Duchy of Jülich-Berg

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Duchy of Jülich-Berg
coat of arms
Coat of arms Juelich-Berg-Ravensberg.svg
Locator Duchies of Jülich and Berg (1560) .svg
Map of Berg and Jülich in 1560

Arose from Duchy of Jülich , Duchy of Berg (1423)
Form of rule Duchy
Ruler / government duke
Today's region / s DE-NW , smaller parts also DE-RP and NL-LI
Parliament Reichsfürstenrat , Secular Bank: 1 virile votes ; 2 votes in Städterat , Rhenish Bank for Düren (pledged since 1242/46 at Jülich) and Herford (since 1547)
Reich register 45 horsemen, 270 foot soldiers, 500 guilders (1522)
Reichskreis Lower Rhine-Westphalian
Capitals / residences Dusseldorf
Dynasties Jülich-Heimbach, Mark (1511), Pfalz-Neuburg (1614), Electoral Palatinate (1685), Kurbayern (1777)
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n German
surface 3,900 km² (end of 18th century)
Residents 400,000 (end of 18th century)
Incorporated into left bank of the Rhine: France, Département de la Roer (1798), right bank of the Rhine: Grand Duchy of Berg (1806)

Map of the Duchy of Jülich-Berg by Willem and Joan Blaeu , 1645
Duke Gerhard II von Jülich-Berg, founder of the Order of St. Hubertus after the Battle of Linnich (1444), miniature from the Herald's book of the Order of Hubert from 1480

Julich-Berg referred to the same person based compound of the duchies of Jülich and Berg and the County of Ravensberg in the period from 1423 to 1795. Both territories had common Dukes with one voice in the Imperial Council .

Jülich and Berg were always connected to other territories in alternating ways, but they always formed the core areas up to the end of the 18th century and, because of their geographical proximity and soon as a result of tradition, had the closest ties to one another. Nevertheless, formally they were always two different duchies.


The connection between Jülich and Berg began when Berg inherited in 1348 Gerhard , the son of Count von Jülich, who established a branch of the Jülich Count House here. The county of Ravensberg had already fallen to him in 1346. Jülich and Berg were elevated to duchies in 1356 and 1380, respectively. In 1423 the main line of Jülich died out and Duke Adolf from the Bergian line also assumed power in Jülich, which established Jülich-Berg.

Since Adolf remained without a direct heir, his nephew Gerhard followed him in 1437 ; he came from a Bergisch branch line that had taken over Ravensberg in 1402. Because of the involvement of that county, the area is also called Jülich-Berg-Ravensberg , based on the period from 1437 to 1609/1614 . After 1455, Duke Gerhard was “mentally deranged”, so that his wife Sophie von Sachsen-Lauenburg had to take over government affairs. After his death in 1475, his son took over the double duchy as Wilhelm Herzog von Jülich-Berg .

During the reign of Duke Wilhelm there was a serious dispute with Duke Karl von Egmond about the possession of the Duchy of Jülich. The latter made old hereditary claims on Jülich, which arose after the Jülich-Geldern aristocratic family died out . At that time the "noble family von Egmond" had the successor in Geldern and the "noble family von Berg-Ravensberg", which took over in Jülich. At that time, however, neither side had renounced the other part of the double duchy of Jülich-Geldern in a legally binding manner.

Karl von Egmond thus also carried the title "Duke of Jülich" and began to realize this claim by force after he had become Duke of Geldern in 1492, as he could count on the support of the French. With regard to these claims of the Geldener, Duke Wilhelm had allied himself with Kleve, since Karl von Egmond also reclaimed parts of the Duchy of Kleve that had originally belonged to Geldern.

First an attempt was made to solve the demands of the Geldener through the involvement of the German king. This, Maximilian I , forbade Karl von Egmond to use the title "Duke of Jülich" several times without success. Since Karl von Egmond was a staunch opponent of the German king, there was no improvement in the situation and the acts of war between Geldern and the allied two other duchies continued. As a result, the “Freiburg Treaty” was signed between Maximilian and the dukes of Kleve and Jülich in the summer of 1498 to fight the Geldener together. These defensive actions began on August 5th.

However, the main supporter of Karl von Egmond, the French King Charles VIII died in April 1498. His successor Ludwig XII. In contrast to his predecessor, he was interested in a peaceful end to this dispute and offered to mediate. Duke Wilhelm and the Duke of Kleve therefore tried the conflict through the French King Louis XII. solve as a referee.

In the meantime, Duke Wilhelm's mercenaries had conquered the enclave of Gelderns in the Jülich area, the city of Erkelenz and its associated territories, on August 21, 1498. As a counter-reaction, there was an attack by Gelden mercenaries on Jülich villages near the cities of Geldern and Straelen from November 3, and an attack on Goch and Kleve from November 8, which was however repulsed.

On June 14, 1499, the French king brokered an armistice, which came into force on July 20 and lasted until May 31, 1500. In the meantime, by May 1500, a solution was to be found for the problems that particularly affected Kleve, Goch, Lobith, Wachtendonk, Duyffel, Vogtei Elten and others. A personal meeting of the three dukes with the king was planned for the solution, but this did not materialize because the duke of Kleve was meanwhile additionally in dispute with Utrecht and was prevented.

Since King Maximilian learned of the dukes' intended trip to France, he had forbidden the dukes to travel on August 9, 1499. Nevertheless, Duke Wilhelm tried to solve the conflict for Jülich alone with the French king.

At the beginning of December 1499, Duke Wilhelm traveled to France and from December 15 met the king in Orléan. By December 29, the terms for the peace agreement were agreed. The most important points of this agreement for Jülich were: Erkelenz is returned to Geldern, Karl von Egmond renounces the title “Duke of Jülich” and Duke Wilhelm concludes a “protection and defensive alliance” with France, whereby the “German Reich” is excluded . With this contract, the acute disputes between the three duchies were practically ended, as Kleve had meanwhile also reached an agreement with Utrecht and the contract continued to apply to Kleve, provided that it was recognized by the Duke of Kleve within six months.

Towards the end of the 15th century, the extinction of the Jülich family was foreseeable, so Duke Wilhelm married his daughter Maria on October 1, 1510 to Johann , the son and heir of the Duke of Kleve-Mark . He came to power in 1511 in Jülich-Berg-Ravensberg and in 1521 in Kleve-Mark, creating the Rhenish - Westphalian territorial complex Jülich-Kleve-Berg . While Kleve-Mark - apart from the Duke's personal rulership - kept its own central administration in Kleve , the initial personal union for Jülich-Berg was converted into a real union in the 16th century by establishing a central administration in the Bergisch capital Düsseldorf . Main residence , frequent meeting place of the estates ( state parliaments ) and seat of a "permanent" court counselor and a "permanent" chancellery , later the secret council was Düsseldorf.

When Johann Wilhelm I died in 1609 without descendants, the Jülich-Klevian succession dispute broke out , as a result of which Jülich-Berg (without Ravensberg) fell to the Wittelsbach dukes of Pfalz-Neuburg in 1614 . Those took their headquarters in Düsseldorf in 1636, as Jülich-Berg was significantly larger and more important than Neuburg.

In 1685 the dukes inherited the Electoral Palatinate , but in view of its devastation in the Palatinate War of Succession, they initially stayed in Düsseldorf. In 1718 they moved their residence to Heidelberg , and finally to Mannheim in 1720 , making Jülich-Berg a sub-country ruled from afar . This was all the more true when the Electors inherited the spa Bavaria in 1777 and moved their seat to Munich , which was even further away .

The connection between Jülich and Berg ended in 1795 when France occupied Jülich and Berg militarily in the First Coalition War , initially considering including Jülich in a subsidiary republic called the Cisrhenan Republic and finally annexing the area and integrating it into departments on the left bank of the Rhine . In the Peace of Lunéville in 1801 , the empire legally recognized the annexations on the left bank of the Rhine, but managed, among other things, to return the duchy of Berg on the right bank of the Rhine to Electoral Palatinate Bavaria . Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria , de jure at the accession in 1799 of the last Duke of Jülich, settled by the 1803 Reichsdeputationshauptschluss for the loss Jülichs with ecclesiastical territories in southern Germany compensate . With regard to the Duchy of Berg, he came to terms with France in 1805 under the line developed by Foreign Minister Maximilian von Montgelas , in order to become the first King of Bavaria in 1806 . The mountain, which has been connected to Jülich for centuries , was passed on to Napoleon in 1806 by Maximilian I. Joseph in a land swap in which the Kingdom of Prussia was also involved through the areas of Ansbach-Bayreuth , the remains of the Duchy of Kleve on the right bank of the Rhine and other areas , who immediately became his Brother-in-law Joachim Murat installed as the new sovereign. Under him, the country became a Napoleonic satellite state as the Grand Duchy of Berg in the Confederation of States and was extinguished in 1813 as a result of the Wars of Liberation . In 1815 the area of ​​the former duchies fell to Prussia and became part of the Rhine Province in 1822 ; since 1946 it has belonged to North Rhine-Westphalia .

The dukes of Jülich-Berg

House Jülich (-Heimbach)

since 1437 in personal union with Ravensberg

House (Cleves) Mark

in personal union with Ravensberg, since 1521 also with Kleve-Mark , 1538–1543 with Geldern

1609–1614 dispute over succession

Wittelsbach House

in personal union with Pfalz-Neuburg , since 1685 also Kurpfalz , 1742 Sulzbach , 1777 Kurbayern

Chancellor of Jülich-Berg

  • before 1471–1489 Dr. Dietrich Lüninck († 1494)
  • 1489–1528 Wilhelm Lüninck († 1530)
  • 1528–1554 Johann Ghogreff (around 1499–1554); 1530–1546 / 47 also Chancellor of Kleve-Mark
  • 1554–1562 Johann von Vlatten (around 1498–1562)
  • (already 1557?) 1562–1592 Wilhelm von Orsbeck († 1596) zu Wensberg and Vehn, bailiff zu Sinzig
    • around 1580–1601 Dr. Johann Hardenrath († 1601) (Vice Chancellor)
  • 1592 – after 1595 Nikolaus print from Horchheim called von der Broel (Niclas von der Broill) († 1598), Herr zu Oberehe, Rohr and Rath
    • 1592–1624 Lic. Jur. utr. Bernhard zum Pütz (de Puteo) (1558–1628), Mayor of Düren (Vice Chancellor)
  • (1595) Bertram von Nesselrode († after 1602 [1614?]) Zu Ehreshoven, bailiff at Randerath, then bailiff at Münstereifel
  • (1598, 1600) Wilhelm von Nesselrode († after 1600) zu Ehreshoven and Thum, bailiff zu Windeck and Blankenberg

1609–1614 succession dispute, then personal union with Pfalz-Neuburg

  • 1613/14 and 1624–1634 Johann Raitz von Frentz von und zu Schlenderhan († 1640)
    • (1622, 1638, 1646) Dr. Dietrich (Theodor) von Althoven (Althoff) († 1654) (Vice Chancellor)
  • 1634-1645 Dietrich III. von der Horst († 1645) to the house, bailiff of Monheim
  • 1649–1653 / 54 Bertram Freiherr von Nesselrode († 1666) zu Ehreshoven, bailiff at Windeck
  • 1653 / 54–1666 / 67 Johann Heinrich Freiherr von und zu Winkelhausen († 1667), bailiff of Düsseldorf
  • 1667–1681 / 82 Johann Arnold Freiherr von Leerodt (around 1615–1688)
  • from 1682 Johann Friedrich Graf von Goltstein († 1687), Lord of Vettelhoven and Winterburg, bailiff of Münstereifel and Tomburg
  • (1684, 1692) until 1706 Baron Adolf Winand von Hochkirchen († 1706) from Haus Neuerburg, bailiff of Wassenberg
  • 1706–1712 Konstantin Erasmus Bertram Freiherr von Nesselrode called Hugenpoet († 1712)
  • 1715–1716 Johann Friedrich II. Count von Schaesberg (1663 / 64–1723), Lord of Schöller, Kerpen and Lommersum (also governor)

From 1716 Düsseldorf was only a secondary residence of the Electors Palatinate-Neuburg; the court was in Heidelberg, from 1720 in Mannheim and from 1778 in Munich. The Jülisch-Bergisch chancellors mostly acted as governors at the same time

  • 1717–1721 Adolph Alexander Freiherr von Hatzfeld-Wildenburg (1644–1721) zu Weisweiler
  • until 1726 Maximilian Heinrich Graf von Velbrück († 1737) on Richerath, bailiff in Windeck
  • 1726–1731 Johann Ludwig Heinrich Graf von Goltstein († 1738) zu Breyl (also governor)
  • 1731–1768 Johann Wilhelm Graf von Schaesberg (1696–1768), bailiff of Brüggen (also governor)
  • 1768–1774 Johann Ludwig Franz Graf von Goltstein (1719–1776) (also governor)
  • 1774–1794 Karl Franz Graf von Nesselrode (1713–1798) zu Ehreshoven (at the same time governor)
  • from 1794 Franz Karl Freiherr von Hompesch (1741–1801) zu Bollheim, bailiff zu Düren (at the same time conducting minister, from 1799 in Munich)

coat of arms

The coat of arms is quartered.

  1. and 4: The Jülich lion , in gold a black lion, with red tongues and armor.
  2. and 3: The Bergische Löwe , a red, double-tailed lion in silver, with blue tongues, reinforced and crowned.

Heart shield: three red rafters in silver ( Grafschaft Ravensberg )


  • Hans-Günther Adenauer: The development of the higher courts in Jülich-Berg in the period from 1555 to 1810 , Cologne 1969.
  • Herbert von Asten: Wolfgang Wilhelm and Philipp Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg and the development of the mining industry in the Duchies of Jülich and Berg 1614-1679 , in: Annals of the historical association for the Lower Rhine in particular the old Archdiocese of Cologne 161 (1959), p. 146 -231.
  • H. Dahm: Losses of the Jülich-Bergische Landmiliz in the Thirty Years War , in: Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch 45 (1951), pp. 280–288.
  • Stefan Ehrenpreis (Ed.): The Thirty Years War in the Duchy of Berg and in its neighboring regions , Neustadt an der Aisch 2002. (Bergische Forschungen 28).
  • Günther Engelbert: The Hessian War on the Lower Rhine , in: Annals of the Historical Association for the Lower Rhine, 161 (1959), pp. 65–113; 162, pp. 35-96 (1960).
  • Jörg Engelbrecht: The Duchy of Berg in the age of the French Revolution. Modernization processes between the Bavarian and French model , Paderborn, Munich, Vienna, Zurich 1996, ISBN 3-506-73270-6 .
  • Hermann Fronhaus: The influence of the Saxon mirror on the "Bergische Land- und Ritterrecht" of the 13th and 14th centuries and its influence on the Jülich-Bergische legal system of 1555 , Cologne 1985.
  • Hermann Kelm (Ed.): The Lutheran Church of Jülich-Berg. Synods and Convents 1701 to 1812 , Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-7927-1827-8 .
  • Friedrich Küch: Landtag files from Jülich-Berg . II. Series 1624–1653, Vol. 1, 1624–1630, Düsseldorf 1925, Publications of the Society for Rhenish History Vol. 11.
  • Renate Leffers: The neutrality policy of Count Palatine Wolfgang Wilhelm as Duke of Jülich-Berg in the period from 1636 to 1643 , Kiel 1967.
  • Karl Mayr: Pfalz-Neuburg and the Kingdom of Naples in the 17th and 18th centuries , Munich 1939.
  • Hubert Querling: The development of the notary's office in Jülich-Berg from the beginning to the dissolution of the duchies by the French from 1794 to 1806 , Cologne 1961.
  • Christian Schulte: Attempted denominational neutrality in the age of the Reformation. The duchies of Jülich-Kleve-Berg under Johann III. and Wilhelm V. and the Principality of Münster under Wilhelm von Ketteler , Münster 1995, ISBN 3-8258-2684-8 .
  • Marc Sieper: The development of civil proceedings in the Duchies of Jülich and Berg in the middle of the 16th century. The Jülich-Bergische legal order of 1555 and the procedural law draft of the Reich Chamber Court assessor Dr. Hubert Smetz from 1537 , Heidelberg 2001.
  • Stefan Wagner: State taxes in Jülich-Berg from the creation of the tax constitution in the 15th century to the dissolution of the duchies in 1801 and 1806 , Cologne 1977.
  • Rainer Walz: Estates and the early modern state. The estates of Jülich-Berg in the 16th and 17th centuries , Neustadt an der Aisch 1982 (Bergische Forschungen 17).

Individual evidence

  1. a b Köbler, Gerhard: "Historical Lexicon of the German Lands. The German Territories from the Middle Ages to the Present", Munich 1995, p. 650
  2. ^ Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, p. [41] 39. Online version.
  3. ^ Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, p. [42] 40. Online version.
  4. a b Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, p. [45] 43. Online version.
  5. ^ Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, pp. [47 + 48] 45 + 46. Online version.
  6. ^ Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, p. [50] 48. Online version.
  7. ^ Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, pp. [56] 64. Online version.
  8. a b Redlich, Otto R. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine / Düsseldorfer Geschichtsverein / Jülich and Geldern at the end of the 15th century. 1895, Volume 9, p. [62] 60. Online version.
  9. ^ K. Sallmann: Organization of the central administration of Jülich-Berg in the 16th century. In: Contributions to the history of the Lower Rhine. Yearbook of the Düsseldorf History Association. Vol. 17, Düsseldorf 1902 , pp. 35–97, PDF file, accessed on the portal ia600405.us.archive.org on December 24, 2013.
  10. ^ Revolutionary France was - following a thesis of Georges Danton - shaped by the doctrine that the borders of France were formed by natural borders, in the east by the Rhine .
  11. Bavaria's foreign policy line was aimed at achieving lasting advantages for Bavaria through a reconciliation of interests with France or through an alliance with France, namely a territorial rounding of Bavaria into a compact state and the rise to a sovereign European middle power. See also: Maximilian von Montgelas # Foreign Minister , Bogenhausen Treaty and Peace of Pressburg .