1261 FEUDAL ASCENDENCY-FEUDAL GERMANY.
of Flanders, and Dietrich of Holland-all
threw off the Imperial sway and asserted their
independence. The occasion of this alarming outbreak was the persistent folly of
Henry in filling the offices of the Empire
with his personal friends and kinsmen, to
the exclusion of more able and meritorious
claimants. So great was the abuse complained of that by the year 1051 all the
states of Germany, with the single exception of Saxony, were governed by the personal friends and relatives of the Emperor.
But the stubborn monarch was not to be put
from his purpose by opposition. He plunged
into a four years' bloody war with the rebellious dukes. He called to his aid his
creature, Pope Leo IX., who excommunicated
the insurgents. He procured the assistance
of the English and Danish fleets in his conflict with Baldwin of Flanders, and sent a
powerful army against Godfrey of Lorraine.
But no decided successes were achieved by the
Imperial arms, and the insurrectionary states
could not be quieted.
During the progress of the war Duke
Bernhard of Saxony, who was not a favorite of the Emperor, held himself and his
countrymen in sort of unfriendly neutrality. With a view to counteract this
antagonism Henry III appointed one of
his friends, named Adelbert, as archbishop
of Bremen. At the same time he built for
himself the royal castle of Goslar, at the foot