Swabia emerged from the region as Alemania after the Alemanni, who occupied what would later be Alsace, Baden, Württemberg and most of Switzerland, which was then still often referred to by its Roman name of Rhetia. Civic leagues were a response to the threats posed by (Habsburg) lords and princes. Central and western Switzerland saw the development of incorporated valleys (Talschaften), which in turn formed the basis of what were later called cantons. The Swiss Confederation went further by separating from the Empire as an independent state, establishing what is widely interpreted as one of modern world´s first democracies. (. (P-H. Wilson, Heart of Europe. A History of the Holy Roman Empire, Cambridge (MA), 2016).