The Hapsburgs from 1365 to 1493
After the death of Rudolf IV, his two brothers found two different family lineages in 1370. Albert takes over the Austrian duchies while Leopold, the younger brother, receives Tyrol and the adjoining foothills. Above all, he must take a position toward the Swiss who are demanding independence. The Battle of Sempach in 1386 becomes the greatest defeat of the Hapsburgs against their earlier subjects. The 15th century brings hard times to Haute-Alsace, partly because of the marriage of Leopold IV (1371-1411) with Catherine of Burgundy. Catherine is the daughter of the powerful Duke of Burgundy. As dowry she receives the Haute-Alsace. Leopold also entrusts her with the administration of the province, an act that is not looked upon with favor by the nobility.In 1445 Sigmund takes over the government of the paternal states. His irresponsible government leads the Austrian possessions almost to ruin. Although he is known as the "Münzreiche" (rich and moneyed), he spends his life in a search for new sources of money. Sigmund mortgages his goods to obtain money. As a result he loses government and the income from those territories.