Fatherland Rhetoric and the “threat of absolutism”: Hesse-Cassel and the Reichskammergericht (1646–1655)

Annemieke Romein

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In 1646, Landgravine Amelie Elisabeth wanted to regain the principality of her late husband, on behalf of her son, the minor Wilhelm VI. A conflict (re)ignited as she took 4000 Malter of Corn without the nobility’s consent, consequently violating ancient privileges. Subsequently, the nobles assembled to discuss the affair. This meeting meant an attempt to undermine the government, at least, that was the interpretation of Amelie Elisabeth, and all meetings were consequently forbidden. Since friendly requests – such as the 1647 Remonstratio – did not work, the knights changed their strategy. In 1652 a Replicae was sent to the Reichskammergericht in Speyer, the first of a series of legal suits which eventually led to a Vergleich (Agreement, 2 October 1655). The nobility as well as the landgrave used fatherland rhetoric to stress the legality of their argument and their claims to protect Hesse-Cassel, their fatherland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-292
Number of pages16
JournalThe seventeenth century
Volumevolume 29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2014


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