The Electors of Saxony


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In a document known as the Golden Bull from 1356 had been specified that only the seven Electors

- The Archbishop of Mainz, Archchancellor of the Empire for Germany,
- The Archbishop of Trier, Archchancellor of the Empire for Gaul,
- The Archbishop of Cologne, Archchancellor of the Empire for Italy
- The King of Bohemia, Archcupbearer of the Empire
- The Count Palatine of the Rhine, Archsteward of the Empire
- The Count Palatine and Duke of Saxony, Archmarshal of the Empire
- The Margrave of Brandenburg, Archchamberlain of the Empire

have the right to choose the King of the Germans, who would usually be crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope later. After the death of the last Askanian in 1423 Frederick I. received the duchy Saxony-Wittenberg from king Sigmund. This way the House of Wettin became electors.

Frederick IV. the Warlike Frederick IV. the Belligerent (*11.04.1370, † 04.01.1428 in Altenburg),
The son of Frederick III. governed after the death of his uncle William I. in 1407 the Mark Meissen together with his brother William II. as well as with his cousin Frederick (son of Balthasar). After sezession in 1410 and 1415 he received the Mark Meissen to autocracy. On the side of the king he participated 1420 at the Hussit wars and was recompenced January 6th 1423 with the Duchy Saxony-Wittenberg and the Palatine county Saxony. Thus ascended Frederick IV., who called himself Frederick I. now, to the duke and elector. After the death of his brother William Frederick became ruler over the entire possession of The House of Wettini except Thuringia. When Frederick died 1428, he was buried as first Wettin in the cathedral chapel in Meissen.

Frederick II. the Gentle Frederick II. the Gentle (* 22.08.1412, † 07.09.1464 in Leipzig),
took over the government together with his brothers William III., Henry and Sigismund. In 1433 the Wettins finally closed peace with the Hussits. In 1438 was considered the first federal state parliament of Saxony. The parliament received the right to find together in case of innovations in fiscal matters also without summoning by the ruler. Starting from 1466 they had to be heard also with decisions about war and peace. With the death of Frederick II. the Gentle in 1440 Thuringia came again to the principality. After Henry and Sigismund had separated as co-rulers, Frederick and William divided the possession. In the division of Altenburg (1445) William III. received the Thuringian and Frankish part, Frederick got the East part of the principality. The mines remained common possession. Disputes over the distribution led however 1446 to the Saxon brother war, whichfound an end only on 27 January 1451 with the peace of Naumburg.

After death of Frederick II 1464 his both sons, Ernest and Albert, first took over the government together. After 1482 duke William III. died, Thuringia dropped back to the principality Saxony.

Now the Wettins belonged to the most powerful princes of Germany.

However, 26.8.1485 they deceided to the division of Leipzig, the probably heaviest political error of the Wettins. By this division Saxony sank later into the political meanless and Brandenburg-Prussia could become powerful.

division of Leipzig


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