1)Explaining Holy Roman Empire in terms of comparing to US. - Pt I, 2 a) Part II, more on Guilds than on Holy Roman Empire, 2 b) Guilds and Distributism, Defined, Defended, 2 c) What Did Social Aid Look like in the Middle Ages? (Link, Quotes and Comment) Or was it sth else?, 3) Holy Roman Empire explained for US, but we are heading back for Rome now, Pt III
Now, in part I, I used the word Reichsunmittelbar, the noun of which is Reichsunmittelbarkeit, which - I used wikipedia - translates as Imperial Immediacy.
Historians have queried about how such a thing could make sense, I gather from the article. Nuremberg and Munich are both in Bavaria. Munich is capital of the Duchy, later Kingdom. Nuremberg is not capital of the Duchy or Kingdom. Guess which of them was, under the HRE (before the Duchy became a Kingdom), Reichsunmittelbare Stadt or Reichsstadt? If you answer Munich, supposing it makes sense that Munich is directly under Empire but Nuremberg under Munich, you have got it all wrong. Of course, in a sense, Bavaria being directly under the Empire and Munich being capital of Bavaria, Munich was directly under the Empire too, but only as part of Bavaria. Nuremberg was Immediately under the Empire in its own right. Taking the Washington D.C. parallel will serve us again, I will briefly quote from Wikipedia:
The District is no longer 100 square miles (260 km2) due to the retrocession of the southern portion of the District back to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1846. The District's current area consists only of territory ceded by the state of Maryland. Washington is therefore surrounded by the states of Maryland to the southeast, northeast, and northwest and Virginia to the southwest.
Territory ceded is one key-word. So is territory retroceded. Nuremberg was made imperially immediate by cession from Duchy of Bavaria, finalised in 1219, by Frederick II the Stauffer (what an omen for its XXth C. history: as I was arguing with an anti-Monarchist, for each Frederick the Stauffer or Vlad the Impaler or similar, there is one dozen or at least half a dozen good Habsburgs or Wittenbergs - you know Vlad's hoby, Frederick's was making condemned criminals eat like some ten or twenty together and then cutting one or two up each half hour to study digestion like a "why can't they serve science, since they couldn't serve society" kind of cynicism: but in the XIXth C. there were people among German professors of History whothought him a cool guy and who regarded the Habsburgs as backward or well-meaning retards or something). It was retroceded Sept 8 1806. When I say the cession was finalised in 1219, I mean emperors had already been looking well at it since XIth C. - archeologists think the royal court buildings of St Egidius and St James are early, and in 1065 it is a district of its own, by decree of Emperor Henry IV. Conrad III gives it as a fief to the family of Nether Austrian nobles Raabs, and when the last of them dies withoutmale heirs ... anyway, the point is that the Emperor made Bavaria cede Nuremberg because he wanted his palace in Nuremberg. It was part time Imperial Residence. There were pretty many of them. And that was true of late Roman era too. Constantinople, Ravenna, Vienna (yes, for Marcus Aurelius, and yes, Vienna is that old: it might have become a Roman oppidum about the same year Our Lady was born) ... in the Holy Roman Empire of Germanic nation this was systematic. Magdeburg had been an imperial palace under Otto I, back in the Xth C. And Emperors enjoying such power over states - at least when possessing a part of it personally - was a sign that the Empire was very really an Empire.
Its retrocession to Bavaria was as said during the Napoleonic wars. The newfounded Kingdom of Bavaria - former Duchy, added on to Palatinate (as you may guess it was called that originally due to another Imperial Residence, and Regensburg was where Emperor Arnulf of Carinthia took submission of Bohemian royal heirs in person) and parts of Swabia and Franconia - paid a debt. During Middle Ages a man could not lose his freedom due to a debt of money, neither could a country, but Napoleonic era was pretty obviously more capitalistic or commercial in ethos.
This brings us to another change made during Napolenic wars: Salzburg was no longer a Bishopric and Quedlinburg no longer a nunnery immediately under the Empire. How come there ever where such? They are as absent from US, as Chicago was from HRE! Could it have Roman precedents?
Actually yes. There was a time when Legions were drawing back to Rome from the periphery, when stranded troops, so to speak, had to manage on their own. In Britain we talk of Sub-Roman Britain, where King Arthur was not yet by any means English. In France we have Syagrius, last man in place stranded between Visigoths and Burgundians, facing Atilla with Huns and their Ostrogoth allies, himself allied to the Bretons of Bretagne, who fled from Britain (- because Arthur had already failed, perhaps? - Arthurian Chronology is not very clear!) but when he died, his successor was no officer, but a bishop. Even when he was around, St Genevieve had been as good as a one woman garrison of Paris, now St Remigius took over. He did not hand over Paris to Clovis until he could baptise him in Reims first. Paris resisting a Pagan takeover was the foundingstone of the future HRE.
A city now called Mautern was in Roman timas Favianis. Its non-military garrison chief was St Severin. He was the greatest defender of Rhaetia Secunda, as long as it could be defended.
So, yes, this was a Roman thing too. I was going to cite the status of Athens as a free city under Trajan when talking about Nuremberg, but somehow it feels more apposite to mention it with Spiritual Principalities of the Empire, which the not holy Empire of Napoleon did away with. After all, philosophy and arts are some kind of spirituality even in themselves, when Pagans do not attach them to the true religion. And they were Trajan's motives.
Some Orthodox have made some heavy weather about Catholic bishops of Rome and Salzburg not being content with humility of purely spiritual power, but they too have had rulers over territories who were spiritual men. Can one mention Mount Athos? At least one ought to mention Montenegro. But here endeth part III/HGL