Vehicle registration plate
A vehicle registration plate known as a number plate or a license plate, is a metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. All countries require registration plates for road vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. Whether they are required for other vehicles, such as bicycles, boats, or tractors, may vary by jurisdiction; the registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies the vehicle owner within the issuing region's vehicle register. In some countries, the identifier is unique within the entire country, while in others it is unique within a state or province. Whether the identifier is associated with a vehicle or a person varies by issuing agency. There are electronic license plates. Most governments require a registration plate to be attached to both the front and rear of a vehicle, although certain jurisdictions or vehicle types, such as motorboats, require only one plate, attached to the rear of the vehicle.
National databases relate this number to other information describing the vehicle, such as the make, colour, year of manufacture, engine size, type of fuel used, mileage recorded, vehicle identification number, the name and address of the vehicle's registered owner or keeper. In the vast majority of jurisdictions, the government holds a monopoly on the manufacturing of vehicle registration plates for that jurisdiction. Either a government agency or a private company with express contractual authorization from the government makes plates as needed, which are mailed to, delivered to, or picked up by the vehicle owners. Thus, it is illegal for private citizens to make and affix their own plates, because such unauthorized private manufacturing is equivalent to forging an official document. Alternatively, the government will assign plate numbers, it is the vehicle owner's responsibility to find an approved private supplier to make a plate with that number. In some jurisdictions, plates will be permanently assigned to that particular vehicle for its lifetime.
If the vehicle is either destroyed or exported to a different country, the plate number is retired or reissued. China requires the re-registration of any vehicle that crosses its borders from another country, such as for overland tourist visits, regardless of the length of time it is due to remain there. Other jurisdictions follow a "plate-to-owner" policy, meaning that when a vehicle is sold the seller removes the current plate from the vehicle. Buyers must either obtain new plates or attach plates they hold, as well as register their vehicles under the buyer's name and plate number. A person who sells a car and purchases a new one can apply to have the old plates put onto the new car. One who sells a car and does not buy a new one may, depending on the local laws involved, have to turn the old plates in or destroy them, or may be permitted to keep them; some jurisdictions permit the registration of the vehicle with "personal" plates. In some jurisdictions, plates require periodic replacement associated with a design change of the plate itself.
Vehicle owners may or may not have the option to keep their original plate number, may have to pay a fee to exercise this option. Alternately, or additionally, vehicle owners have to replace a small decal on the plate or use a decal on the windshield to indicate the expiration date of the vehicle registration, periodic safety and/or emissions inspections or vehicle taxation. Other jurisdictions have replaced the decal requirement through the use of computerization: a central database maintains records of which plate numbers are associated with expired registrations, communicating with automated number plate readers to enable law-enforcement to identify expired registrations in the field. Plates are fixed directly to a vehicle or to a plate frame, fixed to the vehicle. Sometimes, the plate frames contain advertisements inserted by the vehicle service centre or the dealership from which the vehicle was purchased. Vehicle owners can purchase customized frames to replace the original frames. In some jurisdictions registration plate frames have design restrictions.
For example, many states, like Texas, allow plate frames but prohibit plate frames from covering the name of the state, district, Native American tribe or country that issued of license plate. Plates are designed to conform to standards with regard to being read by eye in day or at night, or by electronic equipment; some drivers purchase clear, smoke-colored or tinted covers that go over the registration plate to prevent electronic equipment from scanning the registration plate. Legality of these covers varies; some cameras incorporate filter systems that make such avoidance attempts unworkable with infra-red filters. Vehicles pulling trailers, such as caravans and semi-trailer trucks, are required to display a third registration plate on the rear of the trailer. An engineering study by the University of Illinois published in 1960 recommended that the state of Illinois adopt a numbering system and plate design "composed of combinations of characters which can be perceived and are legible at a distance of 125 feet under daylight conditions, are adapted to filing and administrative procedures".
It recommended that a standard plate size of 6 inches by 14 inches be adopte
Schweinfurt is a city in the Lower Franconia region of Bavaria in Germany on the right bank of the navigable Main River, spanned by several bridges here, 44 km northeast of Würzburg. The city was first documented in the year 790, although as early as 740 a settlement called Villa Suinfurde was mentioned. In the 10th century Schweinfurt was the seat of a margraviate. After the defeat of count Henry of Schweinfurt in 1002/1003, in the feud against King Henry II of Germany, his family lost its leading position in the town. In the first half of the 13th century Schweinfurt expanded to become a proper city with city wall and city gates. At that time the Nikolaus hospital was founded, a mint was established and construction work on the Saint Johannis church began. Around 1250 Schweinfurt was destroyed during a feud between the Count of Henneberg and the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. In the following years it was reconstructed. A document from 1282 signed by Rudolf I of Habsburg states that Schweinfurt was a free city within the Holy Roman Empire.
At least since the coat of arms of Schweinfurt has been an imperial white eagle. In 1309 the city was given to the Count of Henneberg, but in the 1360s the city regained its independence and joined the Swabian–Franconian Confederation. In 1397 King Wenzel entitled the town to utilize the River Main, in 1436–1437 Schweinfurt acquired the village of Oberndorf, as well as the Teutonic Order Fort on the Peterstirn and a small piece of land – including the villages of Zell and Weipoltshausen; some years there was the first uprising of Schweinfurt's citizens against the town council, followed by a second in 1513–1514. This time the issuing of a constitution was allowed; the city joined Martin Luther's Reformation in 1542. Schweinfurt was again destroyed in the course of the Second Margrave War, in 1554; the years up to 1615 were spent by the citizens for its reconstruction. Schweinfurt joined the Protestant Union in 1609. In the Thirty Years' War it was occupied by Gustavus Adolphus, who erected fortifications, the remains of which are still extant.
In 1652 the four doctors Johann Laurentius Bausch, Johann Michael Fehr, Georg Balthasar Wolfahrt and Balthasar Metzger founded the Academia Curiosorum in Schweinfurt, known today as the German Academy of Life Scientists, "Leopoldina". At some point Schweinfurt became a predominantly Roman Catholic city owing to migration from the surrounding Catholic territories, only again to receive a large section of Lutheran refugees/expellees after 1945 from Germany east of the Oder-Neisse line; the latest addition to the Lutheran churches in Schweinfurt arrived during the last years of the Soviet Union. In 1777, Johann Martin Schmidt began to produce white lead. Schweinfurt suffered from heavy casualties during the Napoleonic Wars of 1796–1801. Schweinfurt remained a free imperial city until 1802. Assigned to the grand duke of Würzburg in 1810, it was granted to the Kingdom of Bavaria four years later; the first railway junction was opened in 1852. In the following years Schweinfurt became a world leading centre for the production of ball bearings.
This was to lead to grievous consequences for the city during World War II. In 1939 Schweinfurt produced most of Nazi Germany's ball bearings, factories such as the Schweinfurter Kugellagerwerke became a target of Allied strategic bombing during World War II to cripple tank and aircraft production. Schweinfurt was bombed 22 times during Operation Pointblank by a total of 2,285 aircraft; the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission caused an immediate 34% loss of production and all plants but the largest were devastated by fire. Efforts to disperse the surviving machinery began and the Luftwaffe deployed large numbers of interceptors along the corridor to Schweinfurt. Bombing included the Second Raid on Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943 and Big Week in February 1944. Although losses of production bearings and machinery were high and much of the industrial and residential areas of the city were destroyed, killing more than a thousand civilians, the factories were restored to production and the industry dispersed.
Although German planners thought it essential to purchase the entire output of the Swedish ball-bearing industry, losses in the production of bearings were made up from surpluses found within Germany in the aftermath of the first raid. The decentralized industry was able to restore output to 85% of its pre-bombing level. Hitler made restoration of ball bearing production a high priority and massive efforts were undertaken to repair and rebuild the factories in bomb-proof underground facilities; the 42nd Infantry Division entered Schweinfurt on 11 April 1945 and engaged in house-to-house fighting. On 12 April an internment camp at Goethe-Schule held male civilians aged 16–60. After the war Schweinfurt became a stronghold of their dependants, thus Schweinfurt recovered quickly from its third period of destruction. Schweinfurt hosted the U. S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt, which the U. S. Army closed on 19 September 2014 due to an ongoing effort to concentrate the U. S. military's footprint in Germany to fewer communities.
In post-war years, the new suburbs of Bergl and Steinberg were developed to settle a growing population. In 1954 the city laid the foundation stone for the new town hall and commemorated the 700th and 500th anniversaries of the two earlier periods of destruction as well as the ongoing reconstruction following World War II. In 1998 German and American veterans and s
Seinsheim is a municipality in the district of Kitzingen in Bavaria in Germany. It is best known for its connection with the comital Seinsheim family, which died out in 1958 with the exception of the princely House of Schwarzenberg branch of the family. Since 1990: Heinz Dorsch
Free imperial city
In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities worded free imperial city, was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that had a certain amount of autonomy and was represented in the Imperial Diet. An imperial city held the status of Imperial immediacy, as such, was subordinate only to the Holy Roman Emperor, as opposed to a territorial city or town, subordinate to a territorial prince – be it an ecclesiastical lord or a secular prince; the evolution of some German cities into self-ruling constitutional entities of the Empire was slower than that of the secular and ecclesiastical princes. In the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, some cities were promoted by the emperor to the status of Imperial Cities for fiscal reasons; those cities, founded by the German kings and emperors in the 10th through 13th centuries and had been administered by royal/imperial stewards gained independence as their city magistrates assumed the duties of administration and justice.
The Free Cities were those, such as Basel, Cologne or Strasbourg, that were subjected to a prince-bishop and progressively gained independence from that lord. In a few cases, such as in Cologne, the former ecclesiastical lord continued to claim the right to exercise some residual feudal privileges over the Free City, a claim that gave rise to constant litigation until the end of the Empire. Over time, the difference between Imperial Cities and Free Cities became blurred, so that they became collectively known as "Free Imperial Cities", or "Free and Imperial Cities", by the late 15th century many cities included both "Free" and "Imperial" in their name. Like the other Imperial Estates, they could wage war, make peace, control their own trade, they permitted little interference from outside. In the Middle Ages, a number of Free Cities formed City Leagues, such as the Hanseatic League or the Alsatian Décapole, to promote and defend their interests. In the course of the Middle Ages, cities gained, sometimes — if — lost, their freedom through the vicissitudes of power politics.
Some favored cities gained a charter by gift. Others purchased one from a prince in need of funds; some won it by force of arms during the troubled 13th and 14th centuries and others lost their privileges during the same period by the same way. Some cities became free through the void created by the extinction of dominant families, like the Swabian Hohenstaufen; some voluntarily placed themselves under the protection of a territorial ruler and therefore lost their independence. A few, like Protestant Donauwörth, which in 1607 was annexed to the Catholic Duchy of Bavaria, were stripped by the Emperor of their status as a Free City — for genuine or trumped-up reasons. However, this happened after the Reformation, of the sixty Free Imperial Cities that remained at the Peace of Westphalia, all but the ten Alsatian cities continued to exist until the mediatization of 1803. There were four thousand towns and cities in the Empire, although around the year 1600 over nine-tenths of them had fewer than one thousand inhabitants.
During the late Middle Ages, fewer than two hundred of these places enjoyed the status of Free Imperial Cities, some of those did so only for a few decades. The military tax register of 1521 listed eighty-five such cities, this figure had fallen to sixty-five by the time of the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. From the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 to 1803, their number oscillated at around fifty. Unlike the Free Imperial Cities, the second category of towns and cities, now called "territorial cities" were subject to an ecclesiastical or lay lord, while many of them enjoyed self-government to varying degrees, this was a precarious privilege which might be curtailed or abolished according to the will of the lord. Reflecting the extraordinarily complex constitutional set-up of the Holy Roman Empire, a third category, composed of semi-autonomous cities that belonged to neither of those two types, is distinguished by some historians; these were cities whose size and economic strength was sufficient to sustain a substantial independence from surrounding territorial lords for a considerable time though no formal right to independence existed.
These cities were located in small territories where the ruler was weak. They were the exception among the multitude of territorial towns and cities. Cities of both latter categories had representation in territorial diets, but not in the Imperial Diet. Free imperial cities were not admitted as own Imperial Estates to the Imperial Diet until 1489, then their votes were considered only advisory compared to the Benches of the electors and princes; the cities divided themselves into two groups, or benches, in the Imperial Diet, the Rhenish and the Swabian Bench. The following list contains the 50 Free imperial cities that took part in the Imperial Diet of 1792, they are listed according to their voting order on the Swabian benches. These same cities were among the 85 free imperial cities listed on the Reichsmatrikel of 1521: the federal civil and military tax-schedule used for more than a century to assess the contributions of all the Imperial Estates in case
Free Imperial City of Nuremberg
The Imperial City of Nuremberg was a free imperial city — independent city-state — within the Holy Roman Empire. After Nuremberg gained piecemeal independence from the Burgraviate of Nuremberg in the High Middle Ages and considerable territory from Bavaria in the Landshut War of Succession, it grew to become one of the largest and most important Imperial cities, the'unofficial capital' of the Empire because Imperial Diets and courts met at Nuremberg Castle; the Diets of Nuremberg were an important part of the administrative structure of the Empire. The Golden Bull of 1356, issued by Emperor Charles IV, named Nuremberg as the city where newly elected kings of Germany must hold their first Imperial Diet, making Nuremberg one of the three highest cities of the Empire; the cultural flowering of Nuremberg, in the 15th and 16th centuries, made it the center of the German Renaissance. Increased trade routes elsewhere and the ravages of the major European wars of the 17th and 18th centuries caused the city to decline and incur sizeable debts, resulting in the city's absorption into the new Kingdom of Bavaria on the signing of the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806, becoming one of the many territorial casualties of the Napoleonic Wars in a period known as the German mediatisation.
First evidence of a settlement in the Nuremberg area can be detected as early as the year 1050 BC. The Celts settled in the Nuremberg area, c. 400 BC. The area of the city of Nuremberg itself — and today's old town — has detectable traces of a settlement as early as the 9th century. At that time, present-day Nuremberg was on the border between the Bavarian Nordgau and the stem duchy of Franconia. Nuremberg was founded around the turn of the 11th century, according to the first documentary mention of the city in 1050, as the location of an Imperial castle between the East Franks and the Bavarian March of the Nordgau. From 1050 to 1571, the city expanded and rose in importance due to its location on key trade routes. King Conrad III established a burgraviate and the first administration and courts over the surrounding Imperial territories; the first burgraves were from the Austrian House of Raab but, with the extinction of their male line around 1190, the burgraviate was inherited by the last count's son-in-law, of the House of Hohenzollern.
From the late 12th century to the Interregnum, the power of the burgraves diminished as the Staufen emperors transferred most non-military powers to a castellan, with the city administration and the municipal courts handed over to an Imperial mayor from 1173/74. This castellan not only administered the imperial lands surrounding Nuremberg, but levied taxes and constituted the highest judicial court in matters relating to poaching and forestry; the privileges of this castellanship were transferred to the city during the late-14th and early-15th centuries. The strained relations between the burgraves and the castellan broke out into open enmity, which influenced the history of the city. Nuremberg is referred to as having been the'unofficial capital' of the Holy Roman Empire because Imperial Diets and courts met at Nuremberg Castle; the Diets of Nuremberg were an important part of the administrative structure of the empire. The increasing demands of the royal court and the increasing importance of the city attracted increased trade and commerce to Nuremberg, supported by the Hohenstaufen emperors.
Frederick II granted the Großen Freiheitsbrief in 1219, including town rights, Imperial immediacy, the privilege to mint coins, an independent customs policy wholly removing the city from the purview of the burgraves. Nuremberg soon became, with Augsburg, one of the two great trade centers on the route from Italy to Northern Europe. In 1298, the Jews of the town were accused of having desecrated the host and 698 were slain in one of the many Rintfleisch massacres. Behind the massacre in 1298 was the desire to combine the northern and southern parts of the city, which were divided by the Pegnitz river. Jews had been settled in that flood-prone area, but as the city leaders realised, this center of town was crucial to its future development. Hence, they decided; this area is now the place of the Frauenkirche and the Rathaus. The largest gains for Nuremberg were in the 14th century, with Louis the Bavarian and Charles IV expanding the city's powers and granting improved customs privileges. Charles's Golden Bull of 1356 named Nuremberg as the city where newly elected kings of Germany must hold their first Imperial Diet, making Nuremberg one of the three highest cities of the Empire, along with Frankfurt, where kings were elected, Aachen, where Emperors were crowned and, the capital of the old Frankish Empire.
The royal and Imperial connection was strengthened when Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the Imperial regalia to be kept permanently in Nuremberg in 1423. These remained in Nuremberg until 1796, when the advance of French troops required their removal to Regensburg and thence to Vienna, where they found a new home. Charles IV had strong ties to Nuremberg, staying within its city walls 52 times and thereby strengthening its reputation amongst German cities. Charles was the patron of the Frauenkirche, built between 1352 and 1362, where the Imperial court worshipped during its stays in Nuremberg
Löwenstein-Wertheim was a county of the Holy Roman Empire, part of the Franconian Circle. It was formed from the counties of Löwenstein and Wertheim and from 1488 until 1806 ruled by the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim who are morganatic descendants of the Palatinate branch of the House of Wittelsbach; the county of Löwenstein belonged to a branch of the family of the counts of Calw before 1281, when it was purchased by the German king Rudolph I of Habsburg, who presented it to his natural son Albert. In 1441 Henry, one of Albert's descendants, sold it to the Frederick I, Count Palatine of the Rhine, head of the Palatine branch of the house of Wittelsbach, it served as a portion for Louis, a son of the elector by a morganatic marriage, who became a count of the Empire in 1494. Louis obtained Löwenstein in Suabia and received from Emperor Maximilian I the title of Count of Löwenstein; the family lost Löwenstein to Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg, but Louis III, Count of Löwenstein, through his marriage to Anna, heiress of the Count of Wertheim, obtained that territory.
Louis III left two sons: Christopher Louis, a Lutheran, John Dietrich, who remained a Catholic, so the family was divided in two: Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, a Lutheran branch, Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, a Catholic one. The heads of the two branches, into which the older and Protestant line was afterwards divided, were made princes by the king of Bavaria in 1812 and by the king of Württemberg in 1813. With the dissolution of the German Empire in 1806, the county was disbanded and its territory was split among Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, Hesse. Under the protocol of Frankfurt on 20 July 1819 all the family lands were mediatised; the area of the county of Löwenstein was about 140 square kilometres. The current monarchs of Belgium and Liechtenstein, as well as the pretenders to the thrones of Portugal, Italy and Austria–Hungary are descended from the Rosenberg branch. Rupert zu Löwenstein, the longtime financial manager of the Rolling Stones, was a member of the Freudenberg branch
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