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Nassau

orange, house, line and title

NASSAU, G Cr. pron. niis'sou. Formerly a German dnehy. now a part of the Prussian Prov ince of Hesse Nassau (q.v.). The districts now known by the name of Nassau were anciently occupied by the Alemanni (q.v.). They subse quently became a part of the Frankish realm. After the partition of the Carolingian Empire in the Treaty of Verdun ( S4:3) the present Nassau was a part of the Kingdom of Germany and was inelnded in the Duchy of Franconia. About 1100 the Count of Laurenburg built the Castle of Nas sau, from which his descendant Walram I. took the title of Count of Nassau about 1160. In the middle of the thirteenth century Walram's two grandsons. Walram II. and Otho, became the founders of two separate lines, ruling respectively in the southern and the northern parts of the country. The descendants of Walram II. con tinued to rule in Nassau until 1866. His son Adolphus was King of Germany from 1292 to 1298. His later descendants established several separate lines, but by the successive extinction of other branches the Nassau-Weilburg family was left as the sole representative in 1816. In 1806 the territories of the line of Nassau-Usingen had been erected into a duchy. In 1835 Nassau joined the Zollverein. Duke Adolphus of Nassau (1839

6G) had many difficulties with his subjects, who chafed under his conservative tendencies. He sided with Austria against Prussia in 1806, with the result that Prussia took possession of Nassau. (See GERMANY.) In 1890 the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg passed to the Duke of Nassau.

The younger line of Nassau was founded by Otho I. (died about 1292), who in the division with his brother received the northern part of the country. From this line have sprung the Stadt holders and royal sovereigns of Holland. This junior branch of the House of Nassau acquired possession in 1544 of the Principality of Orange in the person of William the Silent. the great leader of the Dutch in their struggle for inde pendence, who assumed the title of Prince of Orange. With the death of William III. of Eng land and Holland in 1702 Orange passed out of the House of Nassau. hut the princely title de rived from the little State was retained by his successors, and the reigning dynasty in the Netherlands is still styled the House of Orange. Consult Sehliephake, Geschiehte von Nassau (7 vols., Wiesbaden, 1864).