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Maximilian I

Maximilian I. (1459-1519), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was the son of the Emperor Frederick III., and by his marriage with Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold of Burgundy, became the master of vast possessions. In 1493 he succeeded to the empire. With a view to putting an end to the system of constant private war he decreed a perpetual peace, and created courts and circles, each commanded by a captain, to enforce the decree. He also formed a standing army, an improved artillery, and a system of police. Later he was induced to make an attempt to gain Milan and Naples, and a war with Switzerland in 1499 led to the Treaty of Basel, which well-nigh secured the independence of that country. Maximilian set the example, so well followed in after times, of increasing the Austrian dominions by judicious marriages.