The New International Encyclopædia/Diet (meeting)
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DIET (etymology same as preceding). A name at present applied to the legislative bodies in the German States, to the provincial assemblies in Austria, and to the Hungarian Parliament. These assemblies are called in German Landtag. The German Imperial Parliament bears the name of Reichtag, which word, when applied to the representative assembly of the old German Empire (Holy Roman Empire) figures in English works as Diet. The federal assembly of the Germanic Confederation (Bundesrat) is also styled Diet in English. The word Diet is also applied to the representative assemblies in the old kingdom of Poland and other countries. The Diet of the Holy Roman Empire was made up of the Sectoral College (q.v.), the princes of the Empire, spiritual and temporal, and the delegates of the free Imperial cities. The princes, save in the matter of electing the Emperor, had the same rights as the Electoral College. The powers of the free Imperial cities were quite limited, and were not even formally recognized until 1648. Each of the three colleges voted separately. When they agreed on a measure it was submitted to the Emperor for ratification or for rejection, but he had no power to modify it. No measure affecting the welfare of the Empire could be passed without the assent of the Diet. The regular meetings were held twice a year, usually in some chief town of the Empire. After the close of the Thirty Years' War the power of the body declined, though it continued to hold its meetings at Ratisbon down to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Consult: Bryce, The Holy Roman Empire (London, 1871); Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte (6 vols., Berlin, 1865-96); Turner, The Germanic Constitution (New York, 1888).