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The Principality of Stolberg, Stolberg, is a small constitutional monarchy in eastern Germany and a member state of the Holy Roman Empire. It is non-contiguous and its parts (Stolberg & Wernigerode) are variously bordered by Magdeburg, Goslar, Brunswick, Brunswick-Woffenbuttel, Quedlinburg, Anhalt, Mansfeld, Nordhausen, Eichsfeld and Mulhausen. The capital is Stolberg and the population about 165,000.
The Head of State is Prince Frederick Leopold.
The official language is German.
It uses the Magdeburg Taler (MGT) as the official currency.
Founded as a mining town in the 11th century Stolberg was soon dominated by ambitious and increasingly wealthy counts. These counts built up a considerable portfolio of territory in the area during the 15th and early 16th centuries including the even wealthier Wernigerode with its many monasteries. In 1525 a Lutheran peasant army under Stolberg native Thomas Muntzer forced the counts into accepting various demands though they were short-lived.
In the later 16th century however the counts were forced into ceding away its Rhineland properties as well as recognising Brunswick's overlordship which went hand-in-hand with converting to Lutheranism. Overrun during the Fifty Years War the counts would spend most of the 18th century in legal battles attempting to wrest back lost estates in the Netherlands and Nassau. Although the estates were eventually returned to the Stolberg family they are not sovereign there and as such they are subjects of the monarchs of Luxembourg.
In 1870 Count Christian Henry attempted to make Stolberg a wholly neutral state in an attempt to shore up his remaining territories and ideally would have abolished the army (even the Swiss Confederation retains its army). This was debated furiously in the Imperial Diet with the smaller states, and Denmark and Aragon, supporting its bid. However the opposition of Austria, Luxembourg and Bavaria put pay to the idea. Count Christian Henry's successor, Christian Frederick, was raised to a prince, partly for dropping the idea. Even so, in deference to the policy Danish troops studiously avoided breaching Stolberg's 'neutrality' during the Second Imperial Kalmar War (1895-96), which was roundly derided as a cynical act by most of the Imperial states.
Its rulers had long been more beholden to cultural matters than martial skills anyway. Count Albert Bolko was famous for his poetry and Countess Eleonora Louise wrote novels and was the inspiration for some of Wolfgang Fichte's most acclaimed works, before eloping to Hordaland to marry Prince Frederick in 1906. There is still a biannual literary festival held at Stolberg and the royal family also part-sponsor the Stolberg-Nordhausen prize for best work of fiction in the German language each year.
Although many would say Stolberg is hardly liberal it does have a long history as a constitutional monarchy. The prince still has wide ranging powers and elections are usually held as and when they see fit rather than as is strictly required by law. However the royal family are normally resident in either Berlin, Dessau or Luxembourg City so do not interfere that often.
The current head of state is Prince Frederick Leopold and his chancellor is Reinhold Graef.