Wenceslaus II again took the chance, assumed the title of a High Duke, married Przemysł's daughter Elisabeth Richeza and finally was crowned Polish king by Archbishop Jakub Świnka in 1300.

In 1305 King Wenceslaus II died and his son Wenceslaus III, the last Přemyslid, was murdered in the following year. The Polish sovereignty turned again to the Piasts, when Władysław I the Elbow-high became High Duke. Nevertheless Wenceslaus' successors in Bohemia, Henry of Carinthia and Rudolph of Austria also claimed the title of a Polish king but could not prevail. The Bohemian aspirations to power rose again after in 1310 John the Blind, son of King Henry VII of Germany of the mighty Luxembourg dynasty, had assumed the crown and the claims to the Polish throne. Though he failed to succeed his father as King of the Romans, he had several Silesian dukes sweared an oath of allegiance to him against the resistance of Władysław I the Elbow-high: in 1327 he vassalized the dukes of Wrocław and Opole, followed by the dukes of Legnica, Żagań, Oleśnica, Ścinawa und Brzeg in 1329. The tensions itensified when King John campaigned and annexed the Duchy of Głogów in 1331 and began to interfere in the Polish-Teutonic War that broke out in Kuyavia and Dobrzyń Land in the aftermath of the 1308 takeover of Gdańsk.

Read more about this topic:  Treaty Of Trentschin

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