IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > B. Early Modern Europe, 1479–1815 > 5. National Patterns, 1648–1815 > g. The Holy Roman Empire
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1648, Oct. 24)
g. The Holy Roman Empire
HOLY ROMAN EMPERORS: Ferdinand III (1637–57), Leopold I (1657–1705), Joseph I (1705–11), Charles VI (1711–40), Charles VII (of Bavaria, 1742–45), Francis I (1745–65), Joseph II (1765–90), Leopold II (1790–92).  1
The territorial states of the Holy Roman Empire gained strength and independence during the 17th and 18th centuries. While each state determined its internal policies, the empire was dominated by two powers, Austria-Hungary in the east and Prussia in the west. The Imperial Diet continued to meet and make decisions regarding trade and foreign policy.  2
Economy and Society: After the Thirty Years' War, Germany suffered agricultural upheaval. There was a shortage of agricultural labor, and agricultural prices declined because urban populations had been decimated by the war. This decline encouraged the continued transformation of Grundherrschaft to Gutsherrschaft, eliminating the free peasantry east of the Elbe. The Junkers' continued strength encouraged this policy. The guild recess of 1731 marked the decline of guilds in Germany and the development of the Verlagssystem (contract or wage labor) west of the Elbe. The Verlagssystem was fueled by population increases in the18th century.  3
Development of Ritterakademien to teach manners and other niceties to sons of the nobility.  4
Münster and Erfurt lost their status as free imperial cities. Magdeburg came under the control of the great elector (1666) and admitted a garrison. Surrounding territories eliminated the autonomy of many free imperial cities. Imperial control declined.  5
First Northern War (See 1655–60).  6
Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus.  7
War against the Ottoman Empire (See 1663–64).  8
Samuel Pufendorf's (1632–94) De statute imperii Germanici appeared and would become a standard text in Germany and Sweden. In it and De jure Naturae et Gentium, Pufendorf argued for a strong German state, but unlike Hobbes in England, he believed that the ruler had an obligation to assure the well-being of his subjects.  9
War of Devolution against France (See 1667–68).  10
The Dutch War. Holy Roman Empire sided with Dutch against Louis XIV aggression.  11
The Reichskriegsverfabetaung (imperial military declaration) passed in the Imperial Diet. This established military organization on the basis of the circles of empire. It established a peacetime force of 40,000 men.  12
War of the League of Augsburg, against Louis XIV (See Oct. 30).  13
German princes elevated in rank: Hanover an electorate; Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, became king of Poland and adopted the Catholic faith.  14
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.