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Norddeutscher Bund
North German Confederation
Wappen Deutscher Bund.svg
1866–1871
Flag Coat of arms
The North German Confederation (red). The southern German states that joined in 1871 to form the German Empire are in orange. Alsace-Lorraine, the territory annexed following the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, is in a paler orange.
Capital Berlin
Political structure Confederation
Presidency Prussia (William I)
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
History
 - Constitution tabelled April 16, 1866
 - Federation formed July 1,
 - Elevation to empire January 18, 1871
Today part of  Denmark
 Germany
 Lithuania
 Poland
 Russia

The North German Confederation (German: Norddeutscher Bund), came into existence in August 1866 as a military alliance of 22 states of northern Germany with the Kingdom of Prussia as the leading state. In July 1867 it was transformed into a federal state. It provided the country with a constitution and was the building block of the German Empire, which adopted most parts of the federation's constitution and its flag.

Unlike the earlier German Confederation, the North German Confederation was in fact a true state. Its territory comprised the parts of the German Confederation north of the river Main, plus Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Prussia's eastern territories and the Duchy of Schleswig, but excluded Austria, Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden, Luxembourg, Limburg, Liechtenstein and the southern parts of the Grand Duchy of Hesse.

It cemented Prussian control over northern Germany, and emanated that same control via the Zollverein (Customs Union) and secret peace treaties (agreed with the southern states the day before the Peace of Prague) into southern Germany.

Although it ceased to exist after the creation of the German Empire in 1871, the federation was the building block for the German constitution adopted that year. This constitution granted immense powers to the new chancellor, Otto von Bismarck who was appointed by the President of the Bundesrat (Prussia). This was because the constitution made the chancellor 'responsible,' however not accountable, to the Reichstag. This therefore allowed him the benefit of being the link between the emperor and the people. The Chancellor retained powers over the military budget, after the constitutional crisis that engulfed Wilhelm I in 1862. Laws also prevented certain civil servants becoming members of the Reichstag, those who were Bismarck's main opposition in the 1860s.

The federation came into being after Prussia defeated Austria and the other remaining states of the German Confederation in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Its constitution, which came into force on 1 July 1867, was written by Bismarck. Executive power was vested in a president, a hereditary office of the King of Prussia. He was assisted by a chancellor responsible only to him. Legislative power was vested in a two-house parliament. The states were represented in the Bundesrat (Federal Council) with 43 seats. The people were represented by the Reichstag (Diet), elected by universal manhood suffrage. The Bundesrat membership was extended before 1871 with the creation of the Zollverein Parliament in 1867, an attempt to create closer unity with the southern states by permitting representatives to be sent to the Bundersrat.

For all intents and purposes, Prussia exercised near-total control over the confederation. With four-fifths of the state's its territory and population, the Hohenzollern kingdom was larger than the other 21 states combined. It had 17 votes in the Bundesrat, and could easily control the proceedings by making deals with the smaller states. Additionally, Bismarck served as Prussia's foreign minister as well, and thus had the right to instruct the Prussian representatives to the Bundesrat.

Following Prussia's victory over the Second French Empire and the subsequently formed Third Republic in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden (together with parts of the Grand Duchy of Hesse which had not originally joined the federation), unified with the states of the Federation to form the German Empire, with William I taking the new title of German Emperor (rather than Emperor of Germany as Austria was not included).

Contents

Postage stamps

One of the functions of the confederation was to handle mail and issue postage stamps; for details, see postage stamps and postal history of the North German Confederation.

List of member states

State Capital
Kingdoms (Königreiche)
Flag of Prussia 1892-1918.svg Prussia (Preußen)
(including Lauenburg)
Berlin
Flagge Königreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg Saxony (Sachsen) Dresden
Grand duchies (Großherzogtümer)
Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg Hesse (Hessen)
(Only Upper Hesse, the province north of the Main River)
Giessen
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg Mecklenburg-Schwerin Schwerin
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg Mecklenburg-Strelitz Neustrelitz
Oldenburg Flagge.jpg Oldenburg Oldenburg
Flagge Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1813-1897).svg Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) Weimar
Duchies (Herzogtümer)
Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg Anhalt Dessau
Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg Brunswick (Braunschweig) Braunschweig
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg Saxe-Altenburg (Sachsen-Altenburg) Altenburg
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha) Coburg
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Meiningen.svg Saxe-Meiningen (Sachsen-Meiningen) Meiningen
Principalities (Fürstentümer)
Flagge Fürstentum Lippe.svg Lippe Detmold
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß jüngere Linie.svg Reuss, junior line Gera
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß ältere Linie.svg Reuss, senior line Greiz
Flagge Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg Schaumburg-Lippe Bückeburg
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Rudolstadt
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Sondershausen
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Waldeck-Pyrmont Arolsen
Free Hanseatic cities (Freie Hansestädte)
Flag of Bremen.svg Bremen
Flag of Hamburg.svg Hamburg
Flag of the Free City of Lübeck.svg Lübeck

References

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0835982.html

http://flagspot.net/flags/de1867.html

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761568400/north_german_confederation.html (Archived 2009-11-01)

See also


Simple English

Norddeutscher Bund
North German Confederation

Federation


1866 – 1871 File:Flag of the German
File:Flag of the German File:Prussiaflag
Flag Coat of arms
Capital Berlin
52°31′N 13°24′E
Political structure Federation
Presidency Prussia (William I)
Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
History
 - Constitution tabelled April 161866
 - Federation formed July 11867
 - Elevation to empire January 181871

The North German Confederation (German: Norddeutscher Bund), was a military alliance of 22 states of northern Germany. It started in August 1866, and the Kingdom of Prussia was the leading state. In July 1867 it became a political alliance too. The Confederation was a federal state, with a constitution which set out what the individual countries could do, and what what be done by the federation.

The North German Confederation was the basis of the German Empire, which adopted most parts of the federation's constitution and its flag. It included the lands of the German Confederation north of the river Main, plus Prussia's eastern territories and the Duchy of Schleswig. Austria, and the southern states of Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden and the southern parts of the Grand Duchy of Hesse were not in the Confederation. Bismarck thought Austria was too powerful at the time and wanted to set up a state Prussia could dominate.

The federation was created after Prussia defeated Austria and the other remaining states of the German Confederation in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. Otto von Bismarck was its Chancellor, and the King of Prussia, William I was its President. The states sent representatives to the Reichsrat (Federal Council). The Federal Council had 43 members, 17 were from Prussia. seats (of which Prussia held 17). The southern states were soon allowed to sent representatives if the joined a Customs Union.

The Federation was dissolved after Prussia beat the Second French Empire in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. Bavaria, Württemberg, and Baden (together with parts of the Grand Duchy of Hesse which had not originally joined the federation), joined with the Federation to form the German Empire. William I became German Emperor he was not called the Emperor of Germany because it was thought that title could only be used if Austria was included.

Postage stamps

The federation handled the mail and issued postage stamps, after 1 January 1868. But the federation did not issue its own money, so different stamps had to be issued. Stamps valued in groschen were used in the north, stamps in kreuzer in the Southern District. All of these stamps were marked NORDDEUTSCHER POSTBEZIRK (North German Postal Area).

A third set of stamps were printed for Hamburg. These were also marked STADTPOSTBRIEF HAMBURG.

List of member states

State Capital
Kingdoms (Königreiche)
Prussia (Preußen)
(including Lauenburg)
Berlin
File:Flagge Königreich Sachsen (1815-1918).svg Saxony (Sachsen) Dresden
Grand duchies (Großherzogtümer)
File:Flagge Groß Hesse (Hessen)
(Only Upper Hesse, the province north of the Main River)
Giessen
File:Flagge Großherzogtü Mecklenburg-Schwerin Schwerin
File:Flagge Großherzogtü Mecklenburg-Strelitz Neustrelitz
File:Oldenburg Flagge.jpg Oldenburg Oldenburg
File:Flagge Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1813-1897).svg Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) Weimar
Duchies (Herzogtümer)
Anhalt Dessau
Brunswick (Braunschweig) Braunschweig
File:Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg Saxe-Altenburg (Sachsen-Altenburg) Altenburg
File:Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha) Coburg
Saxe-Meiningen (Sachsen-Meiningen) Meiningen
Principalities (Fürstentümer)
File:Flagge Fü Lippe Detmold
File:Flagge Fürstentum Reuß jü Reuss, junior line Gera
File:Flagge Fürstentum Reuß ä Reuss, senior line Greiz
File:Flagge Fü Schaumburg-Lippe Bückeburg
File:Flagge Fürstentü Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Rudolstadt
File:Flagge Fürstentü Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Sondershausen
File:Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Waldeck-Pyrmont Arolsen
Free Hanseatic cities (Freie Hansestädte)
Bremen
Hamburg
File:Flag of the Free City of Lü Lübeck








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