The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War was a war fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, with each being aided by various allies within the German Confederation. Prussia had allied with the Kingdom of Italy, linking this conflict to the Third Independence War of Italian unification; the Austro-Prussian War was part of the wider rivalry between Austria and Prussia, resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states. The major result of the war was a shift in power among the German states away from Austrian and towards Prussian hegemony, impetus towards the unification of all of the northern German states in a Kleindeutsches Reich that excluded the German Austria, it saw the abolition of the German Confederation and its partial replacement by a North German Confederation that excluded Austria and the other South German states. The war resulted in the Italian annexation of the Austrian province of Venetia. For several centuries, Central Europe was split into a few large- or medium-sized states and hundreds of tiny entities, which while ostensibly being within the Holy Roman Empire ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor, operated in a independent fashion.
When an existing Emperor died seven secular and ecclesiastical princes would elect a new Emperor. Over time the Empire became smaller and by 1789 came to consist of German peoples. Aside from five years, the Habsburg family, whose personal territory was Austria, controlled the Emperorship from 1440 to 1806, although it became ceremonial only as Austria found itself at war at certain times with other states within the Empire, such as Prussia, which in fact defeated Austria during the War of Austrian Succession to seize the state of Silesia in 1742. While Austria was traditionally considered the leader of the German states, Prussia became powerful and by the late 18th century was ranked as one of the great powers of Europe. Francis II's abolition of the office of Holy Roman Emperor in 1806 deprived him of his imperial authority over most of German-speaking Europe, though little true authority remained by that time. After 1815, the German states were once again reorganized into a loose confederation: the German Confederation, under Austrian leadership.
The pretext for the conflict was found in the dispute between Prussia and Austria over the administration of Schleswig-Holstein, which the two of them had conquered from Denmark and agreed to jointly occupy at the end of the Second Schleswig War in 1864. When Austria brought the dispute before the German Diet and decided to convene the Diet of Holstein, Prussia declared that the Gastein Convention had thereby been nullified and invaded Holstein; when the German Diet responded by voting for a partial mobilization against Prussia, Bismarck claimed that the German Confederation was ended. Crown Prince Frederick "was the only member of the Prussian Crown Council to uphold the rights of the Duke of Augustenburg and oppose the idea of a war with Austria which he described as fratricide". Although he supported unification and the restoration of the medieval empire, "Fritz could not accept that war was the right way to unite Germany." In reaction to the triumphant French nationalism of Napoleon I and as an organic feeling of commonality glorified during the Romantic era, German nationalism became a potent force during this period.
The ultimate aim of most German nationalists was the gathering of all Germans under one state, although most accepted that the German portions of Switzerland would remain in Switzerland. Two ideas of national unity came to the fore – one including and one excluding Austria; the New York Times summarized its views of German nationalism shortly after the outbreak of the war: There is, in political geography, no Germany proper to speak of. There are Kingdoms and Grand Duchies, Duchies and Principalities, inhabited by Germans, each separately ruled by an independent sovereign with all the machinery of State, yet there is a natural undercurrent tending to a national feeling and toward a union of the Germans into one great nation, ruled by one common head as a national unit. There are many interpretations of Otto von Bismarck's behaviour before the Austrian-Prussian war, which concentrate on whether he had a master plan that resulted in this war, the North German Confederation and the unification of Germany.
Bismarck maintained that he orchestrated the conflict in order to bring about the North German Confederation, the Franco-Prussian War and the eventual unification of Germany. However, historians such as A. J. P. Taylor dispute his interpretation and believe that Bismarck did not have a master plan, but rather was an opportunist who took advantage of the favourable situations that presented themselves. Taylor thinks Bismarck manipulated events into the most beneficial solution possible for Prussia. On 22 February 1866, Count Karolyi, Austrian ambassador in Berlin, sent a dispatch to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Alexander Mensdorff-Pouilly, he explained to him that Prussian public opinion had become sensitive about the Duchies issue and that he had no doubt that "this artificial exaggeration of the danger by public opinion formed an essential part of the calculations and actions of Count Bismarck the annexation of the Duchies... a matter of life and death for his political existence to make it appear such for Prussia too
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation after the decisive defeat at the hands of the First French Empire led by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, ruling from 1804 to 1835, so he was named the one and only Doppelkaiser in history. For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the Grace of God elected Roman Emperor Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both the Holy Roman Empire and Austria, he was Apostolic King of Hungary and Bohemia as Francis I. He served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815. Francis II continued his leading role as an opponent of Napoleonic France in the Napoleonic Wars, suffered several more defeats after Austerlitz; the proxy marriage of state of his daughter Marie Louise of Austria to Napoleon on 10 March 1810 was arguably his severest personal defeat.
After the abdication of Napoleon following the War of the Sixth Coalition, Austria participated as a leading member of the Holy Alliance at the Congress of Vienna, dominated by Francis's chancellor Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich culminating in a new European map and the restoration of Francis's ancient dominions. Due to the establishment of the Concert of Europe, which resisted popular nationalist and liberal tendencies, Francis became viewed as a reactionary in his reign. Francis was a son of Emperor Leopold II and his wife Maria Luisa of Spain, daughter of Charles III of Spain. Francis was born in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, where his father reigned as Grand Duke from 1765 to 1790. Though he had a happy childhood surrounded by his many siblings, his family knew Francis was to be a future Emperor, so in 1784 the young Archduke was sent to the Imperial Court in Vienna to educate and prepare him for his future role. Emperor Joseph II himself took charge of Francis's development.
His disciplinarian regime was a stark contrast to the indulgent Florentine Court of Leopold. The Emperor wrote that Francis was "stunted in growth", "backward in bodily dexterity and deportment", "neither more nor less than a spoiled mother's child." Joseph concluded that "the manner in which he was treated for upwards of sixteen years could not but have confirmed him in the delusion that the preservation of his own person was the only thing of importance."Joseph's martinet method of improving the young Francis were "fear and unpleasantness." The young Archduke was isolated, the reasoning being that this would make him more self-sufficient as it was felt by Joseph that Francis "failed to lead himself, to do his own thinking." Nonetheless, Francis admired his uncle, if rather feared him. To complete his training, Francis was sent to join an army regiment in Hungary and he settled into the routine of military life. After the death of Joseph II in 1790, Francis's father became Emperor, he had an early taste of power while acting as Leopold's deputy in Vienna while the incoming Emperor traversed the Empire attempting to win back those alienated by his brother's policies.
The strain tolled on Leopold and by the winter of 1791, he became ill. He worsened throughout early 1792. Francis, just past his 24th birthday, was now Emperor, much sooner; as the leader of the large multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire, Francis felt threatened by Napoleon's social and political reforms, which were being exported throughout Europe with the expansion of the first French Empire. Francis had a fraught relationship with France, his aunt Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI and Queen consort of France, was guillotined by the revolutionaries in 1793, at the beginning of his reign. Francis, on the whole, was indifferent to her fate. Georges Danton attempted to negotiate with the Emperor for Marie Antoinette's release, but Francis was unwilling to make any concessions in return, he led Austria into the French Revolutionary Wars. He commanded the Allied forces during the Flanders Campaign of 1794 before handing over command to his brother Archduke Charles, he was defeated by Napoleon. By the Treaty of Campo Formio, he ceded the left bank of the Rhine to France in exchange for Venice and Dalmatia.
He again fought against France during the Second and Third Coalition, when after meeting a crushing defeat at Austerlitz, he had to agree to the Treaty of Pressburg, weakening the Austrian Empire and reorganizing Holy Roman Empire under a Napoleonic imprint that would be called the Confederation of the Rhine. At this point, he believed his position as Holy Roman Emperor to be untenable, so on 6 August 1806, he abdicated the throne, declaring the empire to be dissolved in the same declaration; this was a political move to impair the legitimacy of the Confederation of the Rhine. He had anticipated losing the Holy Roman crown, however. Two years earlier, as a reaction to Napoleon making himself an emperor, he had raised Austria to the status of an empire. Hence, after 1806, he reigned as Emperor of Austria. In 1809, Francis attacked France again, hoping to take advantage of the Peninsular War embroiling Napoleon in Spain, he was again defeated, this
Franz, Duke of Bavaria
Franz, Duke of Bavaria is head of the House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria. His great-grandfather King Ludwig III was the last ruling monarch of Bavaria until deposed in 1918. Franz was born in Munich. During the Second World War, the Wittelsbachs were anti-Nazi; the family left Nazi Germany for Hungary but were arrested when Germany invaded the country in 1944. Franz was only 11 at the time, he spent time including Oranienburg and Dachau. After the war, he became a collector of modern art. Franz succeeded as head of the House of Wittelsbach, as pretender to the Bavarian throne, on the death of his father in 1996, he lives at the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich. Franz is not married; the current heir-general of King James II of England and VII of Scotland, Franz is, as Francis II, considered – by Jacobites – to be the legitimate heir of the Stuart kings of England, Scotland and France. A spokesman has said that "the Duke does not comment on issues concerning his familiar relationship to the Royal House of Stuart."
Franz was born on 14 July 1933 in Munich, the son of Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, his morganatic wife, Countess Maria Draskovich of Trakostjan of the House of Drašković, a Croatian noble family. On 18 May 1949, when Franz was 15, his grandfather Crown Prince Rupprecht recognised the marriage of Franz's parents as dynastic, Franz became a prince of Bavaria; the Wittelsbach dynasty were opposed to the Nazi regime in Germany, in 1939, Franz's father Albrecht took his family to Hungary. They lived in Budapest for four years before moving to their Castle at Sárvár in late 1943. In March 1944, Nazi Germany occupied Hungary, on 6 October 1944 the entire family, including the 11-year-old Franz, were arrested, they were sent to a series including Oranienburg and Dachau. At the end of April 1945, they were liberated by the United States Third Army. After the war, Franz received his high-school education at the Benedictine Abbey of Ettal, he studied business management at the University of Munich and in Zurich.
Franz developed a passion for collecting modern art. Items from his private collection are on permanent loan to the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, he is an honorary trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His 80th birthday party, in 2013, was held at the Schleissheim Palace near Munich; the party was attended by 2,500 guests, including the then-incumbent Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer. In 2016, he became the donor of the project of restoration of the Statue of St. John of Nepomuk in Divina, realised under auspices of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Slovakia; the project was honoured by patronage of His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the king of Cambodia and His Majesty Simeon II, the last tsar of Bulgaria. The project was completed in the year 2017. Franz has never married; the heir presumptive to the headship of the House of Wittelsbach is his brother Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria. Because Max has five daughters but no sons, he is followed in the line of succession by his and Franz's first cousin Prince Luitpold and, in the next generation, by the latter's son Prince Ludwig Heinrich of Bavaria.
The current senior heir-general of King James II of England and VII of Scotland, Franz is, as King Francis II, considered by Jacobites to be the legitimate successor to the Stuart kings of England, France and Ireland. It is not, however, a claim which he pursues; the Jacobite succession, following English common law, transmits the right to the throne to or through women, their descendants, whenever they have no brothers, unlike the semi-Salic law of the Wittelsbachs in Bavaria which only allows women to accede once all the men in the dynasty have expired. Therefore, the Jacobite succession will pass to Prince Max's eldest daughter, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein. Franz is descended from the House of Stuart through the following persons: Henrietta, Princess of England, Duchess of Orléans, youngest daughter of King Charles I of England Princess Anne Marie d'Orléans, Queen consort of Sardinia Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia, Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia Victor Amadeus III, King of Sardinia Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy, Duchess of Modena Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este, Prince of Modena Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este, Queen consort of Bavaria Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria Franz's successors to the Jacobite claim are: Maximilian, Duke in Bavaria Sophie, Princess of Bavaria, Duchess in Bavaria, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein Franz uses the titles Duke of Bavaria, of Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine of the Rhine, plus the style "His Royal Highness".
14 July 1933 – 8 July 1996: His Royal Highness Prince Franz of Bavaria: Franz Prinz von Bayern 8 July 1996 – present: His Royal Highness The Duke of Bavaria: Franz Herzog von Bayern: His Majesty King Francis II of England, Scotland and Ireland: His Majesty King Frangiskos I of GreeceFranz was styled Prinz von Bayern at birth. In 1996, after the death of his father, he changed his style to Herzog von Bayern. Germany: Commander's cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Vatican: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre Sovereign Mili
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c
Prussia was a prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership. In November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19; the Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, a state of Germany from 1918 until 1933. From 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state.
With the end of the Nazi regime, in 1945, the division of Germany into allied-occupation zones and the separation of its territories east of the Oder–Neisse line, which were incorporated into Poland and the Soviet Union, the State of Prussia ceased to exist de facto. Prussia existed de jure until its formal abolition by the Allied Control Council Enactment No. 46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians. In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk, their monastic state was Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany, and, in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, the eastern part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia, a fief of the Crown of Poland up to 1657; the union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries.
During the 18th century it had a major say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a "Lesser Germany", which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia acquired rich new territories, including the coal-rich Ruhr; the country grew in influence economically and politically, became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians; the Kingdom ended in 1918 along with other German monarchies that collapsed as a result of the German Revolution. In the Weimar Republic, the Free State of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. Subsequently, it was dismantled into Nazi German Gaue in 1935.
Some Prussian ministries were kept and Hermann Göring remained in his role as Minister President of Prussia until the end of World War II. Former eastern territories of Germany that made up a significant part of Prussia lost the majority of their German population after 1945 as the People's Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union both absorbed these territories and had most of its German inhabitants expelled by 1950. Prussia, deemed a bearer of militarism and reaction by the Allies, was abolished by an Allied declaration in 1947; the international status of the former eastern territories of Germany was disputed until the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany in 1990, while its return to Germany remains a topic among far right politicians, the Federation of Expellees and various political revisionists. The term Prussian has been used outside Germany, to emphasise professionalism, aggressiveness and conservatism of the Junker class of landed aristocrats in the East who dominated first Prussia and the German Empire.
The main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white national colours were used by the Teutonic Knights and by the Hohenzollern dynasty; the Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a black cross with gold insert and black imperial eagle. The combination of the black and white colours with the white and red Hanseatic colours of the free cities Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck, as well as of Brandenburg, resulted in the black-white-red commercial flag of the North German Confederation, which became the flag of the German Empire in 1871. Suum cuique, the motto of the Order of the Black Eagle created by King Frederick I in 1701, was associated with the whole of Prussia; the Iron Cross, a military decoration created by King Frederick William III in 1813, was commonly associated with the country. The region populated by Baltic Old Prussians who were Christianised, became a favoured location for immigration by Germans, as well as Poles and Lithuanians along the border regions.
Before its abolition, the territory of the Kingdom of Prussia included the provinces of West Prussia.
Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
Maximilian I Joseph was Duke of Zweibrücken from 1795 to 1799, prince-elector of Bavaria from 1799 to 1806 King of Bavaria from 1806 to 1825. He was a member of the House of Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken, a branch of the House of Wittelsbach. Maximilian, the son of the Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld and Maria Francisca of Sulzbach, was born on 27 May 1756 at Schwetzingen, between Heidelberg and Mannheim. After the death of his father in 1767, he was left at first without parental supervision, since his mother had been banished from her husband's court after giving birth to a son fathered by an actor. Maximilian was educated under the supervision of his uncle, Duke Christian IV of Zweibrücken, who settled him in the Hôtel des Deux-Ponts, he took service in 1777 as a colonel in the French army. He rose to the rank of major-general. From 1782 to 1789, he was stationed at Strasbourg. During his time at the University of Strasbourg, Klemens von Metternich, the future Austrian chancellor, was for some time accommodated by Prince Maximilian.
By the outbreak of the French Revolution, Maximilian exchanged the French for the Austrian service and took part in the opening campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars. On 1 April 1795, Maximilian succeeded his brother Charles II as Duke of Zweibrücken, however his duchy was occupied by revolutionary France at the time. On 16 February 1799, he became Elector of Bavaria and Count Palatine of the Rhine, Arch-Steward of the Empire, Duke of Berg upon the extinction of the Palatinate-Sulzbach line at the death of Elector Charles Theodore of Bavaria; the new elector Maximilian IV Joseph found the Bavarian army in abject condition on his accession to the throne: Hardly any of the units were at full strength, the Rumford uniforms were unpopular and impractical, the troops were badly-trained. The young Prince-Elector, who had served under the Ancien Régime in France as a colonel in the Royal Deux-Ponts regiment, made the reconstruction of the army a priority. Maximilian's sympathy with France and the ideas of enlightenment at once manifested itself when he acceded to the throne of Bavaria.
In the newly organized ministry, Count Max Josef von Montgelas, after falling into disfavour with Charles Theodore, had acted for a time as Maximilian Joseph's private secretary, was the most potent influence, wholly "enlightened" and French. Agriculture and commerce were fostered, the laws were ameliorated, a new criminal code drawn up, taxes and imposts equalized without regard to traditional privileges, while a number of religious houses were suppressed and their revenues used for educational and other useful purposes, he moved it to Landshut. In foreign affairs, Maximilian Joseph's attitude was, from the German point of view, less commendable, he never had any sympathy with the growing sentiment of German nationality, his attitude was dictated by wholly dynastic, or at least Bavarian, considerations. Until 1813, he was the most faithful of Napoleon's German allies, the relationship cemented by the marriage of his eldest daughter to Eugène de Beauharnais, his reward came with the Treaty of Pressburg, by the terms of which he was to receive the royal title and important territorial acquisitions in Swabia and Franconia to round off his kingdom.
He assumed the title of king on 1 January 1806. On 15 March, he ceded the Duchy of Berg to Napoleon's brother-in-law Joachim Murat; the new King of Bavaria was the most important of the princes belonging to the Confederation of the Rhine, remained Napoleon's ally until the eve of the Battle of Leipzig, when by the Treaty of Ried he made the guarantee of the integrity of his kingdom the price of his joining the Allies. On 14 October, Bavaria made a formal declaration of war against Napoleonic France; the treaty was passionately backed by Marshal von Wrede. By the first Treaty of Paris, however, he ceded Tyrol to Austria in exchange for the former Grand Duchy of Würzburg. At the Congress of Vienna, which he attended in person, Maximilian had to make further concessions to Austria, ceding Salzburg and the regions of Innviertel and Hausruckviertel in return for the western part of the old Palatinate; the king fought hard to maintain the contiguity of the Bavarian territories as guaranteed at Ried but the most he could obtain was an assurance from Metternich in the matter of the Baden succession, in which he was doomed to be disappointed.
At Vienna and afterwards Maximilian sturdily opposed any reconstitution of Germany which should endanger the independence of Bavaria, it was his insistence on the principle of full sovereignty being left to the German reigning princes that contributed to the loose and weak organization of the new German Confederation. The Federative Constitution of Germany of the Congress of Vienna was proclaimed in Bavaria, not as a law but as an international treaty, it was to secure popular support in his resistance to any interference of the federal diet in the internal affairs of Bavaria to give unity to his somewhat heterogeneous territories, that Maximilian on 26 May 1818 granted a liberal constitution to his people. Montgelas, who had opposed this concession, had fallen in the previous year, Maximilian had reversed his ecclesiastical policy, signing on 24 October 1817 a concordat with Rome by which the powers of the clergy curtailed under Montgelas's administration, were restored; the new parliament proved to be more independent than he had anticipated and in 1819 Maximilian resorted to appealing to the powers against hi