A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble; this is distinct from a palace, not fortified. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes; these nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and the castles were both offensive and defensive structures. Although their military origins are emphasised in castle studies, the structures served as centres of administration and symbols of power.
Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, rural castles were situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills, fertile land, or a water source. Many castles were built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced by stone. Early castles exploited natural defences, lacking features such as towers and arrowslits and relying on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged; this led with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower; these changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, inspiration from earlier defences, such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, so that devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power.
Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to dominate their landscape. Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live; as a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose; the word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum, a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, Old French castel or chastel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, a number of words in other languages derive from castellum.
The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, new to England. In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence"; this contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo-Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service and the expectation of loyalty, the lord would grant the vassal land. In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period. During the First Crusade, the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition. Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military and domestic.
As well as defensive structures, castles were offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants; as William the Conqueror advanced through England, he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087, he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications. A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to refle
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, represented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, President Harry S. Truman. Stalin and Truman gathered to decide how to administer Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier on 8 May; the goals of the conference included the establishment of postwar order, peace treaty issues, countering the effects of the war. A number of changes had taken place in the five months since the Yalta Conference which affected the relationships among the leaders; the Soviet Union was occupying Eastern Europe. Stalin had set up a puppet Communist government in Poland, he insisted that his control of Eastern Europe was a defensive measure against possible future attacks, claiming that it was a legitimate sphere of Soviet influence.
Second, Britain had a new Prime Minister. Conservative Party leader Winston Churchill had served as Prime Minister in a coalition government. A general election had been held in the UK on 5 July; the outcome became known during the conference when Labour leader Clement Attlee became the new Prime Minister. Third, President Roosevelt had died on 12 April 1945, Vice President Harry Truman assumed the presidency. During the war and in the name of Allied unity, Roosevelt had brushed off warnings of a potential domination by Stalin in part of Europe, he explained, "I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man." "I think that if I give him everything I can and ask for nothing from him in return,'noblesse oblige', he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace."Truman had followed the Allied progress of the war. George Lenczowski notes that, "despite the contrast between his modest background and the international glamour of his aristocratic predecessor, had the courage and resolution to reverse the policy that appeared to him naive and dangerous", "in contrast to the immediate ad hoc moves and solutions dictated by the demands of the war".
With the end of the war, the priority of allied unity was replaced with the challenge of the relationship between the two emerging superpowers. The two leading powers continued to sustain a cordial relationship to the public, but suspicions and distrust lingered between them. Truman was much more suspicious of the Communists than Roosevelt had been, he became suspicious of Soviet intentions under Stalin, he and his advisers saw Soviet actions in Eastern Europe as aggressive expansionism, incompatible with the agreements that Stalin had committed to at Yalta the previous February. In addition, Truman became aware of possible complications elsewhere when Stalin objected to Churchill's proposal for an early Allied withdrawal from Iran, ahead of the schedule agreed at the Tehran Conference; the Potsdam Conference was the only time. At the Yalta Conference France had been granted an occupation zone within Germany, France had been a participant in the Berlin Declaration, France was to be an equal member of the Allied Control Council.
At the insistence of the Americans, General de Gaulle was not invited to Potsdam, as he had too been denied representation at Yalta. Reasons for the omissions included the longstanding personal mutual antagonism between Roosevelt and De Gaulle, ongoing disputes over the French and American occupation zones and anticipated conflicts of interest over French Indochina. At the end of the conference, the three Heads of Government agreed on the following actions. All other issues were to be answered by the final peace conference to be called as soon as possible; the Allies issued a statement of aims of their occupation of Germany: demilitarization, democratization, decentralization and decartelization. Germany and Austria were each to be divided into four occupation zones, each capital and Vienna, was to be divided into four zones, it was agreed. All German annexations in Europe were to be reversed, including Sudetenland, Alsace-Lorraine and the westernmost parts of Poland. Germany's eastern border was to be shifted westwards to the Oder–Neisse line reducing Germany in size by 25% compared to its 1937 borders.
The territories east of the new border comprised East Prussia, West Prussia, two thirds of Pomerania. These areas were agricultural, with the exception of Upper Silesia, th
Ordensburgs were fortresses built by crusading German military orders during the Middle Ages. The term "Ordensburgen" was used during Nazi Germany to refer to training schools for Nazi leaders; the Ordensburgs were constructed by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and the Teutonic Knights to fortify territory in Prussia and Livonia captured from the native populations - Old Prussians and native peoples of what is now Latvia and Estonia. Ordensburgs were used to attack Lithuania. Since they were built and used by religious military orders, the Ordensburgs resembled cloisters. While they were larger than those in the Holy Roman Empire, they were much scarcer in the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. While a normal castle in the Reich would control about 38 km2, a castle would control 370 km2 in Prussia and 789 km2 in Livonia and Estonia; the few small castles are considered to be of vassals, while the larger ones might have served as arsenals and strongholds during the Northern Crusades and were purpose-built to colonize the respective countries and peoples by capturing territory, forcefully imposing the Christian religion and extracting economic value via looting and enslavement of the native peoples.
Most Ordensburgs were rectangular quadratic in form, built from red brick and lacking a Bergfried. Many castles had no towers at all, as the bailey, a mighty quadrangle, was considered sufficient for defence. List of castles in Estonia List of castles in Latvia List of castles in Lithuania List of castles in Poland Krahe, Friedrich-Wilhelm. Burgen des deutschen Mittelalters. Grundriss-Lexikon. Flechsig. ISBN 3-88189-360-1
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin; the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a great power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, which became a military power under Frederick William, known as "The Great Elector". Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great, the third son of Frederick William I. Frederick the Great was instrumental in starting the Seven Years' War, holding his own against Austria, Russia and Sweden and establishing Prussia's role in the German states, as well as establishing the country as a European great power.
After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a major power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles, many wars; because of its power, Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule, although whether Austria would be included in such a unified German domain was an ongoing question. After the Napoleonic Wars led to the creation of the German Confederation, the issue of more unifying the many German states caused revolution throughout the German states, with each wanting their own constitution. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful member states and Austria; the North German Confederation, which lasted from 1867 to 1871, created a closer union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent. The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War but many of its laws were used in the German Empire.
The German Empire lasted from 1871 to 1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony, this was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. The war united all the German states against a common enemy, with the victory came an overwhelming wave of nationalism which changed the opinions of some of those, against unification. In 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the legal predecessor of the unified German Reich and as such a direct ancestor of today's Federal Republic of Germany; the formal abolition of Prussia, carried out on 25 February 1947 by the fiat of the Allied Control Council referred to an alleged tradition of the kingdom as a bearer of militarism and reaction, made way for the current setup of the German states. However, the Free State of Prussia, which followed the abolition of the Kingdom of Prussia in the aftermath of World War I, was a major democratic force in Weimar Germany until the nationalist coup of 1932 known as the Preußenschlag.
The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which has become one of the largest cultural organisations in the world. In 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. After the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states, including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia; the towns were poverty stricken, with the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade. Poverty in these towns was caused by Prussia's neighbours, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns could not compete; these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these towns gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west, allowed the urban middle class of Brandenburg to prosper.
It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, as it faced two dangers that the other German territories did not, partition from within and the threat of invasion by its neighbours. It prevented partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea, which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories; the second issue was resolved through expansion. Brandenburg was surrounded on every side by neighbours whose boundaries were political. Any neighbour could consume Brandenburg at any moment; the only way to defend herself was to absorb her neighbours. Through negotiations and marriages Brandenburg but expanded her borders, absorbing neighbours and eliminating the threat of attack; the Hohenzollerns were made rulers of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1518. In 1529 the Hohenzollerns secured the reversion of the Duchy of Pomerania after a series of conflicts, acquired its eastern part following the Peace of Westphalia. In 1618 the Hohenzollerns inherited the Duchy of Prussia, since 1511 ruled by Hohenzollern Albrecht of Brandenburg Prussia, who in 1525 converted the Teutonic Order ruled state to a Protestant Duchy by accepting fiefdom of the crown of Poland.
It was ruled in a personal union with Brandenburg
House of Wettin
The House of Wettin is a dynasty of German counts, prince-electors and kings that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The dynasty is one of the oldest in Europe, its origins can be traced back to the town of Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt; the Wettins rose to power within the Holy Roman Empire. Members of the family became the rulers of several medieval states, starting with the Saxon Eastern March in 1030. Other states they gained were Meissen in 1089, Thuringia in 1263, Saxony in 1423; these areas cover large parts of Central Germany as a cultural area of Germany. The family divided into two ruling branches in 1485 by the Treaty of Leipzig: the Ernestine and Albertine branches; the older Ernestine branch played a key role during the Protestant Reformation. Many ruling monarchs outside Germany were tied to its cadet branch, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; the Albertine branch, while less prominent, ruled most of Saxony and played a part in Polish history.
Agnates of the House of Wettin have, at various times, ascended the thrones of Great Britain, Bulgaria, Poland and Belgium. Only the British and Belgian lines retain their thrones today; the oldest member of the House of Wettin, known for certain is Theodoric I of Wettin known as Dietrich and Thierry I of Liesgau. He was most based in the Liesgau. Around 1000, the family acquired Wettin Castle, built by the local Slavic tribes, after which they named themselves. Wettin Castle is located in Wettin in the Hassegau on the Saale River. Around 1030, the Wettin family received the Eastern March as a fief; the prominence of the Wettins in the Slavic Saxon Eastern March caused Emperor Henry IV to invest them with the March of Meissen as a fief in 1089. The family advanced over the course of the Middle Ages: in 1263, they inherited the landgraviate of Thuringia and in 1423, they were invested with the Duchy of Saxony, centred at Wittenberg, thus becoming one of the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire.
The family split into two ruling branches in 1485 when the sons of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony divided the territories hitherto ruled jointly. The elder son Ernest, who had succeeded his father as Prince-elector, received the territories assigned to the Elector and Thuringia, while his younger brother Albert obtained the March of Meissen, which he ruled from Dresden; as Albert ruled under the title of "Duke of Saxony", his possessions were known as Ducal Saxony. The older Ernestine branch remained predominant until 1547 and played an important role in the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. Frederick III appointed Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon to the University of Wittenberg, which he had established in 1502; the Ernestine predominance ended in the Schmalkaldic War, which pitted the Protestant Schmalkaldic League against the Emperor Charles V. Although itself Lutheran, the Albertine branch rallied to the Emperor's cause. Charles V had promised Moritz the rights to the electorship.
After the Battle of Mühlberg, Johann Friedrich der Großmütige, had to cede territory and the electorship to his cousin Moritz. Although imprisoned, Johann Friedrich was able to plan a new university, it was established by his three sons on 19 March 1548 as the Höhere Landesschule at Jena. On 15 August 1557, Emperor Ferdinand I awarded it the status of university; the Ernestine line was thereafter restricted to Thuringia and its dynastic unity swiftly crumbled, dividing into a number of smaller states, the Ernestine duchies. With Ernst der Fromme, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, the house gave rise to an important early-modern ruler, ahead of his time in supporting the education of his people and in improving administration. In the 18th century, Karl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, established what was to become known as Weimar Classicism at his court in Weimar, notably by bringing Johann Wolfgang von Goethe there, it was only in the 19th century that one of the many Ernestine branches, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, regained importance through marriages as the "stud of Europe", by ascending the thrones of Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
The Albertine Wettins maintained most of the territorial integrity of Saxony, preserving it as a significant power in the region, used small appanage fiefs for their cadet branches, few of which survived for significant lengths of time. The Ernestine Wettins, on the other hand subdivided their territory, creating an intricate patchwork of small duchies and counties in Thuringia; the junior Albertine branch ruled as Electors and Kings of Saxony, played a role in Polish history: two Wettins were Kings of Poland and a third ruled the Duchy of Warsaw as a satellite of Napoleon. After the Napoleonic Wars, the Albertine branch lost about 40% of its lands to Prussia, restricting it to a territory coextensive with the modern Saxony. Frederick Augustus III lost his throne in the German Revolution of 1918; the role of present head of the Albertine "House of Saxony" is claimed by his great-grandson Prince Rüdiger of Saxony, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Meissen. The headship of Prince Rüdiger is however contested by his second cousin, son of Robert