Arnstadt is a town in Ilm-Kreis, Germany, on the river Feels about 20 kilometres south of Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia. Arnstadt is one of the oldest towns in Thuringia, and has a historic centre with a partially preserved town wall. The town is nicknamed Das Tor zum Thüringer Wald because of its location on the edge of that forest. Arnstadt has a population of some 25,000, the city centre is on the west side of Gera. The municipality comprises four villages, Angelhausen–Oberndorf, Dosdorf–Espenfeld, the neighbouring municipalities are Wachsenburggemeinde, Alkersleben, thorn Home, Wipfratal and Gossel. In 726, Arnstadt passed to the Abbey of Echternach, according to historian August Beck, in 925 the territories of Henry I were extended as a bulwark against the invading Hungary. In the 12th century a part of Arnstadt fell under the rule of the Counts of Kevernburg, on 8 March 1198 the princes gathered in Arnstadt and elected Philip of Swabia as King of Germany. In 1220 Arnstadt was first described as a civitas, that is, on 21 April 1266, the abbot of the Abbey of Hersfeld granted a charter, Arnstadt became a hub for trade in timber, grain and wood.
After the extinction of Kevernburger from 1302 to 1306, the counts of Schwarzburg took possession of Arnstadt, attempts by Erfurt 1342 and 1345 to seize what was now a wealthy town failed due to the strong attachment. Arnstadts prosperity was based on the industry, the cloth-making trade and trade in wine, wood, wool. On 30 January 1349, Count Günther XXI of Schwarzburg, an adversary of King Charles IV, was elected and crowned sovereign of Arnstadt in Frankfurt and he renounced this title on 26 May for 20,000 silver marks. A1404 reference was found in 2000 to Bratwurst originating in Arnstadt, in 1496, ownership of Arnstadt was divided into the supremacy Arnstadt and subrule Sondershausen. During the German Peasants War 95 participants in the uprising were beheaded as ringleaders in the Arnstadt marketplace, the city was forced to pay 3000 guilders for supporting the insurgents. In 1531 the Reformation was introduced into Arnstadt, at first, even the Franciscan mendicant was the Benedictine Novodevichy Convent,1538 secularized.
From 1581 the Church of Barfüßerklosters was the church of the city. In 1553, work began on the residence, Neideck Castle. The water palace was completed in 1560, since 1306 Arnstadt was ruled by the counts of Schwarzburg, and from the 16th century until 1920 it was part of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. With the onset of industrialisation, a residential area emerged to the west and south of the old town, during the Second World War, it was the site of a prisoner-of-war camp, mainly for Poles and Russians
Most of these states have historically been a polity, but in some occasions were rather territories in respect of which a princely title is held. The princes estate and wealth may be located mainly or wholly outside the confines of the principality. Generally recognised surviving sovereign principalities are Liechtenstein and the co-principality of Andorra, extant royal primogenitures styled as principalities include Asturias, and Wales. The term principality is often used informally to describe Wales as it currently exists, 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 has country status and is one of four countries in the United Kingdom, principality of Asturias is the official name of autonomous community of Asturias. No sovereign duchy currently exists, but Luxembourg is an example of a sovereign grand duchy. Historically there have been sovereign principalities with many styles of ruler, such as Countships and even Lordships, feudalism increased the power of local princes within a kings lands.
As princes continued to more power over time, the authority of the king was diminished in many places. This led to political fragmentation as the lands were broken into mini-states ruled by princes and dukes who wielded absolute power over their small territories. This was especially prevalent in Europe, and particularly with the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, during the Late Middle Ages from 1200 to 1500, principalities were often at war with each other as royal houses asserted sovereignty over smaller principalities. These wars caused a deal of instability and economies were destroyed. Episodes of bubonic plague reduced the power of principalities to survive independently. Eventually, agricultural progress and development of new goods and services boosted commerce between principalities. Many of these states became wealthy, expanded their territories and improved the services provided to their citizens and dukes developed their lands, established new ports and chartered large thriving cities.
Some used their 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 kingdoms and empires. This had already happened in England in the first millennium, and this subsequently led to the creation of such states as France, Portugal. 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 even assumed the papacy
Confederation of the Rhine
The Confederation of the Rhine was a confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was formed initially from 16 German states by Napoleon after he defeated Austria and Russia in the Battle of Austerlitz, the Treaty of Pressburg, in effect, led to the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine. It lasted from 1806 to 1813, the members of the confederation were German princes from the Holy Roman Empire. They were joined by 19 others, all together ruling a total of over 15 million subjects providing a significant strategic advantage to the French Empire on its eastern front and Austria were not members. Napoleon sought to consolidate the modernizing achievements of the revolution, but he wanted the soldiers, Napoleon required it to supply 63,000 troops to his army. The success of the Confederation depended on Napoleons success in battle, on 12 July 1806, on signing the Treaty of the Confederation of the Rhine in Paris,16 states in present-day Germany joined together in a confederation.
On 1 August, the members of the confederation formally seceded from the Holy Roman Empire and his Habsburg dynasty continued as emperors of Austria. According to the treaty, the confederation was to be run by common constitutional bodies, as such, he was President of the College of Kings and presided over the Diet of the Confederation, designed to be a parliament-like body although it never actually assembled. The President of the Council of the Princes was the Prince of Nassau-Usingen, in return for their support of Napoleon, some rulers were given higher statuses, Hesse and Berg were made into grand duchies, and Württemberg and Bavaria became kingdoms. States were made larger by incorporating the many smaller Kleinstaaten and they had to pay a very high price for their new status, however. The Confederation was above all a military alliance, the members had to maintain substantial armies for mutual defense, as events played out the members of the confederation found themselves more subordinated to Napoleon than they had been to the Habsburgs.
After Prussia lost to France in 1806, Napoleon cajoled most of the states of Germany into the Confederation of the Rhine. Eventually, an additional 23 German states joined the Confederation and it was at its largest in 1808, when it included 36 states—four kingdoms, five grand duchies,13 duchies, seventeen principalities, and the Free Hansa towns of Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen. Only Austria, Danish Holstein, and Swedish Pomerania stayed outside, not counting the west bank of the Rhine and the Principality of Erfurt, which were annexed by the French empire. In 1810 large parts of what is now northwest Germany were quickly annexed to France in order to monitor the trade embargo with Great Britain. The Confederation of the Rhine collapsed in 1813, in the aftermath of Napoleons failed campaign against the Russian Empire, many of its members changed sides after the Battle of Leipzig, when it became apparent Napoleon would lose the War of the Sixth Coalition. The following table shows the members of the confederation, with their date of joining, the allies opposing Napoleon dissolved the Confederation of the Rhine on 4 November 1813.
It was dissolved on 20 June 1815, on 30 May 1814 the Treaty of Paris declared the German states independent
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806. 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 Western Roman Empire. The title was revived in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne, 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 generally concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, the office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although frequently controlled by dynasties. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806, after the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by Napoleon, before 1157, the realm was merely referred to as the Roman Empire.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, by the end of the 18th century, the term Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation had fallen out of official use. As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control, by the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, and the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel’s son Pepin became King of the Franks, the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768 Pepin’s son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an expansion of the realm. He eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, on Christmas Day of 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor, restoring the title in the west for the first time in over three centuries. After the death of Charles the Fat in 888, the Carolingian Empire broke apart, according to Regino of Prüm, the parts of the realm spewed forth kinglets, and each part elected a kinglet from its own bowels.
After the death of Charles the Fat, those crowned emperor by the pope controlled only territories in Italy, the last such emperor was Berengar I of Italy, who died in 924. Around 900, autonomous stem duchies reemerged in East Francia, on his deathbed, Conrad yielded the crown to his main rival, Henry the Fowler of Saxony, who was elected king at the Diet of Fritzlar in 919. Henry reached a truce with the raiding Magyars, and in 933 he won a first victory against them in the Battle of Riade, Henry died in 936, but his descendants, the Liudolfing dynasty, would continue to rule the Eastern kingdom for roughly a century. Upon Henry the Fowlers death, his son and designated successor, was elected King in Aachen in 936 and he overcame a series of revolts from an elder brother and from several dukes. After that, the managed to control the appointment of dukes. In 951, Otto came to the aid of Adelaide, the queen of Italy, defeating her enemies, marrying her. In 955, Otto won a victory over the Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was a small historic state in present-day Thuringia, Germany with its capital at Rudolstadt. Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was established in 1599 in the course of a resettlement of Schwarzburg dynasty lands, in 1583 Count Günther XLI of Schwarzburg, the eldest son of Günther XL the Rich and ruler over the united Schwarzburg lands, had died without issue. He was succeeded by his brothers, whereby Albert VII received the territory around Rudolstadt. Alberts descendants ruled as sovereign counts of the Holy Roman Empire and it withstood the mediatisation and after the Empires dissolution joined the Confederation of the Rhine in 1807 and the German Confederation in 1815. On 23 November 1918, during the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the former principality became a Free State in 1919, that was merged into the new state of Thuringia in the next year. In 1905 Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt had an area of 940 km2 and a population of 97,000, on the death of the childless Prince Günther Victor in 1925, he was succeeded by Prince Sizzo, who was the son of Prince Friedrich Günther from his second, morganatic marriage.
Prince Sizzo was recognised as a member of the House of Schwarzburg in 1896. He was succeeded in 1926 by his son, Prince Friedrich Günther
House of Schwarzburg
The House of Schwarzburg is one of the oldest noble families of Thuringia. The County of Schwarzburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire from 1195 to 1595 and it was ruled by counts from the House of Schwarzburg. Schwarzburg Castle was first mentioned in a 1071 deed, sizzo established Georgenthal Abbey and in 1157, he accompanied Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa during his campaign against High Duke Bolesław IV the Curly of Poland. In 1197, Sizzos grandson Heinrich II divided the common heritage with his brother Günther III and his territory also comprised the nearby castle of Blankenburg. The most famous member is Günther von Schwarzburg. In 1349, he was elected as German king by the majority of electors, due to less support, he renounced some month and died shortly after. The Schwarzburg lands were divided among his successors until in 1538 when Count Günther XL the Rich was able to unite the territories including Frankenhausen. He was succeeded by his eldest son Günther XLI, the partition was finally confirmed by the 1599 Treaty of Stadtilm