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Title: The imperial supreme judicial authority under the Emperor Charles VI and the crises in Mecklenburg and East Frisia.
Author: Hughes, Michael.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1969
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After 1648 the decline of the Holy Roman Empire into disunity and particularism and the Emperor's loss- of power within the Empire were almost complete. But the Emperor remained in theory supreme feudal lord and supreme judge, over all his subjects, mediate and immediate. This imperial supreme judicial authority was exercised through the imperial aulic council ("Reichshofrat"), which remained. active and preserved a small measure of imperial authority and influence. Jealously guarded by a succession of' Emperors as the sale remaining imperial organ beyond the control of the princes, the aulic council did much to keep alive the rule of law in Germany and, especially in the smaller provinces was able to prevent blatant breaches of imperial law and the constitutions of the individual states. Charles VI, Emperor from 1711 to 1740, had a very advanced concept of his imperial position and wished to draw the reins of imperial authority more tightly. Under him the standard of the, aulic council improved and it experienced its' last period of' important activity. During Charles' reign long-simmering constitutional disputes between the rulers and Estates in Mecklenburg and East Frisia came to crisis and in both cases the parties appealed to the imperial aulic council in Vienna. ' Major states of the Empire, especially Hanover and Prussia, and European powers were deeply interested. in these two strategically important provinces and the Emperor, in coming to decisions in the cases, had. to balance the requirements of his supreme judicial office, to act as an impartial judge, and the needs of Austrian foreign policy, as the two cases grew into topics of imperial and European diplomacy In spite of the "ding n demands of the Pragmatic Sanction and the Emperor's need to woo allies the supreme judicial office was not sacrificed to Austrian foreign policy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available