The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and the Franco-German border flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and empties into the North Sea; the largest city on the Rhine is Cologne, with a population of more than 1,050,000 people. It is the second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, at about 1,230 km, with an average discharge of about 2,900 m3/s; the Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. Its importance as a waterway in the Holy Roman Empire is supported by the many castles and fortifications built along it. In the modern era, it has become a symbol of German nationalism.
Among the biggest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Düsseldorf, Rotterdam and Basel. The variants of the name of the Rhine in modern languages are all derived from the Gaulish name Rēnos, adapted in Roman-era geography as Greek Ῥῆνος, Latin Rhenus; the spelling with Rh- in English Rhine as well as in German Rhein and French Rhin is due to the influence of Greek orthography, while the vocalisation -i- is due to the Proto-Germanic adoption of the Gaulish name as *Rīnaz, via Old Frankish giving Old English Rín,Old High German Rīn, early Middle Dutch Rijn. The diphthong in modern German Rhein is a Central German development of the early modern period, the Alemannic name Rī retaining the older vocalism, as does Ripuarian Rhing, while Palatine has diphthongized Rhei, Rhoi. Spanish is with French in adopting the Germanic vocalism Rin-, while Italian and Portuguese retain the Latin Ren-; the Gaulish name Rēnos belongs to a class of river names built from the PIE root *rei- "to move, run" found in other names such as the Reno in Italy.
The grammatical gender of the Celtic name is masculine, the name remains masculine in German and French. The Old English river name was variously inflected as feminine; the length of the Rhine is conventionally measured in "Rhine-kilometers", a scale introduced in 1939 which runs from the Old Rhine Bridge at Constance to Hoek van Holland. The river is shortened from its natural course due to a number of canalisation projects completed in the 19th and 20th century; the "total length of the Rhine", to the inclusion of Lake Constance and the Alpine Rhine is more difficult to measure objectively. Its course is conventionally divided as follows: The Rhine carries its name without distinctive accessories only from the confluence of the Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein and Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein next to Reichenau in Tamins. Above this point is the extensive catchment of the headwaters of the Rhine, it belongs exclusively to the Swiss canton of Graubünden, ranging from Saint-Gotthard Massif in the west via one valley lying in Ticino and Italy in the south to the Flüela Pass in the east.
Traditionally, Lake Toma near the Oberalp Pass in the Gotthard region is seen as the source of the Anterior Rhine and the Rhine as a whole. The Posterior Rhine rises in the Rheinwald below the Rheinwaldhorn; the source of the river is considered north of Lai da Tuma/Tomasee on Rein Anteriur/Vorderrhein, although its southern tributary Rein da Medel is longer before its confluence with the Anterior Rhine near Disentis. The Anterior Rhine springs from Lai da Tuma/Tomasee, near the Oberalp Pass and passes the impressive Ruinaulta formed by the largest visible rock slide in the alps, the Flims Rockslide; the Posterior Rhine starts near the Rheinwaldhorn. One of its tributaries, the Reno di Lei, drains the Valle di Lei on politically Italian territory. After three main valleys separated by the two gorges and Viamala, it reaches Reichenau in Tamins; the Anterior Rhine arises from numerous source streams in the upper Surselva and flows in an easterly direction. One source is Lai da Tuma with the Rein da Tuma, indicated as source of the Rhine, flowing through it.
Into it flow tributaries from the south, some longer, some equal in length, such as the Rein da Medel, the Rein da Maighels, the Rein da Curnera. The Cadlimo Valley in the canton of Ticino is drained by the Reno di Medel, which crosses the geomorphologic Alpine main ridge from the south. All streams in the source area are sometimes captured and sent to storage reservoirs for the local hydro-electric power plants; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level. It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. In its lower course the Anterior Rhine flows through a gorge named Ruinaulta; the whole stretch of the Anterior Rhine to the Alpine Rhine confluence next to Reichen
Amorbach Abbey was a Benedictine monastery located at Amorbach in the district of Miltenberg in Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. It was one of four Carolingian foundations intended to establish Christianity in the region of the Odenwald. According to legend, a Gaugraf named Ruthard called the Frankish bishop, Saint Pirmin, to the area to set up a monastic settlement with chapel west of today's town, at the entrance to the Otterbachtal. A disciple of Pirmin, an Aquitanian called "Amor" then moved the monastery to its current location in 734. By 800 it had become the abbot being directly answerable to Charlemagne. Pepin united it to the Bishopric of Würzburg, although control of it was much disputed by the Bishops of Mainz; the abbey played an important role in the clearing and settlement of the vast tracts of forest in which it was located, in the evangelisation of other areas, notably Saxony: many of the abbots of the missionary centre of Verden an der Aller - to become the Bishops of Verden - had been monks at Amorbach.
It was damaged by the invasions of the Hungarians in the 10th century. In 1446, the priest Johannes Keck brought reliquaries of a "Saint Amor" and a "Saint Landrada" from Münsterbilsen near Maastricht to the church Amorbrunn, which started to attract pilgrims. In particular after the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648, people came in search of help for childlessness. In 1525 the abbey buildings were stormed and plundered during the German Peasants' War by forces under the command of Götz von Berlichingen. During the Thirty Years' War the abbey was attacked by the Swedes in 1632, was dissolved for a short time between 1632 and 1634 and the lands taken by a local landowner, although it was afterwards restored and the lands regained, there followed a period of decline and poverty. In 1656 the Bishops of Mainz and Würzburg reached agreement: Amorbach was transferred into the control, both spiritual and territorial, of the Archbishop of Mainz, significant building works followed. In the 1740s the site was refurbished in the late Baroque/early Rococo style, of which it remains a significant example, under the supervision of Maximilian von Welsch.
From 1742-4 the Abteikirche was built. Further extensive construction and decoration was undertaken in the 1780s, including in 1782 the installation of what was at the time the biggest organ in the world; the patrons were the Virgin Mary, with Saints Simplicius and Beatrix. The abbey was dissolved in 1803 and given with its lands to the Princes of Leiningen as compensation for lost territories occupied in 1793 by French revolutionary troops; until 1806, a separate Fürstentum Leiningen with the Ämter Mosbach, Ostburken, Königsheim and Grünfeld, was based on Amorbach. The princes left the abbey church to the parish and converted the other monastic buildings into a Residenz. Jurisdiction over the abbey and its territories passed to the government of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1816. Welsch put a massive façade made from Buntsandstein before the Romanesque towers, on the pediment he placed a statue of Saint Benedict; the elevated main portal is reached by two large stairs with railings ornamented with statues of Jesus, Zechariah, Elisabeth and Anne.
A niche in the wall holds a figure of Saint Beatrix. The interior features stucco work and frescoes in late Baroque/early Rococo style by members of the Wessobrunner School; the main painter was Matthäus Günther. The story of Saint Benedict features prominently in the frescoes; the side aisles contain altars dedicated to Saint Joseph, Magdalena and others. One of them is dedicated to the Bishops of Verden Suitbert and Issinger, who were monks from Amorbach according to the Verden chronicles; the high altar has six red marble columns supporting black beams topped by a Holy Trinity. Günther's main altar picture shows the arrival of Mary in Heaven, flanked by life-sized statues of her parents and Anne; the stucco-workers who made the ceiling above added the altars in the northern and southern transept in 1747. The choir screen from wrought iron was made in 1748-50 by Marx Gattinger from Würzburg, who had worked with Oegg on the fence in front of the Würzburg Residence; the gold-covered pulpit, by Johann Wolfgang van der Auvera, from 1749 is more Rococo than Baroque.
An important feature of the church is its Stumm organ. It was built in 1776-82, by Johann Philipp Stumm and Johann Heinrich Stumm of the organ-building Stumm family. In their work at Amorbach, this style and Klangideal, a synthesis of Southern German and French organ building, could be realized; the work's original sound-producing hardware remained unchanged for more than two centuries. In the final years of the 19th century and on into the early 20th century, a number of further organ stops were added according to the preferences of the time. Behind the organ's 16-field façade with its 124 sounding and up to seven-metre-tall organ pipes are found several ranks of pipes in their original configuration and piping on the slider chest, reconstructed in 1982. All 14 pedal ranks are freestanding behind it. Furthermore standing there, in three levels, is the swell box, added in 1982, along with its attendant works, it contains an assembly of ranks added after 1868, with one dedicated to the sound of French Romantic organ music.
The organ has 5,116 pipes and 30 percussion devices shared across 66 stops, is played from four manuals and one pedalboard. Rooms in the residence include the Green Hall, in Neoclassical style, used as a concert hall; the library is
Hesse or Hessia the State of Hesse, is a federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany, with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden; as a cultural region, Hesse includes the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The German name Hessen, like the name of other German regions is derived from the dative plural form of the name of the inhabitants or eponymous tribe, the Hessians, short for the older compound name Hessenland; the Old High German form of the name is recorded as Hessun, in Middle Latin as Hassia, Hassonia. The name of the Hessians continues the tribal name of the Chatti; the ancient name Chatti by the 7th century is recorded as Chassi, from the 8th century as Hassi or Hessi. An inhabitant of Hesse is called a "Hessian"; the American English term Hessian for 18th-century British auxiliary troops originates with Landgrave Frederick II of Hesse-Cassel hiring out regular army units to the government of Great Britain to fight in the American Revolutionary War.
The English form Hesse is in common use by the 18th century, first in the hyphenated names Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Darmstadt, but the latinate form Hessia remains in common English usage well into the 19th century. The German term Hessen is used by the European Commission in English-language contexts because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated; the synthetic element hassium, number 108 on the periodic table, was named after the state of Hesse in 1997, following a proposal of 1992. The territory of Hesse was delineated only as Greater Hesse, under American occupation, it corresponds only loosely to the medieval Landgraviate of Hesse. In the 19th century, prior to the unification of Germany, the territory of what is now Hesse comprised the territories of Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Duchy of Nassau, the free city of Frankfurt and the Electorate of Hesse; the Central Hessian region was inhabited in the Upper Paleolithic. Finds of tools in southern Hesse in Rüsselsheim suggest the presence of Pleistocene hunters about 13,000 years ago.
A fossil hominid skull, found in northern Hesse, just outside the village of Rhünda, has been dated at 12,000 years ago. The Züschen tomb is a prehistoric burial monument, located between Lohne and Züschen, near Fritzlar, Germany. Classified as a gallery grave or a Hessian-Westphalian stone cist, it is one of the most important megalithic monuments in Central Europe. Dating to c. 3000 BC, it belongs to the Late Neolithic Wartberg culture. An early Celtic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid-5th-century BC La Tène-style burial uncovered at Glauberg; the region was settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe around the 1st century BC, the name Hesse is a continuation of that tribal name. The ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar was a civil settlement under construction; the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. The governor of Germania, at least temporarily had resided here.
The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year AD 9. The Chatti were involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in AD 69. Hessia, from the early 7th century on, served as a buffer between areas dominated by the Saxons and the Franks, who brought the area to the south under their control in the early sixth century and occupied Thuringia in 531. Hessia occupies the northwestern part of the modern German state of Hesse, its geographic center is Fritzlar. To the west, it occupies the valleys of the Rivers Lahn, it measured 90 kilometers north-south, 80 north-west. The area around Fritzlar shows evidence of significant pagan belief from the 1st century on. Geismar was a particular focus of such activity. Excavations have produced bronze artifacts. A possible religious cult may have centered on a natural spring in Geismar, called Heilgenbron; the village of Maden, now a part of Gudensberg near Fritzlar and less than ten miles from Geismar, was an ancient religious center.
By the mid-7th century, the Franks had established themselves as overlords, suggested by archeological evidence of burials, they built fortifications in various places, including Christenberg. By 690, they took direct control over Hessia to counteract expansion by the Saxons, who built fortifications in Gaulskopf and Eresburg across the River Diemel, the northern boundary of Hessia; the Büraburg
Baden-Württemberg is a state in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the border with France. It is Germany's third-largest state, with an area of 11 million inhabitants. Baden-Württemberg is a parliamentary republic and sovereign, federated state, formed in 1952 by a merger of the states of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern; the largest city in Baden-Württemberg is the state capital of Stuttgart, followed by Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Other cities are Freiburg im Breisgau, Heilbronn, Pforzheim and Ulm; the sobriquet Ländle is sometimes used as a synonym for Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg is formed from the historical territories of Baden, Prussian Hohenzollern, Württemberg, parts of Swabia. In 100 AD, the Roman Empire invaded and occupied Württemberg, constructing a limes along its northern borders. Over the course of the third century AD, the Alemanni forced the Romans to retreat west beyond the Rhine and Danube rivers. In 496 AD the Alemanni were defeated by a Frankish invasion led by Clovis I.
The Holy Roman Empire was established. The majority of people in this region continued to be Roman Catholics after the Protestant Reformation influenced populations in northern Germany. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, numerous people emigrated from this rural area to the United States for economic reasons. After World War II, the Allies established three federal states in the territory of modern-day Baden-Württemberg: Württemberg-Hohenzollern, Württemberg-Baden. Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern were occupied by France, while Württemberg-Baden was occupied by the United States. In 1949, each state became a founding member of the Federal Republic of Germany, with Article 118 of the German constitution providing an accession procedure. On 16 December 1951, Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern and Baden voted via referendum in favor of a joint merger. Baden-Württemberg became a state in West Germany on 25 April 1952. Baden-Württemberg shares borders with the German states of Rhineland Palatinate and Bavaria, Switzerland.
Most of the major cities of Baden-Württemberg straddle the banks of the Neckar River, which runs downstream through the state past Tübingen, Heilbronn and Mannheim. The Rhine forms the western border as well as large portions of the southern border; the Black Forest, the main mountain range of the state, rises east of the Upper Rhine valley. The high plateau of the Swabian Alb, between the Neckar, the Black Forest, the Danube, is an important European watershed. Baden-Württemberg shares Lake Constance with Switzerland and Bavaria, the international borders within its waters not being defined, it shares the foothills of the Alps with Bavaria and the Austrian Vorarlberg, but Baden-Württemberg does not border Austria over land. The Danube River has its source in Baden-Württemberg near the town of Donaueschingen, in a place called Furtwangen in the Black Forest. Baden-Württemberg is divided into thirty-five districts and nine independent cities, both grouped into the four Administrative Districts of Freiburg, Stuttgart, Tübingen.
Map Baden-Württemberg contains nine additional independent cities not belonging to any district: The state parliament of Baden-Württemberg is the Landtag. The politics of Baden-Württemberg have traditionally been dominated by the conservative Christian Democratic Union of Germany, who until 2011 had led all but one government since the establishment of the state in 1952. In the Landtag elections held on 27 March 2011 voters replaced the Christian Democrats and centre-right Free Democrats coalition by a Greens-led alliance with the Social Democrats which secured a four-seat majority in the state parliament. From 1992 to 2001, the Republicans party held seats in the Landtag; the Baden-Württemberg General Auditing Office acts as an independent body to monitor the correct use of public funds by public offices. Although Baden-Württemberg has few natural resources compared to other regions of Germany, the state is among the most prosperous and wealthiest regions in Europe with a low unemployment rate historically.
A number of well-known enterprises are headquartered in the state, for example Daimler AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Carl Zeiss AG, SAP SE and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. In spite of this, Baden-Württemberg's economy is dominated by medium-sized enterprises. Although poor in workable natural resources and still rural in many areas, the region is industrialised. In 2003, there were 8,800 manufacturing enterprises with more than 20 employees, but only 384 with more than 500; the latter category accounts for 43% of the 1.2 million persons employed in industry. The Mittelstand or mid-sized company is the backbone of the Baden-Württemberg economy. Medium-sized businesses and a tradition of branching out into different industrial sectors have ensured specialization over a wide range. A fifth of the "old" Federal Republic's industrial gross value added is generated by Baden-Württemberg. Turnover for manufacturing in 2003 e
Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden was a state in the southwest German Empire on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918, it came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into different lines, which were unified in 1771. It became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden through the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803–1806 and was a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871, remaining a Grand Duchy until 1918 when it became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden. Baden was bordered to the north by the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt. After World War II, the French military government in 1945 created the state of Baden out of the southern half of the former Baden, with Freiburg as its capital; this portion of the former Baden was declared in its 1947 constitution to be the true successor of the old Baden. The northern half of the old Baden was combined with northern Württemberg, becoming part of the American military zone, formed the state of Württemberg-Baden.
Both Baden and Württemberg-Baden became states of West Germany upon its formation in 1949. In 1952 Baden merged with Württemberg-Hohenzollern to form Baden-Württemberg; this is the only merger of states that has taken place in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. The unofficial anthem of Baden is called "Badnerlied" and consists of four or five traditional verses. However, over the years, many more verses have been added – there are collections with up to 591 verses of the anthem. Baden came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into various smaller territories that were unified in 1771. In 1803 Baden was raised to Electoral dignity within the Holy Roman Empire. Upon the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Baden became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden. In 1815 it joined the German Confederation. During the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, Baden was a centre of revolutionist activities. In 1849, in the course of the Baden Revolution, it was the only German state that became a republic for a short while, under the leadership of Lorenzo Brentano.
The revolution in Baden was suppressed by Prussian troops. The Grand Duchy of Baden remained a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871. After the revolution of 1918, Baden became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden; when the French Revolution threatened to overflow into the rest of Europe in 1792, Baden joined forces against France, its countryside was devastated once more. In 1796, the margrave Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden, was compelled to pay an indemnity and cede his territories on the left bank of the Rhine to France. Fortune, soon returned to his side. In 1803 owing to the good offices of Alexander I, emperor of Russia, he received the bishopric of Konstanz, part of the Rhenish Palatinate, other smaller districts, together with the dignity of a prince-elector. Changing sides in 1805, he fought for Napoleon, with the result that, by the peace of Pressburg in that year, he obtained the Breisgau and other territories at the expense of the Habsburgs.
In 1806, he joined the Confederation of the Rhine, declared himself a sovereign prince, became a grand duke, received additional territory. The Baden contingent continued to assist France, by the Peace of Vienna in 1809, the grand duke was rewarded with accessions of territory at the expense of the Kingdom of Württemberg. Having quadrupled the area of Baden, Charles Frederick died in June 1811, was succeeded by his grandson, Grand Duke of Baden, married to Stéphanie de Beauharnais, a cousin of Empress Josephine's first husband, adopted by Napoleon I. Charles fought for his father-in-law until after the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, when he joined the Allies. In 1815 Baden became a member of the German Confederation established by the Act of 8 June, annexed to the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna of 9 June. However, in the haste of winding up the Congress, the question of the succession to the grand duchy did not get settled, a matter that would soon become acute; the treaty of 16 April 1816, by which the territorial disputes between Austria and Bavaria were settled, guaranteed the succession of the Baden Palatinate to King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, upon the expected event of the extinction of the line of Zähringen.
As a counter to this, in 1817, the Grand Duke Charles issued a pragmatic sanction declaring the counts of Höchberg, the issue of a morganatic marriage between the grand-duke Charles Frederick and Luise Geyer von Geyersberg, capable of succeeding to the crown. A controversy between Bavaria and Baden ensued, only decided in favour of the Höchberg claims by a treaty signed by Baden and the four great powers at Frankfurt on 10 July 1819. Meanwhile, the dispute had wide-ranging effects. In order to secure popular support for the Höchberg heir, in 1818 Grand Duke Charles granted to the grand duchy, under Article XIII of the Act of Confederation, a liberal constitution, under which two chambers were constituted and their assent declared necessary for legislation and taxation; the outcome was important far beyond the narrow limits of the duchy, as all of Germany watc
A principality can either be a monarchical feudatory or a sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or by a monarch with another title considered to fall under the generic meaning of the term prince. Most of these states have been a polity, but in some occasions were rather territories in respect of which a princely title is held; the prince's estate and wealth may be located or wholly outside the geographical confines of the principality. Recognised surviving sovereign principalities are Liechtenstein and the co-principality of Andorra. Extant royal primogenitures styled as principalities include Asturias; the Principality of Wales existed in the northern and western areas of Wales between the 13th and 16th centuries. Since that time, the title Prince of Wales has traditionally been granted to the heir to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, but it confers no responsibilities for government in Wales, it is one of four countries in the United Kingdom.
The Principality of Catalonia existed in the north-eastern areas of Spain between 14th and 18th centuries, as the term for the territories ruled by the Catalan courts, until the defeat of the Habsburgs in the Spanish succession war, when these institutions were abolished due to their support for the Habsburg pretender. Principality of Asturias is the official name of autonomous community of Asturias; the term principality is sometimes used generically for any small monarchy for small sovereign states ruled by a monarch of a lesser rank than a king, such as a Fürst, as in Liechtenstein, or a Grand Duke. No sovereign duchy exists, but Luxembourg is a surviving example of a sovereign grand duchy. There have been sovereign principalities with many styles of ruler, such as Countship and Lordship within the Holy Roman Empire. While the preceding definition would seem to fit a princely state the European historical tradition is to reserve that word for native monarchies in colonial countries, to apply "principality" to the Western monarchies.
Though principalities existed in antiquity before the height of the Roman Empire, the principality as it is known today developed in the Middle Ages between 750 and 1450 when feudalism was the primary economic and social system in much of Europe. Feudalism increased the power of local princes within a king's lands; as princes continued to gain more power over time, the authority of the king was diminished in many places. This led to political fragmentation as the king's lands were broken into mini-states ruled by princes and dukes who wielded absolute power over their small territories; this was prevalent in Europe, with the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire. During the Late Middle Ages from 1200 to 1500, principalities were at war with each other as royal houses asserted sovereignty over smaller principalities; these wars caused. Episodes of bubonic plague reduced the power of principalities to survive independently. Agricultural progress and development of new trade goods and services boosted commerce between principalities.
Many of these states became wealthy, expanded their territories and improved the services provided to their citizens. Princes and dukes established new ports and chartered large thriving cities; some used their new-found wealth to build palaces and other institutions now associated with sovereign states. While some principalities prospered in their independence, less successful states were swallowed by stronger royal houses. Europe saw consolidation of small principalities into larger empires; this had happened in England in the first millennium, this trend subsequently led to the creation of such states as France and Spain. Another form of consolidation was orchestrated in Italy during the Renaissance by the Medici family. A banking family from Florence, the Medici took control of governments in various Italian regions and assumed the papacy, they appointed family members as princes and assured their protection. Prussia later expanded by acquiring the territories of many other states. However, in the 17th to 19th centuries within the Holy Roman Empire, the reverse was occurring: many new small sovereign states arose as a result of transfers of land for various reasons.
Notable principalities existed until the early 20th century in various regions of Italy. Nationalism, the belief that the nation-state is the best vehicle to realise the aspirations of a people, became popular in the late 19th century. A characteristic of nationalism is an identity with a larger region such as an area sharing a common language and culture. With this development, principalities fell out of favour; as a compromise, many principalities united with neighbouring regions and adopted constitutional forms of government, with the monarch acting as a mere figurehead while administration was left in the hands of elected parliaments. The trend in the 19th and 20th centuries was the abolition of various forms of monarchy and the creation of republican governments led by popularly elected presidents. Several principalities where genealogical inheritance is replaced by succession in a religious office have existed in the Roman Catholic Church, in each case consisting o
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. Possessors of the princely title bore it as immediate vassals of the Empire, secular or ecclesiastical, who held a fief that had no suzerain except the Emperor. However, by the time the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806, there were a number of holders of Imperial princely titles who did not meet these criteria. Thus, there were two principal types of princes; 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, imply equality with royalty; these distinctions evolved within the Empire, but were codified by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 when it created the German Confederation and recognised a specific, elevated status for the mediatized princes of the defunct Empire. The actual titles used by Imperial princes varied for historical reasons, included archdukes, margraves, counts palatine, "princely counts", as well as princes.
Moreover, most of the German fiefs in the Empire were heritable by all males of a family rather than by primogeniture, the princely title being shared by all agnatic family members and female. The estate of imperial princes or Reichsfürstenstand was first established in a legal sense in the Late Middle Ages. A particular estate of "the Princes" was first mentioned in the decree issued by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1180 at the Imperial Diet of Gelnhausen, in which he divested Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony and Bavaria. About fifty years Eike of Repgow codified it as an emanation of feudal law recorded in his Sachsenspiegel, where the lay princes formed the third level or Heerschild in the feudal military structure below ecclesiastical princes; the princely states of the Holy Roman Empire had to meet three requirements: territorial rule and the droit de régale, i.e. sovereign rights, over an immediate fief of the Empire a direct vote and a seat in the Imperial Diet direct support for the expenses and the military ban of the Empire.
Not all states met all three requirements, so one may distinguish between effective and honorary princes of the Holy Roman Empire. The Princes of the Empire ranked below the seven Prince-electors designated by the Golden Bull of 1356, but above the Reichsgrafen and Imperial prelates, who formed with them the Imperial Diet assemblies, but held only collective votes. About 1180 the secular Princes comprised the Herzöge who ruled larger territories within the Empire in the tradition of the former German stem duchies, but the Counts of Anhalt and Namur, the Landgraves of Thuringia and the Margraves of Meissen. From the 13th century onwards, further estates were formally raised to the princely status by the emperor. Among the most important of these were the Welf descendants of Henry the Lion in Brunswick-Lüneburg, elevated to Princes of the Empire and vested with the ducal title by Emperor Frederick II in 1235, the Landgraves of Hesse in 1292; the resolutions of the Diet of Augsburg in 1582 explicitly stated that the status was inextricably linked with the possession of a particular Imperial territory.
Elevated noble families like the Fürstenberg, Liechtenstein or Thurn und Taxis dynasties subsequently began to refer to their territory as a "principality" and assumed the awarded rank of a Prince as a hereditary title. 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 political entities which were secularized and mediatized after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, resp. fell to France or the independent Swiss Confederacy. The honorary status of prince of the Holy Roman Empire might be granted to certain individuals; these individuals included: Rulers of states of the Empire who did not hold an individual seat in the princely chamber of the Imperial Diet, but held a seat as a count and shared with other counts in the one vote exercised by each of the four regional comital councils or Grafenbanken. 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 and rank of prince of an Imperial state. Although this courtesy tended to become hereditary for families, the right to princely status was called Personalist and could be revoked by the Emperor. Foreigners of note, such as the Princes of Belmonte, the Princes Chigi, the Princes Orsini, the Princes Orloff, the Princes Potemkin, Lubomirski, or Radziwiłł Subjects of the Empire who were given a princely title by an Emperor, but who held no territory or sovereignty at all; this status was granted to the morganatic wives and children of electoral and immediate families, a