Frederick William IV of Prussia
Frederick William IV, the eldest son and successor of Frederick William III of Prussia, reigned as King of Prussia from 1840 to 1861. Referred to as the "romanticist on the throne", he is best remembered for the many buildings he had constructed in Berlin and Potsdam, as well as for the completion of the Gothic Cologne Cathedral. In politics, he was a conservative, in 1849 rejected the title of Emperor of the Germans offered by the Frankfurt Parliament as not the Parliament's to give. In 1857, he was left incapacitated until his death, his brother Wilhelm served as regent for the rest of his reign and succeeded him as King. Born to Frederick William III by his wife Queen Louise, he was the latter's favourite son. Frederick William was educated by private tutors, many of whom were experienced civil servants, such as Friedrich Ancillon, he gained military experience by serving in the Prussian Army during the War of Liberation against Napoleon in 1814, although he was an indifferent soldier. He was a draftsman interested in both architecture and landscape gardening and was a patron of several great German artists, including architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and composer Felix Mendelssohn.
In 1823 he married Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria. Since she was a Roman Catholic, the preparations for this marriage included difficult negotiations which ended with her conversion to Lutheranism. There were two wedding ceremonies—one in Munich, another in Berlin; the couple had a harmonious marriage, but it remained childless. Frederick William was a staunch Romanticist, his devotion to this movement, which in the German States featured nostalgia for the Middle Ages, was responsible for his developing into a conservative at an early age. In 1815, when he was only twenty, the crown prince exerted his influence to structure the proposed new constitution of 1815, never enacted, in such a way that the landed aristocracy would hold the greatest power, he was against the liberalization of Germany and only aspired to unify its many states within what he viewed as a legitimate framework, inspired by the ancient laws and customs of the dissolved Holy Roman Empire. Frederick William opposed the idea of a unified German state, believing that Austria was divinely ordained to rule over Germany, contented himself with the title of "Grand General of the Realm".
Frederick William became King of Prussia on the death of his father in 1840. Through a personal union, he became the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel, today part of Switzerland. In 1842, he gave his father's menagerie at Pfaueninsel to the new Berlin Zoo, which opened its gates in 1844 as the first of its kind in Germany. Other projects during his reign—often involving his close collaboration with the architects—included the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Orangerieschloss at Potsdam as well as the reconstruction of Schloss Stolzenfels on the Rhine and Burg Hohenzollern, in the ancestral homelands of the dynasty which became part of Prussia in 1850, he enlarged and redecorated his father's Erdmannsdorf manor house. Although a staunch conservative, Frederick William did not seek to be a despot, so he toned down the reactionary policies pursued by his father, easing press censorship and promising to enact a constitution at some point, but he refused to create an elected legislative assembly, preferring to work with the nobility through "united committees" of the provincial estates.
Despite being a devout Lutheran, his Romantic leanings led him to settle the Cologne church conflict by releasing the imprisoned Clemens August von Droste-Vischering, the Archbishop of Cologne. He patronized further construction of Cologne Cathedral, Cologne having become part of Prussia in 1815. In 1844, he attended the celebrations marking the completion of the cathedral, becoming the first King of Prussia to enter a Roman Catholic house of worship; when he called a national assembly in 1847, it was not a representative body, but rather a United Diet comprising all the provincial estates, which had the right to levy taxes and take out loans, but no right to meet at regular intervals. When revolution broke out in Prussia in March 1848, part of the larger series of Revolutions of 1848, the king moved to repress it with the army, but on 19 March he decided to recall the troops and place himself at the head of the movement, he committed himself to German unification, formed a liberal government, convened a national assembly, ordered that a constitution be drawn up.
Once his position was more secure again, however, he had the army reoccupy Berlin and in December dissolved the assembly. He did, remain dedicated to unification for a time, leading the Frankfurt Parliament to offer him the crown of Germany on 3 April 1849, which he refused, purportedly saying that he would not accept "a crown from the gutter"; the King's refusal was rooted in his Romantic aspiration to re-establish the medieval Holy Roman Empire, comprising smaller, semi-sovereign monarchies under the limited authority of a Habsburg emperor. Therefore, Frederick William would only accept the imperial crown after being elected by the German princes, as per the former empire's ancient customs, he expressed this sentiment in a letter to his sister the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, in which he said the Frankfurt Parliament had overlooked that "in order to give, you would first of all have to be in possession of something that can be given." In the king's eyes, only a reconstituted College of Electors could possess such authority.
With the failed attempt by the Frankfurt Parliament to include
Princess Frederica of Hanover
Princess Frederica of Hanover, was a member of the House of Hanover. After her marriage, she lived in England, where she was a prominent member of society. Frederica was born 9 January 1848 in Hanover, the elder daughter of the Hereditary Prince of Hanover and of his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, she held the title of Princess with the style Her Royal Highness in Hanover. In the United Kingdom, she held the title of Princess with the style Her Highness as a male-line great-granddaughter of King George III, she was known as "Lily" within her family. In January 1866, the Prime Minister of Prussia Otto von Bismarck began negotiations with Hanover, represented by Count Platen-Hallermund, regarding the possible marriage of Frederica to Prince Albrecht of Prussia; these plans came to nothing as tensions grew between Hanover and Prussia resulting in the Austro-Prussian War. In 1866, Frederica's father was deposed as King of Hanover; the family settled at Gmunden in Austria, where they owned Schloss Cumberland.
Frederica visited England with her family in May 1876, again, after her father's death, in June 1878. Frederica was courted by her second cousin, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, by Alexander, Prince of Orange. Frederica, was in love with Baron Alfons von Pawel-Rammingen, the son of a government official of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Alfons had served as an equerry to Frederica's father. Alfons was naturalised as a British subject on 19 March 1880 and, on 24 April 1880, he and Frederica were married; the wedding took. Alfons' sister Anna was married to Baron Oswald von Coburg, the son of an illegitimate son of Prince Ludwig Karl Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Alfred Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, wrote a quatrain in honour of Frederica's marriage, focusing on her relationship to her blind father, who had died two years before: O you that were eyes and light to the King till he past away From the darkness of life — He saw not his daughter — he blest her: the blind King sees you to-day, He blesses the wife.
After their marriage Frederica and Alfons lived in an apartment at Hampton Court Palace. The apartment was in the south-west wing of the west front of the palace in the suite called the "Lady Housekeeper's Lodgings". Frederica and Alfons had one daughter, born and died at Hampton Court Palace: Victoria Georgina Beatrice Maud Anne, she was buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Frederica and Alfons were frequent guests at Osborne House. Frederica was involved with numerous charitable activities. In August 1881 she established the Convalescent Home, an institution for poor women who have given birth but have been discharged from maternity hospitals; because her father had been blind, she was a benefactress of the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind at Upper Norwood. Frederica was interested in children & became patron of the Church Extension Association based in Kilburn, which wished to set up schools in Willesden a new suburb of London.
On 24 July 1889 she opened Princess Frederica School in Kensal Rise. She was patron of the Training College for Teachers of the Deaf at Ealing, of the Strolling Players' Amateur Orchestral Society, of the Hampton Court and Dittons Regatta of the Home for Foreign Governesses, of the Mission to the French in London, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, she was President of the Middlesex Branch of SSFA. Frederica and Alfons gave up their apartment at Hampton Court Palace in 1898. While they continued to live part of the year in England, they subsequently spent more time in Biarritz in France where they had vacationed, they owned Villa Mouriscot there. Frederica died in 1926 at Biarritz, she was buried in the Royal Vault in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. In 1927 a window in her memory was unveiled in the English Church in Biarritz
Princess Marie of Hanover
Princess Marie of Hanover was the younger daughter of King George V of Hanover and of his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Marie was born in the city of Hanover, she held the title of Princess with the style of Royal Highness in the Kingdom of Hanover. In the United Kingdom, she held the title of Princess with the style Her Highness as a male line great-granddaughter of King George III. In 1866 Marie's father was deposed as king of Hanover. Marie and her mother remained in Hanover for over a year, residing at Schloss Marienburg, until they went into exile in Austria in July 1867; the family settled at Gmunden. Marie visited England with her family in May 1876, again, after her father's death, in June 1878, her sister Frederica moved to England where she married, but Marie returned to Gmunden where she remained single and lived with her mother at Schloss Cumberland. An American newspaper suggests that Marie twice turned down an offer of marriage from Queen Victoria's third son the Duke of Connaught.
Marie died at Gmunden at the age of 54. Her funeral was the day after her death since two days her niece Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland was scheduled to marry Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Marie is buried in the family mausoleum at Schloss Cumberland next to her mother who outlived her by three years. Photograph of Marie
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France. The early days of the Third Republic were dominated by political disruptions caused by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which the Republic continued to wage after the fall of Emperor Napoleon III in 1870. Harsh reparations exacted by the Prussians after the war resulted in the loss of the French regions of Alsace and Lorraine, social upheaval, the establishment of the Paris Commune; the early governments of the Third Republic considered re-establishing the monarchy, but confusion as to the nature of that monarchy and who should be awarded the throne caused those talks to stall. Thus, the Third Republic, intended as a provisional government, instead became the permanent government of France; the French Constitutional Laws of 1875 defined the composition of the Third Republic.
It consisted of a Chamber of Deputies and a Senate to form the legislative branch of government and a president to serve as head of state. Issues over the re-establishment of the monarchy dominated the tenures of the first two presidents, Adolphe Thiers and Patrice de MacMahon, but the growing support for the republican form of government in the French population and a series of republican presidents during the 1880s quashed all plans for a monarchical restoration; the Third Republic established many French colonial possessions, including French Indochina, French Madagascar, French Polynesia, large territories in West Africa during the Scramble for Africa, all of them acquired during the last two decades of the 19th century. The early years of the 20th century were dominated by the Democratic Republican Alliance, conceived as a centre-left political alliance, but over time became the main centre-right party; the period from the start of World War I to the late 1930s featured polarized politics, between the Democratic Republican Alliance and the more Radicals.
The government fell during the early years of World War II as the Germans occupied France and was replaced by the rival governments of Charles de Gaulle's Free France and Philippe Pétain's Vichy France. Adolphe Thiers called republicanism in the 1870s "the form of government that divides France least". On the left stood Reformist France, heir to the French Revolution. On the right stood conservative France, rooted in the peasantry, the Roman Catholic Church and the army. In spite of France's divided electorate and persistent attempts to overthrow it, the Third Republic endured for seventy years, which as of 2018 makes it the longest lasting system of government in France since the collapse of the Ancien Régime in 1789; the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 resulted in the defeat of France and the overthrow of Emperor Napoleon III and his Second French Empire. After Napoleon's capture by the Prussians at the Battle of Sedan, Parisian deputies led by Léon Gambetta established the Government of National Defence as a provisional government on 4 September 1870.
The deputies selected General Louis-Jules Trochu to serve as its president. This first government of the Third Republic ruled during the Siege of Paris; as Paris was cut off from the rest of unoccupied France, the Minister of War, Léon Gambetta, who succeeded in leaving Paris in a hot air balloon, established the headquarters of the provisional republican government in the city of Tours on the Loire river. After the French surrender in January 1871, the provisional Government of National Defence disbanded, national elections were called with the aim of creating a new French government. French territories occupied by Prussia at this time; the resulting conservative National Assembly elected Adolphe Thiers as head of a provisional government, nominally. Due to the revolutionary and left-wing political climate that prevailed in the Parisian population, the right-wing government chose the royal palace of Versailles as its headquarters; the new government negotiated a peace settlement with the newly proclaimed German Empire: the Treaty of Frankfurt signed on 10 May 1871.
To prompt the Prussians to leave France, the government passed a variety of financial laws, such as the controversial Law of Maturities, to pay reparations. In Paris, resentment against the government built and from late March – May 1871, Paris workers and National Guards revolted and established the Paris Commune, which maintained a radical left-wing regime for two months until its bloody suppression by the Thiers government in May 1871; the following repression of the communards would have disastrous consequences for the labor movement. The French legislative election of 1871, held in the aftermath of the collapse of the regime of Napoleon III, resulted in a monarchist majority in the French National Assembly, favourable to making a peace agreement with Prussia; the "Legitimists" in the National Assembly supported the candidacy of a descendant of King Charles X, the last monarch from the senior line of the Bourbon Dynasty, to assume the French throne: his grandson Henri, Comte de Chambord, alias "Henry V."
The Orléanists supported a descendant of King Louis Philippe I, the cousin of Charles X who replaced him as the French monarch i
Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh was the eleventh child and fourth daughter of King George III of the United Kingdom and his consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. She married her first cousin, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, when both were 40, was his widow in life. In her last years, her niece Queen Victoria was on the throne as the fourth monarch during Mary's life, after her father and two of her brothers, George IV and William IV of the United Kingdom. Princess Mary was the last survivor of George III's fifteen children, she was the only one of George III's children to be photographed. She died on 30 April 1857 at London. Princess Mary was born on 25 April 1776, at London, her father was the reigning British monarch, George III. Her mother was the daughter of Charles, reigning Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Mary was baptized on 19 May 1776, in the Great Council Chamber at St. James's Palace, by Frederick Cornwallis, The Archbishop of Canterbury.
Her godparents were: Landgrave Frederick of Hesse-Cassel The Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg Princess Charles of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The King was a devoted father, finding time to visit the royal nursery. Engaging in active play with his young children, he behaved quite informally in contrast to the dignified Queen Charlotte, who had more difficulty abandoning the formal behaviour expected of their class. Despite her outer reserve, Charlotte took a role as conscientious as her husband in their children's upbringing. For the royal princesses, the Queen oversaw their welfare and development of moral values. Faced with less time due to her public duties and close marriage to the King, she appointed Lady Charlotte Finch to manage the royal nursery and administer her ideas. According to Flora Fraser, Mary was considered to be the most beautiful daughter of George III. Mary danced a minuet for the first time in public at the age of sixteen in June 1791, during a court ball given for the king's birthday.
In the spring of 1792 she debuted at court. Around 1796 Mary fell in love with the Dutch Prince Frederick, while he and his family lived in exile in London. Frederik was a son of William V, Prince of Orange, the Dutch stadholder, younger brother to the future King William I of the Netherlands; however Frederik and Mary never wed because George III stipulated that her elder sisters should marry first. In 1799 Prince Frederik died of an infection while serving in the army, Mary was allowed to go into official mourning. Mary's youngest sister and beloved companion Princess Amelia called her "Mama's tool" because of her obedient nature. Amelia's premature death in 1810 devastated her sister, who had nursed her devotedly during her painful illness. Mary's upbringing was sheltered and she spent most of her time with her parents and sisters. King George and Queen Charlotte were keen to shelter their children the girls. Mary, married on 22 July 1816, to her first cousin, Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, the son of George III's brother, Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh.
On their wedding day, Mary's brother, The Prince Regent, raised the bridegroom's style from Highness to Royal Highness, an attribute to which Mary's rank as daughter of the King entitled her. William Frederick had sought to marry Mary's niece Princess Charlotte of Wales; the historian A. W. Purdue suggests that Mary's motive for marrying her cousin sprang from her dislike of Queen Charlotte's restrictive household. Princess Charlotte observed that the duke "is much in love, & and tells me he is the happiest creature on earth. I won't say does as much, but being her own mistress, having her own house, & being able to walk in the streets all delights her in their several ways." The couple lived at Bagshot Park, but after William's death she moved to White Lodge in Richmond Park. They had no children together. Mary was the last surviving child of George III, was said to be the favourite aunt of her niece, Queen Victoria. Princess Mary was quite close to her eldest brother, she shared his dislike toward his wife, their cousin Caroline of Brunswick.
When the latter left for Italy, Princess Mary congratulated her brother "on the prospect of a good riddance. Heaven grant that she may not return again and that we may never see more of her." Princess Mary died on 30 April 1857 at Gloucester House, aged 81. At the time of her death, she was the last surviving child as well as the longest-lived child of King George III and Queen Charlotte. 25 April 1776 – 22 July 1816: Her Royal Highness The Princess Mary 22 July 1816 – 30 November 1834: Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh 30 November 1834 – 30 April 1857: Her Royal Highness The Dowager Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh As of 1789, as a daughter of the sovereign, Mary had use of the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points, the centre point bearing a rose gules, the outer points each bearing a canton gules. List of British princesses Works cited "Archival material relating to Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh". UK National Archives
Battle of Langensalza (1866)
The Battle of Langensalza was fought on 27 June 1866 near Bad Langensalza in what is now modern Germany, between the Kingdom of Hanover and the Prussians. The Hanoverians won the battle but were surrounded by a larger and reinforced Prussian army, unable to link up with their Bavarian allies to the south, they surrendered; this marked the demise of the Hanoverian Army and the annexation of Hanover into the burgeoning kingdom of Prussia as it systematically unified Germany into the modern nation state. After declaring that he felt “trapped, like a fox indoors… no choice but to bite my way out,” Prussia’s King Wilhelm I initiated the Austro-Prussian War to conquer and unite a majority of the Germanic principalities. Many small German states existed prior to 1866, and, in anticipation of war, they allied themselves with either Austria or Prussia depending on their desires and goals. Most kingdoms surrounding Prussia allied with Austria in fear of losing their autonomy to the Prussian state; as a result, this geographically isolated Prussia, boxing it against the Baltic Sea, prompted the King to make the above “trapped fox” statement.
King George V of Hanover believed he could negotiate independently with the Austrians and Prussians, wasting time when he could have strengthened his forces by joining other German states. When he attempted to do so, it was too late. In a show of the Hanoverian naïveté, George's Foreign Minister declared that Bismarck would never break federal law, which insisted on maintaining a six-week interval before invading another land. On 15 June 1866, King Wilhelm ordered Hanover and Kassel to disarm at once beginning the war with Austria’s allies. On 16 June, Prussian forces began moving against all three German states, with those of General August Karl von Goeben approaching Hanover. Hanover began in an excellent position as the Prussian attack happened to occur during Hanoverian summer exercises and their army was mobilized. Realizing the vast size of the total Prussian force, King George directed his 19,000 man army under General Alexander von Arentschildt to withdraw and march south to link up with Bavarian allies.
Prussia pressed 40,000 total troops into Hanover, which split into four detachments under Generals Falckenstein, Goeben and Beyer. General von Falckenstein, recognizing the absence of an army to fight, marched unopposed into the Hanoverian capital, north of the marching Hanoverians. General Helmuth von Moltke, the Prussian theater commander ordered Goeben to the north, in turn deployed Beyer to the Hanoverians’ south and Flies, with 9,000 troops marched around to the west; this formed a box around the Hanoverian army with Prussia itself forming the Eastern side. Moltke ordered Flies to hold fast and intercept Hanoverians trying to break through westward as Falckenstein’s force performed the main Prussian assault from the north. In direct defiance of his orders, General Flies gathered his detachment and directly attacked the Hanoverian army. Following a feint toward Thamsbruck to the North, the Prussian forces under Flies made a concentrated assault toward Merxleben; the much larger Hanoverian force and artillery fire drove them back toward the actual city of Langensalza.
Having a force more than twice the Prussian detachment’s size, Arentschildt routed Flies’ troops, capturing more than 900 men. Although the Hanoverians attained a decisive victory in the actual battle, the fighting halted their movement and allowed the other Prussian forces from the north and south to converge on the battle site. Out of options, King George and the Hanoverians pulled back to the East, further from their Bavarian allies. Pinned down against the Harz Mountains and out of options, King George surrendered in Nordhausen two days after the battle; the Battle of Langensalza was a near disaster in the Hanoverian campaign for the Prussians. It wiped out Flies’ detachment of troops and could have allowed an avenue of escape for the Hanoverian army. At the same time, this battle provided just enough time for the northern and southern Prussian contingents to link up at the battle site, which forced Hanoverian surrender. Langensalza was an important aspect of the Austro-Prussian War as it led to a quick Prussian occupation of Hanover, both taking the Austrians by surprise and weakening their position in the war.
The Prussians quickly overran Kassel and Saxony at the same time they were attacking Hanover. All together these small states could have contributed more than 100,000 good troops to Austria’s cause, but they were destroyed before they could unite and fight jointly. If the Hanoverians had reached other allies on the Austrian's side, the Austro-Prussian War may have gone differently. Another long lasting result of the Battle of Langensalza is the use of the "Red Cross" by medical personnel. Created by the First Geneva Convention in 1864, the Red Cross began an international humanitarian aid group; this organization, which would greatly expand in size, was very small. Involving just thirty trained volunteer nurses from Gotha, the first actual combat mission of the Red Cross occurred on the Prussian side at Langensalza. Although Austria and Hanover were not involved at the time, in 1866 Prussia was a member of the Red Cross Convention. Prussian medical personnel worked on the battlefield wearing the sign of the Red Cross on their arms and providing critical aid to wounded soldiers.
Their legacy continues today in the form of the International Red Cross. George I of Great Britain and Brunswick-Lüneburg House of Wettin House of Windsor Kingdom of Hanover Austria- Militärische Berichte, Officieller Beri