Rural community (Saxony)

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Between 1831 and 1923 or 1925, all municipalities in Saxony that had no town charter or that were not independent manor or chamber property were referred to as rural communities . The royal castles and their property as well as the forests belonging to the state property were also excluded from belonging to a rural community . Manor districts that were neither chamber nor manor, but had properties similar to manor, were equated with manor estates; they did not belong to any municipality either. These independent manor districts existed until after the Second World War , one of the most famous of these manor districts was Albertstadt near Dresden , which was only incorporated into Dresden in 1892 when it was expanded as a military town.

Concept and introduction

The term rural community was first used in the Introductory Act to the General Urban Code of 1831 to delimit rural settlement units (in modern parlance) from the term urban community used there . The introduction of the urban order in the vicinity of larger cities had to deal with the demarcation between suburbs or suburbs and independent village communities (i.e. the demarcation of the urban district ). Small and medium-sized towns have already been granted that they either do not have to introduce them first, or, after the introduction of a rural community order, they may switch to administration according to this still to be enacted law; the right to call oneself a city was not affected.

The municipal law of the rural communities was introduced by the Saxon rural community order of 1838 with effect from May 1, 1839, and the term was standardized, according to which the obligation to serve was abolished by replacement laws in 1832 and 1834, subservience was abolished and all rural residents were generally allowed to purchase land . The term rural community and its related regulations also replaced a large number of different rights in rural areas: Up until then, there were old communities in Saxony with and without their own administration, with and without a kind of community council, official and council villages (the latter were subordinate to nearby Cities) as well as remnants of the manors and feudal lords. Upper Lusatia, which remained in Saxony as a result of the division in 1815 , was given its own municipal law in 1820, which was integrated in the same way as the municipal freedom of individual properties (e.g. mills, farms, vineyards) was to be abolished. However, regulations were also required to clean up enclaves and to create useful basic units ( corridors ) by merging properties . The previous ones, e.g. The partially overlapping competences of the courts and the police also had to be resolved.

Parishioners, active and passive voting rights, segregation of jurisdiction

Community members of the rural communities were only those people who owned land or had permanent residence in the rural community; of these, only those who were also resident in the community and had no criminal record had the right to vote . The parishioners were assigned two classes. For the non-residents , as the third class, a class could be formed if the two classes considered this to be necessary or necessary, but this did not become compulsory until 1873.

All parishioners had the right to vote, with the exception of women, strangers, clergymen and school teachers, as well as those who were prosecuted. All community committee members were elected for six years by all community members entitled to vote. The election was monitored (and confirmed) by the newly introduced local authority with its own powers, which could also refuse confirmation “for serious reasons”. On the other hand, non-acceptance of the election or the refusal to exercise an office was subject to sometimes severe fines, which had the character of a periodic penalty for refusing to exercise office .

The rural community order initially regulated a certain amount of local self-government with relatively strong state surveillance, which is based on the general city order of 1831 , but this z. T. was presented in a considerably simplifying manner. Unlike in the cities, the municipal council, elected for the first time in 1839, formed a unitary body consisting of the municipality board as an individual, one or more community elders and several community committee members. The community board was responsible for the external representation of the community and was responsible for the community's finances.

However, much remained open when the rural communities were formed in 1838/1839, and pragmatic regulations were often necessary here. In rural communities with up to 25 eligible voters, it was sufficient to appoint a municipality board as an individual and a municipality elder ; above this number of eligible voters, a municipality committee had to be formed.

The rural community code also stipulated that the jurisdiction, which until then often coincided with the administration of one or more villages, was separated from the community administration and this was transferred to independent courts. In the case of several jurisdictions, a uniform jurisdiction had to be introduced, whereby the hereditary jurisdiction ( patrimonial jurisdiction ) remained in place for the time being.

History until 1925

The rural community order was changed several times until 1855, in 1856 local authority was abolished, and it was finally replaced in 1873 by the revised rural community order , which significantly strengthened local self-government and made the three classes mandatory. After the First World War , the municipal code of 1923 and the amended municipal code of 1925 introduced uniform local law (with general, equal and direct suffrage) for cities and municipalities alike, which meant that the term rural community was no longer used.


  • Alfons Gern: Saxon local law. 2nd Edition. CH Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-45501-8 , pp. 10-11.
  • AF Böhme: The rural community order of the Kingdom of Saxony together with law, the application to smaller cities and the related implementing ordinance . With explanations from the state parliament acts and consideration of the city regulations. Edited by a practical legal scholar. With complete subject index. at AF Böhme, Leipzig 1839 ( digitized ).