Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I and he was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. He has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia and his policies are now known as Josephinism. He died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Joseph was born in the midst of the early upheavals of the War of the Austrian Succession. His real education was given to him through the writings of Voltaire and the Encyclopédistes and he married Princess Isabella of Parma in October 1760, a union fashioned to bolster the 1756 defensive pact between France and Austria. Joseph loved his bride, finding her both stimulating and charming, and she sought, with care to cultivate his favor. The marriage of Joseph and Isabella resulted in the birth of a daughter, Isabella was fearful of pregnancy and early death.
Her own pregnancy proved difficult as she suffered symptoms of pain, illness. She remained bedridden for six weeks after their daughters birth, almost immediately on the back of their newfound parenthood, the couple endured two consecutive miscarriages—an ordeal particularly hard on Isabella—followed quickly by another pregnancy. Pregnancy was again provoking melancholy and dread in Isabella, progressively ill with smallpox and strained by sudden childbirth and tragedy, Isabella died the following week. This marriage proved unhappy, albeit brief, as it lasted only two years. Though Maria Josepha loved her husband, she felt timid and inferior in his company, lacking common interests or pleasures, the relationship offered little for Joseph, who confessed he felt no love for her in return. He adapted by distancing himself from his wife to the point of near total avoidance, seeing her only at meals, Maria Josepha, in turn, suffered considerable misery in finding herself locked in a cold, loveless union.
Four months after the anniversary of their wedding, Maria Josepha grew ill. Joseph neither visited her during her illness nor attended her funeral, though he expressed regret for not having shown her better kindness. One thing the union did provide him was the possibility of laying claim to a portion of Bavaria. In 1770, at the age of seven, Josephs only surviving child, Maria Theresa, became ill with pleurisy, the loss of his daughter was deeply traumatic for him and left him profoundly grief-stricken and scarred. He was made a member of the council of state
Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry VII was the King of Germany from 1308 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1312. He was the first emperor of the House of Luxembourg, born around 1275 in Valenciennes, he was a son of Count Henry VI of Luxembourg and Béatrice from the House of Avesnes. Raised at the French court, he was the lord of comparatively small properties in a peripheral and predominantly French-speaking part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was symptomatic of the weakness that during his rule as the Count of Luxembourg, he agreed to become a French vassal. During his rule of Luxembourg, he ruled effectively, especially in keeping the peace in local feudal disputes, Henry became caught up in the internal political machinations of the Holy Roman Empire with the assassination of King Albert I on 1 May 1308. Almost immediately, King Philip of France began aggressively seeking support for his brother, Charles of Valois, Philip thought he had the backing of the French Pope Clement V, and that his prospects of bringing the empire into the orbit of the French royal house were good.
He lavishly spread French money in the hope of bribing the German electors, although Charles of Valois had the backing of Henry, Archbishop of Cologne, a French supporter, many were not keen to see an expansion of French power, least of all Clement V. The principal rival to Charles appeared to be Rudolf, the Count Palatine, Henry of Cologne’s brother, Archbishop of Trier, won over a number of the electors, including Henry, in exchange for some substantial concessions. Consequently, Henry skillfully negotiated his way to the crown, elected with six votes at Frankfurt on 27 November 1308, Henry was subsequently crowned at Aachen on 6 January 1309. In July 1309, Pope Clement V confirmed Henrys election and he agreed to crown Henry Emperor at Candlemas 1312personally, the title having been vacant since the death of Frederick II. Yet the newly crowned king had local issues to deal with before he could seek the imperial crown, Henry was approached by part of the Bohemian nobility and some important and influential ecclesiastics to intervene in Bohemia.
In July 1310 he engineered the removal of Henry of Carinthia and he therefore confirmed them in their imperial fiefs by October 1309, in exchange, Leopold of Habsburg agreed to accompany Henry in his Italian expedition, and to provide a body of troops as well. He saw it, together with the crowns of Italy and Arles and it was hoped that this would lessen the tensions in Italy between the anti-imperial Guelphs, who looked to the King of Naples for leadership, and the pro-imperial Ghibellines. Negotiations broke down due to Robert’s excessive monetary demands, as well as through the interference of Philip, while these negotiations were taking place, Henry began his descent into northern Italy in October 1310, with his eldest son John remaining in Prague as the Imperial vicar. As Emperor, Henry had planned to restore the glory of the Holy Roman Empire, each of these contests had created bitter losers, each of whom looked to the emperor-elect for restitution. Henry expressed both his high-minded idealism and lack of craft in his plan to require all the cities of Lombardy to welcome back their exiles.
He received both parties, Guelph or Ghibelline, courteously, in the beginning he showed no obvious favoritism to either party, nevertheless, he insisted that the current rulers in all of the Italian city-states had usurped their powers. He insisted that the towns should come under the control of the Empire
Attributed arms are Western European coats of arms given retrospectively to persons real or fictitious who died before the start of the age of heraldry in the latter half of the 12th century. Arms were assigned to the knights of the Round Table, and to biblical figures, to Roman and Greek heroes, each author could attribute different arms for the same person, but the arms for major figures soon became fixed. Notable arms attributed to biblical figures include the arms of Jesus based on the instruments of the Passion, medieval literature attributed coats of arms to the Nine Worthies, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and King Arthur. Arms were given to many kings predating heraldry, including Edward the Confessor and these attributed arms were sometimes used in practice as quarterings in the arms of their descendants. Attributed or imaginary arms appeared in literature in the middle of the 12th century, during the generation following Chrétien de Troyes, about 40 of Arthurs knights had attributed coats of arms.
A second stage of development occurred during the 14th and 15th centuries when Arthurian arms expanded to include as many as 200 attributed coats of arms, during the same centuries, rolls of arms included invented arms for kings of foreign lands. Around 1310, Jacques de Longuyon wrote the Voeux de Paon and this list, divided into three groups of three, became known in art and literature as the Nine Worthies. Each of the Nine Worthies were given a coat of arms, King David, for instance, was assigned a gold harp as a device. Once coats of arms were the fashion of the ruling class. In such an era, it was enough to consider that suitable armorial devices. Each author could attribute different arms for the person, although regional styles developed. Some attributed arms were incorporated into the quarterings of their descendants arms, the quarterings for the family of Lloyd of Stockton, for instance, include numerous arms originally attributed to Welsh chieftains from the 9th century or earlier. In a similar vein, arms were attributed to Pope Leo IX based on the arms of his familys descendants.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, additional arms were attributed to a number of saints and popes. Pope Innocent IV is the first pope whose personal coat of arms is known with certainty, by the end of the 17th century, the use of attributed arms became more restrained. The tinctures and charges attributed to an individual in the past provide insight into the history of symbolism, in the Arthurian legends, each knight of the Round Table is often accompanied by a heraldic description of a coat of arms. Although these arms could be arbitrary, some characters were associated with one coat or a few different coats. King Arthur was assigned many different arms, but from the 13th century, in a 1394 manuscript depicting the Nine Worthies, Arthur is shown holding a flag with three gold crowns
The Hohenstaufen, called the Staufer or Staufen, were a dynasty of German kings during the Middle Ages. Besides Germany, they ruled the Kingdom of Sicily. In Italian historiography, they are known as the Svevi, since they were dukes of Swabia from 1079, three members of the dynasty—Frederick I, Henry VI and Frederick II—were crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The name Staufen derives from Stauf, meaning chalice, and was applied to conical hills in Swabia in the Middle Ages. The family derives its name from the castle which the first Swabian duke of the lineage built there in the half of the 11th century. Staufen castle was finally called Hohenstaufen by historians in the 19th century. The name of the dynasty followed, but in recent decades the trend in German historiography has been to prefer the name Staufer, the noble family first appeared in the late 10th century in the Swabian Riesgau region around the former Carolingian court of Nördlingen. A local count Frederick is mentioned as progenitor in a pedigree drawn up by Abbot Wibald of Stavelot at the behest of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1153.
He held the office of a Swabian count palatine, his son Frederick of Buren married Hildegard of Egisheim-Dagsburg and their son Frederick I was appointed Duke of Swabia at Hohenstaufen Castle by the Salian king Henry IV of Germany in 1079. At the same time, Duke Frederick I was engaged to the kings approximately seventeen-year-old daughter, Fredericks brother Otto was elevated to the Strasbourg bishopric in 1082. Upon Fredericks death, he was succeeded by his son, Duke Frederick II, Frederick II remained a close ally of the Salians, he and his younger brother Conrad were named the kings representatives in Germany when the king was in Italy. Around 1120, Frederick II married Judith of Bavaria from the rival House of Welf, when the last male member of the Salian dynasty, Emperor Henry V, died without heirs in 1125, a controversy arose about the succession. A civil war between Fredericks dynasty and Lothairs ended with Fredericks submission in 1134, after Lothairs death in 1137, Fredericks brother Conrad was elected King as Conrad III.
In 1147, Conrad heard Bernard of Clairvaux preach the Second Crusade at Speyer, conrads brother Duke Frederick II died in 1147, and was succeeded in Swabia by his son, Duke Frederick III. When King Conrad III died without heir in 1152, Frederick succeeded him. As royal access to the resources of the church in Germany was much reduced and he was soon crowned emperor in Italy, but decades of warfare on the peninsula yielded scant results. The Papacy and the prosperous city-states of the Lombard League in northern Italy were traditional enemies, under the skilled leadership of Pope Alexander III, the alliance suffered many defeats but ultimately was able to deny the emperor a complete victory in Italy. During Fredericks long stays in Italy, the German princes became stronger, offers of reduced taxes and manorial duties enticed many Germans to settle in the east in the course of the Ostsiedlung
Coat of arms of Germany
The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle with red feet and tongue on a golden field, blazoned, Or, an eagle displayed sable beaked langued and membered gules. This is the Bundesadler or Federal Eagle, formerly the Reichsadler or Imperial Eagle and it is a re-introduction of the coat of arms of the Weimar Republic adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1950. The current official design is due to Tobias Schwab and was introduced in 1928, the single-headed Prussian Eagle was used as an escutcheon to represent the Prussian Kings as dynasts of the German Empire. The Weimar Republic introduced a version in which the escutcheon and other symbols were removed. By the 13th century the coat of arms was generally recognised as, Or. During the medieval period the imperial eagle was usually single-headed, a double-headed eagle is attributed as the arms of Frederick II in the Chronica Majora. In 1433 the double-headed eagle was adopted by Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, thereafter the double-headed eagle was used as the arms of the German emperor, and hence as the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
From the 12th century the Emperors used a coat of arms separate from the imperial arms. From the reign of Albert II, the Emperors bore the old Imperial arms with an inescutcheon of pretence of his family arms. Coats of arms of the Holy Roman Empire In 1815, a German Confederation of 39 loosely united German states was founded on the territory of the former Holy Roman Empire, until 1848, the confederation did not have a coat of arms of its own. The Federal Diet meeting at Frankfurt am Main used a seal which carried the emblem of the Austrian Empire and it showed a black, double-headed eagle, which Austria had adopted just before the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. During the 1848 revolution, a new Reich coat of arms was adopted by the National Assembly that convened in St. Pauls Church in Frankfurt. The black double-headed eagle was retained, but without the four symbols of the emperor, the sword, the orb, the sceptre. The eagle rested on a shield, above was a five-pointed golden star.
On both sides the shield was flanked by three flags with the colours black-red-gold, the emblem, never gained general acceptance. In 1867, the North German Confederation was established without Austria, a new coat of arms was adopted, which consisted of a shield with the colours black-white-red, flanked by two wild men holding cudgels and standing on a pedestal. The Reichsadler had already introduced at the Proclamation of Versailles. The design of the eagle was altered at least twice during the German Empire and it shows the imperial eagle, a comparatively realistic black eagle, with the crown of the Holy Roman Empire
In heraldry and vexillology, the double-headed eagle is a charge associated with the concept of Empire. Most modern uses of the symbol are directly or indirectly associated with its use by the Roman/Byzantine Empire, whose use of it represented the Empires dominion over the Near East and the West. But the symbol itself is, in fact, much older, the eagle by itself has long been a symbol of power and dominion. The double-headed eagle motif appears to have its origin in the Ancient Near East. It re-appears in the High Middle Ages, from ca, in a few places, among them the Holy Roman Empire and Russia, the motif was further augmented to create the less prominent triple-headed eagle. Polycephalous mythological beasts are very frequent in the Bronze Age to Iron Age pictorial legacy of the Ancient Near East, especially in the Assyrian sphere, use of the double-headed eagle in Hittite imagery has been interpreted as royal insignia. A monumental Hittite relief of an eagle grasping two hares is found at the eastern pier of the Sphinx Gate at Alaca Hüyük.
After the Bronze Age collapse, there is a gap of more than two millennia before the re-appearance of the double-headed eagle motif, the early Byzantine Empire continued to use the imperial eagle motif. A modern theory, forwarded by Zapheiriou, connected the introduction of the motif to Emperor Isaac I Komnenos, Zapheiriou supposed that the Hittite motif of the double-headed bird, associated with the Paphlagonian city of Gangra might have been brought to Byzantium by the Komnenoi. The double-headed eagle motif was adopted in the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, a royal association of the motif is suggested by its appearance on the keystone of an arch of the citadel built at Ikonion under Kayqubad I. The motif appears on Turkomen coins of this era, notably on coins minted under Artuqid ruler Nasir al-Din Mahmud of Hasankeyf. The oldest preserved depiction of an eagle in Serbia is the one found in the donor portrait of Miroslav of Hum in the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Bijelo Polje. The double-headed eagle in the Serbian royal coat of arms is attested in the 13th and 14th centuries.
An exceptional medieval depiction of a double headed eagle in the west, in Serbia, the Nemanjić dynasty adopted a double-headed eagle by the 14th century. The double-headed eagle was used in coats of arms found in the Illyrian Armorials. The white double-headed eagle on a red shield was used for the Nemanjić dynasty, a Nemanjić eagle was used at the crest of the Hrebeljanović, while a half-white half-red eagle was used at the crest of the Mrnjavčević. Use of the eagle was continued by the modern Karađorđević, Obrenović. The double-headed eagle remained an important motif in the heraldry of the families of Russia
The same design has remained in use by the Federal Republic of Germany since 1945, but under a different name, now called Bundesadler. The Reichsadler can be traced back to the banner of the Holy Roman Empire and it was meant to embody the reference to the Roman tradition, similar to the double-headed eagle used by the Palaiologi emperors of the Byzantine Empire or the tsars of Russia. The Reichsadler was widely used by Imperial cities such as Lübeck, Besançon, the Teutonic Order under Hermann von Salza had the privilege to display the Imperial eagle in their coat of arms, granted by Emperor Frederick II. The black eagle was adopted when the Teutonic State was transformed into the Duchy of Prussia in 1525. Sigismund of Luxembourg used a black double-headed eagle after he was crowned Emperor in 1433, while the single-head eagle remained an ensign of the elected King of the Romans, since 1919 the coat of arms of Austria has depicted a single-headed eagle. Although not a symbol in the modern sense, the Reichsadler evoked sentiments of loyalty to the empire.
During the revolutions of 1848 in the German states, some attempts were made to reimplement the Reichsadler as a symbol of national unity. These ideas were taken up again when an eagle with a Prussian inescutcheon became the insignia of Bismarckss kleindeutsche Lösung in the shape of the German Empire in 1871. After World War I the Weimar Republic under President Friedrich Ebert assumed a plain version of the Reichsadler, during Nazi rule, a stylised eagle combined with the Nazi swastika was made the national emblem by order of Adolf Hitler in 1935. Despite its mediæval origin, the term Reichsadler in common English understanding is mostly associated with this specific Nazi era version, the Nazi Party had used a very similar symbol for itself, called the Parteiadler. These two insignia can be distinguished as the Reichsadler looks to its right shoulder whereas the Parteiadler looks to its left shoulder, after World War II the Federal Republic of Germany re-implemented the eagle used by the Weimar Republic by enactment of President Theodor Heuss in 1950
The eagle is used in heraldry as a charge, as a supporter, and as a crest. The eagle with its keen eyes symbolized perspicacity, courage and immortality, with these attributed qualities the eagle became a symbol of power and strength in Ancient Rome. The eagle as a symbol has a much longer than that of heraldry itself. In Ancient Egypt, the falcon was the symbol of Horus, an eagle appears on the battle standard of Cyrus the Great in Persia, around 540 BC. The eagle as an animal of the Roman Republic was introduced in 102 BC by consul Gaius Marius. According to Islamic tradition, the Black Standard of Muhammad was known as راية العُقاب rāyat al-uqāb banner of the eagle), in Christian symbolism the four living creatures of scripture have traditionally been associated with the Four Evangelists. The eagle is the symbol of Saint John the Evangelist, in medieval and modern heraldry eagles are often said to indicate that the armiger was courageous, a man of action and judicious. Where an eagles wings were spread it was said to indicate the role as a protector.
In the same way that a lion is considered the king of beasts and it has been more widely used and more highly regarded in Continental European heraldry than in English heraldry. For instance, in the roll of Henry III of England there are only three eagles, media related to examples of heraldic eagles at Wikimedia Commons The depiction of the heraldic eagle is subject to a great range of variation in style. The eagle was far more common in continental European—particularly German—than English heraldry and it is often depicted membered / armed and langued gules, that is, with red claws / talons and tongue. In its relatively few instances in Gallo-British heraldry, the outermost feathers are typically longer, an eagle can appear either single- or double-headed. On at least one occasion a three-headed eagle is seen, recursant describes an eagle with his head turned to the sinister. In full aspect describes an eagle with his head facing the onlooker, in trian aspect describes when the eagles head is facing at a three-quarter view to give the appearance of depth – with the head cocked at an angle somewhere between profile and straight-on.
Overture or close is when the wings are shown at the sides and close to the body, addorsed is when the eagle is shown statant and ready to fly, with the wings shown open behind the eagle so that they almost touch. Espanie or épandre is when the eagle is shown affronté and the wings are shown with the tips upward, abaisé is when the eagle is shown affronté and the wings are shown with the tips downward. A good example is the eagle on the side of the US quarter dollar coin. Klee-Stengeln are the pair of long-stemmed trefoil-type charges on the wings of 13th-century German depictions of the heraldic eagle and they represent the upper edge of the wings and are normally Or, like the beak and claws
Its rulers served as prince-electors from time immemorial, were noted as such in a papal letter of 1261, and were confirmed as electors by the Golden Bull of 1356. The Counts Palatine of the Rhine held the office of Imperial vicars in the territories under Frankish law and their climax and decline is marked by the rule of Elector Palatine Frederick V, whose coronation as King of Bohemia in 1619 sparked the Thirty Years War. After the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the lands were further afflicted by the Reunion campaigns launched by King Louis XIV of France. Ruled in personal union with the Electorate of Bavaria from 1777, the office of a Count palatine at the Frankish court of King Childebert I was already mentioned about 535. Up to the 10th century, the rule of the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties was centered at the palace in Aachen. In 985, Herman I, a scion of the Ezzonids, is mentioned as count palatine of Lotharingia and his territories were centered in the Rhineland proper around Cologne and Bonn, but extended south to the Moselle and Nahe Rivers in Lorraine.
The southernmost point was near Alzey, from about 1085/86, after the death of the last Ezzonian count palatine Herman II, the Palatinate lost its military importance in Lotharingia. The territorial authority of his successor Henry of Laach was reduced to the counties along the Upper Rhine, various noble dynasties competed to be enfeoffed with the Palatinate by the Holy Roman Emperor, among them the House of Ascania, the House of Salm and the House of Babenberg. The first hereditary Count Palatine of the Rhine was Conrad, a member of the House of Hohenstaufen, the territories attached to this hereditary office in 1156 started from those held by the Hohenstaufens in the Donnersberg, Haardt, Bergstraße and Kraichgau regions. Much of this was from their ancestors, the Salian emperors, and apart from Conrads maternal ancestry. These backgrounds explain the composition of Upper and Rhenish Palatinate in the inheritance centuries onwards, about 1182, Conrad moved his residence from Stahleck Castle near Bacharach up the Rhine River to Heidelberg.
Upon Conrads death in 1195, the Palatinate passed to the House of Welf through the—secret—marriage of his daughter Agnes with Henry of Brunswick, when Henrys son Henry the Younger died without heirs in 1214, the Hohenstaufen king Frederick II enfeoffed the Wittelsbach duke Louis I of Bavaria. The Bavarian House of Wittelsbach eventually held the Palatinate territories until 1918, as this region was politically connected to the Rhenish Palatinate, the name Upper Palatinate became common from the early 16th century in contrast to the Lower Palatinate along the Rhine. With the Treaty of Pavia in 1329, the Wittelsbach emperor Louis IV, from that time forth, the Count Palatine of the Rhine was usually known as the Elector Palatine. The Elector Palatine, now based in Heidelberg, adopted Lutheranism in the 1530s, in 1619, Frederick V accepted the throne of Bohemia from the Bohemian estates. He was soon defeated by the forces of Emperor Ferdinand II at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, called the Winter King because his reign in Bohemia only lasted one winter, Frederick was put under the ban of the Empire in 1623.
Frederick Vs territories and his position as Elector were transferred to the Catholic Duke of Bavaria, Maximilian I, although technically Elector Palatine, he was known as the Elector of Bavaria. From 1648 he ruled in Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate alone, but retained all his Electoral dignities, after Frederick Vs death, his wife Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, worked tirelessly to have the Palatinate restored to her family and to the Protestant cause
Weimar Republic is an unofficial, historical designation for the German state between 1919 and 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place, the official name of the state was still Deutsches Reich, it had remained unchanged since 1871. In English the country was known simply as Germany. A national assembly was convened in Weimar, where a new constitution for the Deutsches Reich was written, in its fourteen years, the Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, and contentious relationships with the victors of the First World War. The people of Germany blamed the Weimar Republic rather than their leaders for the countrys defeat. However, the Weimar Republic government successfully reformed the currency, unified tax policies, Weimar Germany eliminated most of the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles, it never completely met its disarmament requirements, and eventually paid only a small portion of the war reparations.
Under the Locarno Treaties, Germany accepted the borders of the republic. From 1930 onwards President Hindenburg used emergency powers to back Chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz von Papen, the Great Depression, exacerbated by Brünings policy of deflation, led to a surge in unemployment. In 1933, Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor with the Nazi Party being part of a coalition government, the Nazis held two out of the remaining ten cabinet seats. Von Papen as Vice Chancellor was intended to be the éminence grise who would keep Hitler under control, within months the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency, it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties. Hitlers seizure of power was permissive of government by decree without legislative participation and these events brought the republic to an end, as democracy collapsed, a single-party state founded the Nazi era. The Weimar Republic is so called because the assembly that adopted its constitution met at Weimar, Germany from 6 February 1919 to 11 August 1919, but this name only became mainstream after 1933.
To the right of the spectrum the politically engaged rejected the new democratic model, the Catholic Centre party, Zentrum favoured the term Deutscher Volksstaat while on the moderate left the Chancellors SPD preferred Deutsche Republik. Only during the 1930s did the term become mainstream, both within and outside Germany, after the introduction of the republic, the flag and coat of arms of Germany were officially altered to reflect the political changes. The Weimar Republic retained the Reichsadler, but without the symbols of the former Monarchy and this left the black eagle with one head, facing to the right, with open wings but closed feathers, with a red beak and claws and white highlighting. If the Reichs Eagle is shown without a frame, the charge and colors as those of the eagle of the Reichs coat of arms are to be used. The patterns kept by the Federal Ministry of the Interior are decisive for the heraldic design, the artistic design may be varied for each special purpose. The achievements and signs of movement were mostly done away with after its downfall
Electorate of Mainz
In the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz was the Primate of Germany, a purely honorary dignity that was unsuccessfully claimed from time to time by other Archbishops. There were only two other ecclesiastical Prince-electors in the Empire, the Electorate of Cologne and the Electorate of Trier. The Archbishop-Elector of Mainz was archchancellor of Germany and, as such, ranked first among all ecclesiastical and secular princes of the Empire and his political role, particularly as an intermediary between the Estates of the Empire and the Emperor, was considerable. The episcopal see was established in ancient Roman times in the city of Mainz, the first bishops before the 4th century have legendary names, beginning with Crescens. The first verifiable Bishop of Mainz was Martinus in 343, the ecclesiastical and secular importance of Mainz dates from the accession of St. Boniface to the see in 747. Boniface was previously an archbishop, but the honor did not immediately devolve upon the see itself until his successor Lullus, another early bishop of Mainz was Aureus of Mainz.
However, the office came to prominence upon its elevation to an archdiocese in 780-782. During the early age, the archdiocese of Mainz was the largest ecclesiastical province of Germany. In 1802, Mainz lost its archiepiscopal character, Dalberg retained the Aschaffenburg area as the Principality of Aschaffenburg. In 1810 Dalberg merged Aschaffenburg, Wetzlar, the modern Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz was founded in 1802 when Mainz lost its archdiocese status and became a mere diocese within the territory of France. In 1814 its jurisdiction was extended over the territory of Hesse-Darmstadt, since it has had two cardinals and via various concordats was allowed to retain the medieval tradition of the cathedral chapter electing a successor to the bishop. Elector of Mainz Mainz Cathedral Primas Germaniae Roman Catholic Diocese of Mainz Official website of the modern Diocese Map of the Archbishopric of Mainz in 1789
Electorate of Saxony
Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was enfeoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the residence up the Elbe river to Dresden. After the Empires dissolution in 1806, the Wettin electors raised Saxony to a kingdom, when Emperor Frederick Barbarossa deposed the Saxon duke Henry the Lion in 1180, the Wittenberg lands belonged to Alberts youngest son Count Bernhard of Anhalt, who assumed the Saxon ducal title. Bernards eldest son, Albert I, ceded Anhalt to his younger brother Henry, retained the ducal title and his sons divided the possessions into the duchies of Saxe-Wittenberg and Saxe-Lauenburg. Louis was succeeded by the Luxembourg king Charles of Bohemia, after being crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1355, Charles issued the Golden Bull of 1356, the fundamental law of the Empire settling the method of electing the German King by seven Prince-electors. In this way, the country, though small in area, the electoral dignity was connected with it the obligation of male primogeniture, that is, only the eldest son could succeed as ruler.
This forbade the division of the territory among several heirs, preventing the disintegration of the country, the importance of this stipulation is shown by the history of most of the fragmented German principalities which were not electorates. Late Alberts Ascanian relative Duke Eric V of Saxe-Lauenburg protested in vain, thus, in 1423, Saxe-Wittenberg, the Margraviate of Meissen and Thuringia were united under one ruler, and the unified territory gradually received the name of Saxony. The partition decisively enfeebled the Wettin dynasty in the rivalry with the rising House of Hohenzollern, the Protestant movement of the 16th century was largely effected under the protection of the Saxon rulers. The Elector did not become at once an adherent of the new opinions, owing to his intervention, Pope Leo X decided against summoning Luther to Rome in 1518, and the Elector secured for Luther Imperial safe-conduct to the 1521 Diet of Worms. When Luther was declared to be under the ban of the empire by Emperor Charles V.
Lutheran doctrines spread first in Ernestine Saxony, in 1525, Frederick died and was succeeded by his brother, John the Constant. John was followed in 1532 by his son, John Frederick the Magnanimous, in 1542, he seized the Diocese of Naumburg-Zeitz, and confiscated the secular possessions of the Dioceses of Meissen and Hildesheim. The Catholic faith was forcibly suppressed, after the outbreak of the Schmalkaldic War, Elector John Frederick was placed under the Imperial ban and finally defeated and captured by Emperor Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg on 24 April 1547. In the Capitulation of Wittenberg of May 19, he was obliged to yield former Saxe-Wittenberg with the dignity to his Albertine cousin Duke Maurice. The Saxon Electorate after the Wittenberg Capitulation consisted of former Saxe-Wittenberg and Meissen together, Maurice secretly shared in all the princely conspiracies against the Emperor, who only escaped capture by flight. During the same year, Charles V was obliged by the Peace of Passau to grant freedom of religion to the Protestant Estates, Maurice died in 1553 at the age of 32.
His brother and successor Elector Augustus seized the Catholic dioceses of Merseburg, the last Bishop of Merseburg, Michael Helding called Sidonius, died at Vienna in 1561. In the same manner after the death of Julius von Pflug, the last Catholic Bishop of Naumburg, in 1564 and those cathedral canons who were still Catholic were only permitted to exercise their religion for ten years more