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The Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine (German: Rheinbund; French: officially États confédérés du Rhin ["Confederated States of the Rhine"], but in practice Confédération du Rhin) was a confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was formed initially from 16 German states by Napoleon
Napoleon
after he defeated Austria
Austria
and Russia at the Battle of Austerlitz. The Treaty of Pressburg, in effect, led to the creation of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine. It lasted from 1806 to 1813.[1] The members of the confederation were German princes (Fürsten) from the Holy Roman Empire. They were later joined by 19 others, altogether ruling a total of over 15 million subjects providing a significant strategic advantage to the French Empire on its eastern front by providing a separation between France
France
and the two largest German states, Prussia
Prussia
and Austria, to the east, which were not members of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine. Napoleon
Napoleon
sought to consolidate the modernizing achievements of the revolution, but he wanted the soldiers and supplies these subject states could provide for his wars. Napoleon
Napoleon
required it to supply 63,000 troops to his army. The success of the Confederation
Confederation
depended on Napoleon's success in battle; it collapsed when he lost the Battle of Leipzig in 1813.

Contents

1 Formation 2 Member monarchies

2.1 College of Kings 2.2 College of Princes

3 Aftermath 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Formation[edit] On 12 July 1806, on signing the Treaty of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine (German: Rheinbundakte) in Paris, 16 states in present-day Germany
Germany
joined together in a confederation (the treaty called it the états confédérés du Rhinelande, with a precursor in the League of the Rhine).[2] Napoleon
Napoleon
was its "protector". On 1 August, the members of the confederation formally seceded from the Holy Roman Empire, and on 6 August, following an ultimatum by Napoleon, Francis II declared the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
dissolved. Francis and his Habsburg dynasty continued as emperors of Austria. According to the treaty, the confederation was to be run by common constitutional bodies, but the individual states (in particular the larger ones) wanted unlimited sovereignty.[1] Instead of a monarchical head of state, as the Holy Roman Emperor had had, its highest office was held by Karl Theodor von Dalberg, the former Arch Chancellor, who now bore the title of a Prince-Primate of the confederation. As such, he was President of the College of Kings and presided over the Diet of the Confederation, designed to be a parliament-like body although it never actually assembled.[1] The President of the Council of the Princes was the Prince of Nassau-Usingen. In return for their support of Napoleon, some rulers were given higher statuses: Baden, Hesse, Cleves, and Berg were made into grand duchies, and Württemberg
Württemberg
and Bavaria
Bavaria
became kingdoms. States were also made larger by incorporating the many smaller "Kleinstaaten", or small former imperial member states. They had to pay a very high price for their new status, however. The Confederation
Confederation
was above all a military alliance: the members had to maintain substantial armies for mutual defense and supply France
France
with large numbers of military personnel. As events played out the members of the confederation found themselves more subordinated to Napoleon
Napoleon
than they had been to the Habsburgs.[3] After Prussia
Prussia
lost to France
France
in 1806, Napoleon
Napoleon
cajoled most of the secondary states of Germany
Germany
into the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine. Eventually, an additional 23 German states joined the Confederation. It was at its largest in 1808, when it included 36 states—four kingdoms, five grand duchies, 13 duchies, seventeen principalities, and the Free Hansa towns of Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen.[1] Only Austria, Prussia, Danish Holstein, and Swedish Pomerania
Swedish Pomerania
stayed outside, not counting the west bank of the Rhine and the Principality of Erfurt, which were annexed by the French empire. In 1810 large parts of what is now northwest Germany
Germany
were quickly annexed to France
France
in order to better monitor the trade embargo with Great Britain, the Continental System. The Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine collapsed in 1813, in the aftermath of Napoleon's failed campaign against the Russian Empire. Many of its members changed sides after the Battle of Leipzig, when it became apparent Napoleon
Napoleon
would lose the War of the Sixth Coalition. Member monarchies[edit] The following table shows the members of the confederation, with their date of joining, as well as the number of troops provided, listed in parentheses.[4]

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v t e

Member states of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine, 1806.

Member states of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine, 1808 (largest-extent).

Member states of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine, 1812.

College of Kings[edit]

Flag Member monarchy Year joined Notes

Baden !Grand Duchy of Baden 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; former margraviate (8,000)

Bavaria
Bavaria
!Kingdom of Bavaria 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; former duchy (30,000)

Berg !Grand Duchy of Berg 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; absorbed Cleves, both formerly Duchies (5,000)

Hesse
Hesse
!Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; former landgraviate (4,000)

Regensburg ! Principality
Principality
of Regensburg 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; formerly Prince-Archbishopric and Electorate; after 1810 the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt (968 of 4,000)

Saxony !Kingdom of Saxony 000000001806-12-11-000011 Dec 1806 Former electorate (20,000)

Westphalia !Kingdom of Westphalia 000000001807-11-15-000015 Nov 1807 Napoleonic
Napoleonic
creation (25,000)

Württemberg
Württemberg
!Kingdom of Württemberg 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; former duchy (12,000)

Würzburg !Grand Duchy of Würzburg 000000001806-09-23-000023 Sep 1806 Napoleonic
Napoleonic
creation (2,000)

College of Princes[edit]

Flag Member monarchy Year joined Notes

Anhalt-Bernburg
Anhalt-Bernburg
! Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (700)

Anhalt-Dessau
Anhalt-Dessau
! Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (700)

Anhalt-Köthen
Anhalt-Köthen
! Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (700)

Arenburg ! Duchy of Arenberg 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; mediatized 13 December 1810 (379 of 4,000)

Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Hohenzollern-Hechingen
! Principality
Principality
of Hohenzollern-Hechingen 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder (97 of 4,000)

Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
! Principality
Principality
of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder (193 of 4,000)

Isenburg ! Principality
Principality
of Isenburg 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder (291 of 4,000)

Leyen ! Principality
Principality
of Leyen 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder; former countship or graviate (29 of 4,000)

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
! Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806 Co-founder (40 of 4,000)

Lippe ! Principality
Principality
of Lippe-Detmold 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (650)

Mecklenburg-Schwerin ! Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 000000001808-03-22-000022 Mar 1808 (1,900)

Mecklenburg-Strelitz ! Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 000000001808-02-18-000018 Feb 1808 (400)

Nassau ! Duchy of Nassau (Usingen and Weilburg) 000000001806-07-12-000012 Jul 1806* Union of Nassau-Usingen
Nassau-Usingen
and Nassau-Weilburg, both co-founders (1,680 of 4,000)

Oldenburg ! Duchy of Oldenburg 000000001808-10-14-000014 Oct 1808 annexed by France
France
13 December 1810 (800)

Reuss-Ebersdorf
Reuss-Ebersdorf
! Principality
Principality
of Reuss-Ebersdorf 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (400)

Reuss-Greiz
Reuss-Greiz
! Principality
Principality
of Reuss-Greiz 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (400)

Reuss-Lobenstein
Reuss-Lobenstein
! Principality
Principality
of Reuss-Lobenstein 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (400)

Reuss-Schleiz
Reuss-Schleiz
! Principality
Principality
of Reuss-Schleiz 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (400)

Salm ! Principality
Principality
of Salm (Salm-Salm and Salm-Kyrburg) 000000001806-07-25-000025 Jul 1806 Co-founder; annexed by France
France
13 December 1810 (323 of 4,000)

Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
! Duchy of Saxe-Coburg 000000001806-12-15-000015 Dec 1806 (Saxon duchies total 2,000)

Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
! Duchy of Saxe-Gotha 000000001806-12-15-000015 Dec 1806

Saxe-Hildburghausen
Saxe-Hildburghausen
! Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen 000000001806-12-15-000015 Dec 1806

Saxe-Meiningen
Saxe-Meiningen
! Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen 000000001806-12-15-000015 Dec 1806

Saxe-Weimar
Saxe-Weimar
! Duchy of Saxe-Weimar 000000001806-12-15-000015 Dec 1806

Schaumburg ! Principality
Principality
of Schaumburg-Lippe 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (650)

Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
! Principality
Principality
of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (650)

Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
! Principality
Principality
of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (650)

Waldeck ! Principality
Principality
of Waldeck-Pyrmont 000000001807-04-11-000011 Apr 1807 (400)

Aftermath[edit] The allies opposing Napoleon
Napoleon
dissolved the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine on 4 November 1813. After its demise, the only attempt at political coordination in Germany
Germany
until the creation on 8 June 1815 of the German Confederation
Confederation
was a body called the Central Administration Council (German: Zentralverwaltungsrat); its President was Heinrich Friedrich Karl Reichsfreiherr vom und zum Stein (1757–1831). It was dissolved on 20 June 1815. On 30 May 1814 the Treaty of Paris
Paris
declared the German states independent. In 1814–1815, the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
redrew the continent's political map. Napoleonic
Napoleonic
creations such as the huge Kingdom of Westphalia, the Grand Duchy of Berg and the Duchy of Würzburg were abolished; suppressed states, including Hanover, the Brunswick duchies, Hesse-Kassel and Oldenburg, were reinstated. On the other hand, most members of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine located in central and southern Germany
Germany
survived with minor border changes. They, along with the reinstated states, Prussia
Prussia
and Austria
Austria
formed the German Confederation. See also[edit]

League of the Rhine History of Germany West Germany List of German monarchs List of French possessions and colonies

References[edit]

^ a b c d Hans A. Schmitt. Germany
Germany
Without Prussia: A Closer Look at the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine. German Studies Review 6, No. 4 (1983), pp 9-39. ^ For the treaty (in French), see here ^ Germany
Germany
at Encyclopædia Britannica ^ Creation of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine, 12 July, 1806 Archived 29 May 2011 at Archive.is

External links[edit]

English translation of the treaty establishing the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine French version of the treaty establishing the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine on Napoleon
Napoleon
Guide.com Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine on World Statesmen.org

v t e

Client states of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic
Napoleonic
Wars (1792–1815)

Sister republics

Germany

Cisrhenia Mainz

Greece

Septinsular

Ireland

Connacht

Italy

Alba Ancona Bergamo Bologna Brescia Cisalpinia Cispadania Crema Italy Liguria Lucca Parthenopea Piedmont Rome Subalpinia Tiberinia Transpadania

Netherlands

Batavia Bouillon Liège

Poland

Danzig

Switzerland

Helvetia Lemania Rauracia Rhodania Swiss Confederation

Europe at the height of Napoleon's Empire

Napoleonic creations

Germany

Aschaffenburg Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine Baden Bavaria Berg Erfurt Frankfurt Hesse Leyen Regensburg Salm Salm-Horstmar Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck Saxony Westphalia Wetzlar Württemberg Würzburg

Italy

Benevento Etruria Guastalla Italy Lucca and Piombino Massa and Carrara Naples Pontecorvo Tuscany

Malta

Gozo

Netherlands

Holland

Poland

Warsaw

Spain

Spain

v t e

States of the Confederation
Confederation
of the Rhine (1806–13)

Rank elevated by Napoleon

Kingdoms

Bavaria Saxony Württemberg

Grand Duchies

Baden Hesse

Duchies

Nassau

States created

Kingdoms

Westphalia

Grand Duchies

Berg Frankfurt1 Würzburg

Principalities

Aschaffenburg2 Leyen Regensburg2

Pre-existing states

Saxon duchies

Coburg-Saalfeld Gotha-Altenburg Hildburghausen Meiningen Weimar3 Eisenach3 Weimar-Eisenach4

Other duchies

Anhalt (Bernburg Dessau Köthen) Arenberg Mecklenburg-Schwerin Mecklenburg-Strelitz Oldenburg

Principalities

Hohenzollern

Hechingen Sigmaringen

Isenburg Liechtenstein Lippe-Detmold Reuss

Ebersdorf Greiz Lobenstein Schleiz

Salm5 Schaumburg-Lippe Schwarzburg

Rudolstadt Sondershausen

Waldeck

1 from 1810 2 until 1810 3 until 1809 4 from 1809 5 until 1811

Coordinates: 50°07′N 8°41′E / 50.117°N 8.683°E / 50.117; 8.683

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 156590657 LCCN: n83050541 ISNI: 0000 0001 2192 3937 GND: 2033949-5 SUDOC: 030684358 BNF: cb122051008 (data) N

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