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Sarah Ann Wilson: Album Quilt (1854)

"My Fambly would attempt to bring their history forward with them and largely succeed …"

Alsace, situated along the Rhine between France and Germany, historically never considered itself a country. Like its neighbors to the east, it considered itself more of a duchy. It never had its own king. The Romans occupied the parts west of the Rhine but perhaps wisely left the other shore to the tribes and hoards, of which there were several in succession. It fell under the protection of the Carolingian dynasties, peaking with Charlemagne, whose sons bickered among themselves, dividing up the formerly united property. After that began the centuries under the Holy Roman Empire, where Alsace, being a border country, was traded back and forth among emerging countries. The Thirty Years' War brought Swedish troops, who tried to enforce Protestantism within its borders, and this seemed to work for Strasburg but failed in the countryside. Its residents looked to the Hohenstaufen emperors like Frederick I for protection and remained staunchly Roman Catholic.

As The Black Death ravaged the region in the mid-seventeenth century, age-old jealousies and hatreds eroded civil order.

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