Württemberg

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Württemberg

(vür`təmbĕrk'), former state, SW Germany. Württemberg was formerly also spelled Würtemberg and Wirtemberg. The former state bordered on Baden in the northwest, west, and southwest, on Hohenzollern and Switzerland (from which it was separated by Lake Constance) in the south, and on Bavaria in the east and northeast. It included the Swabian Jura in the south and part of the Black Forest in the west. StuttgartStuttgart
, city (1994 pop. 594,406), capital of Baden-Württemberg, SW Germany, on the Neckar River. It is a major transportation point, with a large river port and an international airport, and a sizable industrial center.
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 was the capital; other important cities were Ulm, Esslingen, Heilbronn, Tübingen, and Friedrichshafen. In 1952 it was incorporated into the new state of Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg
, state (1994 pop. 10,000,000), 13,803 sq mi (35,750 sq km), SW Germany. Stuttgart is the capital. It was formed in 1952 by the merger of Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern, and postwar Baden, all of which came into being after 1945.
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.

History

The southern part of Württemberg was the core of the medieval duchy of SwabiaSwabia
, Ger. Schwaben, historic region, mainly in S Baden-Württemberg and SW Bavaria, SW Germany. It is bounded in the east by Upper Bavaria, in the west by France, and in the south by Switzerland and Austria. It includes the former Prussian province of Hohenzollern.
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; Württemberg N of Stuttgart was part of Franconia. The various territories were subdivided among the branches of the family, but in 1482 Count Eberhard V declared the indivisibility of the holdings. Württemberg was raised to ducal rank in 1495. In 1519, however, the Swabian LeagueSwabian League,
association of Swabian cities and other powers in SW Germany for the protection of trade and for regional peace. The Swabian League of 1488–1534 is the best known of the long series dating from the 14th cent.
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 of cities, fearing the rising power of Württemberg, expelled Duke Ulrich I from his domains, and in 1520 it sold the duchy to the newly elected emperor Charles V.

Ulrich, a turbulent individual, never ceased in his attempts to recover his lands. A Protestant convert, Ulrich secured (1534) the help of Philip of Hesse, a leading defender of the Reformation, and, through Philip, of Francis I of France; at the same time the peasants of Württemberg were rising against the unpopular government of King (later Emperor) Ferdinand I. At the battle of Lauffen (1534), Ulrich and Philip routed Ferdinand's troops. Ferdinand was obliged to restore Württemberg to Ulrich, although nominally Ulrich was to hold the duchy as a fief from Austria. Immediacy under the empire was restored only in 1599.

With Ulrich's return, Lutheranism was introduced. However, large parts of S Württemberg remained in the hands of the house of Hapsburg and of a number of powerful abbeys; these territories were incorporated into Württemberg only later. As a result, a large minority of the present population is Roman Catholic.

Württemberg was repeatedly the scene of fighting in the wars of the 17th and 18th cent. Duke Frederick II (1754–1816), through his alliance with Napoleon I, obtained the rank of elector in 1803 and became king of Württemberg as Frederick I in 1806, after joining the Confederation of the Rhine. Between 1802 and 1810 the territories of Württemberg were more than doubled and reached their final frontiers after an alliance with France under Napoleon. Frederick retained both his royal title and his lands at the Congress of Vienna, after having passed (1813) from the French to the Allied camp.

William IWilliam I,
1781–1864, king of Württemberg (1816–64), son and successor of Frederick I. Before his accession he fought (1812) with the French emperor Napoleon I in Russia and later, when Frederick I had broken his alliance with France, William served with the
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, his successor, granted a liberal constitution in 1819. During the reign (1864–91) of King Charles, Württemberg sided against Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, joined Prussia's side in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, and became (1871) a member of the German Empire. Charles's successor, William II, abdicated in 1918, and Württemberg joined (1919) the Weimar Republic. After World War II, N Württemberg was a part of the temporary state of Württemberg-Baden, and S Württemberg was a part of the temporary state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern until the two were joined as Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg
, state (1994 pop. 10,000,000), 13,803 sq mi (35,750 sq km), SW Germany. Stuttgart is the capital. It was formed in 1952 by the merger of Württemberg-Baden, Württemberg-Hohenzollern, and postwar Baden, all of which came into being after 1945.
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 in 1952.

Württemberg

 

a historical region in southwestern Germany. Württemberg was a county from the middle of the 13th century and gradually absorbed the territories of the former Duchy of Swabia. In 1495 Württemberg became a duchy (with its capital at Stuttgart). The reign of Ulrich of Württemberg (who ruled 1498-1519 and again 1534-50) saw the Armer Konrad Uprising (1514) and the implementation of the Reformation. Württemberg was one of the main focuses of the Peasants’ War of 1524-26. During the period of the Napoleonic Wars, Württemberg—an ally of Napoleon I—became a kingdom (1805), joined the Rhenish Confederation (1806), and considerably expanded its own territory. In the period of the struggle for the unification of Germany, Württemberg sided with Austria; in 1871 it was included within the German Empire with the rights of a kingdom. During the course of the November Revolution of 1918 the Württemberg monarchy was overthrown. During the years 1919-33, Württemberg was a Land within the Weimar Republic. In 1945 it was divided between the French and American zones of occupied Germany. Since 1949 it has been part of the Federal Republic of Germany (since December 1951 as a part of the Land of Baden-Württemberg).