The Burgundian Circle (German: Burgundischer Reichskreis) was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It was created in 1512 during the Imperial Reforms of the Emperor Maximilian I. The original territories of the circle were Breda (centre of the House of Nassau in the Netherlands), the Counties of Hoorn, Bergen and Egmont, and the various Imperial lands of the Duchy of Burgundy. Most of the territories of the Circle were alienated from the rest of the Empire so at the Diet of Augsburg in 1548 the Circle was extracted from the upper rule of the Empire, but the territories continued to enjoy the protection of the Empire and to provide the equivalent of two armies of the electors for the general defence of the Empire, and as much as three during the Turkish Wars. That year the circle was expanded with the addition of Guelders and the Lordships of Utrecht, Groningen, Jever (Circle-free from 1588) and Overijssel with Drenthe.

In 1566 the Burgindian Netherlands were transferred to the Kingdom of Spain. The Dutch began their rebellion against the Spanish in 1567 and the Eighty Years' War in 1568. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ended the warfare and removed the rebelling provinces (Frisia, Groningen, the northern half of Guelders, Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zutphen) from both the Circle and the Empire. The Circle was further diminished in various wars against France: Artois (Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659)), parts of Hainaut and Flanders (Treaty of Aachen (1668)) and Franche Comté (Treaty of Nimwegen (1678)). In 1713/4 the Spanish Netherlands were transferred to Austria in the War of the Spanish Succession. The remaining lands of the much reduced Circle were annexed to France by the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797.



Arms-Antwerp-Marquis AntwerpMargraviate1512 - 1797
Arms-Brabant BrabantDuchy1512 - 1797
Arms-Flanders FlandersCounty1512 - 1797
Arms-Gelders1276-1378 Guelders with ZutphenDuchy & County1548 - 1797; Half seceded to the Netherlands in 1648
Arms-Hainaut1354-1473 HainautCounty1512 - 1797
Arms-Limburg LimburgDuchy1512 - 1797
Arms-Luxembourg LuxembourgDuchy1512 - 1797
Arms-Mechelen MechelenLordship1512 - 1797
Arms-Namur NamurCounty1512 - 1797
Arms-Tournai TournaiCounty1521 - 1797

Former Estates of the Burgundian CircleEdit



Arms-Artois ArtoisCounty1512 - 1659; Annexed to France in 1659
Arms-BergenopZoom Bergen and WalenMargraviate1512 - 1579
Arms-Breda BredaBarony1512 - 1538
Arms-Franche-Comte1280 BurgundyFree County1512 - 1678; Annexed to France in 1678
Arms-Egmont Egmont and IjsselsteinCounty1512 - 1548
Arms-Frisia-Count FrisiaLordship1512 - 1579; Joined the Netherlands
Arms-Groningen GroningenLordship1548 - 1579; Joined the Netherlands
Arms-Holland HollandCounty1512 - 1579; Joined the Netherlands
Arms-Hoorn HoornCounty1512 - 1614
Arms-Jever JeverLordship1548 - 1588
Arms-Overijssel Overijssel with DrentheLordship & County1548 - 1579; Joined the Netherlands
Arms-Utrecht-Diocese1 UtrechtLordship1548 - 1579; Joined the Netherlands
Arms-Zeeland ZeelandCounty1512 - 1579; Joined the Netherlands

Burgundian Circle
Antwerp | Brabant | Flanders | Guelders | Hainaut | Limburg | Luxembourg
Mechelen | Namur | Tournai

Earlier Members
Artois | Bergen and Walen | Bergen op Zoom | Breda | Burgundy | Drenthe
Egmont and Ijsselstein | Frisia | Groningen | Holland | Hoorn | Jever | Overijssel
Utrecht | Zeeland | Zutphen

Imperial Circles
Austrian | Bavarian | Burgundian | Electoral Rhenish | Franconian | Lower Rhenish-Westphalian
Lower Saxon | Swabian | Upper Rhenish | Upper Saxon

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