Germany's weak medieval monarchy

Jul 2013
62
NW Indiana
Note that the lands of France and England had both been controlled by a strong Roman government for several hundred years, while the lands that became Germany did not.
 
Feb 2017
154
Latin America
Note that the lands of France and England had both been controlled by a strong Roman government for several hundred years, while the lands that became Germany did not.
There was no centralised monarchy in medieval England until the 11th century when Edward the Confessor ascended the throne. France also didn't have a centralised monarchy either until the ascension of Louis XIV.

Also, huge portions of Germany were conquered by the Romans, as far as the Elbe in fact. It's in fact somewhat deceptive to say that the Romans didn't at least keep Germanic client states even after Arminius's revolt until the period of Alaric, or at least the Marcomannic Wars.

One also has to ask how weak Germany's monarchy was. The French/Franks didn't conquer it after Otto I ascended, a king who also conquered northern Italy; the Vikings were far less successful in Germany than they were in France, while the period of the Habsburgs saw the rise of Spain and the weakening of the Islamic world. Germany's monarchic weakness seems to me to be a back projection of the Habsburg's weakness over German fiefs after the 17th century, especially in comparison to France's absolute monarchy under Louis XIV.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,790
Cornwall
Agreed there was no Germany.

Plus the status of 'medieval king' was pretty insecure to be honest. In the history of most countries.
 
Jul 2012
777
Australia
The HRE was more a supra-state rather than your normal type of monarchy like England. Once the Ottonians established primacy over the Germanic states (Saxony, Bavaria, Franconia, Swabia), but not a unification, they were more concerned with controlling the papacy and through that influencing Europe. That left the German states with considerable autonomy provided they paid their dues and remained loyal to the emperor. But ultimately the position of Emperor was elective, and when the Emperors power waned (13th century) the regional dukes and kings (Electors) were able to entrench their atuonomous position and severely limit the Emperor's influence on regional society. In this sense the HRE went the same way as Poland did from the late 14th century - a power sharing arrangement with the nobles where the nobles may have had the upper hand. It took outsiders like the Habsburgs to develop some sort of central control, but still their powers in German lands remained restricted.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,972
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
As I remember, the early medieval German monarchy was so weak that it merely managed to stop the Magyar raids on western Europe, force many slavic tribes to be come tributaries, often make Denmark, Poland and Hungary vassal states, conquer italy, etc., etc. etc.

A truely weak monarchy.