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Reichsregiment

Reichsregiment (rĪkhsˈrāˌgēmĕntˈ) [key] [Ger., = government of the empire], imperial council created by the Diet of Augsburg in 1500. It was intended to form the executive branch of the government of the Holy Roman Empire. Headed by the emperor or by his deputy, it comprised 20 other members representing the ecclesiastic and secular princes, the various estates, and the free cities. The creation of the Reichsregiment (as well as of the imperial court of justice, of an imperial taxation, and of an imperial army) represented a serious but unsuccessful effort toward transforming the Holy Roman Empire into a unified national state. Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I gave it little support and dissolved it in 1502. His successor, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, was requested at the Diet of Worms (1521) to restore the Reichsregiment, but he merely gave the council full powers only in the emperor's absence and reduced it to an advisory body at other times. Lacking the support of the emperor, the council failed. It was formally dissolved in 1531.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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