|Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle|
|Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire|
The Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle during the mid 16th century (after the Burgundian treaty of 1548)
The Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle (German : Niederrheinisch-Westfälischer Reichskreis, Dutch : Nederrijns-Westfaalse Kreits) was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised territories of the former Duchy of Lower Lorraine, Frisia and the Westphalian part of the former Duchy of Saxony.
The circle was made up of numerous small states, however the Counts De la Marck were able to collect a significant amount of territories, the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 on. The Empire's largest ecclesiastical territory was held by the Prince-Bishops of Münster.
The circle was made up of the following states:
|Name||Type of entity||Comments|
|Imperial City||Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1166|
|Lordship||Former territory of the Utrecht bishops, reichsfrei since the 14th century, held by the Lords of Gemen, fell to Salm-Salm in 1641|
|Lordship||Fief of Trier since 1488, held by the Freiherren von Metternich from 1635, Reichsgrafen from 1679|
|County||Inherited by the Freiherren von Steinfurt in 1421, Bentheim-Bentheim since 1454, again held by Steinfurt from 1530|
|Duchy||Raised to duchy by King Wenceslaus of Luxembourg in 1380, part of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 to 1614, with Jülich to Palatinate-Neuburg according to the Treaty of Xanten|
|County||Inherited by Manderscheid in 1468|
|Duchy||A protectorate of France by the 1679 Peace of Nijmegen but not annexed until 1795|
|Imperial City||Status challenged by the Prince-Bishopric of Paderborn|
|Imperial City||Status challenged by the Cambrai bishops, declared to a duchy by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in 1510|
|Prince-Bishopric||Diocese established in the 6th century, Reichsfreiheit granted by King Henry II in 1007, archbishopric from 1559, fell to France by the 1679 Peace of Nijmegen|
|Duchy||Part of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 to 1614, with Mark and Ravensberg to Brandenburg according to the Treaty of Xanten|
|Imperial City||Status acknowledged by Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg in 1475|
|Prince-Abbacy||Established in 815 by King Louis the Pious|
|County||Established by a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg, held by Oldenburg since 1436|
|County||Established about 1160, to Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1585|
|Imperial City||Status confirmed by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in 1236|
|Drenthe||County||to the Burgundian Circle in 1548|
|Imperial City||Given in pawn to Cleves by King Rudolph of Habsburg in 1290, finally divested of the Imperial title by Elector Frederick William I of Brandenburg in 1674|
|Imperial City||Status confirmed by Emperor Otto III in 1000, given in pawn to Jülich by Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in 1241|
|County||Raised to Principality 1662, fell to Prussia in 1744|
|Prince-Abbacy||Established about 698 by Saint Willibrord, immediacy granted by King Pepin the Short in 751, annexed by France in 1794|
|Prince-Abbacy||Established in 845 by Saint Altfrid, immediacy probably granted by King Conrad I (911-918), secularised to Prussia in 1803|
|Lordship||Held by the House of Ligne, raised to county in 1770|
|Lordship||Held by the Counts of Holstein-Schauenburg, fell to the House of Limburg-Stirum in 1640|
|Gimborn||Lordship||Held by the House of Schwarzenberg, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg in 1631, raised to county in 1698, sold to Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden in 1782|
|Groningen||Lordship||to the Burgundian Circle in 1548|
|Lordship||Richsfreiheit granted by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in 1498, raised to county about 1588, annexed by France in 1794|
|Guelders||Duchy||to the Burgundian Circle in 1548|
|County||Fief of Brunswick-Calenberg around Springe, raised to Imperial county in 1706|
|Prince-Abbacy||Nunnery established in 789, immediate prince-abbacy since 1147, confirmed by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1152|
|Imperial City||Reichsfreiheit derived from Herford Abbey, challenged by Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1547, annexed by Brandenburgian Ravensberg in 1652|
|County||Former Esterau possession of Nassau, granted by Emperor Ferdinand III of Habsburg to his field marshal Peter Melander in 1643, to Anhalt-Bernburg in 1676|
|County||Fief of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1519, line extinct in 1582|
|Duchy||Reichsfreiheit confirmed by Emperor Louis IV of Wittelsbach in 1328, raised to duchy by Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg in 1356, part of Jülich-Cleves-Berg 1521 to 1614, with Berg to Palatinate-Neuburg according to the Treaty of Xanten|
|Kerpen and Lommersum||Lordship||Annexed by Brabant from Cologne after the 1288 Battle of Worringen, inherited by Burgundy in 1406 and the House of Habsburg in 1482, fell to Jülich in 1710, raised to county in 1712, gained Reichsfreiheit in 1786|
|Prince-Abbacy||Established in 814 by Saint Benedict of Aniane|
|Imperial City||Established about 1190 by Lord Bernard II of Lippe, Reichsfreiheit ascertained by the Imperial Chamber Court|
|Prince-Bishopric||Established about 315 by Saint Maternus of Cologne at Tongeren|
|County||Emerged from Tecklenburg in 1493, seized as a reverted fief by Emperor Charles V of Habsburg in 1547, with the Burgundian Netherlands to King Philip II of Spain in 1555, conquered by Prince Maurice of Nassau in 1597, inherited by Prussia in 1702|
|Lordship||Lordship established about 1123, raised to county in 1528, split off Lippe-Alverdissen in 1613 (Schaumburg-Lippe from 1643), raised to principality in 1789|
|Duchy||to the Burgundian Circle in 1512|
|County||Held Schleiden since 1445, raised to Imperial county by Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg in 1457, inherited Blankenheim-Gerolstein in 1468, Sternberg-Manderscheid from 1780, annexed by France in 1794|
|County||Established about 1160, acquired Cleves in 1368, part of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 to 1614, with Cleves and Ravensberg to Brandenburg according to the Treaty of Xanten|
|Lordship||Regained Reichsfreiheit in 1700, held by the Counts of Ostein from 1732|
|Prince-Bishopric||Secularised to Brandenburg by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, as the Principality of Minden|
|County||First documented in 1186, held by Wied since 1493, to the Counts of Neuenahr in 1519, inherited by Adolf van Nieuwenaar in 1578, by Maurice of Nassau in 1594, to Prussia as principality in 1702|
|Prince-Bishopric||Bishopric established by Saint Ludger about 805, reichsfrei territory emerged in 1180 from the Duchy of Saxony, held in personal union by the Wittelsbach Prince-Bishops of Cologne 1612-1650, 1683–1688 and 1723–1801|
|County||Emerged from Nassau in 1303, split off Orange in 1559, principality in 1654, inherited by Orange-Nassau in 1739|
|County||Former County of Diez, inherited by Nassau-Dillenburg in 1386, emerged from Nassau-Dillenburg in 1606, principality 1654, inherited Orange in 1702, name changed to Orange-Nassau|
|County||Emerged from Nassau-Dillenburg in 1606, Principality 1650, line extinct in 1711, inherited by Orange-Nassau in 1743|
|County||Established in Saxony after the deposition of Henry the Lion in 1180, personal union with Denmark 1667-1773, raised to duchy ruled by Holstein-Gottorp in 1774|
|Overijssel||Lordship||to the Burgundian Circle in 1548|
|County||Established about 1140 out of former County of Calvelage, held by Berg since 1346, part of Jülich-Cleves-Berg from 1521 to 1614, with Cleves and Mark to Brandenburg according to the Treaty of Xanten|
|County||Bentheim-Steinfurt since 1454, Reichsfreiheit granted by Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg in 1486, County of Steinfurt in 1495|
|County||Bentheim-Tecklenburg from 1557|
|Prince-Bishopric||to the Burgundian Circle in 1548|
|Prince-Bishopric||Secularized as a principality held by the King of Sweden from 1648|
|Imperial City||status unclear|
|Imperial City||status unclear|
|Zutphen||County||to the Burgundian Circle in 1548|
The Peace of Westphalia is the collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster. They ended the Thirty Years' War and brought peace to the Holy Roman Empire, closing a calamitous period of European history that killed approximately eight million people.
Westphalia is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of 20,210 km2 (7,803 sq mi) and 7.9 million inhabitants.
The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.
During the Early Modern period the Holy Roman Empire was divided into Imperial Circles, administrative groupings whose primary purposes were the organization of common defensive structure and the collection of imperial taxes. They were also used as a means of organization within the Imperial Diet and the Imperial Chamber Court. Each circle had a Circle Diet, although not every member of the Circle Diet would hold membership of the Imperial Diet as well.
The Duchy of Cleves was a State of the Holy Roman Empire which emerged from the medieval Hettergau. It was situated in the northern Rhineland on both sides of the Lower Rhine, around its capital Cleves and the towns of Wesel, Kalkar, Xanten, Emmerich, Rees and Duisburg bordering the lands of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster in the east and the Duchy of Brabant in the west. Its history is closely related to that of its southern neighbours: the Duchies of Jülich and Berg, as well as Guelders and the Westphalian county of Mark. The Duchy was archaically known as Cleveland in English.
The Bavarian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Burgundian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1512 and significantly enlarged in 1548. In addition to the Free County of Burgundy, the Burgundian Circle roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e., the areas now known as the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and adjacent parts in the French administrative region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
The Franconian Circle was an Imperial Circle established in 1500 in the centre of the Holy Roman Empire. It comprised the eastern part of the former Franconian stem duchy — roughly corresponding with the present-day Bavarian Regierungsbezirke of Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia — while western Rhenish Franconia belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. The title of a "Duke of Franconia" was claimed by the Würzburg bishops.
The Lower Saxon Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It covered much of the territory of the medieval Duchy of Saxony, and was originally called the Saxon Circle before later being better differentiated from the Upper Saxon Circle by the more specific name.
The Upper Saxon Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire, created in 1512.
The Electoral Rhenish Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire, created in 1512.
The Circle of Swabia or Swabian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former German stem-duchy of Swabia. However, it did not include the Habsburg home territories of Swabian Austria, the member states of the Swiss Confederacy nor the lands of the Alsace region west of the Rhine, which belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. The Swabian League of 1488, a predecessor organization, disbanded in the course of the Protestant Reformation later in the 16th century.
The Upper Rhenish Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former Duchy of Upper Lorraine and large parts of Rhenish Franconia including the Swabian Alsace region and the Burgundian duchy of Savoy.
The Duchy of Westphalia was a historic territory in the Holy Roman Empire, which existed from 1180. It was located in the greater region of Westphalia, originally one of the three main regions in the German stem duchy of Saxony and today part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The duchy was held by the Archbishops and Electors of Cologne until its secularization in 1803.
Cambrésis is a former pagus, county and prince-bishopric of the medieval Holy Roman Empire that was annexed to the Kingdom of France in 1679. It is now regarded as one of the "natural regions" of France, and roughly equivalent to the Arrondissement of Cambrai in department Nord. The capital of Cambrésis was Cambrai. Originally ruled by a dynasty of counts, Cambrésis became a prince-bishopric in 1007, comparable to the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and the Prince-Bishopric of Utrecht. It encompassed the territory in which the bishop of Cambrai had secular authority.
The Grand Duchy of Berg, also known as the Grand Duchy of Berg and Cleves, was a territorial grand duchy established in 1806 by Emperor Napoleon after his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz (1805) on territories between the French Empire at the Rhine river and the German Kingdom of Westphalia.
Meuse-Rhenish is the modern term for literature written in the Middle Ages in the greater Meuse-Rhine area. This area stretches in the northern triangle roughly between the rivers Meuse and Rhine. It also applies to the Low Franconian dialects that have been spoken in that area in continuation from mediaeval times up to now.
The Lordship of Anholt was a small state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was an imperial estate and a member of the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle.
The historic territory of Verden emerged from the Monarchs of the Frankish Diocese of Verden in the area of present-day central and northeastern Lower Saxony and existed as such until 1648. The territory managed by secular lords for the bishops was not identical with that of the bishopric, but was located within its boundaries and made up about a quarter of the diocesan area. The territory was referred to at the time as Stift Verden or Hochstift Verden, roughly equating to Prince-Bishopric of Verden. This territory described in local sources today incorrectly as Bistum Verden and, in 1648, was given the title Principality of Verden, sometimes referred to as the Duchy of Verden.
The Burgundian treaty of 1548, also known as the Transaction of Augsburg, settled the status of the Habsburg Netherlands within the Holy Roman Empire.