Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda
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|Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda|
|State of the Holy Roman Empire|
|Prince||Prince Willem Frederik|
|Historical era||Napoleonic Wars|
|•||Abolition of the Holy Roman Empire||1806|
Nassau-Orange-Fulda was a short-lived principality of the Holy Roman Empire, which was created for the son and heir of the Prince of Orange and Prince of Orange-Nassau and existed only from 1803 to 1806.
On May 23, 1802, France and Prussia concluded a treaty in which Fulda and some other areas were promised to the Prince of Orange as compensation for the loss of his domains in the Low Countries. Willem V refused at first, but later accepted the offer in favour for his son Prince Willem Frederik (later King William I of the Netherlands) to become the ruler of the new formed principality. On October 22, Prussian troops occupied the Diocese of Fulda to secure the interests of the prince and on 6 December Prince Willem Frederik held his entry in Fulda. The Reichsdeputationshauptschluss resolution on 25 February 1803, legalized the redistribution of the territories. According to section 12 of this resolution the following areas were transferred to the rule of the new Prince of Nassau-Orange-Fulda:
- Diocese of Fulda
- Corvey Abbey
- Free Imperial City of Dortmund
- Weingarten Abbey and the priorate Hofen
- Provostry of St. Gerold (in Vorarlberg, 1804 sold to Austria)
- Deanery of Bandern (in Liechtenstein, 1804 sold to Austria)
- Dietkirchen Abbey (Nassau)
The areas were reorganised into the four divisions "Principality of Fulda", "Principality of Corvey", "County of Dortmund" and "Lordship of Weingarten". The arms of the principality included the coat of arms of these areas (with the center-shield the arms of the Prince of Orange-Nassau).
With the death of his father William V on 9 April 1806, Prince Willem Frederik also inherited all the Nassau core territories. However, on 12 July 1806 he lost the Lordship of Weingarten and the Nassau territories because of the formation of the Confederation of the Rhine. By the German Mediatisation, the Lordship of Weingarten was incorporated into the Kingdom of Württemberg and the Nassau core territories into the Grand Duchy of Berg and the Duchy of Nassau.
After the military defeat of Prussia by France, the Prince of Orange subsequently lost his remaining possessions (including the mediated ones). Fulda was occupied by the French troops on 27 October 1806. It remained under French rule until 19 May 1810, when it was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Subsequently, Corvey was incorporated into the Kingdom of Westphalia on 7 December 1807 and Dortmund into the Grand Duchy of Berg on 1 March 1808.
With the defeat of the French in 1813, the Prince of Orange regained his possessions in the Low Countries but lost his claims to the principality Nassau-Orange-Fulda. By the final act of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, it was decided not to restore the Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda; Corvey and Dortmund became part of the Kingdom of Prussia and Fulda was divided between the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel, the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and the Kingdom of Bavaria.