Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/353

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past." They also rejected the scheme when Maximilian put it before them in a modified form, which allowed the Electors and princes a large voice in the appointment of the Council. Equally averse was the Diet to the novel method of taxation. Maximilian soon withdrew a proposal for a new Common Penny, and cheerfully contented himself with the proffer of an army of 4000 men, which he proposed to employ to protect his ally Ladislas of Hungary from the revolted Hungarian nobles under John Zapolya. For the expenses of this and for other supplies, money was to be raised by the matricula, that is by calling upon the various Estates of the Empire to pay lump sums according to their ability. The matricula ignored the union of the Empire and the obligation of the individual subject, which had been emphasised by the Common Penny. But King and subjects had alike ceased to look upon the Empire as anything but a congeries of separate States.

Save in the matters of the Council of Regency and the Common Penny, the Augsburg reforms were once more confirmed by King and Estates. The Landfriede of 1495 was solemnly renewed, and orders were given to revive the Kammergericht, which had ceased to meet during the recent troubles. For two years, however, the restoration remained on paper, until at last the Diet of Constance of 1507, which in more than one way completed the work of the Diet of Cologne, approved of an elaborate scheme for its reconstitution. By this ordinance the imperial Chamber took its permanent shape. At its head was still to be a Kammerrichter chosen by the King, and sixteen assessors representative of the Estates. But while at Worms in 1495 the assessors had been appointed by the King with the counsel and consent of the Estates, the method by which their election was now arrived at was particularist rather than national. The assessors were henceforth to be nominated by the chief territorial powers. Two were named by Maximilian as Duke of Austria and Lord of the Netherlands. The six Electors similarly had each a nomination to a seat, and the remaining eight assessors were to be appointed by the rest of the Estates, grouped for the purpose into six large Circles. The place for the session of the Court was still to be fixed by the Estates. After a year at Regensburg it was to be established at Worms. To please Maximilian, who preferred an ecclesiastic, the Bishop of Passau was the first Kammerrichter. His successor, however, was to be a count or a secular prince. The judge was to be paid by the King, and the assessors by the authorities that presented them to their offices. Thus the Kammergericht became a permanent institution, which, after various wanderings and a long stay at Speyer, finally settled down at Wetzlar, where it remained until the final dissolution of the Empire. But no care was taken to secure that the Court should administer a reasonable law or adopt a rapid or an economical procedure. The delays of the Kammergericht soon became a bye-word, and the ineffectiveness of its methods very materially attenuated