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Nordgau
Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 06:31 PM
With what I spent last days:

If you want to read with what I was busy the last days. :D

http://www.thephora.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3340&perpage=15&pagenumber=6

Nordgau:
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Originally posted by FadeTheButcher
Emperor Matthias was a Czech [...]
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Hä??? That's not correct. Emperor Matthias was a German from the Habsburg dynasty. He only was king of Bohemia (a country that was inhabitated by Germans as welll as by Czechs) since 1611.

It's nothing new that modern-style "nationalism" developed in the 19th century and that a characteristic of Europe always was dynastic "cosmopolitanism" and inner-ethnic frictions (e. g. Catholics versus Protestants in Germany) and dynastic and state particularism. But the emergence of a German nation in an ethnic sense as continuation of thát Germanic, East-Frankish eastern half of the former Frankish empire was a process that happened around the year 1000 and is not just a "construct" of Bismarck or 19th century nationalists.
One will hardly be able to tell a date or point when exactly those in the former East-Frankish half speaking the Germanic folks-language (respectively the regional variants of it) are "less" in their ethnicity tribes (Saxons, Thuringians, Bavarians) anymore and "more" altogether Deutsche, or when they still were more tribes and not Deutsche (actually, deutsch means usually the folk-language, this deutsch language speaking different tribes. To regarfd the people and the land as deutsch was then the second step). It was a process taking place in the 10th and 11th centuryOtto III also complained, when the Romans revolted against him, that he left meos Saxones et cunctos Theotiscos ("my Saxons and all Germans"). In the Annolied (11th century) one could speak without problem of deutsch language, people and land. For the 12th century speaking of the German country, people or individuals was natural. And so on... Walther von der Vogelweide also wrote on "German women from the Rhine up to Hungary".
A certain feeling that the empire was a German, despite of its "Roman" demand (I don't know anymore which Pope in the High Middle Ages it was who wrote that the Emperor was a German one and never a Roman), in the 15th century then the addition "of German Nation".
In this respect, e. g. the codex Sachsenspiegel, written in the first half of the 13th century by Eike von Repgow, tells that "the king of Bohemia has no vote [at the election of the Emperor], because he is no German": "De koning van Behemen, de net hevet nenen kore, umme dat he nicht dudisch n'is" (The ruling dynasty in Bohemia was in the times of Eike von Repgow a Czech one)

Again: I don't deny the supra-national connections, movements, unities of European history or all inner-national rictions and particularisms (which always were evident especially in Germany), also did not a political "nationalism" in thze modern sense exist, but the ethnogenesis of the German folk or nation from the East-Frankish Germanic tribes happened in the 10th and 11th century, and Germany as ethnic-national unity is not a "construct" or "invention" of later times.

Fade the Butcher:
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But the emergence of a German nation in an ethnic sense as continuation of thát Germanic, East-Frankish eastern half of the former Frankish empire was a process that happened around the year 1000 and is not just a "construct" of Bismarck or 19th century nationalists.
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How was the Holy Roman Empire ethnically German in anything but name? The Holy Roman Empire included all sorts of peoples. It was composed from the beginning to the end of many ethnicities who spoke all sorts of languages. Many of its most important nobles were not ethnic Germans. The Kings of Spain and Denmark held estates in the Empire by right of inheritance and were considered Imperial princes. What language was the Golden Bull of 1356 written in? The Imperial Constitution did not require the Emperor to be German either but he was required to be an Orthodox Christian.


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One will hardly be able to tell a date or point when exactly those in the former East-Frankish half speaking the Germanic folks-language (respectively the regional variants of it) are "less" in their ethnicity tribes (Saxons, Thuringians, Bavarians) anymore and "more" altogether Deutsche, or when they still were more tribes and not Deutsche (actually, deutsch means usually the folk-language, this deutsch language speaking different tribes.
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There was no deutsch identity prior to the 10th century actually.


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To regarfd the people and the land as deutsch was then the second step). It was a process taking place in the 10th and 11th centuryOtto III also complained, when the Romans revolted against him, that he left meos Saxones et cunctos Theotiscos ("my Saxons and all Germans").
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Its funny that you should mention Otto III of all people in a discussion about German nationalism and the German ethnic identity. You forgot to mention that he "left" the Saxons and Germans because he LOVED the Romans more than the Germans who were also a part of his Empire. Otto III was embarrased by his rustic Saxon roots and dreamed of restoring the Roman Empire. He was only half German at that. He had a Byzantine mother. I am sure Wehrmacht would be thrilled at the fact that Otto III invested Boleslaw I of Poland with the title Frater et Cooperator Imperii (Brother and Partner of the Empire) too.


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In the Annolied (11th century) one could speak without problem of deutsch language, people and land. For the 12th century speaking of the German country, people or individuals was natural. And so on... Walther von der Vogelweide also wrote on "German women from the Rhine up to Hungary".
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Once more, the Holy Roman Empire as a cosmopolitan entity that included all sorts of peoples.


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A certain feeling that the empire was a German, despite of its "Roman" demand (I don't know anymore which Pope in the High Middle Ages it was who wrote that the Emperor was a German one and never a Roman), in the 15th century then the addition "of German Nation".
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Why were Emperors crowned by the Pope?


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In this respect, e. g. the codex Sachsenspiegel, written in the first half of the 13th century by Eike von Repgow, tells that "the king of Bohemia has no vote [at the election of the Emperor], because he is no German": "De koning van Behemen, de net hevet nenen kore, umme dat he nicht dudisch n'is" (The ruling dynasty in Bohemia was in the times of Eike von Repgow a Czech one)
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What?? Notice the dates too.

"The seven electors were members of the Electoral College, the highest order of the Empire under the Emperor. The Golden Bull (1356) named them - the Archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier, the Count Palatine on the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg, and the King of Bohemia - and elevated them above other princes and estates of the Empire.

Brennan C. Pursell, The Winter King: Frederick V of the Palatinate and the Coming of the Thirty Years' War (Burlington: Ashgate, 2003), p.13


Nordgau:
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Originally posted by FadeTheButcher
How was the Holy Roman Empire ethnically German in anything but name? The Holy Roman Empire included all sorts of peoples. It was composed from the beginning to the end of many ethnicities who spoke all sorts of languages. Many of its most important nobles were not ethnic Germans. The Kings of Spain and Denmark held estates in the Empire by right of inheritance and were considered Imperial princes. What language was the Golden Bull of 1356 written in? The Imperial Constitution did not require the Emperor to be German either but he was required to be an Orthodox Christian.
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The Holy Roman Empire had ethnically a predominantly German coining in the way that - though there were other ethnicities - Germany, the ethnic German countries have always been the largest part and core of the Empire. The pushing back of the supra-national idea of an universal-Christian mission of the empire and also the defection of ethnic non-German territories in Northern Italy and thus the increase of the idea that the empire is from its character rather a German than a supra-national "Roman" was the reason why officially in the 15th century the addition "of German Nation" was added to the name of the Empire. Also the idea that the emperor had to be a German prevailed in early modern times.

The Golden bull was of course written as most texts in the Medieval in Latin. There are also Medieval texts in German, and later Imperial texts in Modern times are also in German.

You take the claim of the empire to be "Roman", universalist, the leading part of Christianity for 100% from its beginning to its end. This idea was strongest in the High Medieval and "died" more and more with early Modern times: the king of France neither the other European monarchies didn't accept that high claim of the "Roman" Emperor anymore, also the pope crowned the last emperor in the 16th century. Since then the emperor simply was elected by the German Kurfürsten.

You also exaggerate the multi-national character of the Empire and the Imperial aristocracy. The king of Denmark was an Imperial prince until to the end of the empire because of Holstein, the king of England also (but because the German prince of Hannover became kin of England) for a time - a few non-German princes among many Germans was the Imperial reality. In Spain also the Habsburgs became rulers - so it's rather the other way round that German dynasties of the Empire grew out and held estates in Spain. And the different Habsburg domains soon went different ways.

In the Middle Ages, the universalist claim was more Imperial reality (especially in certain times), but also here there always was a tension between the universalist-supranational Imperium Romanum and the reality of the Empire existing in many characteristics actually rather as a regnum Teutonicum (so called in the 10th century, before the universalist demands of the German kings becoming "Roman Emperors" really arose).


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[There was no deutsch identity prior to the 10th century actually.
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That was exactly what I wrote - though deutsch (in original forms: theodiscus etc.) as the term for the Germanic folk-language (variants) of the Germanic, East-Frankish tribes (East-Frankish for all, because they all got under Frankish rule, not because they all would have been Frankish as tribes) is in use since the 8th century.
The emerging of a deutsch as a term not only for language, but also for country and people and thus as folkish identity, is result of a process of the unification of the tribes and the realization of the common character on the one hand and tribal desintegration on the other hand already in the 10th, especially in the 11th century.


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Its funny that you should mention Otto III of all people in a discussion about German nationalism and the German ethnic identity. You forgot to mention that he "left" the Saxons and Germans because he LOVED the Romans more than the Germans who were also a part of his Empire. Otto III was embarrased by his rustic Saxon roots and dreamed of restoring the Roman Empire. He was only half German at that. He had a Byzantine mother. I am sure Wehrmacht would be thrilled at the fact that Otto III invested Boleslaw I of Poland with the title Frater et Cooperator Imperii (Brother and Partner of the Empire) too.
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There's nothing funny on that. I know who Otto III was and that he was that Emperor who dreamed the "Roman" dream strongest. That he at last spoke of "my Saxons and all Germans, my blood" which he left for the Roman idea only stresses the very real existence of ethnicities under a claimed Imperial roof (Germany was the far largest part and core, and the German kingdom and German princes the base of that Empire)


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Once more, the Holy Roman Empire as a cosmopolitan entity that included all sorts of peoples.

Why were Emperors crowned by the Pope?
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Once again, you shouldn't take the universalist, "cosmopolitan" "idea" of an Imperium Romanum (and especially not until the end in the early 19th century!) as 100%, but rather realize the tension between such a universalist demand and the reality of an empire being in its character predominantly a German one.

The empires were crownes by the Pope (only in the Middle Ages, not anymore in Modern times). What you don't mention is that at the beginning of the "Holy Roman" empire in the 10th century there was a German kingdom, and that later the first step before being crowned to Emperor was to become king in Germany (in the German core areas of the [i9Imperium Romanum[/i]).
The crown of the Emperor and the whole Imperial idea was something that had its base in the German kingdom. And don't forget the tension between these two sides of the character of the Empire that always was astrong live even in those times when the supra-national Christian Imperial idea was strongest. I mentioned that pope (11th or early 12th century, one Gregor, I think) who wrote sneering in the letter that that Roman Emperor never was one, but a German one; I try to look it up).


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What?? Notice the dates too.

"The seven electors were members of the Electoral College, the highest order of the Empire under the Emperor. The Golden Bull (1356) named them - the Archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier, the Count Palatine on the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg, and the King of Bohemia - and elevated them above other princes and estates of the Empire.

Brennan C. Pursell, The Winter King: Frederick V of the Palatinate and the Coming of the Thirty Years' War (Burlington: Ashgate, 2003), p.13
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I only made a slip when I wrote "election of the emperor": I mean of course the German king who then had to go to Rome to be crowned to the Roman emperor.
What you mention here is exactly the thing. The Golden Bull of 1356 is the document where the election of the German king is written down and prescribed in detail. But the election of the German king by the highest German princes itself isn't something that was created by the Golden Bull. It existed already before, though the exact details of it aren't as well known. And the Sachsenspiegel is one of the sources for the procedure of the election already in the early 13th century - and also for the differences of the election to later. The Bohemian vote is a part that wasn't originally, but could become a part of the election. That the king of Bohemia had no vote "because he is no German" - that is literally what the Sachsenspiegel tells for the 13th century. (In 1356, by the way, the ruling dynasty in Bohemia then were the Luxemburgers.)

Fade:
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The Holy Roman Empire had ethnically a predominantly German coining in the way that - though there were other ethnicities - Germany, the ethnic German countries have always been the largest part and core of the Empire.
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There were all sorts of ethnicities within the Holy Roman Empire. That is something that no one disputes. Its even true that the population of the Holy Roman Empire was predominantly ethnically German (whatever that means). The Emperor’s subjects, like the Emperor himself, spoke all sorts of languages from time to time - Latin, different dialects of German, Dutch, French, various forms of Italian, various Slavic languages et cetera. If we define a “German” as an individual of “German blood” or even more loosely, of “German culture,“ how many Emperors and nobles who ruled over Germans for centuries would be disqualified? After all, it was the blood of nobles that was important in this era, not be bloodlines of the volk. Charles IV was educated at the French court and had Slavic ancestors. Charles V had a Spanish mother and grew up in the Netherlands. Frederick III Habsburg was married to married to Eleanore of Portugal. What is in dispute, in this thread, is the amount of importance attached to such ethnic differences (again, what are these ethnicities anyway?). We are discussing nationalism, after all. You mentioned above that the Holy Roman Empire had a predominantly German coining. Are you referring to currency in this instance? There was no centralized German mint in the Holy Roman Empire that issued coins for the Empire as a whole. Different bishoprics, principalities, and kingdoms issued their own coins. You also referred to a “Germany.” Again, what would that be? There was no “Kingdom of Germany” in the Holy Roman Empire, even if we illogically associate kingdoms with nation-states for of this sake of argument. Germans (who themselves largely played no role in politics at the time) attached much more importance to their individual states and confessions until very recently (as I am sure you are aware of). All Germans in Europe were never united under the same government under the Holy Roman Empire which was never a nation-state in any sense of the word and should not be regarded as such.


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The pushing back of the supra-national idea of an universal-Christian mission of the empire
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Yes, Western Christendom imploded in the 16th century with the Reformation. These after all were the years in which Martin Luther was attacking the Pope as the antichrist. The Empire (containing some 2500 separate imperial estates) itself was in the process of disintegrating as well (as decentralized as it already was), hardly solidifying into any theoretical Deutscher Nation, although it may have been called that in name only. Charles V is one of the last people on Earth I can see appealing to the German masses. Lets not forget the Schmalkaldic War and the Peace of Augsburg which temporarily put an end to ‘Germans’ murdering each other over their religious differences which were self-evidently more important at the time than one‘s spoken language. There was also Thomas Muentzer and the Peasants’ War, class conflict, which led to the deaths of tens of thousands of German peasants. The Twelve Articles of the Peasants can be found here. Notice there is not a single reference to a ‘German’ ethnic identity.



The 16th century is one of the last centuries I would describe as an era of ‘German’ nationalism. Furthermore. . .

“In the seventeenth century the emperor maintained his medieval prestige as the protector of Christendom - although he lacked the resources to act as such - and as Reichslehnsherr, or feudal overlord of the Empire”

Brennan C. Pursell, The Winter King: Frederick V of the Palatinate and the Coming of the Thirty Years’ War (Burlington: Ashgate, 2003), pp.12-13

Even as late as the 17th century the Emperor still considered himself protector of Christendom and we all know what 17th century ‘Germany’ was notable for - the Protestant Union and the Thirty Years’ War which wiped out about a third of the population of ‘Germany’.


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. . .and also the defection of ethnic non-German territories in Northern Italy and thus the increase of the idea that the empire is from its character rather a German than a supra-national "Roman" was the reason why officially in the 15th century the addition "of German Nation" was added to the name of the Empire.
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The Empire was officially called the Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation beginning in the year 1512, in the sixteenth century, although there were earlier variants which you may be referring to. There is still confusion about this actually. Karl Zuemer has suggested that it may have originally referred simply to the German parts of the Empire. The final loss of the territories in Northern Italy were largely the result of Emperor Charles IV who had himself elected Holy Roman Emperor by promising concessions to Pope Clement VI. Prior Emperors had struggled to regain the territories and were prevented from doing so by its weakness, not any upswing of ethnic nationalism from any quarter. And while we are on the subject of Emperors, the father of Emperor Charles IV was John of Luxemburg, who was also King of Bohemia (as he was), and his mother was Elizabeth, who was the sister of Wenceslaus III Premyslid of Bohemia. Charles IV, who elevated Prague to an archbishopric and made it his imperial capital, was succeeded as Emperor by his son Wenceslaus IV, who was even more of a Bohemian rather than a German king. It should be noted that many territories in Northern Italy were later regained by Charles V in his wars with France.


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Also the idea that the emperor had to be a German prevailed in early modern times.
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There was no formal qualification requiring the emperor to be a German. Alfonso of Castile and Charles V were not Germans. The Emperor, however, was required to be a noble birth. That alone excluded the vast majority of Germans from ever reaching the imperial throne as opposed to foreigners of noble families. A Habsburg was always Emperor from 1453 to 1740 anyway.


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The Golden bull was of course written as most texts in the Medieval in Latin. There are also Medieval texts in German, and later Imperial texts in Modern times are also in German.
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Yes, German was largely the language of the laity at the time. This gradually changed after the invention of the printing press.


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You take the claim of the empire to be "Roman", universalist, the leading part of Christianity for 100% from its beginning to its end.
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Where did I claim that again?


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This idea was strongest in the High Medieval and "died" more and more with early Modern times: the king of France neither the other European monarchies didn't accept that high claim of the "Roman" Emperor anymore, also the pope crowned the last emperor in the 16th century.
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The term “Heiliges römisches Reich” continued to be used well into the modern era. Goethe used it, if I recall correctly. After the Peace of Westphalia, the Holy Roman Empire was largely an anachronism anyway. The Holy Roman Empire never developed into a German nation-state either. When it finally officially died in 1806, it was succeeded by several independent ‘German’ states. German nationalism is more of a product of Napoléon and the Wars of Liberation than anything else. There was no real Germany so to speak until 1871.


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Since then the emperor simply was elected by the German Kurfürsten.
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The majority of Germans could never possibly become emperor either.


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You also exaggerate the multi-national character of the Empire and the Imperial aristocracy.
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Frederick II, who called himself “lord of the world,” was more of a Sicilian than a German. He spoke Arabic, amongst other languages, and had himself a private harem that was guarded by Negro eunuchs. He was even buried in Palermo, which was his favourite city. His court was full of Levantine dancers and Jewish and Moslem intellectuals. He had an Arab chef and a menagerie of elephants, lions and camels. Frederick II was as cosmopolitan as they come.

“The Italian written language is attributable chiefly to Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, a German Emperor who preferred the South, and caused this language to be used officially and socially in the Empire.”

-- Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium

He may have been outshined in that respect though by Charles V. It was Charles V who once said "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." Although he grew up in the Netherlands and was the son of Joanna of Castile, French was his first language. Charles V was also the nephew of Catherine of Aragon, who was married to King Henry VIII of England. Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church was ultimately a product of the blood relationship of his wife to Charles V who put pressure on the Pope. You suggest above that I have “exaggerated” the multi-national character of the Empire (let it be noted that the ruling classes and the laity were two different things) which is ironic since even the laity itself was composed from time to time of Germans, Danes, Poles, Dutch, French, Italians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Poles and so forth. We noted already above that Otto III had a Byzantine mother. You go on to note that the Habsburgs were a German family, as if the Habsburgs, as well as other nobles, were not significantly inbred with other European nobles or were even culturally German in any sense of the word. To name just one example from the nobility, Frederick V, the elector Palatinate and King of Bohemia was married to Elizabeth Stuart, the only daughter of King James I of England. Ferdinand I, who was himself Holy Roman emperor, was raised in Spain. His wife Anna was the daughter of Uladislaus of Hungary and Bohemia who was himself the son of Casimir IV of Poland.


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The king of Denmark was an Imperial prince until to the end of the empire because of Holstein, the king of England also (but because the German prince of Hannover became kin of England) for a time - a few non-German princes among many Germans was the Imperial reality.
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What is a ‘German’ Nordgau? Is a ‘German’ an individual of German blood? A European of German culture? If that is the case, you can almost certainly have found ‘purer’ Germans amongst the volk (who were not of noble blood) than you ever could have found amongst the ruling classes and their emperors especially.


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In Spain also the Habsburgs became rulers - so it's rather the other way round that German dynasties of the Empire grew out and held estates in Spain. And the different Habsburg domains soon went different ways.
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Again, what is a ‘German’ dynasty Nordgau? Did the Habsburgs marry amongst ‘Germans’ or nobles? Charles V was a Habsburg. Would you consider Charles V here to be a German? Notice the blonde hair.




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In the Middle Ages, the universalist claim was more Imperial reality (especially in certain times)
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Frederick Barbarossa?


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. . .but also here there always was a tension between the universalist-supranational Imperium Romanum and the reality of the Empire existing in many characteristics actually rather as a regnum Teutonicum (so called in the 10th century, before the universalist demands of the German kings becoming "Roman Emperors" really arose).
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Otto the Great was crowned Emperor by the Pope if I recall. So was Otto III. When was the Empire called the regnum Teutonicum? Under Heinrich der Vogler?


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That was exactly what I wrote - though deutsch (in original forms: theodiscus etc.) as the term for the Germanic folk-language (variants) of the Germanic, East-Frankish tribes (East-Frankish for all, because they all got under Frankish rule, not because they all would have been Frankish as tribes) is in use since the 8th century.
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The Saxons considered themselves to be East Franks? The Thuringians? Did these people really see themselves as Franks or did the Franks see them as Franks?

“During his campaigns in Eastern Gaul, Caesar encountered a Celticised people called the Germani, who had reputedly come from regions East of the Rhine. Those regions were populated by peoples within which included Celts or mixed populations. For his own political reasons Caesar extended to all of them the name Germani, conjured up a link with the quite unrelated Cimbri and Teutones and bestowed on the East-Rhenish lands the name Germania. As an ethnic designation the Germani were an academic fiction. Since then derivatives of the term have been applied to the region and to the people inhabiting it, though at no time was the concept of a "people" more than an abstraction. The authors of Late Antiquity used such terms as Germani, gentes Germani or Germania inaccurately and out of a vague tradition rather than based on actual knowledge of population groups or geographic locations. It is unlikely that the polygot peoples living alone the Rhine ever realized their basic common ethnicity until they became used to being called Germani by Romans. Even today there is no uniform sense of identity among the German-speakers themselves nor is there one single designation for Germany and its population among its neighbours and others: Allemands (Fr.), Tedeschi (Ital.), Nemci (Czech and Slovak, etc), nemetek (Hung.) and Germanic variants of Deutsche (Germ.), Duitsers (Dutch), tyskerne (Danish), and so forth. The identifying term deutsch did not gain acceptance until the end of the 10th century.”

Herbert Schutz, The Germanic Realms in Pre-Carolingian Europe, 400-750, (New York, 2000), p.1


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The emerging of a deutsch as a term not only for language, but also for country and people and thus as folkish identity, is result of a process of the unification of the tribes and the realization of the common character on the one hand and tribal desintegration on the other hand already in the 10th, especially in the 11th century.
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Did they attach more importance to this “common” character than they did to their local state and confession?


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There's nothing funny on that. I know who Otto III was and that he was that Emperor who dreamed the "Roman" dream strongest.
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Most German historians consider Otto III to have been more of a Greek or a Latin than a German but we have already covered this above.


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That he at last spoke of "my Saxons and all Germans, my blood" which he left for the Roman idea only stresses the very real existence of ethnicities under a claimed Imperial roof (Germany was the far largest part and core, and the German kingdom and German princes the base of that Empire)
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I would say the fact that Otto III loved the Romans more than the Germans (he was only half German himself) and openly proclaimed as such before the Germans in his own army only goes to highlight the cosmopolitan nature of the Holy Roman Empire (we will use this term generally for the Empire). This was also because Otto III was an ascetic Christian and to him Rome was the city of the apostle St. Peter. Otto III also liked to make barefoot religious pilgrimages, which is most likely the reason he became sick so early in life and died. I have already noted above that much of the population of the Holy Roman Empire considered themselves to be Germans, amongst other things. That is not what is in dispute here. What is in dispute is the importance attached to such ethnic identities, as opposed to other identities, and as the case of Otto III demonstrates other things like one’s personal confession were of much more significance. I took my biography of Otto III back to the library the other day. Its unfortunate I do not have it at hand to quote what he said to the Romans in its entirety.


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Once again, you shouldn't take the universalist, "cosmopolitan" "idea" of an Imperium Romanum (and especially not until the end in the early 19th century!) as 100%, but rather realize the tension between such a universalist demand and the reality of an empire being in its character predominantly a German one.
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I would say there was much greater tension within the Holy Roman Empire between the various Protestant sects and Catholics, that it was “cosmopolitan“ in the beginning, especially under Otto III and Frederick II, and remained that way (through Charles V) pretty much up until the very end (although much less so as it weakened). I don’t really see the predominantly German ethnic makeup of the empire as being of much importance. By the 16th century it was an elective monarchy in name only. The history of the Holy Roman Empire is one of internal religious conflict and gradual decentralization. It never solidified into an ethnically based nation state like France or Spain, or even the Netherlands or England for that matter. The XIX century is rather anomalous in the context of German history. The petty-statists have a hard time seeing this though.


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The empires were crownes by the Pope (only in the Middle Ages, not anymore in Modern times).
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This was mostly because of the Reformation and the religious factions as well. If anything, the Holy Roman Empire became even more cosmopolitan in the 16th century than it was before.


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What you don't mention is that at the beginning of the "Holy Roman" empire in the 10th century there was a German kingdom, and that later the first step before being crowned to Emperor was to become king in Germany (in the German core areas of the Imperium Romanum).
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Again, one had be of noble blood to become Emperor so the purity of one‘s Germanic bloodlines was always largely irrelevant. One did not however have to be ethnically German to become Emperor either. Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor. One had to be a Christian however and in the Medieval years the Papacy often wielded decisive power. Think of Henry IV crossing the Alps, standing humble and barefoot in the snow at Canossa begging for the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII. The common people had nothing whatsoever to do with politics either.


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The crown of the Emperor and the whole Imperial idea was something that had its base in the German kingdom. And don't forget the tension between these two sides of the character of the Empire that always was astrong live even in those times when the supra-national Christian Imperial idea was strongest. I mentioned that pope (11th or early 12th century, one Gregor, I think) who wrote sneering in the letter that that Roman Emperor never was one, but a German one; I try to look it up).
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I wouldn’t describe Frederick II or Charles V as Germans. Would you? As for the crown of the Emperor and the entire imperial idea, that traces back to Charlemagne, who is beyond the scope of this conversation but pertinent in this respect nonetheless. If anything, the real tension in the Empire was between the princes and the Emperor himself, or between Catholics and Protestants, not between Germans as a unified volk and Catholicism. Many Germans to this day are Catholics. I think you are referring to Voltaire who said the Heiliges Römisches Reich was a "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire". It was more a decentralized cosmopolitan confederation than anything else in my view.


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I only made a slip when I wrote "election of the emperor": I mean of course the German king who then had to go to Rome to be crowned to the Roman emperor.
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Was the King of Bohemia a member of the electoral college?


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What you mention here is exactly the thing. The Golden Bull of 1356 is the document where the election of the German king is written down and prescribed in detail. But the election of the German king by the highest German princes itself isn't something that was created by the Golden Bull. It existed already before, though the exact details of it aren't as well known.
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Yes, it is true that Emperors were elected before the Golden Bull but the Golden Bull is pertinent to this conversation.


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And the Sachsenspiegel is one of the sources for the procedure of the election already in the early 13th century - and also for the differences of the election to later. The Bohemian vote is a part that wasn't originally, but could become a part of the election. That the king of Bohemia had no vote "because he is no German" - that is literally what the Sachsenspiegel tells for the 13th century. (In 1356, by the way, the ruling dynasty in Bohemia then were the Luxemburgers.)
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The King of Bohemia was often the Holy Roman Emperor. By the way, provide a link to an English translation of the Sachsenspiegal. I would like to read it for myself.

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So contrary to your view, kinship did play a major role in social identity in the Middle Ages, and the idea of such goes back to at least the year 900, well before the modern age. As Smith argues, there are significant differences between modern nations and nationalism and their medieval counter-parts, but modern nations and nationalism are built on these Medieval concepts of kinship and community.
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I am not going to comment on Smith's book until I have read it for myself. I plan on going to the library this afternoon and picking it up for myself.


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Claiming that modern-day Germany has a direct link to the Holy Roman Empire maybe simplistic, but to claim theres no link between the two is equally simplistic and wrong; for indeed there are links between modern Germans and the inhabitnants of the Holy Roman Empire: both in terms of descent and cultural heritage.
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Perhaps I should make myself clearer, for you seem to be a little confused here. I have not claimed that there was no link between the Holy Roman Empire and modern day Germans. I have not even claimed that the Holy Roman Empire was not predominantly German, ethnically speaking. I have claimed, however, that the Holy Roman Empire was never a nation-state in any sense of the word, that it was by and large a cosmopolitan confederation ruled by men of largely mixed bloodlines. Furthermore, I have claimed that one's 'language' or 'culture' was in no sense as important in those years as it has been since the rise of the bourgeoisie as a class. Nationalism, as we know it in the West, is a bourgeoisie phenomena of the modern age. The common people had nothing whatsoever to do with politics until quite recently. These people were largely concerned with their daily life of toil until technological progress lightened their workload to the point where they concerned themselves with such matters.

Nordgau
Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Nordgau:
I'll just make some short comments as I have not much time now and will go into detail later.


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Originally posted by FadeTheButcher
There were all sorts of ethnicities within the Holy Roman Empire. That is something that no one disputes. Its even true that the population of the Holy Roman Empire was predominantly ethnically German (whatever that means). The Emperor’s subjects, like the Emperor himself, spoke all sorts of languages from time to time - Latin, different dialects of German, Dutch, French, various forms of Italian, various Slavic languages et cetera. If we define a “German” as an individual of “German blood” or even more loosely, of “German culture,“ how many Emperors and nobles who ruled over Germans for centuries would be disqualified? After all, it was the blood of nobles that was important in this era, not be bloodlines of the volk. Charles IV was educated at the French court and had Slavic ancestors. Charles V had a Spanish mother and grew up in the Netherlands. Frederick III Habsburg was married to married to Eleanore of Portugal. What is in dispute, in this thread, is the amount of importance attached to such ethnic differences (again, what are these ethnicities anyway?). We are discussing nationalism, after all.
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Actually, only very few Emperors would be non-German when considering factors of the origin of a dynasty, language, culture, education and estates are considered all together. Indeed, the nobles, especially when time went one when were "mixed" from their direct "national" origin (and partly such "mixture" is lifted then again when one such "French" mother could have e. g. again one parent from a German house - but this is not the question here).
Charles IV knew five languages: German, French, Latin, Czech, Italian; his ancestrial lines taken together, he was partly Czech, though predominantly German. His reign was indeed a time where this multi-ethnic charcter of the Empire and thus the Imperial authorities was tried to be stressed more theoretically, though could not be really prevailed. After his reign it was out ofquestion that the Imperial authorities should use other languages than German and Latin. Charles V, another one of the rare ones who could be called from culture and education - but not from their houses - rather non-German, as his mother tongue was French, stressed for his candidacy his alleged "Germanness" very much. I'll post more details to this later.


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You mentioned above that the Holy Roman Empire had a predominantly German coining. Are you referring to currency in this instance? There was no centralized German mint in the Holy Roman Empire that issued coins for the Empire as a whole. Different bishoprics, principalities, and kingdoms issued their own coins.
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No, I meant "coining" just figuratively, like stamp, in the sense of "character" of the Reich.


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You also referred to a “Germany.” Again, what would that be? There was no “Kingdom of Germany” in the Holy Roman Empire, even if we illogically associate kingdoms with nation-states for of this sake of argument. Germans (who themselves largely played no role in politics at the time) attached much more importance to their individual states and confessions until very recently (as I am sure you are aware) of).
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That is absolutely wrong. There was a kingdom of Germany within the Holy Roman Empire, and this kingdom which was a result of the mergering of the tribal duchies after the division of the Frankish empire, the East-Frankish theodisk/diutsch speaking duchies, which regarded themselves more and more as unity in folkish respects. Only the elected German king and no one else was the one who could then become "Roman" emperor.
At the beginning of the German kingdom and Imperium were the more "natural" tribal duchies (which as said, united to the regnum Teutonicorum). The splintering into very little states then was a process which came with the time.
Despite all political particularism and religious frictions the development of a national feeling of the ethnic Germans themselves and as regarding themselves as one "nation" is a process which takes place in late Middle Ages and early Modern times parallel to the same developments e. g. in France.
The difference is indeed that France and England become nation-states while Germany splintered even more in these times and stayed in its outside cover a "Holy empire"


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All Germans in Europe were never united under the same government under the Holy Roman Empire which was never a nation-state in any sense of the word and should not be regarded as such.
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Well in the first centuries they were if one wants to regard the kingdom and emperorship of the first kings and emperors, despite the duchies, as a "government". Later, most Germans were at least within the empire, though within this empire there were indeed many little governments. I don't regard the empire as nation-state, I just say that it had as supra-state empire mainly a German character in several respects.


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Yes, Western Christendom imploded in the 16th century with the Reformation. These after all were the years in which Martin Luther was attacking the Pope as the antichrist. The Empire (containing some 2500 separate imperial estates) itself was in the process of disintegrating as well (as decentralized as it already was), hardly solidifying into any theoretical Deutscher Nation, although it may have been called that in name only. Charles V is one of the last people on Earth I can see appealing to the German masses. Lets not forget the Schmalkaldic War and the Peace of Augsburg which temporarily put an end to ‘Germans’ murdering each other over their religious differences which were self-evidently more important at the time than one‘s spoken language. There was also Thomas Muentzer and the Peasants’ War, class conflict, which led to the deaths of tens of thousands of German peasants. The Twelve Articles of the Peasants can be found here. Notice there is not a single reference to a ‘German’ ethnic identity.
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I'll post some details later which show that especially in these times and under Charles V the German character of the Empire got new, official pushes. What actually was "Roman" on this empire? (Rome wasn't even ever part of it.) The empire was charcterized in its last times by Voltaire as "neither holy, nor Roman, nor empire". That exactly comes closer to reality.
The German Nation, Germany, the German princes and the German kingdom was indeed in the early as well in later times the fundament of the empire, even then when in the empire's high times the universal character of Empire ansd Emperor was just more then well-sounding, theoretical words.
Of course Charles V or certain other emperors didn't have "appeal to the German masses" whatever you mean with this - as little as the kings in nation-states had in those times.




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The 16th century is one of the last centuries I would describe as an era of ‘German’ nationalism. Furthermore. . .

“In the seventeenth century the emperor maintained his medieval prestige as the protector of Christendom - although he lacked the resources to act as such - and as Reichslehnsherr, or feudal overlord of the Empire”

Brennan C. Pursell, The Winter King: Frederick V of the Palatinate and the Coming of the Thirty Years’ War (Burlington: Ashgate, 2003), pp.12-13
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The 16th century was a century where early modern time German nationalism, German national feeling was in rise: through the works of German humanists, through cultural developments in this time and a new feeling of higher classes, and the decline of Medieval thinking.

Charles was very "medieval" in his thinking of stressing of the emperor as real universal ruler of Christianity. But especially he had to made some concessions to early German "nationalism" for being elected to king and emperor. And he wasn't very successful in his medieval imperial ideas and couldn't stop the developments of the era which took other directions.
And you may look to the political realities what the French king and the other rulers of Europe thought in this time about such an Imperial concept where the other kings of Europe are just little "reguli" under the emperor, as chancellor R. v. Dassel characterized the theoretical claim of the emperors in times long ago before.


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Even as late as the 17th century the Emperor still considered himself protector of Christendom and we all know what 17th century ‘Germany’ was notable for - the Protestant Union and the Thirty Years’ War which wiped out about a third of the population of ‘Germany’.
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You needn't write Germany her in quotation marks, as Deutschland/Teutschland as term for the cultural, language and folkish/ethnic /national (or however you want to call it) German countries, the large core of the Reich, was absolutely normal in use of this time, and people regarded themselves as Teutsche/Deutsche.
That doesn't deny the religious/political wars within Germany.You wouldn't write "Spain" in quotation marks or deny somehow the exist of a Spanish nation because of civil wars within the country in the 20th century, or take any other nation, would you?

Comments to the other later, I must go now.


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posted: 01-12-2004 01:30 PM

FadeTheButcher:

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Actually, only very few Emperors would be non-German when considering factors of the origin of a dynasty, language, culture, education and estates are considered all together.
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This turns on the question: What is German? I asked you to give me a definition above. Now I notice you have ‘Ausländer raus!’ as your location. Perhaps you can elaborate on that for us.


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Indeed, the nobles, especially when time went one when were “mixed” from their direct "national" origin (and partly such "mixture" is lifted then again when one such "French" mother could have e. g. again one parent from a German house - but this is not the question here).
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How does the mixture go away Nordgau? Once more, in those times it was the blood of nobles not the volk that mattered. A German peasant and a Czech peasant were simply peasants at the time, or Protestants or Catholics or what not. The purest ‘Germans’ could be found amongst the commoners who were simply ruled and had nothing to do with politics.


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Charles IV knew five languages: German, French, Latin, Czech, Italian; his ancestrial lines taken together, he was partly Czech, though predominantly German.
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Again, we have the same problem here: What is German? I already noted above that Charles V spoke French (his sister married the King of France) as his first language (amongst others). He did not socially identify himself as a German either. In fact, he was rarely in ‘Germany’ personally throughout his life. He also had a Spanish mother (Juana, daughter of Isabella of Castile). I would say ‘European’ or ‘Habsburg’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ or especially ‘Catholic’ more accurately describes Charles V than ‘German’.


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His reign was indeed a time where this multi-ethnic charcter of the Empire and thus the Imperial authorities was tried to be stressed more theoretically, though could not be really prevailed
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You said above that I exaggerated the multiethnic character of the Empire. Well, which is it? Charles V ruled over an Empire that stretched from Austria to Peru. Also, at this time, it was overwhelmingly religious differences that were the problem for Charles V.


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After his reign it was out ofquestion that the Imperial authorities should use other languages than German and Latin. Charles V, another one of the rare ones who could be called from culture and education - but not from their houses - rather non-German, as his mother tongue was French, stressed for his candidacy his alleged "Germanness" very much. I'll post more details to this later.
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Emperors told all sorts of lies in order to help arrange their elections. Charles IV was even willing to abandon the imperial claim to the provinces in Northern Italy. Martin Luther was more of a German than Charles V ever was. Charles V imposed the imperial ban on him too just as he crushed the peasants in the Peasants’ War.


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No, I meant "coining" just figuratively, like stamp, in the sense of "character" of the Reich.
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I would say that the Holy Roman Empire had a predominantly Christian coining myself. The image of Henry IV at Canossa, barefoot in the snow begging for the forgiveness of the Pope comes to mind. Otto III, who we discussed above, was such an ascetic Christian who liked to walk around barefoot. It is quite obvious to me that in those years it was more important to be a ‘Christian’ or a ‘noble’ than to be a German. Even Luther was first and foremost a Christian himself.


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Only the elected German king and no one else was the one who could then become "Roman" emperor.
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You forgot to mention that this “German king” had to be of noble blood, which excluded the overwhelming vast majority of those who might have thought of themselves as ‘Germans’ at the time from ever becoming Emperor. Emperors were quite often the children of foreigners, such as Otto III who had a Byzantine mother who largely ruled as regent herself in his youth.


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That is absolutely wrong. There was a kingdom of Germany within the Holy Roman Empire, and this kingdom which was a result of the mergering of the tribal duchies after the division of the Frankish empire, the East-Frankish theodisk/diutsch speaking duchies, which regarded themselves more and more as unity in folkish respects.
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That was inaccurate, however it is irrelevant for the German serfs had nothing to do with politics in that era anyway.


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At the beginning of the German kingdom and Imperium were the more "natural" tribal duchies (which as said, united to the regnum Teutonicorum). The splintering into very little states then was a process which came with the time.
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We seem to have a paradox here then don’t we. You suggested before that there was a rising tide of German nationalism, “parallel” to that in France which became a nation-state, yet here you suggest ‘Germany’ was fragmenting all the while. Hmm. . . .


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Despite all political particularism and religious frictions the development of a national feeling of the ethnic Germans themselves and as regarding themselves as one "nation" is a process which takes place in late Middle Ages and early Modern times parallel to the same developments e. g. in France.
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LOL so the Protestant sects and the Catholics felt themselves to be one nation above their religious identities and that is why we had the Thirty Years’ War which wiped out a third of Germany’s population?


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The difference is indeed that France and England become nation-states while Germany splintered even more in these times and stayed in its outside cover a "Holy empire"
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Well then, I suppose France and England were moving in the parallel opposite direction then as opposed to ‘Germany’ which is precisely why I am using quotation marks. Even when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, it was not succeeded by a united Germany. Why? What did Bismarck think of the Austrians Nordgau?


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Well in the first centuries they were if one wants to regard the kingdom and emperorship of the first kings and emperors, despite the duchies, as a "government". Later, most Germans were at least within the empire, though within this empire there were indeed many little governments. I don't regard the empire as nation-state, I just say that it had as supra-state empire mainly a German character in several respects.
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Once more, we have the paradox. If the HRE was predominantly ‘German’ in identity and German nationalism increased as the years went by, then why did it gradually become more decentralized and fragmented as the years went by as opposed to states like Spain, England, and France?


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I'll post some details later which show that especially in these times and under Charles V the German character of the Empire got new, official pushes.
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. . . Off the deep end I suppose.


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What actually was "Roman" on this empire? (Rome wasn't even ever part of it.)
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Were the Emperors crowned in ‘Berlin’ prior to the 16th Century?


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The empire was charcterized in its last times by Voltaire as "neither holy, nor Roman, nor empire". That exactly comes closer to reality.
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Cosmopolitan confederation sounds more accurate to me.


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The German Nation, Germany, the German princes and the German kingdom was indeed in the early as well in later times the fundament of the empire, even then when in the empire's high times the universal character of Empire ansd Emperor was just more then well-sounding, theoretical words. Of course Charles V or certain other emperors didn't have "appeal to the German masses" whatever you mean with this - as little as the kings in nation-states had in those times.
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I think you are exaggerating the “German” character of the HRE myself. You can talk all you want to about how “German” it was in name, but in reality there were men like Otto III, Frederick II, Wenceslaus IV, and Charles V who were anything but German ruling over Germans who had nothing to do with their government. Imagine how humiliating it must have been to see someone like Henry IV down on a humble knee before the Pope. No German nationalist would have ever done such a thing.


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The 16th century was a century where early modern time German nationalism, German national feeling was in rise: through the works of German humanists, through cultural developments in this time and a new feeling of higher classes, and the decline of Medieval thinking.
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The Schmalkaldic League?


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Charles was very "medieval" in his thinking of stressing of the emperor as real universal ruler of Christianity. But especially he had to made some concessions to early German "nationalism" for being elected to king and emperor. And he wasn't very successful in his medieval imperial ideas and couldn't stop the developments of the era which took other directions.
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What were the developments of this era Nordgau? Tell us about the Peasants’ War and the Wars of Religion.


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And you may look to the political realities what the French king and the other rulers of Europe thought in this time about such an Imperial concept where the other kings of Europe are just little "reguli" under the emperor, as chancellor R. v. Dassel characterized the theoretical claim of the emperors in times long ago before.
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France is beyond the scope of this conversation so I will try to stay on topic here.


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You needn't write Germany her in quotation marks, as Deutschland/Teutschland as term for the cultural, language and folkish/ethnic /national (or however you want to call it) German countries, the large core of the Reich, was absolutely normal in use of this time, and people regarded themselves as Teutsche/Deutsche.
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The reason that I am using ‘Germany’ in quotation marks is because the common people at the time had all sorts of identities, even those which believe it or not mattered more to them than the language they spoke. Quite often they hated their ‘German’ rulers (if you would call them German) and rose against them, usually for class reasons. Most of the volk at the time were illiterate and did not have the time regardless to concern themselves about any ‘culture’ whatsoever.


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That doesn't deny the religious/political wars within Germany.
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It seems to me that you are exaggerated the “German” character of the Holy Roman Empire and diminishing the importance of other more pertinent identities such as being of noble birth as opposed to being a peasant or being a Catholic as opposed to a Calvinist and so forth.


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You wouldn't write "Spain" in quotation marks or deny somehow the exist of a Spanish nation because of civil wars within the country in the 20th century, or take any other nation, would you?
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First, it is a false analogy to compare a civil war within the Spanish nation-state in the twentieth century, for the control of that nation state, to bitter religious wars in 17th century Holy Roman Empire which was never a nation-state. There was no German nation-state until 1871. Other countries such as Britain, France, and Spain solidified much faster because they were much more religiously homogenous and had large overseas empires.


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Nordgau:

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Originally posted by FadeTheButcher

The Empire was officially called the Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation beginning in the year 1512, in the sixteenth century, although there were earlier variants which you may be referring to. There is still confusion about this actually. Karl Zuemer has suggested that it may have originally referred simply to the German parts of the Empire. The final loss of the territories in Northern Italy were largely the result of Emperor Charles IV who had himself elected Holy Roman Emperor by promising concessions to Pope Clement VI. Prior Emperors had struggled to regain the territories and were prevented from doing so by its weakness, not any upswing of ethnic nationalism from any quarter. And while we are on the subject of Emperors, the father of Emperor Charles IV was John of Luxemburg, who was also King of Bohemia (as he was), and his mother was Elizabeth, who was the sister of Wenceslaus III Premyslid of Bohemia. Charles IV, who elevated Prague to an archbishopric and made it his imperial capital, was succeeded as Emperor by his son Wenceslaus IV, who was even more of a Bohemian rather than a German king. It should be noted that many territories in Northern Italy were later regained by Charles V in his wars with France.
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I didn't say that the territorial losses of the empire in this time wern't due to the weakness of the empire respectively the Emperor. What was their result as in fact was the promotion of the tendency of the equalization of the empire respectively its territory with Germany respectively German territories - a tendency which was existing anyway with the rising of late Medieval and early modern national consciousness. The break-off of these territories wasn't due to a willing attempt of the Reich to a more exact equalization of its territory with Germany, but as it was done and happened it was a factor towards such an equalization.

Don't take "Bohemia" as "non-German". In Bohemia there were two ethnic groups, two nations: Germans and Czechs. The Germans were mainly in the margin areas (later called altogether with the term Sudetenland), in a number ofbig and small language islands and as urban population in the cities (the cities in Bohemia are with a few exeptions all German foundations). Prague had a German majority until to the 1860s.
The Premyslids can be called, though a Czech house, for the end of the 13th and the 14th cantury a culturally partly Germanized dynasty, due to the German predominancein towns in Bohemia. Peter of Zittau reports that at the royal Bohemian court German was predominant (14th century). I also remember that Premyslid king Wacislaus (either the last or the one before last Premyslid king; who had to do with the German king Adolf in the 1290s) with whom I had to do in a work for university, who wrote German poems and songs which have linguistic importance for Medieval German language.
The fact that Charles cared especially for his Bohemian kingdom and hardly for the German kingdom and resultng emperorship shows rather the fading of the Imperial idea in late Middle Ages and the cultivation of house power policy; under the Habsburgers later Vienna was a sort of "capital" of the Reich. (Though until to the end Frankfurt stayed election and Aachen crowning city of the king and later also the emperor.)
Charles was in fact the founder of the German university in Prague which was opened for Czechs not until later. Also the inscriptions at the Karlsbrücke (Charles Bridge) in Prague are in German. And so on, and so on. You will hardly be able to prove non-Germanness with Imperial Medieval Prague of the Luxemburgers.. It is not exactly sure when he learned German: two sources, Twinger von Königshofen (German) and the "Short sample from Bohemian chronicles" (Czech) name at least German as his mother language.Charles himself wrote in his autobiography that he had to learn Czech as a juvenile; German, it is to assume, hardly later, rather before. In the time of Charles IV in connection the language fight was in full swing in Bohemia; thus Charles gave as concession in this, in Bohemia heavily argued question the advice to the high principals of the empire that may not only use German and Latin, but may also get some knowledge of Slavic (=Czech) and Italian (due to the spreading of humanist ideas).
From such attempts nothing was left under his successor. Under Charles half of the Imperial documents were written in German. Under Wenceslaus German gor predominant as documentary language of the Reich.


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There was no formal qualification requiring the emperor to be a German. Alfonso of Castile and Charles IV were not Germans. The Emperor, however, was required to be a noble birth. That alone excluded the vast majority of Germans from ever reaching the imperial throne as opposed to foreigners of noble families. A Habsburg was always Emperor from 1453 to 1740 anyway.
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First: in the High Medieval there was no formal qualification for theelection of the German king who then could became emperor to be ethnic German, but in late Medieval and early modern times this idea prevailed (I'll write later details). Nevertheless, there were only two real non-Germans who became king before this time.

Second: This were the mentioned Alfonso of Castile and his opponent Richard of Cornwall. Note: They were elected to German king[/ib], but none of them became emperor. First, Richard of Cornwall was elected by a part of the electoral collegue, then parallel to him Alfonso. This fuss was due to tactical prevaricating of the Imperial princes who thought above all already of their own power. I don't knowthe exact details and reasons. Alfonso didn't reign in fact and died after a few years. I don't knowif this contrary king (Gegenkönig) to Cornwallis even came to Germany. Cornwallis came to Germany all in all only four times for very short periods in his 10-20 years, the first one for his coronation in Aachen.
The kingdom of Cornwallis was so unreal that this period is known in German historiography as Interregnum.

Third: Charles IV was from a German line and got, though it was probably not his original mother language, comparetively early usewd to the German language. Do you have the assumption that the country Luxemburg and the house Luxemburg is respectively was not German? The today state of Luxemburg (the old, correct name is Lützelburg; Luxemb[o]urg is a comparetively new Frenchization of the name) has French as administration language, but is fully an ethnic German territory. The original dialect of its today's population, the so-called Letzebuergsch which is promoted by the government as language, is nothing but the Mosel-Frankish dialect which is also spoken in the bordering areas of Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland. Actually, though not German, but only French and "Letzebuergsch" are official languages there, 75% of the newspapers are printed in High German, as the actual use of German as written and spoken language is similar to that of the other ethnic Germans in Germany.
With it ataying political independt as own state in the 19th century it can be compared with Austria or Liechtenstein, though to acertain degree "Frenchisized" on the upper stratum of state and society.



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Yes, German was largely the language of the laity at the time. This gradually changed after the invention of the printing press.
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LOL, rather the other way round. Through the invention of the printing press the standardization of a German standard language was fostered, and German documents, writings etc. were printed since then more than even before, especially Imperial.


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Where did I claim that again?
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E. g. by speaking of a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual empire of Christianity in modern times while in reality the character of German as Imperial language and thus the German character of the empire was established officially by law in modern times.
By ignoring e. g. the simple fact that the one and only who could become "Roman" emperor was the German king, elected through the old Germanic, Frankish, German idea of king election; that the main territorial substance as well as ruling substance were Germany and German rulers; and the translatio imperii was given to the Germans and the German king with their importance and his power; - and not just to somebody in a "cosmopolitan" empire.




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The term “Heiliges römisches Reich” continued to be used well into the modern era. Goethe used it, if I recall correctly. After the Peace of Westphalia, the Holy Roman Empire was largely an anachronism anyway. The Holy Roman Empire never developed into a German nation-state either. When it finally officially died in 1806, it was succeeded by several independent ‘German’ states. German nationalism is more of a product of Napoléon and the Wars of Liberation than anything else. There was no real Germany so to speak until 1871.
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I second that there was no German nation-state. But the ethnic development of Germans and the country on which this ethnicity lived was very real and parallel to the development of a French etc. nation. The territory which is settled bythis ethnicity can be called with full right "Germany"; all states which are on this territory, German states.
The term Holy Roman empire was an anachronism also early; and it was at least to a certain degree an unreal term in those days when the universal, Christian empire idea was hold higher, as the very real power which was the base of this "Roman" empire was the Rex Teutonicorum; and the regnum Teutonicorum with the old electoral kingdom was the main substance of the "Roman" empire.


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The majority of Germans could never possibly become emperor either.
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I didn't say that they could. I know what aristocracy, monarchy, nobility was in European history.


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Frederick II, who called himself “lord of the world,” was more of a Sicilian than a German. He spoke Arabic, amongst other languages, and had himself a private harem that was guarded by Negro eunuchs. He was even buried in Palermo, which was his favourite city. His court was full of Levantine dancers and Jewish and Moslem intellectuals. He had an Arab chef and a menagerie of elephants, lions and camels. Frederick II was as cosmopolitan as they come. [/b9
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“The Italian written language is attributable chiefly to Frederick II of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, a German Emperor who preferred the South, and caused this language to be used officially and socially in the Empire.”

-- Francis Parker Yockey, Imperium

If one passes over the Interregnum with the kings Alfonso and Cornwallis, Frederick II is, together with Charles V, the only one who can only be called in qualifying sense a German (from origin, but not from education etc.) As said, Charles later had to stress his Germanness as the idea prevailed that the original usage of German had to be part ofthe German character of the emperor. In the Staufer era this wasn't, and exactly here the theoretical universal idea of the Empire had its climax. Though also at the climax of Imperial glory most time the character in fact of the empire was German, and Frederick II with mostly not even being in Germany and in his charcter only partly German the great exception. Frederick I Barbarossa is known to have hold high the German language and to communicate in other languages, though he had knowledge of them, only with an interpreter. Under Frederick II in Germany in 1235 the great Imperial Peace of Mainz was proclaimed in German. I know that Frederick used Italian in his Sicilian (from Normannic) empire in the south. I don't know exactly the details on that what Yockey writes, but the use of Italian, I guess, is mainly given for Sicily, not for the correspondance with the Imperial ranks and princes.


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He may have been outshined in that respect though by Charles V. It was Charles V who once said "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse." Although he grew up in the Netherlands and was the son of Joanna of Castile, French was his first language. Charles V was also the nephew of Catherine of Aragon, who was married to King Henry VIII of England. Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church was ultimately a product of the blood relationship of his wife to Charles V who put pressure on the Pope.
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Yeah, I know that he as the second great example was not original German speaker, but in his times he had to pretend to be good in German and German in all his character, and he then had to establish German as official Imperial language for being elected.


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You suggest above that I have “exaggerated” the multi-national character of the Empire (let it be noted that the ruling classes and the laity were two different things) which is ironic since even the laity itself was composed from time to time of Germans, Danes, Poles, Dutch, French, Italians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Poles and so forth. We noted already above that Otto III had a Byzantine mother. You go on to note that the Habsburgs were a German family, as if the Habsburgs, as well as other nobles, were not significantly inbred with other European nobles or were even culturally German in any sense of the word. To name just one example from the nobility, Frederick V, the elector Palatinate and King of Bohemia was married to Elizabeth Stuart, the only daughter of King James I of England. Ferdinand I, who was himself Holy Roman emperor, was raised in Spain. His wife Anna was the daughter of Uladislaus of Hungary and Bohemia who was himself the son of Casimir IV of Poland.
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Slovaks... who actually? Actually, even in the times when the empire was composed of large non-German territories (as a fact, only a broad, Francophone western margin, Northern Italy and the Czechs in inner Bohemia were her of importance), the German parts were widely before all the main substance.
With the same "internationality" ofthe ancestry of the nobility you could also prove the international, cosmopolitan character of the nation-state kingdoms of western Eurpe, as for there nobility the same goes. So if there are and never were German nobles, then there also néver were English, French or any other ones.
As fully "German" noble can be regarded one with partly German noble ancestry, holding the territory of his ancestors in Germany and being in education, language, culture German. This goes mainly all for the German nobles being the fundament of the empire. And in late Medieval andearly modern times the idea prevailed that only a German (with: German speaking) may become emperor.


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What is a ‘German’ Nordgau? Is a ‘German’ an individual of German blood? A European of German culture? If that is the case, you can almost certainly have found ‘purer’ Germans amongst the volk (who were not of noble blood) than you ever could have found amongst the ruling classes and their emperors especially.
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Again, what is a ‘German’ dynasty Nordgau? Did the Habsburgs marry amongst ‘Germans’ or nobles? Charles V was a Habsburg. Would you consider Charles V here to be a German? Notice the blonde hair.



Frederick Barbarossa? [/QUOTE]

Come on, don't be childish. I gave above a serious try how far one can regard a noble as German. You also must admit that if you take your own words serious and don't speak of a German aristocracy because of the German nobles partly not being originally German, you couldn't call all these non-German parts and persons French, Hungarians etc., becauseexactly the same "problem" applies for their ancestry and identity
Speaking only of an absolute non-national aristocracy of Europe that didn't identify, was identified and connected with those nations in which they acted and lived historically, has nothing to do with reality, esoecially since the rising of the nation idea (late Middle Ages, early modern times).
I don't deny the cosmopolitanism of European nobility and the diversity in the dynastic origins, but setting this absolute and denying the national character of nobles as nobles of their certain people, country which they had and where they were raised etc. denies historical reality. Most of the smaller German princes were mainly always interbreeded with other German princes again, the "foreign" element of most ofthe German nobility was only to a certain degree and as a relative factor "non-German".
Wilhelm II was a German and a Kaiser of his people, his country, no matter if he had so and so much English ancestry. And the English king was an English, may his ancestors been from Hannover or not. Of course this plays for their identity a role, for their tradition and their feelings, but you can't break out with this character of the European nobility their bindings to their estates and nations where they were from.

Nobody of these "foreign" dynasties who were intermerged with Germans or integrated into Germany were Negroes, Mestizos, or Mongolids. It is not a problem if a German no ble who has territory in Ger,many, was educated in Germany and acted here, has a French or Italian ancestor.
In fact in the countries where through the Völkerwanderung Germanic kingdoms were founded (Italy, France etc.) it is likely to assume that they were again at least in great parts of Germanic origin.



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Otto the Great was crowned Emperor by the Pope if I recall. So was Otto III. When was the Empire called the regnum Teutonicum? Under Heinrich der Vogler?
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Heinrich der Vogler as well as the two others were German kings. The term German realm, German king also is used since this time. Again: The German princes (later: the electoral collegue) elected the German king, and this German king and no one else then had the right to be crowned to emperor later. (But not all kings became emperors.)




[B]The Saxons considered themselves to be East Franks? The Thuringians? Did these people really see themselves as Franks or did the Franks see them as Franks?

Actually, they were incorporated into the Frankish empire and then called Franks (respectively ater the division then East-Franks) because theywere under Frankish rule. (East-) "Frankish" as term for all Germanic speaking duchies o the eastern half of the empire gives rather the fact that they all were brought under Frankish rule. I would say that they saw themselves in this sense as "Franks" that they all were tribes within the original Frankish rule, but it wouldn't be correct to say that "Frankish" reallybecame their identity and that the tribal identity as Frisians, Bavarians, Saxons etc. was pushed to the side by such a Frankishness. The merger of the tribes to a common identity was just through "deutsch" which made a career as term of the common tongue (though in regional variants) to the meaning of "the united states" became at last an ethnic term for people and country as well as for the language. The common (East-)Frankish identity did not apply in the same way as identity as the development of the "deutsch" identity.


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“During his campaigns in Eastern Gaul, Caesar encountered a Celticised people called the Germani, who had reputedly come from regions East of the Rhine. Those regions were populated by peoples within which included Celts or mixed populations. For his own political reasons Caesar extended to all of them the name Germani, conjured up a link with the quite unrelated Cimbri and Teutones and bestowed on the East-Rhenish lands the name Germania. As an ethnic designation the Germani were an academic fiction. Since then derivatives of the term have been applied to the region and to the people inhabiting it, though at no time was the concept of a "people" more than an abstraction. The authors of Late Antiquity used such terms as Germani, gentes Germani or Germania inaccurately and out of a vague tradition rather than based on actual knowledge of population groups or geographic locations. It is unlikely that the polygot peoples living alone the Rhine ever realized their basic common ethnicity until they became used to being called Germani by Romans. Even today there is no uniform sense of identity among the German-speakers themselves nor is there one single designation for Germany and its population among its neighbours and others: Allemands (Fr.), Tedeschi (Ital.), Nemci (Czech and Slovak, etc), nemetek (Hung.) and Germanic variants of Deutsche (Germ.), Duitsers (Dutch), tyskerne (Danish), and so forth. [b]The identifying term deutsch did not gain acceptance until the end of the 10th century.”

Herbert Schutz, The Germanic Realms in Pre-Carolingian Europe, 400-750, (New York, 2000), p.1

Did they attach more importance to this “common” character than they did to their local state and confession?
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Whom do you mean now?

Generally to this text: the Germanics didn't regard themselves as one people in modern sense and fought one against another, but they actually were from language, culture, origine and religion one group.
There were e. g. also Indian tribes who helped Cortés to break the Aztec empire,because the Aztecs (Mexica) conquered other Indian territories, but that doesn't alter the fact that seriously these Indians were from their culture and ethnie closerto the Aztecs than to Cortés. I say this only as example because today ethnicity deniying is rather en vogue, and inner diversity within cultures and ethnicities is stressed in a wa, as if that would make ethnicities non-existing..

With respect to the Germans the fact that there is tribal, regional deversity within them and that they are not all plain the same is rather the oldest truism of German history than a new discovery. Compared in their traditions, their customs, their language, with neighboring people, they will again seem rather as a unity.

Seriously a German ethnicity developed through tribal merger in the East-Frankish realm in the 10th, 11th century, and the ethnic, the national debelopment itself isn't different to that in the "normal" wets European nations: it awakened as national consciousness properly in late Medieval and early Modern times with language standardisation, first "intellectual" natian concepts, a higher national consciousness among upper social strata etc. The only, but big difference to the west is that the western nations become nation-states while the German nation stays in the Medieval wrapping and state particularism even increases.
But the German nation itself as folkish-ethnic being in existance is very real. Everyone, every writings speak of Teutschland, Teutscher, the princes regarded themselves as German princes etc. Of the national-ethnic unity of Germany the Germans themselves were very aware, and "Germany" was seen mainly in one with the empire; to be added is a certain "state patriotism" as a feeling of being devoted to the little or bigger territory or prince, though this has not ethnic-national character.



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Most German historians consider Otto III to have been more of a Greek or a Latin than a German but we have already covered this above.

I would say the fact that Otto III loved the Romans more than the Germans (he was only half German himself) and openly proclaimed as such before the Germans in his own army only goes to highlight the cosmopolitan nature of the Holy Roman Empire (we will use this term generally for the Empire). This was also because Otto III was an ascetic Christian and to him Rome was the city of the apostle St. Peter. Otto III also liked to make barefoot religious pilgrimages, which is most likely the reason he became sick so early in life and died. I have already noted above that much of the population of the Holy Roman Empire considered themselves to be Germans, amongst other things. That is not what is in dispute here. What is in dispute is the importance attached to such ethnic identities, as opposed to other identities, and as the case of Otto III demonstrates other things like one’s personal confession were of much more significance. I took my biography of Otto III back to the library the other day. Its unfortunate I do not have it at hand to quote what he said to the Romans in its entirety.
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It is true that he held the "Roman idea" high, but this Romanum Imperium was given as an addition to the power of the German king. It was a higher level that the German king reached respectively could reach and only existed through this base.
Though being "captured" by the charm Rome, if you want to express it so, Otto III spoke of Saxons and Germans of "his blood".
But still, tension between the Imperial idea and the fight against the pope for letting the alleged power and rank of the emperor becoming reality was a quite real phenomenon in the Middel Ages.


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I would say there was much greater tension within the Holy Roman Empire between the various Protestant sects and Catholics, that it was “cosmopolitan“ in the beginning, especially under Otto III and Frederick II, and remained that way (through Charles V) pretty much up until the very end (although much less so as it weakened). I don’t really see the predominantly German ethnic makeup of the empire as being of much importance. By the 16th century it was an elective monarchy in name only. The history of the Holy Roman Empire is one of internal religious conflict and gradual decentralization. It never solidified into an ethnically based nation state like France or Spain, or even the Netherlands or England for that matter. The XIX century is rather anomalous in the context of German history. The petty-statists have a hard time seeing this though.
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Perhaps I should have written instead of "tension" the double character of the empire: as German corpus which give the empire most of his real character and carries an ideal roof on its top. I agree that the climax of the idea and of the ideal concept and "Imperial" glory in the real sense of the word as glory of te patron of Christianity etc.was under the Staufer (late 12th/early 13th cent.), I also agree with a first short climax under Otto III. But still in this time and especially under the latter one the Imperial glory had its base in the German king's power and glory, was a higher level of it.
I don't agree with the whole time after the Staufer until to the end, and also Charles V rather wanted to act different from the development, but couldn't.


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This was mostly because of the Reformation and the religious factions as well. If anything, the Holy Roman Empire became even more cosmopolitan in the 16th century than it was before.

Again, one had be of noble blood to become Emperor so the purity of one‘s Germanic bloodlines was always largely irrelevant. One did not however have to be ethnically German to become Emperor either. Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor. One had to be a Christian however and in the Medieval years the Papacy often wielded decisive power. Think of Henry IV crossing the Alps, standing humble and barefoot in the snow at Canossa begging for the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII. The common people had nothing whatsoever to do with politics either.
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The empire became even more German in the 16th century. I'll post tomorrow or so more on it. The common people didn't have to do eith national politics, but the strengthening and higher importance of national identities in contrary to Medieval "universalism" was in this times a development in nobility and social upper strata also.


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I wouldn’t describe Frederick II or Charles V as Germans. Would you? As for the crown of the Emperor and the entire imperial idea, that traces back to Charlemagne, who is beyond the scope of this conversation but pertinent in this respect nonetheless. If anything, the real tension in the Empire was between the princes and the Emperor himself, or between Catholics and Protestants, not between Germans as a unified volk and Catholicism. Many Germans to this day are Catholics. I think you are referring to Voltaire who said the Heiliges Römisches Reich was a "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire". It was more a decentralized cosmopolitan confederation than anything else in my view.
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I would describe them to be to a certain degree as Germans, from identity and character half Germans if you want so: from German dynasties, may not of first German tongue, but educated in traditions and consciousness of Charles V only spoke bad German, but stressed his Germanness - well, it worked. It is not known how good Frederick's knowledge of the German language is. It is also no secret that he prefered to be in and take care of his Sicilian kingdom to Germany. But he was, though one of the greats, here an extreme case and not typical as emperor


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Was the King of Bohemia a member of the electoral college?
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Not originally, because he not a German, as the sources say quite clearly. But later (late 13th, early 14th century) he could prevail his electoral right.


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Yes, it is true that Emperors were elected before the Golden Bull but the Golden Bull is pertinent to this conversation.
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The kings were elected. I don't understand what you mean now. The Golden Bull is relevant as a document act where the election is stated, but the elections themselves in former times were as fact just asimportant as the ones ater 1356.


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The King of Bohemia was often the Holy Roman Emperor. By the way, provide a link to an English translation of the Sachsenspiegal. I would like to read it for myself.
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Actually under a dynasty which was from origin and culture-language predominantly German.

I'll see if I can find one. I also will write details to some things I've mentioned respectively short noted here, but in the moment I'm too tired for that all. Wait one or two or three days, I need a rest from that all now.

Nordgau
Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 06:49 PM
http://www.thephora.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3340&perpage=15&pagenumber=7

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Though being "captured" by the charm Rome, if you want to express it so, Otto III spoke of Saxons and Germans of "his blood".
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I will begin my reply here since I have recently re-acquired the biography of Otto III I was reading about a month ago for the sake of this argument. Instead of posting fragments of sentences taken out of their context I will post Otto III speech to the Romans for the gallery to see and evaluate. Here is Otto III speaking to the Romans as quoted by Gerd Althoff:

"Listen to the words of your father, pay attention, and diligently ponder them in your minds! Are you not my Romans? For your sake I left my homeland and my kinsmen, for love of you I have rejected my Saxons and all Germans, my blood. I have led you to the most remote parts of our empire, where your fathers, when they subjected the world, never set foot. Thus I wanted to spread your name and fame to the ends of the earth. I have adopted you as sons. I have preferred you to all others. For your sake I have made myself loathed and hated by all, because I have preferred you to all others. And in return now you have cast off your father and have cruelly murdered my friends. You have closed me out, although in truth you cannot exclude me, for I will never permit that you, whom I love with a fatherly love, should be exiled from my heart. I know the ringleaders of this uprising and can see them with my eyes; however, they are not afraid, although everyone sees and knows them. However, I find it monstrous that my most faithful followers, in whose innocence I triumph, are mixed together with evildoers."

Gerd Althoff, Otto III (University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), pp.124-125

Now, as the gallery can clearly see, it is more than obvious that Otto III loved the Romans whom he preferred to all others over "his blood," or the Saxons and Germans he rejected in the speech. When we have Otto III's words in their context we can clearly see that the point of the speech was to diminish the importance of the Germans vis-à-vis Otto III as opposed to the Romans. Now, in light of the above, would you agree Nordgau that there were more important identities to Otto III than being half-Saxon?

Now how does my argument stack up as opposed to Nordgau's in the light of German historiography? Allow me to quote Wilhelm von Giesebrecht who is cited by Gerd Althoff:

"It was a particular misfortune for the German people that, as soon as this gifted prince grew to self-awareness, he considered himself a Greek and a Roman rather than a German, and he despised Saxon crudeness and looked toward the more developed by moribund culture of Byzantium as his ideal. . . . His thoughts did not even pause at the monarchy of Charlemagne, soaring away in fantastical flights over wide reaches of time, he stopped only at the world empire of the old emperors of Rome and at the great fragment of their rule that had survived as the Byzantine Empire. "Restoration of the Roman Empire in the west": soon all the emperor's objectives concentrated on this idea as their highest pinnacle."

Gerd Althoff, Otto III (University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), p.2


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It is true that he held the "Roman idea" high, but this Romanum Imperium was given as an addition to the power of the German king.
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According to Wilhelm von Giesebrecht, the restoration of the Roman Empire in the West was the highest pinnacle of Otto III's objectives. Now it is true that to become Emperor one first had to become King of the Germans, however, it is also true that to become King of the Germans one did not have to be of German blood, since it was blood of nobles that was important, and as it should be clear by now, Otto III was himself only half-Saxon and considered himself to be more of a Greek or Latin than a German anyway.


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It was a higher level that the German king reached respectively could reach and only existed through this base.
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Otto III's father died while he was still a child. His uncle Henry the Quarrelsome, duke of Bavaria, attempted to usurp the throne for himself as well. Now it is obvious that Henry the Quarrelsome was of purer German stock than Otto III yet his claim to the succession was opposed by the nobility, the base so to speak of the Empire. Instead, Otto III's Byzantine mother Theophano, whom no one would seriously consider a German, ruled as regent from 985 to 994. So once again, you seem to be exaggerating the German character of the Empire here.


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But still, tension between the Imperial idea and the fight against the pope for letting the alleged power and rank of the emperor becoming reality was a quite real phenomenon in the Middel Ages.
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It is true that during the High Middle Ages there was a long quarrel with the Papacy, for instance, Frederick II was himself excommunicated, but this largely subsided with the election of Charles IV. The lowest point for the office of the Emperor was probably reached during Henry IV's humiliation. Regardless, the Papacy in the High Middle Ages often wielded decisive power over temporal rulers (Germans included). Innocent III comes to mind here.


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Whom do you mean now?
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I was simply reinforcing my point that the identifying term deutsch is of 10th century origin. I like to cite my sources.


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Generally to this text: the Germanics didn't regard themselves as one people in modern sense and fought one against another, but they actually were from language, culture, origine and religion one group
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Hmmm, I am not really sure how you came to this conclusion. ‘Germanic’ is a pretty broad term. There were all sorts of Germanic dialects - Frankish, Saxon, Bavarian, Lombard et cetera. You probably have ‘German’ in mind here though. The Franks and Lombards were originally Germanic but Frankish was already being replaced by Old French in the 8th century and sub-Latin was already largely in use in Lombardy in this era. Charlemagne’s biographer Einhard noted that Charlemange was interested in reviving Frankish after his death, so it is obvious that the Germanic peoples had already diverged to a large degree even by that early date. When Charlemagne attempted to depose Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria he addressed ‘Franks and Bavarians, Lombards and Saxons.’ We all know how Charlemagne the Frankish Christian dealt with the pagan Saxons as well so I don’t suppose I need to remind anyone here about that. The “Teutonic” nature of the Germans is quite disputable as well. . .

“But we are still a long way from a German kingdom or a German people, although Louis has later been called, quite erroneously, ‘Louis the German’ to suit historiographical fashion. Louis was a Frank and his descendants were kings of East Francia, and for the sake of legitimacy the title persisted into the next century. When the first king from the Saxon dynasty, Henry I, met his western colleague Charles the Simple at Bonn in 921, they were duly recorded in their treaty as rex Francorum orientalium, ‘king of the eastern Franks’, and rex Francorum Occidentalism, ‘king of the western Franks’, respectively. But the literary culture of the tenth and eleventh centuries turned the eastern Franks into Germans all the same, employing a model from classical Latin which was, as well shall see, quite inappropriate; the name Teuton.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp.3-4


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There were e. g. also Indian tribes who helped Cortés to break the Aztec empire,because the Aztecs (Mexica) conquered other Indian territories, but that doesn't alter the fact that seriously these Indians were from their culture and ethnie closerto the Aztecs than to Cortés.
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This is a Red Herring.


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I say this only as example because today ethnicity deniying is rather en vogue, and inner diversity within cultures and ethnicities is stressed in a wa, as if that would make ethnicities non-existing..
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It is commonly believed today that ‘ethnicity’ so to speak is constructed. I would have to agree with this position myself. Social identities like “American” or “German” have not always existed, much less has the language one speaks been of the same significance throughout history. Also, according to the race-materialists, Germany is composed of several sub-races anthropologically speaking. Some have even suggested that some of these sub-races are more ‘German’ than others, or have even gone so far as to suggest that the Nordic Germans are biologically superior to their fellow countrymen. I can’t agree with this doctrine personally. I would be hard pressed myself to identify the doctrine more destructive to the German people: race-denial or race-materialism. In this light, I consider myself to be a moderate with respect to race, somewhere in between two extremes.


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With respect to the Germans the fact that there is tribal, regional deversity within them and that they are not all plain the same is rather the oldest truism of German history than a new discovery. Compared in their traditions, their customs, their language, with neighboring people, they will again seem rather as a unity.
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We are not arguing here over whether or not there were individuals who spoke a Germanic language in the Middle Ages. Obviously, we are already in agreement that is the case. What is in dispute (as noted before) is the importance attached to the deutsche identity, by the ruling classes and the laity, in the Holy Roman Empire, specifically whether such identities were associated with nationalism. Now in your prior post you cited the existence of regnum Teutonicorum as evidence of this. More on the regnum Teutonicorum:

The quest for a post-Frankish political identity for the Germans runs into difficulties because the word “Teutonic” was an elitist literary adjective not well fitted to the diverse group of peoples north of the Alps and east of the Rhine. Its adoption derived not from popular parlance but from the classical Roman heritage enjoyed by a small clerical minority in the medieval West. Latin authors in antique times had quite often employed Teuton as a synonym for German, ironically in that the tribe of the Teutons which had invaded Gaul was annihilated by the Roman general Marius in 103 BCE. But the primitive ferocity of the Teutons was long remembered by the Romans, and was applied by a forced analogy to the Germans as a whole, simply because their bellicosity was much feared in the classical Roman Empire. Yet Tacitus in his treatise Germania did not even mention the Teutons, while Pliny identified them merely as a clan of the Ingaevones, themselves supposedly a subdivision of the ancient Germans.

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp.3-4

I think you are taking the term regnum Teutonicorum a little too literally here. It was adopted largely for practical reasons and even in that case from classical writers who meant it in a polemical sense.


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Seriously a German ethnicity developed through tribal merger in the East-Frankish realm in the 10th, 11th century, and the ethnic, the national debelopment itself isn't different to that in the "normal" wets European nations: it awakened as national consciousness properly in late Medieval and early Modern times with language standardisation, first "intellectual" natian concepts, a higher national consciousness among upper social strata etc.
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Hmm, the genesis of the deutsche social identity was probably much more drawn out than that. The term “teutonic” was adopted after the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire largely for practical reasons, to distinguish the subjects north of the Alps from those south of the Alps. It is doubtful whether the laity at large identified themselves with the phrase, as noted above and below.


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The only, but big difference to the west is that the western nations become nation-states while the German nation stays in the Medieval wrapping and state particularism even increases.
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Why do you suppose the Western nations went on to become nation-states whereas Germany continued to fragment into petty-states? Is this attributable to German nationalism too?

“Although Germania was often used in the same geographical sense in the twelth-century chronicles as well, it was, as we might by now expect, only rarely called a regnum or kingdom.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p.7


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But the German nation itself as folkish-ethnic being in existance is very real.
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That is very true, today.


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Everyone, every writings speak of Teutschland, Teutscher, the princes regarded themselves as German princes etc. Of the national-ethnic unity of Germany the Germans themselves were very aware, and "Germany" was seen mainly in one with the empire; to be added is a certain "state patriotism" as a feeling of being devoted to the little or bigger territory or prince, though this has not ethnic-national character.
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I am not sure which century you are referring to here. Perhaps you should clarify yourself although I believe we were arguing before over the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire up until Otto the Great.

“We can observe the need perceived in Germany’s medieval historiography and other literate endeavour for adjectives suitable to describe the western Roman Empire’s subjects north of the Alps. But Frankish, Teutonic, and Alemannic were more the property of established literary tradition than popular established usage, and the same can be shown for the most classical name of all, Germania and its adjective Germanic. . . So when the source records Emperor Charles III the Fat coming back from Italy in 882 to hold court at Worms on the Rhine for raising an army against the Northmen, the author accurately lists his East Frankish subjects as Franks (I.e. Franconians), Bavarians, Alemans, Thuringians and Saxons, not as Germans.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p.7

It should also be noted here that the ‘Teutonic’ label was not adopted by the German royal chancery until the twelfth century.


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Perhaps I should have written instead of "tension" the double character of the empire: as German corpus which give the empire most of his real character and carries an ideal roof on its top.
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Hmm, even the identifying term ‘German’ is derived from the experiences of foreigners describing them as a population. It should be mentioned that in the Annolied it is noted that ‘even today the kings are called keiserem, Caesars’. There were also all sorts of wild stories in there, for instance it is noted that the Saxons were the descendants of the army of Alexander the Great or the Bavarians were from Armenia and so it would seem as if you are also exaggerating the perceived common origin of the Germans here as well, at least amongst Germans in that era with their level of religious/mythical understanding of history. Perhaps you can explain this concept of the tension within the empire more. You noted above that it became more splintered over time. That would suggest that the ‘Teutonic’ label diminished in importance. Also. . .

“Germany meant geography and politics meant Rome, both papal and imperial. In other words, the political dimension of the twelfth century was the Roman Empire, which contained the Teutonic, Burgundian and Italian kingdoms, and the religious dimension was the Roman Church governed by the Papacy. In the text of Otto and Rahewin about Frederick Barbarossa the words German, Frank, Teuton, Aleman and Roman are deployed with such generosity and diversity that any hope of deducing a political terminology from them is defied.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp.8-9

This would seem to indicate that in the 12th century the Holy Roman Empire was still quite cosmopolitan.


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I agree that the climax of the idea and of the ideal concept and "Imperial" glory in the real sense of the word as glory of te patron of Christianity etc.was under the Staufer (late 12th/early 13th cent.), I also agree with a first short climax under Otto III. But still in this time and especially under the latter one the Imperial glory had its base in the German king's power and glory, was a higher level of it. I don't agree with the whole time after the Staufer until to the end, and also Charles V rather wanted to act different from the development, but couldn't.
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We noted before that the King of the Germans was not required to be of pure German ancestry. Quite often such individuals like Otto III or Charles V had all sorts of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and identities.



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The empire became even more German in the 16th century. I'll post tomorrow or so more on it.
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How, pray tell, did the Empire become even more ‘German’ during the 16th century? It would appear to me that the divisions between ‘Germans’ if anything increased during this era of the Reformation and the Wars of Religion, followed by the disastrous Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century.


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The common people didn't have to do eith national politics, but the strengthening and higher importance of national identities in contrary to Medieval "universalism" was in this times a development in nobility and social upper strata also.
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What is your source?


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It is not known how good Frederick's knowledge of the German language is. It is also no secret that he prefered to be in and take care of his Sicilian kingdom to Germany. But he was, though one of the greats, here an extreme case and not typical as emperor
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Give us an example of a typical ‘German’ Emperor. I notice that you have acknowledged Frederick II’s cosmopolitanism here. More about the ‘German’ Middle Ages here while I am thinking about it:

”In his formidable work on the Regnum Teutonicum published in 1970, the German historian Eckhard Müller-Mertens indicated that any definition of medieval Germany in more than geographical sense will always prove elusive. The source material reviewed in this introduction seems to support this view strongly. There was not yet a German political or popular consciousness to pitch against the grand inherited conception of a neo-Roman Empire as expounded in the ideology of the court with the support of the Church”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p.7


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I would describe them to be to a certain degree as Germans, from identity and character half Germans if you want so: from German dynasties, may not of first German tongue, but educated in traditions and consciousness of Charles V only spoke bad German, but stressed his Germanness - well, it worked.
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Why do you consider the Habsburgs to be a ‘German’ dynasty? There was nothing specifically ‘German’ about the Habsburgs, Charles V especially who was also King of Spain. These men came from all sorts of backgrounds which were quite mixed with the European nobility generally. LOL I wonder what Bismarck what have thought about this notion of yours, Charles V the Catholic no less, a true German no doubt.


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Not originally, because he not a German, as the sources say quite clearly. But later (late 13th, early 14th century) he could prevail his electoral right.
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I am still waiting for a link to this source of yours in English.


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The kings were elected. I don't understand what you mean now. The Golden Bull is relevant as a document act where the election is stated, but the elections themselves in former times were as fact just asimportant as the ones ater 1356.
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I never suggested that elections prior to 1356 were unimportant.


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Actually under a dynasty which was from origin and culture-language predominantly German. I'll see if I can find one. I also will write details to some things I've mentioned respectively short noted here, but in the moment I'm too tired for that all. Wait one or two or three days, I need a rest from that all now.
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What is "predominantly German" again?


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I didn't say that they could. I know what aristocracy, monarchy, nobility was in European history.
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Okay Nordgau, which would you say better describes the ruling classes of the Holy Roman Empire - ‘nobility’ or ‘German’?


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Yeah, I know that he as the second great example was not original German speaker, but in his times he had to pretend to be good in German and German in all his character, and he then had to establish German as official Imperial language for being elected.
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It should be noted here that at the death of Emperor Maximilian I, the grandfather of Charles V, amongst others such as Frederick the Wise of Saxony, Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England were also both eligible for the succession. Charles V actually secured his election over the Kings of England and France by massive bribery of the electors, he spent over 332,000 florins on them directly which he got on loan from the Fuggers. Its true that his propagandists touted him as a German candidate, however silly that may have seemed at the time, but it was ultimately money that secured his election. Charles V did not even speak German at the time. He had never even set foot in Germany before. So once again, you seem to be exaggerating the truth of the matter here.


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Slovaks... who actually?
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Well, I suppose I can use ‘Slovaks’ if you like.


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Actually, even in the times when the empire was composed of large non-German territories (as a fact, only a broad, Francophone western margin, Northern Italy and the Czechs in inner Bohemia were her of importance), the German parts were widely before all the main substance.
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I have never denied that the German parts of the empire were its main substance. That, again, is not in dispute here. What is in dispute is the importance of the German identity. I just noted above that Charles V purchased his election as Emperor and we also cited a German historian above who suggests that in the Middle Ages ‘Germany’ was pretty much simply a geographic term.


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With the same "internationality" ofthe ancestry of the nobility you could also prove the international, cosmopolitan character of the nation-state kingdoms of western Eurpe, as for there nobility the same goes.
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Its true that nobles and kings of other nations were mixed with other Europeans. I have never denied that. The Norman Conquest occurred in 1066 because of such a situation. However, it is also true that the succession of French and Spanish kings was not based on the same model in use in the Holy Roman Empire.


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So if there are and never were German nobles, then there also néver were English, French or any other ones.
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You are setting up a non sequitur here. I have not argued that German nobles did not exist. I only suggested that the Holy Roman Empire was quite cosmopolitan and that nobles were distinct as a class and often ‘international’ in character. The English nobility was largely destroyed anyway by the Normans but that is another discussion itself.


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And in late Medieval andearly modern times the idea prevailed that only a German (with: German speaking) may become emperor.
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LOL perhaps, but as we noted above, just about everyone has a price now don’t they.


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As fully "German" noble can be regarded one with partly German noble ancestry, holding the territory of his ancestors in Germany and being in education, language, culture German. This goes mainly all for the German nobles being the fundament of the empire.
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I will make a note of that for future reference.


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Wilhelm II was a German and a Kaiser of his people, his country, no matter if he had so and so much English ancestry. And the English king was an English, may his ancestors been from Hannover or not. Of course this plays for their identity a role, for their tradition and their feelings, but you can't break out with this character of the European nobility their bindings to their estates and nations where they were from.
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Wilhelm II had nothing to do with the Middle Ages or the Holy Roman Empire and is thus well beyond the scope of this conversation. We are not discussing the Second Reich here.


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Nobody of these "foreign" dynasties who were intermerged with Germans or integrated into Germany were Negroes, Mestizos, or Mongolids.
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I never suggested they did.


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It is not a problem if a German no ble who has territory in Ger,many, was educated in Germany and acted here, has a French or Italian ancestor.
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You are quite right. No one regarded that as being a problem at the time. The petty-statists these days often have a hard time remembering though just how cosmopolitan and unpure their past really was however.


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In fact in the countries where through the Völkerwanderung Germanic kingdoms were founded (Italy, France etc.) it is likely to assume that they were again at least in great parts of Germanic origin.
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Hmmm. Italy and France are Romance countries and their nobles were largely of the Roman aristocracy.


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Come on, don't be childish. I gave above a serious try how far one can regard a noble as German. You also must admit that if you take your own words serious and don't speak of a German aristocracy because of the German nobles partly not being originally German, you couldn't call all these non-German parts and persons French, Hungarians etc., becauseexactly the same "problem" applies for their ancestry and identity
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No one suggested that the nobles of any other nation were ethnically or culturally pure either.


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Speaking only of an absolute non-national aristocracy of Europe that didn't identify, was identified and connected with those nations in which they acted and lived historically, has nothing to do with reality, esoecially since the rising of the nation idea (late Middle Ages, early modern times).
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You are setting up a straw man here.


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I don't deny the cosmopolitanism of European nobility and the diversity in the dynastic origins, but setting this absolute and denying the national character of nobles as nobles of their certain people, country which they had and where they were raised etc. denies historical reality. Most of the smaller German princes were mainly always interbreeded with other German princes again, the "foreign" element of most ofthe German nobility was only to a certain degree and as a relative factor "non-German".
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The electors of the Holy Roman Empire were often bought and sold to the highest bidder Nordgau. The smaller princes were largely irrelevant too. There were only several electors. It is also true that the European nobility was quite cosmopolitan which you admitted above, my entire point exactly. Its hard to speak of a German national character too in the High Middle Ages.

Fade:
Here is an interesting excerpt about Emperor Maximilian II:


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"Ferdinand desired his sons to familiarize themselves with the tongues spoken by all their subjects, as well as to learn the languages of foreigners with whom the Habsburgs were in contact. The boys were to master Latin rhetoric and grammar as quickly as possible, taught through model phrases and sentences. The study of literature, both Latin and German, would sharpen their linguistic skills even more; the archdukes composed essays in both three times a week. To prove their command of their lessons, Maximilian and Ferdinand recited them back to their tutor. They also took part in disputations that tested their recall of their studies and their use of learning in oral argument. The only subject that Ferdinand declared off-limits to such exercises was the traditional Catholic confession. Their faith, in the king's opinion, had served his house too well in earlier times to be a topic of formal debate.

Language training was also socially important for the archdukes. It enabled them to address and converse with peoples of all ranks and stations. Young nobles, or Edelknaben, from all the Habsburg domains were invited to the court for schooling with King Ferdinand's sons. The youngsters could not speak German with the archdukes; only Latin, Czech, or other foreign languages were allowed. Maximilian and Ferdinand's first assistant (Unterhofmeister), Hermann von Zalesky, drilled Maximilian and his brother not only in Latin and German but in Czech and Polish. A treasury secretary, Jeronimo Jeremia, supervised them in Italian.

Maximilian was an apt pupil. Even his father, who grew more critical of the archduke by the year, continued to praise his linguistic accomplishments. In 1561 Ferdinand would boast that his eldest son could hold forth in the six principal languages of Christendom, by which he probably meant German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, and Czech. A eulogy at Maximilian's funeral in 1576 mentioned two additional tongues - Dutch and Magyar."
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Paula Sutter Fichtner, Emperor Maximilian II (Chelsea: Yale University Press, 2001), pp.8-9[/b]

Nordgau:
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Originally posted by FadeTheButcher
This turns on the question: What is German? I asked you to give me a definition above. Now I notice you have ‘Ausländer raus!’ as your location. Perhaps you can elaborate on that for us.
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It is what I wish to be taking place in my location...




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How does the mixture go away Nordgau? Once more, in those times it was the blood of nobles not the volk that mattered. A German peasant and a Czech peasant were simply peasants at the time, or Protestants or Catholics or what not. The purest ‘Germans’ could be found amongst the commoners who were simply ruled and had nothing to do with politics.
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Especially in those times, in the 15th century, in Bohemia the national-ethnic and language fights between Czechs and Germans within Bohemia were very strong.
Your always repeated rhetoric question: "What is German?", with the unspoken answer: "There is no German", has nothing to do with the reality of an ethnic-national German land and people that was understood in this way since the 11th century and with the rising of a German "national feeling" since the late Medieval among the uper classes and also with a nobility which regarded itself as a German, despite of its all universal bindings and connections of supra-national character which I never denied, but you take as absolute.

8QUOTE]Again, we have the same problem here: What is German? I already noted above that Charles V spoke French (his sister married the King of France) as his first language (amongst others). He did not socially identify himself as a German either. In fact, he was rarely in ‘Germany’ personally throughout his life. He also had a Spanish mother (Juana, daughter of Isabella of Castile). I would say ‘European’ or ‘Habsburg’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ or especially ‘Catholic’ more accurately describes Charles V than ‘German’.

You said above that I exaggerated the multiethnic character of the Empire. Well, which is it? Charles V ruled over an Empire that stretched from Austria to Peru. Also, at this time, it was overwhelmingly religious differences that were the problem for Charles V. 8/QUOTE]

Yes, Charles was from his identity and character in a way Catholic-universal like neither a Habsburg king or emperor before or after him. He also had to emphasize quite a lot his alleged Germanness to be elected to king and emperor.

The Habsburg territories were at this time also an "empire" of universal character they had neither had before nor afterwards. As far as I know, the division into an Austrian and Spanish line already took place in his times, as Austria got an own ruler. After him, they were for sure two different lines.

The later Habsburg rulers in Austria, though engaged in South-Eastern Europe and international involved, regarded themselves as a German dynasty. Also Francis-Joseph of Austria-Hungary called himself a German prince, even after Austria was pushed out of the development to a nation-state and didn't join the Bismarck Reich.

Also, Spain and Peru were Habsburg territories, they weren't part of The Holy Roman Empire of German Nation.
I don't deny that for this time religious differences were his problem and the predominant political problem of that time. That doesn't touch as such the development of Germany as nation (not nation-state) and of the predominant German character of the HRRDN which in this time got even stronger.


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Emperors told all sorts of lies in order to help arrange their elections. Charles IV was even willing to abandon the imperial claim to the provinces in Northern Italy. Martin Luther was more of a German than Charles V ever was. Charles V imposed the imperial ban on him too just as he crushed the peasants in the Peasants’ War.
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Yes, Charles V emphasised to be more German in his personal character and identity than he was in reality, so that he is elected to king and emperor. That was exactly my point.


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I would say that the Holy Roman Empire had a predominantly Christian coining myself. The image of Henry IV at Canossa, barefoot in the snow begging for the forgiveness of the Pope comes to mind. Otto III, who we discussed above, was such an ascetic Christian who liked to walk around barefoot. It is quite obvious to me that in those years it was more important to be a ‘Christian’ or a ‘noble’ than to be a German. Even Luther was first and foremost a Christian himself.
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I would say that the Medieval Staufer HRR had a Christian-universal coining, but only on a massive German base. He later HRR Deutscher Nation had also a Christian coining just as every other European realm which was indeed higher because of still having Imperial glory, but the empire itself had quite a German character.




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You forgot to mention that this “German king” had to be of noble blood, which excluded the overwhelming vast majority of those who might have thought of themselves as ‘Germans’ at the time from ever becoming Emperor. Emperors were quite often the children of foreigners, such as Otto III who had a Byzantine mother who largely ruled as regent herself in his youth.

That was inaccurate, however it is irrelevant for the German serfs had nothing to do with politics in that era anyway.
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I didn't forget to mention it as it is very clear and as the very same (and also that with the Eurpoean interbreeding of nobles) applies to the nation-state monarchies of Western Europe.
It also applies to the British monarchy of nowerdays. Certain people over Europe who have "von Hannover" in their namea re definitely "higher" on the list to become theoretically king than the average Briton. Does that mean now that the British monarchy has nothing to do with Britain and the British nation (respectively England).
Also, the average Chinese never could become emperor, the average Japanese never could become Tenno, the average Quetchua Indian never could become Inka ruler. Does that mean now that these ruling classes are to be seen absolute without conection to these culture, people and countries.
Hell, of course I don't say that Germany was a Volk democracy in these times. :rolleyes




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We seem to have a paradox here then don’t we. You suggested before that there was a rising tide of German nationalism, “parallel” to that in France which became a nation-state, yet here you suggest ‘Germany’ was fragmenting all the while. Hmm. . . .

LOL so the Protestant sects and the Catholics felt themselves to be one nation above their religious identities and that is why we had the Thirty Years’ War which wiped out a third of Germany’s population?
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No paradox. I emphasized clearly that I don't mean "nation" as nation-state, as one centralized state of this nation. The fact that increasing national-feeling takes place at the same time when in political respects Germany was fragmenting, is a paradox of history, not of me.
Especially terms like "nation teutonicorum" or "natio tota Germaniae" were increasing since the 14th century. You'll find "natio Germanica", "gravamina nationis Germanice", "tütsch nation" etc. for the 15th century. And don't forget the addition to the "Roman's" empire name which then was added and is quite charcteristical for how this empire was understood.
Also in the 15th/16th century takes place language standardization, and in Northern Germany Low German which is to degrees different to the Upper and Middle German variants (from which above all standard High German develops) declines as written language, and High German starts to spread in the Northern German areas as High language

I did't deny the religious identities (and you'll find religious fights also among other nations, ethnicities), and for the 30 years war you'll find enough texts and sources of "war in Teutschland", "in the whole fatherland" etc.
Also, Pufendorf had no problem to give his important study in the 17th century the name: De statu imperii Germanici.
Only you have a problem with the Greman charcter of the Reich, the people and princes themselves hadn't.




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Well then, I suppose France and England were moving in the parallel opposite direction then as opposed to ‘Germany’ which is precisely why I am using quotation marks. Even when the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, it was not succeeded by a united Germany. Why? What did Bismarck think of the Austrians Nordgau?
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Bismarck thought, as every other German and the Austrians did in these times, of the Austrians as Germans, but that only one state, Prussia not Germany can unite Germany and Austria thus must pushed out politically from Germany.


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Once more, we have the paradox. If the HRE was predominantly ‘German’ in identity and German nationalism increased as the years went by, then why did it gradually become more decentralized and fragmented as the years went by as opposed to states like Spain, England, and France?
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For dynastical reasons of political power.


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Were the Emperors crowned in ‘Berlin’ prior to the 16th Century?
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That question isn't serious, eh? Don't behave like a precocious Negro. Of course Berlin which you seem to take as a symbol of German nation, and everything else as less German, rised with the later rise of Brandenburg-Prussia.

Of course the emperors were crowned by the Pope in Rome, only by the way, if they were German kings, elected in Frankfurt and crowned in Aachen. Since the 16th century they were also elected as "Roman" emperors in Frankfurt and crowned in Aachen, and the Reichstage were later in Regensburg, and at the Reichstage of the "Roman empire" German was spoken of course and no other language (Latin was also allowed as second Imperial language, but hardly spoken), because it was a "Roman" empire of German Nation.


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Cosmopolitan confederation sounds more accurate to me.

I think you are exaggerating the “German” character of the HRE myself. You can talk all you want to about how “German” it was in name, but in reality there were men like Otto III, Frederick II, Wenceslaus IV, and Charles V who were anything but German ruling over Germans who had nothing to do with their government. Imagine how humiliating it must have been to see someone like Henry IV down on a humble knee before the Pope. No German nationalist would have ever done such a thing.
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I didn't say that they were "German nationalists". They were Germans and the coining of a theoretical universal empire already in the Medieval quite predominantly German, as Germany was the large main territorial-ethnical substance of the Reich, and those who had to go to knees were kings, elected by the German princes.

The later empire was hardly cosmopolitan, even the Danish king and a few others had ambessadors in Regensburg, because they possessed Greman territories, and even if there was a francophone margin in the west of the Reich (which had to speak and write either German or Latin when dealing with Imperial authorities), which got smaller and smaller with every grasp France took to the east (at the end, it was totally gone, only Walloonia, Habsburg territory, was as francophone territory at the end still part of the Reich), and even if there were comparetively small Slavic ethnicities in three eastern regions: Czechs in inner Bohemia (Habsburg but the importance of ethnici-national Czechs for Bohemian rule was smaller in the 17th, 18th century than in the 15th), Slovenians in the South eastern Habsburg edge (hardly importance fro nobility, rulers etc.) and the so-called Wasserpolen in Upper Silesia, then an ethnically mixed German-Slavic area.
The etnnically Italian regios also got smaller and smaller in early modern times, and at the end, as far as I know, only very little Italian areas were part of the empire. Of course, Italians also ha to use either Greman or Latin for Imperial affairs.


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What were the developments of this era Nordgau? Tell us about the Peasants’ War and the Wars of Religion.
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The developments in respects of a German nation were explained several times here, and they are similar to the develpments of French as nation. The differences are, as said, that France also developed to a centralized state-nation. I didn't deny at all social and religious frictions within Germany, nor the inner political desintegration in respects of paticularism.


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The reason that I am using ‘Germany’ in quotation marks is because the common people at the time had all sorts of identities, even those which believe it or not mattered more to them than the language they spoke. Quite often they hated their ‘German’ rulers (if you would call them German) and rose against them, usually for class reasons. Most of the volk at the time were illiterate and did not have the time regardless to concern themselves about any ‘culture’ whatsoever.
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Evidence for German identity, besides smaller identification with particular rulers, is enough for the Middle Ages, with rising tendency in modern times.

People were also ileterate and the Volk couldn't rule in other countries, and in the nation state France the people hated in 1789 their undoubtable French king more than ever a German hated the emperor or is smaller state ruler.


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It seems to me that you are exaggerated the “German” character of the Holy Roman Empire and diminishing the importance of other more pertinent identities such as being of noble birth as opposed to being a peasant or being a Catholic as opposed to a Calvinist and so forth.
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Nope. I gotr the importance of the different levels and natures of bindings and identities, as they were.


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First, it is a false analogy to compare a civil war within the Spanish nation-state in the twentieth century, for the control of that nation state, to bitter religious wars in 17th century Holy Roman Empire which was never a nation-state. There was no German nation-state until 1871. Other countries such as Britain, France, and Spain solidified much faster because they were much more religiously homogenous and had large overseas empires.
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The analogy was exactly tha within a nation which is a nation state, social, religious or political frictions can become as heavy as within a nation that isn't a nation-state, but devided in numerous particular states.

I didn't deny at all that Germany in the Reich was no nation-state, but the others were. I exactly agree here. Also, that it became a nation-state with Bismarck, though not a complete one, as the Austrians didn't become part of it.


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Jürgen Stroop:Fade seems to think that a people and nation are born out of some official state decree, where a ruler draws lines on a mpa and then say "this is now Germany and the people shall be called Germans......".

The peasant in Silesia didn't much care if he lived under a Austrian Kaiser or a Prussian King, because he stayed German either way.

Ulrich von Hutten wrote at the begining of the 16th century:

"Erbarmt euch übers Vaterland,
Ihr werten Teutschen regt die Hand!
Jetzt ist die Zeit zu heben an
Um Freiheit kriegen - Gott will's han.
Herzu, wer Mannes Herzen hat!"

(Show mercy for the Fatherland,
you dear Germans raise your hands!
Now is the time to arise,
to fight for liberty as it is Gods will!
Cpme and join, who has a manly heart.)

And Luther said:

"Für meine Deutschen bin ich geboren; ihnen will ich dienen"

(I was born for my Germans, I only want to serve them.)

What gives you the idea that the simple people back than didn't have the same feelings? Do you think they considered their brothers who lived in a different Dutchy or Kingdom as "foreigners".

Nordgau
Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 07:06 PM
Nordgau:
Some basic comments to that all:

Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation, Sacrum Imperium Nationis Germanicae, title of the 1806 liquidated First German Reich (919 "regnum teutonicorum", Salzburger Annalen), which was connected since 962 with the emperorship and tradition of the Roman Empire and was seen as its continuation. The name Romanum Imperium came into use only slowly, documentarily first in 1034 under Conrad II. The Reich is called Sacrum Imperium in documents of Emperor Frederick I since 1157, for emphasizing its sacral dignity in opposition to the Sancta Ecclesia (Holy Church), following here the Roman Imperial Law of Justinian. Since 1254 in realm documents the combination Sacrum Romanum Imperium became a custom. The addition "of German Nation" was added not until the 15th century and stood first restrictively for the German bulk and core parts of the Imperial territory, but expressed then the national claim of the Germans for the Empire and is mostly interpreted in this way since Early Modern Times.
It was Otto the Great who revived the Frankish-Karolingian, alleged Roman emperorship (renovatio imperii), as the successor of interest of the Frankish (East-Frankish) kings, the German King alone (rex Germaniae, rex Germanicorum, rex Teutonicorum, rex Francorum) possessed the expectancy of emperorship.
The idea of the translatio imperii to the German King was strengthened through the connection of the kingdom (North) Italy (regnum Italicum) with the German crown in the 10th century.
The emperorship didn't give the German king more material power (potestas) - what the Emperor possessed here, he had by virtue of his office as king -, but increased his dignity, position and majesty (auctoritas): the Emperor was patron of the Church and had theoretically the souvereignity over the Occident.
The fading of this universal idea and of emperor glory took place in late Middle Ages. The position of the Emperor was already interpreted in the 14th century in only constitutional law respects, without the glory of the universal idea itself. The Emperor had in reality in the late Middle Ages only little souvereignity rights; the historian Johannes Haller characterizes him with the transformation of the Reich from a fief feudal system to a rank system as the "president of a princes republic".
Maximilian was in 1508 the first as "elected Roman Emperor". Since then the King becomes Emperor immediately after election. Charles V was in 1530 the last one who still was crowned also by the Pope.

In high Middle Ages most documents were written in Latin. The increasing use of German as language in Germany and in Imperial documents takes the same development as the increasing use of the folk languages in other European countries, partly even faster.
In the 13th century, German lawbooks (Sachsenspiegel, Schwabenspiegel) are written, the Imperial Großer Mainzer Landfrieden of 1235 is published in a Latin and a German version: "Ditz ist der fride und ez gesetze, daz der keiser hat getan mit der furstenrat uber alle Diutschu rich" ("This is the peace and the law which the Emperor made with the principal counsil over the whole German Reich").
At the Imperial diet (Reichstag) of 1275 in Augsburg, King Rudolf I tells the Styrian bishop to speak not Latin, but German, because not ecclesial, but lay princes were meeting and the afairs of the kings and emperors had been discussed from the beginning in their mother language.
As in western European countries, German written books and documents increase explosively with the 13th century. The Imperial chancellery of Louis the Bavarian (1314-47) executed German as well as Latin documents, under king Wenceslaus (1378-1400) German was predominantly as document language of the Imperial chancellery.
The Imperial chancellery in late Medieval and Early Modern times are a place of special and conscious German language cultivation and gave impoertant impulses respectevely were a factor of the development of a German atandard language. Emperor Maximilian uses German even consequently when addressing to the francophone Imperial cities in the western margin of the Empire.
Charles V was raised in the Burgund court in Gent, the court language French was his mother tongue and he only could hardly speak German. This was a problem for his candidacy for King-Emperor, because the Imperial ranks saw German meanwhile as condition for the crown, and one regarded knowledge of the German language as part of that. The circles of Charles spreaded before his candidacy that Charles knew German. A German written letter to elector Frederick of Saxony was written for him and then only copied by Charles himself. He wrote in there "das wir ain Teutscher von gebluet und gemuet, von gepurt und zungen sein" ("that we [plur. maiestatis for: I am] are a German of blood and soul, of birth and tongue").
It was Charles's election in 1513 where it came to the Imperial language act. It was part of Charles's Wahlkapitulation (election capitulation: concessions for the election) that "in writings and acts of the Empire at our Imperial court no other tongue nor language is used than German and Latin". This wording stayed constant for the election of every Emperor until 1806, and the use of only German or Latin was also provided for ethnic non-German Imperial dependants. Also, the language in the highest Imperial law court, the Reichskammergericht, was German.

In my opinion, the whole development in the 10th and 11th century with the grasp of the German King for the outward form of a revived Roman emperorship is a good example for a Spenglerian pseudomorphose: Germany and the German kingdom, young folk and rule forms, are over-arched with the solidified cover of former states of existing. The foundations of electoral German kingdom is tribal union, in its foundations it is reign of Germanic nature. Though not more actual power and an other form of reign results from it, the dignity and position of this German King can be levelled higher through the idea of a translatio imperii by the Church to a "Roman Emperorship" of highest dignity and theoretically universal power. German historians speak of the Medieval Reich in its best times as German-Roman Emperor and Empire, to characterize this double nature.
I don't deny the universal character and the idea of the patron as supra-national patron of Christiabity, also the tenden the tendencial multi-national character of the empire itself with Germany, (North) Italy and Burgundy. The basis of this whole emperorship and its power in reality, from which the other results, and also the bulk and core of the empire is the German kingdom.
In late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times, with the fading of the ideas of universal Christianity and the increasing of national consciousness, an integration and adoption of the Reich and Kaiser idea with rising German national consciousness happens, and the Reich and Kaiser idea itself is largely divested of its universal supra-national character. Imperial glory, merged with the German national idea, is in early modern times already rather Imperial romanticism, because of the actual weakness of Emperor and Empire and the territorial splintering of Germany

Nordgau:
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Originally posted by FadeTheButcher
I will begin my reply here since I have recently re-acquired the biography of Otto III I was reading about a month ago for the sake of this argument. Instead of posting fragments of sentences taken out of their context I will post Otto III speech to the Romans for the gallery to see and evaluate. Here is Otto III speaking to the Romans as quoted by Gerd Althoff:

"Listen to the words of your father, pay attention, and diligently ponder them in your minds! Are you not my Romans? For your sake I left my homeland and my kinsmen, for love of you I have rejected my Saxons and all Germans, my blood. I have led you to the most remote parts of our empire, where your fathers, when they subjected the world, never set foot. Thus I wanted to spread your name and fame to the ends of the earth. I have adopted you as sons. I have preferred you to all others. For your sake I have made myself loathed and hated by all, because I have preferred you to all others. And in return now you have cast off your father and have cruelly murdered my friends. You have closed me out, although in truth you cannot exclude me, for I will never permit that you, whom I love with a fatherly love, should be exiled from my heart. I know the ringleaders of this uprising and can see them with my eyes; however, they are not afraid, although everyone sees and knows them. However, I find it monstrous that my most faithful followers, in whose innocence I triumph, are mixed together with evildoers."

Gerd Althoff, Otto III (University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), pp.124-125

Now, as the gallery can clearly see, it is more than obvious that Otto III loved the Romans whom he preferred to all others over "his blood," or the Saxons and Germans he rejected in the speech. When we have Otto III's words in their context we can clearly see that the point of the speech was to diminish the importance of the Germans vis-à-vis Otto III as opposed to the Romans. Now, in light of the above, would you agree Nordgau that there were more important identities to Otto III than being half-Saxon?
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I said myself that he was a German king who dreamed of the renovatio imperii and went to Rome for his dream, but still regards Saxons and all other Germans which he left, as his "blood", and Germany he regardes as his original homeland. That was my point actually, and that is what is said in the one sentence, no matter if one posts it as fragment or in an extended context. :rolleyes

Would you also agree, Fade, that he is in leaving the Germans, prefering the Romans and in his accepted "Roman-Imperial" identity he rather is an extreme exception, not the exemplary average type of German kings and emperors?


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Now how does my argument stack up as opposed to Nordgau's in the light of German historiography? Allow me to quote Wilhelm von Giesebrecht who is cited by Gerd Althoff:

"It was a particular misfortune for the German people that, as soon as this gifted prince grew to self-awareness, he considered himself a Greek and a Roman rather than a German, and he despised Saxon crudeness and looked toward the more developed by moribund culture of Byzantium as his ideal. . . . His thoughts did not even pause at the monarchy of Charlemagne, soaring away in fantastical flights over wide reaches of time, he stopped only at the world empire of the old emperors of Rome and at the great fragment of their rule that had survived as the Byzantine Empire. "Restoration of the Roman Empire in the west": soon all the emperor's objectives concentrated on this idea as their highest pinnacle."

Gerd Althoff, Otto III (University Park, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), p.2



According to Wilhelm von Giesebrecht, the restoration of the Roman Empire in the West was the highest pinnacle of Otto III's objectives. Now it is true that to become Emperor one first had to become King of the Germans, however, it is also true that to become King of the Germans one did not have to be of German blood, since it was blood of nobles that was important, and as it should be clear by now, Otto III was himself only half-Saxon and considered himself to be more of a Greek or Latin than a German anyway.
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Yeah, the blood of the nobles was very important, as only the German princes elected their king, and here German was taken very literally, as the Bohemian king, though an important Imperial prince, originally could not take part at the election, because, from a Czech dynasty, he was not regarded as a German.
Otto III was only half-Saxon, just as princes and nobles in Germany or in Europe definitely always were just half of their house and have one parental line from elsewhere. However, one is seen in one line and continuation of that territory where oneself becomes ruler and one gets in connection with that country where one is raised, educated and rules.
I didn't deny, that through forming in ancient education, he felt quite as Greek and Roman and when someone ever meant the renovatio imperii serious, then him. - And he regards Germany as his homeland and the Germans as his blood which he left for his destiny. That was my point.


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Otto III's father died while he was still a child. His uncle Henry the Quarrelsome, duke of Bavaria, attempted to usurp the throne for himself as well. Now it is obvious that Henry the Quarrelsome was of purer German stock than Otto III yet his claim to the succession was opposed by the nobility, the base so to speak of the Empire. Instead, Otto III's Byzantine mother Theophano, whom no one would seriously consider a German, ruled as regent from 985 to 994. So once again, you seem to be exaggerating the German character of the Empire here.
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Hardly. It is you who exaggerates an alleged multi-ethnicity, beyond all Germanness being character of the German kingdom which was the base of the Empire, through short and extreme epidodes which are hardly normally for the character of the Reich.
Don't forget the second straw, Richard of Cornwall, I threw to you. By the way, the English writer Matthaeus Parisiensis considered that he was elected becausethe English language is closer to the German ("Propter linguam Anglicanum que Alemannice consonat"). Well, if it's true or not, at least an English writer thinks that this is for the election of the king ho shall become "Roman" emperor. So better clutch at his short-period opponent in rank Alfonso.
I didn't deny by the way the universal character of the emperorship. I only say it has a quite national coining in its base of power, the German kingdom. So let us compare the national origin, character and identity of all Emperors from Otto the Great to Francis II. I'll guess we'll come to something like maybe 95% German and 5% non-German. Is it me who exaggerates the German character of the Empire, or is it you who exaggerates its alleged "multi-ethnic" coining?


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Hmmm, I am not really sure how you came to this conclusion. ‘Germanic’ is a pretty broad term. There were all sorts of Germanic dialects - Frankish, Saxon, Bavarian, Lombard et cetera. You probably have ‘German’ in mind here though. The Franks and Lombards were originally Germanic but Frankish was already being replaced by Old French in the 8th century and sub-Latin was already largely in use in Lombardy in this era. Charlemagne’s biographer Einhard noted that Charlemange was interested in reviving Frankish after his death, so it is obvious that the Germanic peoples had already diverged to a large degree even by that early date. When Charlemagne attempted to depose Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria he addressed ‘Franks and Bavarians, Lombards and Saxons.’ We all know how Charlemagne the Frankish Christian dealt with the pagan Saxons as well so I don’t suppose I need to remind anyone here about that. The “Teutonic” nature of the Germans is quite disputable as well. . .


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I was referring to the Germanics in ancient, pre-Völkerwanderung time which were touched in that text with Caesar.
I absolutely agree with the other you wrote, that the Germanics of the Germanic realms respectively later in the Frankish empire primarly had their ethnic identity through their tribes, though with a certain consciousness of the cultural nearness and connection with other folks, tribes. The connection of identity breaked off slightly with the linguistic division between western Franks adopting the Romance language and thus the coming into being of early French ethnicity and the eastern Germanic tribes of the empire merging, in contrary to the division of the walhisk (welsch) speaking west, to one diutisk (deutsch) people in identity.

“But we are still a long way from a German kingdom or a German people, although Louis has later been called, quite erroneously, ‘Louis the German’ to suit historiographical fashion. Louis was a Frank and his descendants were kings of East Francia, and for the sake of legitimacy the title persisted into the next century. When the first king from the Saxon dynasty, Henry I, met his western colleague Charles the Simple at Bonn in 921, they were duly recorded in their treaty as rex Francorum orientalium, ‘king of the eastern Franks’, and rex Francorum Occidentalism, ‘king of the western Franks’, respectively. But the literary culture of the tenth and eleventh centuries turned the eastern Franks into Germans all the same, employing a model from classical Latin which was, as well shall see, quite inappropriate; the name Teuton.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp.3-4[/b]
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Yes, that's right. Louis the German is traditionally in Germany always called "Ludwig der Deutsche" (because of Ludovicus Germanicus.), but I know that "der Deutsche" is an inaccurate translation, and I wouldn't (and didn't) take him as example of German ethnicity, as "deutsch" (in original writing and spelling) forms in this time appears as term for the Germanic folk language, not as term of people and country.
What is here mentioned as inappropriate is the usage of "Teutonicus" in Latin texts as word for "diutisk" (which in Latin texts also appears "properly" as "theodiscus"). Actually, the writers of the 10th and 11th century took this word which they knew from classical texts, because of its similar sounding, for that . Thus the ethnically merging East-Frankish Germanic tribes received as Latin name for themselves the name of the ancient tribe of the Teutons, because of the similar sound of that name to teir own "new" folk name "diutisk" (in spelling variants). (On the other side, ironically, "diutisk"/"theodiscus" and "Teutonicus" do again even originally mean the same, as the name of the ancient Teutons meant as much as "folk", as far as I know...). The merging of the East-Frankish tribes to a "diutisk" people is "natural". - "Artificial", "intellectual" was only the translation of this name with the close-sounding "Teutonicus" instead of "theodiscus" in Latin texts. Somehow "inappropriate" is, by the way, also the term "Frankish" (Francais, French) for the Romance language in the West-Frankish half.


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It is commonly believed today that ‘ethnicity’ so to speak is constructed. I would have to agree with this position myself. Social identities like “American” or “German” have not always existed, much less has the language one speaks been of the same significance throughout history. Also, according to the race-materialists, Germany is composed of several sub-races anthropologically speaking. Some have even suggested that some of these sub-races are more ‘German’ than others, or have even gone so far as to suggest that the Nordic Germans are biologically superior to their fellow countrymen. I can’t agree with this doctrine personally. I would be hard pressed myself to identify the doctrine more destructive to the German people: race-denial or race-materialism. In this light, I consider myself to be a moderate with respect to race, somewhere in between two extremes.
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I did never and would never state that German ethnicity is racially one, and I also wouldn't claim that Germans are by ancestry pure Germanic, as already the originally German ethnicity in the 10th/11th century concisted Germanized former Celto-Romanics in Southern Germany, and also in Modern times different
Everything what makes ethnicity and Volkstum: traditions, culture, customs, the common destiny in a political community, common history thus, common language is from man ultimately, and not "natural" in this way. But if you blame someone for "constructing" a German ethnicity, then blame the East-Franks of the 10th/11th century who started to regard themselves as one people and started to speak of themselves as "deutsche" and of their country as "deutsche landen" and regarded themselves as one ethnicity. The noble stands, nobility, universal ideas, which you, different from "constructed" ethnicities, seem to treat as very real, are not less "constructed". A "Latin" and "Greek" identity of Otto II also exists for you. So why is the one a "construct", the other not for you? And how can an empire be "multi-ethnic"., if ethnicity is a construct?

The people who mostly speak of the "constructed" ethnicity are, by the way, the same who speak of race as "construct", so you can't take sub-races as argument.


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We are not arguing here over whether or not there were individuals who spoke a Germanic language in the Middle Ages. Obviously, we are already in agreement that is the case. What is in dispute (as noted before) is the importance attached to the deutsche identity, by the ruling classes and the laity, in the Holy Roman Empire, specifically whether such identities were associated with nationalism. Now in your prior post you cited the existence of regnum Teutonicorum as evidence of this. More on the regnum Teutonicorum:

The quest for a post-Frankish political identity for the Germans runs into difficulties because the word “Teutonic” was an elitist literary adjective not well fitted to the diverse group of peoples north of the Alps and east of the Rhine. Its adoption derived not from popular parlance but from the classical Roman heritage enjoyed by a small clerical minority in the medieval West. Latin authors in antique times had quite often employed Teuton as a synonym for German, ironically in that the tribe of the Teutons which had invaded Gaul was annihilated by the Roman general Marius in 103 BCE. But the primitive ferocity of the Teutons was long remembered by the Romans, and was applied by a forced analogy to the Germans as a whole, simply because their bellicosity was much feared in the classical Roman Empire. Yet Tacitus in his treatise Germania did not even mention the Teutons, while Pliny identified them merely as a clan of the Ingaevones, themselves supposedly a subdivision of the ancient Germans.

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp.3-4

I think you are taking the term regnum Teutonicorum a little too literally here. It was adopted largely for practical reasons and even in that case from classical writers who meant it in a polemical sense.
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Well, I already posted that the kink of Bohemia was originally in the early 13th century no elector of the German king because he was no German. German was made Imperial language in 1519, with Latin the only one, and someone who wanted to become king in 1519 emphasized that he was a "German of blood and soul, of birth and tongue."
I explained above what the "artificial" character of "Teutonicus" is; but the word itself was only taken for very real existing "diutisk".



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Hmm, the genesis of the deutsche social identity was probably much more drawn out than that. The term “teutonic” was adopted after the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire largely for practical reasons, to distinguish the subjects north of the Alps from those south of the Alps. It is doubtful whether the laity at large identified themselves with the phrase, as noted above and below.
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See above. Also, I don't deny that the development of identity and tribal merger to "diutisk" was a process of differencation from the "walhisk" (Romance) speakers, and certain people of a certain country started identifying with this term, originally only meaning their language, as self-naming for land and people in the 10th/11th century.

How many of the Germans and German princes identified themselves with the official phrase "Romans", do you think?


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Why do you suppose the Western nations went on to become nation-states whereas Germany continued to fragment into petty-states? Is this attributable to German nationalism too?
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Well, there is nationalism and nationalism in many ethnicities, in linguistic-cultural-historical unities which don't or only late make it politically to a natio-state. Does the Czech nation only exist since 1919 or 1992? Did the Poles disappear as nation and as ethnic group when the Polish state dissappeared in the 18th century?
The direct answer: Western nations became nation-states because they developed as kingdoms to centralized states, while in Germany on the one side the German monarchy was over-arched by a theoretical universal emperorship, and little territories becoming inheritable as states and more independent in rights on the other side. Nevertheless, the development as German national-feeling as such went quite parallel to French.
Of course, all historical and thought-historical sources for German national consciousness in late Middle Ages and Modern time, are irrelevant for you.



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“Although Germania was often used in the same geographical sense in the twelth-century chronicles as well, it was, as we might by now expect, only rarely called a regnum or kingdom.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p.7
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Well, but it was at least called a regnum, though "just" Germania in chronicles. Also rex Teutonicom, rex Germanicorum and rex Germaniae are used fro the king. What do you want to say? That there existed no German king who then became emperor.

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That is very true, today.[/b]
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For ca. 1000 years now, actually.




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I am not sure which century you are referring to here. Perhaps you should clarify yourself although I believe we were arguing before over the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire up until Otto the Great.
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Early Modern times. We were also speaking of Charles V and the empire until 1806, if you remember.

“We can observe the need perceived in Germany’s medieval historiography and other literate endeavour for adjectives suitable to describe the western Roman Empire’s subjects north of the Alps. But Frankish, Teutonic, and Alemannic were more the property of established literary tradition than popular established usage, and the same can be shown for the most classical name of all, Germania and its adjective Germanic. . . So when the source records Emperor Charles III the Fat coming back from Italy in 882 to hold court at Worms on the Rhine for raising an army against the Northmen, the author accurately lists his East Frankish subjects as Franks (I.e. Franconians), Bavarians, Alemans, Thuringians and Saxons, not as Germans.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p.7[/b]
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I didn't speak of Ger,mans for 882 already.


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Hmm, even the identifying term ‘German’ is derived from the experiences of foreigners describing them as a population. It should be mentioned that in the Annolied it is noted that ‘even today the kings are called keiserem, Caesars’. There were also all sorts of wild stories in there, for instance it is noted that the Saxons were the descendants of the army of Alexander the Great or the Bavarians were from Armenia and so it would seem as if you are also exaggerating the perceived common origin of the Germans here as well, at least amongst Germans in that era with their level of religious/mythical understanding of history. Perhaps you can explain this concept of the tension within the empire more. You noted above that it became more splintered over time. That would suggest that the ‘Teutonic’ label diminished in importance. Also. . .
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I don't exaggarate the German "origin" in the Annolied. The Annolied speaks of "German language", "German people", "German country", and this is evidence for the existance and usage of such terms in that time. One couldn't speak of German people, German country, if these terms. That has nothing to do with the phantastic stories of the origin of certain peoples in there. I don't seek for the "origin" of the Germans in the stories for the Annolied, it is a historical-linguistic evidence for the existance and use of "German" as term for country and people.

Actually, German as label didn't lose importance with political with splintering and rising state particularism, as in exactly the tiime when particular state powers got stronger, the empire got its label "of German Nation" and German was made to Imperial language. Perhaps you don't understand it, but political splintering can go parallel to an increasing of national-feeling. The nation-states France aren't the only possible way of a political development that can happen within a nation that feels as nation and even feels so stronger with the time, with all its state particularism.

“Germany meant geography and politics meant Rome, both papal and imperial. In other words, the political dimension of the twelfth century was the Roman Empire, which contained the Teutonic, Burgundian and Italian kingdoms, and the religious dimension was the Roman Church governed by the Papacy. In the text of Otto and Rahewin about Frederick Barbarossa the words German, Frank, Teuton, Aleman and Roman are deployed with such generosity and diversity that any hope of deducing a political terminology from them is defied.”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), pp.8-9

This would seem to indicate that in the 12th century the Holy Roman Empire was still quite cosmopolitan.[/i][/QUOTE]

I don't deny its certain "universal" and "cosmopolitan" character espescially for the 12th and 13th century. I don't just set it absolute, but put it in relation to its political basis and also territorial-ethnic pulk in fact.

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We noted before that the King of the Germans was not required to be of pure German ancestry. Quite often such individuals like Otto III or Charles V had all sorts of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and identities.
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Yes, that's true, but if xou take as well the dynastical-ancestrial backgrounds and even more the identities of allkings- emperors together from 962-1806, you will come to quite a German predominance.


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How, pray tell, did the Empire become even more ‘German’ during the 16th century? It would appear to me that the divisions between ‘Germans’ if anything increased during this era of the Reformation and the Wars of Religion, followed by the disastrous Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century.
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One thought it at least necessary in Imperial circles to give the addition "of German Nation" to the empire's name and to make German Imperial language.
Well, that was the historical development that Germany as "mental" nation and the development of German national-feeling increased in the 15th/16th century, while politicall fragmentation within the Reich hardened and religious frictions (which were for great part frictions of political power and influence) with a great inner war (which was for great parts an international was for power) in Germany in the end.



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What is your source?
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I'm German and I am history student, I know certain developments in the thought-history very well without having to take a look into a book. German humanists in the 16th century were very national in their cultural-mental thinking, parts of the nobility also. Take e. g. Ulrich von Hutten or Luther, which Stroop mentioned. But yeah, I know, when Otto III dreams of the renewal of the Roman empire in 1000, this is very important for political reality, while it is absolutely irrelevant when hundereds of people are talking in an era more and more of German Nation, this is absolute irrelevant. :rolleyes
I'll look for a book where the thought-historical development is mentioned and names are given and give a reference, but don't expect me to look in an American one.

Give us an example of a typical ‘German’ Emperor. I notice that you have acknowledged Frederick II’s cosmopolitanism here. More about the ‘German’ Middle Ages here while I am thinking about it:

”In his formidable work on the Regnum Teutonicum published in 1970, the German historian Eckhard Müller-Mertens indicated that any definition of medieval Germany in more than geographical sense will always prove elusive. The source material reviewed in this introduction seems to support this view strongly. There was not yet a German political or popular consciousness to pitch against the grand inherited conception of a neo-Roman Empire as expounded in the ideology of the court with the support of the Church”

Benjamin Arnold, Medieval Germany, 500-1300: A Political Interpretation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p.7

Well, the German kingdom was first, and the neo-Roman empire was something, and one first was elected to German king and then could get king. The empire and emperorship itself may have been in that way more important as they "cover" and then include the kingdom, but on the other side, all power of them comes through the king's power. Actually, there was a political and popular German consciousness, as diutsch/tiutsch/Germanicus/Teutonicus etc. is enough mentioned in the sources as term of policy as well as ethnic-"mantal" consciousness, not only as geographic term. Müller-Mertens as well as Arnold seem to interprete the sources very biased and simply ignore what doesn't fit in their view.


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Why do you consider the Habsburgs to be a ‘German’ dynasty? There was nothing specifically ‘German’ about the Habsburgs, Charles V especially who was also King of Spain. These men came from all sorts of backgrounds which were quite mixed with the European nobility generally. LOL I wonder what Bismarck what have thought about this notion of yours, Charles V the Catholic no less, a true German no doubt.
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Charles V esoecially as King-Emperor as well as first man in the house Habsburg was with his "internationalism" not typically for the Habsburg kings-emperors before and those afterwards, those from the Austrian line. The Spanish and the Austrian lines went one ways after him.
I didn't say, by the way, that he was a true German, but what I emphasized was that he pretented an alleged Germanness which wasn't so strong in realty, to be elected to king-emperor.
The Habsburg emperors after him, with their homelands in Austria were quite German, even with dynastical connections all over Europe (just as the rulers of the nation-states) and having estates in non-German areas to the back of their Austrian homeland.


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I am still waiting for a link to this source of yours in English.
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Well, I don't even know if there is the Sachsenspiegel in English. Here's a German source where this is mentioned: http://www.rewi.hu-berlin.de/jura/l...ellen/qs_05.htm I also so the Sachsenspiegel complete all pages photographed and digitalized in the net. Perhaps one should learn German if one want's to have a say in the history of an empire which had a German coining. You also will have to know a lot of German for reading Imperial sources, Regensburg Reichstag records, letters in Imperial affairs etc. of your "multi-ethnic" empire that was in reality "of German Nation".


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What is "predominantly German" again?
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Take a dynasty, look at its ver<y original where most of the members come from, where the home and main territory lies, with which territory the dinasty as rulers is connected over the most time, in what language most of the members and the rulers of the family are raised.
What makes the French king when he is born in France, speaks French and rules over France, to a French king? What meakes the Ebglish to an English king?


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Okay Nordgau, which would you say better describes the ruling classes of the Holy Roman Empire - ‘nobility’ or ‘German’?
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Nobles, far most German.


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It should be noted here that at the death of Emperor Maximilian I, the grandfather of Charles V, amongst others such as Frederick the Wise of Saxony, Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England were also both eligible for the succession. Charles V actually secured his election over the Kings of England and France by massive bribery of the electors, he spent over 332,000 florins on them directly which he got on loan from the Fuggers. Its true that his propagandists touted him as a German candidate, however silly that may have seemed at the time, but it was ultimately money that secured his election. Charles V did not even speak German at the time. He had never even set foot in Germany before. So once again, you seem to be exaggerating the truth of the matter here.
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And it also "should be noted" that exactly then however the electorals gave the "German factor" quite an importance for the election, and German became exactly then officially Imperial language, only with Latin at the side.




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Well, I suppose I can use ‘Slovaks’ if you like.
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In what way is that an answer to my question? Slovakia (part of Hungary), by the way, wasn't part of the empire, but I believe that theremay have been a few in Habsburg and thus Imperial service. I hope they learned German, cause that was in the "multi-ethnic" empire the only official modern language in the Empire. Actually, one will come again, just at with the territorial-ethnic composition and the relatioship of German princes to non-German in the empire, to quite a German preponderance.
Joseph II of Austria, as all Habsburg rulers of course a normal German priinse, and not a supra-national, multi-ethnic over-noble as you dream of, wanted to make German to only language also in his non-German Habsburg territories.


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I have never denied that the German parts of the empire were its main substance. That, again, is not in dispute here. What is in dispute is the importance of the German identity. I just noted above that Charles V purchased his election as Emperor and we also cited a German historian above who suggests that in the Middle Ages ‘Germany’ was pretty much simply a geographic term.
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And one can only claim it to be a term of non-political and non-national-mental importance if one ignores all sources.
Actually is it not important for the empire and emperorship that someone is elected by the German princes to rex Teutonicorum?

Its true that nobles and kings of other nations were mixed with other Europeans. I have never denied that. The Norman Conquest occurred in 1066 because of such a situation. However, it is also true that the succession of French and Spanish kings was not based on the same model in use in the Holy Roman Empire.

A German dynasty when connected with other dynasties becomes un-German for you, but a French dynasty doesn't become un-French for you when connected with other dynasties ?
The succession in the "Roman" empire just as the East-Frankish-German kingdom before 962 depended of who German princes wanted to elect someone, and they elected few people who could be characterized as un-German. From the idea a universal empire, as a matter of fact and later officially, a German electoral realm, though with non-German territories as dependancies.


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You are setting up a non sequitur here. I have not argued that German nobles did not exist. I only suggested that the Holy Roman Empire was quite cosmopolitan and that nobles were distinct as a class and often ‘international’ in character. The English nobility was largely destroyed anyway by the Normans but that is another discussion itself.
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I mean as "English" nobility and ruling house also that of, let's say: the 19th century
You exaggerate the cosmopolitan nature of the empire, especially for later, but also for its earlier periods in fact.


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LOL perhaps, but as we noted above, just about everyone has a price now don’t they.
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Yeah, for example the price of making German to Imperial language, a fact, which you totally and absolutely ignore, as it does not fit into your cosmopolitan dreams.


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Wilhelm II had nothing to do with the Middle Ages or the Holy Roman Empire and is thus well beyond the scope of this conversation. We are not discussing the Second Reich here.
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Well, you also spoke of Caesar and I only took him as example that a monarch with partial non-German ancestry can be and feel very well as German.


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You are quite right. No one regarded that as being a problem at the time. The petty-statists these days often have a hard time remembering though just how cosmopolitan and unpure their past really was however.
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What I wanted to say is that I am well aware of the internationaland cosmopolitan character of European nobility, but nowhere in western-Europe - neither among German nor among non-German nobles - it was over history a bigger problem for a ruler to identify with the very country, territory and people where he was raised, learned the language and is ruler in continuation of the line of that country.
Also, that sort of dynastic internationilty and not originally to the countries belonging of certain single rulers applies for the western monarchies also. I don't think that England, the English monarchy, the English state became a multi-ethnic, non-English state because in one period of its modern history a German noble who not even could speak English - and as far as I know also don't took residence in England, though king of this country - became king. The same goes for the empire: a strong non-German element in the Imperial reign system is an exeption of the rule, not the normality. If The Holy Roman Empire which was named for good reasons "of German Nation" with beginning early times was a multi-ethnic monarchy, than the state-monarchies in western Europe. I admit every time that the degree of cosmopolitan character, more non-national from its composition than the western national-state monarchies and still - though with early times rather symbolical and more glitter than glory - "Holy Roman", was higher, but you underestimate highly the German character of it.


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Hmmm. Italy and France are Romance countries and their nobles were largely of the Roman aristocracy.
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I know that Italy and France are Romance countries, but where Franks, Lombards and certain other Germanic tribes became rulers and nobility, they make the bulk of nobility, even if then Romanized in language in forming with the original non-Germanic population one people. The rulers in the kingdom Sicily were actually of Normannic origin, also were the French speaking Normans who conquered England. Aristocracy lists of the time after the Völkerwanderung for territories and ecclesial rulers are full of Germanic names, partly even still in times after the Romanisation of the Germanics there.




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No one suggested that the nobles of any other nation were ethnically or culturally pure either.
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Yes, but in Germany you take it as evidence for the non-Germanness of the HRRDN, in other countries for the un-xxxxness of its monarchy not.


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The electors of the Holy Roman Empire were often bought and sold to the highest bidder Nordgau. The smaller princes were largely irrelevant too. There were only several electors. It is also true that the European nobility was quite cosmopolitan which you admitted above, my entire point exactly. Its hard to speak of a German national character too in the High Middle Ages.
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Yeah, but the buying and selling of the electors was again mainly an affair of Germans who wanted to become king-emperor, the quarrels about the crown were even despite of the fact that in some times e. g. the king of France tried to become deeper involved mainly an inner-German quarrel, among German nobles.
The smaller princes were irrelevant for the election, but of course they were the nobility of the Reich, and you can't say that it doesn't matter for the character of the empire who these people actually were. Just as German all in all were the lines of the electors. Go through the dynastic lines of the elector states, and with maybe a few exceptions of single people these people were just as cosmopolitan on the one side and national with respects to Germany on the other side as nobles in France were. Later there were made also more German nobles electors, e. g. then the Kurfürst of Hesse.

A German national character was in the same way non-existent or existent as in other western European countries before the increasing of late Medieval and early modern national consciousness, but German nobles identified and saw themselves very well as Germans. Hardly did the German nobles see themselves as "Romans", that was just as idea the over-political construct of the empire.

Gladstone
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 02:00 PM
Wow! Long post! :D A bit off topic, but is there a website that has those images at the bottom of your signature at the Phora, the one with the spotlights?

Nordgau
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 05:49 PM
Wow! Long post! :D A bit off topic, but is there a website that has those images at the bottom of your signature at the Phora, the one with the spotlights?

Not really one website, but one gets a couple of such images through a google images search with the word "lichtdom":

http://images.google.de/images?q=lichtdom&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=de

Gladstone
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 06:07 PM
Ty. Very interesting. (Almost not real looking :-O )
http://rhein-zeitung.de/internet/toptips/pics/mil-berlin-ap.jpghttp://www.cinemah.com/altri/ground-zero-luci/lichtdom01.jpg

Nordgau
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 06:29 PM
The left one - I guess one sees that - is indeed not real, but just a picture montage of a light show that was originally planned for New Year's Eve 1999/2000 at the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in Berlin. But all kinds of people started crying around that it would remind of Speer's Light Cathedrals of Third Reich rallies. Well, of course they dropped it then... I think they only made a vague version of that all, with a few fade lights in all kinds of colours just flickering a bit jolly through the air in disco style... The original version would have been of course much greater - and also much cheaper than that expensive, monstrous "Millennium Dome" in London which nobody needed afterwards.

The right photo is from the final meeting of the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.

(:D I claim, by the way, all signature rights for these two pictures also for Skadi, even if I use them till now only at the Phora... with the dark blue background they look best there. :D)

Gladstone
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 06:54 PM
The left one - I guess one sees that - is indeed not realImpressive, I thought it was real but was not certain.


(:D I claim, by the way, all signature rights for these two pictures also for Skadi, even if I use them till now only at the Phora... with the dark blue background they look best there. :D)

The signature (and copyrights) is yours! ;)