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The ' (formally the ', or "Principal Conclusion of the Extraordinary Imperial Delegation"), sometimes referred to in English as the Final Recess or the Imperial Recess of 1803, was a resolution passed by the ' (Imperial Diet) 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 ...
on 24 March 1803. It was ratified by the
Emperor Francis II Francis II (german: Franz II.; 12 February 1768 – 2 March 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator Romanorum, german: Kaiser der Römer) during the ...

Emperor Francis II
and became law on 27 April. It proved to be the last significant law enacted by the Empire before its dissolution in 1806. The resolution was approved by an Imperial Delegation (') on 25 February and submitted to the ' for acceptance. It was based on a plan agreed in June 1802 between France and Russia, and broad principles outlined in 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 ...
of 1801. The law secularized nearly 70 ecclesiastical states and abolished 45 imperial cities to compensate numerous German princes for territories to the west of 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
that had been annexed by France as a result of the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted French First Republic, France against Gr ...
.


Secularization and mediatization

The secularized ecclesiastical states (prince-bishoprics, prince-priories, prince-abbeys and imperial abbeys) were generally annexed to neighbouring secular principalities, with several of the abbeys being given as secular fiefs to those small princes who had lost their estates west of the Rhine. Only three states retained their ecclesiastical character: the Archbishopric of Regensburg, which was raised from a bishopric with the incorporation of part of the
Archbishopric of Mainz The Electorate of Mainz (german: Kurfürstentum Mainz or ', la, Electoratus Moguntinus), previously known in English as Mentz and by its French name Mayence, was one of the most prestigious and influential states of the Holy Roman Empire. In the ...
, and the lands of the
Teutonic Knights The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: la, Ordo domus Sanctae Mariae Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum; german: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly known ...
and
Knights of Saint John The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem ( la, Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Sancti Ioannis Hierosolymitani), commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller (), the Knights of Rhodes, the Knights of Malta, or the Order of Saint John, ...

Knights of Saint John
. Also of note is the former
Archbishopric of Salzburg The Prince-Archbishopric of Salzburg (german: Fürsterzbistum Salzburg) was an Prince-bishop, ecclesiastical principality and Imperial State, state of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised the temporalities, secular territory ruled by the archbish ...
, which was secularized as a duchy with an increased territorial scope, and was also made an electorate. In addition, all but a handful of the 51 imperial cities were abolished and annexed to neighboring states. The ' was ratified unanimously by the ' in March 1803, and was approved by the emperor,
Francis II
Francis II
, the following month. However the emperor made a formal reservation in respect of the reallocation of votes within the ', as the balance between
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 ...
and
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 ...

Catholic
states had been shifted heavily in the former's favour.


Consequences

Following the ', altogether 112 imperial states, totaling 10,000 square kilometres, and a population of over three million people changed hands. A number of the larger states made significant territorial gains (most notably
Baden__notoc__ Baden (; ) is a historical territory in South Germany Southern Germany () as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. This corresponds roughly to the hi ...

Baden
,
Württemberg Württemberg ( ; ) is a historical German territory roughly corresponding to the cultural and linguistic region of Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg shows the three lions passant of the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin th ...
,
Bavaria Bavaria (; 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 * German language ...

Bavaria
and
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
), and
Baden__notoc__ Baden (; ) is a historical territory in South Germany Southern Germany () as a region has no exact boundary but is generally taken to include the areas in which Upper German dialects are spoken. This corresponds roughly to the hi ...

Baden
,
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
Württemberg Württemberg ( ; ) is a historical German territory roughly corresponding to the cultural and linguistic region of Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg shows the three lions passant of the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin th ...
gained status by being made electorates (to replace three that had been lost in the changes). Of the imperial cities, only
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
,
Bremen Bremen (, also ; Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by t ...
,
Frankfurt am Main Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian A Hessian is an inhabitant of the German state of Hesse. Hessian may also refer to: Named from the toponym *Hessian (soldier), eighteenth-century German regiments in service with the Bri ...
,
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = Central (CET) , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = Central (CEST) , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Post ...

Hamburg
,
Lübeck Lübeck (; Low German Low German or Low Saxon (in the language itself: , and other names; german: Plattdeutsch, ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language variety spoken mainly in Northern Germany and the northeastern part of the ...
, and
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...

Nuremberg
survived as independent entities. The ' was set up by the Imperial Diet to arrange the compensation of those princes whose territories had been ceded to France. It continued to operate down to at least 1820 (after the Empire's demise) and its archives are today kept in the
German Federal Archives , type = Archive , seal = , seal_size = , seal_caption = , seal_alt = , logo = Bundesarchiv-Logo.svg , logo_size = , logo_caption = , log ...
. The principle that allies of
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 ...

Napoleon
could expect to make gains in both territory and status was also established, and was to be repeated on a number of occasions, above all in 1806 when, at the time of the establishment of the
Confederation of the Rhine The Confederated States of the Rhine, simply known as the Confederation of the Rhine, was a confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common acti ...
, over 80 small and mid-size secular states (such as principalities and
imperial counties
imperial counties
) were mediatized and annexed to some of the member states of the new Confederation. These massive territorial and institutional upheavals were to bring about the dissolution of the Empire in the course of the same year.


References


External links


Full text, incl. preamble
(in German)
Full text (original printed document)

French-language summary of the articles dealing with the compensations
{{Authority control Legal history of the Holy Roman Empire 1803 in the Holy Roman Empire 1803 in law