The Merovingians had no idea that they were abdicating the least part of their authority, nevertheless the deprivations acquiesced in by the feebler kings led of necessity to the diminution of their authority and their judicial powers, and to the abandonment of public taxation.
But the feeling in the country was strong against the German sovereign, who seriously thought of abdicating when a jury acquitted the accused rebels.
First took the step, in 1804, of investing himself with a new title, that of "Hereditary Emperor of Austria," and then, in 1806, proceeded to the further step of abdicating his old historical title and dissolving the Holy Roman Empire.
The reason is, that in order to depose them with some show of legality, it was necessary, as a preliminary, to convict them of heresy, and it began to be seen that their tenacity of power, and the ruses by which they evaded the necessity of abdicating, however harmful might be their consequences, did not in themselves constitute a clearly-defined heresy.
Hitherto, in letters to Charles X., he had protested the loyalty of his intentions, 3 and the king now nominated him lieutenant-general and then, abdicating in favour of his grandson the comte de Chambord appointed him regent.