Casimir III the Great
Casimir III the Great reigned as the King of Poland from 1333 to 1370. He was the third son of King Władysław I and Duchess Jadwiga of Kalisz, the last Polish king from the Piast dynasty. Kazimierz inherited a kingdom made it prosperous and wealthy, he doubled the size of the kingdom. He reformed the judicial system and introduced a legal code, gaining the title "the Polish Justinian". Kazimierz founded the University of Kraków, the oldest Polish university, he confirmed privileges and protections granted to Jews and encouraged them to settle in Poland in great numbers. Kazimierz left no lawful male heir to his throne; when Kazimierz died in 1370 from an injury received while hunting, his nephew, King Louis I of Hungary, succeeded him as king of Poland in personal union with Hungary. When Kazimierz attained the throne in 1333, his position was in danger, as his neighbours did not recognise his title and instead called him "king of Kraków"; the kingdom was depopulated and exhausted by war, the economy was ruined.
In 1335, in the Treaty of Trentschin, Casimir was forced to relinquish his claims to Silesia "in perpetuity". Kazimierz rebuilt and his kingdom became prosperous and wealthy, with great prospects for the future, he waged many victorious wars and doubled the size of the kingdom through addition of lands in modern-day Ukraine. Kazimierz built extensively during his reign, ordering the construction of over 40 castles, including many castles along the Trail of the Eagle's Nests, he reformed the Polish army. At the Sejm in Wiślica, on 11 March 1347, Kazimierz introduced reforms to the Polish judicial system and sanctioned civil and criminal codes for Great and Lesser Poland, earning the title "the Polish Justinian", he founded the University of Kraków, the oldest Polish University, he organized a meeting of kings in Kraków in 1364 at which he exhibited the wealth of the Polish kingdom. Kazimierz is the only king in Polish history to both receive and retain the title of "Great". In 1355, in Buda, Kazimierz designated his nephew Louis I of Hungary as his successor should he produce no male heir, as his father had with Charles I of Hungary to gain his help against Bohemia.
In exchange Kazimierz gained a favourable Hungarian attitude, needed in disputes with the hostile Teutonic Order and Kingdom of Bohemia. Kazimierz at the time was still in his early years and having a son did not seem to be a problem. Kazimierz left no legal son, begetting five daughters instead, he tried to adopt Casimir IV, Duke of Pomerania, in his last will. The child had been born to his second daughter, Duchess of Pomerania, in 1351; this part of the testament was invalidated by Louis I of Hungary, who had traveled to Kraków after Kazimierz died and bribed the nobles with future privileges. Kazimierz III had a son-in-law, Louis VI of Bavaria and Prince-elector of Brandenburg, considered a possible successor, but he was deemed ineligible as his wife, Kazimierz's daughter Cunigunde, had died in 1357 without issue, thus King Louis I of Hungary became successor in Poland. Louis was proclaimed king upon Kazimierz's death in 1370, though Kazimierz's sister Elisabeth held much of the real power until her death in 1380.
Casimir was facetiously named "the Peasants' King". He introduced the codes of law of Greater and Lesser Poland as an attempt to end the overwhelming superiority of the nobility. During his reign all three major classes — the nobility and bourgeoisie — were more or less counterbalanced, allowing Casimir to strengthen his monarchic position, he was known for siding with the weak. He even supported a peasant whose house had been demolished by his own mistress, after she had ordered it to be pulled down because it disturbed her enjoyment of the beautiful landscape. On 9 October 1334, he confirmed. Under penalty of death, he prohibited the kidnapping of Jewish children for the purpose of enforced Christian baptism, he inflicted heavy punishment for the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. While Jews had lived in Poland since before his reign, Casimir allowed them to settle in Poland in great numbers and protected them as people of the king. Casimir III was born in Kowal, he married four times. Casimir first married the daughter of Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania.
The marriage produced two daughters, married to Louis VI the Roman, the son of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor, Elisabeth, married to Duke Bogislaus V of Pomerania. Aldona died in 1339, Casimir married Adelaide of Hesse, he divorced Adelaide in 1356, married Christina, divorced her, while Adelaide and Christina were still alive, he married Hedwig of Głogów and Sagan. He had three daughters by his fourth wife, they were still young when he died, regarded as of dubious legitimacy because of Casimir's bigamy. On 30 April or 16 October 1325, Casimir married Aldona of Lithuania, she was a daughter of Gediminas of Jewna. They had two children: Elisabeth of Poland. Casimir remained a widower for two years. On 29 September 1341, Casimir married Adelaide of Hesse, she was a daughter of Henry II, Lan
Henry of Bohemia
Henry of Carinthia, a member of the House of Gorizia, was Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Carniola as well as Count of Tyrol from 1295 until his death. He became King of Bohemia, Margrave of Moravia and titular King of Poland in 1306 and again from 1307 until 1310. Henry was a younger son of Count Meinhard II of Görz-Tyrol and the Wittelsbach princess Elisabeth, the daughter of Duke Otto II of Bavaria and widow of the Hohenstaufen king Conrad IV of Germany. Upon the partition of the Meinhardiner estates in 1271, his father maintained the Tyrolean lands, while Henry's uncle Albert received the County of Gorizia. In 1276 Count Meinhard married his eldest daughter, Henry's sister Elizabeth, to Albert of Habsburg, son of King Rudolph I of Germany, in turn was enfeoffed with the princeless Duchy of Carinthia in 1286. After his father's death in late October 1295, Henry inherited the Carinthian estates. At first he ruled jointly with his brothers Louis, until he outlived them, he secured his position by supporting his brother-in-law Albert I of Habsburg, who thereby was able to defeat rivalling Adolf of Nassau at the 1298 Battle of Göllheim and was elected King of the Romans in the same year.
He helped King Albert and his Wittelsbach ally Louis IV to lay siege against Louis' revolting brother Rudolf I of the Palatinate at his Heidelberg residence in 1301. However tensions with the House of Habsburg arose, when in 1306 Duke Henry married the Přemyslid princess Anne, the elder sister of King Wenceslaus III of Bohemia. In the same year, the Bohemian ruler prepared for a military campaign against Poland and appointed his brother-in-law regent. Upon Wenceslaus' assassination on August 4, the Přemyslids became extinct in the male line and Henry was elected his successor by the Bohemian nobility—against the will of his former ally King Albert I of Germany, who intended to install his eldest son Rudolf of Habsburg on the Bohemian throne. King Albert's troops campaigned Bohemia, besieged Prague Castle and deposed Henry, who had to yield to their superior forces. Rudolf of Habsburg was never accepted by the Bohemian nobles, after his sudden death on 4 July 1307, Henry was elected King of Bohemia again, on 15 August.
Another attack by King Albert was rejected and the threat by the Habsburg dynasty fell apart with Albert's assassination by his nephew John in 1308. Henry was now on par with the most powerful dynasties in the Empire, his rule was not stabilized: as he turned out to be a weak and wasteful ruler, the Bohemian nobility began to look for a capable successor. Meanwhile, the new German king Henry VII, a member of the House of Luxembourg had cast a covetous eye on the Bohemian kingdom. In 1310 Henry VII arranged the marriage of his eldest son John with Elizabeth, the younger sister of the late King Wenceslaus III. Backed by local nobles and his father, John's troops campaigned Bohemia in October, he captured Prague on 3 December and deposed Henry for the second time while the German king seized the Bohemian fief and ceded it his son John, crowned king the next year. Henry was forced to retire to Carinthia, where his wife Anna died without children in 1313. Henry at least managed to retain Carinthia and Tyrol by reconciliation with the Habsburg dynasty, ceding the Savinja Valley to their Styrian duchy.
He was not able to acquire the Carinthian estates that were held by the Prince-Bishops of Bamberg with the consent of Emperor Henry VII. On the other hand, he could reinforce his overlordship in Tyrol against the resistance of the Trient and Brixen prince-bishops. Despite his deposition, Henry insisted on the title of a "King of Bohemia" and the involved electoral dignity: he took part in the 1314 double election of the rex Romanorum at Frankfurt, voting for the Habsburg candidate Frederick the Fair, his contested right to vote was one of the reasons for the ambiguous result, as Henry's rival, the Luxembourg king John, gave his Bohemian vote to Louis IV of Wittelsbach. After Louis' victory in the 1322 Battle of Mühldorf, Henry helped to arrange an amicable settlement between the competitors. Henry reconciled with the Luxembourgs and in 1330 married his daughter Margaret off to King John's son John Henry. Since he was the last male heir of the Tyrolean branch of the Meinhardiner dynasty, he attempted to maintain their possessions, but failed.
Though Emperor Louis IV, in return for Henry's mediation in the dispute with Frederick the Fair, had assured him in 1330 that his daughter could succeed him, Louis reneged on his promise in a secret treaty with the House of Habsburg in the same year. After Henry's death in 1335, the Habsburg duke Albert II of Austria and his brother Otto took control of Carinthia and Carniola. Henry's daughter Margaret could only succeed him in Tyrol with the support of the local nobles; the Gorizia branch of the Meinhardiner dnyasty ruled their county until the extinction of the line 1500, wherafter the estates likweise fell to the Habsburgs. Henry was married three times: In 1306, he married Anna Přemyslovna; this marriage produced no children. In 1313, he wed Adelaide of daughter of the Welf duke Henry I of Brunswick-Grubenhagen; this marriage produced two daughters: Adelaide. Margaret "Maultasch", Countess of Tyrol from 1335 to 1363. In 1327, he married daughter of Count Amadeus V of Savoy; this marriage produced no children.
Marek, Miroslav. "Genealogy of
The Czech Republic known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres with a temperate continental climate and oceanic climate, it is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava and Pilsen; the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe. It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services and innovation; the UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index, it ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.
The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Protestant Bohemian Revolt against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, adopted a policy of gradual Germanization; this contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic.
Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia; the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii"; the current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain.
The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people. The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, Czech Silesia in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas; when the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was coined to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within the one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1992, the Czech part lac
Prussia was a prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership. In November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19; the Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, a state of Germany from 1918 until 1933. From 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state.
With the end of the Nazi regime, in 1945, the division of Germany into allied-occupation zones and the separation of its territories east of the Oder–Neisse line, which were incorporated into Poland and the Soviet Union, the State of Prussia ceased to exist de facto. Prussia existed de jure until its formal abolition by the Allied Control Council Enactment No. 46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians. In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk, their monastic state was Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany, and, in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, the eastern part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia, a fief of the Crown of Poland up to 1657; the union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries.
During the 18th century it had a major say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a "Lesser Germany", which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia acquired rich new territories, including the coal-rich Ruhr; the country grew in influence economically and politically, became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians; the Kingdom ended in 1918 along with other German monarchies that collapsed as a result of the German Revolution. In the Weimar Republic, the Free State of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. Subsequently, it was dismantled into Nazi German Gaue in 1935.
Some Prussian ministries were kept and Hermann Göring remained in his role as Minister President of Prussia until the end of World War II. Former eastern territories of Germany that made up a significant part of Prussia lost the majority of their German population after 1945 as the People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union both absorbed these territories and had most of its German inhabitants expelled by 1950. Prussia, deemed a bearer of militarism and reaction by the Allies, was abolished by an Allied declaration in 1947; the international status of the former eastern territories of Germany was disputed until the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany in 1990, while its return to Germany remains a topic among far right politicians, the Federation of Expellees and various political revisionists. The term Prussian has been used outside Germany, to emphasise professionalism, aggressiveness and conservatism of the Junker class of landed aristocrats in the East who dominated first Prussia and the German Empire.
The main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white national colours were used by the Teutonic Knights and by the Hohenzollern dynasty; the Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a black cross with gold insert and black imperial eagle. The combination of the black and white colours with the white and red Hanseatic colours of the free cities Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, as well as of Brandenburg, resulted in the black-white-red commercial flag of the North German Confederation, which became the flag of the German Empire in 1871. Suum cuique, the motto of the Order of the Black Eagle created by King Frederick I in 1701, was associated with the whole of Prussia; the Iron Cross, a military decoration created by King Frederick William III in 1813, was commonly associated with the country. The region populated by Baltic Old Prussians who were Christianised, became a favoured location for immigration by Germans, as well as Poles and Lithuanians along the border regions.
Before its abolition, the territory of the Kingdom of Prussia included the provinces of West Prussia.
Treaty of Trentschin
The Treaty of Trentschin was concluded on 24 August 1335 between King Casimir III of Poland and King John of Bohemia as well as his son Margrave Charles IV. The agreement was reached by the agency of Casimir's brother-in-law King Charles I of Hungary and signed at Trencsén Castle in the Kingdom of Hungary, it initiated the transfer of the suzerainty over the former Polish province of Silesia to the Kingdom of Bohemia, whereafter the Duchies of Silesia were incorporated into the Bohemian Crown. For centuries the rulers of Bohemia and Poland had disputed sovereignty over the Silesian region stretching along the common border. At Pentecost 1137 Duke Soběslav I of Bohemia, urged by Emperor Lothair III, had renounced the lands in favour of the Piast duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. Bolesław died the next year, in his testament bequested the newly established Duchy of Silesia to his eldest son Władysław II. Władysław, was expelled by his younger half-brothers and had to seek help from the Holy Roman Emperor—the beginning of a gradual alienation.
The rule of his eldest son Duke Bolesław I over Silesia was restored under pressure from Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1163. The marriage of his successor Duke Henry II the Pious with Anne of Bohemia, daughter of King Ottokar I, strengthened the ties between the Silesian Piasts and the Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty. However, after Henry's death in the 1241 Battle of Legnica, Silesia by and by split into numerous petty states under his descendants. In 1280 Duke Henry IV of Wrocław, induced by his ambition to gain the Polish Seniorate Province of Cracow, had paid homage to King Rudolf I of Germany and indeed was able to succeed Leszek II the Black as Polish high duke in 1288. Meanwhile, considering the weakening of the Polish sovereignty, the occasion arose for the Přemyslids to once again expand their sphere of influence into Silesia: in 1289 King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia made Duke Casimir of Bytom his vassal and in the renewed struggle over 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 had to cede Cracow to the Bohemian king one year later.
However, King 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 was crowned Polish king by Archbishop Jakub Świnka in 1300. In 1305 King Wenceslaus II died and his son Wenceslaus III, the last Přemyslid ruler, was murdered in the following year; the Polish sovereignty turned again to the Piast dynasty, when Władysław I the Elbow-high began to unite the kingdom under his rule. Wenceslaus' successors in Bohemia, Henry of Carinthia and Rudolph of Austria claimed the title of a Polish king, but could not prevail. While Władysław was crowned king in 1320, the Bohemian aspirations to power rose again when in 1310 Count John of Luxembourg, the eldest son of King Henry VII of Germany, married the Přemyslid princess Elizabeth, taking over the power in Prague and the claims to the Polish throne.
Though he failed to succeed his father as King of the Romans, he had more Silesian dukes swore an oath of allegiance to him, against the resistance of King Władysław: 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 Silesian 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. In 1333 the Polish king Władysław was succeeded by his son Casimir III, prepared for compromise: he resorted to sue the Teutonic Order at the Roman Curia and settled the rising conflict with King John of Bohemia by the provisory Trentschin treaty on St Bartholomew's Day 1335: the representatives of the Polish king "in perpetuity" renounced all claims to Silesia in favour of Bohemia, while King John and his son Charles in turn waived their claims to the Polish throne derived from the Přemyslids.
The agreement was to be confirmed, when the rulers met at the Congress of Visegrád in November 1335. King John now had a free hand to continue vassalizing the Silesian duchies of Nysa, it was however not until February 1339 that Casimir ratified the treaty in Kraków, however. The agreement was again reaffirmed for the Holy Roman Empire by John's son Charles IV, elected King of the Romans in 1346, in the 1348 Treaty of Namslau with King Casimir III and again in 1372 by Casimir's successor King Louis I. Bolko II the Small remained the only Silesian duke, not content to accept Bohemian overlordship. However, as he had no male heirs and his niece Anna von Schweidnitz had married Emperor Charles IV in 1353, he signed an inheritance treaty, whreafter upon the death of his widow Agnes of Austria in 1392 his Duchy of Jawor fell to Bohemia. With the Treaty of Trentschin, the split of Silesia off the Polish Crown was made. In 1348 King Charles IV attached it to the Bohemian crown lands together with Moravia and the Lusatias, whereby the Silesian dukes became indirect vassals of the Holy Roman Empire, though with no immediate status and no representation at the Imperial Diet.
According to canon law, the Diocese of Wrocław remained a suffragan of the Polish Archdiocese of Gniezno. While the Silesian lands also
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I known as Charles Robert was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1308 to his death. He was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou and the only son of Charles Martel, Prince of Salerno, his father was the eldest son of Charles II of Mary of Hungary. She laid claim to Hungary after her brother, Ladislaus IV of Hungary, died in 1290, but the Hungarian prelates and lords elected her cousin, Andrew III, king. Instead of abandoning her claim to Hungary, she transferred it to her son, Charles Martel, after his death in 1295, to her grandson, Charles. On the other hand, her husband, Charles II of Naples, made their third son, heir to the Kingdom of Naples, thus disinheriting Charles. Charles came to the Kingdom of Hungary upon the invitation of an influential Croatian lord, Paul Šubić, in August 1300. Andrew III died on 14 January 1301, within four months Charles was crowned king, but with a provisional crown instead of the Holy Crown of Hungary. Most Hungarian noblemen elected Wenceslaus of Bohemia king.
Charles withdrew to the southern regions of the kingdom. Pope Boniface VIII acknowledged Charles as the lawful king in 1303, but Charles was unable to strengthen his position against his opponent. Wenceslaus abdicated in favor of Otto of Bavaria in 1305; because it had no central government, the Kingdom of Hungary had disintegrated into a dozen provinces, each headed by a powerful nobleman, or oligarch. One of those oligarchs, Ladislaus III Kán, captured and imprisoned Otto of Bavaria in 1307. Charles was elected king in Pest on 27 November 1308, but his rule remained nominal in most parts of his kingdom after he was crowned with the Holy Crown on 27 August 1310. Charles won his first decisive victory in the Battle of Rozgony on 15 June 1312. After that his troops seized most fortresses of the powerful Aba family. During the next decade, Charles restored royal power with the assistance of the prelates and lesser noblemen in most regions of the kingdom. After the death of the most powerful oligarch, Matthew Csák, in 1321, Charles became the undisputed ruler of the whole kingdom, with the exception of Croatia where local noblemen were able to preserve their autonomous status.
He was not able to hinder the development of Wallachia into an independent principality after his defeat in the Battle of Posada in 1330. Charles's contemporaries described his defeat in that battle as a punishment from God for his cruel revenge against the family of Felician Záh who had attempted to slaughter the royal family. Charles made perpetual land grants, instead introducing a system of "office fiefs", whereby his officials enjoyed significant revenues, but only for the time they held a royal office, which ensured their loyalty. In the second half of his reign, Charles did not hold Diets and administered his kingdom with absolute power, he established the Order of Saint George, the first secular order of knights. He promoted the opening of new gold mines, which made Hungary the largest producer of gold in Europe; the first Hungarian gold coins were minted during his reign. At the congress of Visegrád in 1335, he mediated a reconciliation between two neighboring monarchs, John of Bohemia and Casimir III of Poland.
Treaties signed at the same congress contributed to the development of new commercial routes linking Hungary with Western Europe. Charles's efforts to reunite Hungary, together with his administrative and economic reforms, established the basis for the achievements of his successor, Louis the Great. Charles was the only son of Charles Martel, Prince of Salerno, his wife, Clemence of Austria, he was born in 1288. Charles Martel was the firstborn son of Charles II of Naples and Charles II's wife, a daughter of Stephen V of Hungary. After the death of her brother, Ladislaus IV of Hungary, in 1290, Queen Mary announced her claim to Hungary, stating that the House of Árpád had become extinct with Ladislaus's death. However, her father's cousin, Andrew laid claim to the throne, although his father, Stephen the Posthumous, had been regarded a bastard by all other members of the royal family. For all that, the Hungarian lords and prelates preferred Andrew against Mary and he was crowned king of Hungary on 23 July 1290.
She transferred her claim to Hungary to Charles Martel in January 1292. The Babonići, Frankopans, Šubići and other Croatian and Slavonian noble families acknowledged Charles Martel's claim, but in fact their loyalty vacillated between Charles Martel and Andrew III. Charles Martel died in autumn 1295, his seven-year-old son, inherited his claim to Hungary. Charles would have been the lawful heir to his grandfather, Charles II of Naples, in accordance with the principles of primogeniture. However, Charles II, who preferred his third son, Robert, to his grandson, bestowed the rights of a firstborn son upon Robert on 13 February 1296. Pope Boniface VIII confirmed Charles II's decision on 27 February 1296, excluding the child Charles from succeeding his grandfather in the Kingdom of Naples. Dante Alighieri wrote of "the schemes and frauds that would attack" Charles Martel's family in reference to Robert's alleged manoeuvres to acquire the right to inherit Naples; the 14th-century historian Giovanni Villani noted that his contemporaries were of the opinion that Robert's claim to Naples was weaker than his nephew's.
The jurist Baldus de Ubaldis refrained from setting out his position on the legitimacy of Robert's rule. Andrew III of Hungary made his maternal uncle, Albertino Morosini, Duke of Slavonia, in July 1299, stirring up the Slavonian and Croatian n