Acts of Union 1707
The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament, the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had agreed on 22 July 1706. Although described as a Union of Crowns, until 1707 there were in two separate Crowns resting on the same head. The Acts took effect on 1 May 1707, on this date, the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament. Hence, the Acts are referred to as the Union of the Parliaments, on the Union, the historian Simon Schama said What began as a hostile merger, would end in a full partnership in the most powerful going concern in the world. It was one of the most astonishing transformations in European history, the first attempts at Union surrounded the foreseen unification of the Royal lines of Scotland and England.
In pursuing the English throne in the 1560s, Queen of Scots pledged herself to a union between the two kingdoms. England and Scotland were ruled by the king for the first time in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became the king of England. However they remained two separate states until 1 May 1707, the first attempt to unite the parliaments of England and Scotland was by Marys son, King James VI and I. On his accession to the English throne in 1603 King James announced his intention to unite his two realms so that he would not be guilty of bigamy. James used his prerogative powers to take the style of King of Great Britain and to give an explicitly British character to his court. In the meantime, James declared that Great Britain be viewed as presently united, and as one realm and kingdom, the Scottish and English parliaments established a commission to negotiate a union, formulating an instrument of union between the two countries. However, the idea of union was unpopular, and when James dropped his policy of a speedy union.
When the House of Commons attempted to revive the proposal in 1610, the ordinance was ratified by the Second Protectorate Parliament, as an Act of Union, on 26 June 1657. One united Parliament sat in Westminster, with 30 representatives from Scotland and 30 from Ireland joining the members from England. Whilst free trade was brought about amongst the new Commonwealth, the benefits were generally not felt as a result of heavy taxation used to fund Cromwells New Model Army. This republican union was dissolved automatically with the restoration of King Charles II to the thrones of England and Scotland, Scottish members expelled from the Commonwealth Parliament petitioned unsuccessfully for a continuance of the union. An abortive scheme for union occurred in Scotland in 1670, following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the records of the Parliament of Scotland show much discussion of possible union
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. It did not include Ireland, which remained a separate realm, the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. Also after the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746. On 1 January 1801, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom, the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used officially in 1474, in the instrument drawing up the proposal for a marriage between Edward IV of Englands daughter Cecily and James III of Scotlands son James.
The Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be United into one Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain. However, both the Acts and the Treaty refer numerous times to the United Kingdom and the longer form, other publications refer to the country as the United Kingdom after 1707 as well. The websites of the UK parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, the term United Kingdom was found in informal use during the 18th century to describe the state. The new state created in 1707 included the island of Great Britain, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a union in 1603. Each of the three kingdoms maintained its own parliament and laws and this disposition changed dramatically when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800, legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland.
In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the location in Westminster. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws. As a result of Poynings Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, the Act was repealed by the Repeal of Act for Securing Dependence of Ireland Act 1782. The same year, the Irish constitution of 1782 produced a period of legislative freedom, the 18th century saw England, and after 1707 Great Britain, rise to become the worlds dominant colonial power, with France its main rival on the imperial stage
Princes of the Holy Roman Empire
Prince of the Holy Roman Empire was a title attributed to a hereditary ruler, nobleman or prelate recognised as such by the Holy Roman Emperor. Originally, possessors of the title bore it as immediate vassals of the Empire, secular or ecclesiastical. However, by the time the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806, the first came to be reckoned as royalty in the sense of being treated as sovereigns, entitled to inter-marry with reigning dynasties. The second tier consisted of high-ranking nobles whose princely title did not, the actual titles used by Imperial princes varied considerably for historical reasons, and included archdukes, margraves, counts palatine, princely counts, as well as princes. The estate of princes or Reichsfürstenstand was first established in a legal sense in the Late Middle Ages. Not all states met all three requirements, so one may distinguish between effective and honorary princes of the Holy Roman Empire, from the 13th century onwards, further estates were formally raised to the princely status by the emperor.
The resolutions of the Diet of Augsburg in 1582 explicitly stated that the status was linked with the possession of a particular Imperial territory. Most of the Counts who ruled territories were raised to Princely rank in the decades before the end of the Empire in 1806, ecclesiastical Princes were the Prince-Bishops as well as the actual Prince-abbots. They comprised a number of entities which were secularized and mediatized after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. The honorary status of prince of the Holy Roman Empire might be granted to certain individuals, sovereigns outside the Empire, such as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Prince of Piombino was another example, nobles allowed to bear the princely title, but who had neither a vote nor a seat in the Imperial Diet, individual or shared, such as the House of Kinsky. This included nobles who lacked immediacy, but who were allowed, motu proprio, by the Emperor to enjoy the title, although this courtesy tended to become hereditary for families, the right to princely status was called Personalist and could be revoked by the Emperor.
List of states in the Holy Roman Empire List of Imperial Diet participants German mediatization Structure of Princes of The Holy Roman Empire
Sophia of Hanover
Sophia of the Palatinate was the Electress of Hanover from 1692 to 1698. As a granddaughter of James VI and I, she became heir presumptive to the crowns of the Kingdom of England, after the Act of Union,1707, she became heir presumptive to the unified throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain. She died less than two months before she would have become queen, and her claim to the throne passed on to her eldest son, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, Sophias brother Charles Louis was restored to the Palatinate as part of the Peace of Westphalia. Sophia married Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1658, despite his jealous temper and frequent absences, Sophia loved him, and bore him seven children who survived to adulthood. Initially a landless cadet, Ernest Augustus succeeded in having the House of Hanover raised to electoral dignity in 1692, Sophia became Electress of Hanover, the title by which she is best remembered. A patron of the arts, Sophia commissioned the palace and gardens of Herrenhausen and sponsored philosophers, such as Gottfried Leibniz, through her mother, she was the granddaughter of James VI and I, king of Scotland and England.
At birth, Sophia was granted an annuity of 40 thalers by the Estates of Friesland. Sophia was courted by her first cousin, Charles II of England, before her marriage, Sophia, as the daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, was referred to as Sophie, Princess Palatine of the Rhine, or as Sophia of the Palatinate. The Electors of the Palatinate were the Calvinist senior branch of House of Wittelsbach, on 30 September 1658, she married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, at Heidelberg, who in 1692 became the first Elector of Hanover. Ernst August was a cousin of Sophias mother Elizabeth Stuart. Sophia became a friend and admirer of Gottfried Leibniz while he was librarian at the Court of Hanover and their friendship lasted from 1676 until her death in 1714. This friendship resulted in a correspondence, first published in the nineteenth century. She was well-read in the works of René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, together with Ernest Augustus, she greatly improved the Summer Palace of Herrenhausen and she was the guiding spirit in the creation of the gardens surrounding the palace, where she died.
After Sophias tour, she bore Ernest Augustus another four sons, in her letters, Sophia describes her eldest son as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters. In September 1700, Sophia met her cousin, King William III of England and II of Scotland and this happened just two months after the death of Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, nephew of King William III and son of the future Queen Anne. By this time, given the ailing William IIIs reluctance to remarry, the act restricts the British throne to the Protestant heirs of Sophia of Hanover who have never been Roman Catholic and who have never married a Roman Catholic. Some British politicians attempted several times to bring Sophia to England in order to enable her to assume the government immediately in the event of Annes death. It was argued that such a course was necessary to ensure Sophias succession, the Electress was eager to move to London, but the proposal was denied, as such action would mortally offend Anne who was strongly opposed to a rival court in her kingdom
The prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire. From the 13th century onwards, the Prince-Electors had the privilege of electing the King of the Romans, Charles V was the last to be a crowned Emperor, his successors were elected Emperors directly by the electoral college, each being titled Elected Emperor of the Romans. In practice, all but one Emperor from 1440 onwards came from the Austrian House of Habsburg, the dignity of Elector carried great prestige and was considered to be second only to that of King or Emperor. The Electors had exclusive privileges that were not shared with the princes of the Empire. The heir apparent to a secular prince-elector was known as an electoral prince, the German practice of electing monarchs began when ancient Germanic tribes formed ad hoc coalitions and elected the leaders thereof. Elections were irregularly held by the Franks, whose successor states include France, the French monarchy eventually became hereditary, but the Holy Roman Emperors remained elective, at least in theory, although the Habsburgs provided most of the monarchs.
While all free men originally exercised the right to vote in such elections, in the election of Lothar II in 1125, a small number of eminent nobles chose the monarch and submitted him to the remaining magnates for their approbation. Soon, the right to choose the monarch was settled on a group of princes. The college of electors was mentioned in 1152 and again in 1198, a letter of Pope Urban IV suggests that by immemorial custom, seven princes had the right to elect the King and future Emperor. The seven have been mentioned as the vote-casters in the election of 1257 that resulted in two kings becoming elected, the Count Palatine of the Rhine held most of the former Duchy of Franconia after the last Duke died in 1039. The Margrave of Brandenburg became an Elector when the Duchy of Swabia was dissolved after the last Duke of Swabia was beheaded in 1268, even with diminished territory, retained its eminent position. The Palatinate and Bavaria were originally held by the same individual, the King of Bohemia, who held the ancient imperial office of Arch-Cupbearer, asserted his right to participate in elections.
Sometimes he was challenged on the grounds that his kingdom was not German, though usually he was recognized, instead of Bavaria which after all was just a younger line of Wittelsbachs. The Declaration of Rhense issued in 1338 had the effect that election by the majority of the electors automatically conferred the title and rule over the empire. The Golden Bull of 1356 finally resolved the disputes among the electors, in 1621, the Elector Palatine, Frederick V, came under the imperial ban after participating in the Bohemian Revolt. The Elector Palatines seat was conferred on the Duke of Bavaria, the Duke held the electorate personally, but it was made hereditary along with the duchy. When the Thirty Years War concluded with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, since the Elector of Bavaria retained his seat, the number of electors increased to eight, the two Wittelsbach lines now sufficiently estranged so as not to pose a combined potential threat. In 1685, the composition of the College of Electors was disrupted when a Catholic branch of the Wittelsbach family inherited the Palatinate
House of Welf
The House of Welf was a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century. The House of Welf is the branch of the House of Este. The first member was Welf IV, he inherited the property of the Elder House of Welf when his maternal uncle Welf III, Duke of Carinthia and Verona, the last male Welf of the Elder House, died in 1055. Welf IV was the son of Welf IIIs sister Kunigunde of Altdorf and her husband Albert Azzo II of Este, in 1070, Welf IV became duke of Bavaria. Since the Welf dynasty sided with the Pope in this controversy, Henry the Black, duke of Bavaria from 1120–1126, was the first of the three dukes of the Welf dynasty called Henry. His wife Wulfhild was the heiress of the house of Billung, possessing the territory around Lüneburg in Lower Saxony and their son, Henry the Proud was the son-in-law and heir of Emperor Lothair of Supplinburg and became duke of Saxony on Lothairs death. Lothair left his territory around Brunswick, inherited from his mother of the Brunonen family and her husband Henry the Proud became the favoured candidate in the imperial election against Conrad III of the Hohenstaufen.
But Henry lost the election, as the other princes feared his power and temperament, Henry the Lion recovered his fathers two duchies, Saxony in 1142, Bavaria in 1156 and thus ruled vast parts of Germany. In 1168 he married Matilda, the daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and sister of Richard Lionheart, gaining ever more influence. His first cousin, Emperor Frederick I of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, tried to get along with him, Henry made his peace with the Hohenstaufen Emperor in 1185, and returned to his much diminished lands around Brunswick without recovering his two duchies. Bavaria had been given to Otto I Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria, Henry died at Brunswick in 1195. Henrys son Otto of Brunswick was elected King of the Romans and he incurred the wrath of Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated in 1215. Otto was forced to abdicate the throne by the Hohenstaufen Frederick II. He was the only Welf to become emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Henry the Lions grandson Otto the Child became duke of a part of Saxony in 1235, the new Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and died there in 1252.
The subsequent history of the dukedom and its subordinate principalities was characterized by divisions and reunifications. The subordinate states that were created, and which had the legal status of principalities within the duchy were generally named after the residences of their rulers. The estates of the different dynastic lines could be inherited by a line when a family died out. The individual subordinate principalities continued to exist until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, following the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, the territories became part of the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Brunswick
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 until his death, and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698. George was born in Hanover and inherited the titles and lands of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his father, a succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, and in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of his second cousin Queen Anne of Great Britain, in reaction, Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Annes Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed. During Georges reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual power was held by Sir Robert Walpole. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, George was born on 28 May 1660 in Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire.
He was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I of England through her mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia. For the first year of his life, George was the heir to the German territories of his father. In 1661 Georges brother, Frederick Augustus, was born and the two boys were brought up together, after Sophias tour she bore Ernest Augustus another four sons and a daughter. In her letters, Sophia describes George as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his brothers and sisters. In 1679 another uncle died unexpectedly without sons and Ernest Augustus became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen, Georges surviving uncle, George William of Celle, had married his mistress in order to legitimise his only daughter, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, but looked unlikely to have any further children. Under Salic law, where inheritance of territory was restricted to the male line, in 1682, the family agreed to adopt the principle of primogeniture, meaning George would inherit all the territory and not have to share it with his brothers.
The same year, George married his first cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the marriage of state was arranged primarily as it ensured a healthy annual income and assisted the eventual unification of Hanover and Celle. His mother was at first against the marriage because she looked down on Sophia Dorotheas mother and she was eventually won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage. In 1683, George and his brother, Frederick Augustus, served in the Great Turkish War at the Battle of Vienna, and Sophia Dorothea bore George a son, George Augustus. The following year, Frederick Augustus was informed of the adoption of primogeniture and it led to a breach between father and son, and between the brothers, that lasted until Frederick Augustuss death in battle in 1690. With the imminent formation of a single Hanoverian state, and the Hanoverians continuing contributions to the Empires wars, Georges prospects were now better than ever as the sole heir to his fathers electorate and his uncles duchy.
Sophia Dorothea had a child, a daughter named after her, in 1687
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and King of Serbia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1658, Leopold would rule as such until his death in 1705. Leopolds reign is known for the conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east, and the rivalry with Louis XIV, after more than a decade of warfare, Leopold emerged victorious from the Great Turkish War thanks to military talents of Prince Eugene of Savoy. By the Treaty of Karlowitz, Leopold recovered almost all of the Kingdom of Hungary which had fallen under the Turkish yoke in the years after the 1526 Battle of Mohács. Leopold fought three wars against France including the Dutch War, the Nine Years War, and the War of the Spanish Succession, in this last, Leopold sought to give his younger son the entire Spanish inheritance, disregarding the late Spanish kings will. To this end, he started a war which soon engulfed much of Europe, when peace returned at the end of it all, Austria could not be said to have emerged as triumphant as it did from the war against the Turks.
Born on 9 June 1640 in Vienna, Leopold received an education by excellent teachers. From an early age Leopold showed an inclination toward learning and he became fluent in several languages, Italian, German and Spanish. In addition to German, Italian would be the most favored language at his court, Leopold was schooled in the classics, literature, natural science and astronomy, and was particularly interested in music, having inherited his fathers musical talents. Originally intended for the Church, Leopold had received an ecclesiastical education. But fate put in motion a different plan for him when smallpox took his elder brother Ferdinand on 9 July 1654, Leopolds church education had clearly marked him. Leopold remained influenced by the Jesuits and his education throughout his life, and was uncommonly knowledgeable for a monarch about theology, jurisprudence and he retained his interest in astrology and alchemy which he had developed under Jesuit tutors. A deeply religious and devoted person, Leopold personified the pietas Austriaca, Leopold was said to have typically Habsburg physical attributes.
Short, and of sickly constitution, Leopold was cold and reserved in public, however, he is said to have been open with close associates. Coxe described Leopold in the manner, His gait was stately and deliberate, his air pensive, his address awkward, his manner uncouth, his disposition cold. He grew to manhood without the military ambition that characterized most of his fellow monarchs, from the beginning, his reign was defensive and profoundly conservative. Hungary elected Leopold as its king in 1655, with Bohemia and Croatia following suit in 1656 and 1657 respectively. To conciliate France, which had influence in German affairs thanks to the League of the Rhine
At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Electorate was enlarged to become a Kingdom with Hanover as its capital. From 1868 to 1946 Hanover was the capital of the Prussian Province of Hanover and it is now the capital of the Land of Lower Saxony. Since 2001 it has been part of the Hanover district, which is a body made up from the former district. With a population of 518,000, Hanover is a centre of Northern Germany. Hanover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair, every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the worlds largest marksmens festival, and the Oktoberfest Hannover, the second largest such festival in Germany. In 2000, Hanover hosted the world fair Expo 2000, the Hanover fairground, due to numerous extensions, especially for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world. Hanover is of importance because of its universities and medical school, its international airport. The city is a crossing point of railway lines and highways. Hanover is the traditional English spelling, the German spelling is becoming more popular in English, recent editions of encyclopaedias prefer the German spelling, and the local government uses the German spelling on English websites.
The traditional English spelling is used in historical contexts, especially when referring to the British House of Hanover. Hanover was founded in times on the east bank of the River Leine. Its original name Honovere may mean high bank, though this is debated, Hanover was a small village of ferrymen and fishermen that became a comparatively large town in the 13th century due to its position at a natural crossroads. As overland travel was difficult, its position on the upper navigable reaches of the river helped it to grow by increasing trade. In the 14th century the churches of Hanover were built. The beginning of industrialization in Germany led to trade in iron and silver from the northern Harz Mountains, in 1636 George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruler of the Brunswick-Lüneburg principality of Calenberg, moved his residence to Hanover. The Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg were elevated by the Holy Roman Emperor to the rank of Prince-Elector in 1692, thus the principality was upgraded to the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover after Calenbergs capital.
Its electors would become monarchs of Great Britain, the first of these was George I Louis, who acceded to the British throne in 1714. The last British monarch who ruled in Hanover was William IV, semi-Salic law, which required succession by the male line if possible, forbade the accession of Queen Victoria in Hanover
Act of Settlement 1701
Her mother, Princess Elizabeth Stuart, had been born in Scotland but became famous in history as Elizabeth of Bohemia. The line of Sophia of Hanover was the most junior among the Stuarts, Sophia died on 8 June 1714, before the death of Queen Anne on 1 August 1714, at which time Sophias son duly became King George I and started the Hanoverian dynasty. The act played a key role in the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Scotland had shared a monarch since 1603, but had remained separately governed countries. The Scottish parliament was more reluctant than the English to abandon the House of Stuart, English pressure on Scotland to accept the Act of Settlement was one factor leading to the parliamentary union of the two countries in 1707. Under the Act of Settlement anyone who became a Roman Catholic, or who married one, the act placed limits on both the role of foreigners in the British government and the power of the monarch with respect to the Parliament of England. Some of those provisions have been altered by subsequent legislation, the original documents are deposited in the Lower Saxon State Archives in Hanover, Germany.
During the debate, the House of Lords had attempted to append Sophia and her descendants to the line of succession, mary II died childless in 1694, after which William III did not remarry. In 1700, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, who was the child of Princess Anne to survive infancy. Thus, Anne was left as the last remaining heir to the throne. The Bill of Rights excluded Catholics from the throne, which ruled out James II, however, it provided for no further succession after Anne. Parliament thus saw the need to settle the succession on Sophia and her descendants, is are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish Religion or shall marry a Papist. Thus, those who were Roman Catholics, and those who married Roman Catholics, were barred from ascending the throne. Eight additional provisions of the act would only come into effect upon the death of both William and Anne, The monarch shall join in communion with the Church of England and this was intended to ensure the exclusion of a Roman Catholic monarch.
If a person not native to England comes to the throne, England will not wage war for any dominions or territories which do not belong to the Crown of England, without the consent of Parliament. This provision has been dormant since Queen Victoria ascended the throne, no monarch may leave the dominions of England, Scotland, or Ireland, without the consent of Parliament. All government matters within the jurisdiction of the Privy Council were to be transacted there and this was because Parliament wanted to know who was deciding policies, as sometimes councillors signatures normally attached to resolutions were absent. This provision was repealed early in Queen Annes reign, as many councillors ceased to offer advice, subsequent nationality laws made naturalised citizens the equal of those native born, and this provision no longer applies. No person who has an office under the monarch, or receives a pension from the Crown, was to be a Member of Parliament and this provision was inserted to avoid unwelcome royal influence over the House of Commons
Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire)
The Imperial Diet was the deliberative and legislative body of the Holy Roman Empire. Its members were the Imperial Estates, divided into three colleges, the diet as a permanent, regularized institution evolved from the Hoftage of the Middle Ages. From 1663 until the end of the empire in 1806, it was in permanent session at Regensburg, the Imperial Estates had, according to feudal law, no authority above them besides the Holy Roman Emperor himself. The holding of an Imperial Estate entitled one to a vote in the diet, thus, an individual member might have multiple votes and votes in different colleges. In general, members did not attend the permanent diet at Regensburg, the late imperial diet was in effect a permanent meeting of ambassadors between the Estates. Initially, there was neither a fixed time nor location for the Diet, the Golden Bull of 1356 cemented the concept of territorial rule, the largely independent rule of the dukes over their respective territories, and limited the number of electors to seven.
The Pope, contrary to myth, was never involved in the electoral process. However, until the late 15th century, the Diet was not actually formalized as an institution, the dukes and other princes would irregularly convene at the court of the Emperor, these assemblies were usually referred to as Hoftage. Only beginning in 1489 was the Diet called the Reichstag, the two colleges were that of the prince-electors and that of the other dukes and princes. Several attempts to reform the Empire and end its slow disintegration, notably starting with the Diet of 1495, from to its end in 1806, the Empire was not much more than a collection of largely independent states. Only with the introduction of the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg in 1663 did the Diet permanently convene in a fixed location. The Imperial Diet of Constance opened on 27 April 1507, it recognized the unity of the Holy Roman Empire and founded the Imperial Chamber, the empire’s supreme court. Since 1489, the Diet comprised three colleges, The Electoral college, led by the Prince-Archbishop of Mainz in his capacity as Archchancellor of Germany, in 1692 the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg became the ninth Prince-elector as Archbannerbearer during the Nine Years War.
In the War of the Bavarian Succession, the dignities of the Palatinate. The college of Imperial Princes incorporated the Imperial Counts as well as lords, Prince-Bishops. Strong in members, though often discordant, the second college tried to preserve its interests against the dominance of the Prince-electors, the House of Princes was again subdivided into an ecclesiastical and a secular bench. Remarkably, the bench was headed by the—secular—Archduke of Austria. As the Austrian House of Habsburg had failed to assume the leadership of the secular bench, the ecclesiastical bench comprised the Grand Master and Deutschmeister of the Teutonic Knights, as well as the Grand Prior of the Monastic State of the Knights Hospitaller at Heitersheim