The Holy Roman Empire was a union of countries under one rule and under one emperor.

My question is: Was the Holy Roman Empire a financial union too or just defensive union? For example was any tax that every country should have paid to the government or they just were needed to help in case of a war to defense the empire?

  • 1
    I think this is an interesting question - I want to propose one more revision - someting like "how were taxes collected in the HRE?" or "What was the tax policy of the HRE?", but I can't quite get it to make sense. Can anyone else do better?
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 28, 2017 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


The HRE was a feudal state with strong centrifugal (or separatist) powers and a varying degree of church involvement.

  • The emperor could collect taxes with the permission of the Reichstag, often to pay for wars but also e.g. to pay for courts of law.
  • Do you count the tithe as a tax? Note that some of the electors were ecclesiastical.
  • Do you count a visit by an itinerant court as a tax?

Note that "financial union" as used in the political debate today is something completely different.

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