List of Imperial Diet participants (1792)

The Holy Roman Empire was a highly decentralized state for most of its history, composed of hundreds of smaller states, most of which operated with some degree of independent sovereignty. Although in the earlier part of the Middle Ages, under the Salian and Hohenstaufen emperors, it was relatively centralized, as time went on the Emperor lost more and more power to the Princes. The membership of the Imperial Diet in 1792, late in the Empire's history but before the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, gives some insight as to the composition of the Holy Roman Empire at that time.

Structure of the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire in 1792Edit

The year 1792 was just before the vast changes inspired by the French Revolutionary incursions into Germany. The empire was, at that time, divided into several thousand immediate (unmittelbar) territories, but only about three hundred of these had Landeshoheit (the special sort of quasi-sovereignty enjoyed by the states of the Empire), and had representation in the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire (German Reichstag). The Imperial Diet was divided into three so-called collegia—the Council of Electors, the Council of Princes, and the Council of Cities. As those who received votes had gradually changed over the centuries, many princes held more than one vote. Certain territories which had once held votes in the Diet, as for instance the County of Waldeck or the Duchy of Jülich-Kleve-Berg, no longer retained them, due to the extinction of a dynasty or other causes.

The Council of ElectorsEdit

The council included the following eight members:

The Council of PrincesEdit

This is ordered based on the official order of voting in the Diet:

The Ecclesiastical BenchEdit

These last two were groups of lesser abbots, who together had a joint vote. Unlike those who had a full vote, they were not considered fully sovereign.

The Secular BenchEdit

The Council of CitiesEdit

The Council of Imperial Free Cities was theoretically equal to the others, but in actuality it was never allowed to cast a deciding vote and in practice its vote was only advisory. In 1792, there were 51 Free Cities, divided amongst two benches.

Rhenish BenchEdit

Swabian BenchEdit

Membership of single-vote collegesEdit

The two benches of the Council of Princes each contained single-vote colleges. The membership of each of these was as follows:

The Prelates of SwabiaEdit

The Prelates of the RhineEdit

The Counts of the WetterauEdit

The Counts of SwabiaEdit

  • The Prince of Fürstenberg
  • The Abbess of Buchau (in possession of the Lordship of Straßberg)
  • The Commander of the Teutonic Knights
  • The Prince of Oettingen
  • The Count of Montfort (also King of Bohemia)
  • The Count of Helfenstein (also Elector of Bavaria)
  • The Prince of Schwarzenberg
  • The Count of Königsegg
  • The Count of Waldburg
  • The Count of Eberstein (also Margrave of Baden)
  • The Count von der Leyen
  • The Counts of Fugger
  • The Lord of Hohenems (also King of Bohemia)
  • The Prince-Abbot of St. Blase (in possession of the County of Bonndorf)
  • The Count of Pappenheim
  • The Count of Stadion
  • The Count of Traun
  • The Prince of Thurn und Taxis
  • the Count of Wetter-Tegerfelden in Bonndorf
  • The Count of Khevenhüller
  • The Count of Kuefstein
  • The Prince of Colloredo
  • The Count of Harrach
  • The Count of Sternberg
  • The Count of Neipperg

The Counts of FranconiaEdit

  • The Princes and Counts of Hohenlohe
  • The Counts of Castell
  • The Counts of Erbach
  • The Counts of Rothenberg (later the Counts of Rothberg)
  • The Princes and Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim
  • The Heirs to the Counts of Limpurg
  • The Counts of Nostitz-Rieneck
  • The Prince of Schwarzenberg
  • The Heirs to the Counts of Wolfstein
  • The Counts of Schönborn
  • The Counts of Windisch-Grätz
  • The Counts Orsini von Rosenberg
  • The Counts of Starhemberg
  • The Counts of Wurmbrand
  • The Counts of Giech
  • The Counts of Gravenitz
  • The Counts of Pückler

The Counts of WestphaliaEdit

  • The Lord of Sayn-Altenkirchen (also King of Prussia)
  • The Count of Hoya (also Elector of Hanover)
  • The Count of Spiegelberg (also Elector of Hanover)
  • The Count of Diepholz (also Elector of Hanover)
  • The Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
  • The Count of Tecklenburg (also King of Prussia)
  • The Duke of Arenberg
  • The Prince of Wied-Runkel
  • The Prince of Wied-Neuwied
  • The Count of Schaumburg (shared between the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and the Count of Lippe-Bückeburg)
  • The Counts of Lippe
  • The Counts of Bentheim
  • The Princes and Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim
  • The Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg
  • The Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont
  • The Count of Toerring
  • The Count of Aspremont
  • The Prince of Salm-Salm (as Count of Anholt)
  • The Count of Metternich-Winnenburg
  • The Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg
  • The Counts of Plettenberg
  • The Counts of Limburg-Stirum
  • The Count of Wallmoden
  • The Count of Quadt
  • The Counts of Ostein
  • The Counts of Nesselrode
  • The Counts of Salm-Reifferscheidt
  • The Counts of Platen
  • The Counts of Sinzendorf
  • The Prince of Ligne

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ This was the vote exercised by the Spanish Habsburgs prior to 1714. The Duchy of Burgundy was a part of France and the Habsburgs had relinquished it definitively in 1529, but the ducal title was retained. It corresponded to the Austrian Netherlands. Cf. Gordon E. Sherman (1915), "The Permanent Neutrality Treaties", The Yale Law Journal, 24(3): 234.