Grand Duchy of
Motto: Per aspera ad astra
The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin within the German Empire
|Common languages||East Pomeranian German, Polabian|
|Religion||Evangelical Lutheran State Church of Mecklenburg-Schwerin|
|Frederick Francis I|
|Frederick Francis II|
|Frederick Francis III|
|Frederick Francis IV|
|14 June 1815|
|14 November 1918|
|1910||13,127 km2 (5,068 sq mi)|
|Currency|| Mecklenburg thaler (to 1857)|
Vereinsthaler (to 1857–73)
German gold mark (1873–1918)
|Today part of||Germany|
The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a territory in Northern Germany held by the House of Mecklenburg residing at Schwerin. It was a sovereign member state of the German Confederation and became a federated state of the North German Confederation and finally of the German Empire in 1871.
Like its predecessor, the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the Schwerin lands upon the incorporation of the extinct Duchy of Mecklenburg-Güstrow in 1701 comprised the larger central and western parts of the historic Mecklenburg region. The smaller southeastern part was held by the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz branch of the grand ducal house, who also ruled over the lands of the former Bishopric of Ratzeburg in the far northwest.
The grand duchy was bounded by the Baltic coast in the north and the Prussian province of Pomerania in the northeast, where the border with the Hither Pomeranian (formerly Swedish Pomeranian) region ran along the Recknitz river, the Peene, and Kummerower See. In the south it bordered with the Prussian province of Brandenburg (with the exclaves of Rossow and Schönberg near Wittstock) and in the southwest with the Amt Neuhaus district held by the Kingdom of Hanover, which was incorporated into the Prussian province of Hanover after the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. Likewise in the west, the Duchy of Holstein was incorporated into the Schleswig-Holstein Province, after which Mecklenburg was almost entirely surrounded by Prussian territory.
Beside the capital at Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin comprised the coastal cities of Rostock and Wismar, which had been held by the Swedish crown until 1803, as well as the inland towns of Parchim and Güstrow.
In the early years of the French Revolutionary Wars Duke Frederick Francis I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin had remained neutral, and in 1803 he regained Wismar, which was pawned to him from Sweden. After Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Austerlitz and the final dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, he joined the Confederation of the Rhine by a treaty of 22 March 1808. Napoleon, in preparation for the French invasion of Russia in 1812, disregarded this alliance; he offered the duchy to the Swedish heir apparent Jean Bernadotte for his support. Duke Frederick Francis was the first member of the confederation to abandon Napoleon, to whose armies he had sent a contingent,and in the following War of the Sixth Coalition he fought against the troops of the First French Empire —with the result that his new allies, Prussia and Russia, now offered his duchy to the Kingdom of Denmark. Instead, Denmark was promised the adjacent lands of Swedish Pomerania by the 1814 Peace of Kiel and the rule of the Mecklenburg dukes remained inviolate.
At the 1815 Congress of Vienna, Frederick Francis joined the newly established German Confederation, and like his Strelitz cousin Charles II, was elevated to the title of a "Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin". In 1819 serfdom was finally abolished in his dominions. The Mecklenburg governance was still determined by the 1755 inheritance agreement (Landesgrundgesetzlicher Erbvergleich), which upheld the medieval hierarchy of the estates, which largely affected the social and economic development of both grand duchies. During the revolutions of 1848, the duchy witnessed a considerable agitation in favour of a liberal constitution. On 10 October 1849 Grand Duke Frederick Francis II (1823–1883) granted a new Basic law elaborated by his First Minister Ludwig von Lützow. In the subsequent reaction of the Mecklenburg nobility, backed by the Strelitz grand duke George, all the concessions which had been made to democracy were withdrawn and further restrictive measures were introduced in 1851 and 1852.
In the dispute over neighbouring Holstein which culminated in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, Frederick Francis II supported the Kingdom of Prussia, whom he aided with Mecklenburg-Schwerin soldiers. His grand duchy began to pass more and more under Prussian influence. In 1867 he joined the North German Confederation and the Zollverein. In the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871), Prussia again received valuable assistance from Grand Duke Frederick Francis II, who was an ardent advocate of German unity and held a high command in her armies. In the course of the German unification in 1871, Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz became states of the German Empire. There was now renewed agitation for a more democratic constitution, and the German Reichstag parliament gave some countenance to this movement.
In 1897 Frederick Francis IV (b. 1882) succeeded his father Frederick Francis III (1851–1897) as the last grand duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. In 1907 the Grand Duke promised a constitution to his subjects. The duchy had always been under a feudal system of government, the grand duke having the executive entirely in his hands (though acting through ministers). The duchy shared a diet (Landtag), which met for a short session each year. At other times they were represented by a committee consisting of the proprietors of knights' estates (Rittergüter), known as the Ritterschaft, and the Landschaft, or burgomasters of certain towns. Mecklenburg-Schwerin returned six members to the Reichstag.Upon the suicide of his cousin Grand Duke Adolphus Frederick VI on 23 February 1918, Frederick Francis served as regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Shortly afterwards, on 14 November, he was forced to renounce the Mecklenburg throne in the course of the German Revolution. The grand duchy turned into the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a federated state of the Weimar Republic.
Thereby ended nearly eight centuries of continuous rule (only interrupted by Albrecht von Wallenstein from 1628 to 1630) by the originally Obotrite (West Slavic) Mecklenburg dynasty, beginning with their progenitor Prince Niklot (d. 1160). Until 1918 the grand duke was styled as "Prince of the Wends".
Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The largest cities of the region are Rostock, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg, Wismar and Güstrow.
The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a duchy in northern Germany, consisting of the eastern fifth of the historic Mecklenburg region, roughly corresponding with the present-day Mecklenburg-Strelitz district, and the western exclave of the former bishopric of Ratzeburg in modern Schleswig-Holstein. At the time of its establishment, the duchy bordered on the territory of Swedish Pomerania in the north and of Brandenburg in the south.
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.
A grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.
The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a duchy in northern Germany created in 1701, when Frederick William and Adolphus Frederick II divided the Duchy of Mecklenburg between Schwerin and Strelitz. Ruled by the successors of the Nikloting House of Mecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin remained a state of the Holy Roman Empire along the Baltic Sea littoral between Holstein-Glückstadt and Duchy of Pomerania.
Adolphus Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg, was the first Duke of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz, reigning from 1701 until his death. Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a part of the Holy Roman Empire.
The House of Mecklenburg, also known as Nikloting, is a North German dynasty of Slavic origin that ruled until 1918 in the Mecklenburg region, being among the longest-ruling families of Europe. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (1909–2004), former Queen of the Netherlands (1948–1980), was an agnatic member of this house.
The German emperor was the official title of the head of state and hereditary ruler of the German Empire. A specifically chosen term, it was introduced with the 1 January 1871 constitution and lasted until the official abdication of Wilhelm II on 28 November 1918. The Holy Roman emperor is sometimes also called "German emperor" when the historical context is clear, as derived from the Holy Roman Empire's official name of "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" from 1512.
The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a territory in Northern Germany, held by the younger line of the House of Mecklenburg residing in Neustrelitz. Like the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, it was a sovereign member state of the German Confederation and became a federated state of the North German Confederation and finally of the German Empire upon the unification of 1871. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–19 it was succeeded by the Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Frederick Francis II was a Prussian officer and Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin from 7 March 1842 until 15 April 1883.
Frederick Francis IV was the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He inherited the throne when he was fifteen years old in 1897 and was forced to renounce it in 1918.
Borwin, Duke of Mecklenburg has been the head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz since 1996 and of the entire House of Mecklenburg since 2001. The death of Friedrich Franz, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin – his godfather – the last male member of the House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 31 July 2001 made Strelitz the only remaining line of the House of Mecklenburg, which ruled in Mecklenburg until 1918.
Mecklenburg-Güstrow was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in Northern Germany, that existed on three occasions ruled by the House of Mecklenburg at Güstrow.
By the Hamburg Agreement on March 8, 1701, Mecklenburg was separated into two duchies with limited autonomy, which formed a collective state–as of 1815, the Grand Duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Since 1755, they had the same constitution and were under the control of the same parliament. In 1815, both parts became Grand Duchies by the Congress of Vienna.
The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz Railway was the state railway company in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. After its second nationalisation in 1890 up to the merger of the Länderbahnen into the Deutsche Reichsbahn in 1920 it was under the direction of the Grand Duchy's Executive Railway Board in Schwerin.
Events from the year 1871 in Germany.
Frederick William I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was the reigning Duke of Mecklenburg in the Mecklenburg-Schwerin portion of the duchy of Mecklenburg from 1692 until 1713.
The North German Confederation Treaty was the treaty between the Kingdom of Prussia and other northern and central German states that initially created the North German Confederation, which was the forerunner to the German Empire. This treaty, and others that followed in September and October, are often described as the August treaties, although not all of them were concluded in August 1866.
Events from the year 1870 in Germany.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin .|