Talk:Kingdom of Germany

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If no editor who supports leaving the disputed tag up has anything to say about how to improve/fix the article other than deleting/redirecting it, then the tag should come down. Srnec (talk) 21:50, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

It is clear from comments in the last section that some editors support leaving the disputed tag up. Just like yours, my position has not changes since I posted the first comment to this talk page 10 years ago in a section now archived as "Talk:Kingdom of Germany/Archive 1#Last King of Scotland". The majority seem to agree that the title is not a good one. I still suggest that this article is moved to King of the Germans. -- PBS (talk) 14:27, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
Fully agree with with PBS on both points. And the fact that consensus has not yet been reached is not a reason to give up on it. A tag illustrates that (at least to some editors) a page has problems. It's not a warning, nor a badge of shame, but a reminder that this still needs to be sorted out. It hasn't yet. While I definitely proposed deleting it at first, I've mentioned several alternative solutions since then. Also, I don't see how redirecting it doesn't count as a possible solution. Its name and scope are the most controversial parts of the article, meaning that even if everything else was changed this still wouldn't address the main issue. Bataaf van Oranje (Prinsgezinde) (talk) 14:21, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
In other words, the tag must stay up until either the name or the scope is changed? This is a joke. The name has been settled by multiple RMs and many, many sources. Srnec (talk) 02:01, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
This is not about the title. There clearly is a concept in English sources called "Kingdom of Germany". We just can't agree what the sources mean by it and therefore what the content of the article should be; hence the tag. Not helped by the fact that different authors use the title in different ways, which makes it difficult to construct an article that reflects them. I was translating a German document on the use of German and Latin names for the kingdom/empire and it's clear that, right from the start, usage varied between sources and over time. So it's not surprising that we're finding it tough or frustrating. I'd like to investigate it more thoroughly, but don't have the time right now. To be fair, while I think we need a tag, the current one doesn't really reflect the situation I'm describing. Maybe there's a better one? --Bermicourt (talk) 17:14, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Bermicourt, what about this one? You're certainly right to question what content is supposed to be discussed in this article. Quite a few Wikipedians, including myself, haven't been able to understand what kind of article Srnec had in mind when he removed the redirect to East Francia. If we do keep the word "Kingdom" in the title (still IMO an inapt translation of Reich/regnum, "realm"), the lead will have to explain what this thing is or was and in what way it actually existed. It currently hints at it being a polity; it has a map at the top that asserts the German King's absolute rule over this region (demonstrably false) and sits in the category "Former kingdoms". The section "Terminology" discusses all sorts of sources, titles and quotes referring to something that could be translated as something akin to "German Kingdom", but in no way does it prove the existence of one such thing. In fact, most of them quite clearly refer to different things. It is interesting though. In contrast, "Development" is wholely about East Francia and serves very little purpose here. All mentions of unity building and "the state" refer to East Francian politics. The question, then: what part of this Kingdom of Germany could I have actually observed at the time? If the answer is none, the article's scope must be limited to discussing the historiographical concept like the German article does. The "Terminology" section could be used for this. Bataaf van Oranje (Prinsgezinde) (talk) 14:07, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
Who is asserting the German kings' absolute rule over the region and why should it matter when talking about the existence of a polity? The king of France at times had no absolute control over his kingdom yet we can clearly refer to his realm as the kingdom of France.--MacX85 (talk) 20:35, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't think that's the issue. The problem is that, unlike German sources, English sources appear to use the term "Kingdom of Germany" in a variety of ways, some precisely, some vaguely, and that makes it difficult to agree what the article should cover. My sense is that it should reflect the different usages, but that requires detailed research which most of us don't have time for. By contrast the equivalent German article, de:Regnum Teutonicum is short and precise because German sources seem to restrict the use of the term to that part of the HRE north of the Alps. This reflects the primary sources from the 11th through to the 16th centuries when the term Deutschland started to take over. I think that also needs to be reflected in the article somehow. Hope that helps. Bermicourt (talk) 21:43, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
I think the the term in English is used only to refer to "that part of the HRE north of the Alps". I can't ever recall an author using "kingdom of Germany" to refer to the Empire as a whole. Some might use "German empire" (a distinction harder to make in German), but that itself is consistent with (some) primary sources and even, towards the end of the Empire, some official usage, if I'm not mis-remembering.
As a data point, here is how Ian Robinson describes the empire in the introduction of his biography of Henry IV: "The empire, created in the tenth century by the great warlord Otto I, had none of the centralising characteristics of a modern state. Its three main component parts were the German, Italian and Burgundian kingdoms, which possessed a common ruler but no common institutional framework." Likewise the publisher's abstract calls the book "the first book in English devoted to the German king and emperor Henry IV, whose reign was one of the most momentous in German history and a turning-point in the history of the medieval empire (the kingdoms of Germany, Italy and Burgundy)." The term "kingdom of Germany" is intended to pick out that part of the Empire (sometimes in its early days called East Francia) that was not Burgundy or Italy. Srnec (talk) 01:15, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Srnec, that's helpful. Susan Reynolds (Fiefs and Vassals) says that the "kingdom of Germany is taken here to cover all the territory included in the great kingdom... that developed out of the eastern part of the Carolingian empire." The phrase "taken here" indicates that she is having to formulate her own definition perhaps because of the lack of consensus on what the term means. If I come across other definitions, I'll post them here. Bermicourt (talk) 20:24, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
And Sabina Flanagan (Hildegard of Bingen) asserts that the "kingdom of Germany was comprised of (sic) five great duchies: Franconia, Swabia, Saxony (incorporating Thuringia), Bavaria and Lotharingia." She goes on to say that "because of the lack of centralized government, over the years a great deal of power had devolved upon the men on the spot and the authority of these dukes, margraves, and counts was usually in inverse proportion to the frequency of the king's visits to their territory." Bermicourt (talk) 20:32, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
W.R. Smyser (How Germans Negotiate): "Although the northern part of the Holy Roman Empire might be called by a name that identified it as German, such as "The Kingdom of Germany," and although the entire empire was sometimes entitled "The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" after it had lost its Italian possessions, the empire had no distinctly German political or sovereign authority..." Bermicourt (talk) 20:36, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
"The king of France at times had no absolute control over his kingdom". In name and law, he did. It's pretty clear in sources that the French and English monarchs had much more power (as their lands were more centralized) and crafted a way clearer concept of one country—not multiple cooperating states. I seriously question the point of the constant comparisons with France because the two simply weren't the same. Having the map place the Netherlands within the Kingdom of Germany is bizarre. The author looked at dated German renditions of the Holy Roman Empire and arbitrarily decided that the Netherlands was part of Germany (the maps themselves claim no such thing, only that it was in the HRE). We have to struggle to justify this article being this long. There really haven't been any convincing arguments for why it shouldn't be a brief description of the term like the German article. Prinsgezinde (talk) 12:40, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
By the way, MacX85, are you familiar with WP:SPA? Your contributions have huge time gaps and are all on German historical-political articles. And I'm going to be honest here because I think it's increasingly clear: this article can not and should not be saved. Srnec has been struggling to keep it alive ever since he created it over a decade ago. There have been dozens of flabbergasted editors who insist the polity never existed (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and many by User:Mootros that I won't include). This is not to mention the literal dozens upon dozens of edits made to the article such as this one last week. Now he wants the tags to be taken off the page because there keeps being no consensus—something to which he greatly contributes by stonewalling ("repeatedly pushing a viewpoint with which the consensus of the community clearly does not agree, effectively preventing a policy-based resolution") any merge, scope or name change proposals. Critics of the article typically give up long before the discussion is over whereas proposals suddenly get joined and opposed by the few people over the years who wanted to keep the article alive and as-is. Please, Srnec, drop the stick. It's been 10 years. You even once suggested merging East Francia into this, clearly illustrating that you also view the two as extremely similar. Prinsgezinde (talk) 13:39, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't familiar with it. But I don't think it concerns me as I don't go ahead and change articles. I merely post in the discussions section from time to time.--MacX85 (talk) 17:08, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
James C. Kennedy, A Concise History of the Netherlands (Cambridge, 2017), pp. 34–35:

Lower Lorraine, including the present-day Netherlands, would constitute a part of the Germany-centred East Kingdom, and not, like Flanders, part of the West Kingdom, which became the kingdom of France. Boundary disputes between the German and French kingdoms did effect the region, however, as the border between the two ran across present-day Zeeland... Rather than becoming a part of the kingdom of Frnce that later showed strong centralizing tendencies, the Netherlandic parts of the German kingdom remained for a long time ... at the political and economic periphery of an already fragmented German kingdom.

Thomas A. Brady, German Histories in the Age of Reformations, 1400–1650 (Cambridge, 2009), p. 14:

The Empire's northern boundary [included] most of the modern states of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Most of these Low Countries (hence "Netherlands") lay in both the German kingdom and the Empire, from which they were detached legally in 1548 and politically a century later.

Srnec (talk) 00:59, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Both again say "German Kingdom", which we've argued before is far from the same as "Kingdom of Germany". "Germany-centred East Kingdom" (as opposed to the West Kingdom) in the first example clearly means East Francia. I tried to look up more on it in Dutch and stumbled upon the Dutch "History of Germany" article, which had the following to say for that period:

During the High Middle Ages there emerged in the German lands a monarchy that we could call "German". There came a definitive end to the unity of Francia. After an uncertain start, the kingship was developed under three consecutive dynasties: the Ottonians, the Salians and the Hohenstaufen. [...] For the first time the name 'kingdom of the Germans', regnum Teutonicorum, was used to refer to eastern Francia.

(I am, of course, aware that Wikipedia is not a source, but I'm not using it as a source.) This is to further illustrate the difference between what historians write and what this article implies. It follows nearly every source so far in saying that some form of monarchy arose from East Francia—one that is German in the sense that it was ruled by or ruled German people—but never is this monarchy considered to rule a distinct polity. Authors dance around the terms "German Kingdom" "Kingdom of the Germans", "Regnum teutonicum" and every variation thereof to time and time again refer to either East Francia or the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile, every variation of "King of the Germans" has been about either these two or a given title without an actual kingdom (e.g. "King of the Romans"). History of the Low Countries by J. C. H. Blom and E. Lamberts (2006) is the most widely used reference book for Dutch history. It manages to describe the now-Netherlands region around the year 1000 without mentioning a Kingdom of Germany, going straight from East Francian German kings to Holy Roman German kings and emperors. The Kingdom of Germany was created by trying to read between the lines for something that wasn't there. Prinsgezinde (talk) 00:39, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
German authors hardly use the term probably because they and their readers are more familiar with their own history. I think English authors use it either in ignorance or as a convenient shorthand for the "states of the Empire north of the Alps" or as a more readily understandable alternative for the HRE. Nevertheless, the fact that "Kingdom of Germany" or "German kingdom" is frequently used means there is some validity for an article which at least explains the various ways English sources use the term. Trouble is, it could be WP:OR because I haven't come across sources that do that. They either don't define it or give their own definition, ignoring how anyone else uses it. --Bermicourt (talk) 08:25, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
But German readers have been among the most astonished by this article. Of the numerous examples I gave above (the 13:39, 8 November edit), many were Germans who said they had never heard of something like this. They also pointed out that the German Wiki had no such article, as it had been deleted for the very same reasons (it now has an excellent, brief article exclusively about the terminology). The German Wikipedia is highly regarded and sourced. If they have established this matter on their own history about there being a "Kingdom of Germany" as being nonsense, that should tell us something. The reason you're going to find a combination of "German" and "Kingdom" often is because "German" in history books refers to 3 things: 1) relating to German(ic) people 2) relating to the region now occupied by Germany 3) relating to anything, from "Teutonic" to "Germania", that could be translated as "German(ic)". And "kingdom" (regnum) is used just because they called themselves "king" (rex); there was no actual kingdom apart from East Francia and the HRE. This is a translation thing again. Many languages including German and Dutch barely distinguish between something ruled by an emperor and something ruled by a king. We refer to the whole of Roman civilization as "Romeinse Rijk", for example. Any mention of "King" relating to ~10th century Germany comes from Latin rex, which simply meant "ruler". Because "empire" (imperium) doesn't make sense in this case—even for the HRE in its early stages—authors naturally go for "kingdom". I don't think that validates the claims of a kingdom having existed. I've seen the much more accurate "realm" used on occasion but English sources tend not to use this word as much. In all of these cases, they still very much mean either East Francia or the early HRE. Why else are all these "German kings" mentioned either Eastern Frankish rulers or HRE Emperors? (Just try this: de:Rex Teutonicorum leads to the German version of King of the Romans). Prinsgezinde (talk) 22:59, 10 November 2017 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: I disagree with your first point. The English authors that have been cited and quoted time and again on these talk pages (and who are listed in the article's bibliography) are familiar with the German sources and are writing primarily for an academic audience. Indeed, some of the cited sources (e.g., Fuhrmann, Müller-Mertens) are German historians translated into English (by German specialists like Timothy Reuter). These authors are not ignorant nor are they using sloppy shorthand. The works in question are not popular works, but academic ones. (As a semi-serious aside: I wonder if it isn't the Germans that are the problem. It's their favoured word, Reich, that is ambiguous, as opposed to Latin regnum and imperium. Likewise, their Römisch-deutscher König or Kaiser is more anachronistic than anything you routinely see in English sources.) Srnec (talk) 02:11, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
Srnec, historians aren't necessarily linguists nor are they translators. What's more, there are things you can't translate without changing their meaning. We can't draw conclusions from the exact wording a few of them chose to employ when it's clearly not universal. If it was used deliberately, better sources would exist. regnum is a (distant) cognate to reich and not unambiguous. It does not always mean a literal Kingdom, since a rex was just a ruler and "King" is only one of hundreds of titles that exist for rulers in English. Lewis & Short's A Latin Dictionary (which specifically covers Late and Medieval Latin) gives as definitions "kingly government, royal authority, kingship, royalty". Prinsgezinde (talk) 12:16, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

Was the Kingdom of Germany even a reality?[edit]

A German map from 1908, which shows Poland as a single political entity in the year 1000, and not part of some Stem Duchies

I'm not sure we should have this article presented in a way which overstates some basic facts about the 'kingdom' or at least not in its current POV state, in which it presents the Kingdom of Germany as a real entity, because there is very little evidence that there was such a thing as a 'Kingdom of Germany' This 'kingdom' was kind of like the made up Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria which the Austrians created from the part of partitioned Poland they took — just to fit some legal or political narrative. Same with the Kingdom of Germany it was an idea more than a real entity. Btw, what's up with the western part of the Duchy of Poland being called a 'Stem Duchy' yet at the same time its part of the Polish realm under Bolesław I the Brave. --E-960 (talk) 15:59, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

E-960, see the above section. You're not alone in thinking it's represented inaccurately. Basically it appears the term was based upon a claim and professed title rather than actual dominion. Prinsgezinde (talk) 11:37, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't see how you could make the case that there was no kingdom at all which the term "kingdom of Germany" refers to. From 843 to 962 there certainly was, since there was no HRE to speak of during that time. I can see how you can make the case that in later centuries there might not have been a kingdom distinct from the empire and that it mainly existed as a title but it's not like it didn't have a basis in historic reality. --MacX85 (talk) 08:29, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, firstly, German scholars don't use the term. Secondly, the precursor to the HRE was not a Kingdom of Germany, but the Frankish Empire, or Francia. From 843, it was split into West, Middle and East Francia. In 987, West Francia became the Kingdom of France; Middle Francia lasted 12 years and was then divided three ways; in 962 East Francia became the German/Austrian/Bohemian part of the HRE. In German historiography, the Kingdom of Germany is occasionally used to refer to the (mainly) German-speaking parts of the HRE north of the Alps, but that is all. In English scholarship, the term is used more widely but, in my experience, quite loosely and misleadingly to imply an entity similar to England or France, being used perhaps because English readers are more familiar with the concept of Germany than the HRE. Readers only familiar with English sources will naturally assume there was a 'real' Kingdom of Germany, whereas German readers don't.
Currently the article assumes that the Kingdom of Germany emerged from East Francia in 962, the date usually seen as the foundation of the HRE. The argument is based on the emergence of the terms regnum teutonicorum and "King of the Germans". However, the former, which appeared in the 11th century, was unofficial and disparaging and used in papal circles to play down the role of the emperor. Equally the term rex Teutonicorum was unofficial and, in any case, meant "king of the Germans" not "King of Germany".
All that said, there could still be a useful article that explains a) the use of the original terms, b) how the term is variously used in German and English sources and c) the reality of the fragmented empires (Frankish and Holy Roman) on the ground. --Bermicourt (talk) 11:49, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
By the way, it's still being presented as a literal entity in Holy Roman Empire and Holy Roman Emperor, as well as many others. This is probably what misinforms readers the most. Prinsgezinde (talk) 16:51, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Peter Wilson, Heart of Europe (2016), at p. 217:

Imperial reform [around 1490] greatly strengthened the coherence of what had been the kingdom of Germany. Increasingly, this was now called 'the Empire', especially by outsiders who indeed viewed the Italian and Burgundian lands as separate Habsburg personal possessions. A major factor in this shift was the absence of German coronations after 1486, removing the separate significance of the German royal title since whoever was elected automatically became emperor. The institutions created through imperial reform were primarily intended to regulate how the German kingdom was governed, not the wider Empire, since the Burgundian and Italian lords had already been excluded from the process of choosing a German king by the mid-fourteenth century. Thus, constitutional change combined with the distribution and management of Habsburg possessions to sharpen the distinctions between Germany, Italy and Burgundy.

If he mentions it, we can. Srnec (talk) 23:00, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
We can, but not based on one source. The term 'kingdom of Germany' is used in various ways by different authors. Typically English authors will say things like "I will take the Kingdom of Germany to be..." which makes it clear that they're making up their own convenient definition. German authors avoid the term. All this needs to be explained and isn't - only one view is propounded and that is misleading. But you have the edge, Srnec, because your text made it into Wikipedia first and the rest of us don't have the time to collaborate and rewrite the article(s) in a balanced way reflecting multiple sources, which is what is needed. --Bermicourt (talk) 07:19, 6 April 2018 (UTC)


With such a complex and controversial topic, an infobox does more harm than good. It's incredibly difficult to cover all differing views in accessible prose, let alone in a random collection of simplifying parameters. Also, as already mentioned in the edit summaries, a lot of the added information is about HRE in general and not about this specific entity (and of dubious factual accuracy). Also also, edit-warring of unexplained changes via dynamic IPs is frowned upon. GermanJoe (talk) 12:19, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Strongly agree, there's too much ambiguity for such an infobox. I also have no idea where that random Macedonian IP came from. Prinsgezinde (talk) 14:24, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the infobox {{Infobox former subdivision}} was ill suited to this. I tend to disagree that this is a "controversial topic": I do not agree that there has been "controversy" (aka edit-warring) on this Wikipedia page, but this fact does not necessarily reflect the existence of a genuine controversy.
The concept/term/entity just existed over such a period (700 years or so) that its nature was transformed substantially, comparable to the Kingdom of Italy (Holy Roman Empire).
Does the Duchy of Cornwall exist? I suppose so. Is it "real"? It isn't a territorial subdivision of the UK today, but it was a territorial subdivision of the Kingdom of England in the 14th century. So, I suppose its nature changed over the duration of its existence, and the question of "is it real" is not well-formed, or lazy. --dab (𒁳) 14:20, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
"I tend to disagree that this is a "controversial topic": I do not agree that there has been "controversy" (aka edit-warring) on this Wikipedia page, but this fact does not necessarily reflect the existence of a genuine controversy." have you read the archives? The title of this page has been under discussion for more than 10 years (see the very first posting to the talk page: "Talk:Kingdom of Germany/Archive 1#Last King of Scotland" and many many subsequet sections). That there has not been edit-warring over the content of the article is because it has been a dispute conducted with restraint.
Your analagy over Cornwall is not a very good one there is a fundemental difference between a dutchy and a kingdom. A better analogy would be on of the constituent countries of the UK or the Kingdom of Ireland. There is no dispute that Scotland and England exist, but neither is a kingdom (that ended in 1707). However between 1603 and 1707 the Stuarts said they reigned over the Kingdom of Great Britain, whilst the Parliaments (excluding the Commonwealth parliaments (1649—1660)), said they did not, they reigned over two seperate kingdoms (four if one includes the Kingdom of Ireland and the pretence of reigning over the Kingdom of France).
To state that any of the Stuarts apart from Queen Anne reigned over the Kingdom of Great Britain is misleading, as would dating the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to have taken place in 1603 just because James I styled himself King of Great Britain. This is the same problem with using the term "Kingdom of Germany" rather than the term "King of the Germans" one implies in a state (with a functioning goverment over concrete territory), the other a title which may or may not have substance. Ie Idi Amin could claim he was King of Scotland but that does not mean that the kingdom existed, having an article with the title "Kingdom of Germany" is as misleading as starting the date of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1603. -- PBS (talk) 11:30, 25 January 2019 (UTC)
dab, this discussion has been going on for years. The fact that no solution thus far has been agreed upon doesn't mean there's no longer a controversy. Plenty of people—me included—would still contest that this was ever an entity and not just a title or early modern invention, and would also contest that regnum teutonicum translates to "Kingdom of Germany", or that the territory in the map used was ever actually allocated to such a "Kingdom". Since the sourcing is problematic and extremely scarce, little can be done without delving into the subject first. The discussion died down only because of how little traffic this article's talk page gets and because most of us already exhausted our points. Prinsgezinde (talk) 14:58, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
And, as I've said before, while the term 'Kingdom of Germany' is used by some English-language sources, rather loosely in my view, it is almost entirely absent from the much larger corpus of German-language ones, which reinforces the point. Even the Germans don't consider there to have been a Kingdom of Germany, but they do talk about a King of the Germans. The term Regnum Teutonicum (German Empire) or Regnum Teutonicorum (Empire of the Germans) was used early on, but only as a descriptor of that part of the HRE north of the Alps, just as Regnum Italicum was used for 'imperial Italy', that part of Empire south of the Alps, but in reality another collection of states within the HRE. Bermicourt (talk) 12:15, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't see why this should be a problem. I mean, I get, perfectly, that there is a whole range of views on this. I don't even have a view on it myself, that's why I said the question is just ill-formed. Obviously this is the situation the article is going to reflect. I don't have a problem with different views being presented as part of a well-developed article. What I don't get is why the article needs to remain in "content warning" limbo. How is it in any way difficult to write an objective and uncontroversial article about a disputed or controversial topic? This the case with is pretty much every major article on Wikipedia.
The problem, to me, seems to be that, for example, Prinsgezinde seems to assume that there are "real entities" and "non-real entities" and that it is our job to distinguish between the two. I am sorry, this isn't encyclopedic writing but metaphysics. The "Kingdom of Germany" is clearly a completely made-up entity just like every other human concept. We can only ever have articles about completely made-up human concepts, I really don't see how this needs to be said at all.
I invite you to deposit any number of references to scholars who think the thing is "an early moden invention", just as long as it allows us to get rid of the content warning. WP:DUE applies, every concept on god's green Earth can be made to seem "problematic". The trick is to not go out of your way to play this up selectively, for concepts you happen to dislike personally, and instead stick with representing the rough shape of mainstream consensus. If the consensus is that scholars have just agreed to disagreed, so be it, just say that. --dab (𒁳) 14:17, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
The point about the Kingdom of Germany being 'made up' is not that it is a human label; as you say the names of all countries are human inventions. The issue is whether this article reflects the sources. The sources vary considerably. AFAICS most sources avoid the term Kingdom of Germany and talk about the HRE. However, there are quite a number of modern, English sources that have started to use the term Kingdom of Germany almost as a shorthand - some even admit that - for that part of the HRE north of the Alps. This does not reflect the historical or the German position, but it should be represented. However, the article as written gives the impression that the KoG existed in the same way as other kingdoms and does not explain that a) it is a modern artifice that doesn't reflect historical actuality and b) that there are other positions or descriptions used by the vast majority of historical, German and even English sources. I used to think the title was totally wrong, I'm now persuaded that an article could be written about it, seeing as some English writers use the term, but it needs to reflect the sources in a balanced way. And this one doesn't. HTH. Bermicourt (talk) 14:28, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
I have cited a lot of sources on this talk page over the years. If there is an accuracy problem that needs fixing, then we need to see some citations and quotations from reliable sources. Here's a quotation from Herwig Wolfram (you can look up the original German if you want): "Conrad [II] issued a second diploma that fundamentally expanded the Trentine [sic] sphere of influence by granting the Italian bishopric secular control over two counties considered parts of the German kingdom." This is from the book subtitled Kaiser dreier Reiche. (Three!?! I thought there was only the empire!) There are, of course, many other quotations I could have used, but I like the "considered parts of" part. Srnec (talk) 23:26, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not the lack of sources, it's the lack of balance. The article cites only those sources that use the term KoG and not the majority that don't. For example, the article doesn't mention at all that German sources almost never use this term and they form the biggest corpus of literature on the subject. There is no discussion of the way the sources talk about the historical collection of states that had a German culture and were loosely bound together as only one part of the HRE. Bermicourt (talk) 07:27, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a work in progress. The article is not finished (it is in fact very incomplete) and nothing prevents you from editing. Hell, I've even given links to sources in German that I wish I could read. And I've cited Müller-Mertens' Regnum Teutonicum several times. His work is not hard to find. I've taken it out of the library, but my German is just not good enough.
For what it is worth, I think "historical collection of states that had a German culture and were loosely bound together" is a terrible description of the Holy Roman Empire. The Empire was not a federation formed by bringing together different states. The kingdom/empire pre-existed all of the states you see on early modern maps. They are a product of its internal political order and not a loose collection. Only outside of Germany, in Italy and the Kingdom of Arles, do you see the kind of breakdown that ends in de facto independent states only loosely associated. (That is my take based on my reading.) Srnec (talk) 15:56, 22 June 2019 (UTC)
@Srnec: You have indeed given a lot of citations, but I and others such as Bermicourt have taken into consideration and responded to each of them. None of them have fundamentally solved anything, and many of them have been inconsistent with one another. Here, you quote a German-speaking historian who no doubt used "Reich" where you put "Kingdom". As we have discussed a few times before, neither "Reich" nor "regnum" are the same as "kingdom". There's a reason "Third Reich" is left untranslated in English; Nazi Germany was neither a Kingdom nor an Empire. "Reich" is most accurately translated as "realm". If this whole article used "realm" instead of "kingdom", there would be no problem. If he actually did use the German word for "Kingdom", Königreich, tell me I'm wrong.
@Dbachmann: My main concern here is honesty to the readers. We can present all of this as if there is no translation issue, as if the term isn't incredibly ambiguous, and as if the "Kingdom of Germany" is as well attested as the other kingdoms on Wikipedia, but that would be quite dishonest. When we present something as a kingdom, readers understandably expect there to have been king and a land he ruled, complete with subjects and laws. When none of this is consistently mentioned in the sources, how can we then so unambiguously present it as a kingdom? This is why so many people have complained ever since the article was created. All we have is a term that has been loosely used over the centuries to refer to something no one can quite agree on. If the article absolutely must stay at this title, it should first and foremost be about the terminology, like the German article is (read that one, it's good). I would still prefer to use the original Regnum Teutonicum like they do, though. The issue with sourcing is that the historians that don't mention a "Kingdom of Germany" avoid the topic altogether. We can't use a source by referencing it and saying it doesn't mention the kingdom, yet it's quite telling how many histories of Germany don't mention it. If anything, that should raise some eyebrows. Prinsgezinde (talk) 19:17, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

King of Germany[edit]

The introduction talks about the title 'King of Germany' and gives a link however page it links to is not what is said but rather is for the title 'King of the Romans'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7D:86B:4A00:F051:C6AA:C1F9:78C6 (talk) 15:07, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Yes, this is part of the whole problem. There was no official Kingdom of Germany and so no official King of Germany. Even if you type it into Google Books (by century or you get spurious results) you get hardly any hits. Bermicourt (talk) 15:15, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
At Google Scholars, I get 2,040 results for the exact phrase "King of Germany". The title rex Teutonicorum was used officially at times, as was König in Germanien or Germaniae rex at a later date. And that's not to mention non-official usage. Srnec (talk) 00:25, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
That's not a lot of hits considering all the scholarly work on this topic and still doesn't explain the almost entire lack of the term in English books, let alone Germany ones. Yes, it is a term used by some authors, but it is not common nor is it accurate, so it should not be portrayed in this article as if it is. BTW Rex teutonicorum does not mean "King of Germany"; it means "King of the Germans" which is not the same thing. Neither of the other titles mean King of Germany either. Bermicourt (talk) 06:47, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
@(2A02:C7D:86B:4A00:F051:C6AA:C1F9:78C6) - a Google Books view at [1] verifies this translation (per ref #3). While differing views exist, many other acknowledged historians also use this terminology (see talkpage archives for the endless discussions about this question with multiple differing arguments and sources). GermanJoe (talk) 15:38, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
"King of the Germans" or "German Kingdom". While these translations can still be disputed, they are not nearly as problematic as applying the term "Germany" to it. Prinsgezinde (talk) 20:26, 28 October 2019 (UTC)

Adding an infobox[edit]

Kingdom of Germany
Regnum Teutonicorum
Region of the Holy Roman Empire
HRR 10Jh.jpg
Map of the Kingdom of the Germans (regnum Teutonicorum) within the Holy Roman Empire, circa 1000.
• Established
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
East Francia
Kingdom of Prussia
Austrian Empire
Confederation of the Rhine
Today part ofGermany

I think the article could benefit from a basic infobox, I decided to create one with Template:infobox former subdivision as that's seems to fit best as the Kingdom of Germany was a subdivision of the Holy Roman Empire. It mostly just the map already in the article, the countires/subdivison that came before and after the Kingdom of Germany that's were on the same land of it and the start date (the year the HRE was founded, I'm okay with it being removed but I think it's better to have it). BrandonXLF (t@lk) 20:54, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

See above. There is a consensus against an infobox in this article. Srnec (talk) 02:24, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Re-name the article to Kingdom of the Germans (or Teutonics)[edit]

Perhaps the article should be re-named from "Kingdom of Germany" to "Kingdom of the Germans (or Teutonics)". This would be more inline with historical references, which user the latter term — Latin: Regnum Teutonicorum or Kingdom of the Teutonics/Germans. --E-960 (talk) 13:10, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

It either needs renaming to Regnum Teutonicorum (or its common English equivalent) or the article needs to be rewritten to reflect the fact that a) it is a term used (very loosely used in my view) in some of the English literature, but that it was never a 'kingdom' in the normal sense and that b) German literature rarely uses the term. In other words it's modern English shorthand either for the Holy Roman Empire (in which case that title should be used) or as an umbrella term describing the German-speaking peoples (although even that fails to recognise that German dialects are so different that, historically, a Swabian would have struggled have understand someone from Schleswig). For a German perspective see the German Wiki link to this article here. But this has been endlessly debated and we have not reached a consensus. Bermicourt (talk) 14:04, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
There isn't a source on earth that uses the term "Kingdom of the Teutonics", so I have no idea what the OP is referring to. I think the term is used quite clearly in English to refer to the kingdom of Louis the German and Otto the Great, which together with the Kingdom of Italy (or of the Lombards) and the Kingdom of Burgundy (or Arles) came to make up the Holy Roman Empire. What is unclear about that? Srnec (talk) 15:16, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
I think that's right. Historically the situation is quite well summed up in the introduction to the German Wikipedia article (which has good article status):
The Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum or Sacrum Romanum Imperium) was the official name for the sovereign territory of the Roman-German emperors from the late Middle Ages to 1806. The name of the empire derives from the claim of the medieval Roman-German rulers to be a continuation of the tradition of the ancient Roman Empire and legitimizing their rule as God's holy will in the Christian sense.
The empire was formed under the Ottonian dynasty in the 10th century from the former Carolingian empire of East Francia. With the imperial coronation of Otto I in 962, the Roman-German rulers (like the Carolingians before them) took up the idea of the continuity with the Roman Empire, which was at least adhered to in principle until the end of the empire. The territory of the East Franks was first referred to in the 11th century as Regnum Teutonicum or Regnum Teutonicorum ("Kingdom of the Germans"); but it was not the official imperial title. The name Sacrum Imperium is documented for the first time in 1157 and the title Sacrum Romanum Imperium in 1184. The addition of the words “of the German Nation” (Latin: Nationis Germanicæ) was occasionally used from the late 15th century. Because of its supranational character, the empire never developed into a nation state or a state with modern characteristics, but remained a monarchically managed, stately structure of emperors and imperial estates with only a few common imperial institutions.

However, it's also clear, from several English sources that I've seen, that "Kingdom of Germany", which is nowhere found in the Latin or German sources, is used by some English historians in the sense you suggest i.e. that the HRE comprised 3 'kingdoms', one of which was the former East Francia. What I haven't discovered is whether they put a time frame on this or even whether the sources are consistent with one another. Interestingly, Susan Reynolds in Fiefs and Vassals has a chapter entitled "Kingdom of Germany" but has to open by defining it: "the Kingdom of Germany is taken here to cover all the territory included in the great kingdom, whatever it was called at various times before 1300, that developed out of the eastern part of the Carolingian empire." Yet she does not feel the need to define any of the other kingdoms in this way: England, France, Italy or Burgundy. She is clearly using the term "Kingdom of Germany" for convenience to describe the collection of separate, largely German-speaking states that came out of East Francia. Bermicourt (talk) 17:17, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

Bermicourt, I would also argue that it is well warranted to rename the article, based on the actual historical references. Also, what many people fail to realize is that before the year 1000 the concept of tying people to a land was not yet fully established, for example you had the Kingdom of the Visigoths and the Kingdom of the Vandals. There still was a semi-tribal mentality in place, where someone was a king of a peoples, and those peoples who could move from one place to another. Only after the year 1000, a concept developed of a state which rested on a fixed geograhical location as in Kingdom of France, which was earlier called the Kingdom of the Franks. However, in the case of Germany that switch never occurred, as the concept of a Holy Roman Empire took hold in its place, and a honorary title was retained king of the Germans, but the actual kingdom in a territorial sense was never defined. In any case, if we just follow the historical terminology we should use Regnum Teutonicorum or Kingdom of the Teutonics/Germans. --E-960 (talk) 21:02, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
Srnec, the other point, if there are no solid sources to back up any claims for this article, then it should be renamed using italics to signify that the article describes a name and not an physical entity. --E-960 (talk) 21:24, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
@Bermicourt: I don't see how you can get a "collection of separate, largely German-speaking states that came out of East Francia" out of Reynolds' "all the territory included in the great kingdom, whatever it was called". The kingdom of Louis the German never broke up. Only under his sons was it divided at all. Charles the Fat was succeeded by Arnulf, who was succeeded by Louis the Child, then Conrad I, then Henry I, then Otto I, and on and on without break. There are no "states that came out of East Francia". It was a kingdom just like its ex-Carolingian neighbours (France, Italy). The term "Kingdom of Germany" is somewhat anachronistic for the early period and is certainly not an official term in any way before the 11th century, but you could say the same about "Kingdom of France". Srnec (talk) 01:58, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec:, can you provide us with an example of a contemporary early medieval source which says Kingdom of Germany. Also, regarding your reference to "France" please note that there are two Wikipedia articles Kingdom of the Franks and Kingdom of France. I almost want to say that the concept of the Kingdom of Germany is internet driven, for example I'm struggling to find any reference to it on Britannica, or other encyclopedias, but there are Youtube videos about the Kingdom of Germany and Wikipedia articles in several languages. --E-960 (talk) 07:42, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
@Srnec:. To answer your question, let me just quote from the HRE intro: "The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, principalities, duchies, counties, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, and other domains. The power of the emperor was limited, and while the various princes, lords, bishops, and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they also possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. " Of course, it's referring to the emperor here, who was also 'King of the Romans', but never 'King of Germany'. Either way, he did not command a kingdom which is why German sources never use the term. The idea that there was ever a Kingdom of Germany is, I'm afraid, a myth perpetuated by a few English historians misleadingly using the term for convenience. "German nation" is better and at least historical, but even that gives the impression it was a single united entity which it plainly wasn't. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be an article with this title; it just needs to be very clear in describing how it is used in the sources: that it is an English-language term used by some historians in various ways to describe the collection of states making up the German-speaking part of the HRE, but with the sort of caveats I and others have raised. Bermicourt (talk) 08:00, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
I think you are deeply mistaken. The kingdom of East Francia was a single united entity, more so than West Francia where the king's power barely extended south of the Loire by the late 10th century. The contrast you quote between the HRE and France is only applicable to the late Middle Ages. Srnec (talk) 16:12, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Srnec, can you please provide a contemporary source which refers to the kingdom, so far you have NOT, also you reverted my edits which tried to at least in some way reconcile the discrepancy. You are stubbornly holding on to the idea, and provided no evidence that a Kingdom of Germany existed other than in name only. The historical progression is simple, kingdom of East Francia and then the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Germany never exited other than in title/name. --E-960 (talk) 17:53, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
  • I think that adding the following statement in the intro paragraph "...kingdom of the Germans is an informal historical designation" is well appropriate in this instance. --E-960 (talk) 17:59, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Read the archives. In fact, I don't have to provide a contemporary source for anything since that would be WP:OR. I've quoted many WP:RS over the years. They are in the archives and in the article. Your personal opinion about the appropriateness of the term "Kingdom of Germany" in English is of no value next to the published opinions of many scholars. Srnec (talk) 18:14, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Srnec, I looked at the "references" in this article, and what's actually written. In the intro paragraph, there is no reference source which affirms that "German Kingdom developed out of Eastern Francia". If you look further, some of the claims in this article have NO SOURCE or the the text does not correlate with what the source actually says. Quite frankly, this article seems dubious. The article has glaring inconsistencies, like this one "when Otto I was crowned emperor, East Francia formed the bulk of the Holy Roman Empire along with Italy". How do you reconcile this statement with the one above that the Kingdom of Germany grew out of East Francia? --E-960 (talk) 18:31, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

  • At best, the sources referenced suggest that the "Kingdom of the Germans" was an informal alternative name used for the Kingdom of East Francia, kind of like England and Britain are often used interchangeably, or Wiemar Republic for the German Reich in the 1920s. --E-960 (talk) 19:03, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Srnec, the intro paragraph is a SYNTH, none of the sources say that the Kingdom of Germany "grew out of" East Francia. The cited reference sources such as The Shaping of German Identity: Authority and Crisis, 1245-1414 clearly state there there was ambiguity about the term, and that it probably was a reference to a German realm without alluding to actual territorial boundaries. --E-960 (talk) 08:09, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@E-960: the title and content of this article have been hotly disputed since 2007 with numerous proposals to merge, retitle or move it. It has always been highly controversial for the reasons you point out, but there has never been enough consensus for change. If you want to make headway with this, and I would support that, you probably want to read the archives which provide a good summary of arguments on both sides and make a proposal. Arguing with Srnec, who has staunchly defended 'his' article over the years, will go nowhere. Bermicourt (talk) 08:35, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
Bermicourt, I definitely agree with you that this article has been vigorously debated — looking at the past arguments. In this case though (related to the intro paragraph), Srnec cannot argue with the fact that the disputed statement is NOT SOURCED, and most likely results form SYNT. Nowhere does it say the Kingdom of Germany "grew out of" East Francia, however sources do say in fact that both names for a time were used interchangeably (with the term(s) King of the Germans, German Kingdom or Kingdom of Germany used less often). But again, nowhere does it say that the Kingdom of Germany replaced East Francia, because the Holy Roman Empire did that. For the moment, user Srnec's only argument is I just don't like it. --E-960 (talk) 10:11, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
  • At this point, with no source to back up the statement, the intro paragraph claim stands as either SYNT or original research. --E-960 (talk) 10:23, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm not wedded to the words "grew out of". In fact, I rather dislike it myself since, as you correctly note, the terms "Germany" and "East Francia" are used interchangeably. Just from a quick Google search:
"In East Francia there grew up the German kingdom..."
"East Francia was the forerunner of the kingdom of Germany..."
"East Francia, which soon became the Kingdom of Germany..."
I think the difference in attitudes towards this article/topic among Wikipedians/scholars stems from just what the use of "German(y)" is taken to imply. It is a real-world difference of opinion and usage and not just a Wikipedian one. There is a fundamental discontinuity between medieval Germany and modern Germany (the FDR) that isn't there for, say, England or France.
I'd be warmer to moving this page to Regnum Teutonicum if my Germanophone interlocutors ever quoted Müller-Mertens against me, but their apparent disinterest in the doyen of its history is puzzling. —Srnec (talk) 16:05, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
@E-960: Any citation for "is a historical name sometimes used to denote"? This article isn't about a name. Srnec (talk) 16:21, 5 April 2020 (UTC)

Srnec, just to quickly respond, this very topic was discussed by the 12th century historian Otto von Freising, who addresses this issue, and is covered in the Saxons and Salians, 911–1125 section. In any case, this 100% confirms that the two names coexisted for a time, however NO official transformation occurred, that's an undisputed fact. Also, this is not the only bizarre case when it comes to monarchic claims, take the Kingdom of Lodomeria, which was created out of the Austrian partition of Poland. Quoting from the article: "However, Lodomeria existed only on paper, had no territory and could not be found on any map.[1]" Similar case here, in which the German Kingdom or King of the Germans had more to do with titles and rights, rather than with a physical state. You can't dispute that the two names existed (period), however you can endlessly argue what that meant in practice, and even contemporary medieval historians were confused as how this reflected on reality. --E-960 (talk) 09:58, 6 April 2020 (UTC)

Nobody claims that an official transformation occurred. You keep reading things ("official") that are not there. You keep saying "physical" state, but what is that supposed to mean? Do you think you could reach out and touch the Holy Roman Empire? You say "titles and rights" as if titles and rights are unimportant to kingdoms. If it's maps you want, see Bernhardt 1993, map 1, p. 312, which has a bold black line labelled "Bounday of the German kingdom, c. 962"; Reuter 1991, map 7, p. 335, which says "GERMAN KINGDOM" right on it; or Müller-Mertens in NCMH, map 4, with a line denoted "Approximate boundary of German kingdom, c. 1000". Srnec (talk) 14:39, 6 April 2020 (UTC)
The problem with the map(s) you are referring is that they are based on opinions of some historians, and are not universal — other sources cited are not as clear cut about this. Unfortunately, this issue of the German Kingdom came up in the 19th century, when German scholars wanted to diminish French links to Germany, and the same thing occurred in France, where the French highlighted the Gaul identity over the Franks who were a Germanic tribe. Also, even Otto von Freising says "From this point some reckon a kingdom of the Germans as supplanting that of the Franks.", key word "some" and as early as the 12th century alluded to the fact that there was confusion and ambiguity of the term what it mean in practice given that the HRE was in place. --E-960 (talk) 06:02, 7 April 2020 (UTC)
  1. ^ Elio Corti. "Lessico: Regno di Galizia e Lodomeria". Origine e variazioni del nome. Summa Gallicana: La Genetica del Pollo. Retrieved 11 February 2014. La Lodomeria esisteva solo sulla carta; non aveva territorio e non poteva essere trovata su alcuna mappa.