CHAPTER 29, PART II
Eugène de Beauharnais’ marriage to the King of Bavaria’s daughter was part of
In our last chapter we announced a geographical description or “identity card” of the States which formed the Confederation of the Rhine, created on 12 July 1806, under the protection – that was the term – of the Emperor of the French.
The following information was assembled in documents which date from 1812 and in geographical dictionaries of the same period.
We have, whenever possible, respected the original spelling except in cases where this might lead to confusion in the text.
It was also an opportunity to give a general idea of the production and resources of the minor States and principalities whose names today have long since disappeared.
Attentive readers of this chapter – which is markedly different from the epic Napoleonic history usually recounted in our other chapters - will very soon come to the conclusion that studying history and geography at the period was certainly no easy task for pupils.
(The population and surface areas are given in round numbers)
GRAND DUCHY OF FRANKFURT
Consists of the towns of Frankfurt upon Mainz (40,000 inhabitants) which is the capital, and of Wetzlar (7,000 inhabitants), with their respective territories, of the principality of Aschffenburg and of the greater part of Hanau and Fulde (most certainly Fulda, north-east of Frankfurt, Fulde is situated more to the north, in Lower Saxony).
The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt, which covers one hundred and ten square miles (one mile=1, 481, 5 metres) has a population of 367,000.
In wartime has a contingent of 2,800 men.
The Prince Primate of the Confederation of the Rhine, Karl von Darlberg, born on 8 February 1744, was Grand Duke and Prince Sovereign of Aschaffenburg, Frankfurt, Fulda, etc.
Upon the decease of the Prince, the Grand Duchy was to pass under the authority of Prince Eugene (Napoleon’s step son), Vice-King of Italy, according to the terms of one of the articles of the Treaty.
KINGDOM OF WÜRTTEMBERG
Situated in the region which lies between Bavaria, Switzerland and the Grand-Duchy of Baden, Württemberg also became a kingdom thanks to Napoleon, in 1806, and covers a territory of 329 square miles with a population of 1,200,000.
KINGDOM OF SAXONY
A former Electorate, the Kingdom of Saxony consisted of the actual Duchy of Saxony,
By the Treaty of Posen (the German name of Poznan, in Poland) signed on 11 December 1806, by Napoleon and the Elector of Saxony, the latter became King of Saxony and joined the Confederation of the Rhine.
The following year, by the Treaty of Tilsit (7-9 July), a large part of Poland which belonged to Prussia prior to its defeat at Jena-Auerstädt, was united to Saxony forming the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
Sovereign : Frederick Augustus, born 23 December 1750, proclaimed Grand Duke of Warsaw in 1807.
KINGDOM OF BAVARIA
Was a duchy before it was created a kingdom by Napoleon in 1806. The Kingdom of Bavaria was divided into Upper Bavaria and includes Munich, the capital (38,000 inhabitants). Production: fine tapestries, silk ribbons, playing cards, silverware and beer), and Lower Bavaria.
The German Tyrol
The bishoprics of Brixen (im-Thale, in the Austrian Tyrol), Ratisbonne (21,000 inhabitants). Resources: arsenal, manufacturing, salt and beer trade, and Salzburg (18,000 inhabitants). Activity: trade of salt, copper, iron, millstones, grindstones;
The region of Salzburg : 36 leagues long by 32 leagues wide (188,000 inhabitants).
Production: linen and hemp, but little wheat; the exploitationof mines produced 886 quintals of copper per year, 25,860 of iron, 260,000 salt, 1,350 marks of silver (ancient measure of weight which was used throughout western Europe to weigh precious metal especially gold and silver equal to 244,5 gram.)…
Surface: 800 square miles
Population: 3,800,000 inhabitants
Contingent: 30,000 men (50,000 according to others sources)
Sovereign: Maximilien Joseph, born 27 May 1756
KINGDOM OF WESTPHALI
This State consists of:
Population: 900,000 inhabitants;
Capital: Karlsruhe (production: starch, tobacco, “beautiful vases”, snuff boxes, fine furniture).
Contingent: 8,000 men
Sovereign: Charles Frederick of Baden, born 22 November 1728.
GRAND DUCHY OF HESSE-DARMSTADT
- the former landgraviate of Hesse-Cassel ;
- the duchy of Westphalia ;
- the counties of Wittgenstein, Erbach, and part of Catzenelleboggen (Katzenelnbogen);
- the bishopric of Mainz ;
- the bishopric of Worms ;
- the towns of Homburg, Giessen, and Friedberg…
Population : 490,000 inhabitants.
Contingent : 4,000 men.
Sovereign : Louis X, born 14 June 1753.
GRAND DUCHY OF BERG AND KLEVE
GRAND DUCHY OF WURTZBURG
- part of Franconia ;
- the duchy of Coburg ;
- the abbey of Fulda ;
- the archdiocese of Mainz ;
- the marquisate of Anspach ;
- the bishopric of Bamberg and the county of Vertheim
Territory : 26 leagues long by 20 leagues wide.
Population : 2,600,000 inhabitants
Capital : Wurtzburg.
Sovereign : Prince Ferdinand, brother of the Emperor of Austria, born 6 May 1769.
PRICIPALITY OF NASSAU-USINGEN
PRINCIPALITY OF NASSAU-WEILBOURG
The first is situated in Wettevau (spelling of the period), a province of approximately 24 square leagues situated between Hesse, the French department of the Bas Rhin, Westphalia and Franconia, which was one of the first duchies of the Holy Roman Empire.
Capital : Usingen.
Sovereign : Frederick Augustus, Prince of Nassau-Usingen, born 23 April 1738.
The second is situated in the circle of the French department of the Haut Rhin;
Capital : Weilburg.
Sovereign : Frederick-William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg, born 25 October 1768.
PRINCIPALITY OF HOHENZOLLERN-HECHINGEN
Situated in the circle of Schwaben, the capital is Hechingen.
Sovereign : Prince Frederick-Herman, born 22 July 1776.
PRINCIPALITY OF HOHENZOLLERN-SIGMARINGEN
Also situated in the circle of Schwaben, it includes the seigneury of Trochtelsingen, Jungnau, Strasberg (silver mines), the bailiwick of Ostrach and part of the seigneury of Moëskirch.
Capital : Sigmaringen.
Sovereign : Aloys-Meinrad-Franz, born 20 June 1762.
PRINCIPALITY OF ISEMBURG-BIRNSTEIN
Consists of the possessions of the counts of Isemburg, Budingen, Woechtersbach and Meerholtz.
Capital : Offenbach (production: jewellery, carriages and tobacco).
Population : 43,000 inhabitants.
Contingent : 291,000 men.
Sovereign : Prince Charles Frederick Louis Maurice, born 29 June 1766.
PRINCIPALITY OF LICHTENSTEIN
Situated in the region of Meissen (province in the kingdom of Saxony between the rivers Elbe and Saale ). The sovereign, Prince Charles of Lichtenstein, was born 14 June…1803.
The explanation for this is that Napoleon who had a lot esteem for Prince Jean (John) of Lichtenstein (1760-1836), who was the signatory of the Pressburg peace treaty, had automatically included him in the Confederation to guarantee the independence of his tiny principality. But Prince John who was unwilling to leave Austrian service renounced his sovereignty in favour of his youngest son. This decision in no way altered the Emperor’s feeling for the Prince whom he encountered again as an enemy in 1809, during the second Austrian campaign.
PRINCIPALITY OF LEYEN
Situated on the river Trier, the sovereign is Philip-Francis, born 1 August 1766.
DUCHY OF SAXE-WEIMAR
DUCHY OF SAXE-GOTHA
Consists of the principality of Saxe-Gotha and part of that of Altenbourg.
Production : manufactory of porcelain and manufactures of woollen fabric.
Contingent : 1,100 men.
Sovereign : Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha, born 23 November 1722.
DUCHY OF SAXE-MEININGEN
Includes part of the principality of Coburg and of that of Henneberg.
Capital: Meiningen (3,600 inhabitants).
Contingent : 300 men.
DUCHY OF SAXE-HILDBURGHAUSEN
Situated in the county of Henneberg, the principality’s capital is Hildburghausen.
Contingent: 200 men.
Sovereign : Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, born 29 April 1763.
DUCHY OF SAXE-COBURG-SAALFELD
This principality which is a dependency of the circle of Upper Saxony is situated in Franconia.
Its territory measures 16 leagues long by 8 leagues wide.
Population : 65,000 inhabitants.
Production : breeding and leather.
Contingent : 400 men.
Capital : Coburg (7,000 inhabitants).
Sovereign : Ernest-Frederick Anthony, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, born 2 January 1784.
PRINCIPALITY OF ANHALT-DESSAU
PRINCIPALITY OF ANHALT-BERNBURG
PRINCIPALITY OF ANHALT-COETHEN
These three principalities situated in the circle of Upper Saxony, are part of the county of Anhalt (18 leagues long by 2 to 3 leagues wide).
Resources : breweries, copper, silver, iron and lead mines.
- The capital of the first is Dessau. The Prince of Anhalt-Dessau is Leopold-Frederick, born 10 August 1740.
- The capital of the second is Bernburg; the sovereign prince is Alexis-Frederick, born 12 June 1767.
- The capital of the third is Coethen; the prince of Anhalt-Coethen is Augustus-Christian, born on 18 November 1769.
PRINCIPALITY OF LIPPE-DETMOLD
PRINCIPALITY OF LIPPE-SCHAUMBOURG
Both are situated in Westphalia .
- The capital of the first, Lippstadt, is described in documents of the period as built in the middle of “insalubrious marshlands”.
The prince of Lippe-Detmold is Paul-Alexdander-Leopold, born on 6 October 1796.
- The capital of the latter is Rinteln.
The prince of Lippe-Schaumbourg is George-William, born on 28 December 1784.
PRINCIPALITY OF REUSS
Situated in the region of the Voigtland, in the circle of Saxony between Ertzeburge, Bohemia, the duchy of Saxony and Bavaria (topaz, iron, copper and tin mines; cotton and wool mills), the principality of Reuss (76,300 inhabitants) is ruled over by four princes: Henry XIII, Prince of Reuss-Greitz, born 16 February 1747, Henry XLII, Prince of Reuss-Schleitz, born 27 February 1752, Henry II, Prince of Reuss-Ebersdorf, born 16 May 1791, and Henry XXXV (?), Prince of Reuss-Lobenstein.
PRINCIPALITY OF SCHWARZBURG-SONDERHAUSEN
PRINCIPALITY OF SCHWARZBURG-RUDOLSTADT
Both are situated in the landgraviate of Thuringer.
- The capital of the first is Sonderhausen, and the prince sovereign is Gunther-Frederick-Charles, born on 5 December 1770.
- The capital of the second is Rudolstadt, and the sovereign, Frederick-Gunther, is born on 6 November 1793.
PRINCIPALITY OF WALDECK
Situated in the circle of the French department of the Haut-Rhin, between Hesse, Westphalia and the bishopric of Paderborn, it has a surface area of 16 square leagues.
Population : 52,000 inhabitants.
Wealth : iron and copper mines; forests, pastures and farmlands.
Sovereign : Frederick, Prince of Waldeck, born 25 October 1743.
DUCHY OF MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN AND STRELITZ
Situated in Lower Saxony, and comprising seven provinces, the state is divided into two parts: the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, governed by two princes of the same family.
Their respective capitals are Schwerin and Strelitz.
Their territory measures 64 leagues long by 36 leagues wide.
The Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin is Frederick-Francis, born 10 December 1756, and the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is Charles-Louis-Frederick, born 10 October 1741.
When writing about the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, many historians of all nationalities have refused to regard this as anything but the Emperor’s will and policy to pressurize the little sovereigns and princes for his own design.
In France, as elsewhere, it is among the common people that one must turn to find the truth.
If Württemberg or any of the other States in the Confederation had suffered from its alliance with Napoleon, the following lines would never have been written.
They were written by Baron of Montalembert, Louis XVIII’s ambassador in Stuttgart, on 14 October 1816 (Montalembert’s injurious and bitter comments were presumably dictated by anger upon discovering the Württembergers’ slap in the face for Napoleon’s dull successor):
“I cannot hide from Your Majesty that everything here denotes regrets for the Usurper, indifference for our sovereign and hatred for our government. Little signs are often revealing and I guessed what the people really think by the indecent manner [!] and by the sort of adoration with which the servants in the castle show visitors the bed and chamber which was occupied, they say, by the “Great Napoleon ” [these quotation marks were inserted by the author of the letter] during his sojourn here. Everything in thisapartment seems to be preserved with pious adoration.”
Reading these lines – which are never cited! - makes it easier to understand why so many historians, and French royalists in particular, have gone to so much trouble and for so long now, to write Napoleonic history. In their own way.
To be continued…