Grand Duchy of Hesse

Grand Duchy of Hesse

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Grand Duchy of Hesse'
Start a new discussion about 'Grand Duchy of Hesse'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine (German: Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein), or, between 1806 and 1816, Grand Duchy of Hesse —as it was also known after 1816—was a member state of the German Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

 from 1806, when the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt
Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt
The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was a member state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was formed in 1567 following the division of the Landgraviate of Hesse between the four sons of Philip I, the last Landgrave of Hesse....

 was elevated to a Grand Duchy, until 1918, when all the German monarchies were overthrown. Before 1866, its northern neighbour was its former sister Landgraviate, since 1803 an Electorate, of Hessen-Kassel – for this reason, this state was sometimes colloquially known as Hesse-Darmstadt.

History


Due to Hesse-Darmstadt's membership of Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine
Confederation of the Rhine
The Confederation of the Rhine was a confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was formed initially from 16 German states by Napoleon after he defeated Austria's Francis II and Russia's Alexander I in the Battle of Austerlitz. The Treaty of Pressburg, in effect, led to the...

, it was forced to cede a considerable amount of territory at the 1815 Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

. The territory of the Duchy of Westphalia
Duchy of Westphalia
The Duchy of Westphalia was a historic territory in the greater region of Westphalia, located in the east of modern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Originally, Westphalia formed with Angria and Eastphalia one of the three main regions of Saxony...

, which Hesse-Darmstadt received from the 1803 German Mediatisation
German Mediatisation
The German Mediatisation was the series of mediatisations and secularisations that occurred in Germany between 1795 and 1814, during the latter part of the era of the French Revolution and then the Napoleonic Era....

, was ceded to the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

. However, it received some territory on the western bank of the Rhine, including the important federal fortress at Mainz
Fortress Mainz
The Fortress of Mainz was a fortressed garrison town between 1620 and 1918. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, under the term of the 1815 Peace of Paris, the control of Mainz passed to the German Confederation and became part of a chain of strategic fortresses which protected the Confederation with...

.
The Grand Duchy
Grand duchy
A grand duchy, sometimes referred to as a grand dukedom, is a territory whose head of state is a monarch, either a grand duke or grand duchess.Today Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy...

 changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine in 1816.

In 1867, the northern half of the Grand Duchy (Upper Hesse) became a part of the North German Confederation
North German Confederation
The North German Confederation 1866–71, was a federation of 22 independent states of northern Germany. It was formed by a constitution accepted by the member states in 1867 and controlled military and foreign policy. It included the new Reichstag, a parliament elected by universal manhood...

, while the half of the Grand Duchy south of the Main (Starkenburg
Starkenburg
Starkenburg is a historical region of the state of Hesse in Germany, consisting of the districts of Bergstraße, Darmstadt-Dieburg, Groß-Gerau, and Odenwaldkreis, along with the city of Darmstadt...

 and Rhenish Hesse
Rheinhessen
Rhenish Hesse refers to the part of the former Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt located west of the Rhine river and now part of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is a hilly countryside largely devoted to vineyards, therefore it is also called the "land of the thousand hills." Its larger towns include:...

) remained outside. In 1871, it became a constituent state of the German Empire. The last Grand Duke, Ernst Ludwig
Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
Ernest Louis Charles Albert William , was the last Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine from 1892 until 1918...

 (a grandson of Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 and brother to Empress Alexandra of Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

), was forced from his throne at the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and the state was renamed the Volksstaat Hessen
Volksstaat Hessen
The People's State of Hesse was the name of the German state of Hesse-Darmstadt from 1918 until 1945.After the end of World War I the Grand Duchy of Hesse became a republic and changed its name to People's State . Its capital was Darmstadt...

(People's State of Hesse).

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
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

 following the Second World War. Excepted was the Montabaur district from Hessen-Nassau and that part of Hessen-Darmstadt on the left bank of the Rhine (Rhenish Hesse
Rheinhessen
Rhenish Hesse refers to the part of the former Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt located west of the Rhine river and now part of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is a hilly countryside largely devoted to vineyards, therefore it is also called the "land of the thousand hills." Its larger towns include:...

) became part of the Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

 state. (Bad) Wimpfen - an exclave of Hessen-Darmstadt - became part of Baden-Württemberg, district of Sinsheim.

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:
  • Main-Neckar Railway
    Main-Neckar Railway
    The Main-Neckar Railway is a main line railway west of the Odenwald in the Upper Rhine Plain of Germany that connects Frankfurt am Main to Heidelberg via Darmstadt, Bensheim and Weinheim...

     with Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

     and Baden
    Baden
    Baden is a historical state on the east bank of the Rhine in the southwest of Germany, now the western part of the Baden-Württemberg of Germany....

  • Main-Weser Railway
    Main-Weser Railway
    The Main-Weser Railway is the railway line in central Germany that runs from Frankfurt am Main via Gießen to Kassel and named after the railway company that built the line and also operated it until 1880. It was opened between 1849 and 1852 and was one of the first railways in Germany.- Route...

     with Frankfurt and Kurhessen
    Hesse-Kassel
    The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel or Hesse-Cassel was a state in the Holy Roman Empire under Imperial immediacy that came into existence when the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided in 1567 upon the death of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse. His eldest son William IV inherited the northern half and the...

  • Frankfurt-Offenbach Local Railway
    Frankfurt-Offenbach Local Railway
    The Frankfurt-Offenbach local railway was a former railway in the Frankfurt am Main area, which developed from the state-owned Frankfurt-Offenbach Railway . The line opened in 1848 and was one of the oldest railways in Germany...

     with the Free City of Frankfurt


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
Grand Duchy of Hesse State Railways
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...

, which continued to expand the network until it was finally merged into the Prussian-Hessian Railway Company
Prussian-Hessian Railway Company
The Royal Prussian and Grand-Ducal Hessian State Railways was a state-owned network of independent railway divisions in the German states of Prussia and Hesse in the early 20th century...

 in 1897.

Subdivisions of Hesse



The Grand Duchy of Hesse was divided into three provinces:
  • Starkenburg
    Starkenburg
    Starkenburg is a historical region of the state of Hesse in Germany, consisting of the districts of Bergstraße, Darmstadt-Dieburg, Groß-Gerau, and Odenwaldkreis, along with the city of Darmstadt...

    : (Capital: Darmstadt
    Darmstadt
    Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Rhine Main Area.The sandy soils in the Darmstadt area, ill-suited for agriculture in times before industrial fertilisation, prevented any larger settlement from developing, until the city became the seat...

    ) Right bank of the Rhine, south of the Main
    Main river
    Main rivers are a statutory type of watercourse in England and Wales, usually larger streams and rivers, but also include some smaller watercourses. A main river is defined as a watercourse marked as such on a main river map, and can include any structure or appliance for controlling or regulating...

  • Rhenish Hesse, (Capital: Mainz
    Mainz
    Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

    ) Left bank of the Rhine, territory gained from the Congress of Vienna
    Congress of Vienna
    The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

  • Upper Hesse
    Upper Hesse
    The province of Upper Hesse was one of three provinces in the Grand Duchy of Hesse and later the People's State of Hesse. Its territory covers the area of land north of the River Main in the historic region of Upper Hesse...

     (Capital: Giessen
    Gießen
    Gießen, also spelt Giessen is a town in the German federal state of Hesse, capital of both the district of Gießen and the administrative region of Gießen...

    ) North of the Main, separated from Starkenburg by the Free City of Frankfurt
    Free City of Frankfurt
    For almost five centuries, the German city of Frankfurt am Main was a city-state within two major Germanic states:*The Holy Roman Empire as the Free Imperial City of Frankfurt...

    .

External links