Karl Alexander (Württemberg)

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Karl Alexander of Württemberg

Karl Alexander (von Württemberg-Winnental) (also Carl Alexander ; born January 24, 1684 in Stuttgart ; † March 12, 1737 in Ludwigsburg ) was the eleventh reigning Duke of Württemberg from 1733 to 1737 . Before taking office in Württemberg, he was an imperial general and field marshal general .

Childhood and early reign

Karl Alexander was the eldest son of Friedrich Carl von Württemberg-Winnental ( House of Württemberg ) and Eleonore Juliane von Brandenburg-Ansbach . Friedrich Carl was guardian of Duke Eberhard Ludwig von Württemberg from 1677 to 1693 and thus also regent in Württemberg.

When Eberhard Ludwig died in 1733, his only son Friedrich Ludwig had died in 1731. After Eberhard Ludwig's death, the Württemberg throne passed to his cousin Karl Alexander, who had converted to the Catholic denomination in 1712 as a successful military leader in the imperial service . He achieved military success on the side of Prince Eugen in the War of the Spanish Succession and in the campaigns against the Turks in 1717/1718 . From 1719 he was an imperial General gubernator of Belgrade and the occupied Serbian territory.

After taking office, he set up the residence that Eberhard Ludwig had moved to Ludwigsburg again in Stuttgart . As a duke, he continued to take part in imperial military measures such as the War of the Polish Succession , in the course of which he was appointed Field Marshal General of the Swabian Empire in January 1734 and Imperial Field Marshal General in May .

Duke Karl Alexander on horseback
(painting by August Querfurt , between 1733 and 1737)

Late reign and death

Wars and costly court rulings led the Duchy of Württemberg to have high financial needs, whereupon Karl Alexander Joseph Suss Oppenheimer , a Jewish finance broker and banker, appointed his secret finance councilor . The Protestant estates felt that their financial self-administration was impaired by the financial and fiscal measures implemented by the Catholic Duke with the help of Oppenheimer . Out of these tensions, a conflict developed between the Catholic Württemberg throne, Duke Karl Alexander in Stuttgart, and the Protestant population, represented by the Protestant estates, the predecessors of the state parliament .

Karl Alexander died unexpectedly on March 12, 1737 of pulmonary edema . His death led to an intrigue by the estates against Oppenheimer, who was ultimately the victim of an anti-Jewish judicial murder .

Karl Alexander's successor was his son Karl Eugen , who was declared prematurely of legal age in 1744 . Until then, Duke Karl Rudolf von Neuenstadt had been the next agnate of Karl Alexander who had run the business of government.


Karl Alexander had been with Marie-Auguste von Thurn und Taxis (1706–1756), a daughter of Prince Anselm Franz von Thurn und Taxis and Maria Ludowika Anna Franziska, born in 1727 . von Lobkowitz , married. They had the following children:

It is noteworthy that all three sons successively succeeded him to the throne.




Karl Alexander is also portrayed in Lion Feuchtwanger's novel Jud Süß .

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predecessor Office successor
Eberhard Ludwig Duke of Württemberg
Carl Eugene