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Wife of Maximilian of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I), daughter and heiress of Charles the Bold of Burgundy. The marriage of Mary was a major event in European history, for it established the Hapsburgs in the Low Countries and initiated the long rivalry between France and Austria.

Mary, duchess of Burgundy, only child of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, and his wife Isabella of Bourbon. As heiress of the rich Burgundian domains her hand was eagerly sought by a number of princes. When her father fell upon the field of Nancy, on January 5, 1477, Mary was not yet twenty years of age. Louis XI of France seized the opportunity afforded by his rival's defeat and death to take possession of the duchy of Burgundy as a fief lapsed to the French crown, and also of Franche Comte, Picardy and Artois. He was anxious that Mary should marry the Dauphin Charles and thus secure the inheritance of the Netherlands for his descendants. Mary, however, distrusted Louis; declined the French alliance, and turned to her Netherland subjects for help. She obtained the help only at the price of great concessions. On February 10, 1477 she was compelled to sign a charter of rights, known as "the Great Privilege," by which the provinces and towns of the Netherlands recovered all the local and communal rights which had been abolished by the arbitrary decrees of the dukes of Burgundy in their efforts to create in the Low Countries a centralized state. Mary had to undertake not to declare war, make peace, or raise taxes without the consent of the States, and not to employ any but natives in official posts.

Mary made her choice among the many suitors for her hand, and selected the archduke Maximilian of Austria, afterwards the emperor Maximilian I, and the marriage took place at Ghent on August 18, 1477.

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Wife of Maximilian of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I), daughter and heiress of Charles the Bold of Burgundy. The marriage of Mary was a major event in European history, for it established the Hapsburgs in the Low Countries and initiated the long rivalry between France and Austria.

Mary, duchess of Burgundy, only child of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, and his wife Isabella of Bourbon. As heiress of the rich Burgundian domains her hand was eagerly sought by a number of princes. When her father fell upon the field of Nancy, on January 5, 1477, Mary was not yet twenty years of age. Louis XI of France seized the opportunity afforded by his rival's defeat and death to take possession of the duchy of Burgundy as a fief lapsed to the French crown, and also of Franche Comte, Picardy and Artois. He was anxious that Mary should marry the Dauphin Charles and thus secure the inheritance of the Netherlands for his descendants. Mary, however, distrusted Louis; declined the French alliance, and turned to her Netherland subjects for help. She obtained the help only at the price of great concessions. On February 10, 1477 she was compelled to sign a charter of rights, known as "the Great Privilege," by which the provinces and towns of the Netherlands recovered all the local and communal rights which had been abolished by the arbitrary decrees of the dukes of Burgundy in their efforts to create in the Low Countries a centralized state. Mary had to undertake not to declare war, make peace, or raise taxes without the consent of the States, and not to employ any but natives in official posts.

Mary made her choice among the many suitors for her hand, and selected the archduke Maximilian of Austria, afterwards the emperor Maximilian I, and the marriage took place at Ghent on August 18, 1477. More...

 
    Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
  Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
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Isabella of Bourbon, Countess of Charolais was the second wife of Charles the Bold, Count of Charolais and future Duke of Burgundy. She was a daughter of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy, and the mother of Mary of Burgundy, heiress of...
 
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    Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
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Philip II, king of Spain and Portugal, was born at Valladolid, the only son of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. Philip II, the self-proclaimed leader of Counter-Reformation, assumed the throne in 1556 with a great deal of p...
 
       
 
         
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