Francia Orientalis, Germany

The Stem Duchies & Marches

The Stem Duchies (Stammesherzogtümer) of Germany were essentially the domains of the old German tribes of the area. These tribes were originally the Franks, the Saxons, the Alemanni, the Burgundians, the Thuringians, and the Rugians. In the 5th century the Burgundians moved into Roman territory and were settled in 443 and 458 in the area that would then become Burgundy. The area they had occupied in Germany, next to the Franks and the Saxons, was occupied by the Franks. When the Rugians were destroyed by Odoacer in 487, a new confederation of Germans formed in their place, the Bavarians. All these tribes in Germany were eventually subjugated by the Franks, the Alemanni in 496 and 505, the Thuringians in 531, the Bavarians at some point after 553, and then finally the Saxons, in a protracted campaign by Charlemagne himself, by 804. When Germany eventually separated as East Francia, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as the subdivisions of the realm, joining Lorraine (properly Francia Media). For the rulers of these, the old Roman title of Dux ("leader") was adopted. It was originally used for a Roman frontier military commander and subsequently was passed down in Greek, i.e. in Mediaeval Romania, as . In German, however, the corresponding title, Herzog, looks more like the translation of a Greek title, stratêlatês, , "army" (stratos) "leader" (elaunein, "to lead"). Thus, the Old High German title was herizoho, from heri, "army," and ziohan, "to lead." This looks very much like a comparable title, voivode, perhaps also a translation, in Slavic languages. On analogy with the German tribes, "duke" was at first used elsewhere for ethnic demi-states, like Brittany and Gascony, and then later as the title for Royal brothers in France, such as the Dukes of Burgundy, and England, beginning with the sons of Edward III -- with the Dukes of Lancaster and York disputing the Throne in the Wars of the Roses.

The Saxon area became Saxony, the Bavarian, Bavaria, the Thuringian, Thuringia, the Frankish, Franconia, and the Alemannian, Swabia. To these could be added the Czech domain of Bohemia, which accepted German suzerainty as a Duchy by 925, later upgraded to a Kingdom in 1158. North and South of Bohemia, the Germans headed east, founding a series of March Counties, or Marches, whose ruler was thus a Margrave (Mark Graf). In the North these started with Meißen and Lusatia. North of them was, appropriately, the North March, which became Brandenburg and then Prussia. Last in the north was originally the March of the Billungers, which eventually became the Duchies of Holstein, Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, and (Hither) Pomerania. In the south, there was Carniola, Carinthia, Styria, and the East March, the Österreich ("eastern kingdom"), or Austria. The future dominant states of Germany, Prussia and Austria, thus began as Marches. On the map shown, the eastern frontier is that of about 1200, which is curiously similar to the boundary today between Germany and Poland. At the time, Poland was already an organized and Christian Kingdom. German advance beyond that point was mainly by the extension of Pomerania, originally effected by Denmark, and by Bohemia's detachment of Silesia from Poland. Silesia then passed, with Bohemia, ultimately to Austria, then to Prussia, finally returned to Poland by Josef Stalin in 1945.

The greatest houses of German Emperors were associated with particular Duchies:  the Saxons, the Franconians (Salians), and the Swabians (Hohenstaufen).

Of the original Stem Duchies, only Bavaria really survived largely intact, though the others sometimes had successor states that nearly reassembled the original domains, like Baden and Württemberg in Swabia and Hanover in Saxony.

These lists originally were often compiled exclusively from Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble Genealogy and Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. Much of this has now been corrected and expanded, however, with information from Michael F. Feldkamp's Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschischte Europas [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002] and, most especially, from Andreas Thiele's Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Parts 1 & 2, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I & II [Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997], Volume II, Parts 1 & 2, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser I Westeuropa & II Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [Part 1, Third Edition, 2001, Part 2, Second Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997], and Volume III, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser, Ergänzungsband [Second Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 2001]. Other sources are listed with the tables or elsewhere. The map above is based on p.142 of The Anchor Atlas of World History, Volume I (Hermann Kinder, Werner Hilgemann, Ernest A. Menze, and Harald and Ruth Bukor, 1974). The cited map is labeled, "Central Europe at the time of the Saxon emperors," which is a little confusing, since the northern frontier is much advanced beyond what was achieved for the dates given, e.g. 937-982. The text simply says, "936-7 Organization of the marches under HERMANN BILLUNG and the margrave GERO..." (p.143). Gero was the Margrave of the North March (later Brandenburg). The area to the north may have been assigned to Billung himself, since the map labels it the "March of the Billungers," but they apparently made little headway at the time, and the name did not stick.

German Confederation Index

Francia Index

Philosophy of History

Home Page

Dukes of Franconia
BogoCount
Eberhard I
Udo861-879
Eberhard IId.901
Conrad Ic.906-911
King,
911-918
Eberhard III911-939
Conrad the Younger1024-1030
Conrad VI,
II of Germany
1024-1039
Emperor,
1024-1039
Henry,
III of Germany
1039-1056
Emperor,
1039-1056
Henry,
IV of Germany
1056-1076
Emperor,
1056-1106
Conrad VII,
II of Lorraine
1076-1088
Lorraine,
1076-1087
Frederick I
of Swabia
1079-1105
Conrad I,
III of Germany
1105-1138
Emperor,
1138-1152
Henry1138-1150
Frederick II1150-1167
Conrad II1167-1196
 
Since Franconia is the area of Germany specific to the Franks, around whom Western Europe was unified, with Frankfurt (now Frankfurt-am-Main) as the city long recognized as the capital of Germany, it is disappointing that the list of Dukes seems defective and poorly dated. Since
Gordon's list jumps from Conrad I to Conrad VI of Franconia (with an unnumbered "Conrad the Younger"), one is left to suspect that more is known about some other Conrads.

The Fraconian Emperors are often called the "Salians," after the Salian (or Salic) Franks, the sub-group of the Franks that became dominant. This term also turns up in the "Salic Law," the principle that succession cannot pass through women, which was observed in Germany and France but mostly not elsewhere. The Salian Franks, however, were called that because they lived near the sea (salus = "salt"). The inland Franks belonged to several other groups, which collectively could be called the "Ripuarians," i.e. "river" Franks. Franconia was really a Ripuarian, not a Salian, area.

Franconia split into countless states, like Hesse and Nassau. Frankfurt was a Free City until annexed by Prussia in 1866.

Stem Duchies Index

Francia Index


 

Counts, Dukes, & Princes of Nassau
Walram I1st Count
of Nassau,
1151-1198
Henry II the Rich1198-1247
d.c.1251
Walram II1247-1255Otto I1247-1255
Count of
Nassau-
Weilburg,
1255-1277
Count of
Nassau-
Dillenburg,
1255-1290
Adolph I1277-1298Henry I1290-1343
Emperor,
1291-1298
Nassau-
Siegen
1303-1343
Rupert IV1298-1304,
d.1308
Nassau-
Dillenburg
1328-1343
Gerlach I1298-1355,
d.1361
Emich I1290-1303
Walram III1298-1322Nassau-
Hadamar
1303-1334
Adolph II1344-1355John1290-1303
Count of
Nassau-
Wiesbaden-
Idstein,
1355-1370
Nassau-
Dillenburg
1303-1328
Nassau-Weilburg-
Saarbrücken from 1355
Nassau-Dillenburg
John I1344-1371Otto II1343-1350
Weilburg
1355-1371
RupertSonnenberg
1355-1390
John I1350-1416
Philip I1371-1429
Nassau-Weilburg from 1442Adolph1416-1420
Philip II1429-1492John II1420-1443
Engelbert I1420-1442
John III1420-1429
John IV1442-1475
Henry II1442-1451
Engelbert II1475-1504
Louis I1492-1523John V1475-1516
Philip III1523-1559Nassau-Breda
Henry III1516-1538
René1538-1544
Prince of
Orange
1530-1544
Nassau-Dillenburg
William the Rich1544-1559
Nassau-
Dillenburg
1516-1559
Albert1559-1593Nassau-Orange
William I the Silent1559-1584
Netherlands
1568-1584
Philip IV1559-1602Philip William1584-1618
Louis II1593-1625MauriceNetherlands
1587-1625
William Louis1625-16291618-1625
Nassau-
Saarbrücken
1629-1640
Frederick Henry1625-1647
John IV1625-1629William II1647-1650
Nassau-
Idstein
1629-1668
William IIINetherlands
1672-1702
Ernest Casimir1625-1655England
1689-1702
Frederick1655-16751650-1674
John ErnestWiesbaden
1675-1719
Dillenburg & Orange
ceded to Nassau-Dietz, 1674
Frederick WilliamWeilburg
1675-1684
Nassau-Dietz
Henry Casimir IIPrince of
Nassau-
Dietz
1662-1696
1674-1696
Charles Augustus1719-1753Nassau-Orange
John William FrisoNetherlands
1702-1711
1696-1711
William IV1711-1751
Charles Christian1753-1788William V Batavus1751-1806
Frederick William1788-1816William VI,
I of Netherlands
1806-1813
WilliamDuke of
Nassau
1816-1839
King,
1813-1843
Adolph1839-1866German lands ceded
to Nassau-Weilburg, 1815;
House of Orange
continued in Netherlands
Grand Duke of
Luxembourg
1890-1905
Nassau annexed by Prussia, 1866
 
Nassau remained complex until into the 19th century. The county of Nassau was divided in 1255 ("prima divisio") by Walram and Otto, sons of Count Henry II the Rich. Walram was the founder of the Walramian line, ruling in Weilburg, Idstein, Wiesbaden, etc., i.e. the Nassauian lands south of the river Lahn. Otto was the founder of the Ottonian line, ruling in Dillenburg, Hadamar, Beilstein, later also in Siegen and in Diez, i.e. the Nassauian lands north of the river Lahn.

At the Congress of Vienna, there were still the Duchy of Nassau and the Principalities of Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg. The Orange (Ottonian) branch of the family, which had acquired leadership and then sovereignty in the Netherlands, ceded its German lands to the Walramian line at the Congress. In short order the German lands fell to a single line, with the death of Frederick Augustus, Prince of Usingen and Duke of Nassau. Only the line of Nassau-Weilburg is shown on the Walramian side of the table at left, but some parallel lines, including Usingen, are detailed in the genealogical table below.

The final Duke of Nassau, Adolph, ran afoul of Prussia by picking Austria in the Seven Weeks' War of 1866. Nassau was annexed to Prussia. But then, when Queen Wilhelmina was excluded from the succession to Luxembourg by the Salic Law, the Grand Duchy passed to the dispossessed Duke Adolph. Luxembourg, even with Grand Duchesses, has been in the line of Adolph ever since.

The succession was initially assembled from Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. The genealogy at Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy was too incomplete to use -- the line of Nassau could not be traced back from Adolph of Nassau and Luxembourg. The genealogy below has now been assembled from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 2, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser II [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997]. That contains all of Nassau except for the initial Dutch line of Orange-Nassau. This is covered in Volume II, Part 1, Europäiche Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser I Westeuropa [Andreas Thiele, R. G. Fischer Verlag, Second Edition, 1997]. It should be noted that the initial line of Orange-Nassau ended with William III. His cousins of Nassau-Diez(/Dietz) were already Stadholders of Friesland, and they then inherited the title of Orange and the larger role as candidates for Stadholder of the Netherlands. Here, the genealogy of both Dutch lines is given with the Netherlands.
 

A key event in the history of the Ottonian line is marriage with the heiress, Claudia, of the Principality of Orange. This small state was far from Germany, a fief of Burgundy, surrounded by the Papal enclave of Avignon, whose Princes recently derived from the Free Counts of Burgundy. This did not involve any material addition of power to the House of Nassau, but the title, passing to William the Silent, quickly became symbolic of the Netherlands, which William came to lead in its struggle for independence from Spain. Long after Orange itself fell to France, in 1715, the name, indeed the color, is thought of as essentially Dutch. The subsequent genealogy of Nassau-Orange is found under the Netherlands. The main line of Orange-Nassau died out with William III, but the leadership of the Netherlands then passed to his cousins, who had become the Stadholders of Friesland. In both the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the male lines eventually failed. In the Netherlands the houses of Mecklenburg, Lippe, and Amsberg, and in Luxembourg the house of Bourbon, provided the husbands.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index
 

Landgraves, Electors, & Grand Dukes of Hesse
Henry I the Child of BrabantLandgrave,
1263-1298
OttoMarburg
1298-1328
JohnCassel
1298-1311
Henry II the Iron1328-1377Louis IGrubenstein
1328-1343
Herman INordeck
1328-1367
Herman II the Learned1377-1413
Louis II the Peaceful1413-1458
Louis IIICassel
1458-1471
Henry IIIMarburg
1458-1483
William I the Elder1471-1493,
d. 1515
William II the Intermediate1471-1509William III the Younger1483-1500
Philip I the Magnanimous1509-1567, Protestant leader
William IVCassel
1567-1592
George IDarmstadt
1567-1597

Hesse begins in the middle of interesting marriages. The first marriage of Henry III of Lower Lorraine and Brabant was to Marie of Hohenstauften, daughter of Philip of Swabia and Irene Angelina, daughter of the Emperor Isaac II Angelus. By this marriage the line of the Comneni and Angeli enters much European royalty. But Henry contracted a second marriage. This was to Sophie of Thuringia, daughter of the Landgrave Louis VI. While Henry's son, Henry, from his first marriage succeeded to Brabant, his son from his second marriage, also Henry, was endowed with the Landgravate of Hesse. The domain underwent various divisions and recombinations. Finally, the two sons of Philip the Magnanimous, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, founded two durable divisions, Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Darmstadt. George, the first of the line of Hesse-Darmstadt, also had a son, Frederick, who founded a third line, Hesse-Homburg. Hesse-Cassel and Hesse-Homburg were annexed by Prussia in 1866, while Hesse-Darmstadt survived, under the German Empire, until the end of World War I.

The genealogy here is from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 2, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser II [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997, pp.376-402].

William IVCassel
1567-1592
Maurice
the Learned
1592-1627
William V1627-1637
William VI1637-1663
William VII1663-1670
Charles1670-1730
FrederickKing of Sweden,
1720-1751
1730-1751
William VIII1751-1785
William IX,
I as Elector
1785-1803
Elector,
1803-1807,
1813-1821
French occupation, 1807-1813
William II1821-1847
Frederick William1847-1866,
d. 1875
Annexed to Prussia, 1866
 
In 1803 Napoleon made the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. When the Empire was abolished in 1806, the Elector chose to remain an Elector, with or without an Empire. In 1807, however, the area was annexed to France. When the Elector recovered it in 1813, he preserved the previous title. This curious institution survived until the Elector, still without his Empire, chose the wrong side in 1866 and Hesse-Cassel was annexed by Prussia. Earlier, one of the line, Frederick, ended up a King of Sweden, but with no issue, nothing came of it. There are living heirs of this line today.

Hesse turns up, curiously, in the history of the American Revolution, since Hessian troups were hired out to King George III and sent to fight against the colonists. George Washington captured many of them at Trenton in 1776.

George IDarmstadt
1567-1597
Louis V1597-1626
George II1626-1661
Louis VI1661-1678
Louis VII1678
Ernest Louis1678-1739
Louis VIII1739-1768
Louis IX1768-1790
Louis X,
I as Grand Duke
1790-1806
Grand Duke,
1806-1830
Louis II1830-1848
Louis III1848-1877
Louis IV1877-1892
Ernest Louis1892-1918
d. 1937
 
The Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt was made a Grand Duke by Napoleon in 1806, and this survived until the end of the German Empire in 1918.

Of great interest are the marriages made by Hesse-Darmstadt in its final years. The Royal Houses of Britain and Spain, as well as the House of Russia, if all the children of Nicholas II had not been murdered in 1918, are all now descendants of the Grand Duke Louis II. The name that soon may be attached to the British Royal Family began with a morganatic marriage of Alexander of Hesse. Thus, his wife, Julia Theresa, was not considered worthy of the lineage of Hesse, but a special title was created for her and her children:  Battenberg.

As Queen Victoria's daughter Alice married the Grand Duke Louis IV, one of the Battenberg sons, Louis Alexander, married their daughter, Victoria, while another Battenberg son, Henry Maurice, married Queen Victoria's youngest daughter, Beatrice. Victoria, daughter of Beatrice, married the King of Spain. One of Alice's other daughters, Alexandra, fatefully married Nicholas II of Russia. Alexandra, Nicholas, and all their children, of course were horribly murdered by the Bolsheviks, and their bodies largely destroyed -- now recovered and reburied in St. Petersburg. Alexandra was not popular in Russia, in great measure because of her strange and distraught behavior, which the public at the time did not know was because of the haemophilia of her son, the Tsarevich. Queen Victoria's daughters Alice and Beatrice were both carriers of the trait, which apparently originated with her. Nowhere did the disease have such drastic and tragic consequences as in Alexandra's family. Meanwhile, another Battenberg son, Alexander, was for a time the ruler of Bulgaria.

Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg went on to a distinguished career in the Royal Navy. He was First Sea Lord when World War I began. During the War, he changed the family name to a more Anglicized "Mountbatten," but still had to resign his position because of his (birth) nationality. Nevertheless, Prince Louis's son went on to his own distinguished career in British service, ultimately as Lord Louis, Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Lord Mountbatten's sister Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece, and their son, Philip, ended up marrying the future Queen Elizabeth. Renouncing his claims to the Greek succession, Philip took the name of his mother's family, Mountbatten, which now passes to the heirs to the British Thone, Prince Charles and his son Prince William. Prince Charles is thus descended from Queen Victoria through both his mother and his father, as well as being descended from Louis II of Hesse in two ways. He regarded Lord Mountbatten, his great uncle, as his "honorary grandfather."

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index
 

Dukes & Electors of Saxony
Otto I the Illustrious880-912
Duke of
Thuringia, 909
Henry I the Fowler912-936
King,
918-936
Otto I the Great936-961/66
King,
936-973;
Emperor,
962-973
Hermann Billung961/66-973
Bernard I973-1011
Bernard II1011-1059
Ordulf1059-1072
Magnus1072-1106
Lothar of Supplinburg,
II of Germany
1106-1137
Emperor,
1125-1137
Henry II (IV) Welf,
the Proud,
X of Bavaria
1137-1138
Albert I the Bear
Ascanian
1138-1142
Brandenburg,
1134-1170
Henry III (V) Welf,
the Lion
1142-1180,
d.1195
Bernard III Ascanian1180-1212
Albert II1212-1261
division between
Saxe-Lauenburg
& Saxe-Wittenberg
Albert III of
Saxe-Wittenberg
1261-1298
Rudolf I1298-1356
Rudolf IIElector,
1356-1370
Wenceslas1370-1388
Rudolf III1388-1419
Albert IV1419-1422
 
The
Saxons were the last German tribe to be conquered by the Franks and Christianized. It took Charlemagne from 782 to 804 to do this, and it sounds like very hard fighting. As a Duchy, Saxony was one of the more powerful and coveted ones. Its earliest Dukes soon seized the Throne of Germany. Otto the Great then defeated the Magyars (955), invaded Italy (961), and began the line of German Emperors (962).


A final showdown over the Germany monarchy, which ended up as a Götterdämmerung in which the Monarchy itself foundered, was between the Hohenstaufen and the Welf Dukes of Saxony. The Welf heirs, although apparently the losers, deprived of Saxony (1138, 1180) and Bavaria (1180), were then compensated with Saxon lands, the Duchy of Brunswick, which grew into the Kingdom of Hanover.

In 1261 there is a division between Albert III of Saxe-Wittenberg and his brother John I of Saxe-Lauenburg. Albert's grandson Rudolf II became Elector of Saxony through the Golden Bull of Emperor Charles IV in 1356. The Lauenburg line lasted many years, until 1689, as seen below. But when the male line of Wittenburg failed in 1422, the title of Elector of Saxony passed to the Margraves of Meißen, so that later what became "Saxony" was actually east and south of the original Stem Duchy. That came to be called "Upper Saxony," while the lands around the Lower Elbe were "Lower Saxony." Much of the original western part of Saxony, however, became "Westphalia," so that even "Lower Saxony" is somewhat to the east of the original Duchy.

The daughters of Julius Francis, the last Askanian Duke of Saxony, made important marriages. Sibylle married the Gian Gastone, the Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany. Unfortunately, they had no children and were the end of the Medici line. Anna Marie married the great general of the War of the Spanish Succession, Louis William of Baden. Their sons were themselves the last of their line (of Baden-Baden), but they had a sister, Auguste, who married Louis, the Duke of Orléans. All subsequent members of the House of Orléans, including King Louis Philippe of France, indeed all members of the surviving French House of Bourbon, were her descendants.

The genealogy here is now from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part I, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997]. The list of early Dukes is corrected from the Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschichte Europas by Michael F. Feldkamp [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002, pp.279-280].

Stem Duchies Index

Francia Index

Dukes, Electors, &
Kings of Saxony; Wettins
Frederick I
the Warlike
Margarve of
Meißen,
1381-1423
William III
the Brave
Claimant Duke
of Luxemburg,
1439-1482
Duke &
Elector,
1423-1428
Frederick II
the Gentle
1428-1464
Albertine LineErnestine Line
Albert the BoldDuke,
1464-1500
ErnestElector,
1464-1486
Henry the PiousDuke,
1473-1541
Frederick III
the Wise
1486-1525
George
the Bearded
1500-1539John the
Constant
1525-1532
MauriceDuke,
1541-1553
John Frederick
the
Magnanimous
1532-1547
Elector,
1547-1553
Duke,
1532-1554
Augustus1553-1586John
Frederick II
Duke,
1554-1595
Christian I1586-1591
Christian II1591-1611John WilliamDuke of
Saxe-Weimar,
1572-1573
Saxony is one of the best examples of the fragmentation of Germany through feudal subdivision. From the informal and temporary division of a domain between brothers and then cousins, often undone, as in Bavaria, we progress to formal and permanent divisions, sometimes never undone, as in Saxony. There could be as many Dukes of Saxony as heirs, but there could only be one Elector of Saxony. Thus, the first division of Saxony is between the Electorate and the Duchy. The table at left gives line of the Electors and then Kings of Saxony. The following tables give the genealogy for the Electors and Kings and then, with two tables, for the Duchies.
John George I1611-1656
John George II1656-1680
John George III1680-1691
John George IV1691-1694
Frederick
Augustus I,
the Strong
Elector,
1694-1733
King of Poland,
1697-1706,
1709-1733
Frederick
Augustus II
Elector,
1733-1763
King of Poland,
1733-1763
Frederick
Augustus I,
(III) the Just
Elector,
1763-1806
King,
1806-1827
Grand Duke
of Warsaw,
1807-1815
Anthony
Clement
1827-1836
MaximillianDuke,
1830-1838
Frederick
Augustus II
1836-1854
John1854-1873
German Empire, 1871
Albert1873-1902
George1902-1904
Frederick
Augustus III
1904-1918,
d. 1932
 

For many years Electoral Saxony appeared in no way inferior in power to its neighbor Brandenburg. The Electors Frederick Augustus I and Frederick Augustus II were even elected Kings of Poland. Not until Frederick II of Prussia did it start to become clear that Saxony would not be the predominant power of the region. An attempt was made to remedy this through alliance with France during the Napoleonic Era, but all this ended up earning Saxony was a significant loss of territory, to Prussia of course, at the Congress of Vienna. Saxony was reduced to parity with Württemberg as one the smallest of the five Kingdoms of Germany. As such, it was never again a major player in German politics.

The capital of the Electorate and Kingdom of Saxony was Dresden, a beautiful city that later became one of the symbols of the horrors of World War II, when the Allies firebombed it on February 13, 1945. This killed perhaps 135,000 people and all but destroyed the city. A witness was Allied prisoner-of-war and future novelist Kurt Vonnegut, whose Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) recounts his experience (in a science fiction context).

The genealogical tables began with Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy. This left many gaps, which I had trouble finding convenient sources to remedy. After some frustrating and fruitless library work, Christopher Haußmann of Munich came to the rescue. Besides having put together some information himself, he could refer me to two German websites:  http://www.dresden-online.de/stadt/history/ahnen.phtml gives the Electors and Kings of Saxony, while http://www.thueringen.de/LZT/regern.htm covers all the Dukes. These pages are not necessarily in the most convenient form, and they are in German, but most of the gaps and problems left by Tompsett can be resolved.

I have now obtained the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part I, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997], which exhaustively covers all this genealogy, and I will be checking and supplementing the information from these other sources as time allows.

The table covers all the Wettin Electors and Kings of Saxony. The Electorate first passes down the senior "Ernestine" line. When the Emperor Charles V defeated the Elector John Frederick and the Protestant League of Schmalkalden at Mühlberg in 1547, he transferred the Electorate to Maurice of the "Albertine" line, where it remained, leading to the Kingdom of Saxony. The Ernestine line then produces all the Dukes of Saxony, shown below.

The claim of William the Brave to Luxemburg derived from his wife, Anna of Hapsburg, who was a granddaughter of the Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg. The generally recognized heiress of Luxemburg, however, was Elizabeth of Görlitz, Sigismund's niece; and William doesn't seem to have made much headway with his claim, especially when Anna died in 1462.

The elections of Frederick Augustus I and II as Kings of Poland did not add measurably to the power of Saxony, since Poland itself was becoming all but ungovernable and would only even exist for 30 more years after them. The episodes may have damaged Saxony in the long run, by drawing the Electors away from domestic improvements.

The Kingdom of Saxony, created by Napoleon, never had much of a chance, apart from French help, to contend against the other German powers. Prussia greatly reduced Saxon territory at the Congress of Vienna.
 

 
Saxe-Weimar was the principal Duchy of Saxony. In 1815 it was styled a "Grand Duchy." (I was not clear when this happened but now have been referred to a website that gives the date.) The celebrated Grand Duke Charles Augustus (Karl August) was the friend of Goethe and the protector of Jakob Fries. When Prussia demanded that Fries be prohibited from teaching philosophy, the Duke found him something else to do at Jena, teach physics. Charles Augustus was also the first German prince to grant a constitution. This doesn't sound very exciting now, but it was radical stuff in post-Napoleonic Germany.

There were many regencies in the indicated reigns. Some Dukes didn't even come of age before a premature death. The web source for the Duchies lists reigns minus the regencies. I have largely disregarded the regencies, which would add greatly to the clutter of the diagrams, and have added the regency periods to the reigns proper of the Dukes. One regency is shown, that of the celebrated mother, Anna Amalia, of Charles Augustus.
 

In 1815 the Kingdom of Saxony existed alongside the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar(-Eisenach) and the Duchies of Saxe-Gotha(-Altenburg), Saxe-Meiningen (also seen spelled "Meinungen"), Saxe-Hildburghausen, and Saxe-Coburg(-Saalfeld). These "Saxon Duchies" were the territorially most complicated part of Germany in that era, as can be seen in the maps of the German Confederation. The beginning of each division can be seen in the genealogical tables above and below. In 1826 a some significant rearrangement occurred:  Duke of Ernest I of Saxe-Coburg took over Saxe-Gotha, of which his wife, Louise, was heiress. This created the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, from which Ernest's son Albert married Queen Victoria of England. Albert's elder brother, Ernest II, succeeded to the Duchy; but when Ernest died in 1893, the Duchy was passed to Albert and Victoria's son Alfred, and when he died in 1900, to their grandson Charles Edward. Charles was still Duke in 1918 when all the old feudal thrones were abolished. Although Albert and King Edward VII of England are usually said to be of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the whole family of the House of Saxony, of course, was actually that of the Wettins. Although the name "Windsor" was adopted for the British Royal Family in World War I, Queen Elizabeth II is still really a Wettin, descended from Duke and Elector Frederick I of Saxony.

With the consolidation of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Coburg in 1826, some other changes look place. Saxe-Altenburg was detached from Saxe-Gotha and given to the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, who then passed his original domain to Saxe-Meiningen. The consolidation of those two Duchies creates something remarkable -- a continuous piece of land. The German website doesn't seem to list Hildburghausen with Saxe-Meiningen after 1866, so I wonder if Prussia took it -- or if the duality was just overlooked. All these cities, by the way, can be seen on a modern map of Germany, in the State of Thuringia, lately part of unhappy East Germany.

The many families of the Saxon Kingdom and Duchies ended up providing a resource of noble personages for the rest of Europe. Besides a husband for Queen Victoria, Saxe-Coburg alone also provided spouses for many others, especially when Victoria's many children are counted, and Kings for Belgium, Portugal, and Bulgaria. Victoria's own mother, where her previously non-English name derived, was a sister of Duke Ernest I, as can be seen above.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index

House of Welf-Brunswick-Lüneburg
Dukes of Brunswick, Electors & Kings of Hanover

The story of the House of Brunswick begins much earlier, back in the young days of the Carolingian Empire. The House of Welf contributed some Carolingian wives and then, as the Empire began to split up, came into possession of the Kingdom of Burgundy. This led to marriages to German royal houses, and then to Burgundy itself passing to the German Emperors. Meanwhile, a collateral line of German Welfs grew into powerful nobility. Although the male line ended, a scion of Este who married the Welf heiress fathered what was nevertheless considered a continuation of the Welf house, the "Younger Welfs." These figured in contention for the Imperial Throne with their own cousins, the Hohenstaufen Dukes of Swabia.

The conflict of the Welfs with the Waiblingen, the Hohenstaufen (or Staufer), was reflected in Italy, where the terms Guelf and Ghibelline were identified with, respectively, the Papal and the Imperial parties. These were alliances of convenience, of course, and the Welf Emperor, Otto IV, was not necessarily more pro-Papal than any other German Emperor. But in Germany, the Welf cause, although weakening the state, was not fated for much success. The defeat of Henry the Lion by Frederick I (when Bavaria was conferred upon the Wittelsbachs, who retained it thereafter) and then of Otto IV by Philip of Swabia and the supporters of his nephew, Frederick II, doomed further Welf prospects. As Emperor, however, Frederick endowed Otto IV's nephew, Otto the Child, with part of the original Duchy of Saxony. This was now a Duchy associated with the cities of Brunswick (Braunschweig), and Lüneburg. In it the Welf house would survive, though increasingly identified in name and ambition with its new home. An entire website about the Welfs, continuing down to the present, exists in Germany.

Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg,
Electors & Kings of Hanover
Ernest the ConfessorDuke of Brunswick-
Lüneburg, 1520-1546
Francis Otto1546-1559William the Pious1559-1592
Ernest II1592-
1611
Christian1611-
1633
Augustus the Elder1633-
1636
FrederickDuke of
Brunswick-
Celle,
1636-
1648
George Odysseus1636-1641
Ernest AugustusDuke of
Brunswick-
Lüneburg,
1679-
1698;
Duke of
Hanover,
1680-
1698
Christian Louis1641-
1655
John
Frederick
1665-
1679
George WilliamDuke of
Brunswick-
Celle,
1665-
1705
Elector of
Hanover,
1692-
1698
George I1698-1727
King of
England,
1714-1727
George II1727-1760
King of
England,
1727-1760
George III1760-1806
King of
England,
1760-1820
King of
Hanover,
1814-1820
George IV1820-1830
King of
England,
1820-1830
William (IV)1830-1837
King of
England,
1830-1837
Ernest
Augustus
1837-1851
George V1851-1866
d.1878
Hanover annexed
by Prussia, 1866

The Duchy of Brunswick (Braunschweig in German) was a part of the old Duchy of Saxony (in now what is called "Lower" Saxony, as opposed to the "Upper Saxony" of the Electorate and Kingdom of Saxony and the Saxon Duchies of Thuringia), named after the city of Braunschweig. Like all mediaeval German states, all the sons of the family shared and shared alike in the common inheritance of the family, and so were all equally Dukes of Brunswick. If collateral lines of descent died out (i.e. had no male heirs, as the Salic Law was observed in Germany), the unity of the realm could be restored. If not, then not.

In time, as attempts were made to institute primogeniture, smaller principalities or duchies (secundogenitures) might be created for younger sons and cousins. The main line of Brunswick was associated with the capital of Lüneburg, while subsidiary domains were created for younger sons, especially in Dannenberg, Wolfenbüttel, Hannover, and Celle. My information on the details of this is spotty. The only domain that eventually became permanently separated from the larger was the Duchy of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. In time, that became simply the Duchy of Brunswick, as the larger Duchy, in turn, acquired a new name. That began with the creation of a Principality of Hannover -- usually written Hanover in English -- in 1638. When all but one of the sons of William the Pious (or the Younger) died without male issue, and all of the sons of George Odysseus followed suit, Ernest Augustus reassembled most of the Duchy and then elevated Hanover to Duchy status. When his brother George William, who was rulling Brunswick-Celle and whose daughter Ernest Augustus had married, died in 1705, the whole Duchy was reassembled, except for Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. The larger Duchy, however, now began to be called Hanover, especially when Ernest Augustus was made an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692, as "Elector of Hanover." The marriage of Ernest Augustus to a granddaughter of James I of England then gave his son George a claim to the Throne of England and Scotland, realized with the "Hanoveran Succession" in 1714.

The line of the Welfs, defeated in Germany, thus many years later came to the powerful Throne of Great Britain and Ireland. The British Parliament was always suspicious of the German interests of the Hanoveran Kings, but Hanover naturally found itself in anti-French alliances just like Britain. After the paroxysm of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, when Hanover was usually under French occupation, the Electorate emerged as one of the Kingdoms of Confederation Germany.

A fateful parting of the ways came in 1837, when Queen Victoria came to the Throne in Britain. The Salic Law prohibited female succession, and Hanover passed to her uncle, Ernest Augustus. In 1866, his son, George V, picked the wrong side in the war between Prussia and Austria. The Prussians occupied Hanover and deposed George, who was thrown upon the hospitality of his English cousin.

That is not quite the end of the story, however. In 1884 the line of the Dukes of Brunswick, of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel that is, came to an end. The son of George V, Ernest Augustus, was the heir. He could have assumed the rule of Brunswick, such as it was under the German Empire, if he had acknowledged the loss of Hanover proper by his family. He refused, and the Ducal Throne remained vacant. As it happened, however, his son, yet another Ernest Augustus, ended up marrying a daughter, Victoria Louise, of Wilhelm II, in 1913. They were endowed with the Duchy. Such enjoyment as they may have derived from this was short-lived, since they were deposed, with all German royalty and ruling nobility, in 1918.

Their grandson, yet even another Ernest Augustus, emerged on the radar screen of popular celebrity in 1999 by marrying Princess Caroline of Monaco. Their daughter, Alexandra, however, would not be the heiress of Hanover (apart from the Salic Law), since the now obligatory next Ernest Augustus had already been produced by a previous marriage.

The genealogical table below was originally almost entirely based on Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy. This left the exact mechanism of the subdivisions obscure. Some of that could be clarified, a little, with Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. The Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel are given separately. Now, however, I have been able to make some additions and corrections here using the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part I, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997].

Dukes of Brunswick,
Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Augustus
the Younger
1635-1666
Rudolf Augustus1666-1704
Anthony Ulrich1704-1714
Augustus William1714-1731
Louis Rodolph1731-1735
Ferdinand Albert1735
Charles I1735-1780
Charles II1780-1806
Ferdinand William1806-1815
Charles III
Frederick
1815-1830
d.1873
William Maximilian1830-1884
interregnum, 1884-1913
Ernest Augustus1913-1918
d.1953

The most striking thing about the genealogy of the Dukes of Brunswick here are the marriages of the daughters of Louis Rodolph, Prince of Blackenbourg. One daughter married a Romanov and was the mother of a Tsar, albeit an ephemeral one; but then another married the Emperor Charles VI and become the fateful mother of Maria Theresa, who for forty years was herself the House of Hapsburg.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index
 

Counts, Dukes, & Grand Dukes of Oldenburg
Egilmar ICount,
1091-1108
Egilmar II1108-1142
Christian I the Quarrelsome1143-1167
Maurice/Moritz I1167-1211,
d.1218
Christian II1211-1233
Otto I1232-1252
John I (IX)1243-1270
Christian III1270-1285
John II (X)1272-1316
Christian IV1302-1322
John III (XI)1302-1342(?)
Conrad I1313-1347
Conrad II1342-1401
Christian V1342-1399
Maurice II1385-1420
Dietrich the Lucky1399-1440
ChristianKing of
Denmark,
1448-1481
Gerhard VI the Quarrelsome1440-1482
d.1500
John V (XIV)1482-1526
John VI (XV)1526-1529,
d.1548
George1526-1529,
d.1551
Christopher1526-1529,
d.1566
Anthony/Anton I1526-1573
John VII (XVI)1573-1603
Anthony Gunther1603-1667
Anthony II1573-1619
Count of
Delmenhorst
1577-1619
Anthony HenryDelmenhorst,
1619-1622
ChristianDelmenhorst,
1619-1647
to Denmark, 1667-1773
Oldenburg-Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp
Frederick AugustusDuke,
1774-1785
Peter Frederick William1785-1810,
Grand Duke,
1814-1823
to France, 1810-1814
Peter Frederick Louis1823-1829
Paul Frederick Augustus1829-1853
Nicholas Frederick Peter1853-1900
Frederick Augustus1900-1918,
d.1931
 

This original table here was based on Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy and Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. This is now modified and expanded on the basis of the Geschichte des Landes Oldenburg, by Albrecht Eckhardt and Heinrich Schmidt [Heinz Holzberg Verlag, Oldenburg, 1987]. Some slight inconsistencies in dating (and the numbering of the Johns) have been rather arbitrarily resolved. Some obscurities remain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of the greatest interest about Oldenburg is when one of the House, Christian, becomes the King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Later one of his grandsons is made the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the main lineage of Oldenburg itself died out in 1667, it fell to the Danish House. One of the line of Holstein-Gottorp married a daughter of Peter the Great of Russia. Another, his first cousin, had Oldenburg settled upon him. One of his brothers became King of Sweden. Another had a son to whom Oldenburg passed in 1823. Subsequent Grand Dukes were all his descendants. Some of this genealogy can be examined below.
 

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index

Dukes & Margraves
of Thuringia
Thakulfc.849-874
Radulf874-880
Poppo880-892
Konrad892-906
Burchard II of Wettin907-909
to the Duke of Saxony, 909
Dukes of Thuringia
Ekkehard1000-1002
Wilhelm II of Weimar1002-1003
Landgraves of Thuringia
Louis I the Bearded,
the Salian
Count,
1031-1056
Wilhelm IV of WeimarDuke,
1046-1062
Louis II the JumperCount,
1056-1123
Otto of WeimarDuke,
1062-1067
Louis IIILandgrave,
1123-1140
Louis IV the Iron1140-1172
Louis V the Mild1172-1190
Herman I1190-1216
Louis VI the Pious1216-1227
Herman II1227-1241
Henry Raspe1241-1247
Rival Emperor,
1246-1247
to March of Meißen
 
The
Thuringians were one of the original tribes of Germany, conquered by the Franks in 531. Much of the original Thuringian lands were lost when the Avars and Slavs pushed the Franks behind the Elbe River in the 6th Century.
Margraves of Meißen
Frederick928-965
Rikdag of Harzgau965-985
Ekkehard I
of Merseburg
985-1002
Gunzelin1002-1010
Hermann1010-1031
Ekkehrd II1031-1046
Wilhelm of Weimar1046-1062
Otto1062-1067
Egbert I
of Brunswick
1067-1068
Egbert II1068-1089
Henry I of Wettin1089-1103
Thimo1103
Henry II1103-1123
Wiprecht
of Groitzsch
1123-1124
Henry III1124-1135
Hermann II of
Winzenburg
1124-1129
Wettins
Conrad the Great1129-1156,
d.1157
Otto the Rich1156-1190
Albert I
the Proud
1190-1195
Dietrich1198-1221
Henry IV
the Illustrious
1221-1288
Albert II
the Decadent
1288-1307,
1314
Frederick Tuta1288-1291
Frederick I1291-1323
Frederick II
the Solemn
1323-1349
Frederick III
the Harsh
Ostland,
1349-1381
William One-Eye1349-1407
BalthasarThuringia,
1349-1406
Frederick IV
the Warlike/
Quarrelsome,
I of Saxony
1381-1423
Duke of
Saxony,
1423-1428
Frederick VThuringia,
1406-1440
to Saxony
As the Stem Duchies formed, Thuringia was one of the first, but it had the smallest land area of any Duchy, soon became attached to
Saxony (909), and did not play a major part in German politics. Eventually the Saxon Emperors tried to revive a separate Thuringian Duchy. For some reason this was a fitful business and a regular line did not become established. By 1067, there are no further Dukes. Soon the line of Louis the Bearded took over as Landgraves (1130). Louis' origin is variously given as Carolingian, Welf, or Salian. After a bit more than a century, Thuringia then passed to the vigorous March of Meißen.

Lists and treatments of the Thuringian Dukes seem to be curiously hard to come by, and I have relied on a single historical website. The genealogy of the Landgraves, which I have not yet reproduced here, can be found in the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997, pp.233-234].


 
One reason for the withering of Thuringia may have been the vigorous Marches that grew on the eastern border. These soon overshadowed what should have been the parent Duchy. In 1247, the Margrave of Meißen, Henry the Illustrious of Wettin, acquired the Landgravate of Thuringia, which then lost its separate and original identity. The Landgrave Henry Raspe had forfeited his domain with rebellion against the Emperor Frederick II (away in Sicily) and his son King Conrad IV (in Germany).

Meißen had been going since 928. A number of families contended for the Margavate. Except for Rikdag, they are not given here, but genealogies for five are shown by Andreas Thiele in the cited Stammtafeln [pp.235-236]. The Wettins were the sixth family, actually descended from the last of the original Dukes of Thuringia, Burchard; and under Conrad the Great they secured exclusive possession. In 1423, the Wettins became the Dukes of Saxony -- the opposite of the dynamic in 909. Because of this, the whole area of Meißen, Thuringia, Lusatia, and Brandenburg began to acquire the identity that it mostly still has, as "Upper Saxony."

The early marriages of Meißen are of great interest. We have a connection to the Angeli, the Babenbergs of Austria, the Hohenstaufen, and even the Plantagenets.

The whole later complex of the Saxon Duchies was ruled by the large numbers of the House of Wettin. Since one of these, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, later married Queen Victoria of England, the subsequent British Royal Family, down to Queen Elizabeth, have been Wettins, direct patrilineal descendants of the Duke Burchard of Thuringia and the Margrave Conrad the Great of Meißen.

The lineage of the Wettins down to Frederick the Warlike, the first Duke of Saxony, is entirely from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Parts 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997, pp.237-245]. The website cited for the Dukes of Thuringia above gives a somewhat different list for the Wettin Margraves of Meißen. Here I have followed Thiele and the Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschischte Europas, by Michael F. Feldkamp [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002, pp.316-317].

Stem Duchies Index

Francia Index
 

Dukes of Swabia
Erchanger915-917
Burkhard I917-926
Herman I926-949
Ludolph950-954, d.957
Burkhard II954-973
Otto I973-982
Conrad I983-997
Herman II997-1003
Herman III1003-1012
Ernest I
of Babenberg
1012-1015
Ernest II1015-1030
Herman IV1030-1038
Henry I,
III of Germany
1038-1045, d.1056
Franconia, 1039-1056
Carinthia, 1039-1047
Bavaria, 1042-1047
Emperor,
1039-1056
Otto II of Ezzo1045-1047
Otto III of Schweinfurt1048-1057
Rudolph of Rheinfelden1057-1077, d.1080
Frederick I Hohenstaufen1079-1105
Frederick II1105-1147
Frederick III, Barbarossa,
II of Germany
1147-1152
Emperor,
1152-1190
Frederick IV of Rothenburg1152-1167
Frederick (V)1167-1170
Frederick V Conrad1170-1191
Conrad II1191-1196
Philip of Swabia1196-1208
Rival Emperor,
1198-1208
Otto IV Welf of Brunswick1208-1212
Emperor,
1198-1212,
d.1218
Frederick VI, II of Germany1212-1216
Emperor,
1212-1250
Henry II1216-1235,
1242
Conrad III, IV of Germany1235-1254
Emperor, 1250-1254
Conrad IV (Conradin)1254-1268
Rudolf of Hapsburg1289-1290
Emperor, 1273-1291
John Parricide1290-1313
Swabia takes its name from the tribe of the Suevi -- or Suebi, Sueben, or Schwaben. The Suevi had been involved with the confederation of the
Alemanni (or "Alamanni"), whose name obscured them in Germany until the Franks absorbed the Alemanni in 806. Meanwhile, however, most of the Suevi had crossed the Rhine (407), romped across Gaul and Spain, and ended up founding an enduring Kingdom in Galicia (409-585). As the name of the Alemanni curiously becomes that for all of Germany in several Romance languages, the name of the Suevi reemerges in the Stem Duchy of Swabia. There is little sense, however, of the suvival of anything in the way of Suevic tribal consciousness.

The Dukes of Swabia went on to become the last great house of German Emperors, the Hohenstaufen, before the possibility of a strong, united German state disappeared. The contest between the Hohenstaufen and the Welfs even briefly raged over Swabia itself. Then, with victory, the Emperor Frederick II relocated to his inheritance in Sicily. Germany largely disintegrated, including Swabia. Württemberg and Baden became the major successor states.

Other small German states derived from Swabia, like Leichtenstein and Hohenzollern. More significantly, Alsace (Alsatia, Elsaß), on the left bank of the Rhine, was part of Swabia. Parts of Alsace went to France at the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years war in 1648. Louis XIV subsequently began unilaterally annexing more of Alsace. When he took the Imperial City of Straßburg (now Strasbourg in French) in 1681, the consternation of Germany, and even of Europe, was great. Alsace was German, not French, speaking (unlike other territories allowed to France at Westphalia, such as parts of Lorraine) -- indeed, Alsatian constituted a distinct dialect of High German (where we get Strossburi for Strasbourg). And it also included a Jewish community. The Jews had been expelled from France in 1306, but were (until the 20th century) tolerated (with some memorable exceptions) in Germany. As it happened, Louis did not enforce his Revocation of the Edit of Nantes (1685) in Alsace, so the area preserved most of its religious freedom through the rest of the Ancien Régime. The only reason Louis XIV targeted the region was to obtain the Rhine boundary that had belonged to ancient Gaul. The first effort to rescue the city, during the War of the League of Augsburg (1688-1697), failed, and French possession was confirmed in the Treaty of Ryswick (1697). Alsace was not happy under French rule, and German Emperors subsequently always vowed to recover Alsace.

The French Revolution may have changed that. Alsatians became enthusiastic Revolutionaries -- or so I'm told. The Marseillaise was composed in Strasbourg. Other Alsatians, however, fled the Revolution to Germany, or even to Russia. Then, at long last, Germany recovered Alsace, in 1871, to be incorporated into the new German Empire. Although some Alsatians were glad, most had (reportedly) become French patriots, and substantial numbers, over 100,000, fled to France. Germany made no friends, however, among either French or German speakers, by treating the region like a African colony, ruled directly from Berlin, not like a real part of Germany, with local government. France vowed revenge and, after the incredible carnage of World War I, recovered the region. The names of Alsatian cities, however, despite some spelling differences, still largely betray their German origin. Thus, we have Mulhouse (Mülhausen in German), Altkirch, Ensisheim, Niederbronn, Reichshoffen, Pfaffenhoffen, Hochfelden, Kœnigsbourg (Königsburg), and even Kaysersberg (Kaisersberg). In 1999 the French Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE) counted 548,000 adult speakers of Alsatian German in Alsace, or 39% of the adult population -- though only about 25% of children could speak it. Since France has only one official language -- French -- Alsatian German, although officially listed as one of the languages of France, and the second most spoken regional language, is certainly on the decline and under pressure from the educational and political establishment. I am surprised that it survives as much as it does.

Meanwhile, the Parliament of the European Union now meets in Strasbourg. The government of the European Union is a poorly conceived, undemocratic, and oppressive system, but it's nice that Strasbourg now possesses greater European prominence than it may have had since the Oaths of Strasbourg in the 9th century.

The rest of Swabia would largely be taken up by what would become the Grand Duchy of Baden and the Kingdom of Württemberg.

The list is based on the Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschichte Europas by Michael F. Feldkamp [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002, pp.282-284]. The genealogy below is from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997].

In the genealogy we see periods where the succession is tending to become hereditary, but then either the male line ends, and the succession jumps to an in-law, or an Emperor, especially Henry III (I of Swabia), grants the Duchy to vassals from outside his family. With the Salians, the Duchy and then the Throne end up in the hands of the Hohenstaufen. The marriages of Gisela (d.1043) not only bring the Kingdom of Burgundy into the Empire, but they lead of into a couple of non-Wettin Margraves of Meißen whose genealogy is not given there. After the Hohenstaufen, the Duchy has effectively broken up into its successor states, and the title, where born, as by Rudolf of Hapsburg, is largely honorary.

Stem Duchies Index

Francia Index

Dukes of Bavaria
LuitpoldDuke, 889-907
Arnulf the Bad907-937
Eberhard937-938, d.c.966
Berthold938-947
Henry I of Saxony948-955
Henry II the Quarrelsome955-976, 985-995
Otto I of Swabia976-982
Henry III the Younger983-985
Henry IV the Saint,
II of Germany
995-1004, 1009-1017
Emperor,
1002-1024
Henry V of Luxemburg1004-1009, 1018-1026
Henry VI of Franconia1027-1042, 1047-1049,
d.1056
Henry VII the Black,
of Luxemburg
III, Emperor
1042-1047
Emperor,
1039-1056
Conrad of Zütphen1049-1053, 1054-1055
Henry VIII1053-1054, 1077-1095,
d.1106
Agnes1055-1061, d.1077
Otto II of Northeim1061-1070, d.1083
Welf I (IV)1070-1077, 1096-1101
Welf II (V)1101-1120
Henry IX (III) the Black1120-1126
Henry X (IV) the Proud1126-1139
Leopold of Babenburg1139-1141
Henry XI Jasomirgott1143-1156, d.1176
Henry XII (V) the Lion1156-1180, d.1195
deposed by Frederick I Barbarossa, 1180
 
Bavaria was the only one of the Stem Duchies from the earliest days of the East Frankish Kingdom to end up preserving both its name and most of its territorial extent. Although no line of German Emperors was ever associated with it, it was the source of much opposition to the Emperors, especially in the form of the
Welf Dukes of the 12th and early 13th centuries.

In the final showdown of Henry the Lion of Bavaria and Saxony with the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, Frederick is triumphant and deprives Henry of his fiefs. Bavaria is passed on to the Wittelsbachs, who hold it henceforth, actually all the way until 1918.

There seem to be two common systems of numbering for some of the Dukes of Bavaria. The Welf Henry the Lion can be seen given as Henry XII or as Henry V. Since "XII" clearly numbers Dukes of Bavaria, and "V" is not a number from Saxony (where he was only Henry III), it can only be a number from the House of Welf. My genealogy of Welf, however, must be incomplete, since I only find one other Henry above Henry III.

The list has been corrected using the Regentenlisten und Stammtafeln zur Geschichte Europas by Michael F. Feldkamp [Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 2002, pp.280-282].
 

Dukes, Electors, & Kings of Bavaria; Wittelsbachs
Otto I, Count of WittelsbachDuke, 1180-1183
Louis I the Kelheimer1183-1231
Count of the Palatinate,
1214
Otto II the Noble1231-1253
Louis II the Severe1253-1294
Louis IV1294-1347Rudolf I1294-1317,
d.1319

Emperor,
1314-1347
Rudolf IICount of the
Palatinate,
1329-1353
Stephen II1347-1375Louis V1347-1351,
d.1365
Brandenburg
1324-1351
Meinhard1361-1363
Louis VI
the Roman
1347-1365
Brandenburg
1351-1365
Otto V1347-1373
Brandenburg
1365-1373
John II1375-1397Frederick1375-1393
Ernest1397-1438Henry XVI
the Rich
1393-1450
William III1397-1435
Albert III1438-1460Louis IX
the Rich
1450-1479
John IV1460-1463
Sigismund1460-1467,
d.1501
George
the Rich
1479-1503
Albert IV
the Wise
1465-1508
William IV1508-1550Louis X1516-1545
Duchy united, 1545
Albert V1550-1579
William V the Pious1579-1597, d.1626
Maximilian I1597-1651
Elector, 1623-1651
Ferdinand Maria1651-1679
Maximilian II
Emmanuel
1679-1726defeats Turks, captures
Belgrade, with Imperial
Army in Hungary, 1688
Charles (VII)
Albert
1726-1745War of the
Austrian Succession,
1740-1748
Emperor,
1742-1745
Maximlian III
Joseph
1745-1777
Line passes to Palatinate

The Wittelsbachs receive the Duchy of Bavaria in 1180, when it was taken by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa from the Welf Henry the Lion of Saxony. From then on the Wittelsbachs are one of the more important noble families of Europe. The list is confusing because of the custom of the realm being divided among brothers. While the different lines can be easily distinguished in the genealogical diagrams that follow, it is more difficult to show them intuitively in the tables here. In the main table some parallel entries are used. In the tables immediately below, branch lines are broken off. The first table is that of Henry XIII, brother of Louis II, the Severe, and his descendants.
Henry XIII1253-1290
Louis III1290-1296
Otto III1290-1312
King of Hungary,
1305-1307
Henry XV the
Natterberger
1312-1333
Stephen I1290-1309
Otto IV1309-1334
Henry XIV
the Elder
1309-1339
John I
the Child
1339-1340

The following table are the descendants of the Emperor Louis IV and his second wife, Margaret, Countess of Hainaut and Holland.
William VDuke of
Zealand
1347-1389
Albert of
Holland
Count of
Hainault
& Holland
1389-1404
Albert II
the Younger
1387-1397
John III1404-1429
William IV1404-1417
Jacqueline
of Holland
1417-1433
d.1436
They are part of the history of those countries, which end up in the hands of the Dukes of Burgundy.

Stephen III
the Magnificent
1375-1413
Louis VII
the Bearded
1413-1443,
d.1447
Louis VIII
the Younger
1443-1445

The third table is that of Stephen III, the Magnificent, brother of John II and Frederick, and his descendants.

It took a long time for primogeniture to be accepted among these German houses, and meanwhile, domains were divided and subdivided, often permanently. Bavaria, however, was preserved by the circumstance that branch lines died out. Ultimately the main Bavarian line of the Wittelsbachs itself died out, and the succession passed to the Wittelsbach Electors of the Palatinate.

The following table shows the main Bavarian and Dutch lines of the Wittelsbachs. The Palatine line is continued below.

Counts & Prince Electors
of the Palatinate; Wittelsbachs
Rudolf II of Bavaria1329-1353
Rupert I1353-1390;
Prince Elector,
1356
Rupert II1390-1398
Rupert III1398-1410
Emperor,
1400-1410
Louis III1410-1436
Louis IV the Gentle1436-1449
Frederick I the Victorious1452-1476
Philip the Upright1476-1508
Louis V the Pacific1508-1544
Frederick II1544-1556
Otto Henry1556-1559
Frederick III1559-1576
Louis VI1576-1583
Frederick IV1583-1610
Frederick V
the "Winter King"
1610-1623,
d.1632
King of Bohemia,
1619-1620
Imperial Troops overrun
Palatinate, 1622
Fredrick HenryCount Palatine
d.1629
Peace of Westphalia,
Electorate restored, 1648
Charles I Louis1648-1680
Charles II1680-1685
Philip William1685-1690
John William1690-1716
Charles III Philip1716-1742
Charles IV Theodore1742-1799
Duke of Bavaria,
1777
 
In the history of the Palatinate, the most interesting episode may have been the bid of Frederick V for the Kingdom of Bohemia, after the Thirty Year's War began there with a revolt (the "Defenestration of Prague") against the Hapsburgs in 1618. Frederick was defeated so quickly that he came to be known as the "Winter King" of Bohemia. Imperial troups then descended on the Palatinate and deposed Frederick. The Electorship was passed to his cousins in loyal Bavaria (1623). After all the changing fortunes of the War, however, an Electorship was finally restored to the Palatine at the Peace of Westphalia (1648). But this was not quite the end of the story for Frederick. He had married a daughter, Elizabeth, of King
James I of England. One of his daughters, Sophie, married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover. This gave their son, George, a claim to the throne of England. When the British Parliament rejected the surviving Catholic Stuarts, George succeeded to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland (they also said France at the time) as King George I in 1714. This "Hanoveran Succession" then provided the ruling House of Britain until Queen Victoria.

The genealogical tables for all the Wittelsbachs began with Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble genealogy. This left many gaps, especially in that the descent of the Dukes of Zweibrücken, who succeeded to the Duchy and Electorship of Bavaria in 1799, shortly to become the Kings of Bavaria, was not given. Christopher Haußmann of Munich helped out by informing me that the original Zweibrücken line, missing in Tompsett, led to three Kings and one Queen of Sweden, Charles X, XI, XII and Ulrika. It is after the Swedish Wittelsbachs die out that Christian III becomes the Duke of Zweibrücken. The full genealogy I have found in Die Herzöge in Bayern by Hermann von Witzleben [Prestel-Verlag München, 1976]. A narrative description of the Wittelsbach genealogy can be found here.

The middle of the diagram below is crowded with the descendants of Wolfgang of Zweibrücken. The seniority of his sons is numbered. To the eldest went Neuburg, to the middle, Zweibrücken, and to the youngest, Birkenfeld. Within Neuburg, we then get the junior line of Sulzbach. With the extinction of the line of Electors from Simmern in 1685, the title passes to Neuburg, and then in 1742 to Sulzbach. Meanwhile, the title of Zweibrücken, which itself had passed to (numbered) junior lines in Landsberg and Kleeburg (Kings of Sweden), had passed to Birkenfeld in 1731. When the Sulzbach line ended in 1799, having inherited Bavaria itself in 1777, it all passed to Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken. Needless to say, the family tragedy of dying cousins served to consolidate the Wittelsbach holdings and prevented the kind of fragmentation seen in the Saxon Duchies. The cramped part of this diagram, drawn for a screen 640 pixels wide (the diagram itself is only 613), is unfolded for a screen 1024 pixels wide (the diagram itself is 995) here. The lines of succession are numbered in sequence in that diagram, with cues given for transfers, and some present day descendants of King Ludwig III are shown -- especially noteworthy is the marriage of the Duchess Sophie to Aloys the Heir of Liechtenstein.

Dukes, Electors, & Kings of Bavaria; Wittelsbachs
Charles Theodore
of the Palatinate
1777-1799War of the Bavarian
Succession, 1778-1779
Maximilian IV/ I Joseph
of Palatinate-Zweibrücken
Elector, 1799-1805
King, 1805-1825
Ludwig I1825-1848, d.1868
Maximillian II
Joseph
1848-1864brother of Otto,
King of Greece, 1832
Ludwig II
the Mad
1864-1886German Empire, 1871
Otto1886-1913LuitpoldRegent,
1886-1912
Ludwig IIIRegent,
1912-1913
1913-1918, d.1921

Bavaria became a Kingdom as an ally of Napoleon, but unlike other such German allies, it gained rather than lost land at the Congress of Vienna. This made it the largest state in Germany after Austria and Prussia.

The blue and white of Bavaria is now internationally familiar from the crest of BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) automobiles -- popularly known as "Beamers."


 
King Ludwig "the Mad" of Bavaria, who built fairy-tale castles, like the famous Neuschwanstein (at right), promoted musicians, like Richard Wagner, and supposedly had an affair with the sculptress, and future Texan, Elizabet Ney, killed himself (or was murdered?) after being declared insane and deposed in 1886.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index
 

Dukes of Carinthia
Henry I of Bavaria976-978,
983-989
Otto of Worms978-983,
995-1004
Henry II989-995
Conrad I1004-1011
Adalbert I
of Eppstein
1012-1035,
d.1039
Conrad II1036-1039
Henry I the Black,
III of Germany
1039-1047
Swabia,
1038-1045
Franconia,
1039-1056
Bavaria,
1042-1047
Emperor,
1039-1056
Welf (III)1047-1055
Conrad III
of Ezzone
1056-1061
Berthold I
of Zähringen
1061-1077,
d.1078
Liutold of
Eppstein
1077-1090
Henry III1090-1122
Henry IV
of Sponheim
1122-1123
Engelbert1124-1135,
d.1141
Ulrich I1135-1144
Henry V1144-1161
Hermann1161-1181
Ulrich II1181-1202
Bernhard1202-1269
Ottokar II the GreatKing of
Bohemia,
1253-1278
1269-1276
Rudolf of HapsburgEmperor,
1273-1291
1276-1286
Duke of
Austria,
1278-1282
Meinhard
of Görz-Tirol
1286-1295
Henry VI1295-1335
to Hapsburgs, 1335
 
Carinthia (German Kärnten) began as a March dependency of Bavaria, granted by the Dukes of Bavaria. It quickly becomes a pawn in German Imperial politics, often held by close relatives of the Emperors, or the Emperor himself. The possession of Carinthia usually carried with it the Margravate of Verona, the nearby division of Italy constituting the hinterland of
Venice, centered on the Roman city of Aquileia.

From Imperial politics, we begin to pass into local politics, with rule by the Houses of Eppstein, Sponheim, and Görz-Tirol. Indeed, this approaches the period when Germany begins to fragment beyond hope. But Imperial politics returns to this area. The struggle of Ottokar of Bohemia with Rudolf of Hapsburg, which decided the fate of nearby Austria, would now decide the fate of Carinthia also. After a brief return to local rule, the Duchy becomes permanently attached to Austria, as indeed it still is, even after the passing of the Hapsburgs.

Stem Duchies Index

Francia Index

Margraves & Dukes of Austria
Babenbergs
Leopold IMargrave,
976-994
Henry I994-1018
Adalbert1018-1055
Ernst1055-1075
Leopold II1075-1096
Leopold III,
the Pious
1096-1136
Leopold IV1136-1141
Henry II1141-1156
Duke,
1156-1177
Leopold V1177-1194
Third Crusade, 1189-1192
Frederick I1194-1198
Leopold VI,
the Glorious
1198-1230
Frederick II,
the Fighter
1230-1246
Herman
of Baden
1248-1250
Ottokar II,
of Bohemia
1253-1276
King of Bohemia,
1253-1278
Austria is so closely associated with the Hapsburgs that it is a little startling to realize that it didn't begin that way. The original line of Margraves were the Babenbergs. Obtaining Austria for the Hapsburgs turned out to be one of the principal achievements of the first notable member of that house, the Emperor Rudolf I. Dante, who wanted Rudolf in Italy trying to restore the Roman Empire, put him in Hell for such limited goals; but Rudolf himself understood all too well how little power was left in the German Monarchy and how a solid territorial base would be needed if his family, and any future Emperors therefrom, were to have a hope for a predominant status. This was an effective strategy, and Austria itself eventually became an Empire, just not the Roman one (or even the German one).

The flag of Austria is supposed to have originated on the Third Crusade. At the siege of Acre (whose Classical name, Ptolemais, is also sometimes seen) in 1191, the tunic of Duke Leopold V was completely covered with blood, except for a white band where his belt had covered it. Raising his shirt as a standard during the fight, he was offically granted the use of the colors by the Emperor Henry VI. Conducting the siege at Acre was King Richard I of England, whom Leopold then kidnapped on his way home and held for ransom in Austria. This became a matter for English romance when Richard's delayed return allowed his brother John to exercise enough misrule to provoke the resistance of people like Robin Hood. Unfortunately, when Richard did return, he soon died, and John's misrule soon provoked even the nobility, who at Runnymede forced him to sign the Magna Carta.

 
 
Putting together the story of the Hapsburgs ("Habsburg" in German, which is becoming more common in English) has been a daunting task. The tables and genealogies here are now increasingly based on the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997]. Initially I relied on more readily available sources in English. Two books specifically about the Hapsburgs that I had, The House of Habsburg by Adam Wandruszka [Doubleday Anchor, 1965] and The Habsburgs, Embodying Empire by Andrew Wheatcroft [Viking, 1995], were not bad, but incomplete; and the Kingdoms of Europe by Gene Gurney [Crown Publishers, New York, 1982] had full lists of Hapsburgs. Wandruszka had better genealogies (Gurney, none). One problem is sorting out who was ruling what and when, since Austrian possessions where passed out to the many sons of the usually large Hapsburg families. Until 1379 this did not imply any real division of the possessions. Then we have a real division between the sons of Albert II, namely Albert III (the Albertine line) and Leopold III (the Leopoldine line). A further Tyrolean branch of the Leopoldine line began with Frederick IV, son of Leopold, in 1406, as follows.

The genealogy at right traces back the earliest Hapsburgs. That this goes all the way to Louis the Pious may be a little suspicious, but there may only be one link that is really questionable. Nevertheless, this all passes through very obscure people in a very obscure period. But it is possible. If true, it makes the Hapsburgs cousins of the Free Counts of Burgundy, derived from the great Count Otto William. Habsburg itself was a castle in the Aargau, founded by Count Radbot, a name that curiously never occurs again in the Hapsburg line. Aargau and Thurgau are now both Cantons of Switzerland. The Hapsburgs got tossed out, which is a tribute to the heroism and independent spirit of the Swiss. But it may have also been that the Hapsburgs had bigger fish to fry. The Emperor Maximilian, who recognized Swiss autonomy in 1499, was already juggling Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Burgundy, and Spain, all of which may have seemed worth the sacrifice.

The numbering of the names cannot be accounted for without listing all the Alberts, Rudolfs, Ottos, Fredericks, and Leopolds, some of whom figure in junior lines or who died young and who cannot be considered to have discharged serious responsibilities of rule (and the numbers all restart from I after the acquisition of Austria). In the table below, these figures are listed with light background and death date only. Even for the important members of the dynasty, however, what and when they ruled was not given by either Wandruszka or Wheatcroft. Gurney's list sometimes raised questions that it does not answer. For instance, Frederick V and his brother Albert VI succeeded to rule at the death of their father, Ernst the Iron Duke, in 1424 (according to Thiele, Gurney, & Wandruszka; Wheatcroft had 1427); but Gurney only lists their rule from 1457, when the death of their young cousin Ladislas ended the Albertine line and reunified the Austrian domain (except for the Tyrol). Frederick had already been crowned Emperor by then -- the only Hapsburg crowned in Rome by the Pope. Things like this get cleared up by Thiele:  In 1424 Frederick was only 9 and Albert only 6 years old. Frederick began to rule in 1436, Albert in 1439/40.

Hapsburgs/Habsburgs of Austria
Rudolf IV
(I of Austria
& Empire)
Count of Hapsburg, 1239
Emperor, 1273-1291
Duke of Austria, 1278-1282
Albert I1282-1308Rudolf IId.1290
Emperor,
1298-1308
John the
Parricide
d.1313
Frederick I,
the
Handsome
1308-1330Rudolf IIIKing of
Bohemia,
1306-1307
Rival Emperor,
1325-1330
Leopold Icoregent,
1308-1326
Defeated by Swiss, Morgarten, 1315
Albert II1330-1358Ottocoregent,
1330-1339
Frederick IId.1344Leopold IId.1344
Rudolf IV1358-1365Frederick IIId.1362
Albertine Line:
Upper & Lower
Austria, 1379
Leopoldine Line:
Styria, Carinthia, Carniola,
& Tryol, 1379
Albert III
Long Hair
1358-1395Leopold III1365-1386
Battle of Sempach,
Leopold killed in
defeat by Swiss, 1386
Albert IV1397-1404William1386-1406
Albert V
(II of
Empire)
1404-1439Leopold IV
the Proud
1386-1411
King of Bohemia
& Hungary,
1437-1439
Ernst the
Iron Duke
1406-1424
Swiss conquer Hapsburg Aargau, 1415
Emperor,
1438-1439
Leopoldine Line:
Austria, 1457
Ladislas
Postumus
1440-1457Albert VI1424-1463
King of Bohemia,
1439-1457;
King of Hungary,
1444-1457
1457-1463
Albertine Line ends, 1457
Frederick V
(III of Empire)
1424-1493
Emperor,
1440-1493
Archduke, 1457-1493
Archdukes continue as Holy Roman Emperors

Rudolf IV of Hapsburg got himself elected Emperor, the first after the Great Interregnum (1254-1273) which followed the fall of the Hohenstaufen, and used his power to obtain the Duchy of Austria, killing Ottokar II, Duke of Austria and King of Bohemia, at the Battle of Dürnkrut in 1278. He never bothered to try and get himself crowned Emperor by the Pope. So, at the time, he was never more than "King of the Romans." This earned him the dislike of Dante, who wanted an Emperor in Italy, and who then put Rudolf in Hell. Realistically, however, the day of Emperors in Italy was over, and the Emperors that Dante liked better, like Louis IV, accomplished absolutely nothing with Italian campaigns. What Rudolf did do effectively began to lay the foundations for the power of an Emperor Dante would have loved, the Hapsburg Charles V, who brought the power of Spain to bear on Europe and who humbled Popes (his army even sacked Rome in 1527). Meanwhile, after Rudolf the Hapsburgs needed to build their power in the area. Building a domain down to Istria and the Tyrol made the House of Hapsburg, from then on, the House of Austria.

Leopoldine Line:
Tyrol, 1406
Frederick IV
the Empty
1406-1439
Sigmund1439-1490,
d. 1496

Genealogical diagrams for the Hapsburgs beginning with the Duke/Emperor Rudolf I can be found with the German Emperors and with the Kings of Spain. The Imperial diagram also includes all the Kings of Spain and many of the intermarriages between the lines, which produced several grotesque features, like the "Hapsburg Lip." The details of the genealogy in the table at left, which covers the period before the era of Hapsburg predominance in Europe, is show below

This genealogy is entirely from the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997]. More genealogical information can be found, not just under the Empire and Spain, linked above, but also under Burgundy, which the Emperor Maximillian acquired, and Hungary and Bohemia, where the Hapsburgs often intermarried and which the Emperor Ferdinand I acquired. Note that neither Charles nor Ferdinand are traditional Hapsburg names -- the former is Burgundian and the latter Spanish. Maximilian is not a traditional Hapsburg name either, but it doesn't seem to have any historical precedent, unless it is Rome.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index

Margraves & Electors
of Brandenburg
North March/Mark, 936
SigfriedMargrave,
936-937
Gero936-965
Dietrich of
Haldensleben
965-985
Thietmar of
Schwabengau
965-978
Hodo978-993,
d.1015
Lothar of Walbeck993-1003
Werner1003-1009
Bernard I of
Haldensleben
1009-1018
Bernard II1018-c.1045
William1045-1056
Lothar Udo
I of Stade
1056-1057
Lothar Udo II1057-1082
Henry1082-1087
Lothar Udo III1087-1106
Rudolph1106-1114
Henry II1114-1128
Lothar Udo IV1128-1130
Conrad I Plötzkau1130-1133
Ascanians
Albert I the Bear1134-1170
Saxony,
1138-1142
Brandenburg, 1136
Otto I1170-1184
Otto II1184-1205
Albert II1205-1220
Otto III1220-1267
John I1220-1266
Otto IV1266-1309
John II1266-1281
Conrad II1266-1304
Waldemar the Great1309-1319
Wittelsbachs
Louis I,
V of Bavaria
1324-1351,
d.1361
Louis II (VI)1351-1365
Elector,
1356-1365
Otto (V)1365-1373
Luxemburg
Charles1373-1378
Emperor,
1347-
1378
Wenceslaus1373-1378,
d.1419
Emperor,
1378-
1400
Sigismund1378-1397,
1411-1417,
d.1438
Emperor,
1410-
1437
Jobst1397-1411
The North March or Northmark (Nordmark) begins rotating among several different families, which sometimes even divide the domain between them. We don't really settle into one dynasty until the Askanians, when the identity of the domain changes to Brandenburg.

For a century, from 1319 to 1417, Brandenburg becomes an Imperial holding, for the families of both the Wittelsbach and Luxemburg Emperors, before the Emperor Sigismund fatefully bestows it on the Hohenzollerns. Early in this period it becomes one of the permanent Electorates of the Empire under the Golden Bull of 1356.

The genealogy here is entirely form the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 1, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser I [Andreas Thiele, Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997]. The table was originally from some other sources, and the first Margrave, Sigfried, does not appear in Thiele.
 

Margraves & Electors
of Brandenburg,
Kings of Prussia, & Emperors of
Germany; Hohenzollerns
Frederick I1417-1440
Frederick II,
"Iron Tooth"
1440-1470
Albert Achilles1470-1486
John Cicero1486-1499
Joachim I1499-1535
Joachim II1535-1571
John George1571-1598
Joachim Frederick1598-1608
John Sigismund1608-1619
Duke of Prussia, 1618-1619
converts to Calvinism, 1613; partition of the Jülich-Cleve domains, Treaty of Xanten, 1614; inherits the Duchy of Prussia, secularized from the Teutonic Knights in 1525, 1618
George William1619-1640
Frederick William,
The Great Elector
1640-1688
Peace of Westphalia, 1648; Poles defeated at Warsaw, 1656; sovereignty in Prussia recognized by Sweden, 1656, by Poland, 1657; Swedes defeated and annihilated at Fehrbellin, 1675
Frederick III /
Frederick I of Prussia
1688-1713
King of Prussia
1701-1713
When Frederick I became Margarve and Elector of Brandenburg in 1417, none could have foreseen how this poor northern state would become the most powerful in Germany, and the family itself claim a crown of Emperors -- or how it would all be squandered in one terrible and foolish war, not to mention the even more terrible and vicious war by which the first was supposed to be avenged.

Although Brandenburg had been one of the major German states for some time, major enough to rate an Electoral Vote, it is hard to imagine it growing into a Great Power without the additions that began to accrue during the reign of John Sigismund. Inherited territories in the Rhine Valley (in the dispute over the Jülich-Cleve Succession), and the Duchy of Prussia, not only gave the state anchors in both east and west, but brought the domain that would soon give its name, Prussia, to the whole -- and become a byword for military strength and ruthless conquest.

Yet for a long time the postion of Brandenburg was precarious. Landlocked, with no natural frontiers, and no easy means of communication across the central lands, let alone to the outlying domains in east and west, Brandenburg was vulnerable to any insult. Its postion was completely hopeless during the Thirty Years War, when half its population was lost through starvation, massacre, and flight. The lurid stories of atrocities in the War, although so extreme as to engender some scepticism, nevertheless appear to be generally true, thanks to multiple contemporary testaments, often from participants.

 
From this nadir, Brandenburg set out on the path to becoming a Power thanks to the wisdom and industry of The Great Elector, Frederick William. By diplomacy, internal reforms, and prudent military measures, the Elector obtained favorable additions to Brandenburg from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, secured recognition of independence and sovereignty in Prussia from Sweden (which had designs) and from Poland (which had been suzerain since the days of the Teutonic Knights), and finally created a European sensation by destroyed a superior invading Swedish army at Fehrbellin in 1675.

Sovereignty in Prussia not only elevated the status of Brandenburg on the European stage, but it also contributed to Frederick William's efforts to overcome the remnants of local Mediaeval paricularism and autonomy in his possessions. For example, the Rhenish possessions sometimes relied on the Dutch to resist the Elector; and the Estates of Prussia had even retained the right of appeal to the King of Poland to foil Electoral initiatives. After Frederick William and the Swedes defeated the Poles at Warsaw in 1656, his authority in Prussia was secured; but then, after the Polish speaking Elector actually became an ally of Poland in 1658, Brandenburger arms would be historically vindicated at Fehrbellin. Many retreating and even surrendering Swedes were killed by local peasants who still had fresh memories of the atrocities of the Thirty Years War.

Until 1701 no German states were kingdoms. Then Frederick III asked a favor of the Emperor Leopold I as a condition of entering the War of the Spanish Succession -- a royal crown. This was granted, but Frederick didn't want to assume it for a domain under the jurisdiction of the Emperor, so he chose to use it for Prussia, which was outside the Empire. On the other hand, there seems to have been some scruple about turning Prussia itself into a Kingdom, so at first the locution "King in Prussia" was used to leave things a little vague, which occasioned a bit of amusement in Europe. Soon the subtlety was forgotten; and all the lands of Brandenburg began to be absorbed into the identity of a Baltic people who had actually disappeared under the conquest of the Teutonic Knights. The Knights themselves now contribute their colors, black and white, to Prussia and, later, Imperial Germany. Meanwhile, the Pope protested, without effect, that a Catholic monarch had granted a royal title without Papal consent. The Hapsburgs would regret the act themselves, but it could not be undone. Prussia as Prussia had arrived; and a paradoxical Kingdom within the erstwhile Kingdom of the Eastern Franks would simply add to the incoherence of the obsolescent Empire.

On the genealogy above, we see the "elder" lines of Bayreuth and Ansbach. The "younger" lines, which descend from the Elector John George, can be examined on a popup. It is noteworthy that two marriages of Brandenburg-Ansbach led to subsequent Kings of Sweden and of England.

Frederick William I1713-1740
Protestants discovered in Alpine valleys of Salzburg, 1731; their Exodus to Prussia, 1732
Frederick II,
the Great
1740-1786
War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-1748 (First Silesian War, 1740-1742, Second, 1744-1745); Seven Years (Third Silesian) War, 1756-1763
Frederick William II1786-1797
Frederick William III1797-1840
Frederick William IV1840-1861
Wilhelm I1861-1888
Emperor of
Germany,
1871-1888
Frederick the Great turned Prussia into a Great Power, though he was able to do this because of the army that his father had lovingly prepared but then sparingly used [cf. Sidney B. Fay & Klaus Epstein, The Rise of Brandenburg- Prussia to 1786, 1937, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1964; and Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom, the Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947, Belknap Press, Harvard, 2006]. Frederick used, even exhausted, the army first to seize Silesia from Austria (the War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-1748) and then to defend it against the nearly universal alliance (France, Sweden, Russia, & Austria) that Maria Theresa prepared against him (the Seven Years War, 1756-1763). After writing a book attacking the Realpolitik of
Machiavelli, Frederick's practice came to look like the most cynical, opportunistic, and self-serving application of Machiavelli's advice. If not for his profound military genius, and a bit of luck, Frederick would not have gotten away with it. His alliance with Britian during the Seven Years War earned him the tribute of "King of Prussia," Pennsylvania -- a name that fortunately survived the anti-German name changes of World War I.

In the last years of his long reign, der alte Fritz ("Old Fritz") was more than happy to avoid war and instead entertain Enlightenment philosophes. Frederick probably never met Immanuel Kant in Königsberg, but Kant dedicated the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) to his Minister of State, Baron von Zedlitz. Frederick became the archetype of the "enlightened despot," whose characteristic principle is supposed to have been, "You can say whatever you like, but you will do what I tell you." This did not stop him, however, from initiating the partition of Poland. Frederick obtained West Prussia in 1772, as seen on the map above. Subsequent partitions, in 1793 and 1795, were in part to preclude Polish enthusiasm for the French Revolution. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the partition of 1795 and much of that of 1793 were ceded to Russia.

Prussia stepped up from the ranks of a Great Power to a Predominant Power thanks to Otto von Bismarck. The Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) inflicting a crushing and humiliated defeat on France, ended the reign of the Emperor Napoleon III, and then provided the leverage for the unification of Germany into a new German Empire headed by Prussia itself. Wilhelm I, without even a nod to the Pope or the Catholicism of earlier Empires in Francia, turned memories of the Holy Roman Empire into a new German Empire, the "Second," far more unified and stronger than anything had been in the area for centuries. The genealogy for the Emperors is given here, but the table and historical commentary are continued on the Francia page.

In the genealogy here, however, we see some of the family after the fall of the German Empire. Ironically, the Hohenzollern, so responsible for the fall of the Russian Empire, have now intermarried with the heirs of the Romanovs. The present heiress of Romanov, the Grand Duchess Maria, is now the mother of a Hohenzollern heir of Russia itself. Well, Russians might have at least entertained the notion of the Grand Duke Vladimir, or Maria, as a constitutional monarch for the new Russia, but a Hohenzollern would probably be out of the question.

Additional genealogy of the Hohenzollern family can be seen under The Descent of the Hohenzollern and Counts & Princes of Hohenzollern Henchingen-Sigmaringen.

Hohenzollern Emperors of German "Second Reich"

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index
 

Princes, Dukes, & Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg
Nicholas I1130-1160
Pribeslaw1160-1170
Prince,
1170-1178
Henry Borwin I1178-1219,
d.1228
Henry Borwin II1219-1226
Nicholas II1219-1225
John I the Theologian1226-1264
Henry I Jerusalem-Farer1264-1275,
1298-1302
John II1275-1299
Henry II the Lion1287-1329
John IIIWismar
1287-1289
Albert I the Great1329-1348
Duke,
1348-1379
John IV1329-1352
Mecklenburg-
Stargard,
1352-1377
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Albert IIKing of Sweden,
1365-1388
1379-1412
Magnus I1379-1385
Henry III1379-1383
Albert III1383-1388
John IV1385-1390,
d.1422
John II of Mecklenburg-Stargard1390-1417
Albert IV1417-1423
John V1423-1442
Henry IV the Fat1423-1477
Albert V1464-1483
John VI1464-1474
Magnus II1477-1503
Henry V the PeacefulSchwerin
1503-1552
Albert VI the HandsomeGustrow
1503-1547
John Albert I1547-1576
John VII1576-1592
Sigismund Augustus1576-1603
Adolph Frederick I1592-1628,
d.1658
John Albert II1592-1610,
1631-1658
Albrecht von Wallenstein1628-1631,
d.1634
Frederick IGrabow
1658-1688
Adolph
Frederick II
Strelitz
1658-1708
Frederick WilliamSchwerin
1688-1713
Adolph
Frederick III
1708-1752
Charles Leopold1713-1747
Christian Louis1747-1756
Frederick II1756-1785Adolph
Frederick IV
1752-1794
Frederick Francis I1785-1815Charles1794-1816
Grand Duke,
1815-1837
George1816-1860
Paul Frederick1837-1842
Frederick Francis II1842-1883Frederick
William
1860-1904
Frederick Francis III1883-1897
Frederick Francis IV1897-1918Adolph
Frederick V
1904-1914
Adolph
Frederick VI
1914-1918
There are a couple of interesting historical points about Mecklenburg. One is that this Germanicized Slavic area east of the Elbe seems to have an actual Slavic ruling family -- "Pribeslaw" is not a German name. One might conclude, then, that however great German colonization was, it overwhelmed the local population culturally, but not demographically or politically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second point is what happened during the Thirty Years War. An Imperial army under the great general, Albrecht von Wallenstein, after the Imperial victory at Lutter (1626), invaded Northern Germany and cleared Protestant forces out of Mecklenburg. This was disturbing enough to the secular German Electors, that the Emperor Ferdinand II (1619-1637) was threatened with a dispute over the election of the next Hapsburg. He dismissed Wallenstein. Meanwhile, however, France had encouraged (with a subsidy) the Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus (1611-1632) to join the fray, which he did in 1630. Two great victories, at Breitenfeld (1631) and Lützen (1632, against a recalled Wallenstein) changed the balance of power, and got Wallenstein out of Mecklenburg, but Gustavus was actually killed at Lützen. Wallenstein himself was shortly to be assassinated, on orders of the Emperor. The Swedish army was then broken at Nördlingen (1634) by a united Austrian and Spanish army, but the Protestant cause was retrieved by the entry of (Catholic) France into the war (1635).

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Francia Index

Counts & Dukes of Schleswig & Holstein
GodfreyCount of
Holstein
1106-1110
Schauenburg
Adolph I1110-1131
Adolph II1131-1164
Adolph III1164-1225
Adolph IV1225-1238
d.1261
Holstein-Kiel
John I1238-1263
Adolph V1263-1273
Holstein-
Segeberg
1273-1308
John II One-Eye1263-1316
d.1321
John III the Mild1316-1359
Adolph VII1359-1390
Holstein-Rendsburg
Nicholas1390-1397
Gerhard VIDuke of
Schleswig
1386-1404
1397-1404
AlbertHolstein-
Segeberg
1381-1404
1397-1403
Henry III1404-1427
Adolph VIII1427-1459
Gerhard VII1427-1433
Oldenburg
Christian IKing of
Denmark,
1448-1481
1459-1481
John IDenmark,
1481-1513
1481-1513
Christian IIDenmark,
1513-1523
1513-1546,
d.1559
Christian IIIDenmark,
1533-1559
1546-1559
John III1559-1622
Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
Alexander1622-1627
Schleswig-Holstein-Beck
Augustus Philip1627-1675
Augustus1675-1689
Frederick William I1689-1719
Frederick Louis1719-1728
Frederick William II1728-1749
Frederick1749-1757
Charles Louis Frederick1757-1774
Peter Augustus Frederick1774-1775
Charles Frederick
Augustus Louis
1775-1816
Schleswig-Holstein-
Sonderburg-Glücksburg, 1825
Frederick William
Paul Leopold
1816-1831
Charles1831-1863,
d.1878
to Prussia & Austria, 1864;
to Prussia, 1866
Of all the confusing and obscure European territories, Schleswig-Holstein has got to be one of the worst. Holstein was a fief of the Empire, while Scheswig was a fief of Denmark. They were united in 1386, and further united when Christian I of Denmark inherited the whole lot. The complications then come from the dispersal of the Duchies among Danish heirs. The line of Holstein-Gottorp is examined below under
Oldenburg. Here the lines of Holstein-Sonderburg, Holstein-Beck, and Holstein-Augustenburg are followed, since Holstein-Beck ends up inheriting the Throne of Denmark, while Augustenburg furnished the Prussian candidate for Schleswig-Holstein in 1863. The Prussian/German argument was that the Augustenburg line (deriving from Duke Ernest Gunther, born in 1609) was senior to the Beck line (from Augusus Philip, born in 1612). This didn't matter for the Danish succession, which passed through female heirs of King Frederick V, but it wasn't accepted in Germany, where the Salic Law ruled out female succession. It wouldn't have mattered for Schleswig and Holstein either, if Prussia and Austria hadn't been willing to go to war in 1864 to press the German claim. On the other hand, Otto von Bismarck was not really interested in the national aspirations of the Germans in Schleswig-Holstein, who had revolted against Denmark in 1848, or in the niceties of the laws of feudal succession. He wanted the territories for Prussia and got them after arranging a pretext to attack Austria in 1866. The Dukes of Augustenburg never did rule in the Duchies. As it happened, by 1931 the male line died out and the Duchies could have been claimed, if the Salic Law could have been overlooked, by the Emperor of Germany himself, who had married the heiress -- if Wilhelm II by then were still Emperor of Germany, which he wasn't. All monarchial holdings were forfeit at the end of World War I in 1918. In 1920, after a plebiscite, part of Schleswig was returned to Denmark.

The table here was originally put together using Brian Tompsett's Royal and Noble Genealogy and Bruce R. Gordon's Regnal Chronologies. This left many genealogical questions unanswered. Gordon's last Duke, Charles, is not given by Tompsett. Nor did I know from their pages who was the Duke Christian of Augustenburg (and his son, Frederick), upon whose claims the German case was made against the incorporation of the Duchies into the Danish Crown. Now, however, I have found very complete information in the Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume II, Part 2, Europäische Kaiser-, Königs-, und Fürstenhäuser II, Nord-, Ost- und Südeuropa [Andreas Thiele, Second Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997]. The information is so complete, indeed, that it will be some time before it can all be organized, or that it could ever all be presented in digestible form. The genealogy below, therefore, begins with the Duke Nicholas of Holstein-Rendsburg. Eventually, the earlier Schauenburg line, at least, can all be given. Even the Stammtafeln, however, do not have maps, so the territorial forms of the divisions and subdivisions of the Duchies must remain mysterious for the time being.

A further detail is of interest here. A younger son of Christian IX of Denmark became King of Greece as George I. King George's grandson is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the consort of the Queen Elizabeth II of England. Philip, however, does not identify himself as a member of the House of Oldenburg-Schleswig-Holstein because he renounced his claim to the Greek Throne and took the family name of his mother, Mountbatten (from Battenberg, a subsidiary line of Hesse-Darmstadt). Nevertheless, the English Throne is due to pass one day to a direct male descendant of Christian I of Oldenburg, King of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Perifrancia Index

Francia Index

Dukes of Pomerania
Pomerania (German Pommern) was a historic territory on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It only enters history fully when the Duke Wartislaw I, of the House of Griffin (German Greifen, Polish Gryfici) becomes a vassal of Duke
Boleslaw III (1102-1138) of Poland in 1121. This changed shortly, with the Duchy becoming the vassal instead of Duke Henry III the Lion (1142-1180, d.1195) of Saxony in 1164, and then directly of the Emperor in 1181, when Frederick Barbarosa deposed Henry. Pomerania thus becomes part of the Holy Roman Empire. Considering that the Dukes have Slavic names, this is an interesting case (like Bohemia) of non-German people being integrated into what now looks like a German Empire. If one then looks for some kind of racial animus against the Dukes, it does not seem to occur. Instead, the Dukes intermarry with European royalty, and one of them, Eric I, even becomes the King of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The Duchy comes to an end with a problem all too characteristic of Mediaeval government, the failure of the male line. Bogislaw XIV dies without sons in 1637 (after abdicating in 1634). As it happened, this was in the middle of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), with the Duchy occupied for the duration by Sweden. In the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), Sweden received the Duchy West of the River Oder (Hither Pomerania), while Prussia received the rest of the Duchy, which extended well East of the Oder (Further Pomerania). Today, the Oder is itself the boundary between Germany and Poland, so Further Pomerania has again become part of Poland.

Meanwhile, Pomerania between Further Pomerania and the Vistula River had a separate history. It remained under Polish suzerainty as the Duchy of Pomerelia (German Pommerellen), sometimes subdivided, until taken over by the Teutonic Knights in 1309. In 1410, Poland and Lithuania inflicted a crushing defeat on the Knights at Tannenberg. By 1466, this had translated into considerable territorial loss, whereby Pomerelia and more became part of Poland. It was the Poles who began applying the name "Prussia" to these territories. When the Kingdom of Prussia partitioned Poland in 1772 and annexed the territories, Pomerelia and the rest became "West Prussia." Modern Poland has restored the name Pomerania.

The genealogy here is based on Andreas Thiele's Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte, Volume I, Part 2, Deutsche Kaiser-, Königs-, Herzogs- und Grafenhäuser II [Third Edition, R. G. Fischer Verlag, 1997, pp.505-514]. In traditional fashion, the Duchy was for most of its history divided between different members of the family. It was hard to organize a succession list based on the genealogy, and so many of the dates are derived from the list of Dukes at Wikipedia -- though not all individuals in that list are accounted for in the genealogy.

Stem Duchies Index

German Confederation Index

Perifrancia Index

Francia Index

Philosophy of History

Home Page

Copyright (c) 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved