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The Province of Silesia
Silesia
(German: Provinz Schlesien; Polish: Prowincja Śląska; Silesian: Prowincyjŏ Ślōnskŏ) was a province of the German Kingdom of Prussia, existing from 1815 to 1919, when it was divided into the Upper and Lower Silesia
Lower Silesia
provinces, and briefly again from 1938 to 1941. As a Prussian province, Silesia
Silesia
became part of the German Empire
German Empire
during the Prussian-led unification of Germany in 1871. The provincial capital was Breslau (present-day Wrocław, Poland).

Contents

1 Geography 2 History 3 Administration 4 External links

Geography[edit]

Crown land of Silesia
Silesia
until 1742 (shaded in cyan) and Silesia
Silesia
Province from 1815 (outlined in red), superimposed on modern international borders

The territory on both sides of the Oder
Oder
river formed the southeastern part of the Prussian kingdom. It comprised the bulk of the former Bohemian crown land of Upper and Lower Silesia
Lower Silesia
as well as the adjacent County of Kladsko, which the Prussian King Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great
had all conquered from the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
under Empress Maria Theresa in the 18th century Silesian Wars. It furthermore included the northeastern part of Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
around Görlitz
Görlitz
and Lauban, ceded to Prussia
Prussia
by the Kingdom of Saxony
Kingdom of Saxony
according to the resolutions of the Vienna Congress in 1815. The province bordered on the Prussian heartland of Brandenburg (including the newly acquired lands of Lower Lusatia) in the northwest, and on the Grand Duchy of Posen
Grand Duchy of Posen
( Province of Posen
Province of Posen
from 1848) in the north, i.e. the Greater Polish lands that before the 18th century Partitions of Poland
Partitions of Poland
had belonged to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the northeast, Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
bordered on remaining Congress Poland, the Russian partition
Russian partition
that was incorporated as Vistula Land
Vistula Land
by 1867. In the east lay the Austrian share, the Lesser Polish kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Free City of Kraków (until 1846), and in the south the remaining Bohemian crown lands of Austrian Silesia, Moravia
Moravia
and Bohemia
Bohemia
proper. The incorporated Upper Lusatian strip of land in the west touched the remaining territory of the Saxon kingdom. History[edit] Further information: History of Silesia Immediately after the coronation of Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
as Bohemian queen regnant, King Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great
of Prussia
Prussia
had invaded Silesia, thereby starting the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
(1740–1748). By the end of the First Silesian War
First Silesian War
in 1742, the Prussian forces had conquered almost all of the Habsburg crown land, while according to the peace treaties of Breslau and Berlin, only some smaller parts in the extreme southeast, like the Duchy of Teschen
Duchy of Teschen
as well as the southern parts of the duchies of Troppau and Nysa, remained possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
as Austrian Silesia. Attempts by Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
to regain the crown land in the Second Silesian War (1744–1745) failed and she ultimately had to relinquish her claims by the Treaty of Dresden. The Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
(1756–1763) once again confirmed Prussian control over most of Silesia, and due to its predominantly Protestant population especially in Lower Silesia, it became one of the most loyal territories of the House of Hohenzollern. When the Prussian territories were reorganized upon the Congress of Vienna, the Province of Silesia
Silesia
was created out of the territories acquired by Prussia
Prussia
in the Silesian Wars, as well as those Upper Lusatian territories, which King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony
Frederick Augustus I of Saxony
had to relinquish due to his indecisive attitude in the Napoleonic Wars. As the lands had been part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
until 1806, Silesia
Silesia
was among the western Prussian provinces that laid within the borders of the German Confederation.

Administrative map, 1905

The character of the province's eastern third, Upper Silesia, had been much lesser shaped by the medieval German Ostsiedlung. According to the census of 1905, about three-quarters of the Silesian inhabitants were German–speaking, while a majority of the population to the east of the Oder
Oder
river spoke Polish (including Silesian and Lach dialects). Because of the extended iron ore and black coal deposits of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, there was considerable industrialization and urbanization in Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
and many people from neighbouring Posen and Congress Poland
Congress Poland
immigrated at that time. The Upper Silesian Industrial Region was the second largest industrial agglomeration of the German Empire
German Empire
after the Ruhr
Ruhr
area. Over decades the mainly Catholic Upper Silesian citizens in majority voted for the German Centre Party, while the Lower Silesian constituencies were dominated by the Free-minded Party and the Social Democrats. Ethnic tensions rose on the eve of World War I, with politicians like Wojciech Korfanty separating from the Centre Party and giving utterance to distinct Polish interests. After the war, the parts remaining in Weimar Germany were re-organized into the two provinces of Lower Silesia
Lower Silesia
(Niederschlesien) and Upper Silesia
Silesia
(Oberschlesien, the former Regierungsbezirk
Regierungsbezirk
Oppeln) in 1919. After three Silesian Uprisings
Silesian Uprisings
and the 1921 Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
plebiscite, the East Upper Silesian part of the province around the industrial town of Katowice
Katowice
(Kattowitz) was transferred to the Second Polish Republic and incorporated into the Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
in 1922. Further, in 1920 the Hlučín Region
Hlučín Region
was ceded to Czechoslovakia according to the Treaty of Versailles. After the Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
conquest of Poland in late 1939, the Province of Silesia
Silesia
was extended when a part of Poland was merged into that province. In 1941, the Province was divided again.[citation needed] Upon the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line
Oder-Neisse line
according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, most of the Prussian Silesia
Silesia
Province became part of Poland, incorporated into the Lubusz, Lower Silesian, Opole
Opole
and Silesian Voivodeships. The German-speaking population left or was expelled following World War II, though a minority remains. A smaller western part of the former Silesia
Silesia
Province lies within modern German states of Saxony
Saxony
and Brandenburg. Administration[edit]

Regierungsbezirk
Regierungsbezirk
Breslau

Urban districts (Stadtkreise)

Breslau Brieg (from 1907) Schweidnitz

Rural districts (Landkreise)

Breslau Brieg Frankenstein Glatz (former County of Kladsko) Groß Wartenberg Guhrau Habelschwerdt (former County of Kladsko) Militsch Münsterberg Namslau Neumarkt Neurode (former County of Kladsko) Nimptsch Oels Ohlau Reichenbach Schweidnitz Steinau Strehlen Striegau Trebnitz Waldenburg Wohlau

Regierungsbezirk
Regierungsbezirk
Liegnitz

Urban districts (Stadtkreise)

Görlitz Liegnitz

Rural districts (Landkreise)

Bolkenhain Bunzlau Freystadt Glogau Goldberg Görlitz
Görlitz
(former Saxon Upper Lusatia) Grünberg Hirschberg Hoyerswerda
Hoyerswerda
(former Saxon Upper Lusatia) Jauer Landeshut Lauban (former Saxon Upper Lusatia) Liegnitz Löwenberg Lüben Rothenburg (former Saxon Upper Lusatia) Kreis Sagan Schönau Sprottau

Regierungsbezirk
Regierungsbezirk
Oppeln

Urban districts (Stadtkreise)

Beuthen Gleiwitz Kattowitz Königshütte Oppeln Ratibor (from 1904)

Rural districts (Landkreise)

Beuthen Cosel Falkenberg Groß Strehlitz Grottkau Zabrze
Zabrze
(from 1915: Hindenburg) Kattowitz Kreuzburg Leobschütz Lublinitz Neiße Neustadt Oppeln Pleß Ratibor Rosenberg Rybnik Tarnowitz Tost–Gleiwitz

External links[edit]

Coats of arms of Upper Silesian towns while part of the Province of Silesia
Silesia
(in German) Administrative subdivision and population breakdown of the Province of Silesia
Silesia
in 1900/1900 (in German)

v t e

Territories and provinces of Prussia
Prussia
(1525–1947)

Before 1701

Duchy of Prussia Margraviate of Brandenburg Cleves / Mark / Ravensberg (1614) Farther Pomerania / Minden / Halberstadt (1648) Lauenburg–Bütow / Draheim
Draheim
(1657) Magdeburg (1680) Colonies

Gold Coast Arguin St. Thomas

After 1701

Neuchâtel (1707) Guelders (1713) Minden-Ravensberg (1719) Western Pomerania
Western Pomerania
(1720 / 1815) Silesia
Silesia
/ Glatz (1742) East Frisia (1744) East / West Prussia
Prussia
(1772–73) South Prussia
Prussia
(1793) New East Prussia
Prussia
/ New Silesia
Silesia
(1795)

Post-Congress of Vienna (1814–15)

Brandenburg Principality of Neuchâtel (1814–1848) Pomerania Grand Duchy of Posen1 Saxony Silesia Westphalia Rhine Province2 (1822) Province of Prussia
Prussia
(1824–1878) Hohenzollern (1850) Schleswig-Holstein / Hanover / Hesse-Nassau
Hesse-Nassau
(1866–68)

Territorial reforms after 1918

Lower / Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
(1919) Greater Berlin (1920) Posen-West Prussia
Prussia
(1922) Halle-Merseburg
Halle-Merseburg
/ Magdeburg / Kurhessen / Nassau (1944)

1 Became Province of Posen
Province of Posen
in 1848.   2 From the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg.

v t e

Silesia
Silesia
topics

History

Offensives Uprisings Wars (First, Second, Third) Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
plebiscite Treaty of Dresden Treaty of Teschen Book of Henryków Battle of Legnica Battle of Leuthen more...

Geography

Areas

Jelenia Góra
Góra
valley Kłodzko
Kłodzko
Valley Lower Silesian Wilderness Obniżenie Milicko-Głogowskie Ostrava Valley Oświęcim Basin Przedgórze Sudeckie Silesian Walls Silesian Foothills Silesian Lowlands Silesian Przesieka Silesian Upland Silesian-Lusatian Lowlands Silesian-Moravian Foothills Wał Trzebnicki Zielona Góra
Góra
Acclivity

Lakes

Jezioro Goczałkowickie Jezioro Otmuchowskie Jezioro Sławskie Nyskie Slezská Harta Dam

Mountains

Carpathian

Silesian Beskids Moravian-Silesian Beskids

Sudetes

Eastern Central Western

Rivers

Elbe

Divoká Orlice Jizera Úpa

Oder

Barycz Bóbr Kaczawa Kłodnica Kwisa Liswarta Mała Panew Nysa Kłodzka Olza Ślęza

Vistula

Biała Brynica Gostynia Przemsza Pszczynka Rawa

Politics

Subdivisions

Former

Duchies

Piasts dukes

Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
(1920–39)

parliament politicians treasury

State country Silesia
Silesia
Province

Upper Silesia Lower Silesia

Sudetenland New Silesia Austrian Silesia Eastern Silesia

Current

Jeseník District Moravian–Silesian Region Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis / Görlitz

Voivodeships

Lower Silesian Lubusz Voivodeships Opole Silesian

EP constituencies

Lower Silesian and Opole Silesian

Economy

Bielski Okręg Przemysłowy Katowice
Katowice
urban area Legnicko-Głogowski Okręg Miedziowy Lower Silesian Coal Basin Upper Silesian Coal Basin

Industrial Region Ostrava-Karviná / Rybnik
Rybnik
Coal Areas

Upper Silesian metropolitan area Tourism

Society

Culture

Architecture

Familok

Regional costume (Śląskie stroje ludowe)

Cuisine

Black noodles Bryja Ciapkapusta Dumplings Galert Hauskyjza Karminadle Kołocz Kreple Krupniok (Kaszanka) Makówki Moczka Modra kapusta Siemieniotka Szałot Wodzionka Żur śląski

Religion

Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg
Brandenburg
and Silesian Upper Lusatia Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland Roman Catholic Church Pentecostal Church in Poland

Sport

Football Association Moravian–Silesian Football League National football team Silesian Stadium

Languages

Silesian

Bytom Cieszyn Jabłonków Lach Lower Namysłów Niemodlin Opole Prudnik Sulkovian Syców Texas

Czech German

Silesian German (Lower Silesian)

Moravian Polish

Symbols

Coats of arms Flags

Unofficial anthems

Schlesien Unvergessene Heimat Schlesierlied Slezská hymna

Other topics

Demographics Landsmannschaft Schlesien Silesian Autonomy Movement Silesians

Category Portal

Authority control

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