Territorial Weirdness Circa 1700

Oddly enough, to our modern sensibilities, the Holy Roman Empire encompassed parts of Prussia, Denmark, Austria-Hungary, and France, while leaving other parts of each country outside the empire.


  1. I wonder how the legal norm ever developed that some countries could be partly in and partly outside of the Holy Roman Empire.

    I suppose it is comparable to the status of the Angevin Empire (England + Normandy + Aquitaine + etc.) in the 12th century, large chunks of which were theoretically vassals of the king of France & other chunks not. HRE failed to develop incipient proto-nation state model of other European powers and so retained the full weirdness of the high Middle Ages political system as an archaism up to the beginning of the 19th century. Especially weird since the Holy Roman Emperor (unlike the 12th century kings of France) himself possessed large territories that were theoretically outside of his own empire.


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