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Germany > German Chronological Jurisdictions > The German Confederation

The German Confederation was a loose association created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the final defeat of Napoleon, to serve as successor to the German Holy Roman Empire. Revolutions in 1848 and attempts at unification of a German state failed, resulting in its brief re-establishment. Rivalry between Austria and Prussia over the rights to rule German lands, led to the Austro-Prussian War, also called the Seven-Week War, (Deutscher Krieg in German), Osterreichisch-preussischer Krieg or Brüderkrieg.

After the end of the war, Prussia formed the Northern German Confederation.

On the whole, its territory nearly coincided with that remaining in the Holy Roman Empire when Napoleon caused its end; with the exception of the two rivalling major powers, Habsburg and Prussia, and the western left bank of the Rhine (which France had annexed, with tiny Katzenellenbogen) the other member states or their precursors, most of present Germany, had been within his Confederation of the Rhine.

The Austrian Empire (without the Kingdom of Hungary, Transylvania, Bukovina, and Croatia, which became the apostolic kingdom of Hungary within the Danubian Dual Monarchy, the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia (constituting parts lost to Italy in 1859- viz. 1866), the kingdoms of Dalmatia and Galicia)

Members of the German Confederation were:

  • Austria (split into Upper Austria and Lower Austria in 1849)
  • Kingdom of Bohemia (Bohmen)
  • Duchy of Carinthia (Karnten)
  • Duchy of Carniola (Krain)
  • Littoral (consisting of Gorizia and Gradisca, Istria and Trieste) (Osterreichisches Kustenland)
  • March of Moravia (Morava)
  • Grand Duchy of Salzburg
  • Duchy of Ober and Nieder Schlesien
  • Duchy of Styria (Herzogtum Steiermark)
  • County of Tyrol
  • Vorarlberg
  • The Kingdom of Pruessen (without Posen, Ospreussen and Westpreussen)
    • Brandenburg the homeland, with the capital
    • Pommern
    • Rheinland (until 1822, Niederrhein and Jülich-Kleve-Berg)
    • Sachsen
    • Schlesien
    • Westfalen (different from and significantly smaller than the former Napoleonic Kingdom of Westfalen)
  • The Kingdom of Bayern (the third largest member)
  • The Kingdom of Hannover
  • The Kingdom of Sachsen
  • The Kingdom of Wuerttemberg
  • The Electorate of Hessen
  • The Grand Duchy of Baden
  • The Grand Duchy of Hessen
  • The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (lost in 1839 over half of its territory in the west to Belgium, in the aftermath of the breakup of the United Kingdom of the Nederlands; only the easternmore present independent country, then in personal union with the Dutch crown, remained in the Confederation until 1866)
  • The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • The Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
  • The Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau (Duchy of Anhalt from 1863)
  • The Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg (to 1863)
  • The Duchy of Anhalt-Kothen (to 1847)
  • The Duchy of Brunswick-Luneburg, or Brunswick for short
  • The Duchy of Holstein (in personal union with the Kingdom of Danmark, was not a former member of the Confederation of the Rhine)
  • The Duchy of Lauenburg
  • The Duchy of Limburg (became a member in 1839 after losing half of its territory in the west to Belgium, in the aftermath of the breakup of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands; only the easternmore present Dutch province of Limburg was in the Confederation)
  • The Duchy of Nassau
  • The Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (to 1825)
  • The Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha from 1826)
  • The Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen
  • The Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen (Saxe-Altenburg from 1826)
  • The Duchy of Oldenburg (Grand Duchy from 1829)
  • The Landgraviate of Hesse-Homburg (from 1817)
  • The Principality of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  • The Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • The Principality of Hohenzollern-Hechingen (to 1850)
  • The Principality of Liechtenstein
  • The Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (to 1850)
  • The Principality of Waldeck
  • The Principality of Reuss altere linie
  • The Principality of Reuss Junior Line
  • The Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
  • The Principality of Lippe
  • The Free City of Lubeck
  • The Free City of Frankfurt am Main
  • The Free City of Bremen
  • The Free City of Hamburg



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  • This page was last modified on 2 February 2015, at 21:30.
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