Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/356

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a force of 40,000 foot and 10,000 horse should be raised by the Estates of the Empire, including in them the Austrian hereditary dominions. In return for this he promised once more to establish an efficient imperial executive. The Empire was to be divided into four Quarters, over each of which a Captain (Hauptmanri) was to be appointed as responsible chief of the administration. From these Quarters eight princes, four spiritual and four temporal, were to be chosen, who, under the presidency of an imperial Lieutenant, were to act as a central authority. This body was to sit during the Emperor's absence in the same place as the imperial Chamber. While the Emperor was in the Empire, he had the right to summon it to take up its residence at his Court.

This proposal, although it has been described as the most enlightened plan of fundamental imperial reform that the age produced, nevertheless found little favour with the Diet of Augsburg, which shelved it after the traditional fashion by referring its further consideration to another Diet. Fears for their territorial sovereignty may have partly induced the princes to bring about this result. But it seems probable that distrust of Maximilian was the real motive which led to the rejection of the scheme. Bitter experience had taught the Estates that the Emperor could be tied down to no promises, and could be entrusted with the execution of no settled policy. The best proof of this is that, as soon as Maximilian died, the Diet went back to the ideas of Berthold of Mainz and restored the Reichsregiment.

The obligations involved by Maximilian's participation in the Holy League speedily forced upon him once more the necessity of consulting his Estates. In April, 1512, the Emperor travelled to Trier to meet the Diet. Much time was now wasted and finally Max, in despair as to any transaction of business, went to the Netherlands, taking with him many of the assembled princes. A remnant of the Diet lingered on at Trier until Maximilian, returning from the Netherlands, prorogued it to Cologne. Here the Emperor once more brought forward the plan of 1510. As it met with little approval, he proposed as an alternative that a Common Penny should once more be levied after the fashion adopted at Augsburg in 1500, and that, by way of improvement on the Augsburg precedent, a levy of one man in a hundred should provide him with an adequate army. It was ridiculous to expect that the Estates would grant an army four times as large as the levy of 1500, when no great concession like that of the Reichsregiment was offered in return. The Emperor gradually reduced his terms, but after much haggling obtained no permanent assistance and only inadequate temporary help.

One result of future importance came from the Diet of Cologne. This was a scheme for the extension of the system of Circles into which portions of the Empire had been divided since 1500. Maximilian now proposed to add to the existing six further new Circles, formed from the electoral