East Central Europe 1453 CE

The union of Poles and Lithuanians under one crown creates a huge dual kingdom.

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What is happening in East Central Europe in 1453CE

Poland was reunited in c. 1330, and its frontiers expanded again. In 1386, the Polish and Lithuanian royal families became united in marriage, and the two countries have since been ruled by one monarch, with the pagan Lithuanians agreeing to accept Catholicism. Poland-Lithuania inflicted a bloody defeat on the Teutonic Knights at Tannenburg (1410), who ceased to offer much of a threat after that.

In Hungary, in 1242, a powerful Mongol invasion left a devastated country with half the population dead. In the following century, the monarchy passed by marriage to the powerful Luxembourg family, who were also kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperors. Since the late 14th century warfare between Hungary and the Ottoman empire has become endemic.

In Bohemia, a religious movement known as the Hussites won support at all levels of society. They rebelled (1419) against the king, and were only with difficulty subdued, and only after a compromise which established an autonomous Bohemian Church within the Catholic Church.

In the mid-14th century, at a time of great disorder within the Holy Roman Empire, a local magnate, Rudolf of Hapsburg, secured control of Styria and Austria as hereditary duke. His descendant, Albert II of Hapsburg, has been elected Holy Roman Emperor. The Hapsburg family will fill this office, with one short break, until the end of the empire itself (in the 19th century).

Next map, Central Europe in 1648

For a close-up on the Black Death‘s impact on central Europe, check out our iPad app

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