Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/344

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matters were made worse by the constant tendency of the south German States to fall away from the Empire and attach themselves to the Confederacy, of which in 1501 Basel and Schaffhausen, and Appenzell in 1513, were formally admitted as full members. It was the mere accident of some unsettled local disputes as to criminal jurisdiction over the Thurgau that prevented Constance from following in their steps. Such of the Estates of Upper Swabia as had hitherto preserved their freedom now hastened to become "confederate" or "protected" or "allied" to the strenuous Confederacy, which now dominated the whole region between the Upper Rhine and the Alps, and had also established friendly relations with the Rhaetian Leagues that were now taking shape.

It cost Maximilian little to renounce the rights of the Empire over the Swiss. He looked upon the Confederates as most useful to him in helping his designs on Italy, and now trusted with their assistance to restore his father-in-law to Milan. But in 1500 came the second conquest of Milan by the French, and Ludovico's lifelong captivity in a French dungeon. In the same year the agreement between Louis and Ferdinand of Spain for the partition of Naples still further isolated Maximilian. He was as unsuccessful in his schemes of foreign conquest as was Berthold in his plans of internal reformation. Within a few years he had fought against Florentines and French, against Gelderlaiid and Switzerland, and on each occasion/ had lost the day. And each failure of Maximilian threw him more and more completely on the mercy of the German reformers.

In April, 1500, the Diet assembled at Augsburg. Maximilian himself now offered important concessions. Everybody hated the Common Penny, and neither the princes nor the cities were so rich or public-spirited as to submit permanently to the waste of money and time, and to the withdrawal from their own proper local work, involved in the assembling of annual Diets. As an alternative to the first of these hitherto necessary evils the King revived a proposal made at Frankfort in 1486, by which the Estates were to set on foot a permanent army of 34,000 men, and to provide means for its maintenance. In place of the annual Diets a permanent committee might be established. On this basis the Estates began to negotiate with the King, and by July 2 an agreement was arrived at. In this, instead of the standing army suggested by Maximilian, &n elaborate scheme was devised for setting on foot an army for six years. Every four hundred property-holders or householders were to

combine to equip and pay a foot-soldier to fight the King's battles. For the assessment of this burden the parochial organisation was to be employed, and the sums levied were to be roughly proportionate to the means of the contributor. The clergy, the religious Orders, and the citizens of imperial towns were to pay one florin for every 40 florins of income. The Jews were taxed at a florin a head. Counts and barons of the Empire were to equip a horseman for each 4000 florins of income, while knights were to do what they could. The princes of the Empire were