Thuringian states

Last updated
Data for 1910
Area:12,325 km2
The Thuringian States in 1910 Thuringia 1910 - en.svg
The Thuringian States in 1910

The Thuringian states (German : Thüringische Staaten) refers to the following German federal states within the German Reich:



These lands were bordered to the north and west by Prussian regions, especially the Regierungsbezirk of Erfurt, but also those of Kassel and Merseburg, in places as enclaves. In addition numerous Prussian exclaves were mixed up among the Thuringian states. These were the county ( Landkreis ) of Schleusingen and town of Suhl, the county of Herrschaft Schmalkalden and Barchfeld, the region around Wandersleben and Mühlberg, the county of Ziegenrück and town of Ranis, and the villages of Kamsdorf, Blankenberg, Sparnberg, Blintendorf and Gefell, which belonged to the county of Ziegenrück but were separated from it. Other Prussian exclaves were the villages of Abtlöbnitz near Camburg and Kischlitz near Eisenberg.

To the east, the Kingdom of Saxony was the neighbouring state, which also had various exclaves. These were Liebschwitz near Gera with the municipalities and lands of Lengefeld, Liebschwitz, Lietzsch, Niebra, Pösneck, and Taubenpreskeln, as well as the neighbouring municipalities of Hilbersdorf, Loitzsch, Rückersdorf, Thonhausen and Grobsdorf. Also worth mentioning are the municipality of Bocka near Altenburg and Kauritz near Meerane.

The Kleinstaaterei was highly valued, but on the territory of the present Free State of Thuringia in the early 20th century there were eight small states (Kleinstaaten), Prussian areas in several provinces ( Regierungsbezirken ) and several small Saxon exclaves. The fragmentation of the states was made particularly acute because the little states did not form single enclosed territories, but were scattered in a confusing melange. In 1913 there was an exchange of land between Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Saxe-Meiningen. The Meiningen village of Lichtenhain outside Jena was exchanged for parts of Kranichfeld that belonged to Weimar. In principle less sensible: it did lead to a tidying up of the boundaries in Kranichfeld, but the Meiningen exclave of Kranichfeld was not removed, but enlarged. Apparently Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach could not or would not offer other land for exchange.


During the period of the German Empire the Thuringian states each had a voice in the Bundesrat - in all eight votes (the duchies of Coburg and Gotha only had a joint vote). They thus formed a significant block, especially when one considers that the Kingdom of Saxony, for example, only had four votes. However the Thuringian states rarely agreed with one another. Until 1903 only five states were represented by the Weimar delegates in the Bundesrat. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had its own delegate, Saxe-Meiningen was represented by Bavaria and Reuss Elder Line by Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

The Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Jena was, according to the new Imperial Court Constitution Act (Reichsgerichtsverfassungsgesetz) of 1 October 1878 the only institution, that was responsible for all the Thuringian states. Only Schwarzburg-Sondershausen fell under the jurisdiction of the Oberlandesgericht in Naumburg. A second common institution was the University of Jena with the Ernestine duchies as their sponsor states. From 1817 the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg was no longer part of them.

In November 1918 the centuries-long, territorial fragmentation of the Thuringian region came to an end. In the federal states, as in the whole of the German Empire, the republic was declared and the reigning dukes and princes abdicated. The old Thuringian duchies and principalities became free states.

The two free states of Reuss E.L. and Reuss Y.L. merged on 21 December 1918 to form the Republic of Reuss, the union between Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Coburg was dissolved on 12 April 1919 and they formed their own free states.

The governments of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and the Republic of Reuss took part in negotiations about a merger of all Thuringian states, if possible including the Prussian elements. But because Prussia was not prepared for any kind of land exchange, the founding of the state as a so-called "Little Thuringian Solution" was taken forward.

In the course of the foundation discussions the state governments voiced misgivings from Saxe-Meiningen and Coburg as to whether being annexed by the new state would be advantageous for them, because the Franconian-influenced region south of the Rennsteig path had always been more strongly linked to Bavaria, both linguistically and socially. For this reason on 30 November 1919 in Saxe-Coburg a plebiscite was held in which the majority of the people voted against being merged into the state of Thuringia. The misgivings of Saxe-Meiningen were resolved inter alia by a "guarantee of existence" (Bestandsgarantie) for the IHK Sonneberg and for the counties.

On 1 May 1920 the Free State of Thuringia was founded with its capital at Weimar. This excluded the Free State of Coburg which was united with the Free State of Bavaria on 1 July 1920.

The region of the pre-2009 Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Thuringia corresponded, apart from a few small Prussian enclaves, to the boundaries of the State of Thuringia in 1920. Only the exclave of Ostheim, which used to belong to Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, went to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Bavaria in 1972, in line with the political situation of the time.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saxe-Coburg and Gotha</span> Collective name for the duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha in Germany

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was an Ernestine, Thuringian duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Thuringia and Bavaria in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918. In November 1918, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was forced to abdicate. In 1920, the northern part of the duchy was merged with six other Thuringian free states to form the Free State of Thuringia: Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Altenburg and Saxe-Meiningen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, as well as the People's State of Reuss. The southern part of the duchy, as southernmost of the Thuringian states, was the only one which, after a referendum, became part of the Free State of Bavaria.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thuringia was a Lutheran member church of the umbrella Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). The seat of the church was in Eisenach. The church covered those parts of the state of Thuringia that were not part of the former Province of Saxony. It was the largest Protestant denomination in this area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">States of the German Confederation</span> Listing of the states of the German Confederation

The states of the German Confederation were member states of the German Confederation, from 20 June 1815 until 24 August 1866.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saxe-Altenburg</span> German duchy

Saxe-Altenburg was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in present-day Thuringia. It was one of the smallest of the German states with an area of 1323 square kilometers and a population of 207,000 (1905) of whom about one fifth resided in the capital, Altenburg. The territory of the duchy consisted of two non-contiguous territories separated by land belonging to the Principality of Reuss. Its economy was based on agriculture, forestry, and small industry. The state had a constitutional monarchical form of government with a parliament composed of thirty members chosen by male taxpayers over 25 years of age.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saxe-Meiningen</span> Saxon duchy held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty in Thuringia, Germany

Saxe-Meiningen was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty, located in the southwest of the present-day German state of Thuringia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach</span> Historical German state from 1809–1920

Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was a historical German state, created as a duchy in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach, which had been in personal union since 1741. It was raised to a grand duchy in 1815 by resolution of the Vienna Congress. In 1903, it officially changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony, but this name was rarely used. The Grand Duchy came to an end in the German Revolution of 1918–19 with the other monarchies of the German Empire. It was succeeded by the Free State of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, which was merged into the new Free State of Thuringia two years later.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernestine duchies</span> Set of related states in Germany

The Ernestine duchies, also known as the Saxon duchies, were a group of small states whose number varied and which were largely located in the present-day German state of Thuringia and governed by dukes of the Ernestine line of the House of Wettin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coat of arms of Thuringia</span> Coat of arms of the German state of Thuringia

The coat of arms German state Thuringia was introduced in 1990. Like the 1949 coat of arms of Hesse it is based on the Ludovingian lion barry, also known as the "lion of Hesse", with the addition of eight mullets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Flag of Thuringia</span>

Both the civil and state flag of the German state of Thuringia feature a bicolour of white over red. Introduced with the formation of the state of Thuringia within the Weimar Republic in 1920, it is the reverse of the flag of Hesse, both flags ultimately reflecting the heraldic colours of the Ludovingian rulers of the medieval Duchy of Thuringia. The flag's similarity to that of Poland is coincidental.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">States of the German Empire</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thuringian Railway Company</span>

The Thuringian Railway Company was a company that existed from 1844 to 1886 for the construction of railways in the Thuringian states.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Gonthier, Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen</span> Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

Charles Gonthier, Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen was the ruler of the principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, a constituent state of the German Empire, and head of the House of Schwarzburg from 17 July 1880 until his death.

Events in the year 1898 in Germany.

Events in the year 1876 in Germany.

Events in the year 1916 in Germany.

Events from the year 1872 in Germany.

Events from the year 1879 in Germany.

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dresden Coinage Convention</span> 1838 treaty of the Zollverein

The Dresden Coinage Convention of 1838 was a multilateral treaty that attempted to bring some degree of standardisation to the currencies used in the Zollverein.