Grand Duchy of Hesse

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Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine

Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein
1806–1918
Motto: Gott, Ehre, Vaterland
"God, Honour, Fatherland"
Anthem:  Hessenlied
"Song of Hesse"
German Empire - Hesse (1871).svg
The Grand Duchy of Hesse within the German Empire
Status
Capital Darmstadt
Common languages Hessian
Religion
Government Constitutional Monarchy
Grand Duke  
 1806–1830
Louis I
 1830–1848
Louis II
 1848–1877
Louis III
 1877–1892
Louis IV
 1892–1918
Ernest Louis
Minister-President  
 1821–1829
Carl Grolman (first)
 1906–1918
Christian Ewald (last)
Legislature Landtag
 Upper Chamber
Herrenhaus
 Lower Chamber
Abgeordnetenhaus
Historical era Napoleonic Wars / WWI
 Established
13 August 1806
9 November 1918
Area
1910 [1] 7,688.36 km2 (2,968.49 sq mi)
Population
 1910 [2]
1,282,051
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Wappen Hessen-Darmstadt 1736.jpg Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt
People's State of Hesse Flagge Grossherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg

The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine (German : Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein) was a grand duchy in western Germany that existed from 1806 (the period of German mediatization) to the end of the German Empire in 1918. The grand duchy originally formed on the basis of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1806 as the Grand Duchy of Hesse (German: Großherzogtum Hessen). After the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, it changed its name in 1816 to distinguish itself from the Electorate of Hesse, which had formed from neighboring Hesse-Kassel. Colloquially, the grand duchy continued to be known by its former name of Hesse-Darmstadt. It joined the German Empire in 1871 and became a republic after the German defeat in World War I in 1918.

Contents

History

Hesse-Darmstadt was a member of Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine during the Napoleonic Wars. Rapidly expanding during the mediatizations, Hesse-Darmstadt became an amalgamation of smaller German states, such as the Electorate of Cologne. The legal patchwork of the state culminated in a decree issued on 1 October 1806 by Louis I. The old territorial estates were abolished, which altered Hesse-Darmstadt "from a mosaic of patrimonial fragments into a centralized, absolute monarchy." [3] The Duchy of Westphalia, which Hesse-Darmstadt had received in 1803, was ceded to the Kingdom of Prussia during the Congress of Vienna. However, Hesse-Darmstadt was compensated with some territory on the western bank of the Rhine, including the important federal fortress at Mainz.

The Residenzschloss (city palace) of the Grand Dukes in Darmstadt Darmstadt-Schloss Marktplatz.jpg
The Residenzschloss (city palace) of the Grand Dukes in Darmstadt

The neighboring Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel had backed Prussia against Napoleon and was absorbed into the Kingdom of Westphalia. At the Congress of Vienna, Hesse-Kassel was reestablished as the Electorate of Hesse. To distinguish the two Hessian states, the grand duchy changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine (German : Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein) in 1816.

In 1867, the northern half of the Grand Duchy (Upper Hesse) became a part of the North German Confederation, while the half of the Grand Duchy south of the Main (Starkenburg and Rhenish Hesse) remained outside. In 1871, it became a constituent state of the German Empire. The last Grand Duke, Ernst Ludwig (a grandson of Queen Victoria and brother to Empress Alexandra of Russia), was forced from his throne at the end of World War I, and the state was renamed the People's State of Hesse (Volksstaat Hessen).

After World War II, the majority of the state combined with Frankfurt am Main, the Waldeck area (Rhine-Province) and the former Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau to form the new state of Hesse. Excluded were the Montabaur district from Hessen-Nassau and that part of Hessen-Darmstadt on the left bank of the Rhine (Rhenish Hesse), which became part of the Rhineland-Palatinate state. (Bad) Wimpfen—an exclave of Hessen-Darmstadt—became part of Baden-Württemberg, in the district of Sinsheim. After a plebiscite on 29 April 1951, Bad Wimpfen was transferred from Sinsheim district to Heilbronn District. This change to Heilbronn was carried out on 1 May 1952.

Transport

Because of the disjointed nature of the state, it did not develop its own state railway to begin with, but set up joint railway projects with its neighbouring states: These were the:

In addition the state encouraged numerous other projects by the privately owned Hessian Ludwig Railway Company. Finally, in 1876 the state founded its own company, the Grand Duchy of Hesse State Railways, which continued to expand the network until it was finally merged into the Prussian-Hessian Railway Company in 1897.

Subdivisions of Hesse

The three provinces of the Grand Duchy of Hesse: Upper Hesse, Starkenburg, and Rhenish Hesse Hessen1930.png
The three provinces of the Grand Duchy of Hesse: Upper Hesse, Starkenburg, and Rhenish Hesse

The Grand Duchy of Hesse was divided into three provinces:

See also

Related Research Articles

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History of Hesse Aspect of history

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Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine

Louis IV was the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, reigning from 13 June 1877 until his death. Through his own and his children's marriages he was connected to the British Royal Family, to the Imperial House of Russia and to other reigning dynasties of Europe.

Hesse-Nassau

The Province of Hesse-Nassau was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1868 to 1918, then a province of the Free State of Prussia until 1944.

Hesse-Homburg

Hesse-Homburg was formed into a separate landgraviate in 1622 by the landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt; it was to be ruled by his son, although it did not become independent of Hesse-Darmstadt until 1668.

Starkenburg

Starkenburg is an historical region in the State of Hesse, Germany, comprising the area south of the Main River and east of the Rhine, around the regional capital Darmstadt.

Peoples State of Hesse

The People's State of Hesse was the name of the German state of Hesse-Darmstadt from 1918 until 1945.

Greater Hesse

Greater Hesse was the provisional name given for a section of German territory created by the US military administration in at the end of World War II. It was formed by the Allied Control Council on 19 September 1945 and became the modern German state of Hesse on 1 December 1946.

Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt

The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by a younger branch of the House of Hesse. It was formed in 1567 following the division of the Landgraviate of Hesse between the four sons of Landgrave Philip I.

Landgraviate of Hesse

The Landgraviate of Hesse was a principality of the Holy Roman Empire. It existed as a single entity from 1264 to 1567, when it was divided among the sons of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse.

House Order of the Golden Lion (Hesse)

The House Order of the Golden Lion was an order of the German Landgraviate and Electorate of Hesse-Kassel and later, the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine. It was first instituted in 1770 by Landgrave Frederick II, in honour of and under the patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, an ancestor of the House of Hesse, and was intended to award auspicious merit.

Grand Duchy of Hesse State Railways transport company

The Grand Duchy of Hesse State Railways belonged to the Länderbahnen at the time of the German Empire. In the 19th century, the Grand Duchy of Hesse consisted of three provinces. Between the rivers Rhine, Main and Neckar the province of Starkenburg embraced the Odenwald and the Hessian Ried. It also included the ducal residence of Darmstadt. West of the Rhine, was the province of Rhenish Hesse (Rheinhessen) with the towns of Mainz, Worms and Bingen. The province of Upper Hesse (Oberhessen), which included the Vogelsberg and the Wetterau was not directly linked by land to the others. As a result of its lack of territorial integrity, the state did not initially build its own state railway. Rather it took part in joint state railway projects with its neighbouring states: These were the:

Hesse-Darmstadt may refer to:

Hessian Ludwig Railway Transport company

The Hessian Ludwig Railway or HLB with its network of 697 kilometres of railway was one of the largest privately owned railway companies in Germany.

The term Upper Hesse originally referred to the southern possessions of the Landgraviate of Hesse, which were initially geographically separated from the more northerly Lower Hesse by the County of Ziegenhain.

Electorate of Hesse

The Electorate of Hesse, also known as Hesse-Kassel or Kurhessen, was a landgraviate whose prince was given the right to elect the Emperor by Napoleon. When the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806, its prince, William I, chose to retain the title of Elector, even though there was no longer an Emperor to elect. In 1807, with the Treaties of Tilsit, the area was annexed to the Kingdom of Westphalia, but in 1814, the Congress of Vienna restored the electorate.

The Hessian War, in its wider sense sometimes also called the Hessian Wars (Hessenkriege), was a drawn out conflict that took place between 1567 and 1648, sometimes pursued through diplomatic means, sometimes by military force, between branches of the princely House of Hesse, particularly between the Landgraviate of Hesse-Cassel and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt. It was triggered by a division of inheritance following the death of the last landgrave of all Hesse, Philip I in 1567.

References

  1. Willkommen bei Gemeindeverzeichnis.de
  2. Willkommen bei Gemeindeverzeichnis.de
  3. Hans A. Schmitt. "Germany Without Prussia: A Closer Look at the Confederation of the Rhine." German Studies Review 6, No. 4 (1983), pp 9-39.