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The March or Margraviate of Moravia, sometimes called the Bohemian march within the Holy Roman Empire, was a marcher state, sometimes de facto independent and varyingly within the power of the Duchy and later Kingdom of Bohemia. It comprised the region called Moravia within the modern Czech Republicmarker.

The march was originally established, like its fellow marches — Austria, Styria, Carniola, and Carinthia — in the first half of the tenth century on land that had formerly been part of Great Moravia, a Slav state which succumbed to the Magyar incursions in the early tenth century.

When the Magyars were successfully defeated and were no longer a threat in the second half of the 900s, a new threat in the north of Moravia appeared: that of the Bohemians. In 955, the Přemyslid duke Boleslaus I the Cruel allied with German king Otto I to defeat the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld. Following the victory, Boleslaus received Moravia. In 999 the Polish Duke Bolesław I Chrobry conquered Moravia and incorporated it into his Kingdom of Poland until in 1029 the Bohemian prince Bretislaus Přemysl recaptured it.

Upon his father's death in 1035, Bretislaus also became the ruler of Bohemia. In 1054, Bretislaus decreed that the Bohemian and Moravian lands would be inherited together by agnatic seniority, although he also provided that his younger sons should govern parts of Moravia as vassals to his oldest son. After that date, the march of Moravia was a Bohemian possession bestowed as a quasi-independent appanage on the younger sons of the Bohemian sovereigns. This appanage was usually held by dukes. Because, of course, there were multiple younger sons at any given moment, the Duchy of Moravia was usually divided into two (varyingly) independent duchies (marches): Brnomarker and Olomoucmarker. Sometimes Znojmomarker too was the centre of a duchy.

In 1182 Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa intervened in Bohemian affairs to prevent any succession disputed by elevating Moravia to the status of a margraviate. This status was short-lived: in 1197, Duke Vladislaus III of Bohemia resolved the succession dispute between him and his brother Ottokar by abdicating from the Bohemian throne and accepting the margraviate of Moravia as a Bohemian vassal. It remained a Land of the Bohemian Crown after Ottokar had received the hereditary royal title by Philip of Swabia and his status acknowledged by the 1212 Golden Bull of Sicily. When Ottokar's grandson King Ottokar II of Bohemia was defeated at the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeldmarker, his opponent King Rudolf I of Germany seized Moravia, but again granted it to Ottokar's II son and successor Wenceslaus II five years later.

With the accession of Archduke Ferdinand I of Austriamarker to the Bohemian throne, the Margraviate of Moravia became a constituent part of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1608 the Bohemian and the Moravian rule were separated a last time, when the Moravian estates supported Matthias of Habsburg against his brother Emperor Rudolf II. Since Rudolf had to cede the Bohemian throne to Matthias in 1611, Moravia was directly ruled by the Bohemian kings. In 1867 the margraviate became a crown land of the Cisleithanian part of Austria–Hungary.



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