Tuesday, February 12, 2013
In 1349 the members of the guilds unsuccessfully rebelled against the patricians in the Handwerkeraufstand (Craftsmen's Uprising), supported by merchants and some councillors, leading to a ban on any self-organisation of the artisans in the city, abolishing the guilds that were customary elsewhere in Europe; the unions were then dissolved, and the oligarchs remained in power while Nuremberg was a free city. Charles IV conferred upon the city the right to conclude alliances independently, thereby placing it upon a politically equal footing with the princes of the empire. Frequent fights took place with the burgraves without, however, inflicting lasting damage upon the city. After the castle had been destroyed by fire in 1420 during a feud between Frederick IV (since 1417 margrave of Brandenburg) and the duke of Bavaria-Ingolstadt, the ruins and the forest belonging to the castle were purchased by the city (1427), resulting in the city's total sovereignty within its borders. Through these and other acquisitions the city accumulated considerable territory. The Hussite Wars, recurrence of the Black Death in 1437, and the First Margrave War led to a severe fall in population in the mid-15th century. At the beginning of the 16th century, siding with Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria-Munich, in the Landshut War of Succession led the city to gain substantial territory, resulting in lands of 25 sq mi (64.7 km2), becoming one of the largest Imperial cities.