Colonial Medal (German Empire)
Exceptions were participants in the Boxer Rebellion 1900-01, and German South-West Africa in the years 1904-08. These operations were eligible for their own unique commemorative medal, the medal is made of bronze the obverse of which depicts the right-facing bust of Wilhelm II in uniform, with the initials W II. The reverse has oak leaves on the right and a branch on the left. In the center is the crown which sits above the inscription DEN TAPFEREN STREITERN FÜR DEUTSCHLANDS EHRE. The ribbon is white with four thin red lines in the center, the medal was awarded with claps which were manufactured of gold plated brass. Claps were mounted on the ribbon of the medal
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
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
Cross of Merit for Women and Girls
The Cross of Merit for Women and Girls was created on 22 March 1871 by Kaiser Wilhelm I, German Emperor, in his capacity as King of Prussia. The award was presented only to women, but was not a Ladies Order in the most narrow sense and girls were awarded at the request of Empress Augusta, and the award was bestowed by the Kaiser. The appearance and shape is similar to the Iron Cross. On the reverse there is the crown above the intertwined monograms A and W. The cross was worn suspended by a bow on the left chest. The ribbon is the same as that of the Iron Cross for non-combattants, maximilian Gritzner, Handbuch der Ritter- und Verdienstorden aller Kulturstaaten der Welt
Duppel Storm Cross
The Düppel Storm Cross was a military medal of the Kingdom of Prussia. The cross was awarded to Prussian participants in the Battle of Dybbøl which took place on 18 April 1864, established by Wilhelm, King of Prussia on 18 October 1864, the cross was initially awarded to combatants and noncombatants who directly participated in the battle. The following year, versions were created for those held in reserve at the battle. The Düppel Storm Cross was designed by Friedrich Wilhelm Kullrich, a Prussian court medalist and it was the first of three commemorative crosses awarded during the 1860s with similar designs. The medal is in the shape of a cross pattée, visible between the arms of the cross is a laurel wreath. Superimposed in the center of the cross is a round medallion, on the obverse, the medallion bears the left-facing effigy of King Wilhelm I circumscribed are the words WILHELM KOENIG VON PREUSSEN. The medallion on the reverse depicts a crowned Prussian eagle perched upon a Danish cannon.
The top arm of the cross has the word DÜPPEL, the arm of the cross has 18, the right arm has APR. A version for members of the Johanniter Orden was identical in design, the combatants ribbon, was a 32 mm wide blue silk ribbon, in the color of the Prussian Crown Order ribbon. At the edges were a black stripe and white stripe, with a thin white stripe on the outside edge. The non-combatants ribbon was of silk, the edges were thin stripes of white, black. The orange was divided into thirds by two blue stripes. The ribbon for troops held in reserve was blue with white edges. In the center were wide stripes of white and white, the ribbon for Johanniter Orden recipients was suspended from the ribbon of the House Order of Hohenzollern. This ribbon is white, with a central stripe and black stripes near the edge
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 Kulm Cross was a Prussian award. It was a version of the Badge of the Iron Cross and it was created on 4 December 1813 by Frederick William III of Prussia after the battle of Kulm. It was not awarded for any act of courage or merit. Officers wore it in silver and NCOs and other ranks in metal and it was worn on the tunic, with no ribbon. A Russian version of the order was completely identical in size and shape to the Prussian Order of the Iron Cross, differing only in that it had no date and monogram of the king. By awarding this cross 12,066 people were represented, but the reward could only be obtained by 7,131 soldiers who survived to 1816
House Order of Hohenzollern
The House Order of Hohenzollern was a dynastic order of knighthood of the House of Hohenzollern awarded to military commissioned officers and civilians of comparable status. Associated with the versions of the order were crosses and medals which could be awarded to lower-ranking soldiers. The House Order of Hohenzollern was instituted on December 5,1841 by joint decree of Prince Konstantin of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and these two principalities in southern Germany were Catholic collateral lines of the House of Hohenzollern, cousins to the Protestant ruling house of Prussia. On August 23,1851, after the two principalities had been annexed by Prussia, the order was adopted by the Prussian branch of the house. Also, although the two principalities had become a region of the Prussian kingdom, the princely lines continued to award the order as a house order. The Prussian version was known as the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern. The Princely House Order continued to be awarded, after the fall of the German Monarchy, Prince Karl Antons second son, Karl Eitel Friedrich of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, had become prince and king of Romania as Carol I.
Carol I had died childless and was succeeded by his nephew Ferdinand I and this form of the order existed until the Romanian monarchy was abolished in 1947, King Michael awarded a slightly altered order in exile. The Royal House Order of Hohenzollern came in the classes, Grand Commander Commander Knight Member Member was a lesser class for soldiers who were not officers. The Members Cross, especially swords, was a rare distinction for non-commissioned officers. Another decoration, the Members Eagle was often given as an award to lesser officials such as schoolteachers. The Eagles were solely civilian awards, and could not be awarded with swords, all other grades could be awarded with swords. When awarded with swords it was worn on the ribbon of the Iron Cross, all grades could be awarded with swords. During World War I, the grade of the Princely House Order was often awarded to officers. 40, a regiment raised in the principalities of Hohenzollern. Soldier in the regiments sister reserve and Landwehr regiments received the decoration.
Unlike the Royal House Order, awards of the Princely House Order were made on the ribbon of the order regardless of whether they were with or without swords. As with the Prussian and Hohenzollern versions, crossed swords could be used to indicate a wartime or combat award, the badge of the House Order of Hohenzollern was a cross pattée with convex edges and curved arms
Red Cross Medal (Prussia)
The Red Cross Medal was a German medal set up on 1 October 1898 by Wilhelm II. It had three classes and could be awarded to all those who carried out service to the sick in peace or wartime. The Red Cross Medal was awarded in three classes, the Second and Third classes being worn as circular medals suspended from a red ribbon with white, the First Class was a red enameled Geneva Cross with gilded Prussian Royal Crowns at the ends of the arms. This award was worn as a steckreuz on the breast like the Iron Cross, recipients could be promoted to the next class of the medal with five years time in service, with the first level anyone could be initially appointed to being the Second Class. The Red Cross Medal, First Class was a Steckkreuz in the form of the red enameled Geneva cross in gilded silver, at the ends of the cross arms are gilded Prussian Royal Crowns. The red enamel bears a hatch pattern, the back is plain gilded silver except for the single vertical attachment pin on the back. The cross is 46.6 to 48.8 mm high, the Red Cross Medal, Second Class is a round, silver medal,33 mm in diameter.
On the obverse is a Geneva cross with Prussian royal crowns at the ends the arms of the cross, the Geneva cross is enabled in red. Between the arms of the cross are the initials W and R at the top, on the reverse is the inscription in four lines FUER / VERDIENSTE / UM DAS / ROTHE KREUZ. To the left of the inscription is an oak branch. The Red Cross Medal, Third Class is a bronze medal,33 mm in diameter. The design is identical to the silver medal except it lacks the red enameling of the cross on the obverse, in 1900, clasps for the medals were created to recognize service in war. Three were awarded, Südafrika 1899-1900 Ostasien 1900/01 Südwestafrika 1904/06
Most of these states have historically been a polity, but in some occasions were rather territories in respect of which a princely title is held. The princes estate and wealth may be located mainly or wholly outside the confines of the principality. Generally recognised surviving sovereign principalities are Liechtenstein and the co-principality of Andorra, extant royal primogenitures styled as principalities include Asturias, and Wales. The term principality is often used informally to describe Wales as it currently exists, since that time, the title Prince of Wales has traditionally been granted to the heir to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, but it confers no responsibilities for government in Wales. It has country status and is one of four countries in the United Kingdom, principality of Asturias is the official name of autonomous community of Asturias. No sovereign duchy currently exists, but Luxembourg is an example of a sovereign grand duchy. Historically there have been sovereign principalities with many styles of ruler, such as Countships and even Lordships, feudalism increased the power of local princes within a kings lands.
As princes continued to more power over time, the authority of the king was diminished in many places. This led to political fragmentation as the lands were broken into mini-states ruled by princes and dukes who wielded absolute power over their small territories. This was especially prevalent in Europe, and particularly with the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, during the Late Middle Ages from 1200 to 1500, principalities were often at war with each other as royal houses asserted sovereignty over smaller principalities. These wars caused a deal of instability and economies were destroyed. Episodes of bubonic plague reduced the power of principalities to survive independently. Eventually, agricultural progress and development of new goods and services boosted commerce between principalities. Many of these states became wealthy, expanded their territories and improved the services provided to their citizens and dukes developed their lands, established new ports and chartered large thriving cities.
Some used their wealth to build palaces and other institutions now associated with sovereign states. While some principalities prospered in their independence, less successful states were swallowed by stronger royal houses, Europe saw consolidation of small principalities into larger kingdoms and empires. This had already happened in England in the first millennium, and this subsequently led to the creation of such states as France, Portugal. Another form of consolidation was orchestrated in Italy during the Renaissance by the Medici family, a banking family from Florence, the Medici took control of governments in various Italian regions and even assumed the papacy
Order of the Black Eagle
The Order of the Black Eagle was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on 17 January 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg, in his Dutch exile after World War I, deposed Emperor Wilhelm II continued to award the order to his family. He made his wife, Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz. The statutes of the order were published on 18 January 1701, membership in the Order of the Black Eagle was limited to a small number of knights, and was divided into two classes, members of reigning houses and capitular knights. Before 1847, membership was limited to nobles, but after that date, capitular knights were generally high-ranking government officials or military officers. The Order of the Black Eagle had only one class, by statute, members of the order held the Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle, and wore the badge of that order from a ribbon around the neck. From 1862, members of the Prussian royal house, upon award of the Order of the Black Eagle, the badge of the Order was a gold Maltese cross, enameled in blue, with gold-crowned black eagles between the arms of the cross.
The gold center medallion bore the monogram of Friedrich I. This badge was worn either a broad ribbon or a collar. The ribbon of the Order was an orange moiré sash worn from the shoulder to the right hip. The sash color was chosen in honor of Louise Henriette of Nassau, daughter of the prince of Orange, the star of the Order was a silver eight-pointed star, with straight or faceted rays depending on the jewelers design. The center medallion displayed a black eagle on a background, surrounded by a white enamelled ring bearing a wreath of laurels. At meetings of the chapter of the Order of the Black Eagle and at certain ceremonies, embroidered on the left shoulder of each cape was a large star of the Order. From its founding in 1701 to 1918, the Order of the Black Eagle was awarded 407 times, subjects of the Prussian King receiving the order which was only given in one class were promoted to the peerage and received hereditary title. The Order was conferred upon Prussian queens, though other members of the royal family usually received the Order of Louise instead.
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn – Kaiser Wilhelm IIs uncle, Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland – Prince of Sweden Carol I of Romania – King of Romania, member of the Princely House of Hohenzollern. Louis XVIII – King of France, ludwig II of Bavaria – King of Bavaria. Emperor Meiji – Emperor of Japan, mozaffar al-Din Shah – Shah of Persia –29 May 1902 – during the visit to Berlin of the Shah Naser al-Din Shah Qajar – Shah of Persia