The wars resulted from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and the Revolutionary Wars, which had raged on for years before concluding with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802. Napoleon became the First Consul of France in 1799, Emperor five years later, inheriting the political and military struggles of the Revolution, he created a state with stable finances, a strong central bureaucracy, and a well-trained army. The British frequently financed the European coalitions intended to thwart French ambitions, by 1805, they had managed to convince the Austrians and the Russians to wage another war against France. At sea, the Royal Navy destroyed a combined Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in October 1805, Prussian worries about increasing French power led to the formation of the Fourth Coalition in 1806. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July, although Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, it did not bring a lasting peace for Europe.
Hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia, the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, the Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. Unwilling to bear the consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse and retreat of the Grand Army along with the destruction of Russian lands. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France, a lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813. The Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814 and he was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power.
However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again, the Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The Congress of Vienna, which started in 1814 and concluded in 1815, established the new borders of Europe and laid out the terms, Napoleon seized power in 1799, creating a de facto military dictatorship. The Napoleonic Wars began with the War of the Third Coalition, Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleons assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, for its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British quickly enforced a blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britains Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him, the so-called Continental System formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce free trade with France
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
The Left (Germany)
The Left, commonly referred to as the Left Party, is a democratic socialist and left-wing populist political party in Germany. The party was founded in 2007 as the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism, since mid-2012, its co-chairs have been Katja Kipping and Bernd Riexinger. Its parliamentary group is the third largest among the four groups in the German Bundestag, the Left is a founding member of the Party of the European Left, and is the largest party in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament. According to official party figures, the Left Party had 63,784 registered members as of December 2013, after protests, the party was forced to give up its monopoly of power on 1 December 1989. Honeckers successor, Egon Krenz, resigned two days later, and Gysi was named party chairman, by the end of 1989, the last hardline members of the partys Central Committee had either resigned or been pushed out. In 1990, 95% of SEDs 2.3 million members had left the party, by the time of a special congress in December 1989, the party was no longer a Marxist–Leninist party, though neo-Marxist and communist minority factions continued to be part of the party.
At the congress, the party adopted a program of democratic reform, Gysi remained its leader, and soon became one of the most well-known faces within German politics. By the end of February, the PDS had expelled most of the remaining prominent Communist-era leaders from its ranks - including Honecker and Krenz. However, this was not enough to save the party when it faced the voters at the 18 March general election, the first free election in East Germany. The party came in a distant third with only 16. 4% of the vote, behind the East German branches of the West German-based Christian Democratic Union and Social Democratic Party. The two major parties formed a coalition, led by the Alliance for Germany, built around the East German CDU. In the first all-German Bundestag elections in 1990, the PDS won only 2. 4% of the nationwide vote, under normal circumstances, a party must win at least five percent of the vote to qualify for mixed member proportional representation in the Bundestag. However, for the 1990 elections only, an exception allowed eastern-based parties to qualify for list representation if they won at least five percent of the vote in the former East Germany.
Also, Gysi was elected from a Berlin-area district, representatives elected directly through the First Vote are always guaranteed a seat regardless of their partys national vote. As a result, the PDS entered the 1990 Bundestag with 17 deputies led by Gysi, in the 1994 federal election the PDS managed to increase its share of the vote to 4.4 percent. e. More importantly, Gysi was reelected from his Berlin-area seat, and this allowed the PDS to qualify for MMP even though it came up just short of the five percent threshold. The PDS thus entered the new Bundestag with a caucus of 30 deputies. In 1998, the party reached its highest result to date, with 37 deputies elected on 5. 1% of the national vote, gysis resignation in 2000 after losing a policy debate with leftist factions brought conflict to the PDS
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years War was a series of wars in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. It was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history, as well as the deadliest European religious war, resulting in eight million casualties. Initially a war between various Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the great powers. These states employed relatively large mercenary armies, and the war became less about religion, in the 17th century, religious beliefs and practices were a much larger influence on an average European than they are today. The war began when the newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, tried to impose uniformity on his domains. The northern Protestant states, angered by the violation of their rights to choose that had granted in the Peace of Augsburg. Ferdinand II was a devout Roman Catholic and relatively intolerant when compared to his predecessor and his policies were considered strongly pro-Catholic.
They ousted the Habsburgs and elected Frederick V, Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate as their monarch, Frederick took the offer without the support of the union. The southern states, mainly Roman Catholic, were angered by this, led by Bavaria, these states formed the Catholic League to expel Frederick in support of the Emperor. The Empire soon crushed this rebellion in the Battle of White Mountain. After the atrocities committed in Bohemia, Saxony finally gave its support to the union, wishing to finally crush the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, intervened under the pretext of helping its dynastic Habsburg ally, Austria. No longer able to tolerate the encirclement of two major Habsburg powers on its borders, Catholic France entered the coalition on the side of the Protestants in order to counter the Habsburgs. Both mercenaries and soldiers in fighting armies traditionally looted or extorted tribute to get operating funds, the war bankrupted most of the combatant powers.
The Thirty Years War ended with the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, the war altered the previous political order of European powers. Lutherans living in a prince-bishopric could continue to practice their faith, Lutherans could keep the territory they had taken from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552. Those prince-bishops who had converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories and this added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties. The Dutch revolted against Spanish domination during the 1560s, leading to a war of independence that led to a truce only in 1609. This dynastic concern overtook religious ones and led to Catholic Frances participation on the otherwise Protestant side of the war and Denmark-Norway were interested in gaining control over northern German states bordering the Baltic Sea
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns. Growing from a few North German towns in the late 1100s and it stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages and early modern period. Hanse, spelled as Hansa, was the Middle Low German word for a convoy, the League was created to protect the guilds economic interests and diplomatic privileges in their affiliated cities and countries, as well as along the trade routes the merchants visited. The Hanseatic cities had their own system and furnished their own armies for mutual protection. The hegemony of Lübeck peaked during the 15th century, Lübeck became a base for merchants from Saxony and Westphalia trading eastward and northward. This area was a source of timber, amber, the towns raised their own armies, with each guild required to provide levies when needed. The Hanseatic cities came to the aid of one another, and commercial ships often had to be used to carry soldiers, Visby functioned as the leading centre in the Baltic before the Hansa.
Sailing east, Visby merchants established a trading post at Novgorod called Gutagard in 1080, Merchants from northern Germany stayed in the early period of the Gotlander settlement. Later they established their own trading station in Novgorod, known as Peterhof, in 1229, German merchants at Novgorod were granted certain privileges that made their position more secure. Hansa societies worked to remove restrictions to trade for their members, before the official foundation of the League in 1356, the word Hanse did not occur in the Baltic language. The earliest remaining documentary mention, although without a name, of a specific German commercial federation is from London 1157. That year, the merchants of the Hansa in Cologne convinced Henry II, King of England, to them from all tolls in London. The allied cities gained control over most of the trade, especially the Scania Market. In 1266, Henry III of England granted the Lübeck and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in England, much of the drive for this co-operation came from the fragmented nature of existing territorial government, which failed to provide security for trade.
Over the next 50 years the Hansa itself emerged with formal agreements for confederation and co-operation covering the west and east trade routes. The principal city and linchpin remained Lübeck, with the first general Diet of the Hansa held there in 1356, other such alliances formed throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Yet the League never became a closely managed formal organisation, over the period, a network of alliances grew to include a flexible roster of 70 to 170 cities. The league succeeded in establishing additional Kontors in Bruges and these trading posts became significant enclaves
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years War was a war fought between 1754 and 1763, the main conflict occurring in the seven-year period from 1756 to 1763. It involved every European great power of the time except the Ottoman Empire and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France on the other. Meanwhile, in India, the Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, faced with this sudden turn of events, Britain aligned herself with Prussia, in a series of political manoeuvres known as the Diplomatic Revolution. Conflict between Great Britain and France broke out in 1754–1756 when the British attacked disputed French positions in North America, rising power Prussia was struggling with Austria for dominance within and outside the Holy Roman Empire in central Europe. In 1756, the major powers switched partners, realizing that war was imminent, Prussia preemptively struck Saxony and quickly overran it.
The result caused uproar across Europe, because of Austrias alliance with France to recapture Silesia, which had been lost in a previous war, Prussia formed an alliance with Britain. Reluctantly, by following the diet, most of the states of the empire joined Austrias cause. The Anglo-Prussian alliance was joined by smaller German states, seeking to re-gain Pomerania joined the coalition, seeing its chance when virtually all of Europe opposed Prussia. Spain, bound by the Pacte de Famille, intervened on behalf of France, the Russian Empire was originally aligned with Austria, fearing Prussias ambition on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, but switched sides upon the succession of Tsar Peter III in 1762. Naples and Savoy, although sided with the Franco-Spanish alliance, like Sweden, Russia concluded a separate peace with Prussia. The war ended with the Treaty of Paris between France and Great Britain and the Treaty of Hubertusburg between Saxony and Prussia, in 1763. The Native American tribes were excluded from the settlement, a subsequent conflict, Prussia emerged as a new European great power.
Although Austria failed to retrieve the territory of Silesia from Prussia its military prowess was noted by the other powers. The involvement of Portugal and Sweden did not return them to their status as great powers. France was deprived of many of its colonies and had saddled itself with heavy war debts that its inefficient financial system could barely handle. Spain lost Florida but gained French Louisiana and regained control of its colonies, e. g. Cuba and the Philippines and Spain avenged their defeat in 1778 when the American Revolutionary War broke out, with hopes of destroying Britains dominance once and for all. The Seven Years War was perhaps the first true world war, having taken place almost 160 years before World War I and it was characterized in Europe by sieges and the arson of towns as well as open battles with heavy losses
Lubusz Land is a historical region and cultural landscape in Poland and Germany on both sides of the Oder river. Originally the settlement area of the West Slavic Leubuzzi tribe, the area was located east of March of Brandenburg and west of Greater Poland, south of Pomerania. Presently its eastern part lies within the Polish Lubusz Voivodeship, the part with its historical capital Lebus in the German state of Brandenburg. When in 928 King Henry I of Germany crossed the Elbe river to conquer the lands of the Veleti and their territory was either already inherited by the first Polish ruler Mieszko I or conquered by him in the early period of his rule. According to the chronicler Widukind of Corvey, in the beginning of Mieszkos reign he ruled over the called the Licicaviki. After Mieszkos death the country was inherited by his son Duke. Instead Ottos successor King Henry II of Germany in the conflict over the adjacent Lusatian march concluded an alliance with the Lutici. In 1125 Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland established the Bishopric of Lebus to secure Lubusz Land, 1124-1125 records note that the new Bishop of Lebus was nominated by Duke Bolesław under the Archbishopric of Gniezno.
However, from the beginning Gnieznos role as metropolia of the Lebus diocese was challenged by the claims of the mighty Archbishops of Magdeburg, the Polish position was decisively enfeebled by the process of fragmentation after the death of Duke Bolesław III in 1138. When the Duchy of Silesia was restored to the descendants of Władysław II the Exile in 1163, Lubusz Land together with Lower Silesia was given to his eldest son Bolesław I the Tall. Duke Henry I appealed to Emperor Otto IV and already started an armed expedition and his younger son Mieszko held the title of a Duke of Lubusz, but died only one year later, after which his territory fell to his elder brother Bolesław II the Bald. In 1248 Bolesław II, Duke of Legnica, finally sold Lubusz to Magdeburgs Archbishop Wilbrand von Käfernburg and the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg in 1248, wielding the secular reign. As to secular rule Lubusz Land was finally separated from Silesia, according to canon law however, the Lebus bishops tried to maintain their affiliation with Poland and in 1276 therefore moved their residence east of the Oder river to Górzyca, an episcopal fief.
When in 1320 the Brandenburg House of Ascania became extinct, King Władysław I the Elbow-high took the chance, allied with Bishop Stephen II, in 1354 Bishop Henry Bentsch reconciled with Margrave Louis II and the episcopal possessions were returned. The see of the returned to Lebus, where a new cathedral was built. In 1373 the diocese was devastated by a Bohemian army. The see of the bishopric now moved to Fürstenwalde, in 1424 the Lebus bishopric became a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Magdeburg, finally leaving the Gniezno ecclesiastical province. In 1518 Bishop Dietrich von Bülow bought the lordship of Beeskow-Storkow, in secular respect a Bohemian fief, in religious respect mostly no part of his diocese
The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. The first documented Polish monarch was Prince Mieszko I, the Piasts royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir III the Great. Branches of the Piast dynasty continued to rule in the Duchy of Masovia, the Piasts intermarried with several noble lines of Europe, and possessed numerous titles, some within the Holy Roman Empire. However, the term Piast Dynasty was not applied until the 17th century, in a historical work the expression Piast dynasty was introduced by the Polish historian Adam Naruszewicz, it is not documented in contemporary sources. The first Piasts, probably of Polan descent, appeared around 940 in the territory of Greater Poland at the stronghold of Giecz, shortly afterwards they relocated their residence to Gniezno, where Prince Mieszko I ruled over the Civitas Schinesghe from about 960. The name Polani, from Slavic, did not appear until 1015, the Piasts temporarily ruled over Pomerania and the Lusatias, as well as Ruthenia, and the Hungarian Spiš region in present-day Slovakia.
The ruler bore the title of a duke or a king, depending on their position of power. The Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty, the Hungarian Arpads and their Anjou successors, the Kievan Rus, also the State of the Teutonic Order, the Piast position was decisively enfeebled by an era of fragmentation following the 1138 Testament of Bolesław III Krzywousty. Numerous dukes like Mieszko III the Old, Władysław III Spindleshanks or Leszek I the White were crowned, only to be overthrown shortly afterwards. After the Polish royal line and Piast junior branch had died out in 1370, the Masovian branch of the Piasts became extinct with the death of Duke Janusz III in 1526. The last ruling duke of the Silesian Piasts was George William of Legnica who died in 1675 and his uncle Count August of Legnica, the last male Piast, died in 1679. The last legitimate heir, Duchess Karolina of Legnica-Brieg died in 1707 and is buried in Trzebnica Abbey, numerous families, like the illegitimate descendants of the Silesian duke Adam Wenceslaus of Cieszyn, link their genealogy to the dynasty.
About 1295, Przemysł II used a coat of arms with a white eagle – a symbol referred to as the Piast coat of arms or as the Piast Eagle, Piast kings and rulers of Poland appear in list form in the following table. For a list of all rulers, see List of Polish monarchs
Imperial Russian Army
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of more than 900,000 regular soldiers, the last living veteran of the Russian Imperial Army was the Ukrainian supercentenarian Mikhail Krichevsky, who died in 2008. Russian tsars before Peter maintained professional hereditary musketeer corps, known as streltsy and these were originally raised by Tsar Ivan IV, originally an effective force, they had become highly unreliable and undisciplined. In times of war the forces were augmented by peasants. There were different kinds of regiments, such as regulars, dragoons, in 1631, the Russians created two regular regiments in Moscow. During the Russo-Polish War of 1632–1634, six regular regiments, one reiter regiment. Initially, they recruited children of the boyars and streltsy, Cossacks. After the war with Poland, all of the regiments were disbanded, during another Russo-Polish War, they were created again and became a principal force of the Russian army.
Often and dragoon regiments were manned with datochniye lyudi for lifelong military service, reiters were manned with small or landless gentry and boyars children and were paid with money for their service. More than a half of the officers were representatives from the gentry. In times of peace, some of the regiments were usually disbanded, in 1681, there were 33 regular regiments and 25 dragoon and reiter regiments. In the late 17th century, regiments of the new type represented more than a half of the Russian Army, Conscription in Russia was introduced by Peter I of Russia in December 1699, though reports say Peters father used it. Conscription of peasants and townspeople was based on system, per settlement. Initially it was based on the number of households, it was based on the population numbers, the term of service in the 18th century was for life. In 1793 it was reduced to 25 years, in 1834, it was reduced to 20 years plus five years in the reserve, and in 1855 to 12 years plus three years in the reserve.
The history of the Russian army in this era was linked to the name of Russian General Alexander Suvorov, considered one of a few great generals in history who never lost a battle. From 1777 to 1783 Suvorov served in the Crimea and in the Caucasus, becoming a lieutenant-general in 1780, from 1787 to 1791 he again fought the Turks during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 and won many victories. Suvorovs leadership played a key role in a Russian victory over the Poles during the Kościuszko Uprising, many lower-level officers were poorly trained and had difficulty getting their men to perform the sometimes complex manoeuvres required in a battle
Battle of Kunersdorf
At the Battle of Kunersdorf, in the Seven Years War on 12 August 1759, near Kunersdorf, immediately east of Frankfurt an der Oder, more than 100,000 men clashed in a decisive battle. Although Fredericks troops initially gained the hand in the battle. By afternoon, when the combatants were exhausted, fresh Austrian troops thrown into the fray made the difference and this is the only time in the Seven Years War that the Prussian Army, under Frederick, completely lost its discipline and disintegrated. With this loss and subsequently Berlin, were open to assault by the Russians and Austrians, surprisingly and Laudon did not follow up on the victory. Only 3,000 soldiers from Fredericks original 50,000 remained with him after the battle and this represented the penultimate success of the Russian Empire under Elizabeth of Russia and arguably was Fredericks worst defeat. Although the Seven Years War was a conflict, it took a specific intensity in the European theater based on the recently concluded War of the Austrian Succession.
The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle concluded the war with Austria. Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great, acquired the prosperous province of Silesia, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria had signed the treaty to gain time to rebuild her military forces and forge new alliances, she was intent upon regaining ascendancy in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1754, escalating tensions between Britain and France in North America offered the Empress the opportunity to regain her lost territories, France sought to break the British dominance of Atlantic trade. France and Austria put aside their old rivalry to form a coalition of their own and this series of political maneuvers became known as the Diplomatic Revolution. At the outset of the war, Frederick had one of the finest armies in Europe, his troops—any company—could fire at least four volleys a minute, and some of them could fire five. By the end of 1757, Prussia had achieve victories at Rossbach and Leuthen, in April 1758, Prussia and Britain concluded the Anglo-Prussian Convention.
Britain dispatched 7–9,000 troops to reinforce Fredericks brother-in-laws, Ferdinand evicted the French from Hanover and Westphalia and re-captured the port of Emden in March 1758, he crossed the Rhine with his own forces, causing general alarm in France. Despite Ferdinands victory over the French at the Battle of Krefeld, while Ferdinand kept the French occupied, Prussia had to contend with Sweden and Austria. By 1758, Frederick was increasingly concerned by the Russian advance from the east, just east of the Oder river in Brandenburg-Neumark, at the Battle of Zorndorf, on 25 August 1758 a Prussian army of 35,000 men fought a Russian army of 43,000. Both sides suffered casualties but the Russians withdrew, and Frederick claimed victory. At the Battle of Tornow on 25 September, a Swedish army repulsed six assaults by a Prussian army, by late summer, fighting had reached a draw, particularly after the Battle of Zorndorf. None of Prussias enemies seemed willing to take the steps to pursue Frederick into Prussia
Henry the Bearded
Henry was the fourth son of Duke Bolesław I the Tall of Silesia, by his second wife Christina, probably a German. He was born in Głogów, Lower Silesia, Henrys three older brothers Boleslaw and John died. His older half-brother Jarosław of Opole became a priest, possibly because of the scheming of Henrys mother Christina, Henry became Bolesławs sole heir in 1190. Through his marriage with Hedwig of Andechs, Henry was connected to the rulers of Germany, Bohemia, Henrys father, Bolesław I, died 8 December 1201. Early in 1202 Henrys uncle, Duke Mieszko IV Tanglefoot of Upper Silesia and took the Duchy of Opole, Mieszko wanted more than Opole, but was opposed by Archbishop of Gniezno, Henry Kietlicz and the Bishop of Wrocław, Cyprian. They supported Henry because he paid them 1,000 pieces of silver, when the Holy Roman Empire was in the middle of the struggles between the Staufer and the Welfs, at first, Henry wasnt directly involved in this fight. After 1207, Henry betrothed his daughter Gertrude to the Bavarian Pfalzgraf Otto VII of Wittelsbach and his wife Agnes, of the ducal House of Andechs, were strong supporters of the Staufer.
Henry remained neutral, and refused to part in the conflict between the Holy Roman Empire, the Staufer and the Welfs. Otto VII murdered the German Hohenstaufer King Philip of Swabia and was executed in 1209, in 1202 the Polish High Duke Mieszko III the Old died. He was from the Greater Polish branch of the royal Piast dynasty, two opposing groups emerged, 1) Mieszko IV Tanglefoot, and Duke Władysław III Spindleshanks of Greater Poland, and 2) Dukes Leszek the White of Sandomierz, Konrad I of Masovia, and Władysław Odonic. Władysław III Spindleshanks had assumed the throne at Kraków, but was deposed in 1206, Leszek became High Duke and Duke of Kraków. The loss of the Seniorate Province caused Władysław III to change his alliance and he proposed to Henry an exchange of territories, the Silesian Lubusz Land for the Greater Poland Kalisz region. Henry accepted the offer, but the exchange resulted in political confusion, Władysław Odonic had been expecting to inherit Lubusz and Greater Poland from his uncle Władysław III.
Odonic counted on the support of the church, headed by Archbishop Henry Kietlicz of Gniezno, Władysław III had his two opponents and the archbishop, exiled. Henry was now in a difficult situation and he owed a debt of gratitude to the archbishop, who helped him at the beginning of his reign, but he decided to support Władysław III. He gave the newly acquired Kalisz to Odonic, except for Poznań, in 1208, the relationship was mended during a meeting in Głogów. In 1210 Pope Innocent III excommunicated High Duke Leszek, Mieszko IV Tanglefoot quickly conquered Kraków and took the title of High Duke. The excommunication bull was issued at the request of an anonymous Duke of Silesia, the situation became quite confused and no one was sure who held the real power