Although the grand duchy was named after the city of Frankfurt, Dalberg resided in the city of Aschaffenburg. However, the territory was actually ruled by French commissioners. By the constitution of the grand duchy, upon Dalberg's death, the state would be inherited by Napoleon's stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais.
Dalberg abdicated in favour of Eugene on 26 October 1813, following Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig. The grand duchy ceased to exist after December 1813, when the city was occupied by allied troops. While Frankfurt itself once again became a free city, most of the territory of the grand duchy was ultimately annexed by the Kingdom of Bavaria.