11.2.2 German Monarchy

  1. England and France
    Holy Roman Empire
    • a.      England and France had developed strong national monarchies in High Middle Ages, but at end of 14th c., they seemed to be disintegrating due to dynastic problems and the pressures generated by the Hundred Years’ War 
    • a.      Holy Roman Empire (lands of Germany) began to fall apart in High Middle Ages
    •                                                               i.      Northern Italy had been free from real imperial control since end of Hohenstaufen dynasty in 13th c
  2. Germany Itself
    •                                                               i.      Failure of Hohenstaufens ended centralizing monarchy attempts
    •                                                             ii.      Land of hundred of virtually independent states
    • 1.      Varied in size and power and included princely states
    • a.      Free imperial city-states (self-governing cities directly under control of Holy Roman Emperor rather than German prince)
    • b.      Modest territories of petty imperial knights
    • c.       Ecclesiastical states
    • 2.      They all acted independently
  3. Electoral Nature of the German MOnarchy
    • a.      Electoral Nature of the German Monarchy
    •                                                               i.      Became established on an elective rather than heredity
    • 1.      This election principle standardized in 1356 by Golden Bull by Emperor Charles IV
    • a.      Golden Bull
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Four lay princes and three ecclesiastical rulers serve as electors with legal power to elect “King of the Romans”, the official title of the German king and then emperor
  4. 14th and 15th c.
    •                                                               i.      14th c: electoral principle ensured that kings of Germany were weak
    • 1.      Ability to exercise effective power depended on extent of own family possessions
    •                                                             ii.      15th c: three emperors claimed throne
    • 1.      Even though settled, Germany on verge of anarchy
    • a.      Princes fighting princes and leagues
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Emperors powerless
Card Set
11.2.2 German Monarchy