Until the days of the Hohenstaufen, the Wettrau area was characterized by on the one hand a number of royal possessions, on the other hand a large number of small-scale territories held by counts or knights and imperial cities.
When the Hohenstaufen and Münzenberg families had died out by 1255, the various political forces in the Wetterau area became more apparent, in particular the large countly families of Hanau, Eppsten, Falkenstein and Isenburg-Büdingen.
When Emperor Charles V prepared for war, the Counts felt forced to support the apparently stronger Protestant side, at least verbally, as its leader, Landgrave Philip I of Hesse, was their neighbour.The Vogt was usually a member of one of the leading families of the area and would use his position to pursue his own territorial interests.The Late Medieval Perpetual Public Peace policy initially led to mixed alliances of higher and lower nobility in the Wetterau, including local knights, lords and counts.During the war, the Counts remained neutral and hesitated long, before deciding in 1547 to support the Emperor, who was already winning the war.In the meantime, they rejected federal proposals and implemented the Augsburg Interim only nominally and — like almost all Protestant states — in practice prevented its implementation.
Other forces in the area were the Burgraviate of Friedberg, the Kaiserpfalz at Gelnhausen, associations of the lower nobility, Free Courts (in particular the court at Kaichen) and the cities of Friedberg, Frankfurt, Wetzlar and gelnhausen.Since there was no dominant power and the area was located in the field of tension between the Landgraviate of Hesse and the Archbishopric of Mainz, the King retained his formative influence and his rôle as an alliance partner of the various counts longer than in other areas.The association created and maintained a single economic and monetary space, with uniform policing and a uniform legal code (the Law Codes of Solms).Regulations pursuant to this uniformity were adopted by the association and then promulgated by each count in his own county, just like regulations adopted by the Emperor, the Diet, or the Imperial Circle.Ase these issues made full statehood an unfullfilled dream, the Wetterau Association aimed to compensate the shortcomings of its members.
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