The Imperial Administration of the County of Vaduz and the Lordship of Schellenberg (1684–1699/1712)

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The approximately thirty-year period between the end of the Vaduz witch trials and the sale of the Lordship of Schellenberg (1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712) by the Count of Hohenems to the Princely House of Liechtenstein has not so far been investigated in thoroughly depth. This period was marked by the forced administration of the two lordships by the Imperial Commissioner Rupert von Bodman on behalf of the Holy Roman Empire. The end of the reign of the Counts of Hohenems and the transfer of authority to the House of Liechtenstein marked an important turning point in the process of the formation of Liechtenstein as a state.


The scope of the project includes, inter alia, the Hohenems finance and governance crisis, the intervention of the Empire (Emperor and Imperial Aulic Council), the administrative structures and practices during the imperial sequestration, the behaviour of the deposed Counts of Hohenems and the sale of Schellenberg and Vaduz. Central issues relate to the effectiveness of the Empire in a small territory and the participation of subjects - grouped into estates („Landschaften“) - in the work of the administration. This approach - focusing on the history of the administration - will be linked to issues arising from the fields of social and cultural history. Of interest are, for instance, the characteristics of the different groupings and the interrelationships between the various political actors (counts, commissioners and officials of the imperial administration, officials of the local authorities and the estates, etc.), as well as the elements of early modern political and administrative culture (e.g. legitimation, communication, party-building, patronage, corruption, use of force etc.).

The manuscript was completed in 2022 and submitted as a dissertation to the University of Potsdam.