Albert the Bear
Albert the Bear was the first Margrave of Brandenburg from 1157 to his death and was Duke of Saxony between 1138 and 1142. Albert was the only son of Otto, Count of Ballenstedt, Eilika, daughter of Magnus Billung, Duke of Saxony, he inherited the valuable estates in northern Saxony of his father in 1123, on his mother's death, in 1142, succeeded to one-half of the lands of the house of Billung. Albert was a loyal vassal of his relation, Lothar I, Duke of Saxony, from whom, about 1123, he received the Margraviate of Lusatia, to the east. Albert's entanglements in Saxony stemmed from his desire to expand his inherited estates there. After the death of his brother-in-law, Henry II, Margrave of the Nordmark, who controlled a small area on the Elbe called the Saxon Northern March, in 1128, disappointed at not receiving this fief himself, attacked Udo V, Count of Stade, the heir, was deprived of Lusatia by Lothar. Udo, was said to have been assassinated by servants of Albert on 15 March 1130 near Aschersleben.
In spite of this, he went to Italy in 1132 in the train of the king, his services there were rewarded in 1134 by the investiture of the Northern March, again without a ruler. In 1138 Conrad III, the Hohenstaufen King of the Germans, deprived Albert's cousin and nemesis, Henry the Proud of his Saxon duchy, awarded to Albert if he could take it. After some initial success in his efforts to take possession, Albert was driven from Saxony, from his Northern march by a combined force of Henry and Jaxa of Köpenick, compelled to take refuge in south Germany; when peace was made with Henry in 1142, Albert renounced the Saxon duchy and received the counties of Weimar and Orlamünde. It was at this time that Albert was made Archchamberlain of the Empire, an office which afterwards gave the Margraves of Brandenburg the rights of a prince-elector. Once he was established in the Northern March, Albert's covetous eye lay on the thinly populated lands to the north and east. For three years he was occupied in campaigns against the Slavic Wends, who as pagans were considered fair game, whose subjugation to Christianity was the aim of the Wendish Crusade of 1147 in which Albert took part.
Albert was a part of the army. And at the end of the war, recovered Havelberg, lost since 983. Diplomatic measures were more successful, by an arrangement made with the last of the Wendish princes of Brandenburg, Pribislav of the Hevelli, Albert secured this district when the prince died in 1150. Taking the title "Margrave in Brandenburg", he pressed the "crusade" against the Wends, extended the area of his mark, encouraged German migration, established bishoprics under his protection, so became the founder of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1157, which his heirs — the House of Ascania — held until the line died out in 1320. In 1158 a feud with Henry's son, Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, was interrupted by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return in 1160, he, with the consent of his sons. In 1162 Albert accompanied Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to Italy, where he distinguished himself at the storming of Milan. In 1164 Albert joined a league of princes formed against Henry the Lion, peace being made in 1169, Albert divided his territories among his six sons.
He died on 13 November 1170 in Stendal, was buried at Ballenstedt. Albert's personal qualities won for him the cognomen of the Bear, "not from his looks or qualities, for he was a tall handsome man, but from the cognisance on his shield, an able man, had a quick eye as well as a strong hand, could pick what way was straightest among crooked things, was the shining figure and the great man of the North in his day, got much in the North and kept it, got Brandenburg for one there, a conspicuous country since," says Carlyle, who called Albert "a restless, much-managing, wide-warring man." He is called by writers "the Handsome." Albert was married in 1124 to Sophie of Winzenburg and they had the following children: Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg Count Hermann I of Orlamünde Siegfried, Bishop of Brandenburg from 1173–1180, Prince-Archbishop of Bremen, the first ranked prince, from 1180–1184 Heinrich, a canon in Magdeburg Count Albert of Ballenstedt Count Dietrich of Werben Count Bernhard of Anhalt, Duke of Saxony from 1180-1212 as Bernard III Hedwig, married to Otto II, Margrave of Meissen Daughter, married c. 1152 to Vladislav of Bohemia Adelheid, a nun in Lamspringe Gertrude, married in 1155 to Duke Diepold of Moravia Sybille, Abbess of Quedlinburg Eilika Thomas Carlyle, History of Friedrich ii Chapter iv: Albert the Bear The History Files: Rulers of Brandenburg
King of Italy
King of Italy was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a "barbarian" military leader, in the late 5th century, followed by the Ostrogothic kings up to the mid-6th century. With the Frankish conquest of Italy in the 8th century, the Carolingians assumed the title, maintained by subsequent Holy Roman Emperors throughout the Middle Ages; the last Emperor to claim the title was Charles V in the 16th century. During this period, the holders of the title were crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. A Kingdom of Italy was restored from 1805 to 1814 with Napoleon as its only king, centered in Northern Italy, it was not until the Italian unification in the 1860s that a Kingdom of Italy covering the entire peninsula was restored. From 1861 the House of Savoy held the title of King of Italy until the last king, Umberto II, was exiled in 1946 when Italy became a republic. After the deposition of the last Western Emperor in 476, Heruli leader Odoacer was appointed Dux Italiae by the reigning Byzantine Emperor Zeno.
The Germanic foederati, the Scirians and the Heruli, as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer Rex Italiae. In 493, the Ostrogothic king Theoderic the Great killed Odoacer, set up a new dynasty of kings of Italy. Ostrogothic rule ended when Italy was reconquered by the Byzantine Empire in 552. In 568, the Lombards entered the peninsula and ventured to recreate a barbarian kingdom in opposition to the Empire, establishing their authority over much of Italy, except the Exarchate of Ravenna and the duchies of Rome, Venetia and the southernmost portions. In the 8th century, estrangement between the Italians and the Byzantines allowed the Lombards to capture the remaining Roman enclaves in northern Italy. However, in 774, they were defeated by the Franks under Charlemagne, who deposed their king and took up the title "king of the Lombards". After the death of Charles the Fat in 887, Italy fell into instability and a number of kings attempted to establish themselves as independent Italian monarchs.
During this period, known as the Feudal Anarchy, the title Rex Italicorum was introduced. After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire and continued the use of the title Rex Italicorum; the last to use this title was Henry II. Subsequent emperors used the title "King of Italy" until Charles V. At first they were crowned in Pavia Milan, Charles was crowned in Bologna. In 1805, Napoleon I was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at the Milan Cathedral; the next year, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated his imperial title. From the deposition of Napoleon I until the Italian Unification, there was no Italian monarch claiming the overarching title; the Risorgimento established a dynasty, the House of Savoy, over the whole peninsula, uniting the kingdoms of Sardinia and the Two Sicilies to form the modern Kingdom of Italy. The monarchy was superseded by the Italian Republic, after a constitutional referendum was held on 2 June 1946, after World War II; the Italian monarchy formally ended on 12 June of that year, Umberto II left the country.
Odoacer vassal of the Eastern Roman Empire. Theoderic the Great Athalaric Theodahad Witiges Ildibad Eraric Totila Teia Alboin Cleph Rule of the dukes Authari Agilulf Adaloald Arioald Rothari Rodoald Aripert I Perctarit and Godepert Grimoald Perctarit, restored from exile Alahis, rebel Cunincpert Liutpert Raginpert Aripert II Ansprand Liutprand Hildeprand Ratchis Aistulf Desiderius Charlemagne Pippin Bernard Louis I Lothair I Louis II Charles II the Bald Carloman Charles the Fat After 887, Italy fell into instability, with many rulers claiming the kingship simultaneously: Berengar I vassal of the German King Arnulf of Carinthia, reduced to Friuli 889-894, deposed by Arnulf in 896. Guy of Spoleto opponent of Berengar, was deposed by Arnulf. Lambert of Spoleto subking of his father Guy before 894, reduced to Spoleto 894–895. Arnulf of Carinthia Ratold In 896, Arnulf and Ratold lost control of Italy, divided between Berengar and Lambert: Berengar I seized Lambert's portion upon the latter's death in 898.
Lambert of Italy Louis III of Provence opposed Berengar 900-902 and 905. Rudolph II of Burgundy defeated Berengar but fled Italy in 926. Hugh of Arles elected by Berengar's partisans in 925, resigned to Provence after 945. Lothair II Berengar II of Ivrea jointly with his son:Adalbert of Italy In 951 Otto I of Germany invaded Italy and was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. In 952, Berengar and Adalbert remained Kings until being deposed by Otto. Roger II used the title King of Sicily and Italy until at least 1135. Although his realm included the southern Italian mainland, he never exerted any control over the official Kingdom of Italy, none of his successors claimed the title King of Italy. Charles V was the last emperor to use the title; the Peace of Westphalia, in 1648, formally end
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
The Hohenstaufen known as Staufer, were a dynasty of German kings during the Middle Ages. Before ascending to the kingship, they were Dukes of Swabia from 1079; as kings of Germany, they had a claim to Italy and the Holy Roman Empire. Three members of the dynasty—Frederick I, Henry VI and Frederick II —were crowned emperor. Besides Germany, they ruled the Kingdom of Sicily and the Kingdom of Jerusalem The dynasty is named after a castle, which in turn is named after a mountain; the names used by scholars today, are conventional and somewhat anachronistic. The name Hohenstaufen was first used in the 14th century to distinguish the "high" conical hill named Staufen in the Swabian Jura, in the district of Göppingen, from the village of the same name in the valley below; the new name was only applied to the hill castle of Staufen by historians in the 19th century, to distinguish it from other castles of the same name. The name of the dynasty followed, but in recent decades the trend in German historiography has been to prefer the name Staufer, closer to contemporary usage.
The name "Staufen" itself derives from Stauf, meaning "chalice". This term was applied to conical hills in Swabia in the Middle Ages, it is a contemporary term for both the hill and the castle, although its spelling in the Latin documents of the time varies considerably: Sthouf, Stophen, Estufin etc. The castle was built or at least acquired by Duke Frederick I of Swabia in the latter half of the 11th century. Members of the family used the toponymic surname de Stauf or variants thereof. Only in the 13th century does the name come to be applied to the family as a whole. Around 1215 a chronicler referred to the "emperors of Stauf". In 1247, the Emperor Frederick II himself referred to his family as the domus Stoffensis, but this was an isolated instance. Otto of Freising associated the Staufer with the town of Waiblingen and around 1230 Burchard of Ursberg referred to the Staufer as of the "royal lineage of the Waiblingens"; the exact connection between the family and Waiblingen is not clear, but as a name for the family it became popular.
The pro-imperial Ghibelline faction of the Italian civic rivalries of the 13th and 14th centuries took its name from Waiblingen. In Italian historiography, the Staufer are known as the Svevi; 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. 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 king's seventeen-year-old daughter, Agnes. Nothing is known about Frederick's life before this event, but he proved to be an imperial ally throughout Henry's struggles against other Swabian lords, namely Rudolf of Rheinfelden, Frederick's predecessor, the Zähringen and Welf lords. Frederick's brother Otto was elevated to the Strasbourg bishopric in 1082.
Upon Frederick's death, he was succeeded by his son, Duke Frederick II, in 1105. Frederick II remained a close ally of the Salians, he and his younger brother Conrad were named the king's 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. Duke Frederick II and Conrad, the two current male Staufers, by their mother Agnes, were grandsons of late Emperor Henry IV and nephews of Henry V. Frederick attempted to succeed to the throne of the Holy Roman Emperor through a customary election, but lost to the Saxon duke Lothair of Supplinburg. A civil war between Frederick's dynasty and Lothair's ended with Frederick's submission in 1134. After Lothair's death in 1137, Frederick's brother Conrad was elected King as Conrad III; because the Welf duke Henry the Proud, son-in-law and heir of Lothair and the most powerful prince in Germany, passed over in the election, refused to acknowledge the new king, Conrad III deprived him of all his territories, giving the Duchy of Saxony to Albert the Bear and that of Bavaria to Leopold IV, Margrave of Austria.
In 1147, Conrad heard Bernard of Clairvaux preach the Second Crusade at Speyer, he agreed to join King Louis VII of France in a great expedition to the Holy Land which failed. Conrad's brother Duke Frederick II died in 1147, was succeeded in Swabia by his son, Duke Frederick III; when King Conrad III died without adult heir in 1152, Frederick succeeded him, taking both German royal and Imperial titles. Frederick I, known as Frederick Barbarossa because of his red beard, struggled throughout his reign to restore the power and prestige of the German monarchy against the dukes, whose power had grown both before and after the Investiture Controversy under his Salian predecessors; as royal access to the resources of the church in Germany was much reduced, Frederick was forced to go to Italy to find the finances needed to restore the king's power in Germany. He was soon crowned emperor in Italy; the Papacy and the prosperous city-stat
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to appoint local church officials through investiture. By undercutting imperial power, the controversy led to nearly 50 years of civil war in Germany. According to historian Norman Cantor, the investiture controversy was "the turning-point in medieval civilization", marking the end of the Early Middle Ages with the Germanic peoples' "final and decisive" acceptance of Christianity. More it set the stage for the religious and political system of the High Middle Ages, it began as a power struggle between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV in 1076. There was a brief but significant investiture struggle between Pope Paschal II and King Henry I of England from 1103 to 1107; the conflict ended in 1122, when Pope Callixtus II and Emperor Henry V agreed on the Concordat of Worms, which differentiated between the royal and spiritual powers and gave the emperors a limited role in selecting bishops.
The outcome was a papal victory, but the Emperor still retained considerable power. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of popes challenged the authority of European monarchies about who had the authority to appoint local church officials such as bishops of cities and abbots of monasteries. After the decline of the Western Roman Empire, investiture was performed by members of the ruling nobility despite theoretically being a task of the church. Many bishops and abbots were themselves part of the ruling nobility. Given that most members of the European nobility practiced primogeniture, willed their titles of nobility to the eldest surviving male heir, surplus male siblings sought careers in the upper levels of the church hierarchy; this was true where the family may have established a proprietary church or abbey on their estate. Since Otto the Great the bishops had been princes of the empire, had secured many privileges, had become to a great extent feudal lords over great districts of the imperial territory.
The control of these great units of economic and military power was for the king a question of primary importance due to its effect on imperial authority. It was essential for a nobleman to appoint someone who would remain loyal. Since a substantial amount of wealth and land was associated with the office of a bishop or abbot, the sale of church offices—a practice known as "simony"—was an important source of income for leaders among the nobility, who themselves owned the land and by charity allowed the building of churches; the crisis began when supporters of the Gregorian Reform decided to rebel against simony by forcefully taking the power of investiture from the ruling secular power, the Holy Roman Emperor, placing that power wholly within control of the church. The Gregorian reformers knew this would not be possible so long as the emperor maintained the ability to appoint the pope, so their first step was to forcibly gain the papacy from the control of the emperor; when Emperor Henry IV became a six-year-old German king in 1056, the reformers seized the papacy while the king was still a child.
In 1059, a church council in Rome declared, with In Nomine Domini, that leaders of the nobility would have no part in the selection of popes and created the College of Cardinals as a body of electors made up of church officials. Having regained control of the election of the pope, the church was now ready to tackle investiture and simony. In 1075, Pope Gregory VII composed the Dictatus Papae. One clause asserted, it declared that the Roman church was founded by God alone – that the papal power was the sole universal power. By this time, Henry IV was no longer a child, he continued to appoint his own bishops, he reacted to this declaration by sending Gregory VII a letter in which he withdrew his imperial support of Gregory as pope in no uncertain terms: the letter was headed "Henry, king not through usurpation but through the holy ordination of God, to Hildebrand, at present not pope but false monk". It called for the election of a new pope, his letter ends, "I, king by the grace of God, with all of my Bishops, say to you, come down, come down!", is quoted with "and to be damned throughout the ages", a addition.
The situation was made more dire when Henry IV installed his chaplain, Tedald, a Milanese priest, as Bishop of Milan, when another priest of Milan, had been chosen in Rome by the pope for candidacy. In 1076 Gregory responded by excommunicating Henry, deposed him as German king, releasing all Christians from their oath of allegiance. Enforcing these declarations was a different matter, but the advantage came to be on the side of Gregory VII. German princes and the aristocracy were happy to hear of the king's deposition, they used religious reasons to continue the rebellion started at the First Battle of Langensalza in 1075, for seizure of royal holdings. Aristocrats claimed local lordships over peasants and property, built forts, outlawed, built up localized fiefdoms to secure their autonomy from the empire. Thus, because of these combining factors, Henry IV had no choice but to back down, needing time to marshal his forces to fight the rebellion. In 1077, he traveled to Canossa in northern Italy to apologize in person.
As penance for his sins, echoing his own punishment of the Saxons after the First Battle of Langensalza, he wore a hair sh
Northern Germany is the region in the northern part of Germany which exact area is not or defined. It varies depending on whether one has a linguistic, socio-cultural or historic standpoint; the five coastal states are referred to as Northern Germany. Though geographically in the northern half of Germany, Westphalia and the northern parts of Saxony-Anhalt are referred to as Northern Germany and instead are always associated with Western Germany and the historic East Germany respectively. Northern Germany refers to the Sprachraum area north of the Uerdingen and Benrath line isoglosses, where Low German dialects are spoken; these comprise the Low Saxon dialects in the west, the East Low German region along the Baltic coast with Western Pomerania, the Altmark and northern Brandenburg, as well as the North Low German dialects. Although from the 19th century onwards the use of Standard German was promoted by the Prussian administration, Low German dialects are still present in rural areas, with an estimated number of five to eight million active speakers.
However, since World War II and the immigration of expellees from the former eastern territories of Germany, its prevalence has reduced. Besides which, Frisian is spoken in North Frisia, as well as Danish in parts of Schleswig. From a linguistic and cultural perspective, Northern Germany is linked to the Netherlands and England. For example, the German word for butcher is Fleischer or Metzger in the middle, east or south of Germany but is called a Schlachter in Northern Germany, resembling the Scandinavian terms for butcher, slagter/slakter. Other examples are the word for potato, Erdapfel in much of Southern Germany and Switzerland, but Kartoffel in Northern Germany and in Danish. Additionally, Jansen/Janssen and Petersen are the most common surnames in the far north of Germany, which are some of the most common surnames in Denmark. Hansen is the single most common surname in Norway, the third most common surname in Denmark, the third and fifth most common surname in the North German federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, respectively.
The key terrain feature of Northern Germany is the North German Plain including the marshes along the coastline of the North and Baltic Seas, as well as the geest and heaths inland. Prominent are the low hills of the Baltic Uplands, the ground moraines, end moraines, glacial valleys and Luch; these features were formed during the Weichselian glaciation and contrast topographically with the adjacent Central Uplands of Germany to the south, such as the Harz and Teutoburg Forest, which are counted as part of Northern Germany. Northern Germany has traditionally been a Protestant-majority region Lutheranism, with the two northernmost provinces of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony having the largest percentage of self-reported Lutherans in Germany. Exceptions are the Catholic districts Emsland and Vechta in the west, traditionally linked to the Catholic region of Westphalia in the south, the southernmost part of Lower Saxony,around the city Duderstadt, traditionally being part of the Catholic enclave region Eichsfeld.
Culturally and Northern Germany is characterized by higher levels of income equality and gender equality than southern and south-western Germany. While the national federal Gini coefficient for Germany stands at around 30, the southern states have a Gini coefficient of 30.6 whereas for the Northern states the Gini coefficient stands at 27.5, closer to the Scandinavian average of 25. Traditional society in the western part of Northern Germany until the early 20th century was based on well-off and landowning yeoman farmers owning large pieces of land, making a living growing grain crops and raising dairy cattle and pigs, a large and educated middle class in the towns and cities working in the civil service, or as businessmen, blue-collar workers and skilled workers. Thus, the proportion of serfs, landless labourers, semi-skilled industrial workers and large landlords was smaller, making for a more stable society than elsewhere in Germany like the Rhineland region and the region east of the Oder river.
Additionally, Northern cities like Hamburg and Rostock have always been economic powerhouses of trade and commerce and have had a long tradition of innovation and creativity in business and industry. The traditional Northern German daily diet is centered around boiled potatoes, rye bread, dairy products, cucumbers, jams and pork and beef. A breakfast specialty is the Crispbread or Knäcke, eaten with a variety of toppings such as ham, cheese and butter. Lentil stews and soups are popular as a working lunch. Regional specialties in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lower Saxony include Blutwurst or Blood sausage and a variety of Blood puddings eaten for brunch. Another Northern German regional specialty are Hackbraten, meatloaves
Duchy of Saxony
The Duchy of Saxony was the area settled by the Saxons in the late Early Middle Ages, when they were subdued by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars from 772 and incorporated into the Carolingian Empire by 804. Upon the 843 Treaty of Verdun, Saxony was one of the five German stem duchies of East Francia. Upon the deposition of the Welf duke Henry the Lion in 1180, the ducal title fell to the House of Ascania, while numerous territories split from Saxony, such as the Principality of Anhalt in 1218 and the Welf Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1235. In 1296 the remaining lands were divided between the Ascanian dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg and Saxe-Wittenberg, the latter obtaining the title of Electors of Saxony by the Golden Bull of 1356; the Saxon stem duchy covered the greater part of present-day Northern Germany, including the modern German states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt up to the Elbe and Saale rivers in the east, the city-states of Bremen and Hamburg, as well as the Westphalian part of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Holstein region of Schleswig-Holstein.
In the late 12th century, Duke Henry the Lion occupied the adjacent area of Mecklenburg. The Saxons were one of the most robust groups in the late tribal culture of the times, bequeathed their tribe's name to a variety of more and more modern geopolitical territories from Old Saxony near the mouth of the Elbe up the river via the Prussian Province of Saxony to Upper Saxony, the Electorate and Kingdom of Saxony from 1806 corresponding with the German Free State of Saxony, which bears the name today though it was not part of the medieval duchy. According to the Res gestae saxonicae by 10th century chronicler Widukind of Corvey, the Saxons had arrived from Britannia at the coast of Land Hadeln in the Elbe-Weser Triangle, called by the Merovingian rulers of Francia to support the conquest of Thuringian kingdom. More Saxon tribes from Land Hadeln under the leadership of legendary Hengist and Horsa in the late days of the Roman Empire had invaded Britannia.. The Royal Frankish Annals mention a 743 Frankish campaign led by the Carolingian Mayor of the Palace Carloman against the Saxons, followed by a second expedition together with his brother Pepin the Short the next year.
In 747 their rebellious brother Grifo allied with Saxon tribes and temporarily conquered the stem duchy of Bavaria. Pepin, Frankish king from 750, again invaded Saxony and subdued several Westphalian tribes until 758. In 772 Pepin's son Charlemagne started the final conquest of the Saxon lands. Though his ongoing campaigns were successful, he had to deal with the fragmentation of the Saxon territories in Westphalian and Angrian tribes, demanding the conclusion of specific peace agreements with single tribes, which soon were to be broken by other clans; the Saxons devastated the Frankish stronghold at Eresburg. Widukind had to pledge allegiance in 785, having himself baptised and becoming a Frankish count. Saxon uprisings continued until 804, when the whole stem duchy had been incorporated into the Carolingian Empire. Afterwards, Saxony was ruled by Carolingian officials, e.g. Wala of Corbie, a grandson of Charles Martel and cousin of the emperor, who in 811 fixed the Treaty of Heiligen with King Hemming of Denmark, defining the northern border of the Empire along the Eider River.
Among the installed dukes were nobles of Saxon descent, like Wala's successor Count Ekbert, husband of Saint Ida of Herzfeld, a close relative of Charlemagne. Ida of Herzfeld may have been an ancestor of the Saxon count Liudolf, who married Oda of Billung and ruled over a large territory along the Leine river in Eastphalia, where he and Bishop Altfrid of Hildesheim founded Gandersheim Abbey in 852. Liudolf became the progenitor of the Saxon ducal and imperial Ottonian dynasty. Subdued only a few decades earlier, the Saxons rose to one of the leading tribes in East Francia. Liudolf's elder son Bruno, progenitor of the Brunswick cadet branch of the Brunonen, was killed in a battle with invading Vikings under Godfrid in 880, he was succeeded by his younger brother Otto the Illustrious, mentioned as dux in the contemporary annals of Hersfeld Abbey, which however seems to have been denied by the Frankish rulers. His position was strong enough to wed Hedwiga of Babenberg, daughter of mighty Duke Henry of Franconia, princeps militiae of King Charles the Fat.
As all of Hedwiga's brothers were killed in the Franconian Babenberg feud with the rivalling Conradines, Otto was able to adopt the strong position of his father-in-law and to evolve the united Saxon duchy under his rule. In 911 the East Frankish Carolingian dynasty became extinct with the death of King Louis the Child, whereafter the dukes of Saxony and Bavaria met at Forchheim to elect the Conradine duke Conrad I of Franconia king. One year Otto's son Henry the Fowler succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony. According to the medieval chronicler Widukind of Corvey, King Conrad designated Henry his heir, thereby denying the succession of his own brother Eberhard of Franconia, in 919 the Saxon duke was elected King