Kirby wrote:This topic may be a bit dry for this forum but I was wondering if the Holy Roman Emperor could actually dictate policy in Brandenburg and later Brandenburg-Prussia and finally the Kingdom of Prussia.
From what I understand each state in the Holy Roman Empire had its own armed forces. What power did the Holy Roman Empire actually have?
And why would powerful states such as Brandenburg-Prussia actually choose to stay within the framework of the Holy Roman Empire instead of forming their own independent kingdom.
Could these states within the Holy Roman Empire be considered sovereign states within a confederation? Similar to the European Union today?
First of all many thanks for asking this question. Unfortunately, Germany's early modern period (the time between 1500 - 1800) is put in second place by many historians. Nevertheless, I'll try to answer your questions.
The HRR did not have its own armed forces but all the principalities, dukedoms etc. which were part of it did. In 1681, Leopold I (who was the Kaiser back then) enacted a Reichsgutachten
which also mentioned the Punctum Securitatis Imperii
. In this Reichsgutachten
it was mentioned that about 40,000 soldiers should defend the HRR in times of war. (And there were many wars back in the day, think of the thirty years war, the war with the Turks or the war with France.) The soldiers were provided by the territorial states of the HRR. (You can somehow compare this to what the NATO is today...)
Prussia btw was not part of this army! On the contrary, the Reichsarmee and the Prussian Army fought each other in the Seven Years War (1756 1763).