Salm-Salm was created as a partition of Salm-Dhaun in 1574, and was raised from a County to a Principality in 1739 after being inherited and renamed by Count Nicholas Leopold of Salm-Hoogstraten. Salm-Salm was partitioned between itself and Salm-Neuweiler in 1608.
The last territorial partition occurred in 1751, when Salm-Salm reorganized its borders with the Duchy of Lorraine.
In 1790, after the French Revolution, the princes of Salm fled the territory and moved to their castle in Anholt, Westphalia. Salm-Salm then was besieged by the revolutionary army, which blocked food supplies from reaching the state. As a consequence, the population was forced to surrender to France. On March 2, 1793, the French National Convention declared Salm-Salm to be a part of the French Republic and attached it to the Départment of the Vosges. This was recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the Peace of Lunéville of 1801.
Some years later, in 1802/1803, together with Salm-Kyrburg, the prince of Salm-Salm was granted new territories formerly belonging to the Bishops of Münster (Westphalia). The new territory was governed in union with Salm-Kyrburg and was known as the Principality of Salm.
In 1165, the original County of Salm was divided into the counties of Lower Salm, in the Ardennes, and the county of Upper Salm, situated in the Vosges mountains. In 1738, the County of Upper Salm was elevated to Principality of Salm-Salm.
At the end of its existence, Salm-Salm had an area of about 200 km² and 10,000 inhabitants. It was separated from the main part of the Holy Roman Empire when most of Alsace was ceded to France in the 17th century. Until 1766, it was bordered by the Duchy of Lorraine to the west and by France to the east. After Lorraine became a part of France on 24 February 1766, Salm-Salm formed an exclave of the Holy Roman Empire surrounded by French territory.
At Ludwig Otto's death, the male line became extinct, and the county of Salm-Salm passed to descendants of Friedrich I's youngest son, Friedrich I Magnus (1606-1673). Eventually, the title Prince of Salm was assumed by his descendants as well.
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