This article on the Brandenburg-Saxon relations (from 1423–1700, 1947–1952, since 1990) and on the Prussian-Saxon relations from 1701 to 1947 summarizes the more than 700 years of intergovernmental actions, diplomatic events, dynastic and contractual relations of the Saxon and Brandenburg state formation since the foundation of the Mark Brandenburg by the Ascanian Duke Albrecht the Bear and the subsequent division of the Duchy of Saxony into the final Ascanian Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg in 1296. In the period from the end of the 13th century until today, the state territories of both states were subject significant spatial changes. The form of government has also changed several times in the more than 700 years of the history of both German countries.
After the relationship between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was steadily intensified and expanded, the mutual climax in the relationship - also with regard to its European impact - was reached in the first half of the 18th century. Afterwards, the relationship between the two states was characterized by the inability of Saxony to frequently back the “wrong horse” in foreign policy decisions, which resulted in it losing most of the clashes against Prussia. From the 19th century onwards, mutual relations focused more on economic matters, also because from 1870 both states were only member states and from 1919 onwards they had lost all competences relevant to foreign policy.
|Area / year||Brandenburg and Prussia||Saxony|
|1600||40,000 km²||23,429 km²|
|1648||110,000 km²||34,993 km²|
|1740||119,000 km²||34,993 km²|
|1789||195,000 km²||34,993 km²|
|1807||158,000 km²||35,700 km²|
|1816||280,000 km²||14,993 km²|
|1871||348,780 km²||14,993 km²|
|1952||27,612 km²||17,004 km²|
|1990||29,654 km²||18,450 km²|
Origins and relationship features
Evolution of both states
While the temporal and spatial origin of Brandenburg is easy to identify, it is less clear in Saxony. The territory of the legal successor of the dissolved tribal duchy of (Old) Saxony became the area of the later Kurkreis , essentially today's district of Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt and the district of Elbe-Elster in Brandenburg. The founding events of this Saxon successor to the state were more fluid and fragile than in Brandenburg, so that only with the incorporation of the Kurkreis into the sphere of influence of the Margraves of Meißen in 1423 a territorial basis was created that is compatible with today's conception of modern Saxony.
Brandenburg and Saxony were part of the Holy Roman Empire from their foundation until 1806 and were subject to the emperor, i.e. only partially sovereign within the borders of the empire. Since 1648, both states had sovereignty under international law. From 1806 to 1813, both now formally sovereign states were part of the Napoleonic alliance system. From 1815 to 1866 both states belonged to the loose German Confederation , then to the North German Confederation, from 1871 to the German Empire, from 1919 to the Weimar Republic , from 1945 in the Soviet Zone, then to the GDR and from 1990 to the Federal Republic.
In the overall view of the evolution of both communities, a steady increase in state competencies can be observed for Brandenburg and Saxony from an imperial fief to a completely independent state around 1800. This was followed by a gradual reduction in state competencies up to the dissolution of both states in the 20th century. The state-political relationships to one another developed depending on the existing state competencies in the overall course of time described. From the time of the Reformation to the founding of the Reich in 1871, Europe-wide alliances, as well as military and war issues, were part of the context of Brandenburg-Prussian and Saxon foreign policy. After 1871 until today, the mutual external relations correspond to regional exchanges with a local reference.
At the beginning of their foundation, both states were located in the peripheral northeast of the empire, whose demographic and economic center was the Rhine. Compared to the other large German tribal areas that had formed similar territorial structures in the Middle Ages such as Bavaria , Swabia or Alamans, the Thuringians , Franks or the Old Saxons in today's Lower Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony were not originally an autochthonous tribal association, but a heterogeneously mixed conglomerate from immigrant Germans and Flemings of various origins and long-established Elbe Slavs who merged together. As political spaces, both territories were several centuries younger than the simultaneously existing German states of the Holy Roman Empire to the west.
Topics, policy areas and relationship elements
Due to the spatial proximity of the two states, the relations between the two ruling subjects were intensified at an early stage. In addition to the political relations, the mutual trade relations, the cultural relations and the exchange in the scientific discourse, especially via the universities of Halle and Leipzig, were concise. In the late Middle Ages, in the early modern era and in the bourgeois era up to 1918, mutual relationships were particularly strongly influenced by the dynastic relationships of the Hohenzollern and Wettin families.
The significant elements of political relations were:
- bilateral state visits to the Saxon court or the Brandenburg-Prussian court
- Diplomatic conventions, congresses and princely days , Reichstag , meetings in the Federal Council of the Empire and today in the Federal Council of the Federal Republic , joint cabinet meetings since 1990
- personal and diplomatic correspondence between the ruling families and / or state employees, envoys
- Military confrontations in battles and skirmishes
- Weddings between family members of the ruling families until 1918
- State treaties
- Party favors
In addition to dynastic issues such as the initiation of marriages or hereditary fraternities in the Middle Ages and in the 16th century, transport policy projects such as the construction of railway lines in the 19th century were on the diplomatic agenda in the exchange between the two states. The initiation of alliances and the joint formulation of political statements on overarching imperial and European policy areas were just as important in mutual relations until the 19th century. Due to the decline in importance in Saxony after the Seven Years' War, customs and trade issues became more important, especially in the 19th century. Technocratic topics such as regulations on coinage or the precise drawing of boundaries were also a significant part of the discussion topics on both sides.
Brandenburg-Saxon relations in the context of the national and international community
The two states also cultivated close relations with other foreign powers as well as with imperial estates directly under the Empire, such as Bavaria, Hesse or Hanover and the other electors of the electoral college . The mutual relations with the Emperor and the House of Habsburg were the most important for Saxony as well as for Brandenburg as partially sovereign imperial estates until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. Denmark, Poland-Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, and France were the next major foreign powers, with which both states maintained equally close ties in the early modern period. Due to the central location in Central Europe, the mutual relations were designed in alignment with the developments that took place in the Reich, as well as in alignment with the development of the aforementioned foreign bordering states of Saxony and Brandenburg.
History of relationships
Heirs and hereditary fraternities between the Wettins and Hohenzollern
At the end of the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the early modern period, the reorganization of territorial rulers in Central Europe began from purely personal associations, which were built according to feudal and loyalty principles, to bureaucratic and script-based institutional associations. This process took place over the 16th and 17th centuries. Up until this time, dynastic connections were particularly effective in the state, as permanent state institutions were either lacking or only poorly trained. Weddings and the assumption of guardianship therefore strengthened the family ties between the two dynasties of the Wettin and Hohenzollern in particular during the Renaissance.
Since the 13th century, the German imperial princes closed legacies to keep the peace. In terms of content, the legacies concerned mutual support through the granting of diplomatic and military aid, assistance against external enemies, but also typical civil peace tasks such as the prohibition of feuds, the persecution of peacemakers and the obligation of the respective officials to cooperate with one another. Legacies could be part of hereditary brotherhoods . With these inheritance contracts, entire principalities or domains were bequeathed to another after one dynasty died out. Legacies were (also) pre-forms of the right of alliance of the territories immediately under the Reich and milestones for the development of the foreign policy sovereignty of the early modern territorial states in the empire. The most important of this type of family contract was the one between the houses of Saxony, Brandenburg and Hesse. In 1457 the Brandenburg Hohenzollerns joined the inheritance contract between the Wettins and the House of Hesse , which had existed since 1373 . The legacy between Saxony, Brandenburg and Hesse, which dates back to 1457, was renewed for the second time after a first renewal in 1487 at a meeting of the princes involved in Naumburg in 1555. A third and fourth renovation followed in 1587 and 1614. There was a constant close relationship between the three houses, with the relationship between Brandenburg and Hesse being primarily shaped by the Wettins. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a series of marriages between the two dynasties followed. Catherine of Saxony married Elector Friedrich II of Brandenburg (1413–1471) on June 11, 1441 in Wittenberg . The marriage was part of a contract that enclosed the armed conflicts in Lusatia between Brandenburg and Saxony and sealed an alliance between the two states. In 1456 the marriage between Anna of Saxony and Albrecht of Brandenburg followed .
The Brandenburg Elector Johann Cicero married Margarete , daughter of Duke Wilhelm III, in Berlin on August 25, 1476 . of Saxony . The future Elector Joachim I emerged from this marriage . In 1524 Magdalene von Sachsen and Joachim II von Brandenburg married . Another dynastic connection between the two ruling families between Wettin and Hohenzollern was established on April 25, 1582 with the marriage of Wettin and Elector Christian to Sophie (1568–1622), daughter of Elector Johann Georg von Brandenburg . The two sons Christian II and Johann Georg I became Electors of Saxony. The Zinna Treaty of 1591 regulated the ten-year guardianship of the Brandenburg Elector Johann Georg, at the same time grandfather, over Christian II, Saxon Elector.
Correspondence between families also included the exchange of intimate and personal relationships, such as health status, upcoming births or weddings. Family and state-political matters were to be described as mixed and purely state matters were the mutual exchange relationships in the early modern period rather less. There were a total of ten marriage connections between the Brandenburg Hohenzollern and the Albertine Wettins and 17 marriage connections between the Ernestine Wettins and the Hohenzollern.
Mutual relationships during the Saxonica Pax in the Empire
The essential starting point for diplomatic actions and events of both states in the Middle Ages and the early modern period were the obligations and institutional specifications which both states represented by the person of the ruling prince as elector in the constitutional life of the Holy Roman Empire .
The inner structure of the Holy Roman Empire began to move from the end of the 15th century. Princely power and imperial power were in contradiction to one another and the balancing of internal power relations was continuously renegotiated. Especially during the first wave of the Reformation from 1517 to 1555, the power struggle between the imperial central power and the decentralized prince power led the empire into armed conflicts several times. In the time of the Reformation, in addition to the question of religion, the question of peace ( land peace ) was the most pressing political problem for the realm actors. The land peace in the empire was constantly threatened by a structurally pronounced feud in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The case of Margrave Albrecht Alkibiades in particular led to a common merger between Wettinern and Hohenzollern. Albrecht Alkibiades had won important advantages for the Protestant side, but began to pursue imperial politics at his own expense. Under the mediation of Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg together with the Danish King Christian of Denmark , the Margrave Albrecht Alkibiades and the Saxon Elector August of Saxony concluded a non-aggression pact in October 1553. This agreement also included the renewal of the legacy between the houses of Brandenburg, Hesse and Saxony. The renewal was sealed in March 1555 in Naumburg in the presence of the princes. At the same time, the Augsburg Reichstag took place, at which the princes were consequently not represented in person, but via delegates. The absence of the princes seemed like a provocation and at the same time like a curtailment of royal power. The sovereigns, for their part, set the priority of their personal presence at the renewal of the inheritance. The Naumburg Assembly therefore acted like the political counterweight to the Reichstag in Augsburg and thus had the character of a competitive event. The order of enforcement of the peace, adopted in Augsburg, with the form of organization and jurisdiction of the imperial districts, thus contradicted the dynastic triple union.
At the same time, religious peace was secured at the Reichstag in Augsburg with the continuation of the Passau Treaty . Since the fall of the hegemony of Charles V , the imperial estates were the empire. It was up to them to decide between war and peace. Saxony was considered to be the most powerful imperial estate, and the Augsburg Religious Peace of 1555 went back to its participation . This brought a so-called "Saxon Peace" to the whole empire. While Saxony had been a resource-rich, economically strong and politically influential country across the empire since the end of the Middle Ages, which also had a high density of cities, Brandenburg was considered a resource-poor country and the weakest of the seven electoral principalities. In terms of landscape, the Brandenburg area was described as the “Arabian desert” and the proverb of “the Holy Roman Empire's sandbox” was also common at the time. Overall, Brandenburg was considered to be underdeveloped compared to Saxony.
First of all, in the years between the Schmalkaldic War and the prince uprising, when the Ernestine and Albertine lines of the Wettins fought against each other, from the imperial point of view , Brandenburg assumed an important mediating role in this area of the empire remote from the emperor. After the stabilization of the position of the Albertines, who now held the electoral dignity, Brandenburg became dependent on Dresden politics in the following decades. Saxony was the more powerful partner of the two states and Brandenburg represented the impotent junior partner in the exchange relationships. The common interests of Brandenburg and Saxony predominated in the second half of the 16th century. The minutes of the Kurfürstenkolleg regularly record for the Hohenzollern representative: "Is like Saxony". Brandenburg was therefore a reliable junior partner of Saxony in the 16th century. The Elector Johann Georg , who ruled for almost thirty years, should be mentioned in the close relationship of the Hohenzollerns to the Electoral Saxon imperial and foreign policy . From 1571, the relationship between August and Johann Georg, who was almost the same age, was characterized by a strong harmony, which lasted until August's death in 1586. This relationship is also shown by the example of the cast gold medal by Tobias Wolff from the 1577 on the occasion of the Torgau Synod shown in the article . Even the two electresses maintained a friendly relationship; for example, they both acted as marriage brokers between Anna's son Christian I (1560–1591) and Sabina's (1529–1575) daughter Sophie (1568–1622).
Relations in the Upper Saxon Empire
Since the beginning of the 16th century, the empire gave itself an additional organizational level with the imperial circles , to which essential competencies in the area of maintaining the peace were transferred. The Upper Saxon Imperial Circle had a rather poor cohesion compared to other imperial districts located to the south-west, which was also due to the exact composition of the Imperial Estates. Since the Jessen convent of 1552, Saxony sought to achieve a political monopoly over the Upper Saxon Empire. Brandenburg also belonged to the Upper Saxon Empire . Despite their rivalry, both powers were thus forced into a corporate entity in which both paralyzed one another. Electoral Saxony also laid down the imperial constitution as the framework for its political action. Saxony tied itself into the empire for the sake of security and appropriated its political world of forms and symbols. In contrast, Brandenburg had no creative potential of its own, but it was able to inhibit the initiatives of its southern neighbor, which the Brandenburg delegates did regularly. The decision-making process was severely impaired. Also financially, Brandenburg only reluctantly participated in the obligations resulting from the resolutions of the district council.
The power struggle between the Electorate of Saxony and Brandenburg destroyed the structure of the Upper Saxon Empire in the run-up to the Thirty Years' War . In the second half of the 17th century, Brandenburg attacked the district constitution more aggressively and tried to block the district councils. Saxony, on the other hand, had the greatest interest in the functioning of the Imperial Circle, as it was able to secure its supremacy in Central Germany, but the effectiveness of the Upper Saxon Imperial Circle sank to a low point by 1683.
Confessional camp formation and confrontations between Brandenburg Calvinists and Saxon Lutherans
With the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, the religious political conflicts in the empire settled down. But within the Protestant camp there were further disputes about direction, which were mainly caused by the different denominations of the Calvinists and Lutherans. Saxony was on the way to Calvinism for a short time, but after a short period of Calvinism returned to Orthodox Lutheranism and rejoined the Habsburgs , which led to a break with the Protestant imperial estates. Their association, the Protestant Union , founded in 1608 , was now under the leadership of Brandenburg and the Calvinist Electoral Palatinate . The conflicts that broke out between Electoral Saxony and Kurbrandenburg during this period had a major impact on the further development of both states. As a result of the change of denomination of Brandenburg Elector Johann Sigismund from the Lutheran confession of Reformedism in 1613, the position of Electoral Saxony as the leading Protestant power in the empire, which had been accepted by Brandenburg up to that point, was indirectly called into question. There was great unease about this development in Dresden. The Dresden court viewed the Calvinists as dangerous heretics who endangered the constitutional order of the empire and thus also the territorial integrity of the otherwise saturated Saxony.
At the Reichstag in Regensburg in 1613, Saxony and Brandenburg found each other in two opposing camps. Saxony supported the Habsburg camp, while the Brandenburg elector officially switched to the Protestant Union under the leadership of the Elector Palatinate when Hohenzollern converted to Calvinism at the end of 1613.
The Margraviate of Brandenburg was until then part of the hegemonic sphere of influence of Saxony. This zone of influence, which Dresden had defended by peaceful means for over 50 years, had now been called into question. This was also caused by the territorial expansions that Brandenburg experienced at the beginning of the 17th century, which resulted in the rulers broadening their horizons. This was followed by a Europeanization of Brandenburg foreign policy. Together with Anhalt, Brandenburg began to pursue an active and aggressive policy that was no longer satisfied with the imposed inferiority towards Electoral Saxony. This was also noticeable in a more self-confident and confrontational political style towards Saxony, which differed significantly from the cautious, deliberate political style of the electoral predecessors. The harsh tone of Brandenburg in its relations with Saxony led to an overall cool relationship with Saxony. The lack of resources in Brandenburg prevented the political center of gravity in the Upper Saxon district from initially moving away from the Dresden area.
Brandenburg's increased readiness to aggression became apparent after the death of the last Duke of Jülich, Cleve, Berg and Ravensberg , Johann Wilhelm , on March 25, 1609. The Emperor, Brandenburg, Palatinate-Neuburg and Saxony promptly raised hereditary claims to these important Lower Rhine territories. The Wettin house based its claims on the marriage of Elector Johann Friedrich and Sybille von Cleve, Jülich and Berg in 1526 . Since 1485 there was a Saxon expectancy and contingent lending under imperial law . The succession dispute over Jülich-Kleve-Berg , which lasted from 1609 to 1614 , led to a permanent confrontation between the Electorate of Saxony and Kurbrandenburg, in the course of which a military conflict between the two electoral principalities often no longer seemed to be excluded. The confrontation occurred on all levels. After lengthy negotiations before the Emperor and the Imperial Court of Justice , Elector Christian II was enfeoffed with the Lower Rhine territories on July 7, 1610 by Emperor Rudolf II .
However, neglecting these claims and the joint agreements and deliberately ignoring the imperial pronouncements, Brandenburg and the Elector Palatinate-Neuburg occupied the duchies. In the autumn of 1609, Landgrave Moritz von Hessen-Kassel took the initiative to protect the interests of the Evangelical Union in view of the growing problems in the Jülich-Klevischen succession dispute. After Landgrave Ludwig from Hesse-Darmstadt explored the terrain in a kind of "pendulum diplomacy" in both Berlin and Dresden in the last weeks of 1610, both electors gave their consent to negotiations. It was agreed on Jüterbog as the venue. The two named Hessian Landgraves and the Franconian Margrave Christian von Brandenburg-Bayreuth acted as mediators .
The Brandenburg elector resided in Zinna , north of Jüterbog, and his Saxon comrade resided with his entourage at Glücksburg Castle , about 15 km from Jüterbog , which was on Electoral Saxon territory. The other princes involved in the negotiations as well as the councilors from Electoral Saxony and Brandenburg were accommodated in Jüterbog. Negotiations were only in writing and the two electors only met on the last day. On March 21, 1611, the negotiations were concluded with the signing of the contract. On this occasion, all 14 participating princes gathered in Jüterbog. As a result of the Jüterbogers Fürstentag, the Electorate of Saxony was to enter into the joint administration of these territories on an equal footing with Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg until the legal dispute was finally resolved. The part that prevails in a later legal settlement would then have to pay the losing princes a sum of money to be negotiated more precisely. The treaty was more a formulaic compromise than a politically manageable agreement.
The distrust between Dresden and Berlin continued after the Jüterboger Fürstentag . For example, the Kurbrandenburg Secret Council Adam Gans Edler zu Putlitz advised his elector against another meeting with Christian II on June 21, 1611. Alluding to the traditional attitude of the Albertine Wettins loyal to the emperor, "one knows well enough that the Saxon councils" want to conform with the catholicorum "and drive a wedge into the Protestant camp."
The Treaty of Jüterbog of 1611, with which a decision on the succession should be found, never came into force. The following years were determined by changing alliances and approaches between Brandenburg, Neuburg, Saxony and the Kaiser. Ultimately, Brandenburg and Pfalz-Neuburg agreed on their real distribution in the Treaty of Xanten 1614. Electoral Saxony came away empty-handed.
Joint washing between the emperor and Sweden in the Thirty Years' War
The mutual resentments were overshadowed by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War . Both states got involved in the conflict during the war and were devastated several times over several years. Sweden and imperial troops fought each other on Saxon and Brandenburg territory. During the time of the Bohemian uprising , Brandenburg, together with Pomerania, Anhalt and Weimar, protested against the electoral Saxon dominance in the Upper Saxon Empire and represented anti-imperial and thus anti-Saxon positions. Electoral Saxony convened an Upper Saxon district council in Leipzig in January 1620 and sided with the imperial side. Brandenburg submitted.
Ultimately, those responsible in both countries were more likely to have to find a coordinated political course, so that, regardless of all differences, regular intergovernmental meetings of high state officials took place who worked out common positions on a variety of issues. The Protestant side, led by the Electoral Palatinate, had suffered a military defeat and the Protestant Union was weakened. Imperial political entanglements followed. Brandenburg and Saxony had taken imperial positions, but now stayed away from the Regensburg Princely Congress in 1623, which was convened by the emperor . Imperial letters asked both to appear during the Prince's Day. However, the enfeoffment of Bavaria with the electoral dignity had finally alienated both electors. Instead of appearing at the Fürstentag, Georg Wilhelm and Johann Georg arranged a meeting in Annaburg , Saxony , at which a common position on imperial affairs was agreed and on March 12th a common apology was written to the emperor about their absence. On April 20, 1623 the district council of Jüterbog followed. There was a threat of a clash of pro-Palatinate troops under Ernst von Mansfeld and Tilly's League army on the Weser. Arming the Upper Saxon Imperial Circle was therefore urgent and was presented jointly by Saxony and Brandenburg in the district and included the formation of an army of 8,000 men for a period of six months. After that, the district council was allowed to dispose of the troops deployed. The district was divided into two command spheres, a northern one with the Brandenburg command and a southern one with the Saxon command. The unity of the two states was over by the end of 1623. At the district assembly of the Upper Saxon Reichstag, Brandenburg brought about the dissolution of the district troops previously set up against the resistance of Saxony and with the consent of the other district estates. After the disintegration of the Protestant Union, the Protestant estates only adopted a hesitant policy. Brandenburg got out of the slipstream of Saxony, in which it had previously stood, and tried to take a politically active stance. With the formation of the Hague Alliance , however, it soon got politically marginalized. Since Sweden left, the small country, which at times had ventured very far for its circumstances and possibilities, no longer dared to continue this courageous policy without the appropriate protection of a strong power. Thereupon Brandenburg approached the politics of the Electorate of Saxony, which was loyal to the Kaiser.
The emperor had achieved a preponderance in the empire and issued the edict of restitution as part of a policy of recatholization . Saxony, which had previously been loyal to the emperor, was deterred by the authoritarian imperial policy. It had lost key positions in northern Germany and now threatened to be degraded to an object of imperial rule. The fearful policy of neutrality, restricting the horizon of one's own territorial state, was no longer sufficient. Saxony began to pursue an active alliance policy of the imperial class, which it had previously refused for decades despite inquiries and requests. It wanted to prevent it from being crushed between the European powers. Brandenburg, which had switched to the camp loyal to the emperor in 1626, suffered from the ruthlessness of the imperial armies in its territory. The landing of the Swedish army in northern Germany in July 1630 created a new military situation. Sweden's army threatened both states from the north, while imperial troops moved from the south to the north. As a result, lively diplomacy also set in between the two states.
In April 1630 there was a Saxon-Brandenburg congress in Annaburg in preparation for the Electoral Congress in Regensburg 1630. The Saxon Elector still hoped to find a solution to the restitution problem among the electorate. Both electorates pushed for the edict of restitution to be annulled. The Brandenburg and Saxon electors did not appear at the Electoral Congress in Regensburg because they were annoyed by the edict of restitution. Instead, you were represented by envoys. However, there was no solution to the restitution problem at the Electoral Congress. Instead, the two Protestant principalities were confronted with new demands for contributions from the Catholic party. Only now, after it became clear that no solution to the restitution question was to be expected from the Electoral Congress, did the Elector Johann Georg bring himself to a fundamental change in his political strategy and remembered the demand that the Protestant imperial prince had made on him since 1629 to convene a major Protestant convention. At the meeting of Electors Johann Georg I of Saxony and Georg Wilhelm of Brandenburg zu Zabeltitz in September 1630, the Saxon was much more open to the Brandenburg proposals. For the first time, the Albertine vaguely stipulated the convening of a special convention of the Protestant imperial estates. The Swedish landing on Usedom seemed to give the two electorates an arbiter role between the emperor and the Swedes. At that point it became clear how much the emperor's excess weight had been weakened. A space opened up in which both electors saw a chance to form a third party, the party of the imperial constitution. The Saxon-Brandenburg meeting in Annaburg in December 1630 served as preparation for the Leipzig Convention in 1631 . On this, the theologians from Brandenburg and Electorate of Saxony, including the Saxon court preacher Matthias Hoë von Hoënegg , known as an opponent of the Calvinists, found themselves ready to end their contradictions. The Brandenburgers pushed for the conclusion of an evangelical defense alliance. In Leipzig, after several months of negotiations between Protestant princes, the Leipzig Manifesto was finally drawn up in April 1631, which was directed against the Imperial Edict of Restitution of 1629. Shortly afterwards, however, the Leipzig alliance was smashed again by the events that quickly emerged. Both the emperor and the Swedish king Gustav Adolf II, who had invaded the empire from the north, did not tolerate any third party in the conflict. As a result, Magdeburg was destroyed . The armed pressure of Sweden brought about an alliance between Brandenburg and this foreign Protestant power, which was followed a little later in September 1631 by the Saxon Elector. At the end of February and beginning of March 1632, Saxon and Brandenburg councilors met in Torgau to explore the chances of a common policy against Sweden. The Saxon goal was a separate alliance between the two countries to keep Sweden out of the affairs of German Protestantism. Contrary to expectations, Johann Georg met with little approval from Georg Wilhelm. While Brandenburg advocated a victory peace for the Protestants in the empire, the saturated Saxony stood for a negotiated peace with the emperor. Saxony, on the other hand, wanted to take over the leadership of the Protestants in the empire as usual and saw Sweden as a competitor. Georg Wilhelm's answer was aimed at saying that he would have liked to see the Leipzig Convention tied closer to Sweden instead of wanting to form a third party. This would have prevented the destruction of Magdeburg.
Apart from this brief attempt to defend interests independently, Brandenburg and Saxony were unable to represent their own positions until the end of the war. At least in the case of Brandenburg, this was due to an inadequate army of its own, which could not guarantee effective protection of the country. From then on, both states directed their unsuccessful efforts to keep Sweden and the emperor's troops away from their own territories. Both territories were destroyed by foreign armies.
Change of times in the power relations between Brandenburg and Saxony
The Peace of Westphalia between Munster and Osnabrück ended the Thirty Years War; the cession of the Duchy of Magdeburg by Saxony to Brandenburg was determined and carried out in 1680. Until then, since the rise of the Albertines in Saxony, the struggle with Brandenburg for supremacy on the Middle Elbe had been fought. Brandenburg-Prussia was able to enlarge its territory from 40,000 to 110,000 km² in the period from 1598 to 1648. Saxony was also able to achieve significant territorial gains through the incorporation of the two Lusatians and increased its national territory from around 22,000 km² to 35,000 km². Both states now had a territorial base of European magnitude and were seen as emerging powers with a future in power politics, i.e. states that could hope to maintain their independence in the power political competition of the European powers and to rise to the ranks of the great powers. The peace negotiations were at times burdened by battles of rank between Dresden and Berlin . In Berlin, the main forces were now determined to pursue politics in the dimensions of a sovereign state. Unlike the Saxon teachers, the docile students from the Mark wanted to devote themselves to imperial politics without surrendering to the emperor at the same time. Both Saxony and the Reich did not want to face the Brandenburg balance of power demanded. Up until the Peace of Prague in 1635, Saxony was a key figure in shaping German politics and was now indifferent to the changed relationship and activities in Brandenburg. The undisputed leadership situation in the Upper Saxon Empire with its center in Dresden no longer existed. Saxony wanted to exercise dominance in the Upper Saxon Empire, but could not establish the functions associated with it. The foreign policy of the Electorate of Saxony failed to come up with new ideas and drafts, while the Brandenburg neighbor worked steadily on its European rise. The ascent of the one conditioned the descent of the other.
The peace also strengthened the role of the sovereigns in the empire structure at the expense of the central power of the emperor with the award of three important powers to the princes of the empire:
- First, the granting of sovereignty, the "jus territori et superioritatis",
- Second, the granting of the "jus armorum", the right to armed sovereignty,
- Third, the granting of the right of alliance (jus foederum) to the imperial estates.
The foreign policy independence of the larger imperial territories received a further significant boost six years later with the last imperial adoption. This strengthened the centrifugal forces in the empire, of which Brandenburg was particularly prominent, which further weakened the coherence of the empire through its foreign policy. Based on the negative experiences in the Thirty Years War, Brandenburg-Prussia began a consistent reinforcement policy that made the country the second largest armored state by 1700. Although the growing military strength of Prussia was registered in Dresden, it did not arouse great awe in Saxony in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. In general, the more powerful imperial estates tried to shape foreign policy like sovereign princes. Since 1648, all of the major German territorial states have striven for an increase in rank and upgrading to kingship and also for territorial growth in order to be accepted among the European powers. In addition, claims to inheritance and dynastic connections were other key foreign policy issues after 1648 between the individual imperial estates and also with the emperor. The fulfillment of alliance obligations as a result of the integration into the European cabinet system determined the actions and objectives in daily events to a large extent.
The rise of Brandenburg-Prussia was not perceived as such by Saxony. In Dresden, the political actors needed a long time before the foreign policy situation analyzes dealt with the increased potential of the northern neighbor. Change was gradual and varied across policy areas. Saxon diplomats did not give Brandenburg-Prussia a prominent position in their foreign policy analyzes compared to other imperial territories. In the will of Elector August the Strong , Brandenburg-Prussia was only mentioned in passing and summarily with other imperial estates. So the elector admonished his successor against all too close ties with the neighboring imperial territories. In dossiers and foreign policy situation analyzes in Dresden, the increased power of the Brandenburg Elector in Brandenburg domestic politics in relation to his own estates was analyzed and discussed. This also led to warnings from the Saxon Secret Councils about the power of the Brandenburg Elector. In spite of such warnings and memoranda, the political rank of the Hohenzollern in the empire was not yet rated too high in Dresden. The Saxon statesmen believed they had a great influence on the Hohenzollern Monarchy for a long time, which had become stronger, but still needed the support of the Electoral Saxon in their opinion. The image of Brandenburg that had existed in Dresden since the Reformation, as a junior partner of the Saxon politics, had not yet given way to a reassessment there. In addition, until 1740 Brandenburg-Prussia was only one point of reference for the Electoral Saxon foreign policy and not always the most important point of reference for its foreign policy.
In contrast, the Electoral Saxon neighbor in Berlin retained its prominent place in the period from 1648 to 1740. The Brandenburg Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I warned in his political will of 1667 that:
"... the bull market in Saxony absorbs too much, but no house is more scheduling than the bull market in Brandenburg."
Above all, it was the loss of the Duchy of Magdeburg for the Wettin dynasty, which, viewed in the long term, represented a decisive change in the course in Brandenburg-Saxon relations. The changed political style of Brandenburg first made itself felt in the approach towards the smaller Central German territories, which both north-east German principalities regarded as their sphere of influence.
Despite the competition between the two powers, Saxony and Brandenburg pursued similar goals in many questions of imperial and European policy at the end of the 17th and early 18th centuries. In the years after 1648, the Brandenburg Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I tried to win the Electorate of Saxony for his direct foreign policy goals (e.g. obtaining full control over Western Pomerania or mediation in the intensifying Swedish-Polish conflict in 1655 ). Brandenburg and Saxony jointly advocated predominance , i.e. maintaining the primacy of the electors over the other imperial estates. At times, Saxony and Brandenburg pursued a common foreign policy against the French policy of conquest on the Rhine in the 1670s. The endeavors of both states to go their own way in imperial and European foreign policy, however, sometimes led to differences between the two states. In the 1660s, Electoral Saxony was more inclined to France, while Brandenburg was pro-Habsburg in this decade. Twenty years later this relationship was reversed. After the sobering Peace of Saint-Germain (1679), Brandenburg-Prussia concluded an alliance with France, to which it also stood, while Electorate Saxony had held a pro-imperial position for a long time.
In the course of the threat to Vienna from an Ottoman army, the different positions of Saxony and Brandenburg became clear. Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg disliked the provision of troops for an imperial army that was supposed to march under foreign command against Brandenburg allies or one of the changing subsidy payers. The district council of Leipzig announced in the course of the siege of Vienna in 1683 ended in the Leipzig scandal . As a member of the Vorpommern district, Sweden conducted the talks. For the Brandenburgers this was tantamount to lowering the electoral primacy in the imperial circle. Due to disputes over rank, the Brandenburg envoy urged the Electoral Saxon negotiator von Miltitz to break off the meeting. It was the last meeting of the Upper Saxon Imperial Circle. As a result, Saxony moved to Vienna alone with an army, while Brandenburg did not participate in the liberation of Vienna.
In 1691 Field Marshal Hans Adam von Schöning, who had fallen out of favor in Brandenburg, entered the service of the Electorate of Saxony and advised Elector Johann Georg IV and, after his untimely death, his successor Friedrich August I , also known as August the Strong. Schöning gained enormous influence on both electors and recommended extensive armament and a war against the Hohenzollern. In January 1692, the Brandenburg Elector Friedrich III first visited. the Saxon Elector Johann Georg IV. in Torgau. This was followed in February 1692 by the return visit of the Saxon Elector in Berlin in the presence of the brother of the Saxon Elector, Friedrich August I, who gave several samples of his physical strength there. The trip was supposed to smooth the relationship with Brandenburg that had been disturbed by Schöning's appointment to the Electoral Saxon service. The Kurbrandenburg ambassador Samuel von Chwalkowski reported in December 1694 of the great influence of Schöning on the Dresden court in Berlin. Until Schöning's death in 1696, his political program was pursued.
Brandenburg and Saxony in the Corpus Evangelicorum
Saxony was the motherland of the Reformation. This justified his claim to be the first of the Protestant imperial estates. After 1648, an evangelical party of the estates was formed at the Reichstag in the form of the so-called Corpus Evangelicorum , which increasingly wanted to see itself as an organ of the empire. During the Regensburg Reichstag of 1653/1654, Saxony took over the leadership of the Corpus Evangelicorum in July 1653. The takeover was made out of commitments and not out of power-conscious calculations. A previous offer to take over the chairmanship on April 18, 1646 was rejected out of consideration for imperial interests and a feared borrowing from Sweden on the Saxon side. Those responsible in Saxony did not recognize the possibilities offered by an active certain directorate to politically contain the ambitious Brandenburg and continue to leave it behind. This little power-conscious attitude of Dresden was quickly noticed and criticized and a change of the board of directors from the Protestant classes was considered. However, due to a lack of alternatives, a change was not made, although Brandenburg wanted to become the alternative. The Lutheran imperial estates rejected the Reformed (Calvinist) faith of the Hohenzollern and therefore did not want to allow a Calvinist as director of the Corpus Evangelicorum. Lutherans distrusted the Calvinists and saw them as troublemakers. Brandenburg, in turn, sought recognition for the Reformed Faith again and again to contrast with Saxony in order to distinguish itself in front of the Protestant estates in order to become the head of Protestantism in the empire. Such an opportunity arose in 1674 and 1687 when Brandenburg ambassadors Gottfried von Jena and Wolfgang von Schmettau tried to take advantage of the absence of Saxon representatives from the Reichstag. They announced conferences and proposed the agenda for them. Only the Calvinist denominational relatives came, however, while the majority of the Lutheran estates stayed away from the conferences. The reformed faith of the Brandenburg Hohenzollern still acted as a flaw. Despite the change of denomination of the Wettin elector to the Catholic faith in 1697, Electoral Saxony retained the board of directors, although Brandenburg regarded itself as the first estate of the empire, it did nothing to induce the election of a new board of directors. Instead, the Duke of Sachsen-Weißenfels , a dependent secondary school principality of Electoral Saxony, took over the chairmanship of the board of directors.
In 1717, with the conversion of the Saxon crown prince to the Catholic faith, the question of the directory in the Corpus Evangelicorum was raised again. This time Prussia had strong advances to take over the chairmanship, but was slowed down by the claims made by England-Hanover . Ultimately, Saxony kept its director position again until the Seven Years' War, but was repeatedly dependent on Prussia. This had cast off its stigma as a Reformed party and represented the entire evangelical cause. After Erich Christoph von Plotho , the Comitial Envoy from Kurbrandenburg, took over the board of directors , Prussia became the head of Protestantism from 1760 until the end of the empire, since Saxony was tacitly withdrawn from the Protestant estates of their right to continue to represent the Corpus in its entirety. From then on, the events ran past Dresden to Berlin, which received religious complaints from Protestant subjects of Catholic territorial lords.
Relations between nobility and knowledge transfer
Since the 16th century, the relationship between the Brandenburg and Saxon nobility has been characterized by very close ties. Both sides entered into mutual service at court or in the army of the neighboring country. The credit and marriage relationships were similarly close. For princes, the presence of foreign nobles turned out to be an indicator of the attractiveness of their own court. Apart from that, a dense communication network of the elites guaranteed constant mediation across borders, which was particularly important in times of crisis. The mutual exchange of information between these networks worked so well that the Dresden court was very well informed about debates in the Brandenburg state parliament. The other way around, too, the Brandenburgers received the information first hand, for example when two Brandenburg councilors ( von Winterfeld and Bernhard von Arnim ) were present when discussing the agenda for the next Saxon state parliament in 1593.
Both sides were interested in a mutual exchange of experiences. Experience was exchanged in both official and informal channels in the administrative or military sectors. Again and again, members of aristocratic families from Brandenburg found employment at the court of Electoral Saxony. Conversely, Saxon builders, architects and craftsmen were recruited for building projects in Berlin. The government action Electoral Saxony was particularly progressive European standards and dyed personnel and structure of Brandenburg from. The Saxons Lampert Distelmeyer and his son Christian Distelmeyer became Brandenburg Chancellors. The Torgau Hartenfels Castle was regarded as a model for Berlin palace construction. Both in Dresden and in Berlin / Potsdam, the officials were very interested in the changes in the courtly ceremonial system or in reform projects in the central and local administration of the neighboring territory. Many officers from the Electoral Saxon army served temporarily or permanently in the Prussian army.
Since the end of the 17th century there has been a downward trend. On the one hand, the Brandenburg rulers endeavored to keep their own nobility in the country and to discipline them, on the other hand, the denominational differences between the two aristocratic societies intensified.
The noticeable deterioration in Prussian-Saxon relations as a result of the Silesian Wars left its mark on the two regional aristocratic societies. The Saxon nobility had reservations about a Prussian superiority.
A lively dialogue took place between Prussian and Saxon scientists during the Enlightenment . In addition to the prominent societies in the centers of the Enlightenment in Berlin (including the Society of Friends of Natural Sciences , the Berlin Wednesday Society ) and Leipzig, numerous related scholarly associations were formed throughout Saxony and Prussia (e.g. Upper Lusatian Society of Sciences ). The most prominent representatives of the Prussian-Saxon reconnaissance transfer were Thomasius , Gottsched , Lessing and Heynitz .
Relationships in the Brandenburg-Saxon border regions
The possibilities of the early modern sovereign central administration to intervene in the everyday life of the border societies were limited. The life of the residents on the Brandenburg-Saxon state border was therefore unspectacular, even in times of interstate tensions. The residents of some Brandenburg villages, for example, went to church services, baptisms, weddings or funerals in the neighboring Saxon city. This was unproblematic in terms of denominational politics, as the rural population of both territories was Lutheran. Economically, the relations between both sides at the border were close. The small towns in Brandenburg and Saxony near the border served as local markets for the population of the other territory. The notorious Prussian advertising commandos along the southeastern border with the Saxon Lower Lusatia and the southwestern Zauche caused tension . The entire Saxon-Brandenburg border was affected. The attacks on Saxon communities by Prussian recruiting commands and the forced deportation of Saxon men took on strong dimensions at times, so that the residents of the Saxon border settlements were armed for self-defense. Unlike in other territories bordering Brandenburg, however, the Prussian recruiters behaved moderately, since the military potential of Saxony was rated by Prussia as high and an escalation entailed too high risks for Prussia.
Both countries tried to poach the other side's skilled workers for their own service. In the 18th century there was a steady influx of new settlers in Brandenburg from the Thuringian-Saxon region. The state's fiscal interests in the 18th century led to protectionist measures in the border region.
Coronations of both electors in 1697 and 1701
At the height of absolutism , the German princes tried to expand their sovereignty both internally and externally. Both royal houses were looking for a further increase in rank in order to get a better starting position in the power structure with the emperor. However, this was only possible outside the borders of the empire. Regardless of the previous differences between the two states and the latent mistrust, common interests repeatedly prevailed. Dresden and Berlin needed each other in many areas of imperial politics. At the end of the 17th century, this also included mutual support in acquiring the crown. The Brandenburg elector hoped that Electoral Saxony would use its good reputation at the Viennese court to support its own coronation project and to advertise recognition among other imperial princes and European monarchs.
The Saxon elector first succeeded in this with August's election as Polish king on the electoral field in Wola in 1697. Friedrich III. von Brandenburg responded with a letter of congratulations to August's election as King of Poland. The Brandenburg Elector had brought his own candidate into play in the person of the Margrave of Baden-Baden . The election of Saxony was a lesser evil for the Brandenburg citizen than a French candidate would have been, but overall there was no joy at the Berlin court about the election. The connection between the immediate neighbor and the great Poland-Lithuania seemed rather threatening to Berlin. Friedrich III. then intensified his plans for a kingdom of his own.
The Brandenburg elector followed August four years later with the coronation in Königsberg on January 18, 1701. The Saxon elector and Polish king August II also responded to the coronation with a letter of congratulations. August II had already assured the Brandenburg Elector of his support in advance. He did so in the hope of his neighbor's assistance in carrying out his anti-Sweden plans. August II. Was the first foreign prince to congratulate Friedrich I and to name him king. In addition to the official recognition of royal dignity, August II was also prepared to renounce the claims to the feudal relationship between the Duchy of Prussia and the Polish crown, which existed until 1657 . The Saxon ambassadors in Vienna and at the Reichstag in Regensburg appeared as protégés for the young kingdom, which was faced with all kinds of challenges.
Both surveys established new power constellations that affected Europe as a whole, with a focus on the north-east of the continent. The acquisition of the Polish royal crown had intensified the fundamental competitive relationship between Saxony and Brandenburg-Prussia, because Brandenburg was striving to acquire a land bridge between Western Pomerania and the Duchy of Prussia; a project that could only be carried out at the expense of Poland, which was now governed by Saxony. The designation of the higher-ranking state Kingdom of Prussia initially only applied to East Prussia , from 1750 onwards it was increasingly also used for all other Hohenzollern areas outside the former Duchy of Prussia and replaced the previously common use of Brandenburg-Prussia for the entire Hohenzollern state . Regardless of this, the Margraviate of Brandenburg was retained in its borders and continued to be the most important link in the Prussian state as a whole. The personal union of Saxony-Poland could not be transformed into a real union, also because there was no land bridge between the two countries.
Entanglements in North-Eastern Europe
The Saxon elector now pursued a Europe-wide foreign policy that corresponded to his growing importance as ruler over an extensive territory in Central and Eastern Europe. His aim was to acquire a land bridge between Saxony and Poland and to turn Poland into a hereditary monarchy. For the latter, he needed considerable financial resources to achieve domestic political approval, and he also allowed territorial cessions to acquire money. So it came to a Prussian-Saxon area trade in Poland. In exchange for money, the Polish King allowed Prussia to occupy the city of Elbing in royal Prussia as a pledge . This broke up the Polish nobility, so that Friedrich III. had the city evacuated again, also because he did not want to jeopardize Poland's consent to his reign. In spring 1699 August II again forged a plan to attack the Duchy of Prussia. August wanted to take advantage of the anti-Brandenburg mood in Poland and convert Prussia into a Wettin hereditary land. Frederick III recognized the territorial ambitions of August. so that he began a policy that would paralyze the Polish-Saxon Union. So he promoted the anti-royal opposition in Poland, which developed into a significant force in Poland.
Both state conglomerates were involved in the Great Northern War that had been waged since 1700 . Through the possession of Swedish Pomerania since 1648, Sweden was an imperial estate and as such a member of the Upper Saxon Imperial Circle, to which Saxony and Brandenburg also belonged. Both countries were increasingly claimed in the struggle for the Dominium Maris Baltici since 1648 . The traditional Swedish opponents Denmark, Russia and Poland allied themselves towards the end of the 17th century to challenge Sweden's position as a great power again. Prussia was entitled to Western Pomerania and Saxony was involved in the regional conflict through its relationship with Poland in its claims to Swedish Livonia . The Saxon campaign to Livonia was lost and August II suffered one military defeat after the other until Saxony was occupied by a Swedish army in 1706 and had to retire from the war for the time being. The Prussian king took advantage of the desperate situation in which the Wettin king found himself and led with Karl XII. Talks about the partition of Poland. At the same time, the deposed August II ruefully sought help from the Prussian king. Frederick I repeatedly tied his support for Saxony to August II's willingness to divide Poland or at least cede areas of Polish territory to Prussia. The withdrawal of the Swedish troops from Saxony to Russia favored renewed diplomatic activities by Saxony to regain the Polish crown and form a new anti-Swedish alliance. The Prussian envoy Johann August Marschall von Bieberstein sent to Dresden reported regularly, so that the Berlin court was informed about the events there at all times. The agreement to resume war between Saxony and Denmark in Dresden was followed shortly after by a state meeting in Berlin to persuade the Prussian king to enter the war against Sweden. The meeting of the Three Kings in 1709 in Schloss Caputh in Brandenburg was an expression of the efforts of both states to develop a common foreign policy for the north-eastern European continent, even if Prussia remained neutral for the time being. In January 1710, the Prussian King Friedrich I met with August II in Leipzig to negotiate political matters that mainly affected Poland. Prussian plans to partition West Prussia were rejected by August as not feasible. The question of Polish military capability was also discussed. King August II began secret negotiations with King Friedrich Wilhelm I in Prussia in 1715 in order to enforce absolute rule in Poland-Lithuania with the help of Prussian troops, but Tsar Peter I of Russia prevented the planned agreement. Alongside other powers, Prussia and Saxony signed an alliance treaty directed against Sweden on February 3, 1715. As part of the Nordic Allies , both states finally managed to decisively weaken the Swedish Empire . In the jointly coordinated Pomeranian campaign , Swedish Pomerania was finally conquered by the Swedish Empire.
As a result of the war, the Russian Empire succeeded the fallen Swedish superpower. The Russian sphere of influence also included Poland, reaching from Prussia to Mecklenburg . Pan-European foreign policy alliance systems such as the French system of the Barrière de l'Est tried to curb Russia's influence. Russia, on the other hand, was working on a Nordic system . Both powers, Prussia and Saxony, who were now sovereign states through their kingships, also acted with one another within this western and eastern alliance. It remained open until the middle of the 18th century whether Saxony or Prussia would ultimately qualify as the more important ally of the Russian Empire in terms of control of Russia's western fore. Saxon Poland remained a coveted territorial object and was increasingly drawn into its neighbors' plans for partition. To this end, Russia and Prussia, in particular, concluded various alliance treaties aimed at weakening Poland-Lithuania ( 1726 , 1729 , 1730 , 1732 , 1743 ). In doing so, Prussia submitted to the Russian concept of leaving Poland undivided and instead controlling it through domestic bribery and torpedoing every reform project intended by the king. August II tried to avoid this dependency of the Polish-Saxon Union on Prussia and Russia, but got entangled in new conflicts. In the Thorner Blutgericht of 1724 religious conflicts arose between Protestants and Catholics and led the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I to an intention to intervene, which only did not materialize due to a general exhaustion of war in Europe.
After August II's death, the French candidate Stanislaus I. Leszczyński was first elected King of Poland. The war of the Polish succession to the throne began with a counter-election of the Habsburg-Russian candidate, son August II . It ended with the enthronement of the Wettin August III. which completely contradicted the Prussian interests.
Expansion of the embassy system, trade and economic relations between the two states
The embassy system was expanded across Europe around 1700. Many states began to establish permanent embassies in other European countries. Saxony had had a permanent embassy in Berlin since 1711, and Ernst Christoph von Manteuffel became the first permanent Saxon envoy in Brandenburg. Brandenburg-Prussia followed in 1721 and in 1721 sent first Kurt Christoph von Schwerin , then from 1721 to 1726 Franz Wilhelm von Happe to Dresden.
There was a well-known trade between the two states in 1717. The Great Northern War was drawing to a close, and Saxony's Elector Friedrich August I was able to reduce part of his increased troops. In this context he offered soldiers to Friedrich Wilhelm I, King in Prussia and also known as the Soldier King, and indicated that he would be particularly pleased with porcelain in return. Friedrich Wilhelm I, in turn, was in the process of increasing the Prussian army and gladly accepted the trade. 600 dragoons of the Saxon army were newly formed as the Prussian "Dragoons Regiment von Wuthenow" in the Prussian service. In return, 151 original Chinese porcelain vessels from the Qing period from the holdings of the Oranienburg and Charlottenburg palaces were sent to Saxony. This exchange was carried out in April and May 1717 at Jüterbog under military ceremony. The monumental vases, also known as Dragoon vases are now part of the Dresden Porcelain Collection of the Dresden State Art Collections . Another trade between the two rulers took place in 1727. August the Strong showed Friedrich Wilhelm I an interest in a 66-end antler from a stag that had been shot . There was a barter in which the soldier king received a company of Lange Kerls . The antlers have been in Moritzburg Castle since then . Another Prussian-Saxon political trade arose from a state affair. When Countess Cosel traveled to Berlin after her fall at the Dresden court , August II assessed this as an escape and demanded that King Friedrich Wilhelm I extradite her. In return, Saxony offered the repatriation of Prussian deserters who had fled to Saxony. Friedrich Wilhelm agreed and had Countess Cosel arrested. On the forced return trip, August had his former lover arrested and taken to Stolpen . When August 1729 asked the Prussian king to buy 250 Prussian army horses in preparation for the Zeithain pleasure camp , Friedrich Wilhelm I chose Schulenburg's cavalry regiment to position the horses . When the Prussian officer appointed to hand them over brought both horses and the purchase price that had already been paid to the elector, he realized that the King of Prussia had given him a present. In return, the Saxon elector wrote that he would keep an eye open for a suitable revenge.
Saxon economic policy collided with Brandenburg-Prussian economic interests. From this a real economic war developed between the two states. The Prussian manufactured products were not competitive by international standards. Therefore, King Friedrich Wilhelm I operated a protective tariff policy with excise duties on the legitimizing basis of revenue-based cameralism . Prussia imposed import bans for Saxon goods or had taxes of up to 40% paid. The local border trade in particular suffered considerable damage as a result. Since both states had exclaves or land islands with little territorial access to the main territory, this meant considerable financial and economic losses for the areas concerned, such as the Prussian Halle an der Saale or the Cottbusser Kreis.
In 1688 the Müllros Canal was opened, which created a connection between the Spree and Oder. The canal was intended to compete with the overland transport of goods from west to east and vice versa on Hohen Strasse and Niederen Strasse , which is so important for Saxony , and damage trade fair business in Leipzig. In 1727, Kursachsen considered the violent destruction of the canal. The export ban on Brandenburg sheep's wool damaged the Saxon textile manufacturers as well as the enticement of Saxon craftsmen and manufacturing workers in 1697 and the porcelain workers of the Meissen porcelain manufactory, who were poached in 1713 . Electoral Saxony reacted in 1723 by issuing a mandate against the poaching attempts and arrested Prussian emissaries. In 1721 customs disputes broke out and open street confrontations exacerbated the economic and political conflict. This was settled after lengthy negotiations as a result of the mutual state visits of the two rulers and a trade agreement was concluded on October 16, 1728, which restored free trade between the two states with a few exceptions. But even the conclusion of trade agreements between Prussia and Saxony was no guarantee for the merchants that they could bring goods across the border unmolested. In the middle of the 18th century, complaints about breaches of contract by neighbors increased.
The dispute also concerned trade and the transport of goods across the Elbe from the Saxon trade center of Leipzig to Hamburg. Both Friedrich II. And August III. imposed high duties and taxes on goods that came from each other's territory. At the urging of the Magdeburg merchants, Friedrich renewed the stacking right , which had been forgotten there, in order to use it as a weapon against foreign competition from Hamburg and Saxony. This considerably impeded the movement of goods on the Elbe to and from Saxony. In conjunction with other levied transit tariffs in the Prussian Elbe region, a formal Elbe tariff war with Saxony developed. Saxony reacted and banned the export of food to Brandenburg and caused a considerable increase in prices there. Friedrich also endeavored to prevent Saxon attempts to open up an overland route via the Harz Mountains to Hamburg.
State visits on both sides to the Dresden and Berlin courts
The foreign policy situation worsened in the 1720s. King Friedrich Wilhelm I planned a feudal modification in the Duchy of Magdeburg and thus triggered a complaint by the knighthood to the Reichshofrat . The imperial ordinance of February 1, 1725 entrusted Saxony, Sweden and the princes of the Upper Rhine district with the execution of the imperial execution . August had Saxon troops deployed on the border with Prussia. In April 1725, Friedrich Wilhelm I feared an attack from Saxony and made preparations. The Prussian king did not intend to use his own armed force and sent reassuring news to Dresden. The change in the foreign policy situation eased the situation again, which in the end, despite great nervousness in Berlin, was more harmless than it appeared. Friedrich Wilhelm I's uncertain behavior at diplomatic banquets did not go unnoticed in Dresden and prompted mocking comments there that the king could be "led around like a Dantz bear".
A diplomatic event often described in Friedrich's biographies concerns the state visit of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I and the heir to the throne Friedrich II in Dresden from January 12, 1728 to February 11, 1728. This was preceded by a proposal from the Prussian envoy to the Emperor Friedrich Heinrich von Seckendorff and the most important advisor to the "Soldier King", Friedrich Wilhelm von Grumbkow , to make an official visit to August the Strong in Dresden, from whom an invitation had long been received. The external reason for the travel time was the carnival, which was celebrated at the Dresden court with great effort. Friedrich Wilhelm's visit offered the opportunity to bring the two monarchs closer to one another in human terms, in order to initiate a relaxation of relations between the two states. There was mistrust not only on the Saxon side, Friedrich Wilhelm had also written instructions to his successor in 1722 based on his experiences with the southern neighbor in his first decade of government:
“You must keep peace with the Saxons for as long as they want. You don't have to make alliances with them. You are well imperial and false like the devil, and where you are not careful, you deceive yourself. "
Masked balls with dancing were held every weekday and Saturday. There were also opera and theater events. There was also a large illumination , a foot tournament and a fight-hunt for wild animals. The Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich began an affair with Anna Karolina Orzelska , an illegitimate daughter from August's mistress relationship.
Crown Prince Friedrich II received an embarrassing joke prize from the Elector of Saxony for his miserable performance in target shooting, a black billy goat with bells and fox tails tied to a racing sled on which sat a black poodle and a cat dressed as a lady in fur. This is an example of a series of depreciations felt as personal by August II by Frederick II, which had a negative impact on the relationship of the future Prussian king to Saxony.
The highlighted dynastic events were recorded and documented by the court painters of the respective ruling family since 1582 as Saxon-Brandenburg fraternization pictures. The portrait of both rulers shown in the article comes from the French court painter in Dresden Louis de Silvestre . He had the opportunity to portray the Prussian king during his visit to Dresden. According to Harald Max, the painting shows “a conspicuous display of efforts to achieve political unification, the persistence of which is symbolized by the column on the right”. In Silvestre's picture, something is evoked that no longer corresponds to reality.
The visit of the Prussian king to Dresden was not without consequences for the Saxon-Prussian relationship and a return invitation was purely a matter of form.
After the visit, both monarchs sent gifts to each other. In March, Friedrich Wilhelm I sent 77 valuable cut glasses to Dresden. In return, Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann brought a machine board, also called a flying table , to Berlin. The Saxon gift was due to the admiration of Friedrich Wilhelm, who dined at such “miracle tables” several times in Dresden. The table was immediately installed in the Berlin Palace and made ready for the return visit in good time.
Four months later, from May 26 to June 12, 1728, August made a return visit to Berlin. As a gift he brought one of two editions of the painting described, which hung in the Berlin City Palace until it was destroyed in 1945 . The festivities in Berlin and Potsdam were more family-oriented and not as bright and splendid as those in Dresden. The White Hall of the Berlin Palace and the apartments for August II were lavishly prepared for the visit. Part of the program were troop demonstrations, just like before during the visit to Dresden. The evening after the troop display, the main streets of Berlin were illuminated. In addition to the balls in the city palace, there were festivities in Monbijou and Charlottenburg , which otherwise did not happen at the Berlin court. There were sightseeing tours, for example to a Berlin arms factory where a shooting competition was then held. After his visit, August asked the Prussian court painter Antoine Pesne to depict these events. In October 1728, the painter began working on the painting shown in this article, of which only an oil sketch has survived in the possession of the Prussian Castle Foundation. The painting depicts the reception of August by the Prussian Queen Sophie Dorothea in the Berlin Palace in the presence of the entire Prussian royal family. Only the Crown Prince and Prince Heinrich are missing from the depicted scene. Following the visit, the Prussian queen received an extensive Meissen porcelain service at the end of July.
After the political rapprochement between the two rulers, there was a lively exchange between Dresden and Berlin. The subjects dealt with concerned military fortifications and the armament of the army.
Another important diplomatic event this year was the time Lustlager of 1730, in August the Strong military strength demonstration at the European level under attentive presence of the Prussian King Frederick William I took. The reason for the four-week spectacle was the growing competition between Saxony and Prussia. The troop maneuver that took place from May 31 to June 28, 1730 between Riesa and Zeithain, was something like Saxony's answer to the Prussian armament by the soldier king. Friedrich Wilhelm I came with an entourage of almost 150 people and was received royally by August II on May 31.
An incident that occurred between the Prussian father and heir to the throne during the maneuver had diplomatic consequences for the Prussian-Saxon relations of the following era. The former Page Count Brühl , who later rose to become Prime Minister in Saxony , received notice of the planned escape attempt by Frederick II with Hans Hermann Katte and passed this information on. The father then beat up the son in front of the assembled courtly company, saying that he had shot himself after such humiliation. This took place in the presence of Brühl. Friedrich never forgot the humiliation before the eyes of someone who was not in line with his class. When Brühl in Zeithain was awarded the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle for uncovering Frederick's escape plans , a lifelong enmity arose between Friedrich and Brühl, which later went hand in hand with personally motivated campaigns for revenge by the Prussian king. It was also unfavorable for Friedrich's relationship to the Wettin ruling house that the father Friedrich Wilhelm I named the Saxon Elector Prince as a model for his son. Friedrich II later wrote about the events in Dresden and Zeithain:
"The King of Poland played along with me in Zeithain so much that I will never leave him out for it in my life"
In addition to the program and the family conflicts of the Prussian royal family, diplomatic negotiations took place between the Prussian and Saxon monarchs. August II tried to pull Friedrich Wilhelm I out of the imperial camp and win him over to the French side. With the help of the French, August hoped to secure permanent succession to the Polish throne. The Prussian king, on the other hand, was not interested in a significant increase in power in Saxony and declared his imperial patriotic ties to the emperor. When Friedrich Wilhelm I left the Zeithain camp, he was impressed by the skills of the Saxon Army and the glamorous event and took important military knowledge about the level of performance of the Saxon Army back to Brandenburg from the event . Ultimately, the Prussian-Saxon visit diplomacy of the 1720s could not overcome the deep economic and political differences.
Open Saxon-Prussian confrontation in the Silesian Wars
With the beginning of the Silesian Wars , a turning point occurred in European external relations, which allowed the long-term Prussian-Austrian dualism to come to the fore. With the dualism, the Prussian-Saxon relationship patterns also shifted. So far, the neighborly relations had not been untroubled, but despite some contradictions, both parties had always come to terms with each other in mutual respect. When Frederick II took office in 1740, however, the mutual relations were placed on a completely new basis. King Friedrich II wanted to take advantage of the Habsburg power vacuum as a result of the extinction of the House of Habsburg in the male line in order to conquer the Habsburg province of Silesia for Prussia , and for this he sought an alliance with Saxony. Saxony had to choose between joining forces with the emerging Prussian great power, which built up a clientele system among the Protestant imperial estates in the north of the empire, or remaining with its loyal attitude towards the Habsburg empire.
In the 1730s, Saxon foreign policy had sought a position in dealing with the expected Habsburg succession. Although the Electorate of Saxony recognized the pragmatic sanction , Saxony hoped to assert its own claims to the Habsburg inheritance, which was believed to be based on Friedrich August II's marriage to a Habsburg princess. Saxony showed great interest in Silesia, as the province would have made a land bridge between Saxony and the Polish kingdom possible. However, unlike Prussia, Saxony made its claims without particular emphasis. A Saxon promoted alliance project with Austria, which was directed against Prussia, did not materialize shortly before the signing, as the realpolitical situation had developed in favor of that of Prussia. A neutrality of Saxony was not tolerated by the Prussian King Friedrich II under threat of military measures. With the Frankfurt Partition Treaty, Saxony only joined the anti-Habsburg coalition at the last moment and under pressure, which turned out to be a disadvantage for Saxony. The establishment of an alliance with Prussia was, however, characterized on the Saxon side by illusions about an equal relationship with the northern neighbor.
During Frederick II's visit to Dresden on January 19 and 20, 1742, the first since his accession to the throne, the Prussian king and the Saxon elector and his ministers negotiated. the Saxon army in Bohemia was placed under Prussian high command. During the following Bohemian campaign, the 25,000-strong Saxon army under Count Rutowski was burned by Friedrich II, who was also criticized for this by the royal brother Prince Heinrich of Prussia . This is why it became clear to the Saxon political actors during the fighting in the First Silesian War that Frederick II did not think of giving Saxony a fair share of the profits. The Saxons were left behind, Frederick II passed over the agreements made at the end of the war and Silesia fell to Prussia. Brühl did not stand idly by this diplomatic defeat. The cheated Saxony under Brühl's leadership tried to set up a new alliance in Europe against Friedrich II, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Frederick II himself dictated action when he went to war again in August 1744, the Second Silesian War against Habsburg, and with his troops moved across Saxon territory without being asked. The two states entered into a warlike conflict directed against one another for the first time in the early modern period. The Saxon army advanced to Bohemia with 21,000 men in October 1744 and united with the Austrian army. Brühl tried to put the alliance on a broader basis and concluded the quadruple alliance between Austria, Great Britain, Saxony and the Netherlands against Prussia in Warsaw . Austria and Saxony signed the Leipzig Partition Treaty , which included extensive territorial ceding of Prussia. To carry out this, Saxony and Austria marched jointly into Silesia and were defeated by Prussia in the Battle of Hohenfriedberg . Prussian troops finally marched into Saxony in December. The occupation of Dresden by Prussian troops as a result of the lost battle near Kesselsdorf forced Brühl to conclude peace with Prussia. Saxony and Austria ended the war against Prussia on December 25, 1745 with the Peace of Dresden . Saxony had to pay high war indemnities to Prussia. The Dresden tour was convinced that in the future:
"... no neighbor of the King's Majesty in Prussia with the same disposition (...) is assured."
The Prussian-Saxon antagonism had intensified after the Second Silesian War. Due to the Prussian occupation of Silesia, the Saxon manufacturing industry stagnated, as trade via Silesia to Poland, Russia and Hungary was considerably hindered by Prussia. In 1748, Frederick II demanded "The Saxons should be chicaned, their goods should be diffused at the entrance." In the following years Brühl tried to form a powerful anti-Prussian coalition. When the European alliance system was actually reversed with the Renversement des alliances in 1756 and Austria concluded an alliance with France, Saxony was no longer actively involved. For fear of a renewed military conflict with Frederick II, Brühl avoided integrating Saxony, which was also economically troubled, into concrete alliances. The power gap between Prussia and Saxony had become too great since the Prussian incorporation of Silesia between the two states. Saxony's economic power alone was still feared in Berlin, but this mattered little in the event of a conflict. Therefore Friedrich had no qualms about exploiting or destroying the neighboring country in the interests of his ambitions.
Berlin remained suspicious of Brühl and the unpredictability of the Dresden court. The constant action and maneuvering of Brühl caused persistent skepticism and speculation on the Prussian side about the "belligerent" Brühl party. This also attracted Friedrich II, who wrote to his brother August Wilhelm about pleasure before the Seven Years' War : "To humiliate Saxony, or rather to destroy it."
Brühl's goal was to avoid any suspicion of partisanship and politely evade alliance inquiries from Prussia, but when Frederick II learned of the coalition's plans to attack Prussia through copies from the Saxon cabinet archive, transmitted by the Saxon cabinet secretary Friedrich Wilhelm Menzel , the march The Prussian army entered the Electorate of Saxony in August 1756 with 65,000 men in a preventive strike that was completely surprising for the enemy. At the time, Saxony was isolated and, due to the reduction in the army in previous years, Prussia was effectively defenseless. The only 19,000 strong Saxon army withdrew to a fortified high plateau, the Lilienstein near Pirna, and was trapped there. After consuming the supplies, the army had to capitulate. It was fully integrated into the Prussian army by the Prussian king. Shortly after the defeated Saxons were taken over into the Prussian army, they began to desert en masse. The deserters were supported by the royal electoral ruling house and coordinated to various assembly points by former officers of the Saxon army. As a result, the Saxon corps, which was incorporated into the command hierarchy of the French army, comprised 10,000 men.
Saxony remained occupied from then on. After the occupation of Dresden, Friedrich II had the Saxon cabinet archive plundered in order to find compromising evidence of an anti-Prussian alliance. However, no such evidence was found. On October 20, 1756, Elector Friedrich August II, Prime Minister Brühl and the Saxon court had traveled from Königstein Fortress to Warsaw with Prussian permission . Senior officials remained in the country and continued to work in their authorities. They tried both to meet the requirements of the Prussian military administration and to represent the interests of the population. The Prussian authorities immediately organized the economic exploitation of Saxony. The Prussian military administration operated a field war directorate in Torgau, which led the administration. The Prussian field war directorate had the task of accessing the human and material resources of the occupied country in such a way that the Prussian warfare was ensured. In 1758, for example, Prussia demanded 6,000 recruits, 600 artillery servants, 1,200 horses and money to feed its troops from Saxony. The implementation of such orders placed the local authorities in economic and moral predicament. They had to take the oath of homage to the Prussian king and they were threatened with punishment and kidnapping if the demands were not met.
Until the end of the Seven Years' War, Saxony served Prussia as a military base of operations, a recruitment reserve, winter quarters, a source of finance for the Prussian army and a supplier of provisions and equipment. Not only did Saxony's tax revenue flow into the Prussian military budget from now on, but Polish coins that had been stolen from stolen coins were minted and circulated there, which severely damaged the economies of Saxony and Poland. During the seven years of the war, the Prussians kept a strict war regime in Saxony. The saying of Friedrich, according to which Saxony was known, became known
"Like a sack of flour, no matter how often you hit it, something will always come out."
The low point was reached in 1760 in the fourth year of the Seven Years' War. Prussian troops besieged Dresden. Under their fire , the Elbe metropolis fell to rubble and a third of all houses were destroyed. The Saxon Elector, residing in his Polish second residence in Warsaw, watched it passively. The castles of his Chancellor Brühl, who had been instrumental in driving the coalition against Friedrich, were devastated. In 1763 the end of the Seven Years' War was sealed in the Saxon castle Hubertusburg with a peace treaty. The Saxon negotiator was Thomas von Fritsch , who was called upon by Friedrich II. He was also an opponent of Brühl and on the Prussian side was Ewald Friedrich von Hertzberg negotiator. Less than three weeks after the treaty was ratified, the Prussian troops evacuated Saxony. The war costs that Saxons had to bear were estimated at 250 to 300 million thalers.
As a result of the war, Brandenburg-Prussia was established among the great powers and Electoral Saxony was relegated to the second row. From then on, Saxony was no longer able to outgrow its role as a medium- sized state and, with the catastrophic course of the Seven Years' War, gave up any ambitious course of great power. Even after the experiences of the war, the Saxon reformers in the vicinity of Prince Xaver did not succeed in pushing through an armament. Instead, the gap between the military potential and Prussia continued to grow. The political actors such as the estates wanted to deliberately distance themselves from the Prussian model of society, even if this was associated with a loss of importance in foreign policy. The prevailing conviction was that, in addition to giving up great ambitions in foreign policy, it was also necessary to seek agreement with the Prussian neighbors and that the risk of a mutual arms race was not a realistic option.
Saxon striving for neutrality between Austria and Prussia struggle for supremacy
For reasons of trade policy, there was a turn to Prussia. With regard to Poland, all of Saxony's claims to the Polish crown had been settled with the Prussian-Russian alliance of April 11, 1764 . In the following Polish partitions , Saxony was therefore only a political observer of the events despite its previous position.
The withdrawal of the foreign policy ambitions of the Electorate of Saxony and the unsuccessful maneuvering of Saxony between the openly exercised antagonism of the two great German powers Prussia and Austria after 1750 increasingly put the state in danger of annexation by Prussia. In his secret political will of 1768, Friedrich II had already called for Saxony to be incorporated.
On December 30, 1777, the Bavarian Elector Maximilian III died. Joseph childless. This started the controversy in Europe about the Bavarian heritage. For Electoral Saxony it was about the Bavarian allodial heritage , i.e. all territorial and assets that were not imperial or other fiefdoms. Austria also asserted inheritance claims. Austria in turn occupied the claimed areas of Bavaria on January 5, 1778. The Secret Council Adolf Karl Alexander Lothar von Zehmen was sent from Dresden to Munich on January 3, 1778, to assert the Saxon claims, but did nothing. The Austrian approach prompted Prussia to intervene. It opposed the enlargement of Austria in the empire and from then on looked after the interests of the imperial estates, including those of Electoral Saxony. On April 2, 1778, both states concluded a military convention in support of Austria in order to enforce the Saxon allodial claims. First, the actors tried to find a negotiated solution. Various area swap plans were also negotiated, which also affected Electoral Saxony, but which was rejected by the latter on June 22, 1778. After all those involved had prepared themselves, the hostilities of the War of the Bavarian Succession began in July . The Prussian and Saxon armies united and advanced into Bohemia. A military decision did not come about and on March 7, 1779 an armistice was signed in Breslau between Prussia and Saxony on the one hand and Austria on the other. Prussia represented the interests of the Electorate of Saxony in the peace negotiations and thus distinguished itself as a power that was loyal to the empire and protected the imperial constitution. Austria resented Saxony for having allied itself with Prussia and refused to conduct direct peace negotiations with Electoral Saxony. Ultimately, Saxony received war compensation from Bavaria. The Prussian-Saxon merger in the 1770s was only an episode. Then Saxony tried to continue its course of neutrality.
During this time, the princes interested in the status quo gathered around the saturated Prussia of Frederick, while the young, over-ambitious Emperor Josef II was perceived as difficult to calculate. Against this background of a solidarity community that is also forming according to the denominational aspect, the newly won Prussian-Saxon unity could also be effectively staged. During the War of the Bavarian Succession, a folk song was written in which the Prussian King Friedrich II called out Emperor Joseph II to his opponent:
“I have Saxony with me too. You may be scared of that,
And your brave commander won't let me get stuck.
Did you name them just a small bunch,
but there are 30,000 men who do not run in front of you. "
On July 23, 1785, Prussia, Hanover and Saxony joined forces to form the three-electoral union under the auspices of Friedrich II in order to oppose the territorial policy of Joseph II at the level of the empire. The federal government should only have the guarantee of the imperial constitution as its object. However, Saxony only joined the Federation under threats. After long negotiations, Friedrich II offered Saxony the alternative of joining the alliance with Prussia and Hanover or opposing Prussia. Saxony gave in on April 7, 1785 and joined the Federation. This federation quickly joined 14 other, albeit less powerful imperial princes, whereby the federation expanded to the so-called prince federation. However, Saxony remained an inhibiting element in the princes' union. Both Saxony and Hanover remained suspicious of Prussia, because Frederick II was not regarded as the protector and representative of the interests of the empire due to his previous policy. Saxony insisted that membership in the Fürstenbund should not be directed against its neutrality policy against Austria either. After Joseph II's attempted exchange of the Habsburg Netherlands with Bavaria did not materialize, the federation quickly lost its importance.
Although the host, the Electorate of Saxony played only a subordinate role at the Pillnitz princes' meeting from August 25 to 28, 1791. The actual talks took place between the great powers in the presence of King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia and Emperor Leopold II , who used Saxony as the less powerful host country as a stage for their agreements. The alliance between Austria and Prussia formed in Pillnitz initially stabilized the empire and overcame the dualism of the two major German powers. The fear of an expansion of the revolution outside France was also pronounced in Saxony, which had fought down the Saxon peasant uprising in 1790 . Out of this impending danger, Saxony put back its distrust of Prussia and welcomed the alliance. During the First Coalition War , Saxony actively participated in the Imperial War against France in 1792 and fought alongside Prussia, among others, in the Battle of Kaiserslautern . In the following years, however, Saxony was duped by the main German powers, who for their part pursued their own ideas. So Prussia left the war against France immediately, while Saxony continued to fight on Austria's side. In particular, the imperial policy, which led to a progressive process of erosion of the empire, disappointed those responsible in Saxony who were traditionally loyal to the emperor and the empire. As a now clearly inferior imperial estate, Saxony needed the empire as an institutional framework to ensure the existence of its own country. As an alternative, the foreign policy of Electoral Saxony was now based on Berlin. The Prussian policy of neutrality and protection seemed to be a peace-secure option for Saxony to join the Reich. However, while Prussia was pursuing its own interests, which also included dominance over Saxony and a general hegemonic position, the Saxon King Friedrich August refused to act in view of the immediate threat. The political goals of Prussia, which had intended the incorporation of Saxony into the Prussian state since Frederick II's political testament was drawn up in 1752, were not yet accessible to the general public at the time and were kept under lock and key by Prussia until the Bismarckian era. The Prussian annexation plans remained a hidden agenda until the Congress of Vienna . In view of Sachen's previous experience from the Seven Years' War with Prussia, Friedrich August's policy towards Prussia was nevertheless rather trusting.
Even after the establishment of the Austrian Empire in 1804, Saxony continued to rely on relations with Berlin. This policy became completely anachronistic when Emperor Franz II laid down the imperial crown . Saxony now exchanged memoranda and draft constitution for a future North German Reichsbund with Prussia , in which Saxony tried to balance Prussia's claim to dominance over the smaller territories in central Germany and to achieve equality with Prussia. Regardless of these efforts, European politics led to a new foreign policy constellation, the danger of war with France increased and the conclusion of a Saxon-Prussian military convention came to the fore. Even before the negotiations for the conclusion of a military convention were concluded, the Prussian declaration of war on France drew the electorate to war against France. The historian Karlheinz Blaschke analyzed the decisions of the Saxon authorities and came to the following conclusion:
“The military annexation to Prussia in September 1806 was a completely irrational act that bordered on suicidal madness. It happened without any objective necessity, without any obligation to form an alliance and without any Saxon interest. Nevertheless, the march towards doom was started. "
The alliance was broken again by the joint defeat in the battle of Jena and Auerstedt . Prussia sank to a middle power and fought against its threatened dissolution, while Saxony rose to the Kingdom of Saxony under Napoleonic leadership.
Annexation plans of Prussia and partition of Saxony at the Congress of Vienna
After changing the political map and the provisional elimination of Prussia as a power factor, the Saxon king believed he could make his own demands for a rounding off of Saxon territory. The demands were also aimed at the Prussian disposal assets. The Saxon diplomacy had open ambitions for Erfurt, the Duchy of Magdeburg and the Cottbus district . The Cottbusser Kreis was finally added to Saxony in 1807. At the same time, it received rule over the Duchy of Warsaw , which was formed from the areas ceded by Prussia in the Peace of Tilsit , which it had acquired from the first and second partition of Poland . That Saxony, together with France, held itself so harmless in Prussia in this way was perceived in Prussia as the usual Saxon "wickedness". In particular, the Saxon involvement in Poland put a permanent strain on the relationship with Prussia. In a certain sense, Saxony helped to create the relentless later opposition of Prussia at the Congress of Vienna.
After the Russian campaign in 1812, Prussia entered into open confrontation with France. As part of a coalition with Austria and Russia, Prussia fought from the spring of 1813 to liberate Saxony from the Napoleonic rule, which was perceived as such in Prussia. Immediately after Prussia declared war on France on March 16, 1813, the Silesian Army, led by the Prussian cavalry general Blücher , set off for Saxony. In the orders issued by Blücher to his soldiers on March 23 and the calls to the Saxon population, the focus was on Blücher's efforts not to perceive the Saxons as enemies and to win them over to the national liberation struggle against Napoleon. The population was initially friendly to the victorious Prussians and Russians. At times there was a patriotic mood in Saxony. Leading representatives helped spread this position. Prussia's King Friedrich Wilhelm III. and the Russian Emperor were received in Görlitz in May 1813 with great sympathy. Around 2000 voluntary Saxons took part in the war against France in the banner of the voluntary Saxons . Saxony tried to break away from Napoleon in April 1813 but was unsuccessful. A reversal of the alliance between Saxony was no longer opportune for Prussia, as it had already made extensive territorial agreements with Russia in the Treaty of Kalisch of February 28, 1813 after a victory over Napoleon. The treaty also provided for the total annexation of Saxony by Prussia. This secret agreement explains why the Prussian generals Blücher and Wittgenstein's request to Saxony in March 1813 to join the anti-Napoleonic camp met with anger from both the Prussian king and the Russian emperor.
The Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, which was fought from October 16 to 19, 1813 in and around the Saxon metropolis, ended the alliance between Saxony and France. The defeat was synonymous with a catastrophe for the Saxon king and Saxony. The Saxon king was taken to Berlin as a prisoner and Saxony was occupied by the allied armies from Russia, Prussia and Austria. In contrast to other German medium-sized states such as Bavaria, Saxony had missed the timely transition to the Allies. The transfer of the Saxon troops to the side of the Allies in the Battle of Leipzig did not change this.
After the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig, the integration of Saxony into Prussia became apparent. Hardenberg already welcomed his monarch as King of Saxony. An initially Russian Generalgouvernement of Saxony was followed by the establishment of a Prussian Generalgouvernement in Saxony. The mood in the population began to turn. The behavior of the Prussian occupation soldiers, who evoked associations with the Prussian occupation of Saxony during the Seven Years' War, also contributed to this. The support for the captured Saxon king and the independence of Saxony rose in public opinion. The pro-Prussian parliamentary group increasingly lost support.
The Saxon question became virulent after Napoleon's final defeat . At the end of October 1814, the prospects of keeping Saxony as an independent state with Friedrich August I as king as its regent dwindled. The country finally became the pawn of the victorious powers. On November 10, 1814, the "royal Prussian provisional possession of the Kingdom of Saxony" was announced by the new Governor General, the Prussian State Secretary Freiherr von der Reck, together with Major General Freiherr von Gaudi , who ran the business in Saxony. Saxony was an ally of France and was treated like a loser in the war at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. As such, it was not directly involved in the negotiations, only an observer. The allies Prussia and Russia played through the annexation scenario at the congress as agreed. Austria and Great Britain did not support the project. The Saxon as well as the Polish question became a major conflict at the Congress of Vienna. The fact that Saxony was ultimately not fully incorporated by Prussia was mainly due to the stubborn resistance of the Austrian Foreign Minister Metternich , who wanted to keep Saxony as a buffer between the Austrian Empire and Prussia. As a compromise, a partial annexation of Saxony was negotiated between the great power camps. As a result, Saxony lost 58.2% of the Saxon area, a total of 20,841.86 km², to Prussia. The forced division of the Kingdom of Saxony became legally valid after tough negotiations with the signing of the Treaty of Pressburg between Prussia and Saxony on May 18, 1815 and its ratification by the Saxon king.
An event that strained the Prussian-Saxon relations was the shooting of Saxon grenadiers near Liège on May 6th, 1815. When the partition of Saxony had already been decided, the Saxon army, which was integrated as a contingent in the Prussian Rhine Army , should also follow Place of origin to be divided. This met with open protests from members of the Saxon army, which escalated into tumult. As a result, Blücher threatened mass shootings if the leaders were not reported. After they reported, these seven were shot dead.
The division marked a turning point for both states. Saxony had finally lost the competition with its northern neighbor. Above all, Saxony as a loser had to cast off its negative image of the kingdom by Napoleon's grace and cope with its territorial loss. From then on, Saxony was no longer a middle power, but was only considered a minor power in the diplomatic structure in Europe, but it was at least able to maintain its existence against Prussia's claims and at least economically and culturally again enjoyed a strong economic and cultural upswing, similar to that after the lost Seven Years War. The Prussian state, which expanded strongly on the Rhine, also lost its original Brandenburg character and its institutions were given a Rhenish trait. The Mark Brandenburg as a territorial complex was dissolved and the reduced Province of Brandenburg was formed instead . From then on, this was just an ordinary province alongside other provinces in the state as a whole and no longer the prominent central part of Prussia, whose economic and demographic focus shifted further to the west.
Incorporation of the former Saxon territories into the Prussian state
39.4% of the Saxon population, a total of 767,441 inhabitants of Saxony, became Prussian residents on May 18, 1815. The victorious Prussia was faced with the task of consolidating its enlarged territory, which also included other non-Saxon areas, and integrating its new citizens into the Prussian subject group. From May 1815 to March 1816, all ceded areas were initially combined as the "Duchy of Saxony" and continued to be administered by the Prussian General Government of Saxony . The exchange of national emblems was one of the first measures taken by the new Prussian rulers. In the course of the reorganization of the administration, the Saxon areas were divided into three of the newly established Prussian provinces. These were the Province of Saxony , the Province of Brandenburg and the Province of Silesia . Prussia tried to expand its influence to as many areas of life as possible, which in the past prevented any real sovereignty, especially in the border regions. The structural change made it necessary for the bureaucracy to dissolve traditional structures. No consideration was given to old contexts, traditions and institutions. As a result, the old structures of the estates were smashed and the personal structure of the old elites and their traditional political orientation gradually erased. The previous demarcation between Brandenburg and Saxony had been stable for centuries, so that it had an impact on the identity of the population, which continued to have an effect. Both Prussian and Saxon officials turned to the affected population groups and invoked mutual intellectual fraternization. This was intended to bring about the mental processing of the changes that occurred in 1815 and to stabilize the new conditions. For the new Prussian and former Saxon residents, the term “ Must-Prussian ” was coined in a dialect poem that ironically reflects the change to the new rule . This meant that they would have preferred to remain Saxons. The demarcation aroused local resistance of a subtle kind. Thus, in the country, boundary markings that had been in place for years were removed overnight. Pastors who were affected by the separation from parish churches also conveyed this displeasure. Some of you preferred to go entirely to Saxony. In the cities, too, there was public aversion to Prussia. Above all, they complained about the lack of economic opportunities in trade and commerce, as well as increased taxes.
The traditional migration routes of journeyman craftsmen, for example, were retained, but they were bureaucratised and made more difficult. Previously economically holistic areas such as Lusatia were now divided and given customs borders that hindered the exchange of goods, with the result that goods and goods associated with high costs had to be imported from far away instead of producing them in the regional area itself.
Customs, trade and transport policy opposition
Before the establishment of the German Customs Union in 1834 , both countries went their own ways in customs policy . In 1818 Prussia modernized its customs system, abolished most of the remaining internal tariffs and road taxes and imposed import and transit tariffs on foreign goods. With this, Prussia put Saxony in an awkward position. The Prussian import tariffs hindered the established sales relations between the Saxon industrial regions and the predominantly agricultural areas that had fallen to Prussia in 1815. Above all, however, the transit tariffs made it considerably more difficult for Saxon finished goods to access the northern German markets and their transit to non-Prussian Germany, other European countries and overseas.
The effect of the Prussian customs legislation on the Leipzig fair was reinforced by a trade policy that encouraged the trade of the Prussian fair. Prussia was heavily involved in promoting the Naumburg trade fair at the expense of the Leipzig trade fair. Based on a system of secret contracts with English and Hamburg importers, Leipzig merchants began to set up so-called Winkelmessen exclusively for smuggling into Prussia. The Leipzig merchants countered the increasing border controls by packing the warren's supplies in smaller packages that were easier to bring across the border using smuggling gangs. Such measures only served as a stopgap measure and could not stop the decline in sales. Since Saxony's internal market was too small to maintain the importance of the Leipzig Trade Fair but also for Saxon industry, it looked for an expansion of the duty-free sales area and founded the Central German Trade Association in 1828 . The trade association made it possible to export Saxon goods, but there was a lack of transport routes and the means to develop them. Prussia could also not be subject to transit tariffs in order to force it to make concessions in return. After Hessen-Kassel joined the Prussian-Hessian Customs Union in 1831 , the Saxon government also gave up its reservations and, like most other German states, joined the new German Customs Union in 1833.
In the final act of the Congress of Vienna, Articles 108 to 117 provided for the future structure of international inland waterway law. The ten neighboring states, to which Prussia and Saxony belonged, were urged to regulate the situation in such a way that shipping was made easier and trade stimulated. Saxon trade circles saw in the clearance of the Elbe shipping an opportunity to gain a connection route to the sea ports and thus to the overseas markets that are vital for Saxony's industry. In 1819 negotiations began in Dresden with the formation of the Commission for the Organization of Elbe Shipping, which consisted of ten authorized representatives from the Elbe bordering states. After more than two years of negotiations, the parties reached an agreement and ratified the Elbe Shipping Act on June 23, 1821, which from then on made the transport of goods on the Elebe considerably easier.
In the age of railways, particular interests began to be asserted between the two states when the Prussian state government withdrew the pre-concession for the Berlin-Sächsische Eisenbahngesellschaft . In the following years, wherever Saxon and Prussian transport interests clashed on the borders of Saxony, there were sometimes decades of struggle over the routing of railway lines or the approval of connecting railways. With the intensification of the Prussian-Austrian antagonism, the traffic rivalries between Saxony and Prussia increased. They reached their climax in the battle for the Leipzig-Dürrenberger Bahn , the Görlitz-Reichenberger Bahn ( bypassed by means of a route over Seidenberg ) and the Lausitzer Bahn .
The way into the Prussian-German Empire
The division of Saxony in 1815 continued to have an impact on relations between Saxony and Prussia. A certain mistrust remained deeply developed, based on a negative attitude of the Saxon people towards Prussia. Saxon foreign policy went through a state of shock after 1815 and was limited to the defense of the territorial status quo and the maintenance of the best possible relations with its northern, overpowering neighbors. The framework conditions of the German Confederation also meant that Saxony fell into a passive observer role. Even after the transition to the constitutional monarchy in 1830/1831, hardly anything changed.
During the revolution of 1848 the monarchs tried to counter the demands of the liberal democrats. This finally succeeded with the decisive commitment of the Prussian troops in the rebellious German states. To support the fight against the rebels of the Dresden May uprising from May 3rd to 9th, 2200 soldiers of the Prussian army took part. After the military crackdown on the May uprising, a time of reaction began in Saxony, known as the "Beust era". In the era of Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust , who became Saxon Foreign Minister after the revolution, Saxon foreign policy again set its own course for the first time. The years after the revolution were a time of struggle to create a German national state under Austrian or Prussian leadership. The economic development, which was significantly influenced by the formation of duty-free domestic markets, urged political actors to do so. Beust's policy initially wavered between the Prussian union policy and the Epiphany on the one hand and the re-establishment of the German Confederation under Austrian leadership on the other, before finally turning to the Austrian side.
Ever since the establishment of the German Customs Union, Saxony was under the pressure of Prussian hegemony. With the Prussian union policy it became clear that Prussia wanted to use its hegemonic position in the Zollverein and the economic and fiscal dependencies of the participating medium-sized and small states to decide the struggle for political supremacy in Germany in its favor. Saxony then concluded the Three Kings Alliance with Hanover and Prussia on May 26, 1849 in Berlin . The aim of the alliance was to create a new German confederation excluding Austria. However, this alliance disintegrated again due to the counter-pressure in foreign policy in the course of the autumn crisis of 1850 . Beust then placed Saxony on the side of Third Germany in the course of the Würzburg Conferences .
Since Prussia represented a centralized development path for Germany, while Saxony and other medium-sized and small states preferred a federal one, Saxon politics had to continue to rely on Austria as its natural ally and thus Saxony was sometimes directed against Prussia. At the Dresden Conferences in 1850 and 1851, Beust aimed to initially grant the German Confederation the customs policy powers that were promised in the Federal Act in 1815. This was intended to neutralize Prussia's dominance in this area. However, this failed due to Prussia's negative attitude. The integration of the Habsburg Monarchy into the Zollverein also failed in the following years. Prussia went on the offensive in the power struggle against Austria and concluded a trade agreement with France, which should bring the Zollverein in line with the Western European free trade course. With this, Austria was finally ousted from the association, because it could not enforce a free trade course domestically and consequently could not join the Zollverein with a view to the future. Saxony, on the other hand, was meanwhile strongly economically intertwined with Prussia and could no longer allow itself to turn away from the chosen economic policy. All relevant political and economic actors in Saxony voted for the acceptance of the Franco-Prussian trade agreement. The official announcement by the Saxon government in its own Dresdner Journal in 1862 stated that "the customs union issues are purely a matter of trade policy and do not contradict the Saxon efforts to reform the German Confederation ".
The struggle to shape the German Confederation and the associated solution to the national question were the core foreign policy problem of the 1850s and 1860s for Saxony. When Bismarck was appointed Prussian Prime Minister in Prussia in 1862, it became clear that Prussia was thinking first of its own position and not of the unification of Germany. From 1860 Beust also developed his own federal reform plans. Prussia rejected Austria's reform plans approved at the Frankfurt Fürstentag in 1863 . Saxony hoped for a successful reform until the end. In the spring of 1866 the political situation came to a head. Austria leaned towards the views of the middle states, so that Saxony again stood firmly on the side of Habsburg. Saxony still supported the Prussian request for reform of the federal government, but it refused Prussia's request to discontinue its armaments and to submit to Prussia's federal policy. The neutral stance attempted by Saxony soon had to be abandoned. Prussia's declaration of war on Saxony followed on June 15, 1866, with which the German War began.
The 32,000 strong Saxon army was too weak to fight the Prussian army directly and went to Bohemia and fought on the side of the Austrian army against the Prussian army and its allies and lost again. Since June 15th, Saxony was occupied by Prussia. A regional commission took over the affairs of government in place of King John, who had gone to Prague, and was able to assert itself with difficulty against the Prussian occupation authorities. The acts of war ended with the preliminary peace of Nikolsburg on July 26th, 1866. With the separate peace treaty of October 21st, 1866 between Prussia and Saxony, the kingdom joined the North German Confederation under the leadership of Prussia. Saxony was preserved as a state. The price for this was the connection to the Prussian system of German Reichsstaatlickeit. The Saxon army was integrated into the federal army and Saxony had to pay ten million Reichstaler war compensation to Prussia. The constitution of the North German Confederation, which came into force on April 17, 1867, transferred essential powers to the federal government. Only police, community, school, university and state church law remained Saxon powers. The military convention concluded on February 7, 1867 between Prussia and Saxony divided the Saxon army as XII. (Royal Saxon) army corps into the Imperial Army , over which the Prussian King and, after 1871, the German Emperor exercised the authority in the event of war. Foreign policy, customs, post and telegraphy as well as the railways were transferred to the federal government. Overall, the sovereignty of the Saxon state ended.
Prussian dominance and Saxon subordination in the Prussian-German Empire
With the establishment of the Second German Empire in 1871, Prussia and Saxony became part of the common German nation-state.
Saxony tried to adapt to Prussian conditions. At the same time, the Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm expressed rejection of the continued partial sovereignty of Saxony. The establishment of an empire meant renouncing its own foreign policy. The Saxon legations in the European capitals were closed and the legations of European states left Dresden. Only the Saxon embassies in Vienna and Berlin, the latter as an intermediary between the Reich authorities and the Saxon state government, remained. The worldwide existing consular system merged with the Prussian to form the imperial consular system. Hardly any Saxon diplomat went into the diplomatic service of the Reich. Out of opposition to Prussia, they preferred the Austrian service. Saxony's influence on the development of the empire remained limited both constitutionally and due to its small size compared to Prussia. In the Bundesrat , Saxony had four votes while Prussia had 17 of the 58 votes. Prussia's right of veto in financial and military matters, as well as foreign policy, guaranteed that the decisions were mostly made in the interests of Prussia. Under constitutional law, the empire had the power of constitutional rule over the states. Although the countries were preserved as political entities, they were subject to the supreme power of the state as a whole. In the end, Saxony had to enforce and implement the imperial laws and regulations through its state institutions.
Prussian-Saxon rail war
The Prussian-Saxon Railway War refers to the competitive battles that have taken place since the 1870s between the administrations of the Royal Saxon State Railways and the Prussian State Railways . The basis of the fighting was the latent political contradictions of the two states and formed the emotional basis on which the rail wars were fought in all sharpness. They did not end until the Deutsche Reichsbahn was founded in 1920. Both railway administrations tried to direct as much traffic as possible over the longest possible routes via their own rail network. The disputes concerned the construction of railways that should run over as much of their own territory as possible or the acquisition of private railways to round off the route network of the state railways. Later, in the competition for freight transport, special tariffs were awarded.
In order to prevent the rampant tariff-related diversions of goods transports, Prussia and Saxony agreed on a tariff calculation in 1885. The Saxon state railways suffered considerable financial losses as a result of the diversion practice. The Prussian state railways systematically delayed competing routes so that their own routes received the faster connection. This mainly affected the intermediate locations between Berlin and Halle / Leipzig. The deliberate prevention of connecting trains from train connections of the rival administration was also part of the competition between the two state railways.
Limitations of competencies and mutual state dissolutions
After the abdication of the last Saxon king, Friedrich August III. In the course of the November Revolution of 1918 , a new constitution was drawn up for the newly formed Free State of Saxony . With the adoption of the Imperial Constitution of the Weimar Republic , there were again severe losses in the independence and power of the states.
In 1952 both states lost their state existence. Despite the dissolution of the states, the Prussian-Saxon antagonism was preserved as a memory trail in the GDR. The population living in the Thuringian-Saxon districts saw themselves patronized and economically drained by the East Berlin leadership, which was sometimes labeled as " Red Prussia ". The historically grown exchange relationship between Prussia, which in the 17th and 18th centuries "starved itself to a military power state" and Saxony, which preferred to invest its resources in the development of a brilliant court and state culture, but later dominated by Berlin In the opinion of Frank Göse , it continued regionally in GDR times. The national team thinking was not lost in the population, even if it was deliberately held against them by the formation of the districts in 1952. This was often expressed subversively, for example, as part of catching in football matches by clubs with an opposing fan culture, such as Berlin clubs or Saxon clubs. The screenwriter of the GDR feature film series Sachsens Glanz und Preußens Gloria , Albrecht Börner , interpreted such actions as deliberate rebellion and a kind of spirit of opposition to the current state order, manifested in the existence of the districts.
Social Prussian-Saxon relations also found a cultural processing in 1979 in a cabaret performance by cabaret artist Jürgen Hart and composer Arndt Bause with the Sachsenlied (Sing mei Sachse, sing). Their hit became a hit in the GDR. One verse of the song sums up the informal perception of the masses in a cabaret-humorous way:
“But if the Saxon comes to Berlin, they won't allow him to suffer. There you want to draw him a three, there you want to quarrel with him! And dud ma'n ooch shit, he sings his little song ironically! Sing, my Saxon, sing. "
Conversely, a kind of counter-answer was written to the same melody, similar to a today's battlerap . The chorus of this song was:
"Brill, you Breißn, brilliant, but you are not so wild, because your Athens on the Spree could not exist without us. You treat your village Berlin so much because we support, govern and protect. "
Due to the perception that most of the SED functionaries were of Saxon origin, the Saxons in East Berlin were described as the fifth occupying power. Conversely, in the cast on East German television, the striking negative roles had an apparently Saxon background.
The West German journalist Wolfgang Venohr , who was the only West German journalist to report from the GDR at times, wrote the book "Halb Sachsen Halb Preußen" on the GDR mentality in 1972, in which he transferred historical parallels to the then social formation and a continued Saxon as well as Prussian Relation recognized.
New foundations in both countries
In 1990, the two states were re-established as states of the Federal Republic of Germany . The states of Saxony and Brandenburg, formed from individual districts of the GDR, were based on the former state structures of the same name. In terms of identity history, the continuity to the early modern states on today's territories was restored.
Current intergovernmental contractual relationships include the state treaty between the State of Brandenburg and the Free State of Saxony on cross-border municipal cooperation in special-purpose associations and through special-purpose agreements dated April 23, 1998, the state treaty between the State of Brandenburg and the Free State of Saxony on changing the common state border from 22nd April 1998 May 1992, the State Treaty between the State of Brandenburg and the Free State of Saxony on the establishment of the " Foundation for the Sorbian People " of August 28, 1998.
Both state governments traditionally rely on deep cross-border cooperation. Joint cabinet meetings are also held as required. The current bilateral political issues are:
- the future of Lausitz and its economic development
- Measures for a clean Spree
- Reorganization of federal-state financial relations
- Expansion of security cooperation
- Preservation of the Sorbian culture
- Cross-border traffic
List of state treaties between the Electorate and Kingdom of Saxony and the Electorate of Brandenburg, since 1701 Kingdom of Prussia
|1420, December 3||Elector Albrecht III. of Saxony, Elector Friedrich I of Brandenburg and Margrave Friedrich the Elder. Ä. zu Meissen ally themselves for mutual protection and to peacefully settle any disputes.|
|1423, February 25th||Duke Friedrich the Elder Ä. von Sachsen, also Landgrave in Thuringia and Margrave of Meissen, as well as Margraves Friedrich and Johann von Brandenburg form a friendship alliance with each other.|
|1429, July 25th||The brothers Friedrich II., Sigismund, Heinrich and Wilhelm - Dukes of Saxony, Landgraves in Thuringia, Margraves of Meissen - as well as Elector Friedrich I as well as Margraves Friedrich (not present at the hearing), Johann and Albrecht von Brandenburg form an alliance with one another with the obligation to peacefully settle any disputes that may arise.|
|1435, January 5th||The brothers Friedrich II., Sigismund, Heinrich and Wilhelm - Dukes of Saxony, Landgraves in Thuringia, Margraves of Meissen - as well as Elector Friedrich I and Margraves Friedrich, Johann and Albrecht of Brandenburg form an alliance with each other with an obligation to peaceful settlement of any disputes|
|1441, January 25th||Elector Friedrich II. And Duke Wilhelm III. von Sachsen and Elector Friedrich II of Brandenburg conclude an armistice with each other until February 2, 1441, Bishop Anton von Bamberg confirms the document from the previous day about the extension of the armistice set out in the document until Pentecost (June 4) 1441|
|1441, April 3||Elector Friedrich II. And Duke Wilhelm III. von Sachsen and Elector Friedrich II. von Brandenburg confirm their union on the same day and arrange a detailed consultation with the sister of the dukes of Saxony on the Sunday after Pentecost on the latter|
|July 18, 1441||Elector Friedrich II of Saxony and Duke Wilhelm III. von Sachsen, brothers, close with Elector Friedrich II. and the Margraves Johann, Albrecht and Friedrich the Elder. J. von Brandenburg a protection and defiance alliance.|
|September 7, 1441||Arbitration ruling by Count Heinrich von Schwarzburg and the knight Wilhelm von Rechberg zu Hohenrechberg in differences of opinion between Brandenburg and Saxony about the implementation of some officials and the mutual claims to the Landgraviate of Thuringia (to our dear Frauwen Abend nativitate)|
|September 30, 1448||Elector Friedrich II. And the margraves, his brothers Johann the Alchemist and Albrecht Achilles, of Brandenburg assure Duke Wilhelm III. von Sachsen mutual aid against possible attacks by Elector Friedrich II of Saxony and the Bishop Friedrich III. from Magdeburg.|
|September 20, 1546||Defensive alliance between Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg and Elector Moritz of Saxony|
|March 21st||Hereditary comparison between Brandenburg, Saxony and Hesse via the Jülich succession|
|March 21, 1611||Comparison of possible income from Saxony in the joint ownership of the Jülisch-Clevische Lande, to Jüterbog|
|March 30 and 31, 1614||Association of heirs and comparison of succession between Brandenburg, Saxony and Hesse, in Naumburg|
|September 26, 1635||Convention for opening the Havel and Oder passes, to Brandenburg an der Havel|
|August 26, 1667||Interim comparison between Kurbrandenburg and Electorate of Saxony on the initiation of armistice negotiations mediated by France and on an alliance to be concluded|
|August 27, 1667||Convention on the issue of Scheidemünze, zu Zinna|
|March 14, 1681||March regulations between Kurbrandenburg and Kursachsen|
|April 18, 1681||Defensive alliance for three years, to Finsterwalde|
|January 30, 1686||Contract between Kurbrandenburg and Electoral Saxony on the dispatch of five regiments of Brandenburg auxiliary troops to the Hungarian theater of war|
|August 24, 1686||Renewed alliance between Kurbrandenburg and Kursachsen, closed in Annaburg|
|July 19, 1688||Recess due to handover of the Burg office to Brandenburg, zu Burg|
|August 24, 1688||Renewal of the defensive alliance from 1681, to Annaburg|
|October 12, 1688||Secret comparison between Saxony, Brandenburg, Braunschweig and Hesse against France|
|January 15, 1690||Leipzig Coin Convention|
|February 10, 1692||Renewal of the defensive alliance of 1681 and 1686, in Magdeburg|
|October 20, 1694||Renewal of the defensive alliance of 1681, 1686 and 1692 in Dresden|
|December 2, 1699||Postal contract with ancillary process and postal taxes, to Dresden|
|February 2, 1700||Alliance against Sweden, at Leipzig|
|October 27, 1700||Alliance for possible mutual assistance against Sweden, to Cölln on the Spree|
|July 15, 1709||Alliance of Cölln on the Spree between Denmark, Saxony and Prussia|
|October 6, 1713||Treaty on the sequestration of Szczecin, etc.|
|October 6, 1713||Prussian lapel concerning the costs of the siege of Stettin|
|November 14, 1713||Prussian declaration regarding the fulfillment of the contract of October 6, 1713|
|January 5, 1714||Saxon declaration regarding the fulfillment of the contract of October 6, 1713|
|March 9, 1714||Saxon explanatory acts regarding the contract of October 6, 1713|
|February 3, 1715||Execution tract for the Swedish War.|
|June 11, 1715||Comparison between Prussia and Electoral Saxony on the claims of Poland on the Pomeranian territories on the other side of the Peene and on leaving the eight battalions of Saxon troops under Prussian command near Wollin for use in the attack on Rügen and the siege of Stralsund|
|July 23, 1715||Agreement between Prussia and Electoral Saxony on the provision of another 4 battalions of Saxon troops for the conquest of Rügen and Stralsund|
|March 3, 1718||Postal contract|
|October 3, 1718||Cartel over the extradition of deserters|
|September 9, 1721||Declaration regarding the transport of princely property|
|December 6, 1727||Treaty regarding the freedom from customs duties for the princely property, etc.|
|December 19, 1727||Cartel over the extradition of deserters|
|January 10, 1728||Friendship contract|
|June 6, 1728||Agreement on mutual ownership of secularized donors|
|October 16, 1728||Commercial treaty|
|January 22, 1729||Agreement on the ceremony and entourage on mutual state visits.|
|October 14, 1741||Cartel between Prussia and Electoral Saxony over the mutual extradition of the deserters|
|May 18, 1743||Prussian power of attorney for Ludwig Wilhelm Graf von Münchow , Arnold Heinrich von Aussem , Ernst Friedrich von Hagen and Johann Friedrich Oppermann to conclude a convention on trade between Silesia and Saxony|
|Aug 24, 1743||Conclusion of a contract in Wroclaw for postal traffic with Silesia|
|December 25, 1745||Peace treaty between Prussia and Electoral Saxony with two secret articles|
|November 18, 1753||Convention between Prussia and Electoral Saxony on the payment of Saxon tax slips|
|February 15, 1763||Peace treaty between Prussia and Electoral Saxony with 4 subsidiary articles|
|June 18, 1766||Conclusion of a contract in Halle for visiting the mutual trade fairs in Leipzig and Frankfurt aO|
|March 18, 1778||Secret agreement between Prussia and Electoral Saxony on their position on the question of the Bavarian succession and on military intervention|
|April 2, 1778||Military convention between Prussia and Electoral Saxony because of the Bavarian succession|
|July 29, 1779||Declaration of consent from Electorate of Saxony to the separate article and to article IX of the peace treaty concluded between Prussia and Austria on May 13, 1779 in Teschen, as well as a declaration of guarantee by Prussia that the peace conditions will be observed|
|January 9, 1793||Military convention between Prussia and Electoral Saxony|
|May 16, 1794||Conclusion of contract between Prussia and Electoral Saxony in Naumburg and Siegersdorf on the definition of the boundaries between the Upper Lusatian rule Siegersdorf and the Silesian rule Paritz|
|November 12, 1796||Treaty between Prussia and Electorate of Saxony on the extension of the convention concluded between the two states in 1778 on the mutual freedom to fire to the principalities of Ansbach and Bayreuth|
|Sept 20, 1800||Treaty of Saxony with Prussia in Sagan on the definition of the border at Schönheide and Lieskau . Border registries of March 9, 1739 and May 27, 1743|
|March 16, 1803||Conclusion of a contract in Leipzig between Prussia and Saxony on the postal system in the cities and areas of Erfurt, Mühlhausen and Nordhausen|
|June 7, 1803||Conclusion of a contract in Friedland between Prussia and Saxony on the definition of the border between Müllrose and Mixdorf|
|May 18, 1815||Peace and friendship treaty in Vienna|
|November 11, 1819||Main convention for the execution of the peace treaty of May 18, 1815 in Dresden|
|February 5, 1820||Rover convention|
|June 23, 1821||Elbe shipping record|
|May 12, 1834||Announcement by the royal Saxon government about the agreement reached with Prussia on the grounds of the attachment being separated from the main judges by the state border|
|October 12, 1835||Convention for the Prevention of Influences in the Forest|
|December 11, 1839||Convention for the Promotion of Justice|
|March 3, 1841||Agreement on the mutual protection of product names|
|September 30, 1843||State treaty concerning the establishment of a railway connection between Breslau and Dresden|
|August 27, 1846||Accession of the royal Saxon government to the treaty between Prussia and Great Britain due to the mutual protection of authors' rights against reprint and unauthorized reproduction|
|May 7, 1848||Contract concerning the establishment of a railway connection between Berlin and Dresden.|
|July 25, 1850||Contract for the formation of the German-Austrian Telegraph Association|
|October 21, 1850||Passport Card Convention|
|January 18, 1851||Rover convention|
The six-part GDR television film Sachsens Glanz und Preußens Gloria deals with the history of both German states.
The first Brandenburg State Exhibition in Doberlug-Kirchhain in 2014 was dedicated to the topic: “Prussia-Saxony. Saxony-Prussia. Neighborhood Scenes ”.
- Thomas Nicklas : Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002.
- (Eds.) Frank Göse , Winfried Müller , Kurt Winkler , Anne-Katrin Ziesak : Prussia and Saxony - Scenes of a Neighborhood, Sandstein Verlag, 2014, book link with original scans
- Reiner Groß : History of Saxony, Edition Leipzig, special edition of the Saxon State Center for Political Education Dresden / Leipzig 2012
- René Hanke: Brühl and the Renversement des alliances: the anti-Prussian foreign policy of the Dresden court 1744–1756, LIT Verlag, Berlin 2006
- Brandenburg Society for Culture and History gGmbH, Kulturland Brandenburg (Hrsg.): Prussia Saxony Brandenburg Neighborhoods in Transition. Koehler & Amelang, Potsdam 2014.
- See also Kurt Hinze: The population of Prussia in the 17th and 18th centuries (...). In: Otto Büsch, Wolfgang Neugebauer (ed.): Modern Prussian History , Vol. I, pp. 282-315, and Wolfgang Köllmann: Demographic “Consequences” of Industrialization in Prussia , ibid, pp. 447-465.
- Margraviate Lausitz, 206.5 square miles * 56 = 11,564 km² (information on the 206.5 square miles in: http://www.digitalis.uni-koeln.de/Hassel/hassel_index.html )
- Richard van Dülmen : The emergence of early Europe 1550–1648, Weltbild Weltgeschichte Volume 24, Weltbild Verlag, Augsburg 1998, pp. 321–324
- (Eds.) Frank Göse, Winfried Müller , Kurt Winkler, Anne-Katrin Ziesak : Prussia and Saxony - Scenes of a Neighborhood, Sandstein Verlag, 2014, p. 45
- Mario Müller, Karl-Heinz Spieß and Uwe Tresp (eds.): Legacies and Hereditary Brotherhoods in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times Cross-Generational Contracts and Strategies in European Comparison, Studies on Brandenburg and Comparative National History, Volume 17, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2014, p. 20th
- Johann Jacob Moser: Teutsches Staatsrecht. Sibenzehender Teil (...), Leipzig / Ebersdorff 1745, ND Osnabrück 1968, p. 16
- Mario Müller, Karl-Heinz Spieß, Uwe Tresp: Legacies and Hereditary Brotherhoods in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times - Cross-Generational Contracts and Strategies in European Comparison, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2014, p. 88
- Ed. Paul Seidel : The relatives of the Hohenzollern and Wettin houses, Hohenzollern yearbook: Research and illustrations on the history of the Hohenzollern in Brandenburg-Prussia, Giesecke & Devrient , Berlin 1907, p. 110 ( digital copy ).
- Christine Pflüger: Commissioners and correspondence: political communication in the Old Reich (1552–1558), Böhlau Verlag, Cologne Weimar Vienna 2005, pp. 320–329
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 97
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 240: "... Brandenburg, so far the last of the electoral principalities ..."
- Cornelia Klettke, Ralf Pröve: Focal points of cultural encounters on the way to a modern Europe, identities and alterities of a continent, writings of the early modern center Potsdam, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 170f
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 46
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 198.
- Mathias Mesenhöller: Saxony and Prussia: Terribly nice neighbors. In: The time. Online, No. 18, April 26, 2014 ( zeit.de ).
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 98
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 99
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Imperial Circle. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 197.
- (eds.) Frank Göse, Winfried Müller , Kurt Winkler, Anne-Katrin Ziesak : Prussia and Saxony - Scenes of a Neighborhood, Sandstein Verlag, 2014, p. 47
- Göse, Frank: Fürstentag zu Jüterbog 1611, published on March 20, 2018; in: Historical Lexicon of Brandenburg, URL: http://www.brandenburgikon.net/index.php/de/sachlexikon/fuerstentag-zu-jueterbog-1611 (May 7, 2019)
- Herfried Münkler: The Thirty Years War: European Catastrophe, German Trauma 1618–1648, Rowohlt Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2018, 7th edition, p. 114
- Reiner Groß : Geschichte Sachsens, Edition Leipzig, special edition of the Saxon State Center for Civic Education Dresden / Leipzig 2012, p. 94
- Ulrich Kober: A career in the war: Count Adam von Schwarzenberg and the politics of Brandenburg from 1619 to 1641, sources and research on Brandenburg and Prussian history, volumes 24-25, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2004, p. 117
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 217
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 219
- Herfried Münkler: The Thirty Years War: European Catastrophe, German Trauma 1618–1648, Rowohlt Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2018, 7th edition, p. 266
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 230
- Volker Press: Wars and crises: Germany 1600–1715, Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1991, p. 215
- Fabian Schulze: The Imperial Circles in the Thirty Years' War: War Financing and Alliance Policy in the Holy Roman Empire, De Gruyter Verlag, Berlin Boston 2018, p. 372
- Volker Press: Wars and crises: Germany 1600-1715, Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1991, p. 216
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 231
- Herfried Münkler: The Thirty Years War: European Catastrophe, German Trauma 1618–1648, Rowohlt Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2018, 7th edition, p. 550
- Matthias Tullner: History of Saxony Anhalt. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2008, p. 38.
- Frank Bauer: Fehrbellin 1675 - Brandenburg-Prussia's Rise to a Great Power, Potsdam 1998, p. 10
- René Hanke: Brühl and the Renversement des alliances: the anti-Prussian foreign policy of the Dresden court 1744–1756, LIT Verlag, Berlin 2006, p. 1
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 239.
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 241.
- Thomas Nicklas: Power or Law: Early Modern Politics in the Upper Saxon Empire. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 242.
- René Hanke: Brühl and the Renversement des alliances: the anti-Prussian foreign policy of the Dresden court 1744–1756, LIT Verlag, Berlin 2006, p. 9 “he (note: Westphalian Peace) awarded the more powerful imperial estates, including Saxony, the de facto unrestricted independence under international law. "
- Cornelia Klettke, Ralf Pröve: Focal Points of Cultural Encounters on the Way to a Modern Europe, Identities and Alterities of a Continent, Writings of the Early Modern Center Potsdam, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 164
- René Hanke: Brühl and the Renversement des alliances: the anti-Prussian foreign policy of the Dresden court 1744–1756, LIT Verlag, Berlin 2006, pp. 9–10
- René Hanke: Brühl and the Renversement des alliances: the anti-Prussian foreign policy of the Dresden court 1744–1756, LIT Verlag, Berlin 2006, p. 14
- Cornelia Klettke, Ralf Pröve: Focal points of cultural encounters on the way to a modern Europe, identities and alterities of a continent, writings of the early modern center Potsdam, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 161
- Cornelia Klettke, Ralf Pröve: Focal points of cultural encounters on the way to a modern Europe, identities and alterities of a continent, writings of the early modern center Potsdam, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 162
- Cornelia Klettke, Ralf Pröve: Focal Points of Cultural Encounters on the Way to a Modern Europe, Identities and Alterities of a Continent, Writings of the Early Modern Center Potsdam, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 160
- Cornelia Klettke, Ralf Pröve: Focal Points of Cultural Encounters on the Way to a Modern Europe, Identities and Alterities of a Continent, Writings of the Early Modern Center Potsdam, V&R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 158
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