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As sovereignty (also: Lands-Hoheit , Landes-Obrigkeit ; lat. Superioritas territorialis, jus territorii ), the supreme power of sovereignty exercised by a sovereign over a territory in the Holy Roman Empire was primarily referred to in the 17th and 18th centuries .

Concept history

In his work De sublimi et regio territorii iure , published in 1600, Andreas von Knichen dealt with the sovereignty of the country without designating it as such, with the remark that it is called vulgo regional authority . The term was first encountered in a German-language legal source in 1621 in the country of Hadeln . However, it has only been documented more frequently since the beginning of the 18th century.

The term was introduced into scientific literature by the legal scholar Hermann Conring , who first used it in 1643 in his work Exercitatio de ducibus et comitibus . The Peace of Westphalia states sovereignty in Art. V §. 30 ius territorii et superioritatis . In 1649 this is translated as sovereign sovereignty . In Art. VIII § 1 it is the ius terrorialis . The translation from 1649 reads: Land rights . In the French draft it is called droit de souveraineté . The emperor , however, has rejected all attempts to 1806 to use the term in official documents.

In the works of Reich journalism , especially of the 18th century, the scope and limits of state sovereignty are discussed in detail. In these writings, which are predominantly written in Latin , the main reference was made to superioritas territorialis . However, there are a large number of German and Latin names for this subject in the literature of the time, e.g. B. Land (e) s-Princely Authorities, High Land (e) s-Authorities, jus superioritatis, summa potestas .

As a result of the upheavals of the French era , sovereignty was replaced by the concept of sovereignty , which originated in French and is linguistically close to the Latin superioritas . In the 19th century, sovereignty was seen as synonymous with sovereignty . In the scientific literature of the 20th and 21st centuries, sovereignty is often used to distinguish it from sovereignty .

Scope and Limits

The sovereignty gave the sovereign power over all residents who are resident on his territory , the subjects and estates . This power of rule was basically all-encompassing. However, it was limited by the basic imperial laws , by customary law , by contracts with non-resident persons or other sovereigns, but also by divine and international law . It was therefore not full sovereignty until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 . It was quite possible for subjects or estates to file suit against their sovereign before the Reich Chamber of Commerce . Corresponding processes were carried out there several times until 1806.

Continuing effect

The restrictions on sovereignty with regard to the empire were not lifted until it was dissolved in 1806. Since then, the sovereign rights of 1815 in the are German Confederation as States transferred territories called sovereignty. It was not until the establishment of the North German Confederation in 1867 and the German Empire in 1871 that they were again limited in various ways. The states that were transferred to the Weimar Republic as "Länder" retained this limited sovereignty without being designated as such. According to a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court, the federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany, which emerged as the successor to the federal states of the Weimar Republic, are endowed with “their own sovereign sovereignty”, which, however, is limited by federal rights.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German legal dictionary : Landeshoheit
  2. References to other designations in Zedler (see web links) column 500
  3. General Encyclopedia of Sciences and Arts Sect. 2, part 41: sovereignty