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Holy Roman Empire

vivian001vivian001 Member Posts: 24

Holy Roman Empire

Holy Roman Empire, political entity of lands in western and central Europe, founded by Charlemagne in AD 800 and dissolved by Emperor Francis II in 1806. The extent and strength of the empire largely depended on the military and diplomatic skill of its emperors, both of which fluctuated considerably during the empire’s thousand-year lifetime. However, the principal area of the empire was the German states. From the 10th century, its leaders were German kings, who usually sought but did not always receive coronation as emperor by the popes in Rome.

At its peak in the 12th century, the empire comprised most of the territory of modern-day Germany, Austria, Switzerland, eastern France, Belgium, Netherlands, western Poland, the Czech Republic, and Italy. By the later Middle Ages, however, the emperors’ power had become increasingly symbolic, with real legal and administrative power exercised at the territorial and municipal levels. When the last Holy Roman emperor resigned in 1806, the realm had long matched Voltaire’s famous description of it as 'neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.

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