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Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Electorate of Hanover
Electorate of Hanover in 1789
|Status|| State of the Holy Roman Empire (1692–1806)|
Personal union with Great Britain and the United Kingdom (1714–1807)
|Common languages||West Low German|
|George I Louis|
|George II Augustus|
|George III William Frederick|
• Elevation to Electorate
• Electorate formally approved
• Acquired Bremen-Verden
• Merged into Kingdom of Westphalia
• Re-established as Kingdom of Hanover
|Today part of||Germany|
The Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (German : Kurfürstentum Braunschweig-Lüneburg) was an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany. It was colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover (German : Kurfürstentum Hannover or simply German : Kurhannover), after its capital city of Hanover. For most of its existence, the electorate was ruled in personal union with Great Britain.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.
The Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg had been split in 1269 between different branches of the House of Welf. The Principality of Calenberg, ruled by a cadet branch of the family, emerged as the largest and most powerful of the Brunswick-Lüneburg states. In 1692, the Holy Roman Emperor elevated the Prince of Calenberg to the College of Electors, creating the new Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The fortunes of the Electorate were tied to those of Great Britain by the Act of Settlement 1701 and Act of Union 1707, which settled the succession to the British throne on Queen Anne's nearest Protestant relative, the Electress Sophia of Hanover, and her descendants.
The Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or more properly the Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg, was a historical duchy that existed from the late Middle Ages to the Early Modern era within the Holy Roman Empire. The duchy was located in what is now northwestern Germany. Its name came from the two largest cities in the territory: Brunswick and Lüneburg.
The House of Welf is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century.
The Principality of Calenberg was a dynastic division of the Welf duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg established in 1432. Calenberg was ruled by the House of Hanover from 1635 onwards; the princes received the ninth electoral dignity of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692. Their territory became the nucleus of the Electorate of Hanover, ruled in personal union with the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1714 onwards. The principality received its name from Calenberg Castle, a residence of the Brunswick dukes.
The Prince-Elector of Hanover became King of Great Britain in 1714. As a consequence, a reluctant Britain was forced time and again to defend the King's German possessions.However, Hanover remained a separately ruled territory with its own governmental bodies, and the country had to sign a treaty with Great Britain whenever Hanoverian troops fought on the British side of a war. Merged into the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807, it was re-established as the Kingdom of Hanover in 1814, and the personal union with the British crown lasted until 1837.
The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of the First French Empire and was ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but this was a misnomer since the kingdom had little territory in common with that area; rather the kingdom mostly covered territory formerly known as Eastphalia.
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and joined 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation in June 1815. The kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, a cadet branch of the House of Welf, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1837. Since its monarch resided in London, a viceroy handled the administration of the Kingdom of Hanover.
In 1692, Emperor Leopold I elevated Duke Ernest Augustus of the Brunswick-Lüneburg line of Calenberg, to the rank of prince-elector of the Empire as a reward for aid given in the Nine Years' War. There were protests against the addition of a new elector, and the elevation did not become official until the approval of the Imperial Diet in 1708. Calenberg's capital Hanover became colloquially eponymous for the electorate; however, officially it used the name Chur-Braunschweig-Lüneburg of the entire ducal dynasty.
Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected in 1658, Leopold ruled the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1705, becoming the longest-ruling Habsburg emperor.
Ernest Augustus was a Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruled over the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy. He was appointed Prince-elector, but died before the appointment became effective. He was also the Prince-Bishop of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück.
The Nine Years' War (1688–97), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between Louis XIV of France and a European coalition of the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain, England and Savoy. It was fought in Europe and the surrounding seas, North America and in India. It is sometimes considered the first global war. The conflict encompassed the Williamite war in Ireland and Jacobite risings in Scotland, where William III and James II struggled for control of England and Ireland, and a campaign in colonial North America between French and English settlers and their respective Indigenous allies, today called King William's War by Americans.
The electorate comprised large parts of the modern German state of Lower Saxony in Northern Germany. Beside the Principality of Calenberg it also included the former princely lands of Göttingen and Grubenhagen as well as the territory of the former County of Hoya.
Lower Saxony is a German state (Land) situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2 (18,388 sq mi), and fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining.
Northern Germany is the region in the northern part of Germany which exact area is not precisely or consistently defined. It varies depending on whether one has a linguistic, geographic, socio-cultural or historic standpoint. The five coastal states are regularly referred to as Northern Germany. Though geographically in the northern half of Germany, Westphalia, Brandenburg, and the northern parts of Saxony-Anhalt are rarely referred to as Northern Germany and instead are almost always associated with Western Germany and the historic East Germany respectively.
The Principality of Göttingen was a subdivision of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, with Göttingen as its capital. It was split off from the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1286 in the course of an estate division among members of the ruling House of Welf. In 1495 the Göttingen lands were incorporated as integral part of the newly established Brunswick Principality of Calenberg, with which they stayed united until the territory was merged into the Electorate of Hanover.
In 1705 Elector George I Louis inherited the Principality of Lüneburg with the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg upon the death of his uncle Duke George William of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1715 he purchased the Duchies of Bremen-Verden from King Frederick IV of Denmark (confirmed by the 1719 Treaty of Stockholm), whereby his former landlocked electorate gained access to the North Sea.
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) in the Holy Roman Empire from 23 January 1698 until his death in 1727. He was the first British monarch of the House of Hanover.
The Principality of Lüneburg was a territorial division of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg within the Holy Roman Empire, immediately subordinate to the emperor. It existed from 1269 until 1705 and its territory lay within the modern-day state of Lower Saxony in Germany. The principality was named after its first capital, Lüneburg, which was ruled jointly by all Brunswick-Lüneburg lines until 1637. From 1378, the seat of the principality was in Celle. It lost its independence in 1705 when it was annexed by the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, but retained its vote in the Reichstag as Brunswick-Celle.
The Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, was a reichsfrei duchy that existed 1296–1803 and 1814–1876 in the extreme southeast region of what is now Schleswig-Holstein. Its territorial center was in the modern district of Herzogtum Lauenburg and originally its eponymous capital was Lauenburg upon Elbe, though in 1619 the capital moved to Ratzeburg.
In 1700 the territories forming the electorate introduced – like all Protestant territories of imperial immediacy – the Improved Calendar, as it was called by Protestants, in order not to mention the name of Pope Gregory XIII. So Sunday 18 February Old Style was followed by Monday 1 March New Style.
In 1714, George Louis became king of Great Britain, so that the electorate and Great Britain were ruled in personal union. The possessions of the electors in Germany also grew, as they de facto purchased the formerly Swedish-held duchies of Bremen and Verden in 1719.
George Louis died in 1727, and was succeeded by his son George II Augustus. In 1728 Emperor Charles VI officially enfeoffed George II (i.e. gave him land in exchange for a pledge of service), with the reverted fief of Saxe-Lauenburg, which had de facto been ruled in personal union with Hanover and with one of its preceding Principality of Lüneburg since 1689.
In 1731 Hanover also gained Hadeln.In return, Hanover recognized the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 which changed Habsburg inheritance law. It took George II Augustus until 1733 to persuade Charles VI to enfeoff him also with the Duchy of Bremen and the Principality of Verden, colloquially called Duchies of Bremen-Verden. At both enfeoffments George II Augustus swore that he would respect the existing privileges and constitutions of the estates in Bremen-Verden and in Hadeln, thus confirming 400-year-old traditions of estate participation in government.
In Hanover, the capital of the Electorate, the Privy Council of Hanover (electoral government) installed a new ministry in charge of the Imperial Estates ruled by the Electors in personal union. It was called the Department of Bremen-Verden, Hadeln, Lauenburg and Bentheim. However the Electors spent most of their time in England. Direct contact with the Electorate was maintained through the office of the German Chancery, situated in St James's Palace in London.
During the Anglo-French and Indian War (1754–63) in the North American colonies, Britain feared a French invasion in Hanover. George II formed an alliance with his Brandenburg-Prussian cousin Frederick II, "the Great" combining the North American conflict with the Brandenburg-Prusso–Austrian Third Silesian or Seven Years' War (1756–63).
In summer 1757 the French invaded Hanover and defeated George II's son Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, leading the Anglo-Hanoverian army, at the Battle of Hastenbeck and drove him and his army into remote Bremen-Verden, where in the former Zeven Conventhe capitulated on 18 September (Convention of Kloster-Zeven). But George II did not recognise the convention. In the following year the British army, supported by troops from Brandenburg-Prussia, Hesse-Kassel and the ducal Principality of Brunswick and Lunenburg (Wolfenbüttel) again expelled the occupants.
Hanover remained unaffected for the rest of the war. After the war ended, peace prevailed until the French Revolutionary Wars started. The War of the First Coalition against France (1793–97) with Great Britain-Hanover and other war allies forming the coalition, did not affect Hanoverian territory, since the first French Republic was fighting on several fronts, even on its own territory. However, men were drafted to recruit the 16,000 Hanoverian soldiers fighting in the Low Countries under British command against France. In 1795 the Holy Roman Empire declared its neutrality, including Hanover; however, a peace treaty with France was under negotiation until it failed in 1799. Brandenburg-Prussia, however, ended for its part the war with France by the Treaty of Basel (1795), stipulating that Brandenburg-Prussia would ensure the Holy Roman Empire's neutrality in all the latter's territories north of the demarcation line of the river Main, including the British continental dominions of Hanover, Bremen-Verden, and Saxe-Lauenburg. To this end Hanover also had to provide troops for the so-called demarcation army maintaining the armed neutrality.
During the War of the Second Coalition against France (1799–1802) Napoléon Bonaparte urged Brandenburg-Prussia to occupy the continental British dominions. In 1801 24,000 Brandenburg-Prussian soldiers invaded, surprising Hanover, which surrendered without a fight. In April 1801 the Brandenburg-Prussian troops arrived in Bremen-Verden's capital, Stade, and stayed there until October that year. The British first ignored Brandenburg-Prussia's hostility, but when the latter joined the pro-French coalition of armed neutral powers including Denmark-Norway and Russia, Britain began to capture Brandenburg-Prussian ships. After the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) the coalition fell apart and Brandenburg-Prussia withdrew its troops.
As part of the German Mediatisation of 25 February 1803, the Electorate received the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück in real union, whose every second ruler had been alternately members of the House of Hanover since 1662.
After Britain – this time without any allies – had declared war on France (18 May 1803), French troops invaded Hanover on 26 May. According to the Convention of Artlenburg (5 July 1803), confirming the military defeat of Hanover, the Hanoverian army was disarmed and its horses and ammunitions were handed over to the French. The Privy Council of Hanover, with minister Friedrich Franz Dieterich von Bremer holding up the Hanoverian stake[ clarification needed ], fled to Saxe-Lauenburg across the Elbe, ruled by Britain-Hanover in personal union. Soon afterwards the French also occupied Saxe-Lauenburg.
In autumn 1805, at the beginning of the War of the Third Coalition against France (1805–1806), the French occupying troops left Hanover in a campaign against Austria. British, Swedish and Russian coalition forces captured Hanover. In December the Empire of the French, since 1804 France's new government, ceded Hanover, which it did not hold any more, to Brandenburg-Prussia, which captured it early in 1806.
On 6 August 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved, thereby abolishing the function of prince-electors electing its emperors. Thus the title of Elector of Brandenburg became meaningless for the Kingdom of Prussia. After it had turned against France, it was defeated in the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt (11 November 1806), and France recaptured Hanover.
Following the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 the new Kingdom of Westphalia was founded, ruled by Napoléon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte, then including territories of the former Electorate of Hesse-Cassel, the ducal Brunswick-Lüneburgian principality Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and formerly Prussian territories. In early 1810 Hanover proper and Bremen-Verden, but not Saxe-Lauenburg, were also annexed by Westphalia. In an attempt to assert the Continental System, the French Empire annexed in late 1810 all the continental North Sea coast (as far as Denmark) and the areas along the sections of the rivers navigable for seagoing vessels, including Bremen-Verden and Saxe-Lauenburg and some adjacent territories of Hanover proper.
However, the government of George III did not recognise the French annexation, being at war continuously with France through the entire period, and Hanoverian ministers continued to operate out of London. The Privy Council of Hanover maintained its own separate diplomatic service, which maintained links with countries such as Austria and Prussia, with whom the United Kingdom itself was technically at war. The Hanoverian army was dissolved, but many of the officers and soldiers went to England, where they formed the King's German Legion. The Legion was the only German army to fight continually all through the Napoleonic wars against the French.
French control lasted until October 1813, when the territory was overrun by Russian troops, and the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig later the same month spelled the definitive end to the Napoleonic client state of Westphalia, as well as the entire Confederation of the Rhine, after which the rule of the House of Hanover was restored. The former electorate became the Kingdom of Hanover, confirmed at the Congress of Vienna in 1814.
The Electorate was legally indivisible: it could add to its territory, but not alienate territory or be split up among several heirs – as used to be the rule before, having led at times to a multitude of Brunswick-Lüneburgian principalities. Its succession was to follow male primogeniture. Since this was against the Salic law, then valid for the ducal family, the change needed imperial confirmation, which Emperor Leopold I granted in 1692.
In 1692, at its upgrading to the rank of electorate, its territory comprised the Brunswick-Lüneburgian principalities of Calenberg and Grubenhagen, which the line of the former[ clarification needed ] had already inherited in 1665. But before the confirmation of the electorate by the Imperial Diet in 1708 the Calenberg line further inherited the principality of Celle in 1705. Further included were the earlier acquired counties of Diepholz and Hoya.
Although the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, George III's government did not consider the dissolution to be final, and he continued to be styled "Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, Arch-treasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire" until 1814.
| George I Louis |
|1708–1727||Son of Ernest Augustus.||Became King of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. Acquired Bremen-Verden in 1719.|
| George II Augustus |
Georg II. August
|1727–1760||Son of George I.||Acquired the Land of Hadeln in 1731.|
| George III William Frederick |
Georg III. Wilhelm Friedrich
|1760–1806||Grandson of George II.||Became King of the United Kingdom (by the Act of Union with Ireland) in 1801. Acquired the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück in 1803. He lost (early 1801), regained (April 1801), lost again (May 1803), regained again (Autumn 1805), lost for a third time (early 1806), and regained for a third time (October 1813) de facto power in Hanover by various occupations and annexations during the Great French War (1801–1813). Although the Electoral title became defunct with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, George III did not recognise this dissolution, and retained the Electoral title until early 1814, when he was proclaimed King of Hanover, a title which was universally recognised during the Congress of Vienna (1814–15).|
The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.
The states of the German Confederation were those member states that from 20 June 1815 were part of the German Confederation, which lasted, with some changes in the member states, until 24 August 1866, under the presidency of the Austrian imperial House of Habsburg, which was represented by an Austrian presidential envoy to the Federal diet in Frankfurt.
Hanover is a territory that was at various times a principality within the Holy Roman Empire, an Electorate within the same, an independent Kingdom, and a subordinate Province within the Kingdom of Prussia. The territory was named after its capital, the city of Hanover, which was the principal town of the region from 1636. In contemporary usage, the name is only used for the city; most of the historical territory of Hanover forms the greater part of the German Land of Lower Saxony but excludes certain areas.
Bremen-Verden, formally the Duchies of Bremen and Verden, were two territories and immediate fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire, which emerged and gained imperial immediacy in 1180. By their original constitution they were prince-bishoprics of the Archdiocese of Bremen and Bishopric of Verden.
George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruled as Prince of Calenberg from 1635.
Christian Louis was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. A member of the House of Welf, from 1641 until 1648 he ruled the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy, and, from 1648 until his death, the Principality of Lüneburg.
George William German: Georg Wilhelm was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He ruled first over the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy, then over the Lüneburg subdivision. In 1689, he occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg and passed it on to his successors. George William was the father of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, wife of George I of Great Britain.
The Stade Region emerged in 1823 by an administrative reorganisation of the dominions of the Kingdom of Hanover, a sovereign state, whose then territory is almost completely part of today's German federal state of Lower Saxony. Until 1837 the Kingdom of Hanover was ruled in personal union by the Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The historic territory of Verden emerged from the Monarchs of the Frankish Diocese of Verden in the area of present-day central and northeastern Lower Saxony and existed as such until 1648. The territory managed by secular lords for the bishops was not identical with that of the bishopric, but was located within its boundaries and made up about a quarter of the diocesan area. The territory was referred to at the time as Stift Verden or Hochstift Verden, roughly equating to Prince-Bishopric of Verden. This territory described in local sources today incorrectly as Bistum Verden and, in 1648, was given the title Principality of Verden, sometimes referred to as the Duchy of Verden.