25 Facts About Holy Roman Empire


Holy Roman Empire was a political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

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Exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the Emperor's legitimacy always rested on the concept of translatio imperii, that he held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome.

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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.

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Exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, before which the empire was referred to variously as universum regnum, imperium christianum, or Romanum imperium, but the Emperor's legitimacy always rested on the concept of translatio imperii, that he held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome.

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The new title was adopted partly because the Holy Roman Empire lost most of its territories in Italy and Burgundy to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Holy Roman Empire due to the Imperial Reform.

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Holy Roman Empire eventually incorporated the territories of present-day France, Germany, northern Italy, the Low Countries and beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands.

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Holy Roman Empire overcame a series of revolts from a younger brother and from several dukes.

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Holy Roman Empire replaced leaders of most of the major East Frankish duchies with his own relatives.

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The political power of the Holy Roman Empire was maintained, but the conflict had demonstrated the limits of the ruler's power, especially in regard to the Church, and it robbed the king of the sacral status he had previously enjoyed.

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Holy Roman Empire emphasized the "Romanness" of the empire, partly in an attempt to justify the power of the emperor independent of the pope.

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Holy Roman Empire embroiled himself in another conflict with the Papacy by supporting a candidate elected by a minority against Pope Alexander III.

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Holy Roman Empire was the first of the Habsburgs to hold a royal title, but he was never crowned emperor.

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Holy Roman Empire lavishly spread French money in the hope of bribing the German electors.

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The decision by Charles IV is the subject of debates: on one hand, it helped to restore peace in the lands of the Holy Roman Empire, that had been engulfed in civil conflicts after the end of the Hohenstaufen era; on the other hand, the "blow to central authority was unmistakable".

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Holy Roman Empire avoided direct confrontations, which might lead to humiliation if the princes refused to give way.

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The Holy Roman Empire Law was made binding in German courts, except in the case it was contrary to local statutes.

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Holy Roman Empire became afraid to act when the Catholic Church was forcibly reasserting control in Austria and Hungary, and the Protestant princes became upset over this.

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At the Battle of Vienna, the Army of the Holy Roman Empire, led by the Polish King John III Sobieski, decisively defeated a large Turkish army, stopping the western Ottoman advance and leading to the eventual dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire in Europe.

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Only princely member states of the Holy Roman Empire that have preserved their status as monarchies until today are the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

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All other historic member states of the Holy Roman Empire were either dissolved or have adopted republican systems of government.

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The successful expansion under Maximilian bolstered his position in the Holy Roman Empire, and created more pressure for an imperial reform, so that they could get more resources and coordinated help from the German territories to defend their realms and counter hostile powers such as France.

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Ever since he became King of the Romans in 1486, the Empire provided essential help for his activities in Burgundian Netherlands as well as dealings with Bohemia, Hungary and other eastern polities.

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Army of the Holy Roman Empire was created in 1422 and as a result of the Napoleonic Wars came to an end even before the Empire.

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The Holy Roman Empire did not have its own dedicated ministry of foreign affairs and therefore the Imperial Diet had no control over these diplomats; occasionally the Diet criticised them.

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German demographic historians have traditionally worked on estimates of the population of the Holy Roman Empire based on assumed population within the frontiers of Germany in 1871 or 1914.

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