The Duchy of Burgundy (1032–1477) was heir to an ancient and prestigious patrimony and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy. In its own right, it was one of the larger ducal territories that existed at the time of the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.
Even in its diminished size as it existed in the Early Modern Period, the duchy played a pivotal role in Europe's politics long after it lost its role as an independent political identity ended in 1477 due to marriages and wars over territories between princes who were related to former rulers. It was demoted to a ducal rank in 1363 and awarded to a cadet branch inheritance via salic law that was divided between two heirs as a territorial remnant of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy— other portions passed to another cadet branch as well as the Free County of Burgundy. The duchy roughly conforms to the borders and territories of the modern region of Bourgogne, but its dukes came to own considerable possessions in the Low Countries known as the Burgundian Netherlands, which were caught up in the Eighty Years' War of the 16th and 17th centuries, and some of which later became free territories at the end of the Dutch Revolt during the Thirty Years' War.
During the period 1363 – 1477, the duchy was ruled by a succession of dukes whose extinction with the death of Charles the Bold (or "the Brash") in 1477 led to its absorption into the French crown by King Louis XI, while the Low Countries fell under Habsburg control, passing with the abdication of King Charles I of Spain (Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor) to the Spanish Empire of Philip II of Spain. Under Philip's intolerant hand, the Netherlands revolted in the first of the religious wars of the Protestant Reformation.
Read more about Duchy Of Burgundy: Origins, The Beneficiary Dukes, The First Succession Crisis, The Capetian Dukes, The Second Succession Crisis, John The Good and The Establishment of Valois Burgundy, Valois Burgundy