The Principality of Magdeburg, Archbishopric of Magdeburg, Magdeburg, is a quasi-ecclesiastical state in the Holy Roman Empire. It is bordered by Brandenburg, Electoral Saxony, Anhalt, Mansfeld, Stolberg, Imperial City of Goslar, Kalenburg, Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Brunswick. The capital is Magdeburg and the population around 823,000.
There are joint Heads of State, currently Archbishop William IV and Prince Johann II.
The official language is German.
The currency is the Magdeburg Taler (MGT)
Becoming an archbishopric under the guidance of Emperor Otto I to strengthen the church in the Eastern German territories Magdeburg was regarded as one of medieval Europe's finest cities. It gained its independence following the break-up of Saxony in 1180.
The office of Archbishop, with all the territory and wealth that came with it, was greatly coveted and the leading Imperial princes fought regularly over it. The purchase of the Archbishopric of Magdeburg by Uriel of Hesse in 1512, swiftly followed by Halberstadt and finally the Bishopric-Electorate of Mainz would provoke the stirrings of Protestantism. The loans taken out to pay for the purchases led to the sale of indulgences within Magdeburg, a sale that disgusted many and led to Luther's posting of his 91 theses.
While Uriel attempted to come to terms with Luther and his followers, if only to safeguard his income, this failed and Lutheranism quickly enveloped the territories. Eventually he was bought out, the city of Magdeburg taking over his debts. In his place came a series of Lutheran Bishop-Administrators who would join the Schmalkaldic League for protection. Always in Mainz's shadow within the old empire and never promoted to an electorate, the Schmalkaldic Empire did not recognise ecclesiastical electorates and gave the Archbishops primacy over the Lutheran church in compensation.
During the course of the Fifty Years War the territories were overrun and the city itself was subject to massive siege and sacking in 1646. It was retaken in 1649 by the Kalmar commander, Christian of Münzenberg, who made himself Administrator and secularised the Archbishopric. The Archbishopric and rule of the Prince-Bishops was restored at the Treaty of Copenhagen as the secularisation was deemed illegal even though most of its signatories agreed with it in principle. The city however was massively depopulated thanks to the war. The Danish troops evacuating occupied territories counted only 500 citizens in 1669.
The central rule of the Bishop's Council lasted until the 1830s. Conflict between the Council and some of the more far flung corners of the state had slowly worsened to the point many refused to pay taxes. This was worsened by a series of incompetent and venal Prince-Bishops, often from other Imperial states who used the territories to merely line their own pockets. Various exclaves belonging to Magdeburg and Saxony within Brandenburg joined in this defiance and when Brandenburg refused to allow the Bishop or the Elector's troops through their territory it led to the Brandenburg Wars (1801-1815). Magdeburg and Electoral Saxony would emerge victorious and the borders would be revised in their favour. However this did not stop the general sense of poor-governance and in 1832, a series of demonstrations by 'Verfassungurkund'-ists, especially in Magdeburg and Halle raised the spectre of revolt. Bishop Joachim's reaction was utterly out of proportion and the army was ordered to charge on peaceful gatherings leading to a bloodbath, including many women and children. This only provoked further outrage and in 1834 the constitution was revised, side-lining the Bishop into a mere figurehead alongside a secular Prince while the country would be effectively ruled by a democratically elected diet.
An enthusiastic participant in the 1st Imperial-Kalmar War it was occupied by Danish troops and small scale skirmishes between Danish and Austrian troops occurred around Halle, but in general it was relatively unscathed by the experience. Although mobilised for the 2nd Imperial-Kalmar War (1895-1896) it would see no action.
The various territories of the principality are governed by a single-chambered Diet with elections held every four years.
The joint heads of state, the Archbishop William IV and Prince Johann II, are mere figureheads. They cannot alter the elected government's legislation but can, individually, delay or query laws.