Registrar (German Confederation)
Nobleman (or unable gorgeous) described in the German Confederation members higher nobility houses of as part of the resolution the Holy Roman Empire from 1803 to 1815 by Mediatisierung their imperial estate shaft , so their direct imperial rule rights ( sovereignty sit and vote in the Imperial Council of the Reichstag lost), but according to the German Federal Act continued to maintain equality with the ruling dynasties and to this day - insofar as the category "equality" is still valid under nobility law or habitual validity - are considered equal. The German Federal Act granted them considerable special rights in Art. XIV to compensate. The noble families form the so-called Deuxième Partie , i.e. the second section in the Almanach de Gotha or in the Gotha court calendar and to this day in the series Princely Houses of the Genealogical Handbook of the Nobility . The class lords in the German Confederation are to be distinguished from the free class lords in the countries of the crown of Bohemia , later flourishing especially in Lusatia and Silesia, then belonging to Prussia, which despite some privileges were never imperial and consequently not until 1803/1806 either Belonged to high nobility .
Position and importance
The class lords were mainly concentrated in southern and western Germany, but there were also fewer in other parts of the German Confederation. They corresponded to the holders of the virile votes represented in the Imperial Council of the Reichstag in the Holy Roman Empire , i.e. the imperial princes , insofar as they were mediatized in the meantime, as well as the curiate votes , i.e. the groups of the four "Count Banks" (of the Wetterau Count Association , des Swabian , Franconian and Lower Rhine-Westphalian Imperial Counts College ).
As rulers of the rank they were allowed to call themselves high-ranking (princes and princes) or high-ranking ( ruling counts, the heads of the former imperial-count families); only the term “ by God's grace ” was reserved for the ruling houses. They enjoyed tax exemption for goods and people and were subject to a special judiciary with the Austrian courts . Until 1918 they held the so-called “hereditary Landstandschaft” in parts of Germany: The landlords were entitled to a seat in the first chamber of the state parliaments (for example in Prussia in the manor or in the first chamber of the state estates of the Grand Duchy of Hesse ). Since the territories of the landlords did not always coincide with the borders of the newly created states, some of the landlords were also members of the first chambers of various states. So was z. B. the senior of the House of Leiningen member of the first chamber in the Grand Duchy of Hesse and in Baden . They also enjoyed military freedom, but on the other hand, if they were on duty, they were usually immediately hired as lieutenants . At the local level, they retained judicial and executive powers in the area of their former territories, which went well beyond the normal aristocratic patrimonial jurisdiction . In addition to the remnants of the old feudal rights, the landlords appointed the mayors , pastors and teachers, they owned the forest and hunting police and had the right to control questions of the political communities. It was not uncommon for a civil service and judicial system to exist independently of the state authorities. The rulers were able to maintain these very broad rights until the revolution of 1848/1849 . However, there were differences in the individual states. Prussia was particularly generous with this group. In Baden , where about a third of the territory belonged to the landlords, the governments tried to curtail their special rights.
The claim to double loyalty to the state and the landlord was a factor that increased the discontent of the peasants in northern Baden, for example, and led to revolts in the initial phase of the revolution of 1848/1849. The noblemen faced greater danger from the emerging civil society, which was extremely critical of the privileges. With the revolution, the rulers largely lost their special rights - with the exception of their right to a seat in the first chambers. Although nothing changed in their high aristocratic status, they lost their quasi-subsidiary rights. The heads of the still existing noble families have been members of the Association of German noblemen since 1864 until today . This holds an annual meeting and organizes a ball for the members of the civil houses. The current president of the German noblemen is Maximilian Fürst zu Bentheim-Tecklenburg (2019).
The noble houses
Noblemen with the rank of prince
In the German Confederation, according to the resolutions of the Federal Assembly of August 13, 1825 and February 13, 1829, there were the following noblemen in the rank of prince, who were entitled to the salutation "Highness". The princes owned territories in one or more federal states and exercised the respective privileges of the noblemen there. In Austria and Prussia, the landlords were able to represent their interests in the provincial parliaments (the Austrian mansion was created in 1861, the Prussian mansion in 1854), in Bavaria, Hanover, Württemberg, Baden and Hesse they were hereditary members of the First Chamber of the Estates. As of 1846, changes after the end of the German Confederation and the founding of the Empire are not taken into account here.
Noblemen in the rank of counts and barons
In the German Confederation, according to the resolutions of the Federal Assembly of August 13, 1825 and February 13, 1829, there were the following noblemen with the rank of counts and barons, who were entitled to the address "Sublime". The counts and barons owned territories in one or more federal states and exercised the respective privileges of the noblemen there. In Austria and Prussia, the landlords were able to represent their interests in the provincial parliaments (the Austrian mansion was created in 1861, the Prussian mansion in 1854), in Bavaria, Hanover, Württemberg, Baden and Hesse they were hereditary members of the First Chamber of the Estates. As of 1846, changes after the end of the German Confederation and the founding of the Empire are not taken into account here.
- Heinz Gollwitzer : The gentlemen. The political and social position of the mediatized 1815–1918. A contribution to German social history. 2nd, revised and supplemented edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1964.
- Hans-Ulrich Wehler : German history of society. Volume 2: From the reform era to the industrial and political “German double revolution” 1815–1845 / 49. 2nd Edition. Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-32262-X , pp. 145-147, 667-669, 708-711.
- Noblemen . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 18, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1909, pp. 845–846 .
- German Federal Act
- noblemen . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 18, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1909, pp. 845–846 .
- Carl Weiss, System des deutschen Staatsrechts, 1846. See also: Genealogical-historical-statistical almanac for the year 1846, Weimar 1846
- An exception to the requirement of the imperial estate , i.e. the earlier representation in the Reichstag, are the Counts von Schlitz , who in the Old Kingdom only belonged to the Frankish imperial knighthood (as members of the knightly canton of Rhön-Werra ), even after their elevation to imperial counts 1726, as this had not brought with it a seat on one of the count's benches in the Reichstag. Only after the mediatization by the Grand Duchy of Hesse was the family granted the rights as a civil lord of the German Confederation and in 1829 the title of illustrious . The house Ligne , however, reached in 1792 for possession of the kingdom County Fagnolles its inclusion in the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle and 1803 - because of the resulting compensation for the expropriation Edelstetten Abbey - even a Virilstimme, but it due to the sale to Prince Esterházy again in 1804 lost.
- Hohenlohe Bartenstein expired in 1844 and inherited from the Jagstberg line
- Grafschaft Rietberg sold in 1823
- Principality of Ochsenhausen sold to Württemberg in 1824
- The 1/3 of Ahaus and Bocholt received in 1803 was sold to Salm-Salm in 1825, but with the exclusion of Ahaus Castle and its pertinence
- The former Electoral Mainz office of Krautheim on the left of the Jagst sold to Württemberg in 1826, the office on the right of the Jagst to Baden; therefore acquired the rule of Hersberg on Lake Constance
- Disputes with Electoral Saxony over the sovereignty of the imperial fiefs were settled in 1740 through two recesses. The original estates of Glauchau, Waldenburg, Hartenstein and Lichtenstein as Reichsafterlehen of the Kingdom of Bohemia were considered recess rulers.
- There were also the Schönburg-Rochsburg-Hinterglauchau lines (Hinterglauchau inherited the Rochsburg line in 1825), Schönburg-Wechselburg with Vorderglauchau.
- According to a federal decree of 1828 in the Kingdom of Saxony, the princely line of Schönburg-Waldenburg had the same rights as the other mediatized noblemen.
- The Reichsabbey Baindt went to Count von Aspremont-Lynden in 1803 , who sold the property to his brother-in-law, Count Erdödy, in 1812. He sold the county of Baindt to Württemberg in 1844, but with reservation of the rank and rights of a German landlord.
- Grafschaft Plettenberg-Mietingen expired in 1813, heiress married to Count Esterhazy-Galantha-Forchtenberg.
- A scion of the House of Anhalt-Bernburg, from the Hoym branch line, had married the counties Holzappel and Schaumburg; his progeny died out in the male line in 1812. She brought her eldest daughter into her marriage to an Archduke of Austria.
- The village Winterrieden, which belongs to the Tannheim nursing office of the Ochsenhausen Imperial Abbey, was given to Burgrave of Sinzendorf-Rheineck as a burgraviate in the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss. In 1822 the Waldbott von Bassenheim inherited the burgraviate