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Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg
Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg
State of the Holy Roman Empire,
State of the German Confederation,
State of the North German Confederation,
State of the German Empire,
State of the Weimar Republic
Blason Duché de Saxe-Weimar.svg
1602 – 1672
1826 – 1918
1918 – 1920†

Flag Coat of arms
Anthem
Heil unserm Herzog, heil
(Hail to our Duke, hail!)
Saxe-Altenburg within the German Empire
 
Ernestine-map.png
Ernestine duchies after 1825, showing Saxe-Altenburg in orange
Capital Altenburg
Government Principality
Duke
 - 1603–13 Christian II, Elector of Saxony (regent for John Philip)
 - 1669–72 John George II, Elector of Saxony (regent for Frederick William III)
 - 1826–34 Frederick
 - 1908–18 Ernst II
History
 - Saxe-Weimar partitioned 7 July 1602 1602
 - Personal union with
    Saxe-Gotha*
 
1672–1825
 - Ernestine duchies
    rearranged, duchy
    restored
 
12 November 1826
 - German Revolution November 1918 1918
 - Merger of Thuringia 1920
Area
 - 1905 1,323 km2 (511 sq mi)
Population
 - 1905 est. 207,000 
     Density 156.5 /km2  (405.2 /sq mi)
* See Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
† As Free State of Saxe-Altenburg
‡ In 1920, the ex-Imperial states of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and the two principalities of Reuß all merged to form the Free State of Thuringia.

Saxe-Altenburg (German: Sachsen-Altenburg) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in present-day Thuringia.[1]

Contents

History

The duchy originated from the medieval Burgraviate of Altenburg in the Imperial Pleissnerland (Terra Plisensis), a possession of the Wettin Margraves of Meissen since 1243. Upon a partition treaty of 1485, Altenburg fell to Elector Ernest of Saxony, the progenitor of the Ernestine Wettins.[2] After the Division of Erfurt in 1572 among Duke John William of Saxony and his nephews, Altenburg fell to his Duchy of Saxe-Weimar.

Altenburg Palace

When in 1602 John William's son and successor Frederick William I died, the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar passed to his younger brother John II, while in 1603 Frederick William's eldest son John Philip in compensation received the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. It was an Imperial State in its own right, with a vote in the Reichstag, for much of the 17th century until the extinction of its ruling line in 1672, when it was inherited by Ernest I the Pious, the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, who had married the heiress.

Saxe-Altenburg thereafter remained part of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg until the extinction of that house in 1825, when Gotha and Altenburg were split up, with Gotha going to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Altenburg to the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, who in exchange gave up Hildburghausen to the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. This family ruled in the duchy until the end of the monarchies in the course of the German Revolution of 1918-19. The succeeding Free State of Saxe-Altenburg was incorporated into the new state of Thuringia in 1920.

Saxe-Altenburg had an area of 1,323 km² and a population of 207,000 (1905). Its capital was Altenburg.

The Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct following the death of Prince George Moritz in 1991.

Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg

Elder line

Line extinct, inherited by Saxe-Gotha, thereupon Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Junior line

Heads of the Ducal House of Saxe-Altenburg, post monarchy

In 1991 the Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct.

Two branches descend from duke Ernest the Pious, the father of the progenitor of this Saxe-Altenburg branch: Saxe-Meiningen and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; according to old Wettin family law, they would have divided the actual territories between them (as happened to Gotha and Altenburg in 1826).

See also

References

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SAXE-ALTENBURG (Ger. Sachsen-Altenburg), a duchy in Thuringia, forming an independent member of the German Empire and consisting of two detached and almost equal parts, separated from each other by a portion of Reuss, and bounded on the S. and W. by the grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, on the N. by Prussia, and on the E. by the kingdom of Saxony. There are in addition twelve small exclaves. The total area is 511 sq. m., of which 254 are in the east, or Altenburg, division, and 257 in the west, or Saal-Eisenberg, division. The eastern district, traversed by the most westerly offshoots of the Erzgebirge and watered by the Pleisse and its tributaries, forms an undulating and fertile region, containing some of the richest agricultural soil in Germany. The western district, through which the Saale flows, is rendered hilly by the foothills of the Thuringian Forest, and in some measure makes up by its fine woods for its comparatively poor soil. The mineral wealth of Saxe-Altenburg is scanty; lignite, the chief mineral, is worked mainly in the eastern district. Nearly 60% of the entire duchy is occupied by arable land, and about 26% by forests, mainly consisting of conifers. Oats, rye, wheat and potatoes are the chief crops. Cattle-raising and horse-breeding are of considerable importance. About 35% of the population are directly supported by agriculture. The manufactures of the duchy are varied, though none is of first-rate importance; woollen goods, gloves, hats, porcelain and earthenware, bricks, sewing-machines, paper, musical instruments, sausages and wooden articles are the chief products. Trade in these, and in horses, cattle and agricultural produce, is brisk. The chief seats of trade and manufacture are Altenburg the capital, Ronneburg, Schmdlln, Gdssnitz and Meuselwitz in the Altenburg division; and Eisenberg, Roda and Kahla in the Saal-Eisenberg division. Besides these there are the towns of Lucka, Orlamiinde and Russdorf in an exclave. The duchy includes one of the most densely inhabited districts in the Thuringian states. The population in 1905 was 206,508, of whom 200,511 were Protestants and 5449 Roman Catholics. In the west division the population is wholly Teutonic, but in the east there is a strong Wendish or Slavonic element, still to be traced in the peculiar manners and costume of the country-people, though these are gradually disappearing. The Altenburg peasants are industrious and prosperous; they are said to be avaricious, but to love pleasure, and to gamble for high stakes, especially at the card game of Skat, which many believe to have been invented here. Their holdings are rarely divided, and a common custom is the inheritance of landed property by the youngest son. They are decreasing in numbers.

Saxe-Altenburg is a limited hereditary monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1831, subsequently modified. The diet consists of 32 members, elected for 3 years, of whom 9 are returned by the highest taxpayers, 11 by the towns and 12 by the country districts. The franchise is enjoyed by all males over 25 years of age who pay taxes. The duke has considerable powers of initiative and veto. The executive is divided into four departments, justice, finance, the interior, and foreign and ecclesiastical affairs. The annual revenue and expenditure stand at about X230,000 each. There was a public debt in 1909 of L44,37 0. Saxe-Altenburg has one vote in the Reichstag and one in the Bundesrat (federal council).

History

The district now forming the duchy of Saxe-Altenburg came into the possession of the margrave of Meissen about 1329, and later with Meissen formed part of the electorate of Saxony. On the division of the lands of the Wettins in 1485 it was assigned to the Albertine branch of the family, but in 1 554 it passed by arrangement to the Ernestine branch. In 1603 Saxe-Altenburg was made into a separate duchy, but this only lasted until 1672, when the ruling family became extinct and the greater part of its lands was inherited by the duke of SaxeGotha. In 1825 the family ruling the duchy of Saxe-GothaAltenburg became extinct and another division of the Saxon lands was made. Frederick (d. 1834) exchanged the duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, which he had ruled since 1780, for SaxeAltenburg, and was the founder of the present reigning house. In answer to popular demands a constitution was granted to Saxe-Altenburg in 1831, and greater concessions were extorted by the more threatening disturbances of 1848. In November of this year Duke Joseph abdicated and was succeeded by his brother George. Under George's son Ernest (1826-1908), who became duke in 1853, a period of reaction began and the result was that the constitution was made less liberal. In 1874 a long dispute over the public domains was settled, two-thirds of these being assigned to the duke in lieu of a civil list. In 1908 Ernest was succeeded by his nephew Ernest (b. 1871).

See Frommelt, Sachsen-altenburghische Landeskunde (Leipzig, 1838-1841); L. von Braun, Erinnerungsbleitter aus der Geschichte Altenburgs 1525-1826 (Altenburg, 1876); Mdlzer, Die Landwirtschaft im Herzogtum Altenburg (Stuttgart, 1907); Albrecht, Das Domanenwesen im Herzogtum Saxe-Altenburg (Jena, 1905); and E. Lae, Altenburgica (Altenburg, 1878).


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Simple English

Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg
Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg

State of the Holy Roman Empire,
State of the German Confederation,
State of the North German Confederation,
State of the German Empire,
State of the Weimar Republic

File:Sin
16021672
16721825*
18261918
19181920
File:Flag of Thuringia (state).svg
File:Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg File:Wappen Deutsches Reich - Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg (Mittleres).jpg
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: Heil unserm Herzog, heil
(Hail to our Duke, hail!)
Saxe-Altenburg within the German Empire
 
[[File:|250px]]
Ernestine duchies after 1825, showing Saxe-Altenburg in orange
Capital Altenburg
Government Principality
Duke
 - 160313 Christian II, Elector of Saxony (regent for John Philip)
 - 166972 John George II, Elector of Saxony (regent for Frederick William III)
 - 182634 Frederick
 - 190818 Ernst II
History
 - Saxe-Weimar partitioned July 7, 1602
 - Personal union with
    Saxe-Gotha
 
16721825
 - Ernestine duchies
    rearranged, duchy restored
 
November 12, 1826
 - German Revolution November 1918
 - Merger of Thuringia 1920
Area
 - 1905 1,323 km2
511 sq mi
Population
 - 1905 est. 207,000 
     Density 156.5 /km² 
405.2 /sq mi
* See Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
† As Free State of Saxe-Altenburg
‡ In 1920, the ex-Imperial states of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and the two principalities of Reuß all merged to form the free state of Thuringia.
File:Schloss
Altenburg Castle

Saxe-Altenburg (German: Sachsen-Altenburg) was one of the Ernestine duchies of the House of Wettin.[1] Altenburg was independent for most of the 1600s until 1672. This is when the last male ruler died. Because only men could rule the Ernestine duchies Altenburg began to be ruled by the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, who had married the last ruler’s daughter.

In 1825 the ruler died, and he also had no male heirs. Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was split up. Gotha was given to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Altenburg to the Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, who in exchange gave up Saalfeld and Hildburghausen to the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. This family ruled in the duchy until the end of the monarchies in 1918. Saxe-Altenburg became part of the new state of Thuringia in the Weimar Republic in 1920.

Saxe-Altenburg had an area of 1,323 km2 (510.8 sq mi) and a population of 207,000 (1905). Its capital was Altenburg.

The Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct following the death of Prince George Moritz in 1991.

Contents

Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg

  • Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1826-1834) (Previously Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen)
  • Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1834-1848)
  • Georg, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1848-1853)
  • Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1853-1908)
  • Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1908-1918)

Heads of the Ducal House of Saxe-Altenburg, post monarchy

  • Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1918-1955)
  • Georg Moritz, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Altenburg (1955-1991)

In 1991 the Saxe-Altenburg line became extinct.

Two branches descend from duke Ernest the Pious, the father of the progenitor of this Saxe-Altenburg branch: Saxe-Meiningen and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha; according to old Wettin family law, they would have divided the actual territories between them (as happened to Gotha and Altenburg in 1826). The senior male agnate descending from duke Ernest the Pious, in 1991 , was prince Frederick-Alfred of Saxe-Meiningen (a monk, 1921-1997), and thus technically succeeded then as titular duke of Saxe-Altenburg and head of the whole branch; but, because he renounced all his succession rights in favor of his uncle Bernhard, was him instead Frederick-Alfred the general heir of the line of Saxe-Meiningen. His successor was Konrad, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, the present head of that branch.

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References

  1. "The Ernestine Line's Saxon Duchies" (Web). Historical Atlas. Tacitus Historical Atlas. http://www.tacitus.nu/historical-atlas/regents/germany/saxony2.htm. Retrieved 2007-5-19. 

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