History of Saxony

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Territorial development of Saxony between 1815 and 1990

The history of Saxony includes not only the country's history of the Free State of Saxony and the history of those territories on the middle Elbe , as medieval serve namesake. These are those areas that came into the possession of the Wettins in the course of time and were ruled by the dukes and electors of Saxony .

Today's Saxony takes its name from the lost early medieval tribal duchy of Saxony , whose name was derived from the historical Saxon people in northern Germany. Both are not part of the history of today's federal state of Saxony.

The history of the Ernestine duchies after 1547 is also left out; it is part of the history of the state of Thuringia .

The story up to the founding of Meissen

Stone, bronze, iron ages

The border forest ( Miriquidi ) in the heights of the Ore Mountains as a natural border.

The low mountain range of the southern part of today's Saxony ( Vogtland , Elster Mountains , Ore Mountains , Saxon Switzerland and Lusatian Mountains ) already had a border function in prehistoric times .

The Elbe , which comes from the Bohemian Basin , was important for cultural impulses from southeast Europe . There were always significant mountain passes near today's Oelsnitz / Vogtl. , in the central Ore Mountains, near Sayda and at the Lückendorfer Pass near today's Zittau . The mining in the Erzgebirge started later than the end of the 3rd millennium BC. With the mining of tin barley on the Rote Weißeritz near Schellerhau - see metal processing in the Bronze Age . The mining traces discovered there by the Archeo Montan research project are currently the oldest in Europe.

Band ceramic vessels from Central Germany in the holdings of the prehistoric and early historical collection of the University of Jena.

In the Neolithic (New Stone Age) and the Bronze Age , it was mainly the large floodplains of the rivers and their tributaries that were settled. They were usually settled upstream. The Saxon hill country was because of the soil conditions settlement land open (about one, though not delimited to the west area between today's cities of Leipzig, Riesa, Großenhain, Bautzen, Meissen, Döbeln, Rochlitz Geithain). Settlement areas of equal rank were the Lausitz , which had always had close connections to the Oder landscape.

The first Neolithic settlement was carried out by the carriers of the band ceramic culture (LBK) around 5500 BC. From Bohemia. LBK village facilities are known, for example, from Eythra , where 20 long houses and a well were uncovered. From the following ceramics culture 4800 to 4600 BC. The earthworks come from Dresden- Nickern . One of these structures was around 150 m in diameter and consisted of trenches , earth walls and palisades .

Simplified for the time approx. 4000–500 BC Chr .: After the funnel beaker culture, the Aunjetitz culture emerged in the Bronze Age from the corded ceramics - and the bell beaker culture . It was followed by the Lusatian culture .

Finds in Vogtland, near Teplice and Halle also suggest a Celtic advance into the area of ​​today's Saxony.

Germanic settlement up to the 6th century

A large part of the Saxon area belonged to the sphere of influence of the Suebian tribe of the Hermunduren and other, not specifically known, Elbe Germanic small tribes. In 17 AD there was a battle in the Leipzig lowland bay between the Cheruscan League and the Marcomanni League under King Marbod , from which no clear winner has been recorded. Furthermore, the tribe of the Longobards moved up the Elbe during the migration of peoples and thus also through large parts of today's Saxony. The Thuringian tribe was of particular importance for the Saxony area . North-west Saxony was part of the original Thuringian tribal area. At the beginning of the 5th century, the Thuringians became dependent on the Huns under Attila , who was thus able to expand his empire to include central Germany . After the withdrawal of the Huns and the collapse of the Hun Empire, an independent Thuringian kingdom was able to establish itself in the second half of the 5th century. The eastern border of this empire ran through what is now Saxony; its course is unknown today.

Slavic settlement until the 10th century

Map of the main forms of settlement in Saxony
The Franconian Empire until 814

After the Thuringian defeat against the Franks in AD 531, the southern areas of the kingdom fell under Franconian rule, the northern areas under Saxon (today's Lower Saxony ). The areas east of the Saale could not be held by the Franks and were dominated and increasingly populated by the West Slavic Sorbs in the late 6th century . Parts of today's Saxony, probably as far as the Elster and Pleiße , perhaps even in places as far as the Mulde , have probably belonged to the Sorbian Mark since the middle of the 9th century and were thus loosely dependent on the Franconian Empire . This border mark got its name from the tribal association of the Sorbs that settled east of it . The areas on the Elbe and in the Lommatzscher care were populated by the Slavic Daleminzers , in Upper Lusatia the Milzener and Besunzane resided .

The Meissen region in the Middle Ages

The Daleminzier were defeated by King Heinrich I in a large-scale army campaign in 929/930 , their main castle Gana was destroyed and this area was also incorporated into the empire. During the Hungarian invasions in the same year, Heinrich had Meißen Castle (Misina, Misni) founded on a rocky plateau at the confluence of the Triebisch and Elbe , the namesake of the Mark Meißen and the "cradle of today's Saxony", in order to permanently rule and secure the newly acquired land. has been. The first minting of coins took place in Meissen between 985 and 1002 . They are the coins of the Sachsenpfennige type with the inscription EKKIHART and MISSNI. There was probably a burgrave since 965, but it is only documented in 1068. In 968 the diocese of Meißen was founded by Emperor Otto I , and the castle of the same name became the bishopric . The margrave or margraviate was first mentioned in 1046 as Marchia Misnensis . Various noble families ruled the Mark Meissen until 1089 . In that year, the Wettins, who at that time did not yet call themselves so, took over the margraviate .

The name Wettin for this family does not appear in the sources until the 12th century and refers to the ancestral seat , Wettin Castle on the Saale, northwest of Halle (Saale) . A male offspring of this sex married the margrave's widow in 1089, and a son was born from this marriage, Heinrich I von Eilenburg (1070 to 1103), the first Wettin who was enfeoffed with the Meissen march in 1089. His successor, his son, was Heinrich II von Eilenburg . He died without leaving any descendants, so the title of margrave went to his cousin Konrad the Great (1123 to 1156). Successor Conrad was his son, Otto the Rich , Margrave of 1156 to 1190. The foundation falls in his reign of Leipzig in 1165 (first mentioned in 1015) when he, the Marquis, the site at the intersection of Via Regia with the Via Imperii city charter and market rights granted , the discovery of silver deposits at what is now Freiberg in 1168/70 and the establishment of the city of Freiberg as a "free city on the mountains" around 1170. In addition, the city of Chemnitz was probably founded around 1185/90 , which at that time did not belong to the Meissen region, but as Imperial city was subordinate to the emperor. Otto the Rich acquired various territories, including Weißenfels , to which he granted city rights in 1185. Dresden , founded by the Burgraves of Dohna , was first mentioned in a document in 1206 .

The Ascanian Duchy of Saxony (1180 to 1422)

Area of ​​the Ascanian Duchy of Saxony, created in 1180 around the year 1235 (highlighted in green), consisting of parts of the former Duchy of Saxony around Wittenberg and Lauenburg and the Hadelner area

In 1180 the powerful Prince Duke Heinrich the Lion was ousted and his Duchy of Saxony was divided: the western part of the country was subordinated to the Archbishop of Cologne as the Duchy of Westphalia . With the eastern part of the country, which continued to bear the name Saxony, the Ascanian Bernhard III. (Saxony) , son of Albrecht I (Brandenburg) enfeoffed. After the death of Bernhard III. At the turn of the year 1211/12 at his castle in Bernburg an der Saale, Ascanian rule was divided between the two sons Albrecht and Heinrich when the Bernburg inheritance occurred . Albrecht inherited the Saxon ducal title and areas around Aken (Elbe) and Wittenberg , while Heinrich's inheritance later developed into the Principality of Anhalt . As a result of this division, the name Saxony crossed the old cultural border of the Elbe-Saale line in the course of the historical change of name . The Ascanian duchies of Saxony-Lauenburg and Saxony-Wittenberg emerged from the ducal-Saxon inheritance in 1296 . In 1356 the Wittenberg Ascanians were elevated to electoral princes by the Golden Bull .

With the death of Albrecht III. In 1422 the Wittenberg Ascanians died out in the male line . As a result, both the Lauenburg Ascanians under Duke Erich V and the Meißner Wettins in the person of Friedrich I. claimed Saxony-Wittenberg and the electoral dignity associated with it. In 1423 King Sigismund granted the Electorate of Saxony to the Meissnian Wettins , with which the electoral dignity also passed to the Wettins and the name of Saxony migrated up the Elbe. However, the Lauenburg dukes retained their right to duchy and electoral dignity.

The Palatine County of Saxony

Coat of arms of the Palatinate County of Saxony

King Otto I had established the Palatinate Saxony in the southern part of the Duchy of Saxony, in the Saale-Unstrut region . The first Saxon count palatine from the Goseck family was Burchard (1003 to 1017, grandson of Dedi ). With the death of Friedrich V in 1179, the line of the Count Palatine from the Goseck family died out. The Palatine County of Saxony was awarded in the same year by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa to Ludwig the Pious from the Ludowinger family . He left it to his brother Hermann in 1181 . After Hermann's death in 1217 the Palatinate fell to his son Ludwig .

When Ludwig IV died on a crusade in 1227, his brother Heinrich Raspe took over the affairs of state for Ludwig's underage son Hermann II . Hermann II died in 1241 at the age of 19 and Heinrich Raspe officially took over the rule. Since Heinrich Raspe also remained childless, in 1242 he obtained the contingent mortgage of his Wettin nephew Heinrich the Illustrious with the Palatinate of Saxony and the Landgraviate of Thuringia from Emperor Friedrich .

After the death of the Wettin Heinrich the Illustrious, the Welf Duke Heinrich I became Prince of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen († 1322) Saxon Count Palatine.

In 1363 a palatinate county of Saxony-Allstedt was mentioned for the first time .

The Saxon Electorate until Leipzig was divided (1423 to 1485)

Page from a manuscript of the Golden Bull of Charles IV.

After the extinction of askanischen Dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg, the Wettiner could in 1423 to Mark county Meissen to gain the Duchy of Saxony and its Thuringian possessions: On January 6, 1423 belehnte King Sigismund the Meissen Margrave Frederick the Belligerent from the noble family of Wettin with the Duchy of Saxony Wittenberg . According to the Golden Bull of 1356 , the electoral dignity was also associated with this territory on the middle Elbe : Since then, the Meissnian Wettins were also dukes and electors of Saxony and were thus among the most important princes in the empire .

The name of their most important territory, Saxony, quickly spread to all of the countries they ruled. In their titles, however, the Wettins usually listed their entire possessions: they were electors and dukes of Saxony, margraves of Meissen, landgraves of Thuringia, etc. It also took a very long time until the various states had grown together into a unified state, which was due to the Up until the 17th century the division of the country was not made easier.

The Wettin lands were among the most important territories of the empire not only because of their size, but also because of their economic strength. The Meissen margraves and electors were able to draw significant income from silver mining in the Ore Mountains, they commanded Leipzig, one of the most important trading centers in the empire, and as early as the 14th century they had created an almost nationwide administration with the so-called official constitution, which made the court from the added stable income to individual offices. A lot of money was in circulation in 15th century Saxony through mining and trade, which also stimulated the other branches of the economy. The Meißner Groschen minted by the Electors in the state main mint in Freiberg was a recognized currency far beyond the borders of the Wettin lands.

In 1446 it came to the Saxon fratricidal war after the plan of the division of Altenburg of the quarreling brothers Friedrich II. And Wilhelm III. Was rejected. The dispute was only settled with the Naumburg Peace of 1451. The aftermath of the Saxon fratricidal war was the Altenburg prince robbery in July 1455, when the knight Kunz von Kauffungen kidnapped the princes Ernst and Albrecht from the castle in Altenburg .

On June 17, 1485, the brothers Ernst and Albrecht der Beherzte agreed in Leipzig to separate their property, which they had previously ruled together. This created the two Wettin lines, the Ernestines and the Albertines . The older brother Ernst received the Duchy of Saxony around Wittenberg , with which the electoral dignity was connected, as well as the Thuringian areas and areas in the Mark Meissen. Albert ruled as Duke of Saxony, the greater part of the Meissen areas with the cities of Leipzig and Dresden (see also the division of Leipzig and the Saxon coin dispute ).

From the partition of Leipzig to the Schmalkaldic War (1485 to 1547)

Albrechtsburg Castle and Cathedral in Meissen
The Wettin Lands after the Battle of Mühlberg (map from 1875)

Ernst died in 1486. ​​His son Friedrich the Wise became his successor. He founded the University of Wittenberg in 1502 and in 1505 brought Lucas Cranach the Elder there as court painter. The Reformation spread from Wittenberg . He hid Martin Luther in the Wartburg . Friedrich the Wise died in 1525, he was succeeded by his brother Johann the Steadfast . In 1527 the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church was founded, of which the “supreme bishop” was the elector. The Schmalkaldic Confederation of Protestant Imperial Estates, founded in 1530 to defend the Reformation, was under the leadership of Electoral Saxony and Hesse.

Johann died in 1532 and was succeeded by his son Johann Friedrich . In 1546 the tensions between the Emperor and the Schmalkaldischer Bund led to the Schmalkaldic War , which the Bund lost in 1547. Johann Friedrich had to cede the electoral dignity and most of his possessions, including the city of Zwickau, to his cousin Moritz von Sachsen . He was only left with the Thuringian possessions, which were divided among his sons after his death in 1554 (see History of Thuringia ).

Albrecht the Courageous chose Dresden instead of Meissen as his residence . He died in fighting in Friesland in 1500 . His son George the Bearded was a staunch opponent of the Reformation. In the Saxon feud , which he led from 1514 to 1517 against the East Frisian Count Edzard I (1462 to 1528), the acts of war took place predominantly on East Frisian soil and destroyed entire areas. In this feud, a Saxon fleet of 10 ships, including an admiral ship, was used on the Ems , but was destroyed by a fleet from Emden as early as 1514 .

It was only when his brother Heinrich the Pious became Duke after George's death in 1539 that the Duchy came to Protestantism. After his death in 1541, his son Moritz became a duke. Moritz allied with the emperor against the Schmalkaldic League. After the battle of Mühlberg in 1547, he received the electoral dignity and large parts of the previous properties of the Electorate of Saxony. All mints that had been in operation up to that point came into his sole possession. The coinage community that existed between the Ernestine and Albertine princes was ended. Moritz now minted under his sole name in his mints Annaberg , Freiberg and Schneeberg . The Buchholz mint was merged with the Annaberger Mint and the minting operations in Buchholz ended. The coin separation under Moritz between the two Saxon lines was final.

The Electorate of Saxony (1547 to 1806)

In the era of confessionalization (1547 to 1650)

August of Saxony , around 1572

Later the relationship between emperor and elector deteriorated and there was a new armed conflict. Moritz won, and died in the battle of Sievershausen in 1553 . Since the conclusion of the Augsburg Religious Peace in 1555, the Saxon Elector has stood firmly at the side of the respective emperors from the House of Habsburg . August I saw himself as the leader of the Lutheran imperial estates, in whose interests the status quo achieved between Protestants and Catholics was to be preserved. For his policy towards the emperor, August received a free hand from Emperor Ferdinand I to secularize the Central German monasteries of Merseburg , Naumburg and Meißen and to integrate them into the Saxon electoral state .

In terms of religious policy, Saxony committed itself entirely to Orthodox Lutheranism. Reformed currents were suppressed and it was agreed with the Habsburgs that the Calvinists should not be included in the nationwide religious peace and should thus be denied the status of a denomination recognized under imperial law . The strict focus on the “pure teaching” of Luther found its dogmatic expression through the concord formula and the concord book , which in Saxony had to be signed by every evangelical pastor as binding religious laws. In addition to the clergy, the universities and ultimately all subjects were also subjected to denominational discipline by the elector's administrative apparatus.

In order to clarify the political problems in central Germany, the Naumburg Treaty was signed with the Ernestines in 1554 .

The peaceful period in the second half of the 16th century had a very positive effect on the Saxon economy and state finances. August was one of the few imperial princes of that era who was able to accumulate an extensive state treasure. He was also not constantly dependent on tax permits from the state estates, so that the Saxon state parliament was only rarely convened and the Saxon estates could therefore hardly participate in state politics. Seldom before and seldom since has the power of Saxon princes been as great as in the age of confessionalization. The Dresden mint, established by Elector August 1556 in his residence, became the only mint in the electorate that was now under his supervision after all state mints were closed.

Under August's successor, his son Christian I (1586 to 1591), Calvinist currents gained influence at the court. In addition, Christian's Chancellor Nikolaus Krell tried to give Saxon politics a new direction. The electorate was to break away from the emperor and enter into a union with the Protestant imperial princes and alliances with the Western European opponents of the Habsburgs. In particular, the religious policy, which is well-disposed towards Calvinism , encountered bitter resistance from the Lutheran forces in the regional church and among the estates. The early death of Christian I ruined Krell's lofty plans. The chancellor was only thrown in prison and executed in 1601.

After the outbreak of the Bohemian Estates uprising initiated by the second lintel in Prague , Elector Johann Georg I sided with the emperor in 1618. In doing so, on the advice of his government, he continued the Saxon imperial policy that had been in effect for decades. Its aim was to preserve the status quo achieved in the Augsburg religious peace. In 1618 Dresden was aware that the Bohemian unrest could trigger a nationwide war. Initially, Johann Georg tried to mediate between the Bohemian estates and the emperor together with the Elector of Mainz. After the death of Emperor Matthias in March 1619, the situation came to a head. When the Bohemian estates deposed their already crowned successor Ferdinand II in the same year and elected Elector Friedrich V of the Palatinate as their king, Johann Georg gave up his wait-and-see attitude and declared himself ready to take part in the war against Bohemia. It was agreed with Ferdinand II that Saxony should recapture the two neighboring Bohemian states of Upper and Lower Lusatia for the emperor. Formally, Johann Georg was commissioned by the Emperor to execute the Reich against the Bohemian rebels.

In September 1620 the Saxon troops marched into the two Lausitzes. The two margravate could be occupied without major resistance. Because the emperor could not reimburse the Saxon elector for the war costs as agreed, he had to give Johann Georg the two Lausitzes as a pledge in 1623.

In the period that followed, Saxony's relations with the emperor deteriorated more and more, partly because the imperial troops under Albrecht von Wallenstein hardly respected Saxony's neutrality . Albrecht von Wallenstein led several pillaging troops into Lusatia. The Saxon elector also disliked the ruthlessly practiced recatholization in Silesia and Bohemia, without being able to do anything about it. Finally, Wallenstein's military successes did not bode well for the future of the Protestant imperial estates. In 1631 Johann Georg I finally saw himself compelled to join the Swedes in the war against the emperor. The decisive factor for this radical change in Saxon politics was the military situation, because the Swedish king's troops were already on Saxon territory at that time.

In 1635 Saxony made the Peace of Prague with the emperor and thus finally came into the possession of the Lausitz. The devastation of the country by the Thirty Years' War continued, however, because the fighting against the Swedes continued in central Germany for more than ten years. Electoral Saxony withdrew from direct combat operations for the time being with the armistice of Kötzschenbroda in 1645 and finally with the peace of Eilenburg in 1646. However, it was not until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 that the war hardship ended. For Saxony, the provisions of the Peace of Prague were largely confirmed.

After the Thirty Years War to the end of the Holy Roman Empire (1648 to 1806)

Johann Georg I with dog, portrait by Frans Luycx , 1652
Coat of arms graphic by Otto Hupp in the Munich calendar of 1902

After the Thirty Years War, many Saxon towns and villages were destroyed, great loss of life was to be lamented, the country was impoverished and the state treasury was empty. However, due to its natural and political prerequisites (good soils and rich ore deposits on the one hand, a well-organized administration on the other), the electoral state recovered faster than other territories of the empire from the consequences of the war. The exiles flowing into the Electoral State from the Habsburg territories represented an important component for the resurgence of Saxony , through whom the population loss from the war could be compensated more quickly. The technical know-how of the exiles and their industrial diligence boosted the economy.

The Saxon estates had regained their influence during the war due to the high demand for money from the princely treasury. In the second half of the 17th century, the electors had to convene the state parliament far more frequently than was the case at the beginning of that century, and in 1661 the estates were even able to enforce their right of self-assembly.

The will of Johann Georg I , opened on October 8, 1656, provided for parts of Electoral Saxony to be bequeathed to his three sons August , Christian and Moritz and to establish them as independent duchies in an Electoral Saxon secondary school. The duchies of Saxony-Zeitz , Saxony-Merseburg and Saxony-Weißenfels emerged , but fell back to Electoral Saxony in 1718, 1738 and 1746 respectively.

In terms of foreign policy, Saxony remained at the side of the Austrian imperial family until the end of the 17th century. In 1683, Elector Johann Georg III took part. personally with the Saxon Army at the Battle of the Kahlenberg which ended the Second Siege of Vienna by the Turks and ensured the important liberation of Vienna. The Electorate of Saxony was part of a German - Polish relief army under the leadership of the Polish King John III. Sobieski . The defeat of the Ottoman army marked the beginning of the end of Turkish hegemonic politics . The Saxon electors provided further troop aid against the Turks and Saxony was also involved in the imperial war against the French King Louis XIV.

August the Strong became elector in 1694. In 1697 he converted to Catholicism in order to acquire the Polish royal crown. The personal union of Saxony-Poland existed until the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, with two short interruptions 1706 to 1709 and 1733 to 1736. Dresden flourished under the rule of August and his son Friedrich August II . The famous buildings such as Zwinger and Frauenkirche were built.

In the 1720s, a lively visit diplomacy began with the northern neighbor and rival Prussia . The Saxon army was also increased to 30,000 men in order to counter the increased military threat posed by the well-armed northern neighbor. From the 1740s onwards, relations with Prussia continued to deteriorate until there was an open confrontation with Prussia in the Second Silesian War , which Saxony lost. In 1756, Saxony was reoccupied by a Prussian army and its previously reduced army capitulated after a few weeks of siege near Pirna . The elector fled to his second residence in Warsaw and stayed there until the end of the war. After the Peace of Hubertusburg in 1763, a long-lasting upswing began with the rétablissement .

In 1778/79 Saxony took part in the War of the Bavarian Succession on the side of Prussia against the Habsburg monarchy . As the “literal” medium-sized state of the “ Third Germany ”, Saxony was also predestined to mediate between the two major German powers. In support of King Louis XVI. of France against the revolutionary efforts , the Pillnitz Declaration was formulated in Pillnitz near Dresden on August 27, 1791 .

Kingdom of Saxony

The Kingdom of Saxony emerged from the Electorate of Saxony and existed from 1806 to 1918. From 1806 to 1815 it belonged to the Rhine Confederation and from 1815 to 1866 to the German Confederation . Since 1867 it was a member of the North German Confederation and from 1871 to 1918 of the German Empire .

Rhine Confederation 1812

The Napoleonic period (1806 to 1815)

Flag of the newly founded Kingdom of Saxony from 1806 to 1815

In September 1806 Saxony took part in the war against Napoleonic France on the side of Prussia . In the Battle of Jena in October 1806, 22,000 Saxon soldiers also fought. The campaign ended in catastrophic defeat. Saxony came under French occupation for a short time . It was initially imposed a contribution of 25 million francs and it had to make aid deliveries to supply the French army. The state of war with France ended as early as December 11, 1806 in the Peace of Posen . Saxony switched sides. It became a member of the Rhine Confederation and Napoleon elevated the Elector Friedrich August III. to King Friedrich August I. The Kingdom of Saxony provided Napoleon with a contingent of 20,000 soldiers in the war against Prussia. In return, France waived the war contribution. At the instigation of the French emperor, the new Saxon king granted his subjects the freedom to practice their religion in a decree of 1807. From then on, Catholics were citizens with equal rights. In the Peace of Tilsit , Prussia had to cede the rule of Cottbus to Saxony and Napoleon made Friedrich August Duke of Warsaw . The Napoleonic continental barrier had a strong impact on the Saxon economy. On the one hand, it prevented trade with Great Britain, but on the other hand it created favorable conditions for the sale of Saxon industry on the continent because British competition was eliminated. In particular, commercial production in the Ore Mountains and Upper Lusatia increased as a result.

In the Fifth Coalition War in 1809, the Saxons fought with 13,000 soldiers on Napoleon's side in the Battle of Wagram against Austria. As a thank you, Napoleon added Krakow and the hitherto Austrian Western Galicia to the Duchy of Warsaw in 1809 . 1812 took Saxon troops on the Russian campaign in part of Napoleon. In the battle of Borodino the Saxon cavalry regiments ( Garde du Corps , Zastrow cuirassiers) commanded by General Thielmann captured the central Russian defensive position around the so-called Rajewski-Schanze with horrific losses. The attack left an impression on allies and enemies alike, but brought the Saxon cavalry to the brink of disintegration. Of the total of 21,000 Saxon soldiers in the invasion army, only just under 1,000 returned home.

In the run-up to the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig, Napoleon Bonaparte crossed the Elbe in August 1813 at the Battle of Dresden .

In 1813, Saxony became the main theater of the anti-Napoleonic liberation wars , as a result of which the Saxon civilian population in the disputed areas suffered a lot. Western Upper Lusatia ( Bischofswerda was shot on fire and devastated), Räcknitz near Dresden and the villages in the vicinity of Leipzig, which were devastated during the Battle of Nations in October 1813, were particularly affected by the fighting .

Although parts of the Saxon military had already changed sides at the beginning of the wars of liberation in early 1813, Friedrich August I did not succeed in taking the side of the allies in the decisive autumn of 1813, but remained as a French allied state as a Confederation of the Rhine. Saxony, which was occupied after the lost battle of nations, was administered by a Prussian-Russian general government of Saxony , initially under Nikolai Grigorjewitsch Repnin-Wolkonski and Friedrich August was taken prisoner in Friedrichsfelde Palace near Berlin.

After the victory over Napoleon at the Congress of Vienna, Prussia wanted to incorporate the country into its state, but the Austrian State Chancellor Metternich prevented this in favor of partition. Friedrich August, released from Prussian captivity in February 1815, had no choice in Pressburg but to agree to the negotiated partition agreement, a dictated peace . On May 18, 1815, he signed the peace treaty presented to him with Prussia and Russia. Saxony lost the district with Wittenberg and Torgau, Lower Lusatia, half of Upper Lusatia and all areas in Thuringia. In the rump state of the Kingdom of Saxony, 1.2 million of about 2 million inhabitants and 15,000 of 35,000 square kilometers remained. Thus 57 percent of the area with 42 percent of the inhabitants of Saxony fell to Prussia.

Coat of arms of the province of Saxony

The title "Duke of Saxony" was due to the peace treaty, which the essential parts of Article 16 Vienna conference proceedings were concluded agreements on Friedrich Wilhelm III. from Hohenzollern over. As the new sovereign of the Duchy of Saxony, the Prussian king brought the core areas of the historical Ascanian Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg into a newly created Prussian province with a focus on the Harz, Elbe and Saale, which thereupon, under the personal influence of the Prussian State Chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg , " Province of Saxony " was called. The ducal-Ascanian Rautenkranz coat of arms was adopted into the coat of arms of Prussia with the cabinet order of January 9, 1817, the king of which now also bore the title "Duke of Saxony, Engern and Westphalia". In 1864 the shield of the province of Saxony began to be streaked with gold.

Kingdom of Saxony in the 19th century

Kingdom of Saxony in the 19th century
Borders of the Kingdom of Saxony after the Congress of Vienna

For Saxony (as for many other countries) in the 19th century factors such as

From the Congress of Vienna to the Vormärz (1815 to 1847)

After the Peace of Vienna, a period of political restoration followed in Saxony. After King Friedrich August I died in 1827, he was followed by his 71-year-old brother Anton . Cabinet Minister Detlev Graf von Einsiedel tried to prevent any reforms. The bourgeois elites, however, pushed for participation in political power. The July Revolution of 1830 in France triggered unrest and uprisings in Germany as well, which took a different course and showed very different results in the various states due to local peculiarities.

In Saxony, the uprising was fought militarily in 1831, but the government also made political concessions, which in particular partially addressed the demands of the liberal bourgeoisie. There were moderate reforms; Most important of all was the enactment of the first constitution in September 1831.

The Kingdom of Saxony had now become a constitutional monarchy , civil liberties were constitutionally guaranteed for the first time and elections to the state parliament were to take place. The new state parliament was divided into two chambers. The first chamber was the upper house and in its class composition a reflection of the old parliament. Chamber II was elected on a broader basis.

With the general town order of 1832, the towns were given extensive self-government and the law on replacements and common divisions introduced the liberation of the peasants from feudal burdens. The judiciary and administration were also fundamentally redesigned in the following years.

Anton died in 1836; he was followed by his nephew Friedrich August II (1797–1854).

After 1815, Saxony experienced an enormous industrial boom. The country was the first real industrial region in Germany. The population of the cities increased rapidly due to the need for labor. An industrial proletariat emerged whose living conditions were very poor. The municipalities were barely able to cope with the social problems, or the middle-class ruling classes had little interest in them.

The revolution of 1848/49

In the spring of 1848 Leipzig was one of the centers of the revolution in the German states . On March 13th, the king had to establish a bourgeois government. On March 19, Robert Blum spoke at a rally on the Zwickau Kornmarkt. After he was granted honorary citizenship of the city, he moved into the Frankfurt pre-parliament as the elected representative of the Zwickau district . However, it soon became apparent that representatives of the upper class secured their own family ties to the nobility and group interests and curbed the activities of the masses. In view of the 60,000 unemployed in Saxony in the spring of 1848 and the displeasure of the rural population who set the Waldenburg Castle (Saxony) in flames on April 5, this was no easy undertaking.

Friedrich August II appointed liberal ministers to government during the March Revolution, lifted censorship and passed a liberal electoral law (details here ).

His attitude later changed and he dissolved parliament at the end of April 1849, which ultimately led to the Dresden May uprising . On May 3, a vigilante demonstration was banned and officially threatened with the invasion of the Prussian military, which provided the final spark for the armed resistance. As a result, fighting broke out in Dresden and the king fled to Königstein fortress . On May 6th, however, as threatened, Prussian troops arrived. The result after four days of fighting were 30 fallen soldiers and around 200 dead barricade fighters, as well as numerous political prisoners. The revolution was put down without major political concessions.

Saxony in the German Empire

Friedrich August III. In 1918 he ostensibly thanked him with the words “ Nu da machd a Drägg alleene! "(" Get rid of your dirt alone! ").

On June 14, 1866, Saxony sided with Vienna in the German War , which was followed by the Prussian declaration of war. An unsuccessful defense of the country against the overpowering Prussian associations was dispensed with. Instead, King John and his army evaded to Bohemia in order to unite with the allied Austrians. Saxony was quickly occupied by Prussian troops and his army shared the defeat of the Austrians at Königgrätz . In the peace treaty of Berlin , the Saxon government finally had to recognize the political changes and the state became a member of the North German Confederation under Prussian leadership. Originally Prussia wanted to completely incorporate the Kingdom of Saxony, as had already happened with Schleswig-Holstein, Kurhessen, Nassau and Hanover. The Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph expressly protested against this, since he viewed the continued existence of the state's most loyal ally as a question of honor. Especially since Vienna wanted to prevent the encirclement of Bohemia by Prussia. With the mediation of Alfred Graf von Fabrice , who assured Prussia extensive military cooperation, and the intercession of Otto von Bismarck , Wilhelm I finally renounced an annexation of Saxony.

As Chief of the General Staff, Fabrice was instrumental in the strategic bravery of the Saxon troops at Königgrätz. This was recognized by friends and foes, including Prussia. The peace negotiations focused on the military aspects and the integration of the Saxon Army. General Alfred Graf von Fabrice was able to build up so much trust that it was retained through the conclusion of a military convention with Prussia in the form of the Saxon Army Corps of the North German Confederation with its own standard symbols, facilities and uniforms.

Saxony's state sovereignty has been severely restricted since then. In 1868 a constitutional amendment was carried out which granted the state parliament more rights and placed the right to vote in the second chamber on a broader basis. In 1870/71 the kingdom took part in the Franco-Prussian War and in 1871 the country became part of the newly established German Empire. Since the armistice talks in France had hardened, the Chancellor Otto von Bismarck instructed the Saxon Minister of War, Alfred von Fabrice, to take over the talks. He was appointed Governor General for Occupied France and successfully brokered all matters important to carry out the peace preparations.

After 1871, Saxony particularly benefited from the general upswing in Germany. It was the country with the highest industrial density and the highest national income (per capita) of all German federal states. After 1871 there was also a surge in modernization in the area of ​​administration, while the political system remained backward. The current electoral law secured power for a small minority of the wealthy classes. At the same time, Saxony was a center of the German labor movement under the leadership of August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht in the last third of the 19th century .

The End of the Kingdom (1904-1918)

King Friedrich August III. von Sachsen (1865 to 1932; ruled 1904 to 1918) was the last Saxon king and the last Wettin sovereign of Saxony. Friedrich August III. was considered conservative and conflict-averse, but was sometimes also quite tolerant. B. in 1906 with the appointment of the liberal Count Hohenthal, who introduced plural suffrage in Saxony, as Minister of the Interior. With Hohenthal's death in 1909, however, political reforms in the kingdom quickly fell asleep again.

On August 2, 1914, the king called his "sons and brothers" to arms. In World War I of Saxony granted a last own army . The king, who is actually considered an enthusiastic military and a capable strategist, was the only German monarch to renounce the supreme command of his troops.

Free State of Saxony (1918 to 1933)

Data in 1930
State capital : Dresden
Area : 14,986 km²
Residents : 4,994,281
Population density : 333 inhabitants / km²
Voices in the Reichsrat : 4th
Saxony's national borders from 1815 to 1945: Map of the district and administrative authorities 1900 to 1932

On November 8, 1918, workers 'and soldiers' councils took power in Saxony, the USPD politician Hermann Fleißner proclaimed the Republic of Saxony in the Sarrasani circus on November 10, 1918 and three days later the Saxon King Friedrich August III thanked him. at Guteborn Castle near Ruhland .

On November 15, 1918, the " Lipinski Cabinet " took over state power as a council of people's representatives under the chairmanship of Richard Lipinski .

On November 28, 1918, universal, equal, direct and secret proportional representation for men and women over the age of 21 was introduced. The “provisional representation of the entire people of the Republic of Saxony”, called the “People's Chamber of the Republic of Saxony”, was elected on February 2, 1919. On February 25, 1919, the “Provisional Basic Law for the Free State of Saxony” (this designation was decided unanimously) came into force.

In February / March 1919 there was a general strike in the Leipzig area and in April 1919 the workers in the Zwickau coalfield stopped working. After angry war victims drowned the Saxon War Minister Gustav Neuring after a public speech in the Elbe on April 12, 1919, the Reich government imposed a state of siege on Saxony and the Reichswehr Brigade 16 under Georg Ludwig Rudolf Maercker occupied Leipzig.

In March 1920, the Reich government fled from the Kapp putschists to Dresden. On March 15, 1920, 59 people died in street fighting between the Reichswehr and demonstrators during the Kapp Putsch on Postplatz. The street battles in Leipzig claimed 40 lives. With their general strike, the workers finally brought the Kapp Putsch to a standstill.

The Saxon Ministry as a whole submitted a draft constitution to the People's Chamber on April 19, 1920. Its structure and terminology were adapted to the imperial constitution of August 11, 1919, based on the state constitutions that had already been adopted and the present draft for Prussia.

This proposal was dealt with at first reading on May 12, 1920. The People's Chamber elected a special committee. This consisted of 18 MPs from all parliamentary groups (SPD - 7, DDP - 4, USPD - 3, DNVP - 3, DVP - 1). The consultation took place in 18 meetings. On October 20, 1920, the Volkskammer received the committee's report and on October 26, 1920 the second reading and adoption of the “ Constitution of the Free State of Saxony ” took place with unanimous results. The constitution came into force on November 1, 1920.

This new constitution was based on the Weimar constitution . During the Weimar Republic, Saxony was now a free state with a parliament, a prime minister and the national colors of white and green that had been introduced a hundred years earlier.

In view of the strengthening of right-wing forces and an enormous deterioration in the economic situation (with hyperinflation in 1923 ), Prime Minister Erich Zeigner (SPD) included KPD ministers in his cabinet on October 10, 1923 , which until then had only consisted of SPD ministers. After indications of revolutionary preparations became apparent and instructions from the Reich government to dissolve newly established paramilitary militias ( Proletarian Hundreds ) were not followed by the state government, the government sent troops to Berlin to prevent a feared communist-oriented overthrow in the context of the Reich execution . On October 29, 1923, Lieutenant General Alfred Müller ousted the Saxon government on the basis of an emergency decree issued by Reich President Friedrich Ebert .

The Fellisch cabinet (only SPD politicians) was in office from October 31, 1923 to January 4, 1924; the Heldt I cabinet until January 13, 1927 (the election to the 3rd state parliament took place on October 31, 1926); the Heldt II cabinet held office until June 30, 1927 and the (similar) Heldt III cabinet until June 25, 1929 (until after the state election of May 12, 1929).

Hundreds of thousands of mourners attended the funeral ceremonies for the last Saxon king in Dresden in 1932, also because after the political turmoil since 1918 and the rapid economic decline, many Saxons longed for the time of the monarchy.

Exchange of territory with Thuringia

In 1928 there was an exchange of territory and a border adjustment between the Free State of Saxony and the State of Thuringia . A total of 1115  ha with 4890 inhabitants came to Saxony and 1778 ha with 2900 inhabitants to Thuringia. Saxony received in particular the former enclaves of the Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg, the parish of Russdorf near Oberfrohna and Neukirchen near Waldenburg , but also the parishes of Wickersdorf, Waldsachsen and part of the parish of Ponitz, the Gosel corridor. Near Plauen , among other things, the Caselwitz corridor , part of the Greiz municipality, the Görschnitz municipality and corridor, and part of the Schönbach municipality and corridor were assigned to Saxony. In exchange, the Saxon exclave Liebschwitz near Gera came to Thuringia with the communities and corridors Lengefeld, Liebschwitz, Lietzsch, Niebra, Pösneck, and Taubenpreskel as well as the neighboring communities Hilbersdorf, Loitzsch, Rückersdorf, Thonhausen and Grobsdorf. In addition, the municipality of Bocka near Altenburg and Kauritz near Meerane as well as Flur Frohnsdorf of the municipality of Ziegelheim and parts of the municipality and corridors of Obergrünberg were incorporated into the state . Near Greiz came the Stelzen corridor (part of the Reuth municipality), part of the municipality and Noßwitz corridor, the Sachswitz corridor (part of the Elsterberg municipality ) and partly the Cunsdorf corridor (part of the Reichenbach municipality ). (Before the exchange of territory with Thuringia, the Free State of Saxony had an area of ​​14,993 km².)

Results of the state elections

1919 41.6% - 42 seats 22.9% - 22 seats 16.3% - 15 seats 14.4% - 13 seats 3.9% - 4 seats 1.0% - 0 seats - - - - - - - - - - -
1920 28.3% - 27 seats 7.7% - 8 seats - 21.0% - 20 seats 18.6% - 18 seats - 13.9% - 13 seats 2.9% - 3 seats 1.1% - 1 seat 5.7% - 6 seats - - - - - - -
1922 41.8% - 40 seats 8.4% - 8 seats - 19.0% - 19 seats 18.7% - 19 seats - - - - 10.5% - 10 seats - - - - - - -
1926 32.1% - 31 seats 4.7% - 5 seats - 14.5% - 14 seats 12.8% - 12 seats - - - - 14.5% - 14 seats 10.0% - 10 seats 4.2% - 4 seats 4.2% - 4 seats 1.6% - 2 seats - - -
1929 34.3% - 33 seats 4.3% - 4 seats - 8.1% - 8 seats 13.5% - 13 seats - - - - 12.8% - 12 seats 11.3% - 11 seats 2.6% - 3 seats 1.5% - 2 seats - 5.2% - 5 seats 5.0% - 5 seats - -
1930 33.4% - 32 seats 3.3% - 3 seats - 4.8% - 5 seats 8.7% - 8 seats - - - - 13.6% - 13 seats 10.6% - 10 seats 1.7% - 2 seats - - 4.6% - 5 seats 14.4% - 14 seats 2.2% - 2 seats 1.5% - 2 seats

100% missing = nominations not represented in the state parliament.

National Socialism (1933 to 1945)

The Saxon NSDAP Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann with Adolf Hitler at the Leipzig spring fair in 1934.

The NSDAP never became the party with the largest number of factions in a state election. In 1930 it became the second strongest party with 14.4% of the vote , but the SPD received more than double that number with 33.4%. The NSDAP was never involved in a democratically legitimized government in Saxony, although only one executive cabinet of officials has governed Schieck since 1930 . In the Reichstag election in March 1933 , in one of the three constituencies of Saxony, the NSDAP's election result was well above with 50% (Chemnitz-Zwickau), in the other two with 40% (Leipzig) and 43.6% (Dresden-Bautzen) just below the nationwide average of 43.9%. In the course of the alignment of the states, Martin Mutschmann was appointed Reich Governor of Saxony on May 5, 1933 ; In early 1935, Hitler also assigned him to lead the state government. The Prime Minister from 1933 to 1935 was Manfred von Killinger . With the law on the rebuilding of the Reich of January 30, 1934, the Free State of Saxony ceased to exist under constitutional law , but the State of Saxony continued to exist with its own government alongside the Gau Saxony . In connection with this law, in 1939 the district main teams were renamed as administrative district and the administrative authorities as district .

On February 13 and February 14, 1945, Dresden was the target of one of the heaviest bomb attacks in World War II . On April 25, 1945, American and Soviet soldiers met near Strehla and Torgau / Elbe (" Elbe Day "). Since the boundaries of the occupation zones had been determined in advance by the Allies, from July 1945 all of Saxony was occupied by the Red Army ; here then also the areas west of the Mulde with Leipzig , Eilenburg , Grimma and Rochlitz and west of the Zwickauer Mulde with Auerbach / Vogtl. , Falkenstein / Vogtl. , Glauchau , Plauen , Oelsnitz , Reichenbach and Zwickau, which were previously occupied by US forces. A special case was the then Schwarzenberg district , which initially remained vacant as the so-called Free Republic of Schwarzenberg . On July 3, all of Saxony, with the exception of a small area east of the Lusatian Neisse around Reichenau, became part of the SBZ .

The post-war period until the dissolution of the states in the GDR (1945–1952)

Data in 1950
State capital : Dresden
Surface: 17,004 km²
Residents : 5,682,800
Population density : 334 inhabitants / km²
State of Saxony 1945–1952
State of Saxony 1945–1952

In 1945 the state of Saxony was newly formed within the Soviet occupation zone , consisting of the former Free State of Saxony and the areas of the Prussian province of Lower Silesia west of the Oder-Neisse border ( Upper Lusatia ), with a total size of 17,004 km². The Saxon areas of the district of Zittau east of the Neisse were lost to Poland.

During the land reform in November 1945, around one eighth of the agricultural area in Saxony (1,212 goods with 260,000 hectares of land) was expropriated and given to new farmers . According to the Potsdam Agreement , the major German companies and the property of the most active National Socialists passed into the control of the Allies. In May 1946, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) transferred these goods to the state administrations of the Soviet zone of occupation.

In the referendum in Saxony on June 30, 1946 (law on the handover of war and Nazi criminals' property to the people) , 77.6% of the voters voted for the expropriation of more than 1,800 companies. Some large companies remained in Soviet hands. SDAG Wismut , which was founded in 1945 as a Soviet joint-stock company, had a special status.It began mining uranium ore near Johanngeorgenstadt and continued to produce uranium ore for the Soviet atomic bomb program until the end of the GDR period - with enormous environmental damage.

The important cultural assets of the numerous Saxon castles and manors were also administered by the state. This included around 1,000 manor archives and important palace libraries (e.g. those of Kuckuckstein and Gaussig ), which were assigned to the state archives, as well as around 9,800 art objects that were included in the holdings of the Dresden art collections . Around 11,400 other works of art formed the basis of the 130 Saxon museums founded in the post-war years.

At the beginning of May 1945, the KPD group responsible for Saxony under Anton Ackermann began its political work in Dresden. The state associations of the SPD and KPD in Saxony already carried out the compulsory unification of the SPD and KPD to form the SED on April 22, 1946, before the zone-wide merger . In May 1946 the first advisory meeting of the provisional state assembly took place; The focus of the consultation was the preparation of a law on the expropriation of companies without compensation and the creation of state-owned companies.

The first election to the Saxon state parliament took place on October 20, 1946 . The Social Democrat Rudolf Friedrichs (1892 - June 1947) was elected first Prime Minister . The state constitution was passed on February 28, 1947 .

On July 23, 1952, Saxony was divided into the districts of Dresden , Leipzig and Chemnitz (Karl-Marx-Stadt 1953 to 1990) by the "Law on the further democratization of the structure and functioning of state organs in the states of the German Democratic Republic" and thus effectively dissolved. A “Saxon self-image” could not be removed by law. A small part of Upper Lusatia was added to the Cottbus district. During this process, border adjustments were made in which individual cities and municipalities were incorporated into or attached to neighboring districts, which shifted the district boundaries compared to the former state borders.

Saxony in the GDR

For the period 1952 to 1990 see: History of the German Democratic Republic

The song “Sing, mei Sachse, sing” by Jürgen Hart is a suitable example of the Saxon self-confidence during this period . The Sächsische Zeitung remained as an organ of the SED.

Free State of Saxony (since 1990)

The temporary states of the GDR up to 1952 in comparison with the newly founded states from 1990

The current state of Saxony was re-formed on October 3, 1990 by amalgamating the GDR district territories of Dresden , Chemnitz and Leipzig (excluding the districts of Altenburg and Schmölln ) and the districts of Hoyerswerda and Weißwasser in the southern part of the Cottbus district as a state of the Federal Republic of Germany . At the end of the month, the country officially adopted the title "Free State". Small, formerly Saxon areas, from the district of Greiz the communities of Cunsdorf and Görschnitz and the city of Elsterberg ; from the Schleiz district the communities Langenbach , Thierbach , the city Mühltroff and from the Zeulenroda district the communities Ebersgrün , Ranspach , Unterreichenau and the city Pausa / Vogtl. came back to the Free State of Saxony in 1992 after a referendum from Thuringia . Because of the incorporation of the remaining Upper Lusatian areas of the former Prussian province of Lower Silesia (districts of Görlitz , Hoyerswerda and Weißwasser, formerly Rothenburg (Upper Lusatia) ) west of the Neisse River, west of the Neisse, and because the Leipzig district around July 25, 1952 The districts of Delitzsch , Eilenburg and Torgau previously belonging to Saxony-Anhalt were expanded, today's Free State is significantly larger than the kingdom was at its end. Nonetheless, these areas were part of the electorate and kingdom until the country was divided in 1815. The districts of Weißwasser and Hoyerswerda , which were ceded to the Cottbus district in 1952 - with the exception of the westernmost tip around Ruhland , which remained with the Senftenberg district in the state of Brandenburg - were also reassigned to Saxony in 1990 ( see above ).

State elections have been held in Saxony since 1990 . The first state election took place on October 14, 1990. The distribution of seats was: CDU 92, SPD 32, PDS 17, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen 10, FDP 9 seats. Kurt Biedenkopf was elected as the first Prime Minister of Saxony after reunification.

The reorganization of the administration from the GDR system to the Federal Republican system took place with the help of the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria as sponsors of the reconstruction aid .

The monetary union and reunification in 1990 and the dissolution of the Council for Mutual Economic Aid on June 28, 1991 led to an economic decline: dissolution of contracts with western trading partners, considerable reduction in production due to the decline in sales of Saxon goods, dismissal of workers, Rise in unemployment, closures, bankruptcy proceedings . To counteract this, cities and municipalities created industrial areas for the settlement of companies and founded new productive companies with good economic development (e.g. VW plant Mosel, Siemensfabrik Dresden, Sachsenring AG Zwickau). Agriculture was also restructured by the LPGs into new companies .

In Saxony, during the GDR era, there were significant Soviet military facilities and large contingents of troops in the form of the 1st Guards Armored Army with staff in Dresden, the armored divisions in Riesa (9th) and Dresden (11th Guards Armored Division), the 20th Guards Rifle Division with staff in Grimma and the 105th Fighter Bombing Division with staff in Grossenhain, which was subordinate to the 61st Air Corps. The withdrawal of the Soviet troops began in January 1991. 340,000 soldiers, 200,000 civilians and 2.6 million tons of material as well as 4,000 tanks, 8,000 armored vehicles, 3,500 artillery systems, 600 aircraft, 600 helicopters and 90,000 motor vehicles had to be relocated to Russia. The Federal Republic financed this troop relocation with DM 12 billion. On August 31, 1994, the last units were ceremoniously adopted. In addition, the NVA, as large units, included the 7th Panzer Division with staff in Dresden and large garrisons in Frankenberg, Marienberg, Zeithain, Grossenhain and Döbeln. In addition, Leipzig, as the site of the military administration of Military District III, had a large number of military facilities, as well as training facilities for the land and air forces of the GDR at several locations in the three Saxon districts. The military academy in Dresden, the officers' colleges in Kamenz, Bautzen, Löbau and Zittau as well as the military technical school of the air forces / air defense in Bad Düben deserve special mention. Airfields with corresponding units in Kamenz, Bautzen Rothenburg and Dresden are also to be mentioned. In addition, there was the military training area in Nochten, which was over 150 km² in size.

The districts of the same color were combined in a district reform in 2008 .

On June 6, 1992 the constitution of the Free State of Saxony came into force, according to which Saxony becomes a Free State again. On August 1, 1994, the “ Saxon Law on District Reform ” came into force because it became necessary to reduce the number of districts and to merge communities into large communities. In 1997 there were 787 municipalities (in 1989 there were 1623 municipalities), 7 independent cities and 23 rural districts. The law was changed in 1995. For the second state election on September 11, 1994, the number of seats was reduced to 120. Distribution of seats: CDU 77, SPD 22, PDS 21 seats. The CDU sole government under Kurt Biedenkopf was confirmed by state elections on September 19, 1999. Distribution of seats: CDU 76, SPD 14, PDS 30 seats. Kurt Biedenkopf handed over the office of Prime Minister of Saxony to the CDU politician Georg Milbradt in 2002 .

In the state elections on September 19, 2004, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, FDP and NPD entered parliament, the CDU lost its absolute majority and formed a coalition with the SPD, which received only 0.6 percentage points more votes than the NPD. Georg Milbradt handed over the office of Prime Minister of Saxony to Stanislaw Tillich , a CDU politician and native of Saxony , who formed a coalition with the FDP after the 2009 state elections. In addition, a comprehensive district reform was carried out in Saxony in 2008 . Due to the demographic change and the associated decline in population, the districts that existed until then and some urban districts were combined into larger units. Since then there are only ten districts and the independent cities of Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz.

See also



Overall representations

chronological after publication; Newest first

Periods of time

chronologically; starting with prehistory

  • Judith Oexle (Ed.): Saxony. Archaeological. 12000 BC Chr. – 2000 AD (= catalog for the exhibition “The Saxon Night”. May 26th – December 30th, 2000. State Office for Archeology Saxony with State Museum of Prehistory, Dresden). State Office for Archeology Saxony, Dresden 2000, ISBN 3-910008-23-2 .
  • Karlheinz Blaschke : History of Saxony in the Middle Ages. CH Beck, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-406-31722-7 .
  • Karlheinz Blaschke: Saxony in the age of the Reformation (=  writings of the Association for Reformation History. Volume 185). Gütersloh publishing house, Gütersloh 1970, DNB 456132724 .
  • Helmar Junghans (ed.): The century of the Reformation in Saxony. 2nd Edition. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-374-02311-8 .
  • Uwe Schirmer (Ed.): Saxony in the 17th century. Crisis, war and a new beginning. (= Writings of the Rudolf Kötzschke Society. Volume 5). Sax, Beucha 1998, ISBN 3-930076-67-5 .
  • Uwe Schirmer (Ed.): Saxony 1763–1832. Between rétablissement and bourgeois reforms (= writings of the Rudolf Kötzschke Society. Volume 3). 2nd Edition. Sax, Beucha 2000, ISBN 3-930076-23-3 .
  • Guntram Martin, Jochen Vötsch, Peter Wiegand (eds.): 200 years of the Kingdom of Saxony. Contributions to Saxon history in the Napoleonic era (= Saxonia. Volume 10). Sax-Verlag, Beucha 2008, ISBN 3-86729-029-6 .
  • Jörg Ludwig, Andreas Neemann: Revolution in Saxony 1848/49. Presentation and documents. Saxon State Center for Political Education, Dresden 1999, DNB 957196326 .
  • Simone Lässig , Karl Heinrich Pohl (Ed.): Saxony in the Empire. Politics, economy and society in upheaval. Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-412-04396-6 .
  • Claus-Christian W. Szejnmann: From dream to nightmare. Saxony in the Weimar Republic . Kiepenheuer, Leipzig 2000, ISBN 3-378-01045-2 .
  • Clemens Vollnhals (Ed.): Saxony in the Nazi era. Kiepenheuer, Leipzig 2002, ISBN 3-378-01057-6 .
  • Günther Heydemann , Jan Erik Schulte , Francesca Weil (eds.): Saxony and National Socialism (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research . Volume 53). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 3-525-36964-6 .
  • Mike Schmeitzner , Clemens Vollnhals, Francesca Weil (eds.): From Stalingrad to the SBZ. Saxony 1943 to 1949 (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research . Volume 60). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 3-525-36972-7 .
  • Rainer Behring, Mike Schmeitzner (Hrsg.): Dictatorship implementation in Saxony. Studies on the genesis of communist rule 1945–1952 (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism . Volume 22). Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-412-14802-4 .
  • Michael Richter : The Peaceful Revolution. Departure for democracy in Saxony 1989/90 (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research. Volume 38). 2 volumes. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 3-525-36914-X
  • Michael Richter: The formation of the Free State of Saxony. Peaceful revolution, federalization, German unity 1989/90 (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research. Volume 24). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-525-36900-X .
  • Konstantin Hermann (ed.): Saxony since the peaceful revolution. Tradition, change, perspectives (=  Saxonia. Volume 12). Sax-Verlag, Beucha 2010, ISBN 3-86729-072-5 .

History atlas

  • Philological-historical class of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, State Surveying Office Saxony, Karlheinz Blaschke (Ed.): Atlas of the history and regional studies of Saxony. Saxon Academy of Sciences, Leipzig 1997 ff.

Single topics

Count Palatine
  • Carl Pfaff: The Count Palatine of Saxony. In: History of the Palatine Office after its origin and significance. printed by Eduard Anton, Halle 1847.
  • Eduard Gervais: History of the Count Palatine of Saxony, from the emergence of the Count Palatine dignity in this country to the union of the same with the Landgrave of Thuringia. In: New communications from the field of historical-antiquarian research. Volume 4 (1840) and Volume 5 (1841)
  • Christian August Heinrich Heydenreich: Draft of a history of the Palatinate Counts of Saxony: From their origins to d. Times Friderici Bellicosi. The First Most Glorious Chur Prince of Saxony, from the Marggräfl. Meißnischen home, ... with necessary trunk table. u. Copper provided. 1740.

Web links

Commons : History of Saxony  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Saxony's history began much earlier than expected. In the Ore Mountains, researchers find mining that is thousands of years old. The history of Saxony must be rewritten. In: Sächsische Zeitung of November 2, 2018 (accessed November 2, 2018).
  2. Carmen Liebermann: The last hunters and gatherers in Upper Lusatia. In: Archæo - Archeology in Saxony. Issue 8, 2011, pp. 14–19 (list of contents of the issue PDF file; 264 kB )
  3. a b Harald Stäuble: We are digging up our logo . In: Archæo - Archeology in Saxony . Issue 1, 2004, pp. 30–33 ( PDF file; 6.39 MB ( memento of January 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive )). We dig up our logo ( Memento from January 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Harald Stäuble: The first farmers in Saxony. In: Archæo - Archeology in Saxony. Issue 8, 2011, pp. 4–13 (list of contents of the issue PDF file; 264 kB )
  5. ^ Walther Haupt : Sächsische Münzkunde. Berlin 1974, p. 13.
  6. ^ Paul Marcus: Duke Bernhard von Anhalt (around 1140 to 1212) and the early Ascanians in Saxony and in the empire. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1993, p. 170 ISBN 3-631-46242-5 .
  7. ^ Matthias Springer: The Saxons. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-016588-7 , p. 13 ff.
  8. ... Allstedt das hauß and the pfallentz zu Sachsen ... the aforementioned hauß Alstete with the pfallentz von Sachsen doselbst ...; Charles IV's certificate of August 15, 1363. Quotations from Heinze 1925, p. 56, notes 120–121.
  9. Cf. Adam Zamoyski : 1812: Napoleon's campaign in Russia . CH Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-63170-2 , p. 300–334 ( google.de [accessed April 30, 2018]).
  10. ^ Final Act of the Vienna Congress of June 9, 1815 and Federal Act or Basic Treaty of the German Confederation of June 8, 1815: "The provinces and districts of the Kingdom of Saxony, which come under the rule of Sr. Maj. The King of Prussia, are understood under the name of the Duchy of Saxony, and Se. Majesty add to her other titles those of Duke of Saxony, Landgrave of Thuringia, Margrave of the two Lusatia, and Count of Henneberg. Se. Maj. The King of Saxony will continue to bear the title of Margrave of Upper Lusatia. So keep Se. Majesty, in relationships and by virtue of her succession rights to the possessions of the Ernestine line, the title of Landgrave of Thuringia, as well as Count of Henneberg. "( French ; German )
  11. ^ Udo Dräger: The formation of the province of Saxony and the city of Halle. in: R. Jendryschik: Central Germany, the Mansfeld region and the city of Halle. Halle 2000, pp. 66–74, 70.
  12. ^ Collection of laws for the Royal Prussian States : enth. D. Ordinances of 1817
  13. ^ Hugo Gerard Ströhl: German coat of arms roll. Stuttgart 1897, p. 17.
  14. ^ Peace treaty between Prussia and Saxony of October 21, 1866
  15. Oliver Lenich: Emperor Franz Joseph I and Germany: From the German question to the First World War . Akademische Verlagsgemeinschaft München, 2009, ISBN 978-3-96091-265-1 ( google.de [accessed April 30, 2018]).
  16. ^ Anna Fabrice-Asseburg, Andrea Engi, Manfred Beyer: Alfred Graf von Fabrice. The family history of the royal Saxon state and war minister . Beyer Verlag Sachsen for Culture and Stories, Dresden 2008, ISBN 3-9809520-8-8 , pp. 44–51
  17. ^ Weimar Parliament (1919–1933) , accessed on December 1, 2015.
  18. ^ Walter Fellmann: Saxony. DuMont Verlag, 1997, p. 27 .
  19. ^ Declaration of state of siege over the area of ​​the Free State of Saxony on April 23, 1919 , in: documentArchiv.de, accessed on August 6, 2015.
  20. Leipzig students in temporary volunteer associations at research.uni-leipzig.de (PDF; 197 kB, accessed on August 6, 2015).
  21. Annika Klein: Corruption and Corruption Scandals in the Weimar Republic. Volume 16 of Writings on Political Communication, 2014, p.188
  22. see: 1918–1933. The "German October" 1923. Brief overview on the website of the German Historical Museum
  23. election results
  24. election results
  25. Map with the exchange areas. Retrieved December 29, 2018 .
  26. ^ The Free State of Saxony - State elections 1919–1933. In: gonschior.de. Accessed January 30, 2019 .
  27. ^ Karsten Rudolph : National Socialists in ministerial chairs. (P. 247ff.) In: From the task of freedom: Political responsibility and civil society in the 19th and 20th centuries. Festschrift for Hans Mommsen on November 5, 1995 .; see E. Jesse et al .: Politics in Saxony. Wiesbaden 2014, p. 31
  28. webmaster@verfassungen.de: Constitution of the State of Saxony (1947). Retrieved October 27, 2017 .
  29. SWR1 BW, SWR1 BW: How do the East Germans tick? Retrieved January 17, 2020 .
  30. The project ended on December 31, 2010.
    Historical atlas of Saxony on saw-leipzig.de
    Presentations Atlas of the history and regional studies of Saxony on landesvermessung.sachsen.de, accessed on September 17, 2014.