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electors

electors, in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the princes who had the right to elect the German kings or, more exactly, the kings of the Romans (Holy Roman emperors). Until the reign (1493–1519) of Maximilian I, however, an elected king was traditionally crowned by the pope before he was called emperor. Initially the electors merely confirmed hereditary succession. After the death of Henry V in 1125 without direct heirs, the electors set aside the principle of hereditary monarchy, thus strengthening their elective rights. In succeeding years, particularly after the death of Frederick II in 1250, contests between rival claimants further enhanced the electoral principle. Originally all the princes served as electors, but gradually the right devolved upon a few preeminent princes. After 1257 the number of electors was narrowed to seven, but there was no agreement as to who they were. The frequency of contested elections led Charles IV to issue (1356) the Golden Bull (so called because of its golden seal), which regulated the procedure of elections and coronations and confirmed the electoral rights of the archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne, the king of Bohemia, the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony, and the margrave of Brandenburg. The Golden Bull also imposed the laws of primogeniture and entail on the electoral territories. The electors, who became almost sovereign rulers, formed one of the three colleges of the imperial diet. They served as a counterforce to imperial absolutism, even though after 1438 only members of the house of Hapsburg were chosen emperor. The composition of the electors was changed in 1623 when Ferdinand II transferred the vote of the count palatine to the duke of Bavaria in order to punish Frederick the Winter King; however, at the Peace of Westphalia (1648) an eighth vote was created for the count palatine. In 1692 a ninth vote (formally recognized, 1708) was created for Hanover; thus the kings of England became (1714) electors. In 1803 Emperor Napoleon I of France radically altered the list of electors. The electoral function disappeared with the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.

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Elector

Elector a German prince entitled to take part in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. There were originally seven Electors, the Archbishops of Cologne, Mainz, and Trier, the Duke of Saxony, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Margrave of Brandenburg, and the King of Bohemia. Subsequently, electorates were created for Bavaria (1623–1778), Hanover (from 1708), and Hesse-Kassel (from 1803). The role officially terminated with the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.
electoral college a body of electors chosen or appointed by a larger group, as, the princes who elected the Holy Roman Emperor, or (in the US) a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the President and Vice-President.

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Elector

ELECTOR

A voter who has fulfilled the qualifications imposed by law; a constituent; a selector of a public officer; a person who has the right to cast a ballot for the approval or rejection of a political proposal or question, such as the issuance of bonds by a state or municipality to finance public works projects.

A member of the electoral college—an association of voters elected by the populace of each state and the District of Columbia—which convenes every four years to select the president and vice president of the United States.

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elector

e·lec·tor / iˈlektər; -ˌtôr/ • n. a person who has the right to vote in an election. ∎  (in the U.S.) a member of the electoral college. DERIVATIVES: e·lec·tor·ship n.

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elector

electorabetter, begetter, better, bettor, biretta, bruschetta, carburettor (US carburetor), debtor, feta, fetter, forgetter, getter, go-getter, Greta, Henrietta, letter, Loretta, mantelletta, operetta, petter, Quetta, setter, sinfonietta, sweater, upsetter, Valletta, vendetta, whetter •bisector, collector, connector, convector, corrector, defector, deflector, detector, director, ejector, elector, erector, hector, injector, inspector, nectar, objector, perfecter, projector, prospector, protector, rector, reflector, rejector, respecter, sector, selector, Spector, spectre (US specter), vector •belter, delta, helter-skelter, melter, pelta, Shelta, shelter, swelter, welter •pre-emptor, tempter •assenter, cementer, centre (US center), concentre (US concenter), dissenter, enter, eventer, fermenter (US fermentor), fomenter, frequenter, inventor, lamenter, magenta, placenta, polenta, precentor, presenter, preventer, renter, repenter, tenter, tormentor •inceptor, preceptor, receptor, sceptre (US scepter) •arrester, Avesta, Chester, contester, ester, Esther, fester, fiesta, Hester, investor, jester, Leicester, Lester, molester, Nestor, pester, polyester, protester, quester, semester, sequester, siesta, sou'wester, suggester, tester, trimester, vesta, zester •Webster • dexter • Leinster •Dorchester • Poindexter • newsletter •genuflector • implementer •experimenter • trendsetter •epicentre (US epicenter) •typesetter • jobcentre • photosetter •Cirencester • interceptor • Sylvester

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