Kingdom of Westphalia


Kingdom of Westphalia

Infobox Former Country
native_name = "Royaume de Westphalie" (fr) "Königreich Westphalen" (de)
conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Westphalia
common_name = Westphalia|
continent = Europe
country = Germany
era = Napoleonic era
status = Client
empire = France
government_type = Monarchy
year_start = 1807
year_end = 1813
event_start = Treaty of Tilsit
date_start = July 9
event_end = Battle of Nations
date_end = October 19
p1 = Electorate of Hanover
flag_p1 = Flag of Hanover (1692).gif
p2 = Hesse-Kassel
flag_p2 = Flag of Hesse.svg
s1 = Kingdom of Hanover
flag_s1 = Flag of Hanover 1837-1866.svg
s2 = Hesse-Kassel
flag_s2 = Flag of Hesse.svg







image_map_caption = The Kingdom of Westphalia (green)
capital = Kassel
leader1 = Jérôme Bonaparte
currency = Westphalian frank

The Kingdom of Westphalia was a historical state that existed from 1807-1813 in parts of present-day Germany. While formally independent, it was a vassal state of France, ruled by Napoleon's brother Jérôme Bonaparte. It was named after Westphalia, but had little territory in common with that area.

The Kingdom of Westphalia was created in 1807 by merging territories ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia in the Peace of Tilsit, among them the Duchy of Magdeburg and the former Electorate of Hanover, with the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg and the Electorate of Hesse. Its capital was Kassel, and the king kept court at the palace of Wilhelmshöhe, re-named Napoleonshöhe. The state was a member of the Confederation of the Rhine.

Intended as a Napoleonic "model state", a constitution was written and a number of social reforms were implemented in the kingdom, including the abolition of servitude, the right of free enterprise, and the Napoleonic code. A metric system of weights and measures was introduced. Just as before the conquest, freedom of expression remained curtailed and censorship was instituted.

A significant burden on the kingdom was the requirement to supply troops and financial support for the Napoleonic wars. Large numbers of Westphalian troops perished in the Russian campaign of 1812; the Westphalian Guards heroically but unsuccessfully charged the Raevski Redoubt during the Battle of Borodino.Fact|date=February 2007

In September 1813 Russian cossacks surrounded Kassel, defeated the French completely and retook the city. By October 1 the cossacks had conquered the whole Kingdom, but three days later Jérôme returned with French soldiers and managed to recapture Kassel. The Elector of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) arrived soon after and the cossacks besieged the city again. After France lost the Battle of the Nations on 19 October 1813, the Russians dissolved the Kingdom and restored the status quo of 1806 (although Kaunitz-Rietberg and Stolberg-Wernigerode were not recreated).

Coat of arms

The arms reflect the incorporated territories. The first quarter shows the silver horse of Westphalia, the second the lion of Hesse over the counties of Diez, Nidda and Katzenelnbogen, the third was newly designed for non specified territories around Magdeburg and the fourth combined Brunswick, Diepholz, Lüneburg and Lauterburg. Around the shield are the Order of the Crown of Westphalia and the French ‘Grand Aigle’. Above is Napoleons star. Typically for the Napoleonic heraldry are the crossed sceptres

External links

* [http://www.lwl.org/westfaelische-geschichte/portal/Internet/ku.php?tab=pro&ID=38 Corpus juris of the Kingdom of Westphalia (constitution etc.)]
* [http://www.museum-kassel.de/lustik/englisch/index.php?intro=no König Lustik!? Jérôme Bonaparte and the Model State Kingdom of Westphalia. State Exhibition of Hesse 2008. Museum Fridericianum Kassel / Germany]


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