Hannover or Prussia

Hi everybody: I guess it's time I jumped into the fray with another little history lesson. First of all, you must always remember that there was never a unified country by the name of Germany until 1871. I'll only touch on the part that we know as Hannover. The original Old Saxony that Charlemagne conquered was more or less what Niedersachsen is now. Hannover (the city) did not even exist back then. After the exile and death of Heinrich der L�we (1195) his duchy was broken up into the duchies of Braunschweig-L�neburg, Braunschweig-Wolfenb�ttel and Calenberg. The latter was where the town of Hannover was located but was the least significant of the three. L�neburg was the capital of the first and Celle was its 'Residenzstadt'. After the Reformation Braunschweig-L�neburg annexed Grafschaft (County) Hoya and other bits of territory, making it almost the size of later Hannover. Skipping a lot of details, it remained thus until the Elector of Hannover Georg Ludwig became
  King George I of England (1715).

From then it was ruled jointly from England until Napoleon conquered it and all the rest in 1806 and it became a departmente of France. After the Congress of Vienna (1815) Hannover was declared a kingdom but did not separate from England until 1837 when Victoria became queen. The ancient Salic Law of Charlemagne said that a female could not reign in Hannover so her uncle Ernst August became king of Hannover.

Prussia meanwhile was practically nothing (Electorate of Brandenburg) until the late 18th cent when the half-insane father of Friedrich der Grosse built up her army to such an extent that there were hardly any peasants to work the fields. Then in the mid 19th cent, again skipping details, along came Bismarck who coveted Hannover and especially the huge Welf fortune. He first formed the North German Confederation and the Zollverein which Hannover refused to join. In 1866 he said join or else. The or else resulted in the battle of Langensalza, which Hannoverian troops actually won but they were surrounded by several huge Prussian armies and had to lay down their arms. The people of Hannover hated Prussia and her militarism and my gr-grand-father was one of many who agitated and plotted for her independence from Prussia until the day he died. In 1871 Bismarck thru devious means coerced the southern states to join.
AS far as we know most of those who fought at Langensalza and most of the rest of Hannover's army fled the country since Prussia branded them as traitors and put a price of death on their heads.
So there is your history lesson for today. If you really want to learn the history of our Heimat - in a painless, fun way - I urge, urge, urge you to buy and read my books THE SAXON CHRONICLE. http://saxonchronicle.hypermart.net
And I agree with Rod re the census takers: Even if a person emigrated in say 1855, in the 1880 census the enumerator would probably put down either Germany or Prussia as the mood struck him. Hope this has been helpful to all. Jane

Jane Swan
Why Wait? Move to EarthLink.

Hi Jane,

hoping that my question is interesting for some other listies, I would
like to know whether your books are also available in German language,
as some of the older generation - like my father who is very interested
in Hannovers history - are not perfect in reading english books.

Thanks in advance for your answer.

Kind regards,

Isa Wöltje

Here some further remarks:
If someone will get the book "Erinnerungen eines Deutschen Offiziers 1848 -
1871" (= Memories of a German Officer) by J. Hartmann, published about 1890,
written about the Hanoveran and Prussian "unification", he could find a
human and touching picture of those times. Also, many names are mentioned in
said book, so ancestors may be found, too.
The Prussian state demanded 1876 in a "Sommation", that Hannover should
reduce its troops to the number normal in peace, further, that Hannover
should agree to a summons of a German parliament. These modest demands were
refused by the king of Hannover, who said: "As a monarch, as a Christian,
and a a Welf, I am not able to do so". So Langensalza was unavoidable.
Two brothers of my grandmother (all with name SCHASSE and devoted
"Welfists") emigrated into the US, because they did not want to be Prussian
soldiers. A third one, who dared to serve in the Prussian army, was thrown
out by the family and emigrated also, 1913!

Helmut (of Muenster, Germany)