Holy Roman Empire

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Holy Roman Empire

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:22 pm

Ah, hello there humans

This thread is for anything related to the wonderful mess in Central Europe, the Holy Roman Empire. If you have any cool topics to talk about concerning this "Empire", feel free to put it here I'll start with this topic:

Do you think it would have been possible for the empire to become an unified country? I personally think it could have, but it would require a ruler powerful enough not just to have the necessary army to unite those who refuse, but a decent reputation and diplomatic skill keep the other lands from rising up again. Austria was already in a good position just from having the title and wouldn't need to waste energy on something like that, so the only country I think that could have done it would be Prussia. What do you guys think?
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by BasqueHistorian on Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:25 pm

I've always been interested in how many little states made this empire. Most of german city-states for example, a great amount of nations inside an empire.

Btw Holy Roman Empire wasn't Holy, wasn't Roman, and Empire... sometimes that's a discussion Suspect
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by JHG on Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:04 am

I pretty much doubt the chances of that. The member states were too unruly and too busy fighting each other.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by BigMacArthur on Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:58 am

THe Holy Roman Empire uniting in its rough pre-1804 borders (The German Confederation) was thought ever since the Napolionic wars. There were two kinds of a unified germany, Kleindeutschland and Grossdeutschland and they both indirectly represented the liberal and conservitive factions working on this. Kleindeutschland was a more conservative and nationalistic approach where Prussia would lead the United Germany to help out it's individual kingdom (and leaving out Austria), but Grossdeutschland is more liberal and represents the rough "Holy Roman Empire" borders which included all of the German confederation. The Grossdeutschland was almost established during the Frankfurt Parliment of 1848 but was not inplemented in favor of Kleindeutschland under Bismark.

So yes, the rough Holy Roman Empire borders including Austria becoming a unified state could have pulled through if the liberal nationalists got their way instead of the conservitives. But this all would have had to happen after the Napoleonic wars because nationalism was not a thing pre-1789.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:19 pm

One other possibility would have been if the HRE was not dissolved in 1806 following Napoleons invasion of Germany. The reason that happened was because Austria did not want Napoleon to proclaim himself Holy Roman Emperor. If this actually happened, it would have technically united the HRE under the French Empire, similar to the confederation of the Rhine in our timeline. It's a bit of a stretch, but if you want to get technical, that is probably the most likely way to "unite" the HRE
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by BigMacArthur on Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:29 pm

The confederation of the rhine is a puppet state in every sence of the word. If Francis II did not give up his title and Napolean took it from him, Napolean would reorganize the HRE the same way that he did with the COR. He would shrink it, enlarge certain states, and enfore his French policies over the Germans. It would be a COR under the title of the HRE. Therefore in the treaty of Paris they would establish the German confederation and dissolve the HRE. This is actually one of my most unlikely alternate history theories regarding Napoleon.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Koopinator on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:07 pm

Why do we call the North Germanic barbarians "roman" anyway? What makes them more deserving of the title than the Byzantine empire?
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:38 pm

Koopinator wrote:Why do we call the North Germanic barbarians "roman" anyway? What makes them more deserving of the title than the Byzantine empire?

Long story, really. It all dates back to 800 AD, when Charlemagne was proclaimed "Imperator" or Emperor, by the Pope for his work in spreading Christianity throughout Europe. This ended up making Charlemagne a Roman emperor, but holy because the Pope said it. Therefore, this made them more official in the eyes of Western Europe than the Byzantine empire, as they were now increasingly Greek and their capital was no longer Rome but rather Constantinople.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Nishanth128 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:42 pm

Can someone explain to me how the HRE went from being an empire, at the beginning, to that horrible mess it became? Francia did not have this problem. Why the difference? Any book anyone can suggest about the HRE?
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Koopinator on Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:57 pm

Mr Trolldemort wrote:
Koopinator wrote:Why do we call the North Germanic barbarians "roman" anyway? What makes them more deserving of the title than the Byzantine empire?

Long story, really.  It all dates back to 800 AD, when Charlemagne was proclaimed "Imperator" or Emperor, by the Pope for his work in spreading Christianity throughout Europe.  This ended up making Charlemagne a Roman emperor, but holy because the Pope said it.  Therefore, this made them more official in the eyes of Western Europe than the Byzantine empire, as they were now increasingly Greek and their capital was no longer Rome but rather Constantinople.  

But what i find annoying is that historians have this power to retroactively rename the Eastern roman empire to the byzantine empire, Yet they didn't use this power to rename the HRE.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by BigMacArthur on Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:05 pm

Nishanth128 wrote:Can someone explain to me how the HRE went from being an empire, at the beginning, to that horrible mess it became? Francia did not have this problem. Why the difference? Any book anyone can suggest about the HRE?

Feudalism BOOYYYYYYY.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:47 pm

Pretty much. And unlike countries like France, the feudal lords actually managed to curb the emperor's power before he could centralize the government, basically changing the empire into a federation of all the cities, counties and duchies living inside it, and the emperor ruler in name only.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Cold War Communist on Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:08 pm

Mr Trolldemort wrote:I personally think it could have, but it would require a ruler powerful enough not just to have the necessary army to unite those who refuse, but a decent reputation and diplomatic skill keep the other lands from rising up again.  Austria was already in a good position just from having the title and wouldn't need to waste energy on something like that, so the only country I think that could have done it would be Prussia.  What do you guys think?

That is exactly what happened. Albeit, the region was not known as the "Holy Roman Empire" anymore, but Prussia did unify most of the HRE into what was the German Empire. The Prussians also had a secret weapon that had all of the characteristics you speak of: Otto Von Bismarck.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:27 pm

Yeah, but I was referring to whether that could have happened before the HRE was dissolved in 1806. Prussia was weaker than it was in the late 1800s. I think it was possible for it to happen, but Austria was still quite a bit more powerful than them, and some of the other major German states (Bavaria, Hanover, Saxony) could have sided with Austria, which would mean Prussia would lose. If Prussia could secure some major alliances with the likes of France or Russia, I would say it would be possible for the Hohenzollern's becoming the new emperors. I can also picture Bavaria or Hanover to be serious contenders too if they chose too, but Prussia was without a doubt the most likely German state to accomplish this goal, as like I've said in a previous post, Austria didn't have any reason to unite the HRE more than it already was.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Cold War Communist on Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:38 pm

I see what you mean. In that case, my answer is absolutely not. There was no one kingdom (or should we say state?) that could have united the entire HRE. It was too divided to say the least, and every major event brought with it further division in the Empire until it was dissolved by Napoleon.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by BigMacArthur on Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:04 am

One of my earlier comments pointed out that after 1815, when nationalism was all around in the German confederation, it was just the matter of "How" Germany would unite instead of "if." Would it be Liberal, including almost all of the former HRE, or would it be conservative, where Prussia would control Germany for its personal gain.

But pre-1806, uniting the HRE would be impossible. No country was really powerful enough and the individual countries would have too many family/political ties with non HRE states (e.g Hungary, GB, Denmark).
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Nishanth128 on Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:58 pm

BigMacArthur wrote:
Nishanth128 wrote:Can someone explain to me how the HRE went from being an empire, at the beginning, to that horrible mess it became? Francia did not have this problem. Why the difference? Any book anyone can suggest about the HRE?

Feudalism BOOYYYYYYY.
Lol, I get that. I just want more details. Like a book. I like books.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by King of Wurrtemburg on Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:19 am

Koopinator wrote:
Mr Trolldemort wrote:
Koopinator wrote:Why do we call the North Germanic barbarians "roman" anyway? What makes them more deserving of the title than the Byzantine empire?

Long story, really.  It all dates back to 800 AD, when Charlemagne was proclaimed "Imperator" or Emperor, by the Pope for his work in spreading Christianity throughout Europe.  This ended up making Charlemagne a Roman emperor, but holy because the Pope said it.  Therefore, this made them more official in the eyes of Western Europe than the Byzantine empire, as they were now increasingly Greek and their capital was no longer Rome but rather Constantinople.  

But what i find annoying is that historians have this power to retroactively rename the Eastern roman empire to the byzantine empire, Yet they didn't use this power to rename the HRE.

I think this is because it was far easier to do with the Eastern Roman Empire than the HRE. The Roman Empire branched out from a city state. Once this city state was no longer a part of the empire, historians wanted a way to differeniate the two. I guess calling the surviving Eastern Empire by it's centerpiece, Constantinople. What better way than to name it after the original name of it's capital, Byzantium? That's more catchy than calling it the Constantinopolian Empire IMO.

With the HRE by the very nature of it's political structure didn't have a power center like Rome or Constantinople or even Paris. The emperor's main power came from his own holdings, which meant that the empire's center of power changed with the emperor. The ceremonial capital of Aachen unlike Rome and Constantinople was just that, symbolic. If you were King of the historians what would you have them use that power to rename the HRE? I do think it's more appropriate to just call Byzantium what it is, Rome but I understand why they wanted to make a distinction.

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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by King of Wurrtemburg on Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:34 am

Nishanth128 wrote:
BigMacArthur wrote:
Nishanth128 wrote:Can someone explain to me how the HRE went from being an empire, at the beginning, to that horrible mess it became? Francia did not have this problem. Why the difference? Any book anyone can suggest about the HRE?

Feudalism BOOYYYYYYY.
Lol, I get that. I just want more details. Like a book. I like books.

Don't got books but I got a more detailed answer:) There's lots of things I see as clear factors but I got anything wrong someone please correct me. While the West Franks were composed of mostly Franks, East Francia was largely composed of different groups that Charlemagne had conquered. These groups became the basis of the stem duchies, which then got way more complicated when the emperor's started creating more of these dukes. The French did have a similar problem to a lesser extent but through a combination of centralization and the English seizing a lot of feudal land which the French eventually reconquered, the King was able to eventually control everything. Even then, there was still the Duchy of Burgundy.

Another possibility is that in West Francia before the Carolignians went extinct the Capets were already in power much like the Carolingian's and Merovingians and it was more of a transition of power from one dynasty to another. In West Germany the Carolingians actually had power until they went extinct and once they were gone it was a free for all to become Emperor where the rights of the dukes to elect the King was always a thing even when in practice it wasn't which gave everyone sovereignty. In France at some point the King stopped being elected and the Capetians were just treated as a hereditary dynasty.

Just my imput for the differences between the two situations.

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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Koopinator on Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:01 am

King of Wurrtemburg wrote:
I think this is because it was far easier to do with the Eastern Roman Empire than the HRE. The Roman Empire branched out from a city state. Once this city state was no longer a part of the empire, historians wanted a way to differeniate the two. I guess calling the surviving Eastern Empire by it's centerpiece, Constantinople. What better way than to name it after the original name of it's capital, Byzantium? That's more catchy than calling it the Constantinopolian Empire IMO.

With the HRE by the very nature of it's political structure didn't have a power center like Rome or Constantinople or even Paris. The emperor's main power came from his own holdings, which meant that the empire's center of power changed with the emperor. The ceremonial capital of Aachen unlike Rome and Constantinople was just that, symbolic. If you were King of the historians what would you have them use that power to rename the HRE? I do think it's more appropriate to just call Byzantium what it is, Rome but I understand why they wanted to make a distinction.
I would rename it to "Medieval germany", "First reich", "Feudal germany", "Germanic Confederation", "Kingdom of Aachen", or "Late Eastern Francia" 
  
I actually use "Medieval Germany" and "Feudal Germany" myself.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Cold War Communist on Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:49 am

I don't think it would be accurate to call it something else, though. While by the time it collapsed it was in no way a "Holy Roman" anything, the HRE took its name and legitimacy from the fact that it was the "legitimate" successor to the Roman Empire. Technically, it would be a "Second Reich", if ever there was one. The real symbol of Roman succession was the emperor, which is evident from the term "Kaiser" being derived from "Caesar". What I'm saying is, in every way the people wanted to see themselves as a sort of NeoRome. Despite including German regions in its holdings, there wasn't much to define it as "German" above all else.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Koopinator on Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:11 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:I don't think it would be accurate to call it something else, though. While by the time it collapsed it was in no way a "Holy Roman" anything, the HRE took its name and legitimacy from the fact that it was the "legitimate" successor to the Roman Empire. Technically, it would be a "Second Reich", if ever there was one. The real symbol of Roman succession was the emperor, which is evident from the term "Kaiser" being derived from "Caesar". What I'm saying is, in every way the people wanted to see themselves as a sort of NeoRome. Despite including German regions in its holdings, there wasn't much to define it as "German" above all else.
We should call them roman because they called themselves roman? Do you know how many states reffered to themselves as the roman empire?  
Let's count:  
Latin Empire called itself roman  
Empire of trebizond called itself roman  
Despotate of the epirus called itself roman
Empire of nicaea called itself roman  
Byzantine empire called itself roman  
Kingdom of soissons called itself roman
Holy roman empire called itself roman <--- this one apparently deserves the title
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Cold War Communist on Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:34 pm

That's not what I'm saying. I'll tell you what: give me some good reasons we should rename the Holy Roman Empire to something else.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Koopinator on Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:01 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:That's not what I'm saying. I'll tell you what: give me some good reasons we should rename the Holy Roman Empire to something else.
Because it is neither Holy, Roman or an Empire.
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Re: Holy Roman Empire

Post by Cold War Communist on Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:41 pm

Koopinator wrote:
Cold War Communist wrote:That's not what I'm saying. I'll tell you what: give me some good reasons we should rename the Holy Roman Empire to something else.
Because it is neither Holy, Roman or an Empire.
By the time it ended, correct.

At the time of its inception, incorrect. Anything else?
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