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|First Schleswig War|
|Part of the Revolutions of 1848|
Danish soldiers return to Copenhagen in 1849
by Otto Bache (1894)
|Commanders and leaders|
| Prince of Nør |
Eduard von Bonin
| Hans Hedemann |
Frederik Læssøe †
|Casualties and losses|
|8,309 killed, wounded or captured||8,695 killed, wounded or captured|
The First Schleswig War (German : Schleswig-Holsteinischer Krieg) or Three Years' War (Danish : Treårskrigen) was the first round of military conflict in southern Denmark and northern Germany rooted in the Schleswig-Holstein Question, contesting the issue of who should control the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The war, which lasted from 1848 to 1851, also involved troops from Prussia and Sweden. Ultimately, under international pressure, the Prussians had to withdraw their forces. As a result, the war ended in a Danish victory over the rebels and the signing of the London Protocol in 1852. A second conflict, the Second Schleswig War, erupted in 1864.
At the beginning of 1848, Denmark included the Duchy of Schleswig, and the king of Denmark ruled the duchies of Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg within the German Confederation. The majority of the ethnic Germans in Denmark lived in these areas. Germans made up a third of the country's population, and the three duchies accounted for half of Denmark's economy.The Napoleonic Wars, which had ended in 1815, had fanned both Danish and German nationalism. Pan-German ideology had become highly influential in the decades prior to the wars, and writers such as Jacob Grimm (1785–1863) and the Norwegian Peter Andreas Munch (1810–1863) argued that the entire peninsula of Jutland had been populated by Germans before the arrival of the Danes and that therefore Germans could justifiably reclaim it. Jens Jacob Asmussen Worsaae (1821–1885), an archaeologist who had excavated parts of the Danevirke, countered the pro-German claims, writing pamphlets which argued that there was no way of knowing the language of the earliest inhabitants of Danish territory, that Germans had more solid historical claims to large parts of France and England, and that Slavs by the same reasoning could annex parts of eastern Germany.
The conflicting aims of Danish and German nationalists contributed to the outbreak of the First Schleswig War. Danish nationalists believed that Schleswig, but not Holstein, should be a part of Denmark, as Schleswig contained a large number of Danes, whilst Holstein did not. German nationalists believed that Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg should remain united, and their belief that Schleswig and Holstein should not be separated led to the two duchies being referred to as Schleswig-Holstein. Schleswig became a particular source of contention, as it contained a large number of Danes, Germans and North Frisians. Another cause of the war was the legally questionable change to the rules of ducal succession in the duchies.
King Christian VIII of Denmark died in January 1848. His only legitimate son, the future Frederick VII, seemed unable to beget heirs, thus the duchies appeared likely to pass to the rule of the House of Oldenburg, which might have resulted in a division of Denmark. Accordingly, Christian VIII had decreed (8 July 1846) a change to the succession law in the duchies to allow succession through the female line. The implementation of this law was illegal. [ better source needed ]
The Schleswig-Holsteiners, being inspired from the successes of the French in the revolution in Paris of February 1848, sent a deputation to Copenhagen to demand the immediate recognition by King Frederick VII of a joint state of Schleswig-Holstein previous to its admittance into the German Confederation. King Frederick's reply, in which he admitted the right of Holstein as a German confederate state to be guided by the decrees of the Frankfurt diet, but declared that he had neither "the power, right, nor wish" to incorporate Schleswig into the confederation, was immediately followed or even perhaps preceded by an outbreak of open rebellion.
Schleswig-Holsteinian Prince Frederik of Noer took the 5th "Lauenburger" Rifle Corps (Jägerkorps) and some students of Kiel university to take over the fortress of Rendsburg in Schleswig-Holstein. The fortress contained the main armoury of the duchies, and the 14th, 15th, and 16th Infantry Battalions, the 2nd Regiment of Artillery, as well as some military engineers. When Noer's force arrived, they found that the gates to the fortress had been left open for an unknown reason and promptly walked in, surprising the would-be defenders. After delivering a speech to the defenders, the prince secured the allegiance of the battalions and regiment of artillery to the provisional government. Danish officers who had been serving in the defence of the fortress were allowed to leave for Denmark on the assurance that they did not fight against Schleswig-Holstein in the coming war.
Wishing to defeat Denmark before Prussian, Austrian, and German troops arrived to support them, 7,000 Schleswig-Holsteiner soldiers under General Krohn occupied Flensborg on 31 March. Over 7,000 Danish soldiers landed east of the city, and Krohn, fearing he would be surrounded, ordered his forces to withdraw. The Danes were able to reach the Schleswig-Holsteiners before they were able to retreat, and the subsequent Battle of Bov on 9 April was a Danish victory. At the battle, the Prince of Noer, senior commander of the Schleswig-Holsteinish forces, did not arrive until two hours after fighting had started, and the Schleswig-Holsteiners were more prepared for the withdrawal they had intended to make than for an engagement.
The Germans had embarked on this course of participation in the Schleswig-Holstein War alone, without the European powers. The other European powers were united in opposing any dismemberment of Denmark, even Austria refusing to assist in enforcing the German view. Swedish troops landed to assist the Danes; Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, speaking with authority as head of the senior Gottorp line, pointed out to King Frederick William IV of Prussia the risks of a collision. Great Britain, though the Danes had rejected her mediation, threatened to send her fleet to assist in preserving the status quo. The fact that Prussia had entered the war on behalf of the revolutionary forces in Schleswig-Holstein created a great number of ironies. The newly elected Frankfurt Diet tended to support the incursion into the Schleswig-Holstein War while King Frederick William did not. Indeed, Frederick William ordered Friedrich von Wrangel, commanding the army of the German Confederation, to withdraw his troops from the duchies; but the general refused, asserting that he was under the command of the Diet of the German Confederation [ clarification needed ] and not of the King of Prussia but of the regent of Germany (Archduke John of Austria). Wrangel proposed that, at the very least, any treaty concluded should be presented for ratification to the Frankfurt Diet. The Danes rejected this proposal and negotiations were broken off. Prussia was now confronted on the one side by the German nation urging her clamorously to action, on the other side by the European powers threatening dire consequences should she persist. After painful hesitation, Frederick William chose what seemed the lesser of two evils, and, on 26 August, Prussia signed a convention at Malmö which yielded to practically all the Danish demands. The Holstein estates appealed to the German diet, which hotly took up their cause, but it was soon clear that the central government had no means of enforcing its views. In the end the convention was ratified at Frankfurt. The convention was essentially nothing more than a truce establishing a temporary modus vivendi. The main issues, left unsettled, continued to be hotly debated.
In October, at a conference in London, Denmark suggested an arrangement on the basis of a separation of Schleswig from Holstein, which was about to become a member of a new German empire, with Schleswig having a separate constitution under the Danish crown.
In April 1850, Prussia, which had pulled out of the war after the treaty of Malmö,[ clarification needed ] proposed a definitive peace on the basis of the status quo ante bellum and postponement of all questions as to mutual rights. To Palmerston the basis seemed meaningless and the proposed settlement would settle nothing. Nicholas I, openly disgusted with Frederick William's submission to the Frankfurt Parliament, again intervened. To him Duke Christian of Augustenborg was a rebel. Russia had guaranteed Schleswig to the Danish crown by the 1773 Treaty of Tsarskoye Selo. As for Holstein, if the King of Denmark could not deal with the rebels there, he himself would intervene as he had done in Hungary. The threat was reinforced by the menace of the European situation. Austria and Prussia were on the verge of war, and the sole hope of preventing Russia from entering such a war on the side of Austria lay in settling the Schleswig-Holstein question in a manner desirable to her. The only alternative, an alliance with the hated Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew, Louis Napoleon, who was already dreaming of acquiring the Rhine frontier for France in return for his aid in establishing German sea-power by the ceding of the duchies, was abhorrent to Frederick William.
The Protocol affirmed the integrity of the Danish federation as a "European necessity and standing principle". Accordingly, the duchies of Schleswig (a Danish fief) and Holstein, and Lauenburg (sovereign states within the German Confederation) were joined by personal union with the King of Denmark. For this purpose, the line of succession to the duchies was modified, because Frederick VII of Denmark remained childless and hence a change in dynasty was in order. (The originally conflicting protocols of succession between the duchies and Denmark would have stipulated that, contrary to the treaty, the duchies of Holstein and Lauenburg would have had heads of state other than the King of Denmark.) Further, it was affirmed that the duchies were to remain as independent entities, and that Schleswig would have no greater constitutional affinity to Denmark than Holstein.
This settlement did not resolve the issue, as the German Diet had steadfastly refused to recognize the treaty, and asserted that the law of 1650 was still in force, by which the Duchies were not united to the state of Denmark, but only to the direct line of the Danish kings, and were to revert on its extinction, not to the branch of Glucksburg, but to the German ducal family of Augustenburg.Only twelve years passed before the Second Schleswig War in 1864 resulted in the incorporation of both duchies into the German Confederation, and later, in 1871, into the German Empire.
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig. Its capital city is Kiel; other notable cities are Lübeck and Flensburg.
The Duchy of Schleswig was a duchy in Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) covering the area between about 60 km north and 70 km south of the current border between Germany and Denmark. The territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany. The region is also called Sleswick in English.
The German Confederation was an association of 39 predominantly German-speaking sovereign states in Central Europe, created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as a replacement of the former Holy Roman Empire, which had been dissolved in 1806.
South Jutland County is a former county on the south-central portion of the Jutland Peninsula in southern Denmark.
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is the southern half of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany.
The history of Schleswig-Holstein consists of the corpus of facts since the pre-history times until the modern establishing of the Schleswig-Holstein state.
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. Its capital was Berlin.
Duke Frederick VIII was the German pretender to the throne of Schleswig-Holstein from 1863, although in reality Prussia took overlordship and real administrative power.
The Second Schleswig War was the second military conflict over the Schleswig-Holstein Question of the nineteenth century. The war began on 1 February 1864, when Prussian and Austrian forces crossed the border into Schleswig. Denmark fought the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Empire. Like the First Schleswig War (1848–1852), it was fought for control of the duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg, due to the succession disputes concerning them when the Danish king died without an heir acceptable to the German Confederation. The war started after the passing of the November Constitution of 1863, which integrated the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom in violation of the London Protocol.
The Schleswig-Holstein Question was a complex set of diplomatic and other issues arising in the 19th century from the relations of two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein, to the Danish crown, to the German Confederation, and to each other. The British statesman Lord Palmerston is reported to have said: "Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it."
Bernhard Ernst von Bülow was a Danish and German statesman.
The Gastein Convention, also called the Convention of Badgastein, was a treaty signed at Bad Gastein in Austria on 14 August 1865. It embodied agreements between the two principal powers of the German Confederation, Prussia and Austria, over the governing of the 'Elbe Duchies' of Schleswig, Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg.
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.
Christian August II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, commonly known as Christian, Duke of Augustenborg, was a German prince and statesman. During the 1850s and 1860s, he was a claimant to the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein, and a candidate to become king of Denmark following the death of King Frederick VII. He was the father-in-law of Princess Helena and the paternal grandfather of Augusta Victoria, Empress of Germany and wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The Duchy of Holstein was the northernmost state of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the present German state of Schleswig-Holstein. It originated when King Christian I of Denmark had his County of Holstein-Rendsburg elevated to a duchy by Emperor Frederick III in 1474. Members of the Danish House of Oldenburg ruled Holstein – jointly with the Duchy of Schleswig – for its entire existence.
Austria–Denmark relations are the foreign relations between Austria and Denmark. Austria has an embassy in Copenhagen and Denmark has an embassy in Vienna. Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and of the European Union. Diplomatic relations were established on 19 December 1925.
Prussia and its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, were involved in numerous conflicts during their existence as nation-states. During their military engagements they often fulfilled the role of a supporting power, especially in the 17th century. In the 18th century Prussia began to adopt an independent role in the conflicts of that time; at the latest by the time of the Silesian Wars.
The London conference of 1864 was a peace conference on the Second Schleswig War that took place in London from 25 April to 25 June 1864.
On 8 May 1852, after the First War of Schleswig, an agreement called the London Protocol was signed. This international treaty was the revision of an earlier protocol, which had been ratified on 2 August 1850, by the major Germanic powers of Austria and Prussia. The second London Protocol was recognised by the five major European powers—Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, and the United Kingdom—as well as by the Baltic Sea powers of Denmark and Sweden.
Wanke nicht, mein Vaterland, also known as Schleswig-Holstein, meerumschlungen or Schleswig-Holstein-Lied is the unofficial anthem of Schleswig-Holstein. It was written in 1844 and presented at the Schleswiger Sängerfest. The tune was written by Carl Gottlieb Bellmann (1772–1862). The text had originally been written by Berlin-based lawyer Karl Friedrich Straß (1803–1864) but rewritten by Matthäus Friedrich Chemnitz (1815–1870) shortly before the start of the Sängerfest in order to represent the then atmosphere in a better way. The song expresses the wish for a united, independent and German Schleswig-Holstein.
These three southern regions of the Danish "Gesamtstaat" or "Helstaten" (common name for the union of the kingdom and the duchies) made up about one half of the monarchy's economic power.
To prevent a division of the Danish kingdom, the Danish "Royal Law" (Lex Regia) was - illegaly[ sic ] - introduced in the duchies.
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