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Confederation of the Rhine

princes, received, elector, duke, federation and prince

CONFEDERATION OF THE RHINE. The Confederation of the Rhine was established by an act, signed at Paris on the 12th of July, 1806, by the Kings of Bavaria and Wirtemberg, the Elector of Mainz, the Elector of Baden, the Duke of Cleves and Berg (Murat), the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, the Princes of Nassau-Usingen, Nassau-Weil burg, Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Hohen zollern-Siegmaringen, Salm-Salm, Salm. Kyrburg ; the Duke of Aremberg ; the Princes of Isenhurg, Birstein, Lichten stein, and the Count of Leyen. By this act the Elector of Mainz received the title of the Prince Primate ; the Elector of Baden, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, and the Duke of Berg, received the titles of grand dukes, with royal rights and privileges ; the Prince of Nassau-Usingen received the ducal, and the Count of Leyen the princely dignity. The Frencb Emperor declared himself Protector of the Confederation. By the establishment of this Confederation many towns and principalities lost their political existence : such were the imperial city of Nurnberg, which was given to Bavaria ; and Frank fort, which was given to the prince pri mate. Several petty sovereign princes were by the same act mediatised, or de prived of their sovereign rights, such as making laws, concluding alliances, de claring war, coining money, &c.: they retained their hereditary estates, but be came subjects to the sovereigns who were members of the Confederation. The ob ject of the Confederation was declared to be, the maintenance of external and in ternal peace by the mutual assistance of all the members of the Confederation as well as of France, in case any one of them should be attacked by an enemy. The affairs of the Confederation were to be conducted by a congress sitting at Frank fort-on-the-Maine, and divided into two colleges—the royal one, in which the grand dukes had also their seats, and the princely one. The president of the con Fess in general, and of the royal college in particular, was the prince primate, but the president of the princely college was the Duke of Nassau. The Elector of

Wiirzburg joined the Confederation in the same year, and the King of Prussia medi tated the establishment, under his own protection, of a similar Confederation, composed of the princes of Northern Ger many, in order to counterbalance the power of the Confederation of the Rhine. This project was destroyed by the war of 1806, which was not over when the Elec tor of Saxony, who had received the title of king, by his treaty with France, on the llth of December, 1806, joined the Con federation, and his example was followed by all the Saxon princes. By the treaty of Warsaw, on the 13th of April, 1807, the two princes of Schwarzburg, the three ducal lines of Anhalt, the princes of Lippe Dettmold and of Lippe-Schaumburg, and the princes of Reuss, were received mem bers of the Confederation, which was increased by the accession of the newly erected kingdom of Westphalia, as well as that of both the Dukes of and of the Duke of Oldenburg. Thus in 1808 the Confederation comprehended 5916 geographical square (German) miles, with a population of 14,608,877 souls ; the army of the Confederation, which was fixed in the beginning at 63,000, was increased to the number of 119,180. The act of the Confederation was violated by its protector himself, who united with France, by a decree of the 10th December, 1810, all the country situated between the mouths of the Schelde and the Elbe, and deprived many sovereign princes of their dominions, taking away from the Con federation of the Rhine an extent of 532 geographical square (German) miles, with a population of 1,133,057. Napoleon did not observe any better the promise which he gave at the establishment of the Con federation not to meddle with its internal affairs, but treated it in every respect as one of his provinces. The events of 1813 put an end to the Confederation of the Rhine; the Congress of Vienna established, in 1815, the Germanic Con federation, composed of all the States of Germany. [GERMANIC CONFEDERA TION.