Electorate of Baden

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Electorate of Baden
Kurfürstentum Baden
State of the Holy Roman Empire

Flag Coat of arms
Electorate of Baden
Capital Karlsruhe
Languages German
Government Enlightened despotism
Elector of Baden
 -  1803-1806 Karl Friedrich, Elector of Baden
Historical era Napoleonic Wars
 -  Established 1803
 -  Disestablished 1806
Today part of  Germany

The Electorate of Baden was a State of the Holy Roman Empire between 1803 and 1806, with Charles Frederick as Prince-elector. Napoleon bestowed the office of Prince-elector in 1803, but this remained in effect only until Francis II dissolved the Empire in 1806. Upon the dissolution, the territory achieved sovereignty, with Charles Frederick as Grand Duke.[1]


At the onset of the French Revolution, the Margraviate of Baden was united under Charles Frederick, but it did not form a compact territory. Its total area was only about 1,350 square miles (3,500 km2), consisting of a number of isolated districts lying on either bank of the upper Rhine. Charles Frederick endeavored to acquire the intervening stretches of land, so as to give territorial unity to his country. His opportunity to do so came during the French Revolutionary Wars. When war broke out between the French First Republic and the Habsburg Monarchy in 1792, the Margraviate of Baden fought for the House of Habsburg. However, their country was devastated as a result, and in 1796 the Margrave was compelled to pay an indemnity and to cede his territories on the left bank of the Rhine to the French First Republic. Fortune, however, soon turned his way. With the German Mediatisation of 1803, and largely owing to the good offices of Alexander I of Russia, Charles Frederick received the Bishopric of Constance, part of the Electorate of the Palatinate, and other smaller districts, together with the prestige of being named a Prince-elector. In 1805 he changed sides and fought for Napoleon; as a result, by the Peace of Pressburg in that year, he obtained Breisgau and other territories at the expense of the Austrian Empire (see Further Austria). In 1806, the Electorate of Baden signed the Rheinbundakte, joining the Confederation of the Rhine. Upon the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles Frederick declared sovereignty and thus created the Grand Duchy of Baden, receiving other territorial additions as well.


  1. ^ "Germany, the German Confederation". Friesian.com. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.