Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Sovereign power
(6,668 words)

1. Terminology

From the late Middle Ages on, German used Obrigkeit (formerly Oberherrlichkeit, “overlordship”) to denote sovereign power (in the abstract) or those wielding it. After 1500, the word in the latter sense was used almost exclusively in reference to secular and clerical authorities in the Empire (Authority). Only in the 19th century did other terms emerge, such as Staatsgewalt (state authority/power) or Landesherrschaft (territorial authority/sovereignty; Territor…

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Carl, Horst and Schorn-Schütte, Luise, “Sovereign power”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 08 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024906>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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