How did the HRE, with such a confusing, intricate and complicated system of governance last for 1000 years? [No, Voltaire quotes are not necessary]

Sep 2019
45
Canada
It was the perfect system for the best of all possible worlds....
Okay, I love the HRE too, but that doesnt answer my question.
Compared to other European states, it was extremely complicated, and yet it lasted longer than most kingdoms.
Im wondering how a region with an emperor, with hundreds of individual free/semi-free states (and the electorate states), countless counties and duchies, all with semi-autonomous rule managed to stay together for that long aha
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
It was a victim of its own success. The empire was so large, it encompassed multiple kingdoms and states that dwarfed many of its neighbors. As a result the internal states were powerful enough to function on their own and sabotage any central authority's attempts at controlling them. The Holy Roman empire's patchwork wasn't much different than other feudal states, like France for instance. But while france was able to be united by a central authority, this failed to materialize in the HRE. Instead central authority grew weaker until it was almost non-existent. Many states within the empire were only interested in expanding their own realms, even at the expense of the empire.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
It was a victim of its own success. The empire was so large, it encompassed multiple kingdoms and states that dwarfed many of its neighbors. As a result the internal states were powerful enough to function on their own and sabotage any central authority's attempts at controlling them. The Holy Roman empire's patchwork wasn't much different than other feudal states, like France for instance. But while france was able to be united by a central authority, this failed to materialize in the HRE. Instead central authority grew weaker until it was almost non-existent. Many states within the empire were only interested in expanding their own realms, even at the expense of the empire.
It's quite interesting that the HRE was able to survive in an extremely decentralized state for a whopping 1,000 years while the US couldn't even survive in such a state for a dozen years, though.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Exactly what the title is asking. The History of The Holy Roman Empire is an extremely confusing and intricate system of politics, how in the hell did it last for as long as it did.
Reminder; I better not see any Voltaire quotes in your responses.
Maybe other European countries saw value in keeping the HRE around? I mean, theoretically speaking, the HRE could have been partitioned by its neighbors just like the PLC was in the late 1700s, but apparently its neighbors never actually had the appetite to do this to the HRE--though of course they did sometimes use the HRE as their playground, such as during the Thirty Years' War and during the Napoleonic Wars (which is when the HRE was finally dissolved).
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
It's quite interesting that the HRE was able to survive in an extremely decentralized state for a whopping 1,000 years while the US couldn't even survive in such a state for a dozen years, though.
It wasn't decentralized (at least not much worse than other states at the time) for all its history. It was weakened after 1250ish, weakened further after the protestant reformation and finally broken after the thirty years war.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
It wasn't decentralized (at least not much worse than other states at the time) for all its history. It was weakened after 1250ish, weakened further after the protestant reformation and finally broken after the thirty years war.
That's still 550 years of decentralization, though.
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
Maybe other European countries saw value in keeping the HRE around? I mean, theoretically speaking, the HRE could have been partitioned by its neighbors just like the PLC was in the late 1700s, but apparently its neighbors never actually had the appetite to do this to the HRE--though of course they did sometimes use the HRE as their playground, such as during the Thirty Years' War and during the Napoleonic Wars (which is when the HRE was finally dissolved).
It was too big to be partitioned. Many of the individual states were too powerful. It would be like saying Europe or asia could be partitioned, it was too big. Even Napoleon couldn't control all of it, even after hundreds of years of division and disbanding it, the best he could do was dominate the weaker states. Many of whom turned on him as soon as he was weak.
 
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