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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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Monetary Reforms in the Holy Roman Empire in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Monetary Reforms in the Holy Roman Empire in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

(p.191) 10 Monetary Reforms in the Holy Roman Empire in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

Michael North

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the monetary law reforms instituted by the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It examines communication between the Reichsstände (Imperial Estates) and the reformers working on behalf of the Emperor. From 1495 onwards, the functioning of the Empire depended on co-operation between the Emperor and the Imperial Estates represented at the Imperial Diet. Economic and monetary policy was structured at the Imperial and the territorial levels, and in this the Imperial Diet and the Reichskreise (Imperial Circles) played a crucial role. The Circles were responsible for the publication of Imperial laws, the maintenance of the eternal peace, and defence. The chapter analyses the decisions of the Diet with regards to monetary law, the most important among which were the introduction of a new Reichs(grob)münze (imperial heavy silver coin), the minting of low-denomination coin, and import and export of foreign and domestic coins.

Keywords:   coinage reform, Holy Roman Empire—monetary history, Reichsstände, Imperial Estates, Imperial Circle, Reichskreise, Reichs(grob)münze, Saxony – monetary history, Pomerania—monetary history

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