962 - The Rise and Fall of the Holy Roman Empire

By Jess Smith

What is the Holy Roman Empire? Well, probably the most significant part of European history. From 800/962 to 1806, the Holy Roman Empire was ruled by the holy roman emperor in Germany. On December 25, 800, Charlemagne was Crowned “emperor of the Romans,” and the idea of the empire was conceived. Although the states became consolidates in 962 when Otto was crowned king. Otto was the first ruler of the realm who wasn’t part of the Carolingian dynasty. There were 47 rulers in total from 800-1806.

The empire was mighty and influential during the entire time it was at large. In the beginning, the empire was catholic; then, in 1555, it became Lutheran. Finally, after the 30 years war, in 1648, the empire was reformed. Since the beginning, it has always been ruled with a confederal elective monarchy. The territories making up the empire was Germany (not Schleswig), Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Belgium, parts of France and Italy, and western Poland. The very last ruler was Francis II; he abolished the empire during the Napoleonic wars.

The holy roman empire is considered one of the most significant parts of history because it provided so many things to society. Before it was reformed, the emperors were considered the protectors of the catholic church, every single decision with the church for 755 years went through the holy roman empire. One of the downsides to the Catholicism in the empire was lay investiture (the process of selling positions in the church). This is a problem because people in the church were uneducated and poor. This struggle started as a power struggle between the pope and Henry V. The western roman empire had been leaderless fur hundreds of years, so the empire’s purpose was also to restore order, and they did exactly that.

Sources:

http://www.holyromanempireassociation.com/history-of-the-holy-roman-empire.html – holy roman empire associaton

https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/modern-europe/german-history/holy-roman-empire

pictures and their sources:

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/holy-roman-empire-map.html