In 1503 we find him fighting in Corsica in the service of Genoa, at that time under French vassalage, and he took part in the rising of Genoa against the French, whom he compelled to evacuate the city.
Its small principalities were entirely dominated by the great Powers, whose weakness or acquiescence alone enabled them to rise above dependence or vassalage.
The abolition of the Holy Empire in 1806 removed even the shadow of vassalage from the German reigning dukes, who retain their sovereign status under the new empire.
But vassalage could only be a cause of disintegration, not of unity, and that this disintegration did not at once spread indefinitely was due to the dozen or so great military commands Flanders, Burgundy, Aquitaine, &c.which Charles the Bald had been obliged to establish on a strong territorial basis.
Large steps were made towards the union of the two kingdoms by the representation of Scotland in the parliament at Westminster; free trade between the two countries was established, the administration of justice greatly improved, vassalage and heritable jurisdictions abolished, and security and good order maintained by the council of nine appointed by the Protector.