From: “Virginia DeMarce” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat Sep 28, 2002 8:33:05 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Imperial Free Cities
Germany’s political structure 1600-1630 (very approximate);
50 ecclesiastical princes
30 secular princes
over 100 counts
about 70 prelates
66 imperial cities,
about 2,000 Imperial Knights (who together controlled less than 250 square miles of land, which any researcher should compare to the size of even a small principality — as “tiny” as Reuss was, it was still 11,000 sq. km.).
Of the imperial cities not listed in the Encyclopedia Britannia article below, but which were imperial as above, the following were “in”:
Aschaffenburg [returned to this status by GA]
Some had been mediatized. Most of the rest of the difference between the early 1600’s number and the Napoleonic era number consists of cities that went either to France or to Switzerland at the Peace of Westphalia, all of which are “out” of the USofE.
This following passage is from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica on the Imperial Cities. I’ve turned the paragraph form into a list and noted “in” for those which I know to be in the USofE. There are several that could be regarded as either Franconian or Swabian, and for which I don’t have a determination from Eric, such as Rothenburg ob Tauber, Schweinfurt, Dinkelsbuehl, Windsheim, and Weissenburg.
“The right of the free towns to be represented in the imperial diet was formally recognized in 1489, and about the same time they divided themselves into two groups, or benches [Baenke], the Rhenish and the Swabian. By the peace of Westphalia In 1648 they were formally constituted as the third college of the diet.
“A list drawn up in 1422 mentions 75 free cities, another drawn up in 1521 mentions 84, but at the time of the French Revolution the number had decreased to 51. At this time the Rhenish free cities were:
Luebeck, – in
Spires, [Speyer] Frankfort-on-the-Main, – in
Goslar, – in
Muehlhausen, – in
Nordhausen, – in
Wetzlar. – in
The Swabian free cities were:
Regensburg, – in
Nuremberg, – in
But a large proportion of them had as little claim to their exceptional positions as the pocket boroughs of Great Britain and Ireland had before the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832.