Grand Duchy of Hesse

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For the region sometimes known in English as Rhine-Hesse, see Rhenish Hesse.
Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine
Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein
State of the Confederation of the Rhine, the German Confederation, the North German Confederation and the German Empire

1806–1918
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
Gott, Ehre, Vaterland
"God, Honour, Fatherland"
Anthem
Hessenlied
"Song of Hesse"
The Grand Duchy of Hesse within the German Empire.
Capital Darmstadt
Languages Hessian
Religion Protestant,
Roman Catholic
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
 -  German Revolution 9 November 1918
Area
 -  1910[1] 7,688.36 km² (2,968 sq mi)
Population
 -  1910[1] est. 1,282,051 
     Density 166.8 /km²  (431.9 /sq mi)

The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine (German: Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein), or, between 1806 and 1816, Grand Duchy of Hesse (German: Großherzogtum Hessen)—as it was also known after 1816—was a member state of the German Confederation from 1806, when the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt 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 Hesse-Kassel – for this reason, this state was sometimes colloquially known as Hesse-Darmstadt.

History[edit]

Due to Hesse-Darmstadt's membership of Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine, it was forced to cede a considerable amount of territory at the 1815 Congress of Vienna. The territory of the Duchy of Westphalia, which Hesse-Darmstadt received from the 1803 German Mediatisation, was ceded to the Kingdom of Prussia. However, it received some territory on the western bank of the Rhine, including the important federal fortress at Mainz.

Residenzschloss (city palace) of the Grand Dukes in Darmstadt

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).

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 following the Second World War. 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.

Transport[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]