The Electorate of Saxony was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. It comprised a territory of some 40,000 square kilometers. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Elector
Frederick II, byname Frederick The Gentle, or Mild, German Friedrich Der Sanftmütige, (born Aug. 22, 1411, Leipzig—died Sept. 7, 1464, Leipzig), Saxon elector (1428–64) and eldest son of Frederick the Warlike; he successfully defended his electorship against the Ascanian Saxe-Lauenburg line and instituted regular diets in his territories.
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Johann (30 June 1468 – 16 August 1532), known as Johann the Steadfast or Johann the Constant (Johann, der Beständige), was Elector of Saxony from 1525 until 1532 from the House of Wettin. He is notable for organising the Lutheran Church in the Electorate of Saxony from a state and administrative level.
- Issue of conversion in 1525
Frederick III, also known as Frederick the Wise, was Elector of Saxony from 1486 to 1525, who is mostly remembered for the worldly protection of his subject Martin Luther. Frederick was the son of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and his wife Elisabeth, daughter of Albert III, Duke of Bavaria. He is notable as being one of the most powerful early defenders of Martin Luther. He successfully protected Luther from the Holy Roman Emperor, the Pope and other hostile figures. He was led not by religious conv
Born in Torgau, he succeeded his father as elector in 1486; in 1502, he founded the University of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon taught. Silver Saxony coin of Frederick III, known as a Groschen, minted ca. 1507–25. Both the obverse and the reverse bear a coat of arms. Frederick was among the princes who pressed the need of reform upon Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and in 1500, he became president of the newly-formed council of regency. His court painter from ...
Frederick III was a lifelong Roman Catholic, but he might have converted to Lutheranism on his deathbed in 1525 depending on how his receiving of a Protestant communion is viewed. He leaned heavily towards Lutheranism throughout his later years, guaranteeing safety for his subject and Protestant reformer Martin Luther when he was tried for heresy and excommunicated by the Pope. Frederick III took communion as outlined in Lutheranism on his deathbed. That can be seen as a conversion to Lutheranis
John George III, (born June 20, 1647, Dresden, Saxony [Germany]—died September 12, 1691, Tübingen, Württemberg), elector of Saxony (1680–91). He forsook the vacillating foreign policy of his father, John George II, and in June 1683 joined an alliance against France.
Albert Frederick of Prussia, Duke of Prussia, Elector of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire, John George I of Saxony, John George II of Saxony, John George III of Saxony, Magdalene-Sibylle of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, Magdalene-Sybille of Prussia Johann-Georg II (May 31, 1613 – August 22, 1680) was the Elector of Saxony from 1656 to 1680.
- Early years
- Elector of Saxony
- Final days
- Marriage and family
John Frederick I, called the Magnanimous, was the Elector of Saxony and head of the Schmalkaldic League.
John Frederick was the eldest son of Elector John by his first wife, Sophie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. His mother died fourteen days after his birth, on 12 July 1503. John Frederick received his education from George Spalatin, whom he highly esteemed during his whole life. Spalatin was Martin Luther's friend and advisor and thus, through Spalatin's schooling, John Frederick developed a devotion to the teachings of Martin Luther. His knowledge of history was comprehensive, and his library, which ex
In 1532, John Frederick succeeded his father as elector. In the beginning he reigned with his half-brother, John Ernest, but in 1542 became sole ruler. Chancellor Brück, who for years had guided the foreign relations of the country with ability and prudence, remained also his councilor, but his open and impulsive nature often led him to disregard the propositions of his more experienced adviser, so that the country was in frequent danger, especially as John Frederick was not a far-sighted ...
Emperor Charles V condemned John Frederick to death as a convicted rebel; but, not to lose time in the siege of Wittenberg, which was defended by John Frederick's wife, Sybille, he did not execute the sentence and entered into negotiations. To save his life, protect his wife and sons, and avert further hostilities, John Frederick conceded the Capitulation of Wittenberg, and, after having been compelled to resign the government of his country in favor of Maurice, his condemnation was changed into
The sudden attack upon the emperor by Elector Maurice made an end of John Frederick's imprisonment, and he was released on 1 September 1552. He firmly refused to bind himself to comply in matters of religion with the decisions of a future council or diet, declaring that he was resolved to adhere until his grave to the doctrine contained in the Augsburg Confession. His homeward journey was a triumphal march. He met his family after an absence of five years at Wolfersdorf Castle which he had built
In Torgau on 9 February 1527 John Frederick married Sibylle of Cleves. They had four sons
- Rights and privileges
- Imperial Diet
- Marks of office
The prince-electors, or electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. From the 13th century onwards, the prince-electors had the privilege of electing the monarch who would be crowned by the pope. After 1508, there were no imperial coronations and the election was sufficient. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned; his successors were elected emperors by the electoral college, each being titled "Elected Emperor of the Roman
Electors were reichsstände, enjoying precedence over the other princes. They were, until the 18th century, exclusively entitled to be addressed with the title Durchlaucht. In 1742, the electors became entitled to the superlative Durchläuchtigste, while other princes were promoted to Durchlaucht. As Imperial Estates, the electors enjoyed all the privileges of the other princes enjoying that status, including the right to enter into alliances, to autonomy in relation to dynastic affairs and ...
The electors, like the other princes ruling States of the Empire, were members of the Imperial Diet, which was divided into three collegia: the Council of Electors, the Council of Princes, and the Council of Cities. In addition to being members of the Council of Electors, several lay electors were therefore members of the Council of Princes as well by virtue of other territories they possessed. In many cases, the lay electors ruled numerous States of the Empire, and therefore held several votes
The electors were originally summoned by the Archbishop of Mainz within one month of an Emperor's death, and met within three months of being summoned. During the interregnum, imperial power was exercised by two imperial vicars. Each vicar, in the words of the Golden Bull, was "the administrator of the empire itself, with the power of passing judgments, of presenting to ecclesiastical benefices, of collecting returns and revenues and investing with fiefs, of receiving oaths of fealty for and in
The German practice of electing monarchs began when ancient Germanic tribes formed ad hoc coalitions and elected the leaders thereof. Elections were irregularly held by the Franks, whose successor states include France and the Holy Roman Empire. The French monarchy eventually became hereditary, but the Holy Roman Emperors remained elective, at least in theory, although the Habsburgs provided most of the later monarchs. While all free men originally exercised the right to vote in such elections,
In 1697 Elector Frederick Augustus I (reigned 1694–1733) became king of Poland (as Augustus II), initiating an economically draining bond between Saxony and the declining Polish kingdom that lasted until 1768. Napoleon conquered Saxony in 1806 and made it a kingdom.
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