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[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/1/2019 20:18:04


DesertFox
Level 57
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Opening words

With long-term political implications derived from this conflict, the Thirty Years' War was an European one, although military confrontations took place, largely on the territory of the Holy Roman Empire. The hues that surround the interpretation of the Thirty Years' War are contained in the dilemma: was it the "homogeneous" conflict that has been going on for three decades, or was it a "collection" of different conflicts broke out in different parts of the continent? The contemporaries of the conflict have named and perceived it as a "30-year war", and the "linking" of the events that give the feeling of a unitary conflict is contained in the attempt of the Habsburg emperors to give concreteness and political form to the empire .

The opposition and the attempt to balance the power by the princes in the empire that had already adhered to Protestantism gave another layer of interference to the sources of the conflict. Interpreted by historians in various forms, the Thirty Years' War has a certainty: it began as a "domestic" German war - in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire - and ended with "internationalization" in later years. The stages of the military operations, the establishment of the military alliances, the outflows and the conflicts of the European kingdoms and principalities - on the Catholic or Protestant side - led to the segmentation by the historians of Thirty Years' War in 4 major phases: the rebellion of the nobles in Bohemia, the Danish phase, the Swedish one, and then the intervention of France.

The "internationalization" of the conflict took place in 1629; so far, in general terms, it was a question of political, institutional and religious regulation within the Holy Roman-German Empire between the emperor and the princes. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 which marked the end of the conflict meant the onset of the outpouring of the Holy Roman Empire among the main powers of Europe; for this reason, for the Habsburgs - still remaining the possessors of the imperial crown -primordial was the consolidation of the Central European personal possessions of the Dynasty , grouped historiographically under the name of the Habsburg Empire.
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/1/2019 20:22:05


DesertFox
Level 57
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...so yea.I've started a new ''kind'' of translation project of some stuff I had recently read and conspected for my second year of college.And since I had not done someting like this for a long time, it was good to start posting another series of this,and hopefully not lose interest and abandon it (like the rest of the projects started here XP )

Hope you lads will enjoy it.
I will try posting someting everyday,as I have this info well organized.

yours
Desert Fox
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/2/2019 19:22:48


DesertFox
Level 57
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I.The Holy Roman Empire between the Augsburg Agreement and the Letter of Religious Tolerance
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/2/2019 19:47:03


DesertFox
Level 57
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I.1 The general context and origins of the Thirty Years' War
The Peace of Augsburg and the 3 Dubia

The historians who have researched on the Thirty Years' War have found the existence of a century century long"constitutional" conflict sources of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation between the Emperor and the princes ,to which the religious source have been added, the one between the Catholic emperor and Protestant princes of the Empire, those who had already adhered to the Reformation. The need to regulate the territorial jurisdictions of the Holy Roman Empire, due to its irregular territorial geography, as well as the more precise calibration of the relationship between the emperor and the imperial states of the Diet, were two phenomena that were endeavored in the 16th century for to be resolved.

The characteristic feature of the political structure of the Empire was its great paradox and, at the same time, one of the reasons for not realizing the constitutional regulation. The multiple provincial and territorial entities of the Empire made it difficult to reach consensus among the States, but, on the other hand, it was true that the very many "institutional" layers from the provincial to the central made the crossing of the whole institutional ensemble in the negotiation process to be the way in which even the most heated opinions were timed and quenched.

The Peace of Augsburg - the set of laws and articles of law discussed by the Imperial Diet convened in Augsburg in 1555 - came to clarify or should have clarified the political and territorial relations between the remaining Catholic princes, those who had adhered to the Protestant Reformation, and how they will report from now on, legally speaking, to each other and to the imperial power. Jurisdictions were divided, without any possibility of intervention in the Catholic beliefs by the Lutheran Lords and vice versa, and the disputes between the two sides were harmonized by the Supreme Court of the Empire - the Reichskammergericht.

Following the Augsburg Arrangement of 1555, three major confused interpretations derived from the adopted law articles appeared. The three major directions of "interpretive confusion" have remained known as by their latinized name as the "three Dubia". The first of the three Dubia was related to the status of the ecclesiastical properties of the Empire's electorate, the second concerned the relationship between the imperial jurisdiction and the princes of their electorate over the properties of the Church, more precisely the drawing of jurisdiction in this matter. The third of the misunderstandings - Dubia - left unclarified in the legal relations between the imperial establishment of the Holy Roman Empire and the statute of the elected princes that belonged to the Protestant Reformation, was related to the social vertical: what happened with the confessional status of the subjects from their own fiefs?
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/3/2019 20:11:56


DesertFox
Level 57
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1.1 The Historiographic Picture of the Thirty Years' War

The events grouped in'' phased'' conflicts and known as the Thirty Years' War were interpreted by historical research and presented in the form of various nuances. Although most military operations took place on the territory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, its extensions transform it into a conflict with European intensity and implications. The hues that surround the interpretation of the Thirty Years' War are contained in the dilemma: was it a"homogeneous" conflict that has been going on for three decades, or was it a "collection" of different conflicts that broke out in different parts of the continent? The contemporaries of the conflict have named and perceived it as a "30-year war", and the "linking" of the events that give the feeling of a unitary conflict is contained in the attempt of the Habsburg emperors to give concrete and political form to the empire . The opposition and the attempt to balance the power of princes in the empire, which had already adhered to Protestantism, gave another layer of interference to the sources of the conflict. Both historical interpretations of the conflict are correct.

The conflict grounded in historiography under the name of the ''Thirty Years' War'' was interpreted by researchers in a varied grid of understanding, in the sense that some of them thought this was not a "30-year-war'', but still an acute form of conflict between the two branches of the Habsburgs on the one hand - Spanish and Austrian - and the French Walloons and Bourbonians. What is certain about it is the unitary interpretation of the Thirty Years' War that it debuted as a "domestic" German war - in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire - and ended with "internationalization" in later years.

With the long-term political implications of this conflict, the Thirty Years' War was an European one, although military confrontations took place largely on the territory of the Holy Roman Empire. The contemporaries' perspective on the events, filtered out by the opposition of Catholicism-Protestantism, was one that traced the existential horizon in dark tones. A German treaty circulated in the United Kingdom four years after the end of the conflict and, following the war-wreck, announced the Last Judgment for 1655. For its author the struggle was the one between darkness and light, between evil and good, personified in the opposition between the Catholic and the Protestant camp.

The stages of the military operations, the establishment of the military alliances, the outflows and the conflicts of the European kingdoms and principalities - on the Catholic or Protestant side - led to the segmentation by the historians of the Thirty Years' War in 4 major phases: the rebellion of the nobles in Bohemia, the Danish phase, the Swedish one, and then the intervention of France. The "internationalization" of the conflict took place in 1629;so far, in general terms, it was a question of political, institutional and religious regulation within the Holy Roman-German Empire between the emperor and the princes.

The "Thirty Years War" label, attached to the conflict that took place on a large part of the European continent between 1618-1648, was given by the contemporaries of the event. During the preparatory talks to define the terms of the Westphalia Treaty, delegates hoped to end the ''30-year conflict''. Moreover, one year after the conclusion of the Westfalia Peace Accord, in Britain saw the light of the print,through ''The Moderate Intelligencer'' newspaper, details of the conflict in which the English referenced as the ''Thirty Years' War''. A contemporary German pamphlet referred to the conflict just ended in the same manner:'' A short chronicle of the Thirty Years' War.''

The reporting of the contemporaries to the reasons for the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War was attributed to the orientation and partisanship of the two opposing camps. Protestant Party adherents tried to justify the rebellion of the Czech nobles against Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg, motivating - retrospectively - the subsequent behavior of the Emperor. From the perspective of contemporary Catholics and official historians of the Habsburg-led Catholic camp - the case of Eberhard Wassenberg - the conflicts of the Thirty Years' War were perceived as the struggle of the sovereign with his enemies (see his work: "Commentariorum Bello Inter Invictissimos Imperatores Ferdinandos Ii Et Iii Et Eorum Hostes Liber Singularis ").
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/4/2019 04:18:03


MilkyWay90
Level 53
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This is cool. Nice work!
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/4/2019 20:22:21


DesertFox
Level 57
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1.2 The ways of interpreting the Thirty Years' War

The complexity of the modern-day interpretation of the 17th century 3-decade European conflict, known as the Thirty Years' War, derives from its original stratification. There was a source of "constitutional" conflict within the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation between the Emperor and the princes, to which the religious source added, the one between the Catholic Emperor and the Protestant princes of the Empire, who had already adhered to the Reformation.

Historians who have leaned on studying the Thirty Years' War have perceived its complexity and, above all, the multiple sources that have led to the conflict. First of all, the problem of "constitutional" regulation between the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and principles in the Empire was imperative and necessary to be clarified. Then the surprise of the researcher is that the war itself was not alien to a series of other smaller-scale conflicts on the European continent, and yet had its own ignition and deployment independent of them. With the exception of Russia, almost all the major European kingdoms were directly or indirectly involved in the Thirty Years' War."Of the important states, only Russia remained unimpressed. Poland and the Ottoman Empire exerted significant influence but without direct involvement. The Dutch managed to keep their conflict with Spain separately as they tried to model events in the Empire with minimal and indirect involvement. The British involvement was more substantial without the state becoming at any moment, formally, belligerent. France and Spain intervened but retained their separate participation in their own conflicts, which had different origins and continued for 11 years after 1648. Denmark and Sweden were full belligerent countries, although their intervention had little to do with the origins war. Also, other neighboring principalities such as Savoy and Loraine have been caught in conflict, not losing sight of the "agenda" with their own confrontations.

Beyond the institutional and constitutional level, the source of the religious conflict between the combatants is also the source of the Thirty Years' War outbreak between the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and the princes of the Empire. Religious conflict but mixed with serious political and social reasons, and this interconfessional conflict - what the authors call "moderates" and "militants" - has been complicated by their position on the purpose of the conflict. Moderatives imagined a possible reunification within the Roman Catholic Church of Christians after the ravages of the Reformation and the "militants" conceived of nothing but a complete "victory" over the moderate co-religionists, because their struggle from their perspective was one for God and the defeat of the Antichrist.

The radicalization of Christian militants in combination with political power has become a fatal cocktail. Believing this camp that the only form of Christianity and government is what God wanted and the right one to lead to the feeling of any lack of compassion towards the defeated, which resulted in the terrible destructions they have caused to the European continent the three decades of the Thirty Years' War. The antagonism of the two camps - Catholic and Protestant - to the point where the radical discourse took over the arena and compromised any small form of dialogue, led to fanaticisms that justified military resistance in some areas, even if everything was lost.
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/6/2019 05:24:04


DesertFox
Level 57
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1.3 The general geography of the Holy Roman Empire at the begining of the XVIIth century..

The territorial, structural, and institutional irregularity of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, formerly called the Holy Roman Empire, and from 1512 under the above title, led the 17th century German contemporaries to call it a "monstrosity" - Samuel Pufendorf. Despite the diverse territorial composition that did not fit a pattern like the ones in the European kingdoms, the "port-flag" image of the Holy Empire was contained in the life and existence of rural communities. The widespread and confused picture of the institutional relationship between the Emperor and the Empire's princes, over whom the sovereign had, more than once, a more nominal and effective authority, were "clarified" by a "connecting cable" over the existence of the empire: the German rural communities.

The direct continuation of the Ottonian Empire, then of the Holy Empire, in 1512 the complete title of the conglomerate of principalities and duchies of central Europe was the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. But in the beginning of the 17th century, the irregularity of its territorial structure, as well as the confusing relationship between the Emperor and the Empire's princes ,over which the sovereign had, most of the time, a rather nominal authority was perceived by contemporaries - the case of Samuel Pufendorf - no more, no less thansovereign-princIf there was a "print" image of the Holy Roman-German Empire throughout the Middle Ages, considering that the territorial empire and the sovereign-prince relationship were confusing, then the "photograph" of the German rural communities in the empire was the one that represented its bone. At the beginning of the 17th century it is estimated that there were about 2,200 towns and 150,000 villages in the imperial territories. The rural communities and the villages were spatially delimited by cities and were, usually,positioned along the watercourses for economic and security reasons. Also, rural communities were understood as the first "defense" line in front of the cities in case of an invasion.

The image of the urban and rural communities of the Holy Roman Empire at the beginning of the 17th century presents a world in which the city walls separated the city itself from agricultural fields, from small manufacturing areas and from monastic establishments. Certain palisades and small-sized walls were built even around the villages to protect them from wild animals, brigands, social margins, or those in transit. For the average man in the medieval German village - and not only - the unknown, the stranger and the foreign, from where the "steep" way of looking at him, were understandable. We must bear in mind that the feeling of a community defended from the "intruders" - arriving from other parts of the Empire - was also enhanced by the fact that many of those who lived near these villages and small towns spoke a completely foreign dialect to the locals. "Those in transit were asked about the purpose of the journey and were frequently required to pay a toll on their property"

Communities in the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, whether in rural areas or in cities, were involved in supporting each parish, churches and all its dependencies. The monasteries and churches of each settlement, depending on its size and financial strength, were supported, and if the financial strength of the settlement allowed it, aid was also sent to smaller churches in the surrounding areas. The definition of the faith and pride of the German communities in the Holy Roman Empire of the 16th-17th centuries was the financial and aesthetic status of the churches in the respective communities. Their size, which was exceeding the height of city walls and often visible from a distance for a stranger ,was the representative image of the German communities in the Holy Empire.

Representative in representing the German settlements in the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation were, in addition to churches, the edifices of the local authority: the residence of the bailif and the buildings of the mayor's offices. The system of cities and rural communities in the Empire was based on a rather broad autonomy, which gave them complete control over internal problems, and the leaders of these settlements were chosen by the men - heads of families - of the respective localities. The right to local government gave these settlements the possibility of deciding on the labours and works to be done, the right to collect certain local taxes, and the position of the communities to decide on the right to settle "foreigners" - or not - on their territory. They were also given all of them by the emperor the jurisdiction over the punishments imposed on those who illegally stayed in the community without having the right to reside.

The conglomerate of cities and rural communities in the Holy Empire, each of them having a lower or greater degree of autonomy from the authority of the nearby lords, had a feature that in fact represented the solution that "held together" the dukes and the princes of the empire: the imperial constitution. The "constitutional" framework sets and divides jurisdictions, operating through the chains of authority superior to each community and settlement, over an imperial territory that is estimated to be about. 680,000 square km in the early 17th century. The authority of the sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire, no matter how nominal it was at one point or another, was spread over the north of Italy in a space of more than 60,000 square kilometers. Generally, on this date, the Holy Roman Empire theoretically included today Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, the Czech Crown, Habsburg Hungary, parts of Poland, Alsace and Lorraine - France - and much of the Netherlands
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/8/2019 20:45:39


DesertFox
Level 57
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1.4 The relation between the Emperor and the princes

Following the route of the Carolingian Empire, Ottonian, then that of the Holy Roman Empire, the sovereign of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation - so called from 1512 - contained the old idea from the time of its formation,like most of the western european kingdoms, of direct descendancy on the line of the ancient Roman Empire, but on the Christian background, the emperor was portraying as the supreme laic ruler of Christendom. In practice, however, his authority over the territories of the Holy Roman Empire was not directly expressed, but rather subjected to a judicial transition, through the line of vassal principals, to communities in the Empire's territories. The problem of vassal relations arose when the distinction between the direct vassal lords of the sovereign and those who functioned as the "transmission belt" between the emperor and the communities of the Holy Roman Empire.

At the border of the 16th and 17th centuries, the number of noble families in the Holy Land amounted to around 60,000 families - rural nobles - Landadel. They were under the jurisdiction of the lords who were close to the emperor, with 180 secular families and 130 families of "ecclesiastical seniors". The geographic concentration of the imperial fiefs power was placed in the south of the empire, while in the northern and eastern demographics, not so "loaded", were fiefs that were legally framed in the imperial constitution only at the end of the 16th century.

The feudal vassal system was the one operating in the Holy Roman Empire, and the emperor was at the top of it. Towards the end of the 15th century there were growing problems and distinctions between the vassal lords and directly linked to the Emperor's person, and those bound by vassal ties to the Emperor but acting on the transmission of imperial authority to the territory. Lords directly under the jurisdiction of the Emperor - the Reichsunmittelbar - were legally framed in the norms and terms of medieval vassalism, being endowed with sovereigns, having the ''auxilium et consilium'' duty, (''help and advice'').

The jurisdiction of the lords directly linked to the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation on the on the fiefs received from the emperor - Reichslehen - also meant the reversal of the medal in a system of complex vassal connections: the lords' duty to protect and defend the autonomies of the communities from their possessed fiefs. "The close lords possessed fully imperial fiefs (Reichslehen) obtained directly from the Emperor as their feudal suzerain. These were usually composed of other smaller ones held by intermediary lords or those of other jurisdictions exercised by their subordinate communities.So cities, villages and other settlements were held together in a set of legal and political rights, prerogatives and jurisdictions. These rights gave everyone the right to receive respect, submission, and resources from those who were connected with him. A lord exerting jurisdiction over a village expects deference from his inhabitants to a portion of their products and a "portion" of their time and work for certain tasks. Instead, he or she expected to protect the interests of these inhabitants against the evil intruders, maintain the peculiarity of the community within the wider empire, and intervene in internal affairs disputes to resolve the important issues that arise".

The right of the communities in the Holy Roman Empire was directly related to the jurisdiction over the land, which was transferred to the lords who were called - by imperial appointment - to exercise jurisdiction over them. The ecclesiastical properties were separated from the secular jurisdiction of the seniors of the respective beliefs, over time, developing "ecclesiastical seniors" - if we could call them that - and the extent of their power passed over that of local seniors, legitimating their title and belonging to the emperor's person: The church was "imperial" - the Reichskirche. The complex jurisdiction of the lord's fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire meant, for example, that more than a few lords partitioned authority over a territory, and ecclesiastical authority spirally spread over the churches of the laic lords. The Church kept for her the money that she administers like the laic seniors.

Edited 7/8/2019 20:46:33
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/9/2019 21:50:53


DesertFox
Level 57
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1.5 The secular and spiritual Lords of the Holy Roman Empire

The organization of the secular and spiritual seniors of the Holy Roman Empire was structured by the imperial constitution of 1521, attempting to draw the necessary distinctions between the "old" group of the seven elector princes - those who chose the emperor - and the other members of the lords caste directly bound by the emperor or boldly bound by the emperor on a spiral of territorial jurisdiction.

The Imperial Constitution of 1521 structured the cast of the secular and spiritual lords of the Holy Roman Empire in 3 major groups. The most important and numerical reduced was the "old" group of electors, seven, who chose the new emperor. Nominated by the Golden Bull of Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg, the seven Elector Princes gained preeminence and social status among the lords of the Holy Roman Empire, including an exclusive group of noble families to whom the honor of choosing the Emperor's person had been.The seven Elector Princes were three spirituals - the Archbishops of Cologne, Mainz and Trier - and four secular: the King of Bohemia - the first of the seculars and the only possessor of a royal title - the Count of the Rhineland Palatinate, the Duke of Saxony and the Margrave of Brandenburg.

Considering the imperial universal Roman idea symbolized by the Christian emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the position and status of the clergy were preeminent on the status of lords and nobles. The predominant position of the three Electoral Principles, the spiritual lords - of Mainz, Cologne and Mainz - in the institutional organigram of the states of the Holy Roman Empire, was consolidated by the very purpose they had in the eyes of contemporaries: men's intercessors to God in the attempt of salvation

Among the fiefs of the secular electors of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia was by far the most significant territory, comprising approximately 1.5 million inhabitants and 50,000 square kilometers. Brandenburg was the second largest imperial fief, but less populous. The Duchy of Saxony was smaller in size, but densely populated - about 1.2 million - and the Rhineland Palatinate numbered about 600,000 souls. The seven Electoral Princes, which formed the group of senior Senior Lords of the Holy Roman Empire, directly related to the emperor's person, held together about ⅙ of the Empire's population, and territorialy numbered ⅕ from its surface.

Alongside the seven Elector Princes of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, immediately in their proximity - as a social and political status - there was a group of secular and spiritual lords whose fiefs could be inherited or sold, but because they were linked vassaly to the sovereign, the emperor must give his consent for any kind of such operation."50 spiritual fiefs and 33 seculars ones were owned by princely lords, although their titles occupied a wide range from the archbishop to the bishop, duke, count, and marquis. All secular fiefs were formally obtained by inheritance or purchase; in both cases the transfer was subject to imperial approval. The spiritual leaders, including the three electors, were chosen by the convent of the cathedral or monastery of the main church in their territories, subject to the emperor's formal approval, and in this case the Pope's agreement. The number of princes has always been smaller than the total of the fiefs, since it was possible for voters to obtain princely fiefs, while already existing princes could have more than one, and bishopic principles could be elected in another chair ".

Apart from the group of elector princes of the Holy Roman Empire, seven in number, followed by the most important secular and spiritual lords who had inherited possession by appointment and with the agreement of their suzerain - the emperor - of fiefs inhabited by about 100,000 subjects, the circle of the nobility of the Empire was closed by a segment of smaller nobles.Lords with a status enjoying imperial protection against the abuses of the stronger nobles but not included in the body of the lords directly attached to the emperor's person, these - counts, dukes - possessed smaller ones on whose territory only a few thousand people dwelt . These were a number of 220 such fiefs in the Empire.

In the group of the noble states of the Holy Roman Empire - improperly referred to as nobles, there were several hundred ennobled families whose peoples - about 1500 - were given an Imperial diploma, were considered to be part of the noble body attached to the Emperor - the Reichsritter - but placed on a social and financial status well below that of the elector princes and other great spiritual and secular lords of the Holy Roman Empire. Finally, there was also the group of local nobles, but their importance in the contemporary taxis was minor, given that they did not benefit from the emperor's "attention" and therefore their prestige and influence were minor.

The most important possessions legally involved in the Holy Roman Empire became the the ones owned by the House of Habsburg, especially after the takeover of the western territories of the former Kingdom of Hungary following its conquest by the Turks of Soliman the Magnificent in 1526.Although, in practice, the Habsburgs had the "base" of their Confederation in Vienna, and the territories - including those of the Czech Crown - were under their direct authority, in a wider legal sense, the Central European Confederation was part of the Holy Roman Empire because the Austrian Habsburgs had secured themselves the emperor's position. After the withdrawal of the Habsburg spanish wing from the claiming of the imperial title, through the understanding between the two sides, the position of the Austrian branch became even stronger. From the end of the 15th century, uninterrupted until the abolition of the Holy Empire by Napoleon in 1806, the Austrian Habsburgs held the title of emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.Their direct authority over the ⅖ of the Empire's surface (about 7 million out of the 17 million of the Empire) gave them the prestige and financial strength to dominate disputes with vassal princes in the Empire.
[b] The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [/b]: 7/14/2019 13:59:37


DesertFox
Level 57
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1.6 The general status of the cities in the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation

In general, smaller or larger territories in the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation were under the jurisdiction of one of the members of the noble states. Received from the emperor as a form of vassal connection between the suzerain-emperor and the noble states, the communities in these fiefs were placed under the jurisdiction of the one who held the fief. The exceptions, however, were the "free imperial" cities,about 80, mainly located in Franconia and Swabia - the primary aggregation point of the Holy Roman Empire - whose own jurisdiction was independent of the local senior who held the fief around the city. At the end of the 16th century, the largest imperial free city was Augsburg with a population of about 48,000.

Besides the large imperial cities, there was also a group of smaller cities that enjoyed the same protection of the imperial constitution in guaranteeing their own domestic jurisdiction. Heilbronn, Regensburg had somewhere to 10,000 inhabitants in the early 17th century, plus the group of small imperial free cities: Schwabisch-Hall. The latter, for example, exercises its authority over the villages around it.The protection which the free imperial cities enjoyed, even the small ones, was guaranteed by the Imperial Constitution and representatives of these small free cities made use of law and symbolism to counter, if necessary, any interference by the local senior on their jurisdiction. Their connection was in direct relationship with the emperor.''Whoever did" business "with Balif of Eriskirch near Lake Constance in 1619 would have seen the city emblem of Buchhorn above the door - this symbol was represented by a tree and a hunting horn, identifying himself as lord of Eriskirch on who obtained it in 1472, while the city's loyalty to the emperor and the Empire was demonstrated by the imperial coat of arms above the lord's.The black bicephal eagle symbolized the merger of the Empire with the former Kingdom of Germany.Surrounding the eagle, the Order of the Golden Fleece was placed, the emblem of a chivalric order founded in 1429 to defend the Church.This was the highest distinction granted by the Habsburgs, linking their family directly to the traditional role of the emperor of Christianity. The red-white-red color combination of the Habsburgs was reproduced on the center of the eagle, consolidating the association of the local dynasty with the imperial title and the city's membership in the Holy Empire under its authority. "

The largest free city imperial city in the Holy Roman Empire from the end of the 16th century was Augsburg,with a population of about 48,000. In the second line there were Nurnberg, Strasbourg, Hamburg, Cologne and Lubeck whose population was somewhere to 40,000 people. In the third circle of free imperial cities, in size, were Frankfurt, Bremen, Ulm and Aachen with about 20,000 inhabitants.

Jurisdiction over communities located on the fiefs of one of the lords of the Holy Empire was exercised by them, with some exceptions.This exception was represented by the free imperial cities. In practice, they had a proper jurisdiction over which the seniors whose peoples surrounded the city had no right over the way in which these free imperial cities were internally governed.Approximately 80 - at the end of the 16th century - they were mainly located in Franconia and Swabia, the primary constituent areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and their status as free cities already enjoyed some centuries.
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