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.
The Duchy of Holstein (in personal union with the Kingdom of Denmark; not a former member of the Confederation of the Rhine)
The Duchy of Schleswig (a fief of Denmark and together with the Duchy of Holstein in personal union with the Kingdom of Denmark, was not a former member of either the Holy Roman Empire or the Confederation of the Rhine. The secessionist (pro-German) government of Schleswig-Holstein (1848–51) joined Schleswig to the Confederation. This was not recognized by the Confederation and the Danish government, and the peace settlement in 1851 specified that Schleswig was not a member.
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.
The Provinces of Prussia were the main administrative divisions of Prussia from 1815 to 1946. Prussia's province system was introduced in the Stein-Hardenberg Reforms in 1815, and were mostly organized from duchies and historical regions. Provinces were divided into several Regierungsbezirke, sub-divided into Kreise (districts), and then into Gemeinden (townships) at the lowest-level. Provinces constituted the highest level of administration in the Kingdom of Prussia and Free State of Prussia until 1933, when Nazi Germany established de facto direct rule over provincial politics, and were formally abolished in 1946 following World War II. The Prussian provinces became the basis for many federal states of Germany, and the states of Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein are direct successors of provinces.
The German Empire consisted of 25 constituent states and an Imperial Territory, the largest of which was Prussia. These states, or Staaten each had votes in the Bundesrat, which gave them representation at a federal level.
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