HOME

TheInfoList




The Margraviate of Brandenburg (german: link=no, Markgrafschaft Brandenburg) was a major
principality A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The legitimacy (political)#monarchy, political le ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
from 1157 to 1806 that played a pivotal role in the history of
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
and
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
. Brandenburg developed out of the
Northern March The Northern March or North March (german: Nordmark) was created out of the division of the vast '' Marca Geronis'' in 965. It initially comprised the northern third of the ''Marca'' (roughly corresponding to the modern state of Brandenburg B ...
founded in the territory of the Slavic
Wends 230px, ''Germaniae veteris typus'' (Old Germany). Aestui, Venedi, Goths, Gythones and Ingaevones are visible on the right upper corner of the map. Edited by Willem and Joan Blaeu, 1645. Wends ( ang, Winedas; Old Norse: ''Vindr''; german: Wenden ...
. It derived one of its names from this inheritance, the March of Brandenburg (). Its ruling
margrave Margrave was originally the medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the ...
s were established as prestigious
prince-elector The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the that elected the of the . From the 13th century onwards, the prince-electors had the privilege of who would ...
s in the
Golden Bull of 1356 The Golden Bull of 1356 (, , , ) was a decree issued by the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg and Metz Metz ( , , ; lat, Divodurum Mediomatricorum, then ) is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle (river), Moselle and t ...

Golden Bull of 1356
, allowing them to vote in the election of the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
. The state thus became additionally known as Electoral Brandenburg or the Electorate of Brandenburg ( or ). The
House of Hohenzollern The House of Hohenzollern (, also , , german: Haus Hohenzollern, ro, Casa de Hohenzollern) is a German royal whose members were variously s, , s and of , , , the , and . The family came from the area around the town of in during the late 11 ...
came to the throne of Brandenburg in 1415. In 1417,
Frederick IFrederick I may refer to: * Frederick of Utrecht or Frederick I (815/16–834/38), Bishop of Utrecht. * Frederick I, Duke of Upper Lorraine (942–978) * Frederick I, Duke of Swabia (1050–1105) * Frederick I, Count of Zollern ...

Frederick I
moved its capital from
Brandenburg an der Havel Brandenburg an der Havel () is a town in Brandenburg, Germany, which served as the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg until replaced by Berlin in 1417. With a population of 71,778 (as of 2010), it is located on the banks of the Havel, R ...
to
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
. By 1535, the electorate had an area of some 10,000 square miles and a population of 400,000.
Preserved Smith Preserved Smith (July 22, 1880 – May 15, 1941) was an American historian of the Protestant Reformation. He was the son of Henry Preserved Smith, a noted scholar of the Old Testament, and inherited his name from a line of Puritan ancestors stretc ...

The Social Background of the Reformation.
1920. Page 17.
Under Hohenzollern leadership, Brandenburg grew rapidly in power during the 17th century and inherited the
Duchy of Prussia The Duchy of Prussia (german: Herzogtum Preußen, pl, Księstwo Pruskie) or Ducal Prussia (german: Herzogliches Preußen, link=no; pl, Prusy Książęce, link=no) was a duchy A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The histor ...

Duchy of Prussia
. The resulting
Brandenburg-Prussia Brandenburg-Prussia (german: Brandenburg-Preußen; ) is the historiographic Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians wh ...

Brandenburg-Prussia
was the predecessor of the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female ...
, which became a leading German state during the 18th century. Although the electors' highest title was " King in/of Prussia", their power base remained in Brandenburg and its capital
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
. The Margraviate of Brandenburg ended with the
dissolution Dissolution may refer to: Arts and entertainment Books * Dissolution (Forgotten Realms novel), ''Dissolution'' (''Forgotten Realms'' novel), a 2002 fantasy novel by Richard Lee Byers * Dissolution (Sansom novel), ''Dissolution'' (Sansom novel), a 2 ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
in 1806. It was replaced after the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
with the Prussian
Province of Brandenburg The Province of Brandenburg (german: Provinz Brandenburg) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial ...
in 1815. The Hohenzollern Kingdom of Prussia achieved the
unification of Germany The unification of Germany into the German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Benningto ...
and the creation of the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
in 1871. As Prussia was the legal predecessor of the united
German Reich ''German Reich'' (german: Deutsches Reich, ) was the constitutional name for the German nation state A nation state is a state in which a great majority shares the same culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social b ...
of 1871–1945, and as such a direct ancestor of the present-day
Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...

Federal Republic of Germany
, Brandenburg is one of the earliest linear ancestors of present-day Germany.


Geography

The territory of the former margraviate, commonly known as the , lies in present-day eastern Germany and western
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
. Geographically it encompassed the majority of the present-day
German states The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...

German states
of
Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Brandenburg
and Berlin, the
Altmark:''See German tanker Altmark for the ship named after Altmark and Stary Targ for the Polish village named Altmark in German language, German.'' The (English: Old March (territorial entity), MarchHansard, ''The Parliamentary Debates from the Year 18 ...

Altmark
(the northern third of
Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt ; nds, Sassen-Anholt) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper) ...

Saxony-Anhalt
), and the
Neumark The Neumark (), also known as the New March ( pl, Nowa Marchia) or as East Brandenburg (), was a region of the Margraviate of Brandenburg and its successors located east of the Oder River in territory which became part of Poland Poland ...
(now divided between Poland's
Lubusz Lebus ( pl, Lubusz) is a historic town in the Märkisch-Oderland District of Brandenburg, Germany. It is the administrative seat of ''Amt (country subdivision), Amt'' ("collective municipality") Amt Lebus, Lebus. The town, located on the west bank ...
and
West Pomeranian Voivodeship The West Pomeranian Voivodeship, also known as the West Pomerania Province, is a voivodeship A voivodeship is the area administered by a voivode (Governor) in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since m ...
s). Parts of the present-day federal state Brandenburg, such as
Lower Lusatia Lower Lusatia (; ; ; szl, Dolnŏ Łużyca; ; ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic group, ethnic, linguistics, linguis ...
and territory which had been
Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were a group of early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
until 1815, were not parts of the Mark. Colloquially but not accurately, the federal state Brandenburg is sometimes identified as the Mark or Mark Brandenburg. The region was formed during the
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...

ice age
and characterized by
moraine A moraine is any accumulation of unconsolidated debris (regolith and Rock (geology), rock), sometimes referred to as glacial till, that occurs in both currently and formerly glaciated regions, and that has been previously carried along by a gla ...

moraine
s, glacial valleys, and numerous lakes. The territory is known as a or
march March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 3 ...
because it was a border county of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
(see also
Margraviate of Meissen The Margravate of Meissen (german: Markgrafschaft Meißen) was a medieval principality in the area of the modern German state of Saxony. It originally was a March (territory), frontier march of the Holy Roman Empire, created out of the vast ''Marca ...
). The Mark is defined by two uplands and two depressions. The depressions are taken up by rivers and chains of lakes with marsh and boggy soil along the shores; once used for
peat Peat (), also known as turf (), is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of species and the they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular , life forms, structure, ...
collection, the riverbanks are now mostly drained and dry. The Northern or Baltic Uplands of the
Mecklenburg Lake Plateau (Krakower See) in the heart of the Mecklenburg Lakeland. View from the church of St. Mary towards the lake harbour of Röbel. The Mecklenburg Lake Plateau or Mecklenburg LakelandLusatian Highlands The Lusatian Highlands''Upper Lusatia''
at www.silvaportal.info. Accessed on 10 July 201 ...
(near Żary (Sorau)) and continues past Trzebiel (Triebel) and
Spremberg
Spremberg
, then to the northwest through
Calau Calau (, dsb, Kalawa) is a small town in the Oberspreewald-Lausitz Oberspreewald-Lausitz ( dsb, Wokrejs Górne Błota-Łužyca, hsb, Wokrjes Hornje Błóta-Łužica) is a ''Kreis'' (district) in the southern part of Brandenburg Brandenburg ...
, and ends in the bare and dry Fläming. The southern depression is generally to the north of this ridge and appears strikingly in the
Spreewald The Spree Forest (German: ''Spreewald''; Lower Sorbian language, Lower Sorbian: :dsb:Błota, ''Błota'', i.e. 'the Swamps') is a large inland delta of the river Spree (river), Spree, and a historical cultural landscape located in the region of ( ...

Spreewald
(between
Baruth/Mark Baruth/Mark is a town in the Teltow-Fläming district of Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly maga ...
and Plaue an der Havel). The northern depression, lying almost directly south of the Baltic uplands, is defined by the lowlands of the
Noteć
Noteć
and
Warta The river Warta ( , ; german: Warthe ; la, Varta) rises in central Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 V ...
Rivers, the
OderbruchThe Oderbruch ( pl, Kotlina Freienwaldzka) is a landscape at the Oder The Oder (, ; Czech, Lower Sorbian and pl, Odra;, szl, Ôdra; hsb, Wódra) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ...

Oderbruch
, the valley of the
Finow Finow is a river of Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state in the northeast of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , larg ...
, the
Havelland Geographically, the Havelland is the region around which the River Havel flows in a U-shape between Oranienburg to the northeast and Rhinow to the northwest. The northern boundary of the Havelland is formed by the River Rhin and the Rhin Canal. I ...

Havelland
moor, and the
Oder River The Oder ( , ; Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is ...
. Between these two depressions is a low plateau that extends from the
Poznań Poznań is a city on the Warta, River Warta in west-central Poland, within the Greater Poland region. The city is an important cultural and business centre, and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Saint Jo ...

Poznań
area westward to Brandenburg through Torzym (Sternberg), the
Spree The Spree (; wen, Sprjewja, cs, Spréva) is, with a length of approximately , the main tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not fl ...

Spree
plateau, and the
Mittelmark The Mittelmark (German for "Middle March") is a historical region in eastern Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official langua ...
. From southeast to northwest, this plateau is intersected by the lowland of the Leniwa Obra and the
Oder River The Oder ( , ; Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is ...
below the confluence of the
Lusatian Neisse The Lusatian Neisse (german: Lausitzer Neiße; pl, Nysa Łużycka; cs, Lužická Nisa; Upper Sorbian: ''Łužiska Nysa''; Lower Sorbian Lower may refer to: *Lower (surname)Lower is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Art ...
, the lower Spree Valley, and the Havel Valley. Between these valleys rise a series of hills and plateaus, such as the
Barnim Barnim is a district in Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Depar ...

Barnim
, the
Teltow Teltow [] is a town in the Potsdam-Mittelmark district, in Brandenburg, Germany. Geography Teltow is part of the agglomeration of Berlin. The distance to the Berlin city centre is , while the distance to Potsdam Potsdam () is the capital an ...
, the Semmelberg near
Bad Freienwalde Bad Freienwalde is a spa town A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word ''spa'' is derived from the name of Spa, ...
(), the Müggelberge in
Köpenick Köpenick () is a historic town and locality (''Ortsteil'') situated at the confluence of the rivers Dahme (river), Dahme and Spree in the south-east of the Germany, German capital city of Berlin. It was formerly known as Copanic and then Cöpenick ...
(), the Havelberge (), and the Rauen Hills near
Fürstenwalde Fürstenwalde/Spree (Lower Sorbian: ''Pśibor pśi Sprjewje'') is the most populous town in the Oder-Spree District of Brandenburg, Germany. Geography The town is situated in the glacial valley (''Urstromtal'') of the Spree river north of the Rauen ...
(). The region is predominantly marked by dry,
sand Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided rock (geology), rock and mineral particles. Sand has various compositions but is defined by its grain size. Sand grains are smaller than gravel and coarser than silt. Sand can also refer ...

sand
y soil, wide stretches of which have
pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The div ...

pine
trees and
erica Erica or ERICA may refer to: * Erica (given name) The given name Erika, Erica, Ericka, or Ereka is a feminine form of Eric, deriving from the Old Norse name ''Eiríkr'' (or ''Eríkr'' in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first el ...
plants, or heath. However, the soil is
loam Loam (in geology and soil science) is soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements tha ...
y in the uplands and plateaus and, when farmed appropriately, can be agriculturally productive. Mark Brandenburg has a cool, continental climate, with temperatures averaging near in January and February and near in July and August. Precipitation averages between 500 mm and 600 mm annually, with a modest summer maximum.


History


Northern March

By the 8th century,
Slavic
Slavic
Wends 230px, ''Germaniae veteris typus'' (Old Germany). Aestui, Venedi, Goths, Gythones and Ingaevones are visible on the right upper corner of the map. Edited by Willem and Joan Blaeu, 1645. Wends ( ang, Winedas; Old Norse: ''Vindr''; german: Wenden ...
, such as the Sprewane and
Hevelli The Hevelli or Hevellians/ Navellasîni, also known as Svatodorans/ Sγatodorans, a name referring to the Golden Arrow, (sometimes ''Havolane''; german: Heveller or ''Stodoranen''; pl, Hawelanie or ''Stodoranie''; cs, Havolané or ''Stodorané'') ...
(Havolane or Stodorans), started to move into the Brandenburg area. They intermarried with Saxons and Bohemians. The Bishoprics of
Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
and
Havelberg Havelberg () is a town in the district of Stendal, in Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt (german: Sachsen-Anhalt (; Low German , , (in a stricter sense) nl, Nedersaksisch da, Plattysk, , , (rarely) , states = Northern Germany, Northe ...
were established at the beginning of the 10th century (in 928 and 948, respectively).Koch, p. 23. They were suffragan to the
Archbishopric of Mainz The Electorate of Mainz (german: Kurfürstentum Mainz or ', la, Electoratus Moguntinus), previously known in English as Mentz and by its French name Mayence, was one of the most prestigious and influential states of the Holy Roman Empire. In the ...
; the Bishopric of Brandenburg reached to the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
. King
Henry the Fowler Henry the Fowler (german: Heinrich der Vogler or '; la, Henricus Auceps) (c. 876 – 2 July 936) was the Duke of Saxony This article lists dukes, electors, and kings ruling over different territories named Saxony from the beginning of the ...

Henry the Fowler
started governing in the region in 928–9, allowing Emperor
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
to establish the
Northern March The Northern March or North March (german: Nordmark) was created out of the division of the vast '' Marca Geronis'' in 965. It initially comprised the northern third of the ''Marca'' (roughly corresponding to the modern state of Brandenburg B ...
under Margrave
Gero Gero I ( – 20 May 965), sometimes called the Great ( la, magnus),Thompson, 486. Also se was a German nobleman who ruled an initially modest march March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendar Th ...

Gero
in 936 during the German
Ostsiedlung (, literally "East settling") is the term for the High Medieval The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that lasted from around AD 1000 to 1250. The High Middle Ages In the history of Eur ...

Ostsiedlung
. However, the march and the bishoprics were overthrown by a Slavic rebellion in 983; until the collapse of the Liutizian alliance in the middle of the 11th century, the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
government through bishoprics and marches came nearly to a standstill for approximately 150 years.,Koch, p. 24. even though the bishopric was retained. Prince
PribislavPribislav, ''Przibislaus'' (from Slavic ''пробивающая слава'', "pribi" – ''pierced, breaking'' or "more, much more" and "slav" - ''glory'') is a Slavic origin name. Its feminine form is Pribislava. Notable bearers of the name incl ...
of the Hevelli came to power at the castle of Brenna (
Brandenburg an der Havel Brandenburg an der Havel () is a town in Brandenburg, Germany, which served as the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg until replaced by Berlin in 1417. With a population of 71,778 (as of 2010), it is located on the banks of the Havel, R ...
) in 1127. During Pribislav's reign, in which he cultivated close connections with the
German nobility The German nobility (german: deutscher Adel) and royalty Royalty may refer to: * Kingship * Royal family, the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family * Royalty payment for use of such things as intel ...
, Germans succeeded in binding to the Holy Roman Empire the Havolane region from Brandenburg an der Havel to
Spandau Spandau () is the westernmost of the 12 boroughs of Berlin, boroughs () of Berlin, situated at the confluence (geography), confluence of the Havel and Spree (river), Spree rivers and extending along the western bank of the Havel. It is the smalles ...
. The disputed eastern border continued between the Hevelli and the Sprewane, recognized as the Havel-Nuthe line. Prince
Jaxa of Köpenick Jaxa of Köpenick (sometimes ''Jaksa'' or ''Jacza of Copnic'', pl, Jaksa z Kopnika or Jaksa z Kopanicy, Jaksa being an early Sorbian languages, Sorbian and/or Polish form of ''James (name), James'') (floruit, fl. 1151-1157) was a prince of the Wes ...
(''Jaxa de Copnic'') of the Sprewane lived in Köpenick east of the dividing line.


Ascanians

During the second phase of the German
Ostsiedlung (, literally "East settling") is the term for the High Medieval The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that lasted from around AD 1000 to 1250. The High Middle Ages In the history of Eur ...

Ostsiedlung
,
Albert the Bear Albert the Bear (german: Albrecht der Bär; 1100 – 18 November 1170) was the first margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the bor ...

Albert the Bear
began the expansionary eastern policy of the
Ascanian The House of Ascania (german: Askanier) is a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the univers ...
s. From 1123 to 1125 Albert developed contacts with Pribislav, who served as the godfather for the Ascanian's first son,
Otto Otto is a masculine German given name Personal names in German-speaking Europe consist of one or several given names (''Vorname'', plural ''Vornamen'') and a surname (''Nachname, Familienname''). The ''Vorname'' is usually gender-specific. A ...

Otto
, and gave the boy the Zauche region as a christening present in 1134. In the same year, Emperor
Lothair III Lothair III, sometimes numbered Lothair II and also known as Lothair of Supplinburg (1075 – 4 December 1137), was Holy Roman Emperor from 1133 until his death. He was appointed Duke of Saxony in 1106 and elected List of German monarchs, King o ...
named Albert margrave of the
Northern March The Northern March or North March (german: Nordmark) was created out of the division of the vast '' Marca Geronis'' in 965. It initially comprised the northern third of the ''Marca'' (roughly corresponding to the modern state of Brandenburg B ...
and raised Pribislav to the status of king, although that was later rescinded. Also in 1134, Albert succeeded in securing for the Ascanians the inheritance of the childless Pribislav. After the latter's death in 1150, Albert received the Havolane residence of Brenna. The Ascanians also began to build the
castle A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Military order (monastic society), military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but u ...
of
Spandau Spandau () is the westernmost of the 12 boroughs of Berlin, boroughs () of Berlin, situated at the confluence (geography), confluence of the Havel and Spree (river), Spree rivers and extending along the western bank of the Havel. It is the smalles ...
. In contrast to their leaders who had accepted Christianity, the Havolane population still worshipped old Slavic deities and opposed Albert's assumption of power.
Jaxa of Köpenick Jaxa of Köpenick (sometimes ''Jaksa'' or ''Jacza of Copnic'', pl, Jaksa z Kopnika or Jaksa z Kopanicy, Jaksa being an early Sorbian languages, Sorbian and/or Polish form of ''James (name), James'') (floruit, fl. 1151-1157) was a prince of the Wes ...
, a possible relative of Pribislav and a claim-holder to Brandenburg, controlled Brandenburg with
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
help, and ruled the land of the Stodorans. Older historical research dates this conquest to 1153, although there are no definite sources for the date. More recent researchers (such as Lutz Partenheimer) date it to spring 1157, as it is doubtful that Albert would not have responded to Jaxa's actions for four years. With bloody victories on 11 June 1157, Albert the Bear was able to reconquer Brandenburg, exile Jaxa, and found a new lordship. Because he already held the title of margrave, Albert styled himself as
Margrave of Brandenburg Margrave was originally the Middle ages, medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or of a monarchy, kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain Feuda ...
() on 3 October 1157, thereby beginning the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The territorial limits of the original margraviate differed from the area of the current Bundesland
Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Brandenburg
, consisting merely of the Havelland and Zauche regions. In the following 150 years the Ascanians succeeded in winning the
Uckermark The Uckermark () is a historical region in northeastern Germany, straddles the Uckermark (district), Uckermark District of Brandenburg and the Vorpommern-Greifswald District of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Its traditional capital is Prenzlau. Geograp ...
,
Teltow Teltow [] is a town in the Potsdam-Mittelmark district, in Brandenburg, Germany. Geography Teltow is part of the agglomeration of Berlin. The distance to the Berlin city centre is , while the distance to Potsdam Potsdam () is the capital an ...

Teltow
, and
Barnim Barnim is a district in Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Depar ...

Barnim
regions east of the Havel and Nuthe, thereby extending the Mark to the
Oder River The Oder ( , ; Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is ...
. The ("New March") east of the Oder was acquired gradually through purchases, marriages, and aid to the
Piast dynasty The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the un ...
of
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
.Koch, p. 25. Because of the sandy soil prevalent in Brandenburg, the agriculturally meager principality was denigrated as "the
sandbox A sandbox is a sandpit A sandpit (most Commonwealth countries) or sandbox (US and Canada) is a low, wide container or shallow depression filled with soft (beach) in which can play. Sharp sand (as used in the building industry) is n ...

sandbox
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
". Albert , many of whom came from the ("Old March", a later name for the original Northern March), the
Harz The Harz () is a highland area in northern Germany. It has the highest elevations for that region, and its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is ...

Harz
, Flanders (hence the region), and the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
. After the capture of territory along the Elbe and Havel Rivers in the 1160s,
Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian Low Franconian, Low Frankish, NetherlandicSarah Grey Thomason, Terrence Kaufman: ''Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics'', University of California Press, 1991, p. 321. (Calling i ...
and
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
settlers from flooded regions in
Holland Holland is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (en ...

Holland
used their expertise to build
dikes Dyke or dike may refer to: General uses * Dyke (slang) The term ''dyke'' is a slang Slang is language (words, phrases, and usages) of an informal register. It also sometimes refer to the language generally exclusive to the members of ...
in Brandenburg. Initially, the Ascanians protected the country by settling
knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In so ...

knight
s in villages;
castle A castle is a type of fortification, fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by Military order (monastic society), military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but u ...

castle
s fortified with knights were mostly located in the border region of the Neumark. After a 14th-century decline in imperial power, however, knights began constructing castles throughout the principality, granting them more independence. After Albert's death in 1170, his son succeeded him as
Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg Otto I (c. 1128 – July 8, 1184) was the second Margrave of Brandenburg, from 1170 until his death. Life Otto I was born into the House of Ascania as the eldest son of Albert I, Margrave of Brandenburg, Albert I ("Albert the Bear"), who founded th ...

Otto I, Margrave of Brandenburg
. The Ascanians pursued a policy of expanding to the east and the northeast with the goal of connecting their territories through
Pomerania Pomerania ( pl, Pomorze; german: Pommern; Kashubian: ''Pòmòrskô'') is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . The sea stretches fr ...

Pomerania
to the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
. This policy brought them into conflict with the Kingdom of
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
. After the
Battle of Bornhöved (1227) The (second) Battle of Bornhöved took place on 22 July 1227 near Bornhöved in Holstein. Count Adolf IV of Holstein, Adolf IV of Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein, Schauenburg and Holstein — leading an army consisting of troops from the citie ...
, Margrave
John I John I may refer to: People * John I (bishop of Jerusalem)John I of Jerusalem was the seventh Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was, according to Eusebius, a Jewish Christian born to Jewish parents who kept the Law of ...
staked his claim to Pomerania, receiving it as a fief from Emperor
Frederick IIFrederick II, Frederik II or Friedrich II may refer to: * Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194–1250), King of Sicily from 1198; Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 * Frederick II of Denmark (1534–1588), king of Denmark and Norway 1559–1588 * Freder ...

Frederick II
in 1231. The middle of the 13th century was a time of important developments for the Ascanian House, as it won and the
Uckermark The Uckermark () is a historical region in northeastern Germany, straddles the Uckermark (district), Uckermark District of Brandenburg and the Vorpommern-Greifswald District of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Its traditional capital is Prenzlau. Geograp ...
(1250), although the former was later lost to the
Duchy of Pomerania The Duchy of Pomerania (german: Herzogtum Pommern, pl, Księstwo Pomorskie) was a duchy in Pomerania Pomerania ( pl, Pomorze; german: Pommern; Kashubian: ''Pòmòrskô'') is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea ...
. Also around 1250 it took over
Lubusz Land Lubusz Land ( pl, Ziemia Lubuska; german: Land Lebus) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic areas which at some point in time had a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social ...
from then-fragmented Poland and subsequently conquered northwestern parts of the
Duchy of Greater Poland The Duchy of Greater Poland was a historical Polish province established in 1138 according to the Testament of Bolesław III Krzywousty. It existed during the period of fragmentation of Poland until 1320, centered at Poznań Poznań ( , , ...
in the late 13th century, moving the border east of the
Oder The Oder ( , ; Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is ...

Oder
river.
Henry II Henry II may refer to: Kings *Henry II of England (1133–89), reigned from 1154 *Henry II of Jerusalem and Cyprus (1271–1324), reigned from 1285; king of Jerusalem in name only from 1291 *Henry II of Castile (1334–79), reigned 1366–67 and ...
, the last Ascanian margrave, died in 1320.


Wittelsbachs

Having defeated the
Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...

Habsburg
s, the
Wittelsbach The House of Wittelsbach () is the Kingdom of Bavaria, Royal Bavarian dynasty from Germany, with branches that have ruled over territories including Bavaria, the Palatinate, Holland and Zeeland, Sweden (with Denmark and Norway), Hungary (with ...

Wittelsbach
Emperor , an uncle of Henry II, granted Brandenburg to his oldest son,
Louis ILouis I may refer to: * Louis the Pious, Louis I of France, "the Pious" (778–840), king of France and Holy Roman Emperor * Ludwig I of Thuringia (ruled 1123–1140) * Ludwig I, Count of Württemberg (c. 1098–1158) * Louis I of Blois (1172–1205 ...
(the "Brandenburger") in 1323. As a consequence of the murder of Provost Nikolaus von Bernau in 1325, Brandenburg was punished with a papal
interdict In Catholic canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christ ...
. From 1328 onwards, Louis was in war against Pomerania which he claimed as a fiefdom and the conflict did not end before 1333. The rule of Margrave Louis I was rejected by the domestic nobility of Brandenburg, and, after the death of Emperor Louis IV in 1347, the margrave was confronted with the
False WaldemarThe False Waldemar, also known as the Wrong Waldemar († 1356 in Dessau) was an impostor who from 1348 to 1350 was invested with the Margraviate of Brandenburg, Mark Brandenburg by Charles IV. Life The legitimate Waldemar, Margrave of Brandenbur ...
, an
imposter An impostor (also spelled imposter) is a person who pretends to be somebody else, often through means of disguise. Their objective is usually to try to gain financial or social advantages through social engineering (security), social engineerin ...
of the deceased Margrave
Waldemar Waldemar, Valdemar or Woldemar is an Old High German Old High German (OHG, german: Althochdeutsch, German abbr. ) is the earliest stage of the German language, conventionally covering the period from around 750 to 1050. There is no standardise ...
. The pretender was recognized as Margrave of Brandenburg on 2 October 1348 by the new emperor,
Charles IVCharles IV may refer to: * Charles IV of France (1294–1328), "the Fair" * Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316–1378) * Charles IV of Navarre (1421–1461) * Charles IV, Duke of Anjou (1446–1481) * Charles IV, Duke of Alençon (1489–1525) * C ...

Charles IV
of
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...
, but was exposed as a fraud after a peace between the Wittelsbachs and Luxembourgs at
Eltville Eltville am Rhein (, from ''Alta Villa'', Latin for "high estate, high town", corrupted to ''Eldeville'', ''Elfeld'' and later ''Eltville'') is a town in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the ''Regierungsbezirk A ' () means "governmental district" ...

Eltville
. In 1351 Louis gave the Mark to his younger half-brothers (the "Roman") and in exchange for the sole rule over
Upper Bavaria Upper Bavaria (german: Oberbayern, ; ) is one of the seven Regierungsbezirk, administrative districts of Bavaria, Germany. Geography Upper Bavaria is located in the southern portion of Bavaria, and is centered on the city of Munich, both state ...

Upper Bavaria
. Louis the Roman forced the False Waldemar to renounce his claims to Brandenburg and succeeded in establishing the Margraves of Brandenburg as
prince-elector The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the that elected the of the . From the 13th century onwards, the prince-electors had the privilege of who would ...
s in the
Golden Bull of 1356 The Golden Bull of 1356 (, , , ) was a decree issued by the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg and Metz Metz ( , , ; lat, Divodurum Mediomatricorum, then ) is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle (river), Moselle and t ...

Golden Bull of 1356
. Brandenburg therefore became a (literally "electoral principality" or "electorate") of the Holy Roman Empire and had a vote in the election of the
Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as ...
. The Margrave of Brandenburg also held the ceremonial title of ''Arch-Chamberlain of the Empire'' ( la, Archi-Camerarius Imperii). When Louis the Roman died in 1365, Otto took over the rule of Brandenburg, although he quickly neglected the march. He sold
Lower Lusatia Lower Lusatia (; ; ; szl, Dolnŏ Łużyca; ; ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic group, ethnic, linguistics, linguis ...
, which he had already pledged to the Wettin dynasty, to Emperor Charles IV in 1367. A year later he lost the town Deutsch Krone (Wałcz) to Polish King
Casimir the Great Casimir III the Great ( pl, Kazimierz III Wielki; 30 April 1310 – 5 November 1370) reigned as the King of Poland from 1333 to 1370. He also later became King of Rus' in 1340, and fought to retain the title in the Galicia-Volhynia Wars. He was t ...

Casimir the Great
.


Luxembourgs

After the middle of the 14th century, Emperor Charles IV attempted to secure Brandenburg for the
House of Luxembourg The House of Luxembourg (luxembourgish: D'Lëtzebuerger Haus; french: Maison de Luxembourg; german: Haus Luxemburg) or Luxembourg dynasty was a royal family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of N ...
. Control over the electoral vote of Brandenburg would help assure the Luxembourgs of election to the imperial throne, as they already held the vote of
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...
. Charles succeeded in purchasing Brandenburg from Margrave Otto for 500,000
guilder Guilder is the English language, English translation of the Dutch language, Dutch and German language, German ''gulden'', originally shortened from Middle High German ''guldin pfenninc'' "gold penny". This was the term that became current in the ...
s in 1373 and, at a in
Guben Guben (Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voi ...
, he attached (but not incorporated) Brandenburg to the
Crown of Bohemia The Lands of the Bohemian Crown were a number of incorporated states in Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Sou ...
. The ''Landbuch'' ("land book", i.e. estate register) of Charles IV, a source for the history of medieval settlement in Brandenburg, originated during this time. Charles chose the castle of to be the electoral residence. The power of the Luxembourgs in Brandenburg declined during the reign of Charles's nephew
Jobst of Moravia Jobst of Moravia ( cs, Jošt Moravský or ''Jošt Lucemburský''; german: Jo(b)st or ''Jodokus von Mähren''; c. 1354 – 18 January 1411), a member of the House of Luxembourg The Limburg-Luxemburg dynasty, one of several families from different ...
. The was pawned to the
Teutonic Knights The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: la, Ordo domus Sanctae Mariae Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum; german: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly known ...
, who neglected the border region. Under the Wittelsbach and Luxembourg margraves, Brandenburg fell increasingly under the control of the local nobility as central authority declined.Koch, p. 28


Hohenzollerns

In return for supporting
SigismundSigismund (variants: Sigmund (given name), Sigmund, :de:Siegmund, Siegmund) is a German proper name, meaning "protection through victory", from Old High German ''sigu'' "victory" + ''munt'' "hand, protection". Tacitus latinises it ''Segimundus''. The ...
as Holy Roman Emperor at
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
in 1410, , a
burgrave Burgrave also rendered as Burggrave (from german: Burggraf, la, burgravius, burggravius, burcgravius, burgicomes, also praefectus Prefect (from the Latin ''praefectus'', substantive adjectival form of ''praeficere'': "put in front", meaning ...
of the
House of Hohenzollern The House of Hohenzollern (, also , , german: Haus Hohenzollern, ro, Casa de Hohenzollern) is a German royal whose members were variously s, , s and of , , , the , and . The family came from the area around the town of in during the late 11 ...
, was granted hereditary control over Brandenburg in 1411. Rebellious
landed nobility Landed nobility or landed aristocracy Aristocracy ( grc-gre, ἀριστοκρατία , from 'excellent', and , 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, gener ...
such as the family opposed his appointment, but Frederick overpowered these knights with
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
. Some nobles had their property confiscated, and the Brandenburg estates gave allegiance at on 20 March 1414.Koch, p. 29. Frederick was officially recognized as Margrave and Prince-elector Frederick I of Brandenburg at the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matte ...
in 1415. Frederick's formal investiture with the , or electoral march, and his appointment as Archchamberlain of the Holy Roman Empire occurred on 18 April 1417, also during the Council of Constance. Frederick made Berlin his residence, although he retired to his
Franconia Franconia (german: Franken, ; Franconian dialect: ''Franggn'' ; bar, Frankn) is a region In geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study ...

Franconia
n possessions in 1425. He granted governance of Brandenburg to his eldest son John the Alchemist, while retaining the electoral dignity for himself. The next elector,
Frederick IIFrederick II, Frederik II or Friedrich II may refer to: * Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194–1250), King of Sicily from 1198; Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 * Frederick II of Denmark (1534–1588), king of Denmark and Norway 1559–1588 * Freder ...
, forced the submission of Berlin and
Cölln Cölln () was the Twin cities, twin city of Old Berlin (Alt-Berlin, Altberlin) from the 13th century to the 18th century. Cölln was located on the Fischerinsel, Fisher Island section of Spree Island, opposite Altberlin on the western bank of ...
, setting an example for the other towns of Brandenburg.Koch, p. 30. He reacquired the Neumark from the
Teutonic Knights The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: la, Ordo domus Sanctae Mariae Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum; german: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly known ...
by the Treaties of Cölln and Mewe and began its rebuilding. Brandenburg-Pomeranian conflict, Years of warfare with the Duchy of Pomerania were ended by the treaty of Prenzlau, treaties of Prenzlau (1448, 1472, and 1479). Brandenburg accepted the Protestant Reformation in 1539. The population has remained largely Lutheranism, Lutheran since, although some later electors converted to Calvinism. The Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg sought to expand their power base from their relatively meager possessions, although this brought them into conflict with neighboring states. John William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg died childless in 1609. His eldest niece, Anna, Duchess of Prussia, was the wife of John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, who promptly claimed the inheritance and sent troops to take hold of some of John William's holdings in the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
. Unfortunately for John Sigismund, this effort became tied up with the Thirty Years' War and the disputed succession of Jülich. At the end of the war in 1648, Brandenburg was recognized as the possessor of approximately half the inheritance, comprising the Duchy of Cleves in the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term ...

Rhineland
and the Counties of Mark (county), Mark and County of Ravensberg, Ravensberg in Westphalia. These territories, which were more than 100 kilometers from the borders of Brandenburg, formed the nucleus of the later Rhine Province, Prussian Rhineland.


Brandenburg-Prussia

When Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia, died without a son in 1618, his son-in-law John Sigismund inherited the
Duchy of Prussia The Duchy of Prussia (german: Herzogtum Preußen, pl, Księstwo Pruskie) or Ducal Prussia (german: Herzogliches Preußen, link=no; pl, Prusy Książęce, link=no) was a duchy A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The histor ...

Duchy of Prussia
. He then ruled both territories in a personal union which came to be known as
Brandenburg-Prussia Brandenburg-Prussia (german: Brandenburg-Preußen; ) is the historiographic Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians wh ...

Brandenburg-Prussia
. In this way, the fortuitous marriage of John Sigismund to Anna of Prussia, and the deaths of her maternal uncle in 1609 and her father in 1618 without immediate male heirs, proved to be the key events by which Brandenburg acquired territory both in the Rhineland and on the Baltic coast. Prussia lay outside the Holy Roman Empire and the electors of Brandenburg held it as a fief of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, to which the electors paid homage. The electors of Brandenburg spent the next two centuries attempting to gain lands to unite their separate territories (the Mark Brandenburg, the territories in the Rhineland and Westphalia, and Ducal Prussia) to form one geographically contiguous domain. In the Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War in 1648, Brandenburg-Prussia acquired Farther Pomerania and made it the Province of Pomerania (1653–1815), Province of Pomerania by the Treaty of Stettin (1653). In the second half of the 17th century, Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William, the "Great Elector", developed Brandenburg-Prussia into a major power. The state constructed Brandenburg's Brandenburg Navy, first navy (), leading to short-lived colonies at Arguin, the Brandenburger Gold Coast, and Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas. The electors succeeded in acquiring full sovereignty over Prussia in the Treaty of Bromberg, treaties of Wehlau and Bromberg in 1657. The territories of the Hohenzollerns were opened to immigration by Huguenot refugees in by the Edict of Potsdam in 1685.


Kingdom of Prussia

In return for aiding Emperor Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I during the War of the Spanish Succession, Frederick William's son, Frederick III, was allowed to elevate Prussia to the status of a kingdom. On 18 January 1701, Frederick crowned himself Frederick I, King in Prussia. Prussia, unlike Brandenburg, lay outside the Holy Roman Empire, within which only the emperor and the ruler of Bohemia could call themselves king. As king was a more prestigious title than
prince-elector The prince-electors (german: Kurfürst pl. , cz, Kurfiřt, la, Princeps Elector), or electors for short, were the members of the that elected the of the . From the 13th century onwards, the prince-electors had the privilege of who would ...
, the territories of the Hohenzollerns became known as the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female ...
, although their power base remained in Brandenburg. Legally, Brandenburg was still part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by the Hohenzollerns in personal union with the Prussian kingdom over which they were fully sovereign. For this reason, the Hohenzollerns continued to use the additional title of Elector of Brandenburg for the remainder of the empire's run. However, by this time the emperor's authority over the empire had become merely nominal. The various territories of the empire acted more or less as ''de facto'' sovereign states, and only acknowledged the emperor's overlordship over them in a formal way. Thus, Brandenburg came to be treated as ''de facto'' part of the Prussian kingdom rather than a separate entity. From 1701 to 1946, Brandenburg's history was largely that of the state of Prussia, which established itself as a major power in Europe during the 18th century. King Frederick William I of Prussia, the "Soldier-King", modernized the Prussian Army, while his son Frederick II of Prussia, Frederick the Great achieved glory and infamy with the Silesian Wars and Partitions of Poland. The feudal designation of the Margraviate of Brandenburg ended with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, which made the Hohenzollerns ''de jure'' as well as ''de facto'' sovereigns over it. It was replaced with the
Province of Brandenburg The Province of Brandenburg (german: Provinz Brandenburg) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial ...
in 1815 following the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. The Prussian kings, however, continued to use the title "Margrave of Brandenburg" in their formal style. Brandenburg, along with the rest of Prussia, became part of the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
in 1871 during the Prussian-led
unification of Germany The unification of Germany into the German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Benningto ...
.


Later years

During the of provinces by Nazi Germany during the 1930s, the
Province of Brandenburg The Province of Brandenburg (german: Provinz Brandenburg) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial ...
and the Free State of Prussia lost all practical relevancy. The region was administered as the "Mark Brandenburg". The state of Prussia was ''de jure'' abolished in 1947 after the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II; the was replaced with the Brandenburg. Brandenburg west of the Oder–Neisse line lay in the Allied-occupied Germany, Soviet occupation zone; it became part of the German Democratic Republic. In 1952 the region was divided among the districts of Cottbus, Frankfurt (Oder), Potsdam, Schwerin, and ; Berlin was divided between East Berlin and West Berlin. This division of Brandenburg continued until the German reunification in 1990. The GDR districts were dissolved and replaced with the state of
Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Brandenburg
with its capital in Potsdam. The 850th anniversary of the foundation of the March of Brandenburg was celebrated officially on 11 June 2007, with preliminary celebrations at the Knights' Academy of on 23 June 2006.


See also

* List of rulers of Brandenburg * Prussian virtues


Footnotes


References

*


External links

* at Brandenburg1260.de. *
Historical map of Brandenburg, 1789
*
by Theodor Fontane, 1899
at Lexikus.de. {{DEFAULTSORT:Margraviate Of Brandenburg Margraviate of Brandenburg, 1806 disestablishments in the Holy Roman Empire States and territories established in 1157 Marches of the Holy Roman Empire, Brandenburg, Margraviate of 1150s establishments in the Holy Roman Empire 1157 establishments in Europe Upper Saxon Circle, Brandenburg