East Germany Table of Contents
The interregnum ended in 1273 with the election of Rudolf of Habsburg. In the post-interregnum period, German emperors had their power base in the dynastic principalities; the houses of Luxemburg (Bohemia), Wittelsbach (Bavaria), and Habsburg (Austria) alternated on the imperial throne, until the crown returned in the mid-fifteenth century to the Habsburgs, who retained it until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. The post-interregnum period was an age of decline during which emperors and territorial lords sought primarily to increase their personal possessions and prestige. The Golden Bull of 1356, promulgated by the Luxemburg emperor Charles IV (1355-78), provided the basic constitution of the Holy Roman Empire up to its dissolution. This edict, which established the principle of elective monarchy and confirmed the right of seven princeelectors to choose the emperor, paved the way for the political consolidation of the principalities. By the close of the fifteenth century, Germany consisted of a collection of sovereign states under the control of the Habsburg Dynasty.
Data as of July 1987