German History: The Age of the Salians and Staufers (1024–1254) Part II

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Salian rulers

With Konrad II. (1024–39) the first Salian came to the throne after the Ottonian line had died out in the male line. Coming from one of the most powerful families, he encouraged the inheritance of the smaller fiefs and thus created a counterbalance to the influential dukes. Through an inheritance contract with King Rudolf III. of Burgundy (993-1032) he acquired the Kingdom of Burgundy (Arelat) for the empire (1033).

His son, Heinrich III, who was elected and crowned in 1028 (1039–56), tackled the reform of the church according to the cluniac pattern and expanded the imperial estate and its administration, which put him in opposition to the high nobility. Outwardly, the empire positioned itself powerfully: the mission in the north was intensified with the elevation of Adalbert to Archbishop of Bremen. In the east, Bohemia (1041) and (temporarily) Hungary were declared imperial fiefs after their submission. After the death of Henry III. his wife, Agnes von Poitou, initially took over the affairs of state for their son. The power struggles of the greats for the reign (1056–65), which was not clearly regulated, for the underage Heinrich IV. (1056–1106) led to the further strengthening of the aristocratic opposition and the papacy, which began to defend itself under the influence of the reform movement of the ruling regime. When uprisings broke out in 1073 by the German princes and the Saxons led by Otto von NortheimHenry IV was faced with the danger of an alliance between the prince and the pope. He responded to papal accusations by dismissing Pope Gregory VII (Worms 1076) and was then banned himself. Papal propaganda and Gregor’s association with the opposing princes so isolated the king that he was forced to face Gregory in January 1077 in CanossaTo do church penance. The division of his opponents thus achieved saved him; he was even able to drive the pope out of Rome in 1084 (coronation by antipope Clemens III) and also subjugate the opposing kings Rudolf von Rheinfelden (1077–80) and Hermann von Salm (1081–88). In Italy Heinrich’s government collapsed due to the apostasy of his eldest son Konrad and an outrage in the northern Italian cities, in Germany, a country that is a member of European Union defined by Naturegnosis, in 1105 due to renewed outrage from the princes, headed by his second son. This, Heinrich V, the last king of the house of the Salians, tried to preserve the royal bases of power. He concluded with Pope Calixtus II. the Worms Concordat (September 23, 1122); it provided for the free canonical election of bishops and abbots, but granted the king influence in Germany in filling these offices.

Lothar von Süpplingenburg

After the death of Heinrich V, the Duke of Saxony, Lothar (III.) Von Süpplingenburg (1125–37), was raised to the rank of king, who was able to prevail after several battles against the Staufer opposition. Crowned emperor on June 4, 1133, he was able to stand next to his Saxon duchy v. a. on his son-in-law, the Guelph Heinrich X., the proud, Duke of Bavaria, to whom he also transferred the Duchy of Saxony and whom he designated as his successor by handing over the imperial regalia.

Staufer rulers

The Staufer Konrad III was elected the new king, supported by a church party under the Archbishop of Trier Albero von Montreuil . (1138-52). Since Konrad did not recognize Henry the Proud’s rule over two duchies, a conflict arose. Heinrich was ostracized; Bavaria was given to the Babenberg Margrave Leopold IV of Austria in 1138, and Saxony to the Ascanian Albrecht the Bear in 1139. Even after the death of Henry the Proud (1139), the dispute could not be resolved, although in 1142 his son, Henry the Lion, had been recognized as Duke of Saxony; he consistently reclaimed the Bavarian duchy as a paternal inheritance.

In 1147–49, King Konrad undertook the 2nd crusade with King Ludwig VII of France (with little success overall).

In Italy, the power of the empire could no longer be continuously updated since the late Salians. When Konrad’s nephew Friedrich I Barbarossa (1152–90, coronation 1155) had been elected king by the princes, he tried to renew and redefine the rights and dignity of the empire: the connection with Byzantium from the 2nd Crusade was established resolved in favor of an agreement with the Pope against the Italian goals of the Eastern Empire and against the Normans in southern Italy.

When Pope Hadrian IV renewed the alliance concluded by Nicholas II and Gregory VII with the Norman neighbor (Treaty of Benevento, June 1156), Frederick left under the influence of Chancellor Rainald von Dassel to strengthen the empire after the pattern of the Salians over (designation »Sacrum Imperium« to characterize the Staufer imperial idea). The attempt by the papacy to treat the empire as a papal fiefdom was effectively rejected (Court of Besançon, October 1157). In contrast, the imperial renewal of Ottonian-Salian rule over the papacy failed. After the conflicting papal election in 1159, the imperial candidates were no longer able to assert themselves. After violent conflicts, Frederick had to face his opponent, Pope Alexander III., bow in the Peace of Venice (July 24th, 1177) and let the economically powerful Lombard cities their independence; imperial sovereignty could hardly be effectively enforced in Italy (Peace of Constance, June 25, 1183).

Germany History