Free imperial city

In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities worded free imperial city, was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that had a certain amount of autonomy and was represented in the Imperial Diet. An imperial city held the status of Imperial immediacy, as such, was subordinate only to the Holy Roman Emperor, as opposed to a territorial city or town, subordinate to a territorial prince – be it an ecclesiastical lord or a secular prince; the evolution of some German cities into self-ruling constitutional entities of the Empire was slower than that of the secular and ecclesiastical princes. In the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, some cities were promoted by the emperor to the status of Imperial Cities for fiscal reasons; those cities, founded by the German kings and emperors in the 10th through 13th centuries and had been administered by royal/imperial stewards gained independence as their city magistrates assumed the duties of administration and justice.

The Free Cities were those, such as Basel, Cologne or Strasbourg, that were subjected to a prince-bishop and progressively gained independence from that lord. In a few cases, such as in Cologne, the former ecclesiastical lord continued to claim the right to exercise some residual feudal privileges over the Free City, a claim that gave rise to constant litigation until the end of the Empire. Over time, the difference between Imperial Cities and Free Cities became blurred, so that they became collectively known as "Free Imperial Cities", or "Free and Imperial Cities", by the late 15th century many cities included both "Free" and "Imperial" in their name. Like the other Imperial Estates, they could wage war, make peace, control their own trade, they permitted little interference from outside. In the Middle Ages, a number of Free Cities formed City Leagues, such as the Hanseatic League or the Alsatian Décapole, to promote and defend their interests. In the course of the Middle Ages, cities gained, sometimes — if — lost, their freedom through the vicissitudes of power politics.

Some favored cities gained a charter by gift. Others purchased one from a prince in need of funds; some won it by force of arms during the troubled 13th and 14th centuries and others lost their privileges during the same period by the same way. Some cities became free through the void created by the extinction of dominant families, like the Swabian Hohenstaufen; some voluntarily placed themselves under the protection of a territorial ruler and therefore lost their independence. A few, like Protestant Donauwörth, which in 1607 was annexed to the Catholic Duchy of Bavaria, were stripped by the Emperor of their status as a Free City — for genuine or trumped-up reasons. However, this happened after the Reformation, of the sixty Free Imperial Cities that remained at the Peace of Westphalia, all but the ten Alsatian cities continued to exist until the mediatization of 1803. There were four thousand towns and cities in the Empire, although around the year 1600 over nine-tenths of them had fewer than one thousand inhabitants.

During the late Middle Ages, fewer than two hundred of these places enjoyed the status of Free Imperial Cities, some of those did so only for a few decades. The Imperial military tax register of 1521 listed eighty-five such cities, this figure had fallen to sixty-five by the time of the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. From the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 to 1803, their number oscillated at around fifty. Unlike the Free Imperial Cities, the second category of towns and cities, now called "territorial cities" were subject to an ecclesiastical or lay lord, while many of them enjoyed self-government to varying degrees, this was a precarious privilege which might be curtailed or abolished according to the will of the lord. Reflecting the extraordinarily complex constitutional set-up of the Holy Roman Empire, a third category, composed of semi-autonomous cities that belonged to neither of those two types, is distinguished by some historians; these were cities whose size and economic strength was sufficient to sustain a substantial independence from surrounding territorial lords for a considerable time though no formal right to independence existed.

These cities were located in small territories where the ruler was weak. They were the exception among the multitude of territorial towns and cities. Cities of both latter categories had representation in territorial diets, but not in the Imperial Diet. Free imperial cities were not admitted as own Imperial Estates to the Imperial Diet until 1489, then their votes were considered only advisory compared to the Benches of the electors and princes; the cities divided themselves into two groups, or benches, in the Imperial Diet, the Rhenish and the Swabian Bench. These same cities were among the 85 free imperial cities listed on the Reichsmatrikel of 1521, the imperial civil and military tax-schedule used for more than a century to assess the contributions of all the Imperial Estates in case of a war formally declared by the Imperial Diet; the military and monetary contribution of each city is indicated in parenthesis (for instance Cologne means that

Durham Regatta

Durham Regatta is a rowing regatta held annually on the second weekend in June on the River Wear in Durham, North East of England. Known as the Henley of the North, Durham Regatta was formed several years before the more prestigious namesake Henley Royal Regatta. Durham Regatta is the second oldest rowing regatta in England, preceded only by Chester Regatta; the first regatta was held over 17–19 June 1834, opening with a six oared race in 1834 won by Velocity, owned by W. L. Wharton, High Sheriff of Durham, against the Durham University Original Club in Sylph; the race has been held 182 times and, in recent years, the regatta has had competitors from all corners of the UK, as well as crews from as far afield as Nereus in Amsterdam. Durham Regatta is a popular day out for residents and students at the University, providing the climax of the rowing year for most college rowers. All colleges will compete across a variety of boat types and standards, it is the chance to determine which college has the strongest crews of the year.

In 2008, Durham Regatta celebrated its 175th anniversary and to commemorate this, there was a variety of entertainment on the Saturday evening, culminating in a huge pyrotechnic display. Events are competed over either the short course, a 700-metre stretch of river which provides an excellent view of racing from start to finish, or the long course; the long course of 1800 metres takes in a number of sweeping bends and Elvet Bridge and ends near Prebends Bridge. The blue riband event is the Grand Challenge Cup, run since 1854, it has been dominated by Durham University Boat Club and Newcastle University Boat Club. This event is for Elite Men's Coxed Fours, due to the introduction of the Prince Albert Challenge Cup for Student Coxed Fours at Henley Royal Regatta this event has proved to be useful practice for student crews from the University Boat Club and College Boat Clubs in the run up to the Royal Regatta. Rowing clubs on the River Wear. Durham Regatta BBC News


Sensemaking or sense-making is the process by which people give meaning to their collective experiences. It has been defined as "the ongoing retrospective development of plausible images that rationalize what people are doing"; the concept was introduced to organizational studies by Karl E. Weick in the 1970s and has affected both theory and practice. Weick intended to encourage a shift away from the traditional focus of organization theorists on decision-making and towards the processes that constitute the meaning of the decisions that are enacted in behavior. In 1966, Daniel Katz and Robert L. Kahn published The Social Psychology of Organizations. In 1969, Karl Weick played on this title in his book The Social Psychology of Organizing, shifting the focus from organizations as entities to organizing as an activity, it was the second edition, published ten years that established Weick's approach in organization studies. Weick identified seven properties of sensemaking: Identity and identification is central – who people think they are in their context shapes what they enact and how they interpret events.

Retrospection provides the opportunity for sensemaking: the point of retrospection in time affects what people notice, thus attention and interruptions to that attention are relevant to the process. People enact the environments they face in narratives; as people speak, build narrative accounts, it helps them understand what they think, organize their experiences and control and predict events and reduce complexity in the context of change management. Sensemaking is a social activity in that plausible stories are retained or shared. However, the audience for sensemaking includes the speakers themselves and the narratives are "both individual and evolving product of conversations with ourselves and with others". Sensemaking is ongoing, so Individuals shape and react to the environments they face; as they project themselves onto this environment and observe the consequences they learn about their identities and the accuracy of their accounts of the world. This is a feedback process so as individuals deduce their identity from the behaviour of others towards them, they try to influence this behaviour.

As Weick argued, "The basic idea of sensemaking is that reality is an ongoing accomplishment that emerges from efforts to create order and make retrospective sense of what occurs". People extract cues from the context to help them decide on what information is relevant and what explanations are acceptable. Extracted cues provide points of reference for linking ideas to broader networks of meaning and are'simple, familiar structures that are seeds from which people develop a larger sense of what may be occurring.". People favour plausibility over accuracy in accounts of events and contexts: "in an equivocal, postmodern world, infused with the politics of interpretation and conflicting interests and inhabited by people with multiple shifting identities, an obsession with accuracy seems fruitless, not of much practical help, either"; each of these seven aspects interact and intertwine as individuals interpret events. Their interpretations become evident through narratives – written and spoken – which convey the sense they have made of events, as well as through diagrammatic reasoning and associated material practices.

The rise of the sensemaking perspective marks a shift of focus in organization studies from how decisions shape organizations to how meaning drives organizing. The aim was to focus attention on the cognitive activity of framing experienced situations as meaningful, it is a collaborative process of creating shared awareness and understanding out of different individuals' perspectives and varied interests. Sensemaking scholars are less interested in the intricacies of planning than in the details of action; the sensemaking approach is used to provide insight into factors that surface as organizations address either uncertain or ambiguous situations. Beginning in the 1980s with an influential re-analysis of the Bhopal disaster, Weick's name has come to be associated with the study of the situated sensemaking that influences the outcomes of disasters. A 2014 review of the literature on sensemaking in organizations identified a dozen different categories of sensemaking and a half-dozen sensemaking related concepts.

The categories of sensemaking included: constituent-minded, ecological, future-oriented, interpersonal, political, prosocial and resourceful. The sensemaking-related concepts included: sensebreaking, sense-exchanging, sensegiving and sense specification. Sensemaking is central to the conceptual framework for military network-centric operations espoused by the United States Department of Defense. In a joint/coalition military environment, sensemaking is complicated by numerous technical, organizational and operational factors. A central hypothesis