Henry I, Landgrave of Hesse
Henry I of Hesse "the Child" was the first Landgrave of Hesse. He was Duke of Brabant and Sophie of Thuringia. In 1247, as Heinrich Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia, died without issue, conflict arose about the future of Thuringia and Hesse; the succession was disputed between Heinrich Raspe's nephew and his niece: Sophie was the daughter of Heinrich Raspe's brother Ludwig IV and claimed the territories on behalf of her son Henry, while Henry the Illustrious, margrave of Meissen, was the son of Heinrich Raspe's sister Jutta. Another competitor were the Archbishops of Mainz, who could claim Hesse was a fiefdom of the archbishop and now, after the extinction of the Ludowingians, demanded its return to them. Sophia, supported by the Hessian nobility, succeeded in retaining Hesse against her cousin, who in 1264 accepted the division of the Ludowingian inheritance: Henry of Meissen received Thuringia, while Sophia's son Heinrich would inherit Hesse. In the following year, the Archbishop Werner II von Eppenstein acceded to this outcome in the Treaty of Langsdorf, accepting Henry as his liege-man and Landgrave of Hesse.
At this time, the landgraviate of Hesse consisted of the region between Wolfhagen, Eschwege, Alsfeld, Grünberg and Biedenkopf. In the same year, Henry acquired a part of the county of Gleiberg with Gießen from the Counts palatine of Tübingen; the landgraviate was centred on the towns of Kassel, where Henry took up his residence since 1277, Marburg, where his grandmother Saint Elisabeth was buried and where Henry built the Castle Marburg. Henry again got into conflict with the Archbishop, about the possession of Naumburg. On behalf of the Archbishop, Henry was outlawed in 1274 by King Rudolf I of Habsburg, but after Henry had supported Rudolph in the war against Otakar II of Bohemia and had helped to conquer Vienna 1276, Rudolph reinstated Henry. In 1290 Henry defeated the Archbishop in the battle of Fritzlar and could henceforth maintain his territory. Though Henry never relinquished his own claim on Brabant, he supported his nephew John of Brabant against Guelders and Luxembourg in the Limburg succession war.
On 12 May 1292, Henry was made a Reichsfürst by King Adolf of Nassau, freeing Hesse of the supremacy of the Archbishop of Mainz. Henry was bestowed with the Boyneburg, strengthening his position in Hesse. By skillful diplomacy he gained the cities of Sooden-Allendorf, Witzenhausen, Grebenstein, Staufenberg and Reinhardswald. In 1263 Henry had married Adelheid of Brunswick, daughter of Duke Otto of Brunswick, who bore him four daughters and the sons Henry and Otto. After Adelheid's death in 1274, Henry had married Mechthild, daughter of Dietrich VI, Count of Cleves, who bore him another four daughters and the sons John and Louis. In 1292 internal conflict arose about the question of Henry's successor. Mechthild of Cleves demanded on her sons receiving a share of the heritage, while Henry and Otto, Henry's sons by his first wife, insisted on excluding their stepbrothers from the inheritance; this led to civil war lasting throughout the rest of Henry's lifetime. Henry died in Marburg during the conflict, was buried there in St. Elisabeth's Church, which became the gravesite of the succeeding Landgraves for several more centuries.
After his death, the inheritance was divided between Otto, who received Upper Hesse around Marburg, John, who received Lower Hesse, centred on Kassel. John's younger brother Ludwig had entered the clergy and became bishop of Münster in 1310. First marriage to Adelheid, daughter of Otto I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg Sophia, married 1276 to Count Otto I of Waldeck. Henry the Younger, married in 1290 to Agnes of Bavaria, Margravine of Brandenburg-Stendal. Matilda, married to: 1283 Count Gottfried of Ziegenhain. Adelheid, married 1284 to Count Bertold VII of Henneberg-Schleusingen. Elisabeth, married c. 1287 to Count Johann of Sayn. an unnamed son. Otto. Second marriage to Mechthild of Cleves, John. Elisabeth, married to 1290 Duke William of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Agnes, married to Burgrave John I of Nuremberg. Louis, Bishop of Münster in 1310-57. Elisabeth, married in 1299 to Count Albert II of Gorizia. Katharina, married to Count Otto IV of Orlamünde. Jutta, married 1311 to Duke Otto of Braunschweig-Göttingen.
Wikisource: Allgemeine Deutsch Biographie "Heinrich I." Family Tree of Landgraves of Hesse
Gudensberg is a small town in northern Hesse, Germany. Since the municipal reform in 1974, the nearby villages of Deute, Dorla, Gleichen and Obervorschütz have become parts of the municipality. Gudensberg is situated in the district of Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, Germany, at the southeasternmost edge of the Habichtswald Nature Park, about 20 km south of Kassel and 10 km northeast of Fritzlar; the town's municipal area borders to the north and northeast on Edermünde, to the east on constituent communities of Felsberg which lie along the lower reaches of the river Eder. South and southeast of the river Ems lie further parts of Felsberg. To the south and west are constituent communities of Fritzlar. To the northwest, Gudensberg's community of Gleichen abuts Niedenstein. In the area around Gudensberg, many prehistoric and early historic finds have shown that the area was inhabited by people now known as the Chatti. On the Lamsberg, finds from the Rössen culture have been unearthed. In 1938, between the Odenberg and Gudensberg, a Linear Pottery culture settlement from about 4000 BC and an Iron Age settlement were discovered.
At the Kassler Kreuz, a graveyard with cremated remains from about 1000 BC was discovered when a railway was built in 1899. In the 10th Century, the Hof Wodensberg, a farm in Gudensberg, was run using three-field crop rotation. Gudensberg itself had its first mention in documents in 1121; the town's name is derived from an older form, after the god Wōdanaz, worshiped as the highest god by the Chatti in Old Germanic times. In the Middle Ages, a castle was named the Obernburg, it was the seat of Hessian regional counts. From 1122 to 1247, Gudensberg belonged to the Landgraves of Thuringia, the place experienced its heyday, with its first town wall built between 1170 and 1180, its first mention as a town in 1254 with a town constitution at the turn of the 13th Century. With the partition of Thuringia, Gudensberg fell to the Landgraviate of Hesse, in 1277, Henry I was proclaimed the first Landgrave of Hesse on the Mader Heide near Gudensberg. In 1300, Landgrave Henry I moved his residence from Gudensberg to Kassel and Gudensberg lost its political and administrative importance.
In 1324, Gudensberg was still being mentioned as the "Capital of Nyderlandt". In 1365, the Hospital Heiliger Geist for lepers was founded. In the many feuds between the Archbishopric of Mainz and the Landgraviate of Hesse, Gudensberg was one of Hesse's main bases and suffered damage as a result. In 1387, Gudensberg and the Wenigenburg —– but not the Obernburg —– were sacked by troops from Mainz. Fiery catastrophes befell the town a number of times. In 1587, the town was laid waste through carelessness. In 1640, during the Thirty Years' War, the town was sacked by Imperial troops. Tilly convened a Landtag of Hessian towns in Gudensberg in 1626. In 1709, Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Kassel organized excavations in the Mader Heide which brought to light remnants of Iron Age settlements. In the Seven Years' War, the still preserved Obernburg was damaged by bombardment in 1761 by British troops under John Manners's leadership. In 1806, French troops plundered and destroyed what was left of the Obernburg; the town gates were torn down because they were a traffic hazard in 1823.
Deute's first mention in documents goes back to 1314. A house dating from 1665 is still standing today. In the 18th Century, there was a working brown coal mine in Deute. Dissen's first mention in documents goes back to 1061. Dorla, which lies on the Ems, had its first mention in documents in 1040; the village church was consecrated in 1718. At the time when the Chatti lived in the area, Maden was a main town, at the Mader Stein they held their things. Maden's first mention as Mathanon in pago Hassorum comes from about 800 in the Bresiarium Lulli, making Maden one of Hesse's oldest villages and in 2000 it celebrated 1225 years of existence. In 1046, Maden was mentioned in 1061 as Madena and in 1295 as major Maden. Emperor Otto I, the Great, awarded Maden to the Archbishop of Mainz. Count Werner IV of Maden founded the Benedictine Monastery of Breitenau near Guxhagen in 1113. After Werner's death in 1121, rule and ownership rights passed to Count Giso IV from the Burg Hollende. Lower jurisdiction was held as of the 14th Century by Alb.
Lugelin, Gerlach von Linne and the von Holzsadel family. Maden was the Seat of the County of Hesse. In 1325 it was called: "County and state court of Hesse, that one calls the court of Maden"; the Wodanstein in Maden was first mentioned in 1408. Between Maden and Gudensberg lies the important Mader Heide; the find of a stone axe in the area bears witness to a early culture settling in the Obervorschütz area about 3000 BC. A late-Roman era metalwork find was a Roman belt mount bearing Germanic imagery indicating a skilled artisan in the area. However, the village's first documentary mention, under the name Burrisuzze, did not come until 1074, it was mentioned in 1275 as villa superior Vorskutheund and in 1357 as Obirm Vorschütz. The Town Council consists of 31 representatives: Above the town, on the Schlossberg, lie the ruins of the old castle, the Obernburg. On a saddle below the Obernburg, a tower, part of the town's old defences still stands. From the 306 m high hill there is an outstanding view across the heath, to
Duchy of Thuringia
The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia, established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg. It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire; the former kingdom of the Thuringii arose during the Migration Period after the decline of the Hunnic Empire in Central Europe in the mid 5th century, culminating in their defeat in the 454 Battle of Nedao. With Bisinus a first Thuringian king is documented about 500, who ruled over extended estates that stretched beyond the Main River in the south, his son and successor Hermanafrid married Amalaberga, a niece of the Ostrogoth king Theoderic the Great, thereby hedging the threat of incursions by the Merovingian Franks in the west.
However, when King Theoderic died in 526, they took the occasion to invade the Thuringian lands and carried off the victory in a 531 battle on the Unstrut River. King Theuderic of Rheims had Hermanafrid trapped in Zülpich where the last Thuringian king was killed, his niece Princess Radegund was kidnapped by King Chlothar I and died in exile in 586. The Thuringian realm was shattered: the territory north of the Harz mountain range was settled by Saxon tribes, while the Franks moved into the southern parts on the Main River; the estates east of the Saale River were beyond Frankish control and taken over by Polabian Slavs. The first documented duke of remaining Thuringia was a local noble named Radulf, installed by King Dagobert in the early 630s. Radulf was able to secure the Frankish border along the Saale River in the east from Slavic incursions. However, according to the Chronicle of Fredegar, in 641/2 his victories "turned his head" and he allied with Samo and rebelled against Dagobert's successor, King Sigebert III going so far as to declare himself king of Thuringia.
A punitive expedition led by the Frankish Mayor of the Palace Grimoald failed and Radulf was able to maintain his semi-autonomous position. His successors of the local ducal dynasty, the Hedenen, supported missionary activity within the duchy, but seem to have lost their hold on Thuringia after the rise of the Pippinids in the early eighth century. A conflict with Charles Martel around 717–19 brought an end to autonomy. In 849, the eastern part of Thuringia was organised as the limes Sorabicus, or Sorbian March, placed under a duke named Thachulf. In the Annals of Fulda his title is dux Sorabici limitis, "duke of the Sorbian frontier", but he and his successors were known as duces Thuringorum, "dukes of the Thuringians", as they set about establishing their power over the old duchy. After Thachulf's death in 873, the Sorbs rose in revolt and he was succeeded by his son Radulf. In 880, King Louis replaced Radulf with Poppo a kinsman. Poppo instigated a war with Saxony in 882 and in 883 he and his brother Egino fought a civil war for control of Thuringia, in which the latter was victorious.
Egino died in 886 and Poppo resumed command. In 892, King Arnulf replaced Poppo with Conrad; this was an act of patronage by the king, for Conrad's house, the Conradines, were soon feuding with Poppo's, the Babenbergs. But Conrad's rule was short because he had a lack of local support, he was replaced by Burchard, whose title in 903 was marchio Thuringionum, "margrave of the Thuringians". Burchard had to defend Thuringia from the incursions of the Magyars and was defeated and killed in battle, along with the former duke Egino, on 3 August 908, he was the last recorded duke of Thuringia. The duchy was the smallest of the so-called "younger stem duchies", was absorbed by Saxony after Burchard's death, when Burchard's sons were expelled by Duke Henry the Fowler in 913; the Thuringians remained a distinct people, in the Middle Ages their land was organised as a landgraviate. A separate Thuringian stem duchy did not exist during the emergence of the German kingdom from East Francia in the 10th century.
Large parts of the Thuringian estates were controlled by the Counts of Weimar and the Margraves of Meissen. According to the medieval chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg, Margrave Eckard I was appointed Thuringian duke. After his assassination 1002, Count William II of Weimar acted as Thuringian spokesman with King Henry II of Germany. In 1111/12 Count Herman I of Winzenburg is documented as a Thuringian landgrave, the first mention of a secession from Saxony, however, he had to yield as he sided with the Papacy during the Investiture Controversy. Meanwhile, the Franconian aristocrat Louis the Springer laid the foundations for the erection of Wartburg Castle, which became the residence of his descendants who, beginning with his son Louis I, served as Thuringian landgraves. Louis I had married the Rhenish Franconian countess Hedwig of Gudensberg and became the heir of extended estates in Thuringia and Hesse. A close ally of King Lothair II of Germany against the rising Hohenstaufen dynasty, he was appointed Landgrave of Thuringia in 1131.
The dynasty maintained the landgraviate throughout the fierce struggle of the Hohenstaufen and Welf royal families switching sides according to the circumstances. Beside the Wartburg, the Ludowingian landgraves had further lavish residences erected, like Neuenburg Castle near Freyburg, Marburg Castle in their Hessian estates. In the "Golden Age" under Hohenstaufen rule, Thuringia became a centre of Middle High German culture, epitomized by the legendary Sängerkrieg at the Wartburg, or the ministry of Saint Elizabeth, the daughter
Kassel is a city located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Regierungsbezirk Kassel and the district of the same name and had 200,507 inhabitants in December 2015; the former capital of the state of Hesse-Kassel has many palaces and parks, including the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kassel is known for the documenta exhibitions of contemporary art. Kassel has a public university with a multicultural population. Kassel was first mentioned in 913 AD, as the place where two deeds were signed by King Conrad I; the place was called Chasella or Chassalla and was a fortification at a bridge crossing the Fulda river. There are several - yet unproven - assumptions of the name's origin, it could be derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that had lived in the area since Roman times. Another assumption is a portmanteau from Frankonian "cas" - valley or recess and "sali" - hall or service building, which can be interpreted as hall in a valley.
A deed from 1189 certifies that Cassel had city rights, but the date when they were granted is not known. In 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse, until centered in Marburg, was divided among four sons, with Hesse-Kassel becoming one of its successor states. Kassel became a centre of Calvinist Protestantism in Germany. Strong fortifications were built to protect the Protestant stronghold against Catholic enemies. Secret societies, such as Rosicrucianism flourished, with Christian Rosenkreutz’s work Fama Fraternitis first published in 1617. In 1685, Kassel became a refuge for 1,700 Huguenots who found shelter in the newly established borough of Oberneustadt. Landgrave Charles, responsible for this humanitarian act ordered the construction of the Oktagon and of the Orangerie. In the late 18th Century, Hesse-Kassel became infamous for selling mercenaries to the British crown to help suppress the American Revolution and to finance the construction of palaces and the Landgrave’s opulent lifestyle. In the early 19th century, the Brothers Grimm lived in Kassel.
They wrote most of their fairy tales there. At that time, around 1803, the Landgraviate was elevated to a Principality and its ruler to Prince-elector. Shortly after, it was annexed by Napoleon and in 1807 it became the capital of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleon's brother Jérôme; the Electorate was restored in 1813. Having sided with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War to gain supremacy in Germany, the principality was annexed by Prussia in 1866; the Prussian administration united Nassau and Hesse-Kassel into the new Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. Kassel ceased to be a princely residence, but soon developed into a major industrial centre, as well as a major railway junction. Henschel & Son, the largest railway locomotive manufacturer in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, was based in Kassel. In 1870, after the Battle of Sedan, Napoleon III was sent as a prisoner to the Wilhelmshöhe Palace above the city. During World War I the German military headquarters were located in the Wilhelmshöhe Palace.
In the late 1930s Nazis destroyed Heinrich Hübsch's Kassel Synagogue. During World War II, Kassel was the headquarters for Germany's Wehrkreis IX, a local subcamp of Dachau concentration camp provided forced labour for the Henschel facilities, which included tank production plants; the most severe bombing of Kassel in World War II destroyed 90% of the downtown area, some 10,000 people were killed, 150,000 were made homeless. Most of the casualties were civilians or wounded soldiers recuperating in local hospitals, whereas factories survived the attack undamaged. Karl Gerland replaced Karl Weinrich, soon after the raid; the Allied ground advance into Germany reached Kassel at the beginning of April 1945. The US 80th Infantry Division captured Kassel in bitter house-to-house fighting during 2–4 April 1945, which included numerous German panzer-grenadier counterattacks, resulted in further widespread devastation to bombed and unbombed structures alike. Post-war, most of the ancient buildings were not restored, large parts of the city area were rebuilt in the style of the 1950s.
A few historic buildings, such as the Museum Fridericianum, were restored. In 1949, the interim parliament eliminated Kassel in the first round as a city to become the provisional capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1964, the town hosted the fourth Hessentag state festival. In 1972 the Chancellor of West Germany Willy Brandt and the Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic Willy Stoph met in Wilhelmshöhe Palace for negotiations between the two German states. In 1991 the central rail station moved from "Hauptbahnhof" to "Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe"; the city had a dynamic economic and social development in the recent years reducing the unemployement rate by half and attracting many new citizens so that the population has grown constantly. Several international operating companies have headquarters in the city; the city is home of several hospitals, the public Klinikum Kassel is one of the largest hospitals in the federal state offering a wide range of health services. In 1558, the first German observatory was built in Kassel, followed in 1604 by the Ottoneum, the first permanent German theatre building.
The old building is today th
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Grand Duchy of Hesse
The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine was a grand duchy in western Germany that existed from 1806 to the end of the German Empire in 1918. The grand duchy formed on the basis of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1806 as the Grand Duchy of Hesse. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, it changed its name in 1816 to distinguish itself from the Electorate of Hesse, which had formed from neighboring Hesse-Kassel. Colloquially, the grand duchy continued to be known by its former name of Hesse-Darmstadt, it joined the German Empire in 1871 and became a republic after German defeat in World War I in 1918. Hesse-Darmstadt was a member of Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine during the Napoleonic Wars. Expanding during the mediatizations, Hesse-Darmstadt became an amalgamation of smaller German states, such as the Electorate of Cologne; the legal patchwork of the state culminated in a decree issued on 1 October 1806 by Louis I. The old territorial estates were abolished, which altered Hesse-Darmstadt "from a mosaic of patrimonial fragments into a centralized, absolute monarchy."
The Duchy of Westphalia, which Hesse-Darmstadt had received in 1803, was ceded to the Kingdom of Prussia during the Congress of Vienna. However, Hesse-Darmstadt was compensated with some territory on the western bank of the Rhine, including the important federal fortress at Mainz; the neighboring Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel had backed Prussia against Napoleon and was absorbed into the Kingdom of Westphalia. At the Congress of Vienna, Hesse-Kassel was reestablished as the Electorate of Hesse. To distinguish the two Hessian states, the grand duchy changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine in 1816. In 1867, the northern half of the Grand Duchy became a part of the North German Confederation, while the half of the Grand Duchy south of the Main remained outside. In 1871, it became a constituent state of the German Empire; the last Grand Duke, Ernst Ludwig, was forced from his throne at the end of World War I, the state was renamed the People's State of Hesse. After World War II, the majority of the state combined with Frankfurt am Main, the Waldeck area and the former Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau to form the new state of Hesse.
Excluded were the Montabaur district from Hessen-Nassau and that part of Hessen-Darmstadt on the left bank of the Rhine, which became part of the Rhineland-Palatinate state. Wimpfen—an exclave of Hessen-Darmstadt—became part of Baden-Württemberg, in the district of Sinsheim. After a plebiscite on 29 April 1951, Bad Wimpfen was transferred from Sinsheim district to Heilbronn District; this change to Heilbronn was carried out on 1 May 1952. Because of the disjointed nature of the state, it did not develop its own state railway to begin with, but set up joint railway projects with its neighbouring states: These were the: Main-Neckar Railway with Frankfurt and Baden Main-Weser Railway with Frankfurt and Kurhessen Frankfurt-Offenbach Local Railway with the Free City of FrankfurtIn addition the state encouraged numerous other projects by the owned Hessian Ludwig Railway Company. In 1876 the state founded its own company, the Grand Duchy of Hesse State Railways, which continued to expand the network until it was merged into the Prussian-Hessian Railway Company in 1897.
The Grand Duchy of Hesse was divided into three provinces: Starkenburg: Right bank of the Rhine, south of the Main. Rhenish Hesse: Left bank of the Rhine, territory gained from the Congress of Vienna. Upper Hesse: North of the Main, separated from Starkenburg by the Free City of Frankfurt. List of rulers of Hesse Line of succession to the former Hessian throne Hessenlager Constitution of Hesse Das Großherzogtum Hessen 1806–1918 Großherzogtum Hessen 1910
William IV, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
William IV of Hesse-Kassel called William the Wise, was the first Landgrave of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. He was the founder of the oldest line. William was born at Kassel, the eldest son of Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous and Christine of Saxony. After his father's death in 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided between the four sons out of the late Landgrave of Hesse's first marriage, William received the portion around the capital Kassel, the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel. William took a leading part in safeguarding the Lutheran Reformation, was indefatigable in his endeavours to unite the different sections of Protestantism against Catholicism. However, he was reluctant to use military force in this conflict; as an administrator he displayed rare energy, issuing numerous ordinances, appointing expert officials, in particular ordering his slender finances. By a law of primogeniture he secured his Landgraviate's land against such testamentary divisions as had diminished his father's estate.
William is most notable for his patronage of the sciences. As a youth he had cultivated close connections with scholars and as a ruler he kept up this connection, his interest in astronomy may have been inspired by Petrus Apianus's Astronomicum Caesareum. William was a pioneer in astronomical research, owes his most lasting fame to his discoveries in this branch of study. Most of the mechanical contrivances which made instruments of Tycho Brahe so superior to those of his contemporaries were adopted in Kassel about 1584. From on the observations made in Hesse-Kassel seem to have been about as accurate as those of Tycho; however the resulting longitudes were 6' too great in consequence of the adopted solar parallax of 3'. The principal product of the astronomical observations was the Hessian star catalogue, a catalogue of about a thousand stars; the locations were determined by the methods employed in the 16th century, connecting a fundamental star by means of Venus with the sun, thus finding its longitude and latitude, while other stars could at any time be referred to the fundamental star.
It should be noticed that clocks, on which Tycho depended little, were used at Kassel for finding the difference of right ascension between Venus and the sun before sunset. Tycho preferred observing the angular distance between the sun and Venus when the latter was visible in the daytime; the Hessian star catalogue was published in Historia coelestis by Albert Curtz, a number of other observations are to be found in Coeli et siderum in eo errantium observationes Hassiacae, edited by Willebrord Snell. R. Wolf, in his Astronomische Mittheilungen, No. 45, has given a resume of the manuscripts still preserved at Kassel, which throw much light on the methods adopted in the observations and reductions. William was married to daughter of Christoph, Duke of Württemberg, they had the following children: Anna Maria of Hesse-Kassel, married on 8 June 1589 to Louis II, Count of Nassau-Weilburg Hedwig of Hesse-Kassel, married on 11 September 1597 to Ernst of Schaumburg Agnes of Hesse-Kassel Sofie of Hesse-Kassel Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, succeeded as landgrave on William IV's death in 1592.
Sabine of Hesse-Kassel Sidonie of Hesse-Kassel Christian of Hesse-Kassel Elisabeth of Hesse-Kassel Christine, married on 14 May 1598 to John Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach Juliane and died 9 February 1581In addition William had a few illegitimate children. Most significant and favored among these was Philipp von Cornberg, William's son by Elisabeth Wallenstein. Philipp became the ancestor of the current Barons von Cornberg; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "William IV. of Hesse". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28. Cambridge University Press. Biographical data and references at The Galileo Project