Free realm city

the term free realm city does not mark colloquially in the holy Roman realm of German nation both those municipalities, a realm prince, but directly the emperor been subordinate, and some bishop cities, which had acquired a certain autonomy, for example the emperorno army sequence to carry out had. First were originally called realm cities, the latters as free cities. These cities became starting from that 15. Century in the Städtekolleg under the comprehensive term “free one and realm cities” in summary, from which the vernacular formed the term “free realm city”,although neither many realm cities also free cities were, still many free cities also realm cities.

From the status of the realm immediacy a set of liberties and privileges resulted for the realm cities. They were on the inside to a large extent autonomous and ordered inGeneral one over an own low and high jurisdiction. In particular the high jurisdiction placed it to the princes and differentiated it from the landständischen cities, which were national gentlemen subject. As realm conditions the realm cities in addition, special obligations had opposite thatEmperor. So they had their taxes directly to it to exhaust and on demand army sequence carry out.

The free cities received their status through from the emperor and/or the bishop granted liberty privileges. They were usually similar to those of the realm cities, with the difference,that they were released from the army sequence (except with crusades) and the taxes also.

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like already was described originally between realm cities, which were realm direct, and which free cities, itself of a bischöflichen city regiment in 13. and 14. Century released, had differentiated between. The free cities were not for payment of taxes to the emperorobligated and were not subject to the Gefolgszwang opposite this. To them belonged among other things Cologne, Augsburg, Mainz (until 1462), Worms, Speyer, Strasbourg, Basel, Memmingen, Ravensburg and Regensburg. The bishop remained formal thereusually however further city head.

In the course of the time itself many free cities of this remainder of religious city rule could emanzipieren (with others the status of the free city was lost again). There the free cities as well as the realm cities on the realm days, they participated there under the term „free and realm cities “were summarized. In the linguistic usage this formula in the course of the time to „the free realm city merged “.

the realm cities and the free cities also seat achieved upswing after the Interregnum 1273and voice on the realm days. Since 1489 they formed the Reichsstädtekollegium and participated over representatives regularly on the realm days. Large cities such as Dortmund, Frankfurt/Main, Ulm and Nürnberg knew their territory beyond the city boundariesexpand. The free realm cities in the southwest of Germany achieved the largest territorial expansion, where there were no large principalities. The largest territorial expansion of all free realm cities reached the city Berne.

Some realm cities became however in the course of the time of thatKing rule to neighbouring national rule pawns, so as for example the city Nimwegen in the year 1247 to the counts von Geldern, and the city Duisburg in the year 1290 to the counts von Kleve. There the Königtum usually not sufficient moneysto apply, in order to replace these pledge sums, could this knew the end of the realm immediacy for the cities concerned mean. In many cities Karl V. became since the administrative reform among emperors. the hare advice in such a way specified imported, that by the aristocracy and the Patrizierand the condition meeting was educated made gradually ineffective.


with the Westfäli peace 1648 went the Landvogtei over the elsässischen realm cities at France, and in the context of the Reunionen France occupied 1681 the Elsass. 1718 became the area surrounding the realm city cell at the Harmersbach as free realm valley Harmersbach independently of the city. The realm-urban liberties were cut increasingly and in the course of the French revolution 1789 were void them completely.

The today Belgian village Kessenich was one - in Germany forgotten - free realm city, to to 5. April 1795 France the left Rhine bank annektierte, concomitantly Prussian, kurkölnische and jülicher areas, as well as the large realm cities Cologne and Aachen and smaller realm-direct church and lay rule.

With the realm deputation main conclusion of 1803 45 of the 51 still existing realm cities was mediatisiert and integrated neighbouring principalities. Only Augsburg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt/Main, Bremen, Hamburg and Luebeck kept the status with decreased rights. Augsburg and Nuremberg1805/1806 were mediatisiert by Bavaria, four the others remained independent over the Viennese congress 1815 out and became in the consequence of sovereigns states within the German federation.

Long time became the realm city of the early modern times of thatHistorians as lonely forerunners of the civil world in the midst of the aristokratischen environment evaluates, which led again and again to many misunderstandings. With modern republics, in addition, with the before-modern republics such as Venice or the united Netherlands, the realm cities had meanwhileto do nothing. The tendency even as member of the noble world to be recognized determined the policy of many realm cities, among them Augsburg, Nuremberg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Bremen and even smaller municipalities such as Swabian resounds. The conventional picture over the allegedly dark conditionsin the realm cities 18. Century has his origin likewise in the projection of economic Rationalität in the modern sense, which did not determine however straight acting councilmen, guilds and citizens. Just as the description of German history in the early one Modern times as purge history a historical misunderstanding correspond, follow also the negative evaluation of the realm cities in this epoch to partially anachronistischen conceptions („fall “). For many epochale historical processes realm cities offered the stage (printing, the reformation, congresses of peace). Up to the end 18.Century maintained realm cities their cultural, social and political position, if one them, like also the realm counts and realm knights, when understands less-powerful members of the realm.

after 1815 there were free cities after the end

of the holy Roman realmin the German federation of still four free cities:Hamburg, Bremen, Luebeck and Frankfurt/Main. Frankfurt/Main lost its independence 1866 after occupation by Prussia; Luebeck was likewise attached 1937 at Prussia. The Lands of the Federal Republic Bremenand Hamburg could their position which is based on realm-urban traditions as independent city states until today retain. The status of Berlin as own Land of the Federal Republic decreases/goes back against it to the division in zones after the Second World War .

Free city also Danzig was called, as thoseCity of 1920 - 1939 under sovereignty of the Völkerbunds stood.

list of realm cities

the realm immediacy could be denied and again, the number of the realm cities varied therefore. The highest number amounted to 83 realm cities (under the title “freeand reichsstett " the realm register set up on the Wormser Reichstag of 1521 registers 85 cities). Around the year 1800 there were still following 51 free ones and realm cities in the holy Roman realm of German nation:

with realm-city-similar rights also forest lake (today Bad Waldsee ) was equipped.

In addition there were eleven elsässische realm cities up to the French revolution: Strasbourg as well as the cities connected since 1354 in the ten-standard ware

up to the peace of Nimwegen 1678/1679 were

beyond that and up to the Westfäli peace 1648

Free realm cities.

see also


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