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The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the
electoral college An electoral college is a set of Voting, electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or Legal entity, entities, with each organization, political party or ...
that elected the
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
. From the 13th century onwards, the prince-electors had the privilege of electing the monarch who would be crowned by the
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
. After 1508, there were no imperial coronations and the election was sufficient.
Charles VCharles V may refer to: * Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, german: Karl V, it, Carlo V, nl, Karel V, la, Carolus V (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and offici ...

Charles V
(elected in 1519) was the last emperor to be crowned (1530); his successors were elected emperors by the electoral college, each being titled "Elected Emperor of the Romans" (german: erwählter Römischer Kaiser; la, electus Romanorum imperator). The dignity of elector carried great prestige and was considered to be second only to that of king or emperor. The electors held exclusive privileges that were not shared with other princes of the Empire, and they continued to hold their original titles alongside that of elector. The
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
to a secular prince-elector was known as an electoral prince (german: Kurprinz).


Rights and privileges

Electors were rulers of (
Imperial Estates An Imperial State or Imperial Estate ( la, Status Imperii; german: Reichsstand, plural: ') was a part of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex o ...
), enjoying precedence over the other
Imperial Princes Imperial is that which relates to an empire, emperor, or imperialism. Imperial or The Imperial may also refer to: Places United States * Imperial, California * Imperial, Missouri * Imperial, Nebraska * Imperial, Pennsylvania * Imperial, Texas * ...
. They were, until the 18th century, exclusively entitled to be addressed with the title (Serene Highness). In 1742, the electors became entitled to the superlative (Most Serene Highness), while other princes were promoted to . As rulers of Imperial Estates, the electors enjoyed all the privileges of Imperial Princes, including the right to enter into alliances, to autonomy in relation to dynastic affairs, and to precedence over other subjects. The Golden Bull granted them the
Privilegium de non appellando Within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle A ...
, which prevented their subjects from lodging an appeal to a higher Imperial court. However, while this privilege, and some others, were automatically granted to Electors, they were not exclusive to them and many of the larger Imperial Estates were also to be individually granted some or all those rights and privileges.


Imperial Diet

The electors, like the other princes ruling States of the Empire, were members of the
Imperial DietImperial Diet means the highest representative assembly in an empire, notably: * Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) * Diet of Japan, Has been going on since 1889 (1889 ...
, which was divided into three ''collegia'': the Council of Electors, the Council of Princes, and the Council of Cities. In addition to being members of the Council of Electors, most electors were also members of the Council of Princes by virtue of possessing territory or holding ecclesiastical position. The assent of both bodies was required for important decisions affecting the structure of the Empire, such as the creation of new electorates or States of the Empire. Many electors ruled a number of States of the Empire or held several ecclesiastical titles, and therefore had multiple votes in the Council of Princes. In 1792, the Elector of Brandenburg had eight votes, the Elector of Bavaria six votes, the Elector of Hanover six votes, the King of Bohemia three votes, the Elector-Archbishop of Trier three votes, the Elector-Archbishop of Cologne two votes, and the Elector-Archbishop of Mainz one vote. Thus, of the hundred votes in the Council of Princes in 1792, twenty-nine belonged to electors, giving them considerable influence in the Council of Princes in addition to their positions as electors. In addition to voting by colleges or councils, the Imperial Diet also voted in religious coalitions, as provided for in the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
. The Archbishop of Mainz presided over the
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...
body, or , while the Elector of Saxony presided over the
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
body, or . The division into religious bodies was on the basis of the official religion of the state, and not of its rulers. Thus, even when the Electors of Saxony were Catholics during the eighteenth century, they continued to preside over the , since the state of Saxony was officially Protestant.


Elections

The electors were originally summoned by the Archbishop of Mainz within one month of an Emperor's death, and met within three months of being summoned. During the ''interregnum'', imperial power was exercised by two
imperial vicar An imperial vicar (german: Reichsvikar) was a prince charged with administering all or part of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territo ...
s. Each vicar, in the words of the Golden Bull, was "the administrator of the empire itself, with the power of passing judgments, of presenting to ecclesiastical benefices, of collecting returns and revenues and investing with fiefs, of receiving oaths of fealty for and in the name of the holy empire". The Elector of Saxony was vicar in areas operating under Saxon law (
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
,
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the region ...

Westphalia
,
Hannover Hanover (; german: Hannover ; nds, Hannober) is the capital and largest city of the German States of Germany, state of Lower Saxony. Its 534,049 (2020) inhabitants make it the List of cities in Germany by population, 13th-largest city in Germa ...
, and northern Germany), while the Elector Palatine was vicar in the remainder of the Empire (
Franconia Franconia (german: Franken, ; Franconian dialect: ''Franggn'' ; bar, Frankn) is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study ...

Franconia
,
Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg: ''Or, three lions passant sable'', the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin the coat of arms of the House of Hohenstaufen. Also used for Swabia (and for Württemberg-Baden during 1945–1952) are ...

Swabia
, the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
, and southern Germany). The Elector of Bavaria replaced the Elector Palatine in 1623, but when the latter was granted a new electorate in 1648, there was a dispute between the two as to which was vicar. In 1659, both purported to act as vicar, but ultimately, the other vicar recognized the Elector of Bavaria. Later, the two electors made a pact to act as joint vicars, but the Imperial Diet rejected the agreement. In 1711, while the Elector of Bavaria was under the ban of the Empire, the Elector Palatine again acted as vicar, but his cousin was restored to his position upon his restoration three years later. Finally, in 1745, the two agreed to alternate as vicars, with Bavaria starting first. This arrangement was upheld by the Imperial Diet in 1752. In 1777, the question was settled when the Elector Palatine inherited Bavaria. On many occasions, however, there was no interregnum, as a new king had been elected during the lifetime of the previous Emperor.
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
regularly served as the site of the election from the fifteenth century on, but elections were also held at
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...

Cologne
(1531),
Regensburg Regensburg or is a city in eastern Bavaria, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen River, Regen rivers. It is capital of the Upper Palatinate subregion of the state in the south of Germany. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regens ...

Regensburg
(1575 and 1636), and
Augsburg Augsburg ( , , ; bar, Augschburg, links=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swabian_German, label=Swabian German) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...

Augsburg
(1653 and 1690). An elector could appear in person or could appoint another elector as his proxy. More often, an electoral suite or embassy was sent to cast the vote; the credentials of such representatives were verified by the Archbishop of Mainz, who presided over the ceremony. The deliberations were held at the city hall, but voting occurred in the cathedral. In Frankfurt, a special electoral chapel, or , was used for elections. Under the Golden Bull, a majority of electors sufficed to elect a king, and each elector could cast only one vote. Electors were free to vote for whomsoever they pleased (including themselves), but dynastic considerations played a great part in the choice. Electors drafted a , or electoral capitulation, which was presented to the king-elect. The capitulation may be described as a contract between the princes and the king, the latter conceding rights and powers to the electors and other princes. Once an individual swore to abide by the electoral capitulation, he assumed the office of King of the Romans. In the 10th and 11th centuries, princes often acted merely to confirm hereditary succession in the Saxon
Ottonian dynasty The Ottonian dynasty (german: Ottonen) was a Saxons, Saxon dynasty of List of German monarchs, German monarchs (919–1024), named after three of its kings and Holy Roman Emperors named Otto, especially its first Emperor Otto I, Holy Roman Emper ...
and Franconian
Salian dynasty The Salian dynasty or Salic dynasty (german: Salier) was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) i ...
. But with the actual formation of the prince-elector class, elections became more open, starting with the election of
Lothair II Lothair II (835 – ) was the king of Lotharingia from 855 until his death. He was the second son of Emperor Lothair I and Ermengarde of Tours. He was married to Teutberga (died 875), daughter of Boso the Elder. Reign For political reasons, h ...

Lothair II
in 1125. The
StaufenStaufen refers to: *Hohenstaufen, a dynasty of German emperors *Staufen im Breisgau, a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany *Staufen, Aargau, in Switzerland *Staufen (protein), a protein found in the egg of ''Drosophila'' *Staufen, Austria, a mountai ...

Staufen
dynasty managed to get its sons formally elected in their fathers' lifetimes almost as a formality. After these lines ended in extinction, the electors began to elect kings from different families so that the throne would not once again settle within a single dynasty. For some two centuries, the monarchy was elective both in theory and in practice; the arrangement, however, did not last, since the powerful
House of Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...
managed to secure succession within their dynasty during the fifteenth century. All kings elected from 1438 onwards were from among the Habsburg Archdukes of Austria (and later Kings of Hungary and Bohemia) until 1740, when the archduchy was inherited by a woman,
Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dominions from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position. She was th ...
, sparking the
War of the Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was the last Great Power conflict with the House of Bourbon, Bourbon-Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1740 to 1748 and marked the rise of Kingdom of Prussia, Prus ...
. A representative of the House of Wittelsbach was elected for a short period of time, but in 1745, Maria Theresa's husband,
Francis IFrancis I or Francis the First may refer to: * Francesco I Gonzaga (1366–1407) * Francis I, Duke of Brittany (1414–1450), reigned 1442–1450 * Francis I of France (1494–1547), reigned 1515–1547 * Francis I, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg (1510–15 ...
of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, became King. All of his successors were also from the same family. Hence, for the greater part of the Empire's history, the role of the electors was largely ceremonial.


High offices

Each elector held a "High Office of the Empire" () analogous to a modern Cabinet office and was a member of the (ceremonial) Imperial Household. The three spiritual electors were Arch-Chancellors (german: Erzkanzler, la, Archicancellarius): the
Archbishop of Mainz The Elector of Mainz was one of the seven Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire. As both the Archbishop of Mainz and the ruling prince of the Electorate of Mainz, the Elector of Mainz held a powerful position during the Middle Ages. The Archb ...
was Arch-Chancellor of Germany, the
Archbishop of Cologne Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire ('' Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepis ...
was Arch-Chancellor of Italy, and the
Archbishop of Trier The Roman Catholic diocese of Trier, in English traditionally known by its French name of Treves, is a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bisho ...
was Arch-Chancellor of Burgundy. The six remaining were secular electors, who were granted augmentations to their arms reflecting their position in the Household. These augments were displayed either as an inset badge, as in the case of the Arch Steward, Treasurer, and Chamberlain—or
dexter Dexter may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Dexter, the main character of the American animated series '' Dexter's Laboratory'' that aired from 1996 to 2003 * Dexter, a fictional character in the British web series ''Diary of a Bad Man'' * Dexte ...
, as in the case of the Arch Marshal and Arch Bannerbearer. Or, as in the case of the Arch Cupbearer, the augment was integrated into the
escutcheon
escutcheon
, held in the royal Bohemian lion's right paw. When the
Duke of Bavaria The following is a list of rulers during the history of Bavaria. Bavaria was ruled by several dukes and Monarch, kings, partitioned and reunited, under several dynasty, dynasties. Since 1949, Bavaria has been a democratic States of Germany, sta ...
replaced the Elector Palatine in 1623, he assumed the latter's office of Arch-Steward. When the Count Palatine was granted a new electorate, he assumed the position of Arch-Treasurer of the Empire. When the Duke of Bavaria was banned in 1706, the Elector Palatine returned to the office of Arch-Steward, and in 1710, the Elector of Hanover was promoted to the post of Arch-Treasurer. Matters were complicated by the Duke of Bavaria's restoration in 1714; the Elector of Bavaria resumed the office of Arch-Steward, while the Elector Palatine returned to the post of Arch-Treasurer, and the Elector of Hanover was given the new office of Archbannerbearer. The Electors of Hanover, however, continued to be styled Arch-Treasurers, though the Elector Palatine was the one who actually exercised the office until 1777, when he inherited Bavaria and the Arch-Stewardship. After 1777, no further changes were made to the Imperial Household; new offices were planned for the Electors admitted in 1803, but the Empire was abolished before they could be created. The Duke of Württemberg, however, started to adopt the trappings of the Arch-Bannerbearer. Many High Officers were entitled to use " augmentations" on their
coats of arms A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon (i.e., shield A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, ...
; said augmentations, which were special marks of honor, appeared in the middle of the electors' shields (as shown in the image above) atop the other charges (in
heraldic Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flag A f ...
terms, the augmentations appeared in the form of
inescutcheon In heraldry Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony, rank and genealogy, pedigree. Arm ...
s). The Arch-Steward used ''
gules In heraldry Heraldry () is a discipline relating to the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology Vexillology () is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of ...
an
orb
orb
Or'' (a gold orb on a red field). The Arch-Marshal used the more complicated ''
per fess
per fess
sable The sable (''Martes zibellina'') is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the la ...
and
argent In heraldry, argent () is the tincture (heraldry), tincture of silver (color), silver, and belongs to the class of light Tincture (heraldry), tinctures called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeab ...

argent
, two swords in
saltire A saltire, also called Saint Andrew's Cross or the crux decussata, is a heraldic Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillolog ...

saltire
gules'' (two red swords arranged in the form of a
saltire A saltire, also called Saint Andrew's Cross or the crux decussata, is a heraldic Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related disciplines, such as vexillolog ...

saltire
, on a black and white field). The Arch-Chamberlain's augmentation was '' azure a
scepter A sceptre (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage ...
palewise Or'' (a golden scepter on a blue field), while the Arch-Treasurer's was ''gules the
crown of Charlemagne Image:French Coronation Crown of Charlemagne.png, The Crown of Charlemagne from 1271, used as French coronation crown from 875 or 1590 to 1775. The Crown of Charlemagne was a name given to the ancient coronation crown of King of the Franks, Kings o ...

crown of Charlemagne
Or'' (a gold crown on a red field). As noted above, the Elector Palatine and the Elector of Hanover styled themselves Arch-Treasurer from 1714 until 1777; during this time, both electors used the corresponding augmentations. The three Arch-Chancellors and the Arch-Cupbearer, however, did not use any augmentations. The electors discharged the ceremonial duties associated with their offices only during coronations, where they bore the crown and regalia of the Empire. Otherwise, they were represented by holders of corresponding " Hereditary Offices of the Household". The Arch-Butler was represented by the Hereditary Butler (
Cupbearer A cup-bearer was historically an officer of high rank in royal courts, whose duty was to pour and serve the drinks at the royal table. On account of the constant fear of plots and intrigues (such as poisoning), a person must have been regarded as t ...
) (the Count of Althann), the Arch-Seneschal by the Hereditary Steward (the Count of Waldburg, who adopted the title into their name as "Truchsess von Waldburg"), the Arch-Chamberlain by the Hereditary
Chamberlain Chamberlain may refer to: Profession *Chamberlain (office), the officer in charge of managing the household of a sovereign or other noble figure People *Chamberlain (surname) **Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927), German-British philosopher ...
(the Count of Hohenzollern), the Arch-Marshal by the Hereditary
Marshal Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. T ...

Marshal
(the Count of Pappenheim), and the Arch-Treasurer by the Hereditary
Treasurer A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury A treasury is either *A government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executi ...

Treasurer
(the Count of Sinzendorf). After 1803, the Duke of Württemberg as Arch-Bannerbearer assigned the count of Zeppelin-
Aschhausen
Aschhausen
as Hereditary Bannerbearer.


History

The German practice of electing
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

monarch
s began when ancient
Germanic tribes This list of ancient Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common History, historical, Socie ...

Germanic tribes
formed ''ad hoc'' coalitions and elected the leaders thereof. Elections were irregularly held by the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
, whose
successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1996 film including Laura Girling * ''The Successor'' (TV program), a 2007 Israeli television program Mu ...
s include
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
and the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
. The
French monarchy The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was among the most powerful s ...
eventually became
hereditary Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of traits Trait may refer to: * Phenotypic trait in biology, which involve genes and characteristics of organisms * Trait (computer programming), a model for str ...

hereditary
, but the Holy Roman Emperors remained elective, at least in theory, although the Habsburgs provided most of the later monarchs. While all free men originally exercised the right to vote in such elections, suffrage eventually came to be limited to the leading men of the realm. In the election of
Lothar II Lothair II (835 – ) was the king of Lotharingia Lotharingia (Latin: ''regnum Lotharii, regnum Lothariense, Lotharingia'', French: ''Lotharingie'', German: ''Reich des Lothar'', ''Lotharingien'', ''Mittelreich'') was a short-lived medieval su ...
in 1125, a small number of eminent nobles chose the monarch and then submitted him to the remaining magnates for their approbation. Soon, the right to choose the monarch was settled on an exclusive group of princes, and the procedure of seeking the approval of the remaining nobles was abandoned. The college of electors was mentioned in 1152 and again in 1198. The composition of electors at that time is unclear, but appears to have included representatives of the church and the
duke Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a , or of a member of , or . As rulers, dukes are ranked below s, s, s, s, and sovereign s. As royalty or nobility, they are ranked below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes ...

duke
s of the four nations of Germany: the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
(
Duchy of Franconia The Duchy of Franconia (german: Herzogtum Franken) was one of the five Stem duchy, stem duchies of East Francia and the medieval Kingdom of Germany emerging in the early 10th century. The word Franconia, first used in a Latin language, Latin charte ...
),
Swabians Swabians (german: Schwaben, singular ''Schwabe'') are Germanic peoples, Germanic people who are native to the ethnocultural and linguistic region of Swabia, which is now mostly divided between the modern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, ...
(
Duchy of Swabia The Duchy of Swabia (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * Germa ...
),
Saxons The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...

Saxons
(
Duchy of Saxony The Duchy of Saxony ( nds, Hartogdom Sassen, german: Herzogtum Sachsen) was originally the area settled A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colo ...
) and
Bavarians Bavarians ( Bavarian: ''Boarn'', Standard German Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German (german: Standarddeutsch, , or, in Switzerland, ), is the standardized variety of the German language The German l ...

Bavarians
(
Duchy of Bavaria The Duchy of Bavaria (German language, German: ''Herzogtum Bayern'') was a frontier region in the southeastern part of the Merovingian kingdom from the sixth through the eighth century. It was settled by Bavarians, Bavarian tribes and ruled by L ...
).


1257 to Thirty Years' War

The electoral college is known to have existed by 1152, but its composition is unknown. A letter written by
Pope Urban IV Pope Urban IV ( la, Urbanus IV; c. 1195 – 2 October 1264), born Jacques Pantaléon, was the pope, head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 29 August 1261 to his death. He was not a Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinal; only ...

Pope Urban IV
in 1265 suggests that by " immemorial custom", seven princes had the right to elect the King and future Emperor. The pope wrote that the seven electors were those who had just voted in the election of 1257, which resulted in the election of two kings. * Three ecclesiastical Electors: ** The
Archbishop of Mainz The Elector of Mainz was one of the seven Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire. As both the Archbishop of Mainz and the ruling prince of the Electorate of Mainz, the Elector of Mainz held a powerful position during the Middle Ages. The Archb ...
** The
Archbishop of Trier The Roman Catholic diocese of Trier, in English traditionally known by its French name of Treves, is a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bisho ...
** The
Archbishop of Cologne Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire ('' Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepis ...
* Four secular Electors: ** The
King of Bohemia of the King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population choo ...
** The
Count Palatine of the RhineThe Elector of the Palatinate (german: Kurfürst von der Pfalz) ruled the Electoral Palatinate The County Palatine of the Rhine (german: kurfürstliche Pfalzgrafschaft bei Rhein or ), later the Electorate of the Palatinate () or simply Electoral ...
** The
Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the Saxon Duchy in the 9th century to the end of the German monarchies in 1918. The electors of Saxony from John the Steadfast (o ...
** The
Margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or of a monarchy, kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain Feuda ...
The three Archbishops oversaw the most venerable and powerful sees in Germany, while the other four were supposed to represent the dukes of the four nations. The Count Palatine of the Rhine held most of the former Duchy of Franconia after the last Duke died in 1039. The Margrave of Brandenburg became an Elector when the Duchy of Swabia was dissolved after the last Duke of Swabia was beheaded in 1268. Saxony, even with diminished territory, retained its eminent position. The Palatinate and Bavaria were originally (since 1214) held by the same individual, but in 1253, they were divided between two members of the
House of Wittelsbach The House of Wittelsbach () is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German national ...
. The other electors refused to allow two princes from the same dynasty to have electoral rights, so a heated rivalry arose between the Count Palatine and the Duke of Bavaria over who should hold the Wittelsbach seat. Meanwhile, the King of Bohemia, who held the ancient imperial office of Arch-Cupbearer, asserted his right to participate in elections. Sometimes he was challenged on the grounds that his kingdom was not German, though usually he was recognized, instead of Bavaria which after all was just a younger line of Wittelsbachs. The
Declaration of Rhense The Declaration of Rhens or Treaty of Rhens (german: Kurverein) was a decree or '' Kurverein'' of the Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi- ...
issued in 1338 had the effect that election by the majority of the electors automatically conferred the royal title and rule over the empire, without papal confirmation. The
Golden Bull of 1356 The Golden Bull of 1356 (, , , ) was a decree issued by the Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), Imperial Diet at Diet of Nuremberg, Nuremberg and Metz (Diet of Metz (1356/57), Diet of Metz, 1356/57) headed by the Emperor Charles IV, Holy Roman Emp ...

Golden Bull of 1356
finally resolved the disputes among the electors. Under it, the Archbishops of
Mainz Mainz (; ) is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate (german: Rheinland-Pfalz, ) is a western state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine ...
,
Trier Trier ( , ; lb, Tréier ), formerly known in English as Trèves ( ;) and Triers (see also names in other languages), is a city on the banks of the Moselle The Moselle ( , ; german: Mosel ; lb, Musel ) is a river A river i ...
, and
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...
, as well as the
King of Bohemia of the King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population choo ...
, the
Count Palatine of the RhineThe Elector of the Palatinate (german: Kurfürst von der Pfalz) ruled the Electoral Palatinate The County Palatine of the Rhine (german: kurfürstliche Pfalzgrafschaft bei Rhein or ), later the Electorate of the Palatinate () or simply Electoral ...
, the
Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the Saxon Duchy in the 9th century to the end of the German monarchies in 1918. The electors of Saxony from John the Steadfast (o ...
, and the
Margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or of a monarchy, kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain Feuda ...
held the right to elect the King. The college's composition remained unchanged until the 17th century, although the Electorate of Saxony was transferred from the senior to the junior branch of the Wettin family in 1547, in the aftermath of the
Schmalkaldic War The Schmalkaldic War (german: link=no, Schmalkaldischer Krieg) refers to the short period of violence from 1546 until 1547 between the forces of Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (simultaneously King Charles I of Spain), commanded by t ...
.


Thirty Years' War to Napoleon

In 1621, the Elector Palatine,
Frederick VFrederick V or Friedrich V may refer to: *Frederick V, Duke of Swabia (1164–1170) *Frederick V, Count of Zollern (d.1289) *Frederick V, Burgrave of Nuremberg (c. 1333–1398), German noble *Frederick V of Austria (1415–1493), or Frederick III, ...

Frederick V
, came under the imperial ban after participating in the
Bohemian Revolt The Bohemian Revolt (german: Böhmischer Aufstand; cs, České stavovské povstání; 1618–1620) was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty that began the Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' Wa ...
(a part of the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Weste ...
). The Elector Palatine's seat was conferred on the Duke of Bavaria, the head of a junior branch of his family. Originally, the Duke held the electorate personally, but it was later made hereditary along with the duchy. When the Thirty Years' War concluded with the
Peace of Westphalia The Peace of Westphalia (german: Westfälischer Friede, ) is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück Osnabrück (; wep, Ossenbrügge; archaic ''Osnaburg'') is a city in the ...
in 1648, a new electorate was created for the Count Palatine of the Rhine. Since the Elector of Bavaria retained his seat, the number of electors increased to eight; the two Wittelsbach lines were now sufficiently estranged so as not to pose a combined potential threat. In 1685, the religious composition of the College of Electors was disrupted when a Catholic branch of the Wittelsbach family inherited the Palatinate. A new Protestant electorate was created in 1692 for the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who became known as the Elector of Hanover (the
Imperial DietImperial Diet means the highest representative assembly in an empire, notably: * Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire), general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) * Diet of Japan, Has been going on since 1889 (1889 ...
officially confirmed the creation in 1708). The Elector of Saxony converted to Catholicism in 1697 so that he could become King of Poland, but no additional Protestant electors were created. Although the Elector of Saxony was personally Catholic, the Electorate itself remained officially Protestant, and the Elector even remained the leader of the Protestant body in the Reichstag. In 1706, the Elector of Bavaria and Archbishop of Cologne were outlawed during the
War of the Spanish Succession The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was an early-18th-century European war, triggered by the death in November 1700 of the childless Charles II of Spain. It established the principle that dynastic rights were secondary to maintaini ...
, but both were restored in 1714 after the Peace of Baden. In 1777, the number of electors was reduced to eight when the Elector Palatine inherited Bavaria. Many changes to the composition of the college were necessitated by
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...
's aggression during the early 19th century. The
Treaty of Lunéville The Treaty of Lunéville was signed in the Treaty House of Lunéville on 9 February 1801. The signatory parties were the French First Republic, French Republic and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The latter was negot ...
(1801), which ceded territory on the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
's left bank to
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
, led to the abolition of the archbishoprics of Trier and Cologne, and the transfer of the remaining spiritual Elector from Mainz to
Regensburg Regensburg or is a city in eastern Bavaria, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen River, Regen rivers. It is capital of the Upper Palatinate subregion of the state in the south of Germany. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regens ...

Regensburg
. In 1803, electorates were created for the
Duke of Württemberg A duke (male) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor, king, and grand duke ruling over a duchy or a member of Royal family, royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank, below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes ...
, the
Margrave of Baden The Margraviate of Baden (german: Markgrafschaft Baden) was a historical territory of the Holy Roman Empire. Spread along the east side of the Upper Rhine River in southwestern Kingdom of Germany, Germany, it was named a margrave, margraviate in 1 ...
, the
Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel (german: Landgrafschaft Hessen-Kassel), spelled Hesse-Cassel during its entire existence, was a state in the Holy Roman Empire that was imperial immediacy, directly subject to the Emperor. The state was created in ...
, and the Duke of Salzburg, bringing the total number of electors to ten. When
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
annexed Salzburg under the
Treaty of Pressburg (1805) The fourth Peace of Pressburg (also known as the Treaty of Pressburg; german: Preßburger Frieden; french: Traité de Presbourg) was signed in Bratislava, Pressburg (''Pozsony'', today's Bratislava) on 27 December 1805 between French Emperor Napole ...
, the Duke of Salzburg moved to the
Grand Duchy of Würzburg The Grand Duchy of Würzburg (german: Großherzogtum Würzburg) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Ge ...
and retained his electorate. None of the new electors, however, had an opportunity to cast votes, as the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806, and the new electorates were never confirmed by the Emperor. In 1788, the ruling family of
Savoy Savoy (; frp, Savouè ; french: Savoie is a cultural-historical region in the Western Alps it, Alpi occidentaligerman: Westalpen , photo=Mont Blanc from Punta Helbronner, 2010 July.JPG , photo_caption=Mont Blanc Mont Blanc (french: Mont ...
pushed to receive an electoral title. Their ambition was backed by Brandenburg-Prussia. However, the French Revolution and subsequent Coalition Wars soon rendered this a moot point.Peter Wilson. "Heart of Europe: A History of the Holy Roman Empire." Cambridge: 2016. Page 227.


After the Empire

After the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire in August 1806, the Electors continued to reign over their territories, many of them taking higher titles. The Electors of Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony styled themselves Kings, while the Electors of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt,
Regensburg Regensburg or is a city in eastern Bavaria, at the confluence of the Danube, Naab and Regen River, Regen rivers. It is capital of the Upper Palatinate subregion of the state in the south of Germany. With more than 150,000 inhabitants, Regens ...
, and
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian Main-Franconian (german: Mainfränkisch) is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian German, East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main (river), Main which meets the rive ...
became Grand Dukes. The Elector of Hesse-Kassel, however, retained the meaningless title "Elector of Hesse", thus distinguishing himself from other Hessian princes (the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt and the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg). Napoleon soon exiled him and Kassel was annexed to the
Kingdom of Westphalia The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse Hesse (, , ) or Hessia (, ; german: Hessen ), officially the State of Hessen (german: links=n ...
, a new creation. The King of Great Britain remained at war with Napoleon and continued to style himself Elector of Hanover, while the Hanoverian government continued to operate in London. The
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) w ...

Congress of Vienna
accepted the Electors of Bavaria, Württemberg, and Saxony as Kings, along with the newly created Grand Dukes. The Elector of Hanover finally joined his fellow Electors by declaring himself the
King of Hanover The King of Hanover (German language, German: ''König von Hannover'') was the official title of the head of state and Hereditary monarchy, hereditary ruler of the Kingdom of Hanover, beginning with the proclamation of the List of British monarch ...
. The restored Elector of Hesse, a Napoleonic creation, tried to be recognized as the King of the
Chatti The Chatti (also Chatthi or Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information c ...
. However, the European powers refused to acknowledge this title at the
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818) The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, held in the autumn of 1818, was a high-level diplomatic meeting of France and the four allied powers Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia which had defeated it in 1814. The purpose was to decide the withdrawal of th ...
and instead listed him with the grand dukes as a "Royal Highness". Believing the title of Prince-Elector to be superior in dignity to that of Grand Duke, the Elector of Hesse-Kassel chose to remain an Elector, even though there was no longer a Holy Roman Emperor to elect. Hesse-Kassel remained the only Electorate in Germany until 1866, when the country backed the losing side in the
Austro-Prussian War The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War, known in Germany as ("German War") and by a variety of other names, was fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling ') was ...
and was absorbed into Prussia.


Spiritual

*The
Elector of Mainz The Elector of Mainz was one of the seven Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire. As both the Archbishop of Mainz and the ruling prince of the Electorate of Mainz, the Elector of Mainz held a powerful position during the Middle Ages. The Archb ...
was always a Roman Catholic. *The
Elector of Trier The elector of Trier was one of the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire and, in his capacity as archbishop, administered the archdiocese of Trier. The territories of the electorate and the archdiocese were not, however, equivalent. History T ...
was always a Roman Catholic. *The
Elector of CologneImage:Balduineum Wahl Heinrich VII.jpg, Cologne was one of the seven electorates of the Holy Roman Empire (''Codex Balduini Trevirorum'', c. 1340) The Archbishop of Cologne is an archbishop representing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne, Arc ...
was usually a Roman Catholic, with the exception of Hermann V von Wied (Lutheran, 1542–1546) and Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg (Calvinist, Reformed 1582–1588).


Secular

*The Kingdom of Bohemia, Elector of Bohemia, who was also ruler of the lands of the Austrian Circle (primarily as the Archduchy of Austria, Archduke of Austria) and the Kingdom of Hungary (1526–1867), King of Hungary from 1526, was usually a Roman Catholic. The exceptions were George of Podebrady (Hussite, 1457–1471) and Frederick V of the Palatinate, Frederick I (Calvinist, Reformed, 1619–1620). *The Margraviate of Brandenburg, Elector of Brandenburg, who was also List of monarchs of Prussia, Duke of Prussia from 1618, King in Prussia from 1701, and King of Prussia from 1772, was Roman Catholic until 1539, then Lutheran until 1613, then Calvinist, Reformed until the end of the Empire. *The Electoral Palatinate, Elector Palatine was Roman Catholic until the 1530s, then Lutheran until 1559, then Reformed until 1575, then again Lutheran until 1583, then again Reformed until 1623, when the electoral dignity was lost to Electoral Bavaria, Bavaria. *The Electorate of Saxony, Elector of Saxony was Roman Catholic until 1525, then Lutheran until 1697, and then again Roman Catholic.


Added in the 17th century

*The Electorate of Bavaria, Elector of Bavaria, added in 1623 and restored in 1714, was always Roman Catholic. *The Elector of Hanover, added in 1692, was Lutheran until 1714, when he became List of British monarchs, King of Great Britain and also the head of the Anglican Church of England.


Added in the 19th century

*The Principality of Regensburg, Elector of Regensburg (added in 1801), Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg, was Catholic. *The Electorate of Salzburg, Elector of Salzburg (1803–1805) and Grand Duchy of Würzburg, Würzburg (1805–1806) Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III and I was Catholic. *The Electorate of Württemberg, Elector of Württemberg (added in 1803), Frederick I of Württemberg, Frederick I, was Lutheran. *The Electorate of Baden, Elector of Baden (added in 1803), Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden, Charles Frederick, was Lutheran. *The Electorate of Hesse, Elector of Hesse (added in 1803), William I, Elector of Hesse, William I, was Reformed.


Marks of office


Electoral Arms

Below are the State arms of each Imperial Elector. Emblems of Prince-elector#High offices, Imperial High Offices are shown on the appropriate arms. Three Electors Spiritual (Archbishops): all three were annexed by various powers through German mediatisation, German Mediatisation of 1803. File:Mainz Arms.svg, Electorate of Mainz, Mainz File:Trier Arms.svg, Electorate of Trier, Trier File:Coat of Arms of Electorate of Cologne.svg,
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...
Four Electors Secular: File:Arch Cupbearer Holding Augment.png, Kingdom of Bohemia. The white lion bears in his right paw a simple crown symbolizing the King of Bohemia as imperial Arch Cupbearer presenting it to the Emperor. Restored directly from Medieval, hand-drawn armorials. File:Arms of the Electoral Palatinate (Variant 1).svg, Electoral Palatine, The Palatinate was an electorate until 1777, when the Elector acceded to Bavaria. The office of Arch-Treasurer transferred to Hanover. File:Blason Jean-Georges IV de Saxe.svg, Electorate of Saxony, Saxony File:Arms of Brandenburg.svg, Margraviate of Brandenburg, Brandenburg Electors added in the 17th century: File:Arms of Charles VII Albert, Holy Roman Emperor.svg, Electorate of Bavaria, Bavaria was granted electoral dignity by Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II in 1623, removing the dignity from the Count Palatine of the Rhine. Royal Hanover Inescutcheon.svg, Electorate of Hanover, Hanover (Brunswick-Lüneburg), made an elector by Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I in 1692 as a reward for aid given in the War of the Grand Alliance. Later, the ceremonial office of Chief Treasurer was transferred here from the Palatinate.


Napoleonic Additions

As Napoleon waged war on Europe, between 1803 and 1806, the following changes to the Constitution of the Holy Roman Empire were attempted until the Empire's collapse. Except for the prince Württemberg, who had already inherited his office, the electors were not given augments or high office in the imperial household."The Holy Roman Empire", ''Heraldica''
/ref> File:Augmented arms of electoral Württemberg.png, In 1777, the number of Electors dropped from nine to eight, until 1803, when Electorate of Württemberg, Württemberg was raised to an electorate by Napoleon, while the prince himself was elevated from Standard-Bearer () to Arch-Standardbearer. File:Wappen-HK.png, Electorate of Hesse, Hesse-Cassel was added in 1803. File:Wappen Regensburg.svg, Electorate of Regensburg, Principality of Regensburg was added in 1803, after the annexation of Mainz by the French. File:Kursalzburg.png, Electorate of Salzburg, Grand Duchy of Salzburg was added in 1803. After it was German mediatization, mediatized Peace of Pressburg (1805), to Austria in 1805, its electoral vote was transferred to Würzburg. Salzburg and Würzburg were ruled by the same person, Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand III. File:Wappen Großherzogtum Würzburg.svg, Electorate of Würzburg, Grand Duchy of Würzburg File:Coat of arms of Baden.svg, Electorate of Baden, Margraviate of Baden was added in 1803.


See also

* Elective monarchy * Electoral Palace (disambiguation) * Electress * Imperial election


References


Citations


Sources

* Bryce, J. (1887). ''The Holy Roman Empire'', 8th ed. New York: Macmillan. * *


External links


The Avalon Project. (2003). "The Golden Bull of the Emperor Charles IV 1356 A.D."


* [http://www.heraldica.org/topics/royalty/royalstyle.htm Velde, F. R. (2003). "Royal Styles."] * [http://www.heraldica.org/topics/national/hre.htm Velde, F. R. (2004). "The Holy Roman Empire."] *
Armin Wolf, Electors, published 9 May 2011, english version published 26 February 2020 ; in: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns
{{Authority control 1125 establishments in Europe 1120s establishments in the Holy Roman Empire 1866 disestablishments in Germany Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, * German noble titles Titles of nobility of the Holy Roman Empire Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, * Electoral colleges Imperial election (Holy Roman Empire) Monarchy in Germany