Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

How well-integrated was the sixteenth-century Holy Roman Empire?

Volckart, Oliver (2023) How well-integrated was the sixteenth-century Holy Roman Empire? Economic History Working Papers, 352. Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science.

[img] Text (Volckart__Economic-History-WP352) - Published Version
Download (643kB)


The analysis presented in this article uses attendance at imperial diets (1521-1613) to estimate how politically well-integrated the Holy Roman Empire was. In doing so, it tests two conceptualisations of the political geography of the Empire: Moraw’s distinction between zones ‘close to’ and ‘distant from’ the monarch and its application to early modern history, and Schmidt’s distinction between an ‘Empire of the German nation’ and a larger ‘feudal Empire’. The analysis finds that Moraw’s zones retained at most a transient importance. Extending his model to early modern history thus risks misrepresenting political geography. The analysis also finds that geographical distance had a significant influence on the representation of the estates at the diets, with those geographically close to the diets attending increasingly often and those located in the geographical periphery increasingly staying away. Moreover, geographical distance had a consistent, strong, and significant effect on the personal presence of rulers. The Empire thus developed a well-integrated core that had the potential to form a state such as the one conceptualised by Schmidt, while the outlying regions were in increasing danger of dropping away.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author.
Divisions: Economic History
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N43 - Europe: Pre-1913
P - Economic Systems > P3 - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions > P37 - Legal Institutions; Illegal Behavior
P - Economic Systems > P4 - Other Economic Systems > P48 - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2023 11:27
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:59

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics