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Holy Roman Empire in nummis

History in a coin

Imperial Circle (Reichskreis)

An Imperial Circle (Reichskreis, Reichskreise) was a regional grouping of territories of the Holy Roman Empire, primarily for the purpose of organizing a common defense and of collecting imperial taxes, but also as a means of organization within the Reichstag and the Reichskammergericht.

Each circle had a Kreistag (Circle Diet), although not every member of the Kreistag would also be a member of the Reichstag as well.

Formation of the circles

Initially six circles were created in 1500 as part of the Reichsreform (Imperial Reform):

Originally, the territories held by the Habsburg dynasty and the Electors were not encircled. In 1512, these were organized into four more circles:

These ten circles remained largely unchanged until the early 1790s, when the wars of the French Revolution brought about significant changes to the political map of the Empire.

Territories outside the circles

A number of territories were never encircled:

Sources: wikipedia / heraldica.org ghirigoro
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