Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kleinstaaterei

Kleinstaaterei is a German word, mainly used to denote the territorial fragmentation in Germany and neighbouring regions during the Holy Roman Empire (especially after the end of the Thirty Years' War) and during the German Confederation in the first half of the 19th century. It refers to the large number of virtually sovereign medium and small secular and ecclesiastical principalities and Free Imperial cities, some of which were little larger than a single town or the grounds of the monastery of an Imperial abbey. Estimates of the total number of German states at any given time during the 18th century varies, ranging from 294 to 348, to more.

On the eve of the French Revolution, travellers leaving Brunswick, capital of the Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenb├╝ttel, for Paris would still need to enter and exit six duchies, four bishoprics and one Free City before reaching France.

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