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Related to Alsace-Lorraine: Franco-Prussian War


former region, Germany: see under AlsaceAlsace
, Ger. Elsass, former province and former administrative region, E France. It is separated from Germany by a part of the Rhine River. It comprises the departments of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, and the Territory of Belfort (a department created after the Franco-Prussian
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, France.



a Reichsland (imperial territory) of Germany from 1871 to 1918 that was created from the Alsatian departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin (excluding the territory of Belfort) and part of the Lorraine departments of Meurthe and Moselle, all of which had been won from France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71.

Alsace-Lorraine was initially administered by an Oberpräsident, who was appointed by the emperor and was granted, under Paragraph 10 of the law of Dec. 30, 1871 (the Diktaturparagraf), the right to use all means, including military force, to maintain order. Alsace-Lorraine was given 15 seats in the German Reichstag, nearly all of which, in the 1870’s and 1880’s, were held by candidates of the leftist bourgeois Progress Party. Not until the late 1870’s was a local consultative body—the Landes-ausschuss—established and the Oberpräsident replaced by the Statthalter, a resident representing the chancellor.

The policy of enforced germanization pursued by the German government aroused resistance and resulted in 400,000 persons emigrating to France between 1872 and 1882. The annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, which contained one of Europe’s largest ironore deposits, contributed to Germany’s rapid industrial development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Industrial growth and the influx of German capital drew the local bourgeoisie closer to its German counterpart.

The supporters of autonomy for Alsace-Lorraine within the German Empire grew stronger. The Diktaturparagraf was repealed in 1902, a local legislative body—the Landtag—was established in 1911, and Alsace-Lorraine was given three seats in the German Reichsrat. The policy of ethnic discrimination and forced germanization continued, however, leading in 1913 to a grave political crisis (seeZABERN AFFAIR OF 1913).

Differences over the Alsace-Lorraine question played an important role in the overall conflict of interests between Germany and France that led to the outbreak of World War I. Under the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France. During World War II, Alsace-Lorraine was occupied in 1940 by fascist German troops; it was liberated in late 1944 and early 1945.



an area of NE France, comprising the modern regions of Alsace and Lorraine: under German rule 1871--1919 and 1940--44. Area: 14 522 sq. km (5607 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
When the war broke out in August 1914, schools in Alsace-Lorraine had been dismissed for summer vacation and were to reconvene in October.
But, as in German areas of Alsace-Lorraine, a few schools very near the front continued to be used as hospitals or barracks until 1918.
The exact number of absent teachers is impossible to establish because official statistics of the Alsace-Lorraine teaching corps listed men at the front as if they were still teaching, at least until they were killed.
Schools in French-occupied Alsace-Lorraine met more regularly and for longer days than did schools in the German areas.
In both French and German areas of Alsace-Lorraine, teachers and administrators complained that canceled classes and half-day instruction led to lower rates of attendance even when school was in session.
As children's fathers, brothers, and uncles went off to war, as more German and French troops occupied Alsace-Lorraine, and as some children experienced firsthand the ensuing destruction and felt wartime deprivations, educators reasoned that children would have their minds on the war anyway, and it was only sensible to use that interest to teach various subjects.
Throughout Alsace-Lorraine, nationalist extremes that had made only occasional appearances in prewar curriculum became commonplace during the war.
In German-occupied Alsace-Lorraine instruction about the war began during the winter of 1914-15.
41) He implied that the same could follow the peaceful resolution of the question of Alsace-Lorraine.
By the following year, in a similar discourse, Ruyssen's words took on a tone of outright urgency: "France cannot disinterest itself from the fate of Alsace-Lorraine.
After having constructed its fundamental outlook and program on the premise of the inextricable relationship between the construction of a juridically established international community and the resolution of the question of Alsace-Lorraine, French pacifists saw these two elements detached from each other in the wake of Versailles.
13) The evolution of the LIPL's position regarding Alsace-Lorraine as presented in the pages of Les Etats-Unis d'Europe has recently been examined in Christian Baechler, "Les Etats-Unis d'Europe et la question de l'Alsace-Lorraine, 1871-1914," in Marta Petricioli, Donatella Chernbini, and Alessandra Antehini (eds.