But in reality Bremen did not have complete independence from the Prince-Archbishops: there was no freedom of religion, and burghers still had to pay taxes to the Prince-Archbishops.
Bremen played a double role: it participated in the Diets of the neighbouring Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen as part of the Bremian Estates and paid its share of taxes, at least when it had previously consented to this levy.
In 888, at the behest of Archbishop Rimbert, Kaiser Arnulf of Carinthia, the Carolingian King of East Francia, granted Bremen the rights to hold its own markets, mint its own coins and make its own customs laws. Around that time trade with Norway, England and the northern Netherlands began to grow, thus increasing the importance of the city.
In 1186 the Bremian Prince-Archbishop Hartwig of Uthlede and his bailiff in Bremen confirmed – without generally waiving the prince-archbishop's overlordship over the city – the Gelnhausen Privilege, by which Frederick I Barbarossa granted the city considerable privileges.
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