Reichstag in Augsburg

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In the Holy Roman Empire , Reichstag took place in Augsburg from the 12th century , which had emerged from the court days of the emperor . They developed into a permanent legal institution. In addition to the regent, three groups determined the events: electors , princes and (later) the representatives of the imperial cities .

As a bishopric and imperial city, Augsburg hosted the imperial estates several times . In the 16th century, several diets were concentrated there, two of which are particularly noteworthy:


A Reichstag was particularly often held by emperors from the House of Habsburg . A connection with their financial problems cannot be dismissed out of hand. Merchant families like the Fuggers and Welsers , who earned well in trade and helped rulers with loans, were also able to cushion the costs and burdens associated with a Reichstag for the imperial city . The domestic business magnates had contacts with the emperor and pope , with secular and spiritual princes . At that time Augsburg was a cosmopolitan city where politics was made.

The location on Poststrasse was also a criterion when choosing a place in the Reichstag. The networking of the trading houses (headquarters to their branches) allowed a rich stream of commercial and political information to flow to Augsburg.

Court and Reichstag in Augsburg

The following overview presents conferences in Augsburg and information about the respective events. It does not claim to be complete. The transition from the term “Hoftag” to the term “Reichstag” was fluid; including the 11th century, “Hoftag” is used consistently below.


King Berengar II's disregard of his feudal relationship with Otto I, which had existed since 940, and a cry for help from the widow of Berengar's predecessor Lothar , Adelheid , prompted Otto to move to Italy for the first time. In Pavia he paid homage as king of the Franks and Lombards and enfeoffed Berengar with Italy (Upper and Central Italy without papal territories) at the court in Augsburg on August 7, 952. Berengar and his son Adalbert retained their Italian royal dignity, but became Otto's vassals and had to cede the margravates of Verona and Aquileia , which were united with the Duchy of Bavaria .

The second important result of this court day is the conviction of Count Guntram (called “the rich”) for high treason. The reason for this is not known. Guntram's property in Thurgau , in the Rhine valley , in Alsace and in Breisgau was confiscated and incorporated into the royal estate . Immediately after Guntram's conviction, the king gave parts of the confiscated count's property in Breisgau to the Einsiedeln monastery .


In 1040, on a court day, Italian princes and greats tried to take action against Boniface I , Margrave of Tuszien and Canossa , who was expanding his power in northern Italy. However, they could contact Emperor Heinrich III. , who had an important partisan in Boniface, did not enforce.

1077 (?)

The investiture dispute with Pope Gregory VII had broken out. The Pope excommunicated Henry IV on February 22, 1076 and declared him deposed. Heinrich IV had previously declared the Pope, who he believed had come to power illegally, to be deposed. The existing opposition to the princes forced Heinrich to promise obedience and satisfaction to the Pope. The princes threatened to elect an opposing king if Heinrich was not released from the ban within a year. A court day in Augsburg was called for February 2, 1077, to which Pope Gregory VII was invited. Heinrich anticipated the threatened unification of the prince opposition and the papacy by traveling to meet Gregory. The walk to Canossa ended after tough negotiations with the lifting of the ban ; Gregor subsequently treated Heinrich as king. Presumably this planned Reichstag in Augsburg has been canceled, in any case Pope Gregory did not travel to Augsburg. Regardless of the Canossa agreement, the prince opposition elected the Swabian Duke Rudolf von Rheinfelden as the new king in Forchheim on March 15th . He, in turn, recognized the canonical election of the bishops and renounced the inheritance of the royal office. With this, the Pope and the prince seemed to have won the day. Heinrich did not give up, however, and after the death of his opponent Rudolf he grew stronger again.

The empire (outlined in red) with Regnum Teutonicorum (blue) in Ottonian times in the 10th century


This court day was made by Konrad III. convened to break the superiority of Heinrich the Proud from Guelph . Heinrich was unable to prevail against Konrad in the 1137 king's election, but as Duke of Bavaria , Saxony and Tuscany he had a wealth of power that threatened Konrad. In Augsburg, Konrad asked Heinrich to hand over one of the two German duchies. Heinrich refuses publication and homage. At the court conference in Würzburg in autumn of the same year, Heinrich the Proud was convicted of high treason and fell victim to the eight . Both duchies are withdrawn from him and Saxony is given to Albrecht the Bear , Bavaria to Leopold IV , Margrave of Austria.


unfortunately no further information


The year before there had been a scandal during the Diet of Besançon : In a letter from Pope Hadrian IV , in which he protested against the imperial behavior after the capture of Archbishop Eskil by imperial partisans, the empire was (rather casually) as a "beneficium" designated. The Pope's legates had to leave the country, and in a letter of reply, Frederick protested against any feudal dependence of the emperor on the papacy. Hadrian received no support from the German episcopate for his approach and had a letter read out at the Augsburg court in which he asserted that the word “beneficium” means “benevolence” ( bonum factum ) and not “ feudum ”.

On the same court day there was the so-called " Augsburger Schied ", in which Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa on June 14, 1158 granted Duke Heinrich the Lion in a dispute with Bishop Otto I of Freising the right to build a customs bridge over the Isar at the place " ad Munichen ”, from which Munich would later develop.

Heinrich had previously had an episcopal bridge demolished in Feringa ( Oberföhring ) and guided the Berchtesgaden salt traders on their way north and west over his own bridge a few kilometers further south. Friedrich approved Heinrich's approach, but ordered him to give the Freising Bishop a third of the customs revenue as compensation for the suspension of Feringa's market and customs rights.

After the court day, Friedrich I Barbarossa set out on his second campaign in troubled Italy .


The dispute with the Guelph Duke of Bavaria and Saxony, Heinrich the Lion after his breach of loyalty in 1176, continued. Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa had convened a court day in Augsburg for the middle of September 1179 in order to swear loyalty to the kingdom of the southern German princes after his change of course towards the aggressive policy of Henry the Lion. In order to isolate Heinrich in the south in his duchy of Bavaria and with its neighbors, the emperor stayed in the south until the end of the year and maintained close contacts with the princes there. Lueneburg, meanwhile, celebrated Henry the Lion pompous the Christmas 1179, to signal that the announced on the court day of Magdeburg in June 1179 outlawed do not mind him.


In the controversy for the throne with Otto IV. From 1204, King Philip of Swabia had increasingly succeeded in winning important supporters of the Guelph to his side and thus his position in the empire and against Pope Innocent III. to strengthen decisively. Finally, in 1207, he succeeded in entering into an alliance with King Ottokar I Přemysl of Bohemia , which was sealed on the court day with the engagement of Philip's daughter Kunigunde to Ottokar's son Wenceslaus .


Ludwig the Kelheimer , Duke of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine , was given the office of Reich Governor by Emperor Friedrich II on this court day in July .

Friedrich had his nine-year-old son Heinrich (VII) elected king as early as 1220 . During the frequent absence of the emperor, a regency council conducted the affairs of the minor for the minor. Engelbert I , Archbishop of Cologne, dominated it. After his murder, Friedrich appointed Ludwig, Duke of Bavaria, as guardian and imperial gubernator. Just two years later, however, on December 25, 1228, Heinrich released Ludwig's guardianship and ruled independently.


After his excommunication by Pope Innocent IV in April 1251, King Conrad IV appointed Duke Otto II of Bavaria to a Reichstag in June as his deputy.


On the court day, Ottokar II. Přemysl , King of Bohemia, was imposed an imperial ban because he refused to return imperial property that had been illegally taken into possession . The 1273 elected King Rudolf I explained to his main target, since the dismissal of Frederick II. To regain the kingdom by the Pope in 1245 under foreign rule of the kingdom has come rights and goods. Rudolf therefore demanded the return of all imperial goods at the court days of Speyer in 1273 and Nuremberg in 1274. After the Babenbergs died out and a victorious conflict with the Hohenstaufen dynasty, Ottokar took possession of the Duchy of Austria in 1251 . In 1260/1261 he had also acquired the Duchy of Styria , and in 1269 Carinthia and Carniola. After Rudolf's election, the legality of which Ottokar repeatedly questioned, he refused to pay homage to Rudolf and also to return the imperial property he had illegally taken. Therefore, on June 24, 1275, Ottokar was revoked all imperial fiefs, the gift office and the Austrian states and the eight was imposed on him. On this court day, the number of seven king voters was mentioned for the first time in an imperial document (with royal recognition of the Duke of Bavaria's right to vote). The Schwabenspiegel (1275/76) then deviated from the Sachsenspiegel and the Deutschenspiegel in the appropriate places and standardized the exclusivity of the Königswahler. The ruler was now to be chosen by seven people: three clergymen and four lay people, including the Duke of Bavaria, but not yet the later electors . No other princes were mentioned. In addition, Augsburg citizens' spokesman asked Rudolf I for the approval of an extended town charter , which he awarded as a German town charter in 1276 .


King Rudolf I enfeoffed his sons Albrecht and Rudolf "in common hand" with the Duchies of Austria and Styria as well as Carniola and the Windische Mark and elevated them to the rank of imperial prince on the court day on December 17, 1282 . This laid the foundation for Habsburg rule. This decision was notarized on December 27, 1282, the court day ended on December 21 in Augsburg.


The Reichstag was mostly concerned with financing issues and burden sharing in connection with the Turks who invaded Styria from 1471. In addition, Emperor Friedrich III. for the Reichstag, his entourage of around 1,000 people would get new clothes. The Fugger family deferred the bill and was awarded the imperial coat of arms with the two lilies.


In addition to the question of imperial aid against the Turkish threat, which was again on the agenda, Emperor Friedrich III. on May 27, elector Friedrich I of the Palatinate was given a ban on the Reich because of the Weissenburg feud . Since the emperor could not pay the costs incurred in Augsburg, he was prevented from leaving by creditors. The legation from Cologne triggered him.


  • The Reichstag opened on April 10th.
  • The establishment of the Reichsregiment , a kind of estate government, to whose approval the government measures of the emperor should be bound, was decided. As later history showed, this innovation, coldly received by the emperor, did not prevail and was dissolved by him less than two years later.
  • In order to carry out the execution of the Reich against violators of the peace, as well as to enforce the judgments of the Reich Chamber Court , the Reichstag created an execution order . For this purpose, the empire was divided into six, later ten, supra-territorial administrative units ( imperial circles ). In 1512, the Reichstag of Trier / Cologne confirmed and supplemented the Reich Execution Code.
  • The painter Hans Burgkmair the Elder made his first contacts with Maximilian I on the fringes of the Reichstag , which later led to commissions.
  • Artisans showed their prosperity in these years by wearing luxurious clothes, so that outwardly they were difficult to distinguish from nobles. At the Diets in Freiburg (1498) and Augsburg (1500), the handicraftsmen were therefore admonished: "Also, no gold, silver, Perlin, velvet, Seyden, Schamlot to wear pieces of clothing."


On the initiative of the German King Maximilian I, the Reichstag granted Landsknechten the right to dress as they saw fit.


The Reichstag was held by Jakob Fugger in the city palace . Hamburg was declared an imperial city by the Reichstag . This declaration was not recognized by Denmark . Hamburg generally tended to believe that it was part of the Holstein rulership. This opinion was also held by the Danish kings, who had replaced the Counts of Schauenburg there in 1460. The emperor and the Reichstag, on the other hand, granted the location on the Elbe the status of a free and immediate imperial city.

The imperial circles of the Holy Roman Empire 1512, before the imperial reform


Ulrich von Hutten was crowned poeta laureatus by Maximilian I at the Reichstag and appointed imperial orator .


Memorial plaque to Martin Luther at the place where he spent the night, the Carmelite Monastery Augsburg , today St. Anna Church
Equestrian statue of Maximilian I with farewell words from Augsburg
  • Martin Luther was summoned to Augsburg for an interrogation about his theses, where the emperor had held a diet and had already left. Luther's talks took place from October 12th to October 14th in the Fugger's city ​​palace . The monk , citing the Gospel , refused to revoke his 95 theses before the cardinal legate Cajetan , the papal envoy, and refused the papal chamberlain Karl von Miltitz's attempt to mediate . Luther evaded imminent arrest by fleeing at night.
  • The focus of the Reichstag (from July to October) were efforts to secure the election of the imperial grandson Charles of Spain as successor to Maximilian I, but this failed. (Maximilian's only son, Philip I of Castile , died in 1506.)
  • Although the gravamina (oppressive burdens) of the German nation against the Holy See were put on the agenda, a resolution was postponed.
  • Maximilian I wanted to be the only Christian prince to realize the crusade plans of the Pope and the Lateran Council and to advance against the Muslims with a crusade army. But the powers mistrust each other. The imperial estates also opposed the request to raise a Turkish tax ( Reichstürkenhilfe ), as demanded by Cardinal Cajetan. Ulrich von Hutten's call for "Exhortatio ad principes Germaniae" on the Turkish war, which included a reform program for the empire, also received no response
  • Ludwig V of the Palatinate succeeded in implementing his goal of lifting the imperial ban on the Electoral Palatinate.
  • Dr. Balthasar Hubmaier , cathedral preacher in Regensburg , intervened in the old disputes between the Danube city and the Jews who were under imperial protection. In sermons he castigated their interest and usury, but also accused them with long-known Christian accusations such as blasphemy of Christ and Mary. Because of such rebellious sermons he had to answer to Emperor Maximilian I at this Reichstag.
  • Albrecht Dürer is Nuremberg's representative at the Reichstag. Alongside Emperor Maximilian and other nobles, he also portrays the richest man of that time, the merchant Jakob Fugger .
  • Pope Leo X awarded the Mainz Elector Albrecht von Hohenzollern, who was then 28 years old, the dignity of cardinal . Albrecht discovered early on a weakness for the dissemination of his portrait in order to refer to his offices and his outstanding position among the electors. He was open-minded not only towards painted portraits, but also towards reproduced portraits in copperplate engraving or as medals. Both art genres were new and the elector encouraged their development when he modeled Albrecht Dürer for a copper engraving and Hans Schwarz for a portrait medal. The portrait medals created at the Augsburg Reichstag are usually seen as the beginning of German medal art.
  • Maximilian I is said to have said goodbye to his last Reichstag, at which his succession by Charles V was already being negotiated, with the words: “Now God bless you, dear Augsburg and all pious citizens in it! We may have had some joyful courage in you. Now we won't see you anymore. "


A short Reichstag at the end of the year was devoted to the tensions after the Peasants' War. While one side demanded the strict implementation of the Worms Edict of 1521, others pleaded for the implementation of church innovations. Even under Konrad Peutinger's influence, an agreement was reached on the compromise to await the decision of a council on questions of faith . The sermon clause of the 3rd Nuremberg Reichstag and the council demand were repeated. A postponement to the following year in Speyer was decided.

See also:


  • The Reichstag was originally planned for April 8, then May 1, but was delayed again.
  • The Kaiser moved into Augsburg on June 15 and opened the Reichstag on June 20.
  • From the imperial point of view, helping against the Turks and solving confessional problems were the main topics.
  • The spread of theological discrepancies in recent years put a strain on the political situation in the empire, which is why Charles V asked the reformers to explain their positions.
  • At this Reichstag, Philipp Melanchthon endeavored in tough negotiations for the Catholic side to recognize the Protestant creed. The Augsburg Confession , which is elementary for the existence of Protestantism under imperial law , which originates in essential parts from Melanchthon, was also accepted by Martin Luther after acceptance by the Reichstag . At this time Luther could not venture to Augsburg because of his imperial ban and helped his friends with his advice by letter from the Veste Coburg .
  • The Augsburg Confession was presented to the Emperor on June 25th.
  • Emperor Charles V read out the Catholic answer to the Augsburg Confession ( Confutatio pontificia = papal refutation) at the Reichstag . Melanchthon presented the apology , but it was not accepted.
  • The cities of Strasbourg , Constance , Lindau on Lake Constance and Memmingen submitted the Confessio Tetrapolitana , another Reformation confession, to the Reichstag . It was not accepted by the emperor.
  • Ulrich Zwingli's confession of Fidei ratio ad Carolum imperatorem was also presented to the Reichstag.
  • The Reichstag also decided that from now on the printer and the place of printing must be indicated on printed matter.
  • The Duchy of Pomerania was entrusted by Emperor Karl V Georg I of Pomerania and his brother Barnim as an imperial fief.
  • He transferred the Duchy of Württemberg to his brother, King Ferdinand I, as a hereditary fiefdom.
  • Eight and ban are pronounced for married priests.
  • Uniform rules were read out for financial transactions between Jews and Christians. Josel von Rosheim thus prevented the approval of a threatened series of anti-Jewish ordinances that accused the Jews of usury and money fraud.
  • The coinage should also be regulated anew. However, due to time constraints, this did not happen, so a special coin day was announced for April 1st . When April 1st came, this coin day did not take place after all. Numerous speculators lost their money and fell victim to malicious joy.
  • The Constitutio Criminalis Carolina was decided by Emperor Charles V at this Reichstag, but was not ratified until 1532 at the Reichstag in Regensburg and thus became law.
  • The German master Walther von Cronberg received the high master's dignity from Emperor Karl V and was enfeoffed with Prussia , although the territory did not belong to the empire.
  • Declaration by the states in Livonia to the territory of the Holy Roman Empire (but without practical effect):

See also:


  • At the "armored" Reichstag, Emperor Charles V failed with his plans to overthrow Lutheranism and to establish a strong imperial power in Germany. The electors, but also the imperial estates, offered energetic resistance to the ideas of the ruler.
  • The Kaiser issued the Augsburg Interim , which reversed the reforms carried out in a number of southern German cities in favor of the Protestant side. In the imperial decision, however, Protestant believers were permitted to marry priests and to receive the laity cup.
  • In Augsburg, as in other cities, guild rule was abolished by imperial order. Two nurses, supported by a council, managed the town from then on.
  • After years of efforts, the Reichstag recognized the bathing guild as an "honorable guild".
  • The passed police order "The Roman-Imperial Majesty Order and Reformation of good policey, for the promotion of common good" provided the new legal framework to which the police orders of the individual territories of the empire had to be based. At that time "police" did not mean police officers or an authority, but "good order and administration" of public life. Their goals, content and means were specified in the respective regional police regulations.
  • At the Reichstag, the city of Magdeburg refused to allow Catholicism. (In 1550/1551 she successfully resisted the siege by Moritz von Sachsen , who wanted to enforce the imperial ban imposed on the city.)
  • In 1547 the governor Johann Freiherr Ungnad claimed the freedom to practice religion in Styria , but his request was unsuccessful.
  • The rule of Jever was attached to the Burgundian Empire at the Diet in 1548 .
  • Thanks to the diplomatic skill of the Mayor of Bremen, Diedrich Hoyer, who traveled to Augsburg, the city of Bremen was reconciled with Emperor Karl V.
  • Margrave Johann I of Brandenburg-Küstrin opposed the emperor. Johann uncompromisingly rejected the interim and refused to take part in the Corpus Christi procession . He then fell out of favor with the emperor and escaped capture only through the intercession of King Ferdinand I and the imperial consideration for his electoral brother Joachim II Hector . The interim did not make Johann known in his domain.

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The Reichstag basically dealt with the same issues as in 1548. Charles V's intentions to enforce the election of his son Philip as Roman-German king failed in 1550. Charles's main opponents were his brother Ferdinand and the Protestant electors, who again formed a coalition. The princes were dissatisfied with the imperial plans. In the prince conspiracy , led by Moritz von Sachsen and Landgrave Wilhelm von Hessen in the Protestant camp, the imperial and religious policy, especially his inheritance plans and attacks on the class liberty , became the stumbling block. After some Catholic princes also opposed the emperor on the question of power, Charles V had to give up his plans.

  • For the eleventh time since 1427 general direct imperial taxes ( common pfennig ) were levied.
  • In 1551 an imperial decree was issued at the Reichstag that all gypsies had to leave the country within 3 months.
  • In the 15th century, saffron counterfeiting became so widespread that it was punishable by death . As recently as 1551, the Reichstag was forced to pass a law against "smeared saffron".
  • An imperial coin order was issued to reform the coinage. The cruiser is mentioned here for the first time (4 pfennigs are a cruiser, 60 cruisers are a guilder ).


  • King Ferdinand I opened the Reichstag on February 5. The reorganization of the political-church relations was on the program. The Habsburg Ferdinand wanted to bring about a balance of interests between Emperor Charles V and the imperial estates.
  • The Augsburg Religious Peace came about after long negotiations. The law of September 25, 1555 allowed the secular imperial estates freedom of religion . Subjects of princes had to accept the faith of their sovereign ( Cuius regio, eius religio ) or could emigrate. Spiritual rulers lost their dignity when they changed faith ( spiritual reservation ). Those who professed the Augsburg Confession were given peace and assured their current property.
  • The Reichstag reaffirmed previously initiated imperial reforms such as Eternal Landfriede , Reichskammergericht (both resolved at the Reichstag in Worms in 1495) and Reich Execution Code (1512), but modified some regulations. The imperial circles now had to ensure peace in the country as the imperial executive body. The Reich Chamber of Commerce should be filled equally according to the denominations.
  • Giovanni Morone , papal legate to the Reichstag in 1555, was imprisoned in 1557 for betraying the rights of the church in Augsburg and held until the end of Paul IV's pontificate in 1559.


This Reichstag was shaped by efforts to balance between imperial-class and Catholic-Protestant ideas.

  • The later cardinal and prince-bishop of Trento, Ludwig von Madruzzo , held the funeral speech for Emperor Charles V at the Reichstag.
  • In talks, the imperial cities managed to get them involved in the deliberations of the Protestant princes.
  • A Protestant class party was formed and consolidated. It was dominated by the contrast between the Electoral Palatinate and Electoral Saxony . Both princes demanded that the ecclesiastical reservation be lifted . However, they disagreed on the issue of enforcing this point. While the Electoral Palatinate did not want to shy away from refusing taxes, Saxony used his vote to grant the emperor funds to build up a border defense against the Turks.
  • On August 19, 1559, a further imperial coinage order, including the coin trial order, was passed. Despite the general knowledge of the harmfulness of the coinage conditions at that time and the general call for a uniform design of the coinage system, not all imperial princes followed this imperial coinage system.
The imperial circles of the Holy Roman Empire 1560 , after the imperial reform


Pius V's demand for submission to the resolutions of the Tridentine Council accompanied the deliberations of the Reichstag, which, on the other hand, was again characterized by efforts to reconcile between imperial-class and Catholic-Protestant ideas. Rome was suspicious and suspected that the Reichstag was a potential source of danger for the Holy See if questions of faith were being negotiated there. In the opinion of the Curia, a council was exclusively responsible for this. The church already tapped its information system (nunciature, orders [Jesuits], prince-bishops and, in some cases, Catholic imperial estates) in order to be safe from surprises. Cardinal Commendone , who had a good knowledge of the country and the language, was installed as nuncio .

  • In Hungary , Emperor Maximilian II was fighting against Johann Sigismund Zápolya . This was supported by the Turks, who kept quiet through a peace treaty of 1562. This time, too, the Protestant Elector August von Sachsen approved funds for Maximilian II against the enemies in the southeast.
  • Conversely, however, he stood in the way of his plan to put an end to Palatinate Calvinism by means of a Reichstag resolution. Friedrich III. , the Palatinate Elector, had protested in an impressive speech against this imperial plan of "exterminating the Calvinist sect" and the accusation that he was distancing himself from the foundations of the Augsburg confession. In fact, Calvinism was now also tolerated in the empire.
  • The imperial currency ( ducats , talers , kreuzers ) was re-regulated in the so-called Augsburg imperial coin order. For one thaler there were now 68 kreuzers across the country (later changed to 72 and finally to 90 kreuzers).
  • The imperial ban imposed on Wilhelm von Grumbach for breach of the peace with Würzburg was confirmed and extended to the allied Duke Johann Friedrich of Saxony .
  • The hymn poet Ludwig Helmbold was crowned with the poet's laurel by Maximilian II at the Reichstag.

See also:


  • The Reichstag, in turn, allowed the Turks to be helped by levying taxes on the estates.
  • Radkersburg was elevated to a Reich fortress by the Reichstag.
  • The Protestants first became aware of a Catholic majority in the Princely Council. When the Magdeburg ambassador wanted to attend his session in the Princely Council, the Catholic ambassadors threatened to stay away from the meeting. The emperor was the administrator fobbed off with explanations and move to waive participation in further sessions. This exclusion of a diocese administrator set a precedent for further diets.
  • In addition, the Reichstag had to deal with the question of what powers the Reichshermarschall had in the city of a Reichstag. The Augsburg council appealed to the Reichstag for clarification about the interventions that violated urban autonomy. The Reichserbmarschall could, among other things, billet in citizens' properties and set prices for accommodation and meals.
  • Another delicate matter was the issue of whether an imperial city like any prince was allowed to change its religious beliefs. In 1581, as part of the Aachen religious unrest, the city's great council had become predominantly Protestant. Thereupon the Emperor Rudolf II ordered the two Aachen delegates Matthias Peltzer and Judokus von Beeck that all Protestants had to be removed from council and offices.
  • Cardinal Ludwig von Madruzzo and Nuncio Giovanni Francesco Bonomi participated in the Diet as papal legates .
  • The occupation in the Reichsfürstenrat was reorganized. It was determined which royal houses were to be included in the Imperial Council of Dukes, the Reichstag vote was linked to the territory (territorial principle). Princes who were added after 1582 were treated lower in rank than the old princely houses. The newcomers included the noble houses Auersperg , Fürstenberg , Hohenzollern , Liechtenstein , Nassau , Sayn , Solms , Schwarzburg , Schwarzenberg , Thurn and Taxis , Waldeck and the Fugger .

External impact

In addition to the negotiations in the town hall or other rooms, as well as meals and social events in patrician houses, a Reichstag also had an external effect on the population that should not be underestimated.

The rituals

  • Entry of the emperor into Augsburg
  • Tribute to the council and the townspeople
  • festive opening of the Reichstag
  • public appearances by emperors, princes and envoys
  • Sealing of the Reichs Farewell (= resolutions passed) [from 1495]
  • Departure of the delegations from the city

were public events with a high level of public interest. The unity of emperor and empire was presented here in a clever way. Everyone was given access to the emperor while he was in town. The common appearance of the regent and the imperial estates should, despite existing differences, especially in questions of faith since Luther posted his theses at the Wittenberg castle church, nevertheless signal a common administration of the empire.

Perpetual Reichstag

From 1663 onwards, a permanent conference of ambassadors ( Perpetual Reichstag ) with a permanent seat in Regensburg replaced the conference venues, which had always been changing until then.

When the plague that broke out in Europe in 1713 also struck Regensburg, the Perpetual Reichstag was held temporarily in Augsburg in 1713 and 1714. A second special situation arose from 1742 to 1745, when the War of the Austrian Succession made it necessary to move the meetings to Frankfurt am Main .



  1. See figure on the right and Bernd Roeck: Geschichte Augsburgs . Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53197-0 , p. 104.
  2. Baur: Church History of the Modern Age, Tübingen 1863, page 121 ff.
  3. sehepunkte - Review Journal for the Historical Sciences - 6 (2006), No. 9