Zur Entstehung des Reichsfürstentums Liechtenstein

Variant title
On the establishment of the Principality of Liechtenstein
Jak vzniklo Lichtenštejnské knížectví
Author: Vogt, Paul
Source document: Studia historica Brunensia. 2020, vol. 67, iss. 2, pp. 45-59
  • ISSN
    1803-7429 (print)
    2336-4513 (online)
License: Not specified license
The County of Vaduz and the Lordship of Schellenberg were granted imperial immediacy by the Emperor as early as the second half of the 14th century. The rulers were entitled to exercise high jurisdiction ("blood jurisdiction"), which was the core of the rights of a sovereign state. Subsequently, the dynasties changed about every hundred years. The imperial privileges were always transferred to the new rulers and were confirmed by the emperor again and again. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Princes of Liechtenstein received the title of Imperial Princes from the Emperor, but this title alone did not yet give them the right to participate in the Imperial Diet. For this they needed a territory that was placed under the direct ("immediate") authority of the Empire. After decades of repeated efforts, Prince Johann Adam I was able to buy the Lordship of Schellenberg in 1699 and the County of Vaduz in 1712. These two domains were located far from their other possessions in Austria, Moravia and Bohemia. They were economically almost insignificant, but they had the status of imperial immediacy. At the request of Prince Anton Florian of Liechtenstein, Emperor Charles VI united the two domains and elevated them to the Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein. This gave the Princes the right for "seat and vote" on the Imperial Diet, and secured them a distinguished place among the high nobility in Vienna.
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