Proclamation of the German Empire
The proclamation of the German Empire known as the Deutsche Reichsgründung, took place in January 1871 after the joint victory of the German states in the Franco-Prussian War. As a result of the November Treaties of 1870s, the southern German states of Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, with their territories south of the Main line, Württemberg and Bavaria, joined the Prussian-dominated "German Confederation" on 1 January 1871. On the same day, the new Constitution of the German Confederation came into force, thereby extending the federal German lands to the newly created German Empire; the Day of the founding of the German Empire, January 18, became a day of celebration, marking when the Prussian King William I was proclaimed German Emperor in Versailles. The question of German Dualism complicated the alliance of German states after the Napoleonic Wars. Would a united Germany include or exclude Austria? According to the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck, any unification was only possible without Austria, since the Habsburg monarchy was, in fact and militarily tied not only to the other German language states but to the Slavic states of the Balkan peninsula.
The Austro-Prussian War of 1866 led to the dissolution of the German Confederation, founded in 1815 after the Prague Treaty. The result was a system of German alliance under the hegemonic domination of Prussia. After the Prussian victory at the Battle of Hradec Kralove, against the wishes of the Habsburgs, Bismark succeeded in forming the North German Confederation as a military alliance in August 1866 without Austria. A year the North German Confederation made a constitution and became a state. In 1868, Spanish queen Isabella II was dethroned in a military coup. Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, supported by Prussian Prime Minister Bismarck, acted as a candidate for royal succession in Spain. Shortly after his candidature was accepted, Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, under the influence of his father, Prince Karl Anton, the King of Prussia, proposed William I to the throne of Spain because France had threatened war with this candidacy; the Emperor of France, Napoleon III, did not want to be satisfied with the simple withdrawal of the candidacy, sent his ambassador, Vincent Benedetti, to Bad Ems, to enter negotiations with the King of Prussia.
Napoleon demanded an official apology from Prussia and the general renouncement of the Hohenzollern and Sigmaringer to the Spanish throne for the future, which King did not want to accept. "But one wanted more: the Prussian government had not yet been revealed, the victory did not yet seem perfect. Benedetti was commissioned to demand William renounce any claim to the throne, that he would forbid the Sigmaringen family from accepting the Spanish crown."The French National Assembly granted funds for war, on 19 July 1870, the French Empire declared war on the Kingdom of Prussia. The southern German states took the side of Prussia in accordance with their defensive alliances. Victories in August and September 1870, over the French armies led to the willingness of the Southern German princes to join the North German Confederation. On 9 and 10 December 1870, the Reichstag voted to offer the Emperor's title to the Prussian king. In addition, the country was to be renamed "German Reich"; this became effective on 1 January 1871 with a new constitution.
As a day for the imperial proclamation to take place, 18 January was chosen to coincide with the royal coronation of Frederick III von Brandenburg's coronation of Frederick I in 1701, which led to the founding of the Kingdom of Prussia. The 1870 event took place in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, the ceiling on, celebrated by Louis XIV, the Sun King, as a conqueror of German cities and states. On 18 January 1871, German troops paraded behind military bans around the Palace of Versailles; the delegations of the German field-regiments were crowded in this great room. They raised their battle-torn banners in a "colourful forest". In the middle of the hall stood an altar, where participants celebrated a worship service, at the end of which all those present were singing the song Nun danket alle Gott. At the end of the gallery was an elevated podium, on which Wilhelm I and the various princes stood. Otto von Bismarck read out the proclamation. Thereupon, the Grand Duke of Baden shouted "His Majesty, Kaiser Wilhelm", the other attendants repeated three times.
The ceremony ended. The expression "Kaiser Wilhelm" avoided the precise, constitutional title "German Emperor", which Wilhelm would not accept; the Grand Duchy of Hesse, the Duchy of Brunswick and the Principalities of Reuss, Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen and Lippe were not represented at the imperial proclamation in Versailles. The ceremony has been detailed in numerous accounts from the time, the most important people and their function were described in detail. In order to conceal the subliminal controversies by mythical concepts, it was said, for example, that the crown had been "cowed by the flood of all German tribes"; the founding of the German Empire took place in a contradictory mixture of modesty and grandeur, The letter of the new Emperor Wilhelm I, future Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who served as the driver of the founding of the German Empire, the public account made by historian Albert von Pfister, present as a soldier, agreed to the fact that a field altar was going to be built on the Hall of Mirrors.
While Wilhelm I emphasised the religious nature of the ceremony, Bismarck encountered the political content of the because he was said to have preferred an actual mood of religious
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that succeeded the former Electorate of Bavaria in 1805 and continued to exist until 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1805 as Maximilian I Joseph; the crown would go on being held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom came to an end in 1918. Most of Bavaria's present-day borders were established after 1814 with the Treaty of Paris, in which Bavaria ceded Tyrol and Vorarlberg to the Austrian Empire while receiving Aschaffenburg and Würzburg. With the unification of Germany into the German Empire in 1871, the kingdom became a federal state of the new Empire and was second in size and wealth only to the leading state, the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1918, Bavaria became a republic, the kingdom was thus succeeded by the current Free State of Bavaria. On 30 December 1777, the Bavarian line of the Wittelsbachs became extinct, the succession on the Electorate of Bavaria passed to Charles Theodore, the Elector Palatine.
After a separation of four and a half centuries, the Palatinate, to which the duchies of Jülich and Berg had been added, was thus reunited with Bavaria. In 1792, French revolutionary armies overran the Palatinate. Charles Theodore, who had done nothing to prevent wars or to resist the invasion, fled to Saxony, leaving a regency, the members of which signed a convention with Moreau, by which he granted an armistice in return for a heavy contribution. Between the French and the Austrians, Bavaria was now in a bad situation. Before the death of Charles Theodore, the Austrians had again occupied the country, in preparation for renewing the war with France. Maximilian IV Joseph, the new elector, succeeded to a difficult inheritance. Though his own sympathies, those of his all-powerful minister, Maximilian von Montgelas, were, if anything, French rather than Austrian, the state of the Bavarian finances, the fact that the Bavarian troops were scattered and disorganized, placed him helpless in the hands of Austria.
By the Treaty of Lunéville, Bavaria lost the duchies of Zweibrücken and Jülich. In view of the scarcely disguised ambitions and intrigues of the Austrian court, Montgelas now believed that the interests of Bavaria lay in a frank alliance with the French Republic; the 1805 Peace of Pressburg allowed Maximilian to raise Bavaria to the status of a kingdom. Accordingly, Maximilian proclaimed himself king on 1 January 1806; the King still served as an Elector until Bavaria seceded from the Holy Roman Empire on 1 August 1806. The Duchy of Berg was ceded to Napoleon only in 1806; the new kingdom faced challenges from the outset of its creation, relying on the support of Napoleonic France. The kingdom faced war with Austria in 1808 and from 1810 to 1814, lost territory to Württemberg and Austria. In 1808, all relics of serfdom were abolished. In the same year, Maximilian promulgated Bavaria's first written constitution. Over the next five years, it was amended numerous times in accordance with Paris' wishes.
During the French invasion of Russia in 1812 about 30,000 Bavarian soldiers were killed in action. With the Treaty of Ried of 8 October 1813 Bavaria left the Confederation of the Rhine and agreed to join the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon in exchange for a guarantee of her continued sovereign and independent status. On 14 October, Bavaria made a formal declaration of war against Napoleonic France; the treaty was passionately backed by Marshal von Wrede. With the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813 ended the German Campaign with the Coalition nations as the victors, in a complete failure for the French, although they achieved a minor victory when an army of Kingdom of Bavaria attempted to block the retreat of the French Grande Armée at Hanau. With the defeat of Napoleon's France in 1814, Bavaria was compensated for some of its losses, received new territories such as the Grand Duchy of Würzburg, the Archbishopric of Mainz and parts of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. In 1816, the Rhenish Palatinate was taken from France in exchange for most of Salzburg, ceded to Austria.
It was the second largest and second most powerful state south of the Main, behind only Austria. In Germany as a whole, it ranked third behind Austria. Between 1799 and 1817, the leading minister Count Montgelas followed a strict policy of modernisation and laid the foundations of administrative structures that survived the monarchy and are valid until today. On 1 February 1817, Montgelas had been dismissed and Bavaria had entered on a new era of constitutional reform. On 26 May 1818, Bavaria's second constitution was proclaimed; the constitution established a bicameral Parliament. The upper house comprising the aristocracy and noblemen, including the royal princes, government officials, high-class hereditary landowners and nominees of the crown; the lower house, would include representatives of landowners, the three universities, the towns and the peasants. Without the consent of both houses no law c
President of Germany (1919–1945)
The Reichspräsident was the German head of state under the Weimar constitution, in force from 1919 to 1945. In English he was simply referred to as the President of Germany; the German title Reichspräsident means President of the Reich, the term Reich referring to the federal nation state established in 1871. The Weimar constitution created a semi-presidential system in which power was divided between the president, a cabinet and a parliament; the Reichspräsident was directly elected under universal adult suffrage for a seven-year term. It was intended that the president would rule in conjunction with the Reichstag and that his emergency powers would be exercised only in extraordinary circumstances, but the political instability of the Weimar period, a paralysing factionalism in the legislature, meant that the president came to occupy a position of considerable power, capable of legislating by decree and appointing and dismissing governments at will. In 1934, after the death of President Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler Chancellor, assumed the Presidency, but did not use the title of President – ostensibly out of respect for Hindenburg – and preferred to rule as Führer und Reichskanzler, highlighting the positions he held in party and government.
In his last will in April 1945, Hitler named Joseph Goebbels his successor as Chancellor but named Karl Dönitz as Reichspräsident, thus reviving the individual office for a short while until the German surrender. The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany established the office of Federal President, which is, however, a chiefly ceremonial post devoid of political power. † denotes people. A Hans Luther, Chancellor of Germany, was acting head of state of Germany from 28 February 1925 to 12 March 1925. B Walter Simons, President of the Supreme Court of Germany, was acting head of state of Germany from 12 March 1925 to 12 May 1925. C Adolf Hitler was served as Führer of Germany from 2 August 1934 to 30 April 1945. Upon Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg's death, Adolf Hitler merged the offices of Chancellor and head of state in his person, he did not use the title of Reichspräsident. Upon his suicide on 30 April 1945, Hitler nominated Großadmiral Karl Dönitz to be President. Dönitz was arrested on 23 May 1945 and the office was dissolved.
Under the Weimar constitution, the President was directly elected by universal adult suffrage for a term of seven years. The law provided that the presidency was open to all German citizens who had reached 35 years of age; the direct election of the president occurred under a form of the two round system. If no candidate received the support of an absolute majority of votes cast in a first round of voting, a second vote was held at a date. In this round the candidate who received the support of a plurality of voters was deemed elected. A group could nominate a substitute candidate in the second round, in place of the candidate it had supported in the first; the President could not be a member of the Reichstag at the same time. The constitution required that on taking office the president swore the following oath: I swear to devote my energy to the welfare of the German people, to increase its prosperity, to prevent damage, to hold up the Reich constitution and its laws, to consciously honour my duties and to exercise justice to every individual.
Only two regular presidential elections under the provisions of the Weimar Constitution occurred, in 1925 and 1932: The first office-holder, the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert was elected by the National Assembly on 11 February 1919 on a provisional basis. Ebert intended to stand in presidential elections in 1922 when the outcry about assassination of Walther Rathenau seemed to generate a pro-republican atmosphere. However, National Liberal politician Gustav Stresemann persuaded the other centrist parties that the situation was still too turbulent to hold elections. Hence, the Reichstag extended Ebert's term to June 30, 1925 in late 1922, which required a constitutional change. Ebert died in office in February 1925; the first presidential election was held in 1925. After the first ballot had not resulted in a clear winner, a second ballot was held, in which Paul von Hindenburg, a war hero nominated by the right-wing parties after their original candidate had dropped out after the first ballot, managed to win a majority.
Hindenburg served a full term and was reelected in 1932, this time nominated by the pro-republican parties who thought only he could prevent the election of Adolf Hitler to the office. Hindenburg died in office in August 1934, a little over two years after his reelection, having since appointed Hitler as Chancellor. Hitler assumed the powers of head of state, but did not use the title of President until his own death, when he named Karl Dönitz his successor as President in his Final Political Will and Testament. Appointment of the Government: The Reichskanzler and his cabinet were appointed and dismissed by the president. No vote of confirmation was required in the Reichstag before the members of the cabinet could assume office, but any member of the cabinet was obliged to resign if the body passed a vote of no confidence in him; the president could appoint and dismiss the chancellor at will, but all other cabinet members could, save in the event of a no confidence motion, only be appointed or dismissed at the chancellor's request.
Dissolution of the Reichst
Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. Within the hall, the German Empire was declared in 1871 and the Treaty of Versailles signed by the victorious powers of World War I in 1919; as the principal and most remarkable feature of King Louis XIV of France's third building campaign of the Palace of Versailles, construction of the Hall of Mirrors began in 1678. To provide for the Hall of Mirrors as well as the salon de la guerre and the salon de la paix, which connect the grand appartement du roi with the grand appartement de la reine, architect Jules Hardouin Mansart appropriated three rooms from each apartment as well as the terrace that separated the two apartments; the principal feature of this hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors with a total complement of 357 used in the decoration of the galerie des glaces; the arches themselves are fixed between marble pilasters whose capitals depict the symbols of France.
These gilded bronze capitals include the Gallic cockerel or rooster. Many of the other attributes of the Hall of Mirrors were lost to war for financial purposes, such as the silver table pieces and guéridons, which were melted by order of Louis XIV in 1689 to finance the War of the League of Augsburg. In the 17th century, mirrors were among the most expensive items to possess at the time. In order to maintain the integrity of his philosophy of mercantilism, which required that all items used in the decoration of Versailles be made in France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert enticed several workers from Venice to make mirrors at the Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs. According to legend, in order to keep its monopoly, the government of the Venetian Republic sent agents to France to poison the workers whom Colbert had brought to France; the Hall of Mirrors' dimensions are 73.0 m × 10.5 m × 12.3 m and is flanked by the salon de la guerre and the salon de la paix. Construction on the galerie and its two salons continued until 1684, at which time it was pressed into use for court and state functions.
The ceiling decoration is dedicated to the political policies and military victories of Louis XIV. The central panel of the ceiling, Le roi gouverne par lui-même, alludes to the establishment of the personal reign of Louis XIV in 1661; the present decorative schema represents the last of three that were presented to Louis XIV. The original decorative plan was to have depicted the exploits of Apollo, being consistent with the imagery associated with the Sun-King, Louis XIV. However, when the king learned that his brother, Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, had commissioned Pierre Mignard to decorate the ceiling of the grande galerie of his brother's residence at Château de Saint-Cloud, Louis XIV rejected the plan; the next decorative plan was one in which the exploits of Hercules — as allegories to the actions of Louis XIV — were to be depicted. Again, as with the first plan, the Hercules theme was rejected by the king; the final plan represents military victories of Louis XIV starting with the Treaty of the Pyrenees to the Treaty of Nijmegen.
In a departure from the decoration of the ceilings in the grand appartement du roi, Le Brun has depicted Louis XIV directly, has ceased to refer to the king in allegorical guises. In this way, themes such as good governance and military prowess are rendered with Louis XIV himself as the key figure. During the 17th century, the Hall of Mirrors was used daily by Louis XIV when he walked from his private apartment to the chapel. At this time, courtiers assembled to watch the king and members of the royal family pass, might make a particular request by intoning: "Sire, Marly?". This was the manner in which one was able to obtain a much sought-after invitation to one of the king's house parties at Marly-le-Roi, the villa Louis XIV built north of Versailles on the route to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. However, of all the events that transpired in this room during the reign of Louis XIV, the Siamese Embassy of 1685–1686 must be cited as the most opulent. At this time, the galerie des glaces and the grands appartements were still appointed with silver furniture.
In its heyday, over 3,000 candles were used to light the Hall of Mirrors. In February 1715, Louis XIV held his last embassy in the galerie des glaces, one in which he received Mehemet Reza Bey, ambassador of the Shah of Persia. In the successive reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, the Hall of Mirrors continued to serve for family and court functions. Embassies and marriages were fêted in this room, it was during this costume ball that Louis XV, dressed as a yew tree, met Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson d'Étiolles, costumed as Diana, goddess of the hunt. Jeanne-Antoinette, who became Louis XV's mistress, is better known to history as the Marquise de Pompadour. In the 19th century, at the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War, the Prussian king, William I, was declared German emperor — thus establishing the German Empire — on 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors by Bismarck and the victorious German princes and lords; this was seen as a victory with heavy symbolism for the Germans and a stinging insult for the defeated French.
French Prime Minister Clemenceau chose the Hall of Mirrors as the location wherein was signed the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I on 28 June 1919. The Hall of Mirror
Divine right of kings
The divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandate is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God; the king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm. It implies that only God can judge an unjust king and that any attempt to depose, dethrone or restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act, it is expressed in the phrase "by the Grace of God", attached to the titles of a reigning monarch. In the pagan world, kings were seen as either ruling with the backing of heavenly powers or even being divine beings themselves. However, the Christian notion of a divine right of kings is traced to a story found in 1 Samuel, where the prophet Samuel anoints Saul and David as mashiach or king over Israel; the anointing is to such an effect that the monarch became inviolable, so that when Saul sought to kill David, David would not raise his hand against him because "he was the Lord's anointed".
Adomnan of Iona is one of the earliest Christian proponents of this concept of kings ruling with divine right. He wrote of the Irish King Diarmait mac Cerbaill's assassination and claimed that divine punishment fell on his assassin for the act of violating the monarch. Adomnan recorded a story about Saint Columba being visited by an angel carrying a glass book, who told him to ordain Aedan mac Gabrain as King of Dal Riata. Columba refused, the angel answered by whipping him and demanding that he perform the ordination because God had commanded it; the same angel visited Columba on three successive nights. Columba agreed, Aedan came to receive ordination. At the ordination Columba told Aedan that so long as he obeyed God's laws none of his enemies would prevail against him, but the moment he broke them, this protection would end, the same whip with which Columba had been struck would be turned against the king. Adomnan's writings most influenced other Irish writers, who in turn influenced continental ideas as well.
Pepin the Short's coronation may have come from the same influence. The Carolingian dynasty and the Holy Roman Emperors influenced all subsequent western ideas of kingship. In the Middle Ages, the idea that God had granted earthly power to the monarch, just as he had given spiritual authority and power to the church to the Pope, was a well-known concept long before writers coined the term "divine right of kings" and employed it as a theory in political science. For example, Richard I of England declared at his trial during the diet at Speyer in 1193: "I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God, to whom alone I am responsible for my actions", it was Richard who first used the motto "Dieu et mon droit", still the motto of the Monarch of the United Kingdom. With the rise of nation-states and the Protestant Reformation in the late 16th century, the theory of divine right justified the king's absolute authority in both political and spiritual matters. Henry VIII of England declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England, exerted the power of the throne more than any of his predecessors.
As a political theory, it was further developed by James VI of Scotland, came to the fore in England under his reign as James I of England. Louis XIV of France promoted the theory as well; the Scots textbooks of the divine right of kings were written in 1597–1598 by James VI of Scotland. His Basilikon Doron, a manual on the powers of a king, was written to edify his four-year-old son Henry Frederick that a king "acknowledgeth himself ordained for his people, having received from the God a burden of government, whereof he must be countable", he based his theories in part on his understanding of the Bible, as noted by the following quote from a speech to parliament delivered in 1610 as James I of England: The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth, for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but by God himself they are called gods. There be three principal that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God, the two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy.
In the Scriptures kings are called gods, so their power after a certain relation compared to the Divine power. Kings are compared to fathers of families, and lastly, kings are compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man. James's reference to "God's lieutenants" is a reference to the text in Romans 13 where Paul refers to "God's ministers". Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to the evil. Wilt thou not be afraid of the power? Do that, good, thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good, but if thou do that, evil, be afraid. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake. For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due.
Luxembourg the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, France to the south, its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture and languages are intertwined with its neighbours, making it a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French and the national language, Luxembourgish; the repeated invasions by Germany in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. In 2018, Luxembourg had a population of 602,005, which makes it one of the least-populous countries in Europe, but by far the one with the highest population growth rate.
Foreigners account for nearly half of Luxembourg's population. As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by Grand Duke Henri and is the world's only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP per capita; the City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city. The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried I acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications known as Lucilinburhuc, ′little castle′, the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier. Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage and vassal relations. At the end of the 13th century, the Counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory. In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg became King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor.
The House of Luxembourg produced four Holy Roman Emperors during the high Middle Ages. In 1354, Charles IV elevated the County to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Since Sigismund had no male heir, the Duchy became part of the Burgundian Circle and one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands. Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories, was built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe. After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the Austria of Maria Theresia, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under Napoleon; the present-day state of Luxembourg first emerged at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Grand-Duchy, with its powerful fortress, became an independent state under the personal possession of William I of the Netherlands with a Prussian garrison to guard the city against another invasion from France. In 1839, following the turmoil of the Belgian Revolution, the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg was ceded to Belgium and the Luxembourgish-speaking part became what is the present state of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, Benelux. The city of Luxembourg, the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, a first in the country's history; as of 2018, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgish passport 5th in the world, tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes, in 963 through an exchange act with St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier. Around this fort, a town developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territories being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good of Burgundy.
In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs and the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands; the Congress of Vienna formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation. The Dutch king became, in the grand duke. Although he was supposed to rule the grand duchy as an independent country with an administration of its own, in reality he treated it to a Dutch province; the Fortress of Luxembourg was manned by Prussian troops for the German Confederation. This arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourg's full independence is reckoned. At the time of the Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839, by the 1839 Treaty establishing full independence, Luxembourg's territory was reduced by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country was transferred to Belgium. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union (Zoll
Minister President of Prussia
The office of Minister President, or Prime Minister, of Prussia existed from 1848, when it was formed by the King Frederick William IV during the 1848–49 Revolution, until the abolition of Prussia in 1947 by the Allied Control Council. Under the Kingdom of Prussia the Minister President functioned as the chief minister of the King, presided over the Landtag. After the unification of Germany in 1871 and until the collapse in 1918, the office of the Prussian Minister President was held ex officio by the Chancellor of the German Empire, beginning with the tenure of Otto von Bismarck. Under the Free State of Prussia the Minister President was the head of the state government in a more traditional parliamentary role during the Weimar Republic; the office ceased to have any real meaning except as a kind of political patronage title after the takeover by the national government in 1932, after Nazi Germany dismantled Prussia as a state in 1935. The office was abolished along with Prussia itself by the Allies after World War II.
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