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In addition, German is found in some early records of the United States, such as in Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and other states where Germans lived. German words for persons, places, and things nouns are always capitalized. All nouns are classified as masculine, feminine, or neuter. This classification is called gender. The gender of a noun is indicated by der masculine , die feminine , and das neuter , which translates as "the.

In German, as in English, the forms of some words will vary according to how they are used in the sentence. Who—whose—whom or marry—marries— married are examples of words in English with variant forms. In German, the form of many words can change greatly. This word list gives the standard form of each German word. As you read German records, you will need to be aware that some words vary with usage. The endings of words in a document may differ from those on this list. For example, the document may use the word junger, but you will find it in this word list as jung.

In addition, the suffixes -chen and -lein are often added to words to indicate "little. Adjectives describe nouns and must have the proper masculine, feminine, or neuter endings. Adjective endings can change depending on usage and gender. Plural words are usually formed by adding -er, -en, or -e. Plurality may also change the vowel slightly. In German, many words are formed by joining two or more words. Very few of these compound words are included in this list. You will need to look up each part of the word separately. For example, Geburtstag is a combination of two words, Geburt birth and Tag day.

German uses diacritics over several letters, i. These diacritics are not optional in German because the pronunciation and meaning of a word will be changed depending on whether the diacritic is added or omitted. For data entry and some searches, it is useful to know how to create these characters. Note: Do not use diacritics when searching in the FamilySearch Catalog. Although some procedures and institutions had been fixed, for example by the Golden Bull of , the rules of how the king, the electors, and the other dukes should cooperate in the Empire much depended on the personality of the respective king.

It therefore proved somewhat damaging that Sigismund of Luxemburg king , emperor and Frederick III of Habsburg king , emperor neglected the old core lands of the empire and mostly resided in their own lands. Without the presence of the king, the old institution of the Hoftag , the assembly of the realm's leading men, deteriorated. The Imperial Diet as a legislative organ of the Empire did not exist at that time.

Even worse, dukes often went into feuds against each other that, more often than not, escalated into local wars. Simultaneously, the Church was in a state of crisis too, with wide-reaching effects in the Empire. The conflict between several papal claimants two anti-popes and the legitimate Pope was only resolved at the Council of Constance ; after , much energy was spent on fighting the Hussites.

The medieval idea of unifying all Christendom into a single political entity, of which the Church and the Empire were the leading institutions, began to decline. When Frederick III needed the dukes to finance war against Hungary in and at the same time had his son, later Maximilian I elected king, he was presented with the dukes' united demand to participate in an Imperial Court.

For the first time, the assembly of the electors and other dukes was now called the Imperial Diet German Reichstag to be joined by the Imperial Free Cities later. While Frederick refused, his more conciliatory son finally convened the Diet at Worms in , after his father's death in Here, the king and the dukes agreed on four bills, commonly referred to as the Reichsreform Imperial Reform : a set of legal acts to give the disintegrating Empire back some structure.

Among others, this act produced the Imperial Circle Estates and the Reichskammergericht Imperial Chamber Court ; structures that would-to a degree-persist until the end of the Empire in However, it took a few more decades until the new regulation was universally accepted and the new court actually began to function; only in would the Imperial Circles be finalised.

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The King also made sure that his own court, the Reichshofrat , continued to function in parallel to the Reichskammergericht. Due to a combination of 1 the traditions of dynastic succession in Aragon, which permitted maternal inheritance with no precedence for female rule; 2 the insanity of Charles's mother, Joanna of Castile; and 3 the insistence by his remaining grandfather, Maximilian I, that he take up his royal titles, Charles initiated his reign in Castile and Aragon, a union which evolved into Spain, in conjunction with his mother.

This ensured for the first time that all the realms of the Iberian peninsula save for Portugal would be united by one monarch under one nascent Spanish crown, with the founding territories retaining their separate governance codes and laws. The balance and imbalance between these separate inheritances would be defining elements of his reign, and would ensure that personal union between the Spanish and German crowns would be short-lived.

The latter would end up going to a more junior branch of the Habsburgs in the person of Charles's brother Ferdinand, while the senior branch continued rule in Spain and in the Burgundian inheritance in the person of Charles's son, Philip II of Spain. In addition to conflicts between his Spanish and German inheritances, conflicts of religion would be another source of tension during the reign of Charles V. Before Charles even began his reign in the Holy Roman Empire, in , Martin Luther initiated what would later be known as the Reformation.

At this time, many local dukes saw it as a chance to oppose the hegemony of Emperor Charles V. The empire then became fatally divided along religious lines, with the north, the east, and many of the major cities-Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Nuremberg-becoming Protestant while the southern and western regions largely remained Catholic. From to , the Habsburg government in the Netherlands also had to contend with the Frisian peasant rebellion, led first by Pier Gerlofs Donia and then by his nephew Wijerd Jelckama. The rebels were initially successful, but after a series of defeats, the remaining leaders were taken and decapitated in This was a blow for the Holy Roman Empire since many major cities were sacked and as many as ships sunk once even 28 in a single battle.

Germany would enjoy relative peace for the next six decades.

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On the eastern front, the Turks continued to loom large as a threat, although war would mean further compromises with the Protestant princes, and so the Emperor sought to avoid that. In the west, the Rhineland increasingly fell under French influence. After the Dutch revolt against Spain erupted, the Empire remained neutral. A side effect was the Cologne War, which ravaged much of the upper Rhine.

After Ferdinand died in , his son Maximilian II became Emperor, and like his father, accepted the existence of Protestantism and the need for occasional compromise with it. Maximilian was succeeded in by Rudolf II, a strange man who preferred classical Greek philosophy to Christianity and lived an isolated existence in Bohemia. He became afraid to act when the Catholic Church was forcibly reasserting control in Austria and Hungary and the Protestant princes became upset over this. Imperial power sharply deteriorated by the time of Rudolf's death in When Bohemians rebelled against the Emperor, the immediate result was the series of conflicts known as the Thirty Years' War , which devastated the Empire.

Foreign powers, including France and Sweden, intervened in the conflict and strengthened those fighting Imperial power, but also seized considerable territory for themselves. The long conflict so bled the Empire that it never recovered its strength. The cavalry charge was the largest in the history of warfare.

The actual end of the empire came in several steps. The Peace of Westphalia in , which ended the Thirty Years' War, gave the territories almost complete sovereignty. The Swiss Confederation, which had already established quasi-independence in , as well as the Northern Netherlands, left the Empire. Although its constituent states still had some restrictions-in particular, they could not form alliances against the Emperor - the Empire from this point was a powerless entity, existing in name only. The Habsburg Emperors instead focused on consolidating their own estates in Austria and elsewhere.

By the rise of Louis XIV, the Habsburgs were dependent on the position as Archdukes of Austria to counter the rise of Prussia, some of whose territories lay inside the Empire. Throughout the 18th century, the Habsburgs were embroiled in various European conflicts, such as the War of the Spanish Succession, the War of the Polish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession. The German dualism between Austria and Prussia dominated the empire's history after From onwards, revolutionary France was at war with various parts of the Empire intermittently.

The German Mediatisation was the series of mediatisations and secularisations that occurred in , during the latter part of the era of the French Revolution and then the Napoleonic Era. Napoleon reorganized much of the Empire into the Confederation of the Rhine, a French satellite. Francis' House of Habsburg-Lorraine survived the demise of the Empire, continuing to reign as Emperors of Austria and Kings of Hungary until the Habsburg empire's final dissolution in in the aftermath of World War I. The Napoleonic Confederation of the Rhine was replaced by a new union, the German Confederation, in , following the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

It lasted until when Prussia founded the North German Confederation, a forerunner of the German Empire which united the German-speaking territories outside of Austria and Switzerland under Prussian leadership in This later served as the predecessor-state of modern Germany. The Holy Roman Empire was not a highly centralized state like most countries today.

Oliver Pötzsch: Lesung aus "Die Burg der Könige"

Instead, it was divided into dozens-eventually hundreds-of individual entities governed by kings, dukes, counts, bishops, abbots and other rulers, collectively known as princes. There were also some areas ruled directly by the Emperor. At no time could the Emperor simply issue decrees and govern autonomously over the Empire.


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His power was severely restricted by the various local leaders. From the High Middle Ages onwards, the Holy Roman Empire was marked by an uneasy coexistence of the princes of the local territories who were struggling to take power away from it. To a greater extent than in other medieval kingdoms such as France and England, the Emperors were unable to gain much control over the lands that they formally owned.

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Instead, to secure their own position from the threat of being deposed, Emperors were forced to grant more and more autonomy to local rulers, both nobles and bishops. This process began in the 11th century with the Investiture Controversy and was more or less concluded with the Peace of Westphalia. Several Emperors attempted to reverse this steady dissemination of their authority, but were thwarted both by the papacy and by the princes of the Empire.

The number of territories in the Empire was considerable, rising to approximately at the time of the Peace of Westphalia. Many of these Kleinstaaten "little states" covered no more than a few square miles, or included several non-contiguous pieces, so the Empire was often called a Flickenteppich "patchwork carpet". An entity was considered a Reichsstand imperial estate if, according to feudal law, it had no authority above it except the Holy Roman Emperor himself. The imperial estates comprised:. German kings had been elected since the 9th century; at that point they were chosen by the leaders of the five most important tribes the Salian Franks of Lorraine, Ripuarian Franks of Franconia, Saxons, Bavarians and Swabians.

A candidate for election would be expected to offer concessions of land or money to the electors in order to secure their vote. After being elected, the King of the Romans could theoretically claim the title of "Emperor" only after being crowned by the Pope. In many cases, this took several years while the King was held up by other tasks: frequently he first had to resolve conflicts in rebellious northern Italy, or was in quarrel with the Pope himself.

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Later Emperors dispensed with the papal coronation altogether, being content with the styling Emperor-Elect : the last Emperor to be crowned by the Pope was Charles V in The Emperor had to be a man of good character over 18 years. All four of his grandparents were expected to be of noble blood. No law required him to be a Catholic, though imperial law assumed that he was. He did not need to be a German neither Alfonso X of Castile nor Richard of Cornwall, who contested for the crown in the 13th century, were themselves German.

By the 17th century candidates generally possessed estates within the Empire. The Imperial Diet Reichstag , or Reichsversammlung was the legislative body of the Holy Roman Empire and theoretically superior to the emperor himself. It was divided into three classes. The first class, the Council of Electors, consisted of the electors, or the princes who could vote for King of the Romans.

The second class, the Council of Princes, consisted of the other princes. The Council of Princes was divided into two "benches," one for secular rulers and one for ecclesiastical ones. Higher-ranking princes had individual votes, while lower-ranking princes were grouped into "colleges" by geography. Each college had one vote. The third class was the Council of Imperial Cities, which was divided into two colleges: Swabia and the Rhine.

The Council of Imperial Cities was not fully happy with the others; it could not vote on several matters such as the admission of new territories. Nevertheless, their participation was formally acknowledged only as late as in with the Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War. The title of Emperor Imperator carried with it an important role as protector of the Catholic Church.

As the papacy's power grew during the Middle Ages, Popes and emperors came into conflict over church administration. No pope appointed an emperor again until the coronation of Otto the Great in Otto is considered the first Holy Roman Emperor, although Charlemagne is also accounted by some to be the first. The various German princes elected one of their peers as King of the Germans , after which he would be crowned as emperor by the Pope.

The term "sacrum" i. Even though Charlemagne was the first to receive papal coronation as Emperor of the Romans, Otto I is considered the first Holy Roman Emperor in historiography. The word Holy had never been used as part of that title in official documents. The Electoral council was set at seven princes three archbishops and four secular princes by the Golden Bull of It remained so until , when the settlement of the Thirty Years' War required the addition of a new elector to maintain the precarious balance between Protestant and Catholic factions in the Empire.

Another elector was added in , and the whole college was reshuffled in , a mere three years before the dissolution of the Empire. Maximilian I Emperor and his successors no longer travelled to Rome to be crowned as Emperor by the Pope. Therefore, they could not technically claim the title Emperor of the Romans, but were mere "Emperors-elect of the Romans", as Maximilian named himself in with papal approval.

Of all his successors, only Charles V, the immediate one, received a papal coronation. Before that date in , he was called Emperor-elect too. There are some gaps in the tally. The Guideschi follow the numeration for the Duchy of Spoleto. Traditional historiography claimed a continuity between the Carolingian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. This is rejected by some modern historians, who date the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire to The rulers who were crowned as Emperors in the West before were as follows:.

There was no emperor in the west between and November The Emperor was cro wned in a special ceremony, traditionally performed by the Pope in Rome, using the Imperial Regalia. Without that coronation, no king, despite exercising all powers, could call himself Emperor. Maximilian's successors adopted the same titulature, usually when they became the sole ruler of the Holy Roman Empire [ citation needed ].

Maximilian's first successor Charles V was the last to be crowned Emperor. Holy Roman Empire. Protected by U. Website Email: information almanachdegotha. Websites: www. Home Page. Commercial Directory - History of the Old Almanach de Gotha. Gallery - Old Gotha Bookplates. Sovereign Houses - Index. Mediatized Houses - Index. Non-Sovereign Houses - Index. Royal Families of the World - Index. Higher Nobility of Europe - Index. Nobility of the World - Index. Official Royal Websites. Royal Birthday Calendar. Quotations on Monarchy. Diana - Princess of Wales. Catherine - Duchess of Cambridge.

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Duchy of Modena. Empire of Mexico. Principality of Monaco. Kingdom of Montenegro. Kingdom of Naples. Kingdom of The Netherlands. Kingdom of Norway. Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. Ottoman Empire. Kingdom of Portugal. The most important piece of them was the Imperial Crown.

It was made in the second half of 10th century, presumably in Cologne. It was worn by German kings and emperors. The first bearer of this crown may have been Emperor Otto 1st in the year From then on the crown remained in use until August 6, when Emperor Franz 2nd resigned because of Napoleon's coronation. Its octogonal base picks up Christian numerology: eight refers to the number of people surviving Great Flood and establishing the new Covenant with God. They wore this crown both as kings and as emperors.