The German Empire was the historical German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918, when Germany became a federal republic. The German Empire consisted of 26 constituent territories, with most being ruled by royal families and this included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, and one imperial territory. Although Prussia became one of kingdoms in the new realm, it contained most of its population and territory. Its influence helped define modern German culture, after 1850, the states of Germany had rapidly become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, it had a population of 41 million people, and by 1913, a heavily rural collection of states in 1815, now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire operated as an industrial, Germany became a great power, boasting a rapidly growing rail network, the worlds strongest army, and a fast-growing industrial base.
In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britains Royal Navy, after the removal of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II, the Empire embarked on a bellicose new course that ultimately led to World War I. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, the German Empire had two allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, however, left the once the First World War started in August 1914. In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris quickly in autumn 1914 failed, the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. Germany was repeatedly forced to send troops to bolster Austria and Turkey on other fronts, Germany had great success on the Eastern Front, it occupied large Eastern territories following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 was designed to strangle the British, it failed, but the declaration—along with the Zimmermann Telegram—did bring the United States into the war. Meanwhile, German civilians and soldiers had become war-weary and radicalised by the Russian Revolution and this failed, and by October the armies were in retreat, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered and the German people had lost faith in their political system.
The Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution as the Emperor and all the ruling monarchs abdicated, and a republic took over. The German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, German nationalism rapidly shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarcks pragmatic Realpolitik. He envisioned a conservative, Prussian-dominated Germany, the war resulted in the Confederation being partially replaced by a North German Confederation in 1867, comprising the 22 states north of the Main. The new constitution and the title Emperor came into effect on 1 January 1871, during the Siege of Paris on 18 January 1871, William accepted to be proclaimed Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. The second German Constitution was adopted by the Reichstag on 14 April 1871 and proclaimed by the Emperor on 16 April, the political system remained the same.
The empire had a parliament called the Reichstag, which was elected by universal male suffrage, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas
Order of Theresa
The Order of Theresa was an order for noble ladies in the Kingdom of Bavaria. It continues to today as an honorary society to which belong the princesses of the House of Wittelsbach as well as other ladies from Bavarian noble families. The order was founded December 12,1827 by Queen Therese of Bavaria and she established an endowment which paid an annual pension to twelve unmarried noble ladies, six of whom received 300 guilders and six of whom received 100 guilders. Various other ladies held the rank of Ehrendame including all the princesses of the House of Wittelsbach, Bavarian ladies paid a reception fee of 55 guilders while foreign ladies paid 220 guilders. The insignia of the order is worn on the left breast and consists of a blue-enameled Maltese cross with a white edge. In the four angles of the cross are lozenges with the arms of Bavaria. At the centre of the cross is a gold bordered white circular medallion decorated with the letter T, on the back of the medallion is the year 1827 and the motto of the order “Unser Leben sey Glaube an das Ewige”.
The ribbon of the order is white with two sky-blue stripes at the edge, the inner stripe being narrower than the outer stripe, the sash of the order is a similarly-coloured broad ribbon, worn diagonally from the right shoulder to the left hip. Among the current Ladies of Honour of the order is the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein
Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art
The Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art was first established on 28 November 1853 by King Maximilian II. von Bayern. It is awarded to acknowledge and reward excellent and outstanding achievements in the field of science, from 1933 onwards the order was no longer awarded, until 1980 when it was reinstated by the Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauß. Since 1980 the order has been awarded to 184 recipients including 24 woman, the number of living members of the order cannot exceed 100. As of February 2013 there are 92 living members of the order, since 1932 the order has been issued 351 times. Overall the order was awarded to 535 people from 1853 to 2012, in continuation of a bavarian tradition, the Bavarian Maximialian Order for Art and Sciences was created. It is awarded to outstanding achievements in the field of science. The Maximilian Order is preferable awarded to German scientist and artist and it is not restricted to citizens of Bavaria. The order was instituted in one class and two sections, the order is restricted to 100 living members.
The Minister-President, the minister of state for their portfolio. These proposals are evaluated by an advisory committee and it gives its recommendation to the Minister-President for the final decision. All members of the committee are selected for a period of five years. The committee decides with the majority of its members, www. ordenmuseum. de, Der Bayerische Verdienstorden und Bayerischen Maximiliansorden für Wissenschaft und Kunst The law Information of the Bavarian State Chancellery
Order of the Crown (Prussia)
The Order of the Crown was a Prussian order of chivalry. Officially the Order of the Red Eagle and the Order of the Crown were equal, most officials did however prefer to be appointed in the older Order of the Red Eagle. The Order of the Crown was often used as a decoration of someone who had to be rewarded while the Prussian government did not want to award the Order of the Red Eagle. The badge of the Order for the 1st to 4th classes was a gilt cross pattée, the obverse gilt central disc bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto of the German Empire Gott Mit Uns. The reverse gilt disc has the Prussian royal monogram, surrounded by a blue ring with the date 18 October 1861. The star of the Order was a gilt eight-pointed star, a silver eight-pointed star, or a silver four-pointed star, the gilt central disc again bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto Gott Mit Uns. The ribbon of the Order was blue, the order could be awarded in dozens of variations.
For example with superimposed Cross of Geneva, with swords and with oak leaves, the following lists show a fair cross section of individuals who were known to be conferred with the Order in its several classes, in order of precedence. Sir Christopher George Francis Maurice Cradock Baron Giacomo Natoli - 1st Class Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - 1st Class, Count Charles John dOultremont, Knight Grand Cross. Ernst von Bibra - 3rd Class 1869 Gen. Major-General Sir John McNeill - 1st class,1899 - in connection with the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II to the United Kingdom
The cross is a white eight-pointed cross having the form of four V-shaped elements, each joining the others at its vertex, leaving the other two tips spread outward symmetrically. This is placed on a red background or worn on a black mantle, the term is often wrongly applied to all forms of eight-pointed crosses irrespective of colour or background. The geometric shape of a cross is found in antiquity. The association with Amalfi may go back to the 11th century, claims by Amalfi that it first appears on their coins in the 11th century is only a reference to a common style of the 8-point cross pattee. Therefore, Amalfis claim to the Maltese Cross is through extension from the founder of the order, the term Amalfi Cross only developed after the 8-point cross was introduced on Malta in 1567. The Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades used a plain Latin cross, these 8-points do not signify that the shape required was that of the four-arrowhead form of 1567, or anything near it, as there are many variants of an 8-point cross.
The association with Malta arose after the Knights Hospitaller moved from Rhodes to Malta in 1530, the first evidence for use of the Maltese Cross on Malta appears on the 2 Tarì and 4 Tarì Copper coins of the Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. The 2 and 4 Tarì Copper coins are dated 1567 and this provides a date for the introduction of the Maltese Cross. The Maltese cross was depicted on the two mils coin in the old Maltese currency and is now shown on the back of the one and two Euro coins, introduced in January 2008. John remains the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of the Order of Saint John and its orders, of the Venerable Order of Saint John. In past centuries, numerous other orders have adopted the cross as part of their insignia. In Australia, the cross is part of the state emblem of Queensland. In 1967, flight tests were conducted at Fort Rucker, Alabama, to determine the most highly visible, however, in the late 1970s, the FAA administrator repealed this standard when it was charged that the Maltese Cross was anti-semitic.
In the United States today, there are still some helipads that remain bearing their original Maltese Cross emblem, the Maltese cross is displayed as part of the Maltese civil ensign. The Maltese euro coins of one and two euro denomination carry the Maltese cross and it is the trademark of Air Malta, Maltas national airline. Austrias two highest decorations, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, have the eight-pointed Cross as their basis. In Belgium, the cross is the basis of two of the countrys royal orders of merit, the Order of Leopold and the Order of Leopold II. The Order of Bravery is the highest military decoration of the Kingdom of Bulgaria and of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Pour le Mérite, Imperial Germanys highest award for military valor, was a blue-enameled Eight-pointed Cross with golden eagles between the arms
Order of Saint John (Bailiwick of Brandenburg)
The Order is led by its thirty-seventh Herrenmeister, Prince Oskar of Prussia. Each of its knights, about four thousand men worldwide, is either a Knight of Justice or a Knight of Honor, although membership no longer is limited to the nobility, as it was until 1948, the majority of knights still are drawn from this class. The Order comprises seventeen commanderies in Germany, one each in Austria, France and Switzerland, with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta, these four Alliance orders represent the legitimate heirs of the Knights Hospitaller. The Order and its orders in the Netherlands and Sweden. The SMOM, headquartered in Rome, admits only men and women of the Roman Catholic faith, in time, these landholdings were gathered into regional administrative divisions known as commanderies, each headed by a senior knight, or knight commander of the Order. The first commandery in the Germanies was founded in the mid-twelfth century, though separated from the Roman Catholic main stem of the Order of Saint John, the Bailiwick of Brandenburg continued to flourish.
Admitting only noblemen, principally from the Germanies, the Bailiwick maintained hospitals and other institutions to care for the poor, the sick, and the injured. The horrific Thirty Years War devastated the Bailiwick, resulting in the deaths of many knights and he established a similarly named order of merit, the Royal Prussian Order of Saint John, in its stead. He announced his election to the head of the Order of Malta, during the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Order created and supported more and more charitable activities. It now owns and operates numerous hospitals, ambulance services, old-age homes, after World War II, with the Neumark given by the victorious Allies to Poland, the Order moved its headquarters to Bonn, West Germany. After the reunification of West and East Germany, the headquarters were moved again, more than location of the seat of the Order changed in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Finnish commandery, remains a purely noble society, as do the now independent Swedish, there are three active classes in the Order, Knight of Justice, and Knight of Honor.
These services are similar to the St. John Ambulance in many Commonwealth nations, all are carried out under the auspices of the Christian faith. Additionally, spiritual retreats and other activities of the Order concentrate on the spiritual formation, the cloak of the Order is plain black with a large, linen eight-pointed cross on the left breast. For most knights, the cloak is black woollen with a plain lining, the cloaks of most knights are closed only at the neck, but the Herrenmeister, Honorary Commanders, and Knights of Justice wear a long black cord called a cingulum. The insignia, known as crosses of honor, are no longer bestowed by the Order automatically, Knights of Honor now must have rendered five years of service to the Order before a cross of honor is granted. Promotion to Knight of Justice requires at least seven years of distinguished service, the basic insignia of the Order is a white-enamelled Maltese cross. Each cross is worn from a black-moire,4. 5-centimeter-wide ribbon worn about the neck, all members of the Order may wear a plain, Maltese cross as a star or breast badge
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. Since the end of the kingdom and the empire in 1918, on 30 December 1777, the Bavarian line of the Wittelsbachs became extinct, and 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, 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, Maximilian IV Joseph, the new elector, succeeded to a difficult inheritance. By the Treaty of Lunéville Bavaria lost the Palatinate and the duchies of Zweibrücken, 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, Italy, in 1808, all relics of serfdom were abolished, which had left the old empire. In the same year, Maximilian promulgated Bavarias 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, on 14 October, Bavaria made a formal declaration of war against Napoleonic France. The treaty was passionately backed by the Crown Prince Ludwig and by Marshal von Wrede, finally in 1816, the Rhenish Palatinate was taken from France in exchange for most of Salzburg which was ceded to Austria.
It was the second largest and second most powerful state south of the Main, in Germany as a whole, it ranked third behind Prussia and Austria. On 1 February 1817, Montgelas had been dismissed, and Bavaria had entered on a new era of constitutional reform, on 26 May 1818, Bavarias second constitution was proclaimed. The Landtag would have two houses, a house comprising the aristocracy and noblemen, including the high-class hereditary landowners, government officials. The second house, a house, would include representatives of small landowners, the towns. The rights of Protestants were safeguarded in the constitution with articles supporting the equality of all religions, the initial constitution almost proved disastrous for the monarchy, with controversies such as the army having to swear allegiance to the new constitution. Within the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Palatinate enjoyed a legal and administrative position
Order of Saint Elizabeth
The Order of Saint Elizabeth was an all-female chivalric and charitable order in the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was confirmed on the 31st of January 1767, by Pope Clement XII, the Catholic religion and the Seize Quartiers – the proof of noble descent running through sixteen generations of their own or their husband’s ancestors – are indispensable conditions for candidates. The nomination takes place either on Easter or on Saint Elizabeth’s Day, the entrance fee is four ducats. The badge is an enameled cross, representing on one side Saint Elizabeth dispensing charity to the poor, and on the other. It is worn on the left breast by a ribbon with a red border. No Member can appear in public without it, except by fine of one ducat, the King appoints the Grand Mistress. The Orders of Knighthood and Foreign, India, The Catholic Orphan Press,1884
Order of the Rue Crown
The Order of the Rue Crown is a Dynastic order of knighthood of the Kingdom of Saxony. It was established in 1807 by Frederick Augustus I, the first King of Saxony, the order takes its name from the green floral crown of rue found on the Coat of arms of Saxony. The order was created to be the counterpart to the Military Order of St. Henry. The order was limited to 24 knights, but exceptions were made for members of ruling houses. The Order of the Rue Crown was presented in a single grade, the order was granted in a special grade with diamonds, to Portuguese Prime Minister Dom Nuno José de Moura Barreto, Duke of Loulé in 1859 and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1885. From its founding to the fall of the Kingdom of Saxony in 1918, the badge of the order is a gold Maltese cross enameled in green with a white border. The white center medallion features the monogram of Frederick Augustus I of Saxony encircled by a green crown of rue. Between the arms of the cross is a crown of rue. The star of the order is of made of silver, and has eight points, the center of the star bears a gold medallion with the motto of the order PROVIDENTIÆ MEMOR inside a ring of green rue leaves.
The badge of the order is borne on a ribband of grass green worn over the right shoulder
Military Order of Max Joseph
The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the order came in three classes, Grand Cross Commanders Cross Knights Cross. Individuals who received the order and were not already members of the nobility were ennobled, a Bavarian title of nobility obtained through the Military Order of Max Joseph was valid for the recipients life only. The order became obsolete in 1918 with the collapse of the Bavarian monarchy on Germanys defeat in World War I, the orders chancery continued to process outstanding award recommendations to at least 1922. The badge of the order was a white-enameled gold Maltese cross with balls at each cross point. The center medallion, in blue enamel and edged in gold, featured the monogram of Max Joseph on the obverse, above the cross was a gold crown. The badge of the Knights Cross was much smaller than that of other military orders. It measured 28-mm in width, compared to Bavarias Military Merit Order and it was worn from a ribbon on the officers medal bar ahead of other decorations or, separately worn through the buttonhole.
In 1951, wear of the Knights Cross around the neck, the badge of a Commanders Cross was somewhat larger than the Knights Cross, measuring 38-mm by 55-mm. It was worn from a ribbon around the neck, the Grand Cross was still larger, and had golden rays between the arms of the cross. The star of the order, which came with the Grand Cross, was a silver eight-pointed star. The center of the featured a badge of the order. The ribbon of the order was black moiré with inner white, for recipients of the order who were not already members of the nobility, receipt of the order conferred a patent of nobility. This patent was not inheritable, similar to a knighthood in the United Kingdom, when a recipient was ennobled, his surname name was changed by the addition of the title Ritter von. Thus for example the Field Marshal Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb was born Wilhelm Leeb, such a patent of nobility only applied to Bavarian subjects, non-Bavarians could receive the Military Order of Max Joseph but not use a title because of this.
Thus for example General Erich Ludendorff remained plain Ludendorff, although he was decorated with the Grand Cross of the order in 1916, note that not all Bavarian Ritter von were knights of the Military Order of Max Joseph. The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown, a high civil honor conferred a patent of nobility. For example, the 1920s-era Minister President of Bavaria Gustav Ritter von Kahr was a recipient of the Merit Order of the Bavarian Crown rather than the Military Order of Max Joseph