Imperial immediacy

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As reichsunmittelbar , also rich free in were late medieval and early modern Holy Roman Empire those individuals and institutions referred to any other rule were under, but directly and immediately to the emperor were subordinate. They were as rich immediate stalls or Immediatstände referred.


A distinction is made between three groups of persons or corporations who are directly empire :

  1. those who were personally entitled to participate in the Reichstag ,
  2. those that were only represented there through corporations, and
  3. those who could not appear at the Reichstag.

The first group included the electors , the other imperial princes and the direct imperial prince-bishops and (isolated) prince abbots . The second group were the imperial direct counts and lords, the imperial cities and the imperial direct abbots and abbesses. All together formed the imperial estates .

Immediately to the empire - but not belonging to the imperial estates - were the imperial knights , a number of monasteries (especially women's monasteries ) and some free places or imperial villages . These imperial direct people were the remaining direct vassals of the emperor, who had formed the crown estate in the Middle Ages and were much more numerous at that time than at the end of the empire . In many cases the imperial immediacy of a place or monastery was controversial, because the neighboring princes sought to join the imperial immediate areas to their territories.


With the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803, the imperial immediacy of the prince-bishops, imperial monasteries and (with a few exceptions) also the imperial cities ended. H. these previously imperial direct classes were mediatized . In the years that followed, most of the knights, counties and smaller principalities lost their imperial immediacy and were placed under the sovereignty of larger principalities. With the dissolution of the empire in 1806, the institution of imperial immediacy finally ceased to exist.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Brockhaus Kleines Konversations-Lexikon , fifth edition, Volume 2. Leipzig 1911, pp. 509-510.