Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
The Reformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic church – and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms; the edict condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today. Movements had been made towards a Reformation prior to Luther, so some Protestants in the tradition of the Radical Reformation prefer to credit the start of the Reformation to reformers such as Arnold of Brescia, Peter Waldo, Jan Hus, Tomáš Štítný ze Štítného, John Wycliffe, Girolamo Savonarola.
Due to the reform efforts of Huss and others in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Utraquist Hussitism was acknowledged by both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, although other movements were still subject to persecution, as were the including Lollards in England and Waldensians in Italy and France. Luther began by criticising the sale of indulgences, insisting that the Pope had no authority over purgatory and that the Treasury of Merit had no foundation in the Bible; the Reformation developed further to include a distinction between Law and Gospel, a complete reliance on Scripture as the only source of proper doctrine and the belief that faith in Jesus is the only way to receive God's pardon for sin rather than good works. Although this is considered a Protestant belief, a similar formulation was taught by Molinist and Jansenist Catholics; the priesthood of all believers downplayed the need for saints or priests to serve as mediators, mandatory clerical celibacy was ended. Simul justus et peccator implied that although people could improve, no one could become good enough to earn forgiveness from God.
Sacramental theology was simplified and attempts at imposing Aristotelian epistemology were resisted. Luther and his followers did not see these theological developments as changes; the 1530 Augsburg Confession concluded that "in doctrine and ceremonies nothing has been received on our part against Scripture or the Church Catholic", after the Council of Trent, Martin Chemnitz published the 1565–73 Examination of the Council of Trent in order to prove that Trent innovated on doctrine while the Lutherans were following in the footsteps of the Church Fathers and Apostles. The initial movement in Germany diversified, other reformers arose independently of Luther such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva. Depending on the country, the Reformation had varying causes and different backgrounds, unfolded differently than in Germany; the spread of Gutenberg's printing press provided the means for the rapid dissemination of religious materials in the vernacular. During Reformation-era confessionalization, Western Christianity adopted different confessions.
Radical Reformers, besides forming communities outside state sanction, sometimes employed more extreme doctrinal change, such as the rejection of the tenets of the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the Unitarians of Transylvania. Anabaptist movements were persecuted following the German Peasants' War. Leaders within the Roman Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, initiated by the Confutatio Augustana in 1530, the Council of Trent in 1545, the Jesuits in 1540, the Defensio Tridentinæ fidei in 1578, a series of wars and expulsions of Protestants that continued until the 19th century. Northern Europe, with the exception of most of Ireland, came under the influence of Protestantism. Southern Europe remained predominantly Catholic apart from the much-persecuted Waldensians. Central Europe was the site of much of the Thirty Years' War and there were continued expulsions of Protestants in central Europe up to the 19th century. Following World War II, the removal of ethnic Germans to either East Germany or Siberia reduced Protestantism in the Warsaw Pact countries, although some remain today.
Absence of Protestants however, does not imply a failure of the Reformation. Although Protestants were excommunicated and ended up worshipping in communions separate from Catholics contrary to the original intention of the Reformers, they were suppressed and persecuted in most of Europe at one point; as a result, some of them lived as crypto-Protestants called Nicodemites, contrary to the urging of John Calvin who wanted them to live their faith openly. Some crypto-Protestants have been identified as late as the 19th century after immigrating to Latin America; as a result Reformation impulses continued to affect the Latin Church well past the end of what is considered the Reformation era. The oldest Protestant churches, such as the Unitas Fratrum and Moravian Church, date their origins to Jan Hus in the early 15th century; as it was led by a Bohemian noble majority, recognised, for a time, by the Basel Compacts, the Hussite Reformation was Europe's first "Magisterial Reformation" because the ruling magistrates supported it, unlike the "Radical Reformation", which the state did not support.
Common factors that played a role during the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation included the rise of nationalism, the
Grand Est Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, is an administrative region in eastern France. It superseded three former administrative regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine—on 1 January 2016, as a result of territorial reform, passed by the French legislature in 2014. Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine was a provisional name, created by hyphenating the merged regions in alphabetical order. France's Conseil d'État approved Grand Est as the new name of the region on 28 September 2016, effective 30 September 2016; the administrative capital and largest city is Strasbourg. The provisional name of the region was Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, formed by combining the names of the three present regions—Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine—in alphabetical order with hyphens; the formula for the provisional name of the region was established by the territorial reform law and applied to all but one of the provisional names for new regions. The ACAL regional council, elected in December 2015, was given the task of choosing a name for the region and submitting it to the Conseil d'État—France's highest authority for administrative law—by 1 July 2016 for approval.
The provisional name of the region was retired on 30 September 2016, when the new name of the region, Grand Est, took effect. In Alsace and in Lorraine, the new region has been called ALCA, for Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne-Ardennes, on the internet. Like the name Région Hauts-de-France, the name Région Grand Est contains no reference whatsoever to the area's history or identity, but describes its geographical location within metropolitan France. In a poll conducted in November 2014 by France 3 in Champagne-Ardenne, Grand Est and Austrasie were the top two names among 25 candidates and 4,701 votes. Grand Est topped a poll the following month conducted by L'Est Républicain, receiving 42% of 3,324 votes; the names which received a moderate amount of discussion were: Grand Est français, a term used to refer to the northeast quarter of Metropolitan France, although this term refers to a geographic region larger than just ACAL. The term has been used and topped the polls mentioned above. Grand Est Europe, a variant of Grand Est that alludes to the region being a gateway to Europe both through trade and since Strasbourg is home to several European institutions.
However, the name was mocked for. Austrasie, which refers to an historical region spanning parts of present-day northeast France, the Benelux, northwest Germany. Quatre frontières. Grand Est is the sixth-largest of the regions of France. Grand Est borders four countries—Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland—along its northern and eastern sides, it is the only French region to border more than two countries. To the west and south, it borders the French regions Hauts-de-France, Île-de-France, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Grand Est contains ten departments: Ardennes, Bas-Rhin, Haute-Marne, Haut-Rhin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Moselle, Vosges; the main ranges in the region include the Vosges to the Ardennes to the north. The region is bordered on the east by the Rhine. Other major rivers which flow through the region include the Meuse, Marne, Saône. Lakes in the region include lac de Gérardmer, lac de Longemer, lac de Retournemer, lac des Corbeaux, Lac de Bouzey, lac de Madine, étang du Stock and lac de Pierre-Percée.
Grand Est climate depends of the proximity of the sea. In Champagne and Western Lorraine, the climate is oceanic, with mild summers, but Moselle and Alsace climates are humid continental, characterized by cold winters with frequent days below the freezing point, hot summers, with many days with temperatures up to 32°C. Grand Est is the result of territorial reform legislation passed in 2014 by the French Parliament to reduce the number of regions in Metropolitan France—the part of France in continental Europe—from 22 to 13. ACAL is the merger of three regions: Alsace, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine; the merger has been, still is opposed by some groups in Alsace, a large majority of Alsatians. The territorial reform law allows new regions to choose the seat of the regional councils, but made Strasbourg the seat of the Grand Est regional council—a move to appease the region's politicians; the region has an official population of 5,555,186. The regional council has limited administrative authority concerning the promotion of the region's economy and financing educational and cultural activities.
The regional council has no legislative authority. The seat of the regional council will be Strasbourg; the regional council, elected in December 2015, is controlled by The Republicans. The elected inaugural president of the Grand Est Regional Council is Philippe Richert, the President of the Alsace Regional Council; the current president is Jean Rottner. The region has five tram networks: Strasbourg tramway Reims tramway Nancy Guided Light Transit Mulhouse tramway Saarbahn The region has four airports: EuroAirport Basel M
Odile of Alsace
Saint Odile of Alsace known as Odilia and Ottilia, born c. 662 - c. 720 at Mont Sainte-Odile), is a saint venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The current Roman Catholic liturgical calendar does not commemorate her feast day of 13 December, but she is commemorated on this day in the Orthodox Church, she is a patroness saint of good eyesight, of Alsace. Odile was Duke of Alsace and founder of the Etichonid noble family. By tradition she was born blind, her father did not want her because she was a girl and handicapped, so her mother Bethswinda had her brought to Palma, where she was raised by peasants there. A tenth-century legend relates. Whilst there, the itinerant bishop Saint Erhard of Regensburg was led, by an angel it was said, to Palma where he baptised her Odile, whereupon she miraculously recovered her sight, her younger brother Hughes had her brought home again, which enraged Etichon so much that he accidentally killed his son. Odile miraculously revived him, left home again.
She fled across the Rhine to a cave or cavern in one of two places Supposedly, the cliff face opened up in order to rescue her from her plight. In the cave, she hid from her father; when he tried to follow her, he gave up. When Etichon fell ill, Odile returned to nurse him, he gave up resisting his headstrong daughter and founded the Augustine monastic community of Mont Ste. Odile in the Hochwald, Bas-Rhin, where Odile became abbess and where Etichon was buried; some years Odile was shown the site of Niedermünster at the foot of the mountain by St. John the Baptist in a vision. There she founded a second monastery, including a hospital. Here, the head and an arm of St. Lazarus of Marseille were displayed but transferred to Andlau; the buildings of the Niedermünster burned down in 1542, but the local well is still said to cure eye diseases. St. Odile died about 720 at the convent of Niedermünster. At the insistent prayers of her sisters she was returned to life, but after describing the beauties of the afterlife to them, she took communion by herself and died again.
She was buried at Ste. Odile; the cult of St. Odile spread and spread outside France to Germany, she was mentioned in the litanies of Freising and Ratisbon at least from the 9th century. Amongst the common people, pilgrimages to her shrine were popular, were by no means limited to the masses. Indeed, Charlemagne granted immunity to the convent at Hohenberg, officially ratified by Louis the Pious on 9 March 837. By the 14th century, Odile's cult had grown so strong that her relics were split and removed to Corbie and Einsiedeln, she enjoyed especial popularity in Strasbourg. The strength of her cult is supposed to have been a result of her patronage of the blind and sighted, pertinent in a time before the invention of spectacles. St. Odile was long considered the patron of Alsace and eye patients, at least since before the 16th century, her feast day is 13 December. As the patroness of ocular afflictions and ear diseases, St. Odile is depicted with a pair of eyes on a book - fine examples of such images can be found from the 14th-16th centuries.
A notable sculpture of her exists at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, which portrays the event of her baptism. The larkspur is connected to St. Odile as well and is believed to cure eye diseases in popular medicine and superstition. A Life of St. Odilia was written about the 10th century dedicated to the retelling of her legend, the antagonism of her father, the death of her brother Hughes. From internal evidence, it seems. In the valley of the Musbach, a small river that runs near Freiburg im Breisgau, pilgrims have venerated St. Odile for centuries. In ca. 1300 a chapel was built. The church is built adjacent to a spring whose water contains radon, beneficial to eyesight. In the 18th century the spring became part of the church building: in 1714 the source was included by enlarging the building, in 1780 the cave with the source in it was renovated and decorated in the fanciful style of the time. Barr, Bas-Rhin, France: Mont Sainte-Odile Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany: St. Odile's Church Arlesheim, Basel-Landschaft, Switzerland Absberg, Germany Bettringen, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Buttisholz, Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland Eppingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Fehren, Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland Gohr, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Graz, Austria Hofen, Bönnigheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Kersbach, Bavaria, Germany Lörrach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Losheim am See, Germany Möschenfeld, Germany: St. Odile's
Hohenheim is one of 18 outer districts of the city of Stuttgart in the borough of Plieningen that sits on the Filder in central Baden-Württemberg. The Municipality was founded in 1782. Hohenheim sits on a large and fertile plateau in the center of Baden-Württemberg. Hohenheim forms the Plieningen Municipality of Stuttgart along with Asemwald, Chausseefeld and Steckfeld; the district was founded in 1782 when Schloss Hohenheim was constructed on the orders of Charles Eugene of Baden-Württemberg. The University of Hohenheim, as the name might imply, is based here and uses much of Schloss Hohenheim for its campus. After the duke had acquired the former manor of the Bombast von Hohenheim family in 1768, he gave it to his mistress Franziska Leutrum von Ertingen, including the title of a Reichsgräfin von Hohenheim. From 1772 Karl Eugen had the manor house rebuilt as a water castle surrounded by an extended English garden featuring several midget replicas of historic buildings, an arboretum and numerous exotic plants.
The construction of the present-day palace started in 1782 but discontinued with the duke's death in 1793. In 1818 King William I of Württemberg established an agricultural school at Hohenheim, the predecessor of today's university. Today the gardens comprise the Landesarboretum Baden-Württemberg and the Botanischer Garten der Universität Hohenheim. Hohenheim's main attractions are Schloss Hohenheim, Hohenheim Gardens, the Lanesarboretum; the University of Hohenheim uses these attractions for its campus. The German Agricultural Museum has a branch in Hohenheim thanks to the University, there are zoological and veterinary museums in the castle and a museum dedicated to the history of Hohenheim. From 1888 to 1967, Hohenheim was tethered to the Möhringen-Hohenheim tracks by local railroads. Today, Hohenheim serves as the final stop of the U3 line of the Stuttgart Stadtbahn; the track of rail that did connect. The town is equipped with streetcars that can take one to the Schloss or Degerloch. Hermann Eckstein, German-South African mining magnate and banker Erwin Mack, Major General Erich Spring, District Officer in Tettnang Paracelsus, Swiss physician and astrologer Hohenheim Palace
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster ending the European wars of religion, including the Thirty Years' War. The treaties of Westphalia brought to an end a calamitous period of European history which caused the deaths of eight million people. Scholars have identified Westphalia as the beginning of the modern international system, based on the concept of Westphalian sovereignty, though this interpretation has been challenged; the negotiation process was complex. Talks took place in two different cities, as each side wanted to meet on territory under its own control. A total of 109 delegations arrived to represent the belligerent states, but not all delegations were present at the same time. Three treaties were signed to end each of the overlapping wars: the Peace of Münster, the Treaty of Münster, the Treaty of Osnabrück; these treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, with the Habsburgs and their Catholic allies on one side, battling the Protestant powers allied with France.
The treaties ended the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch. The Peace of Westphalia established the precedent of peace established by diplomatic congress. A new system of political order arose in central Europe, based upon peaceful coexistence among sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was to be held in check by a balance of power, a norm was established against interference in another state's domestic affairs; as European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and to the prevailing world order. Peace negotiations between France and the Habsburgs began in Cologne in 1641; these negotiations were blocked by Cardinal Richelieu of France, who insisted on the inclusion of all his allies, whether sovereign countries or states within the Holy Roman Empire. In Hamburg and Lübeck and the Holy Roman Empire negotiated the Treaty of Hamburg with the intervention of Richelieu.
The Holy Roman Empire and Sweden declared the preparations of Cologne and the Treaty of Hamburg to be preliminaries of an overall peace agreement. The main peace negotiations took place in Westphalia, in the neighboring cities of Münster and Osnabrück. Both cities were maintained as demilitarized zones for the negotiations. In Münster, negotiations took place between the Holy Roman Empire and France, as well as between the Dutch Republic and Spain. Münster had been, since its re-Catholicisation in 1535, a mono-denominational community, it housed the Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster. Only Roman Catholic worship was permitted, while Lutheranism were prohibited. Sweden preferred to negotiate with the Holy Roman Empire in Osnabrück, controlled by the Protestant forces. Osnabrück was a bidenominational Lutheran and Catholic city, with two Lutheran churches and two Catholic churches; the city council was Lutheran, the burghers so, but the city housed the Catholic Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück and had many other Catholic inhabitants.
Osnabrück had been subjugated by troops of the Catholic League from 1628 to 1633 and taken by Lutheran Sweden. The peace negotiations had no exact beginning and ending, because the 109 delegations never met in a plenary session. Instead, various delegations arrived between 1643 and 1646 and left between 1647 and 1649; the largest number of diplomats were present between January 1646 and July 1647. Delegations had been sent by 16 European states, 66 Imperial States representing the interests of 140 Imperial States, 27 interest groups representing 38 groups; the French delegation was headed by Henri II d'Orléans, Duke of Longueville and further comprised the diplomats Claude d'Avaux and Abel Servien. The Swedish delegation was headed by Count Johan Oxenstierna and was assisted by Baron Johan Adler Salvius; the Imperial delegation was headed by Count Maximilian von Trautmansdorff. His aides were: In Münster, Johann Ludwig von Nassau-Hadamar and Isaak Volmar. In Osnabrück, Johann Maximilian von Lamberg and Reichshofrat Johann Krane.
Philip IV of Spain was represented by two delegations: The Spanish delegation was headed by Gaspar de Bracamonte y Guzmán, notably included the diplomats and writers Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, Bernardino de Rebolledo. The Franche Comté and the Spanish Netherlands were represented by Antoine Brun; the papal nuncio in Cologne, Fabio Chigi, the Venetian envoy Alvise Contarini acted as mediators. Various Imperial States of the Holy Roman Empire sent delegations. Brandenburg sent several representatives, including Vollmar; the Dutch Republic sent a delegation of six, including two delegates from the province of Holland and Willem Ripperda from one of the other provinces. The Swiss Confederacy was represented by Johann Rudolf Wettstein. Three separate treaties constituted the peace settlement; the Peace of Münster was signed by the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of Spain on 30 January 1648, was ratified in Münster on 15 May 1648. Two complementary treaties were signed on 24 October 1648: The Treaty of Münster, between the Holy Roman Emperor and France, along with their respective allies The Treaty of Osnabrück, between the Holy Roman Empire and Sweden, along with their respective allies.
The power asserted by Ferdinand III was stripped from him and re
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope