Mark Brandenburg

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Mark Brandenburg
coat of arms
Coat of arms Mark Brandenburg.png
Locator Brandenburg within the Holy Roman Empire (1618)
Map of the Mark Brandenburg in the Holy Roman Empire, 1618
Alternative names Margraviate of Brandenburg,
Electorate of Brandenburg
Arose from Nordmark
Form of rule Margraviate
Ruler /
Margrave, Elector
Today's region / s DE-BB , DE-BE , DE-MV , DE-ST , PL-LB , PL-ZP
Parliament Electoral College , Imperial Prince Council
Reichskreis Upper Saxon
Capitals /
the Brandenburg ,
in Neustadt Brandenburg ,
Tangermünde Castle
(around 1400),
Berlin City Palace (from the middle of the 15th century)
Dynasties Ascanians ,
Wittelsbachers ,
Luxembourgers ,
Denomination /
Roman Catholic until 1539, then Protestant ( Lutheran , from 1613 also Calvinist )
Language / n Low German , West Slavic languages (including Polish , Lower Sorbian )
currency Brandenburg pfennig and groschen
Incorporated into Brandenburg Province

The Mark Brandenburg was a territory in the Holy Roman Empire . It originated from the former Nordmark . June 11, 1157 went down in history as the founding date. Due to the development to the electorate of Brandenburg since the end of the 12th century, it played a prominent role in German history. The Golden Bull of 1356 confirmed the vote of the Margraves of Brandenburg as elector in the royal election. The margraviate of Brandenburg comprised the Altmark (west of the Elbe ), the central region (between the Elbe and Oder ), the Neumark (east of the Oder), parts of Niederlausitz and scattered territories.

From 1618 the Electors of Brandenburg also ruled the Duchy of Prussia in personal union , a phase that is summarized under the term Brandenburg-Prussia . In the 18th century, after the coronation of Frederick III. of Brandenburg from the territories of the Prussian kings, the monarchy Prussia as a new European state. With this the margravate was effectively transformed into a province of Prussia. The province of Brandenburg was formally founded in 1815 after the reorganization of Prussia by the Congress of Vienna .

The colloquial synonymous use of the term Mark Brandenburg or short as Mark for today's state of Brandenburg is neither historically nor territorially correct. While former Brandenburg areas are now in Saxony-Anhalt , Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Polish voivodeships of Zachodniopomorskie and Lubuskie , areas in the south of today's state never, partially or even briefly, belonged to the market. Brandenburg and Berlin separated in several stages between 1875 and 1936.

The Mark Brandenburg in the borders of 1618 (red in the background) transferred to today's German state borders and Polish voivodeships.


Area of ​​the Mark Brandenburg, 1571
position landscape (historical)
square miles (before 1811)
1 Altmark 82 4,510
2 Mittelmark 250 13,750
3 Uckermark 68 3,740
4th Prignitz 61 3,355
Sum 1-4 Kurmark 461 25,355
5 Neumark 220 12,100
Sum 1-5 Mark Brandenburg 681 37,455

The Mark Brandenburg was in the north of Central Europe . Neither the low local plateaus and hilly lands nor the rivers Elbe and Oder stood in the way of the margraves' sovereignty . The construction began in the Ascanian ancestral lands (later called Altmark ). They worked their way eastwards by peaceful and warlike means. Therefore, in contrast to the state of Brandenburg , the Mark was stretched in a west-east direction and compressed in a north-south direction. There were over 400 kilometers between Salzwedel in the west and Schivelbein in the east. After the acquisition of the Mark Lausitz (later Lower Lusatia , 1302/1304) and the states of Budissin and Görlitz (later Upper Lusatia without the southern part, after 1233), the largest expansion was achieved. The Lusatian highlands in the south and the Baltic Sea in the north (half of Wolgast , from 1230 to 1250) only served as geographic barriers at times. The marrow was unable to develop firm, permanent natural boundaries. After the end of the Askanian period , the territory shrank again.

With an area of ​​37,455 km², the Mark Brandenburg has been one of the largest territories of the Holy Roman Empire in quantitative terms since the 16th century, comparable to the Electorate of Saxony , which had an area of ​​around 35,000 km² and larger than the Duchy of Bavaria in 1801 with 590 square miles (32,450 km²), which, however, had lost the Innviertel in 1778, as well as somewhat smaller than the Kurhannover, which was enlarged in 1741 with 700 square miles (38,500 km²).

External relations

Despite its socially and economically very weak starting position in the empire, Brandenburg developed into an important princely state, which from the 17th century developed tendencies towards a great power policy, which intensified with the increasing size of the dynastically connected Hohenzollern states . The states that suffered from this territorial expansion were, above all, the Brandenburg neighbors in all directions.

In its external relations, the Mark maintained very close contacts with the southern Electoral Saxony . Overall, Saxony has been the most important partner and rival for Brandenburg since the Middle Ages (until today).

Pomerania in the north, ruled by a Slavic dynasty, was a neighbor with which Brandenburg was almost constantly in armed conflict in the Middle Ages and which Brandenburg tried unsuccessfully to keep outside the imperial union. To Mecklenburg relations were marked rather low, in part because it another since the 16th century Circle belonged as Brandenburg and a more maritime focus had, in contrast to the more dominant inland orientation of Brandenburg, which are oriented in all directions needed. There were stronger ties with Anhalt , especially through the Ascanian dynasty, which continued into the early modern period (e.g. the old Dessauer ). In the area of ​​the Middle Elbe, the Archdiocese of Magdeburg , Brandenburg and Saxony struggled for supremacy for a long time, until Brandenburg finally succeeded in asserting itself there. Due to the great importance of waterways for long-distance trade, the Elbe was very important for Brandenburg's foreign trade. Most of the exports and imports were made via Hamburg and customs cleared at the customs post in Lenzen . Szczecin in Pomerania was an important pick-up point for goods shipped on the Oder . Goods could be sold and acquired at the Leipzig Trade Fair , which were then transported north to Berlin via Reichsstrasse . After Silesia , at least in the 18th century, there were still many trade barriers and tariffs in force that blocked a closer exchange relationship. Relations with the eastern neighbor, the great power Poland , were mainly based on the question of the relationship to the Duchy of Prussia in the 17th century and in the Middle Ages during the Ascanians and Piasts to enforce mutual expansion efforts east of the Oder. The gateway for the Poles was Frankfurt (Oder) , its trade fair and university. Especially at the beginning of the Mark, Lüneburg and Braunschweig were relevant, as many settlers and treks came to Brandenburg from there.

Settlement structures

Cartographic overview

The Mark Brandenburg is shown in red around the year 1648. The neighbors that are important for the Mark Brandenburg are drawn in color and named. All approx. 118 cities of the Mark are shown including their names. The most important national long-distance trade routes are shown in black. Your final destination points will be named on the map. The cities with more than 5000 inhabitants have been given a cyan color. Basically, the cities are relatively regularly distributed across the entire territory. The central route network leading to the Berlin junction is striking.
Population development of the Kurmark (excluding the Neumark) in the 18th century
year resident Population density per km²
1701 283,566 11.72
1713 319,566 13.20
1725 367,566 15.19
1740 475.991 19.67
1755 586.375 24.23
1763 519,531 21.47
1786 683.145 28.23
1800 824,806 34.08

Demographic and settlement history

The settlement of Brandenburg was shaped by the medieval colonization of the east that took place in Brandenburg from the 12th to the 14th centuries. The settlement took place from the Ascanian western areas west of the Elbe in the Altmark gradually over 400 kilometers to the east. The settlement belt was compressed in a north-south direction and stretched in an east-west direction. The actual settlement center of the Mark runs along the Havel with the chain of cities Brandenburg an der Havel - Potsdam - Berlin - Frankfurt (Oder).

Population development in the Mark Brandenburg over time
year 1320 1486 1564 1617 1634 1690 1750 1800
resident 200,000 308,750 381,000 418,666 300,000 413,516 767.354 1,124,806

From the Middle Ages to the beginning of the Thirty Years War, the population doubled from around 200,000 to a little over 400,000 in the approximately 37,500 km² area of ​​the Mark Brandenburg. The population growth was accordingly unsteady and weak. Frequent wars, epidemics and famines led to slumps in the population and increased mortality. The population density of Brandenburg was at all times significantly lower than the overall average of the Holy Roman Empire. The Thirty Years' War caused a considerable decline in the population in Brandenburg, which was not evened out again until the end of the 17th century. After that, a strong population growth set in in the first half of the 18th century, which expanded from then on.

landscape Altmark Prignitz Mittelmark Uckermark Neumark total
Inhabitants 1750 080.114 65,635 336.250 066,355 219,000 0.767.354
Inhabitants 1801 110.188 78,499 538.095 101.148 300,000 1,127,930
Percentage of the population 1750 10 9 44 9 29 100
Percentage of the population 1800 10 7th 48 9 27 100
Population density per km² 1800 24.43 23.40 39.13 27.04 24.79 30.11

In relation to the five regions of the Mark, the population of the Mittelmark predominates in quantitative terms, with Berlin as its largest metropolitan area. The Mittelmark was also the most densely populated area of ​​the Mark, while the other four parts of the country are demographically classified as peripheral areas.

In 1778, 42 percent of the Kurmark population consisted of urban residents, half of which came from Berlin. The very high urban proportion of the population is put into perspective, since most of the Brandenburg cities were very small and the largest villages were larger than the smallest cities. In 1750 there were 1900 villages and spots in the Kurmark. The population of the rural population is said to have been 221,000 in 1725 and 440,000 in 1800. In 1800, 334,185 civilians and 57,129 members of the army lived in the towns of the Kurmark, a total of 391,314 people. Of these, 172,132 people lived in Berlin alone, almost 44 percent of the urban population of the Kurmark. The average population of the remaining 64 Kurmark cities of the remaining total urban population of 219,182 inhabitants is 3424 inhabitants per city. This shows the great importance of Berlin for the Kurmark as a whole. All cities remained subordinate in comparison to Berlin and the Margraviate of Brandenburg as a whole formed an urban monocenter in the heart of its territory, which tied the majority of the resources and funds to itself, while the wider area belonged to the periphery.

The total population of the Kurmark was 1,824,806 people. On average, the population increased by 5075 people per year in the 1790s. The Kurmark with Altmark, Uckermark, Prignitz and Mittelmark covered an area of ​​432-434 square miles from 1700 to 1804. Converted to square kilometers with a ratio of 1:56, this results in an area of ​​24,201 square kilometers.

Population density around 1800 in comparison
country Mark
"Westphalia" Electoral Saxony Hanover Denmark "Schleswig-
Württemberg Bohemia
EW / km² 30th 42 50 or 60 28 20.5 32.8 70.6 57

The population of the Neumark was 1700: 120,000 inhabitants, 1754: 219,000 inhabitants, 1800: 300,000 inhabitants. The entire Mark Brandenburg had 1,124,806 inhabitants in 1800 on a total area of ​​37,455 km², which results in a population density of 30 inhabitants per square kilometer. In comparison, the southern neighbor, Kursachsen , had a population of almost two million inhabitants with a state area of ​​34,000 km² and therefore a population density of almost 60 inhabitants per square kilometer and was therefore twice as densely populated. The 29,300 km² area of Westphalia reached a population of 1,230,000 inhabitants in 1800 and therefore had a slightly higher population density of 42 inhabitants per km².

Population comparison of the largest Prussian countries around 1800
Part of the country Mark
Silesia Pomerania Duchy of
resident 1,124,806 931,000 545,000 2,000,000 500,000 309,000

In relation to the other Prussian parts of the country, the Margraviate of Brandenburg was the second largest province after Silesia in terms of the absolute number of inhabitants (see table above).

According to this, the Margraviate of Brandenburg was a rather sparsely populated area in Germany, although it was comparatively densely populated in comparison to more northern or eastern states.

Rural area

The country was separated from the city by legal regulations governing administration, jurisdiction and the tax system. It is the living area of ​​the nobility and peasant class, of members of the domain, order administration and the village churches.

There were two basic rulership conditions in the country: on the one hand, for a quarter of all villages the manorial estates, on the other hand for a good eighth the domain villages administered by offices. About a tenth were municipal treasury villages , the rest was accounted for by the commander and offices of the Order of St. John and villages in civil ownership, monasteries, other foundations and universities. Both forms of rule could occur in a village at the same time.

In addition to the few rounds and clustered villages , the street and anger villages are typical of Brandenburg as a planned settlement in the Brandenburg region . These were preferably built on plateaus. Among the settlements that have broken up in Berlin alone, there are 31 village villages and 13 street villages. Two-thirds of the villages had manors that later became estates further developed. In the so-called church villages there are often field stone churches from the Wilhelminian era .


Since 1640 Berlin has developed into the central and only metropolis of the Mark Brandenburg, here Berlin is shown from the north-west around 1650 or 1660. From left to right you can see: old mint tower , new pleasure house , royal casting house , Berlin palace with pleasure garden , collegiate church , painting by Jan Ruijscher (1625–1675)

In the Middle Ages and in the early modern period, the Margraviate of Brandenburg did not have a dense urban landscape like its southern neighbor, the Electorate of Saxony . The first cities were founded in 1160. Most of the 100 or so cities in the state of Brandenburg were built in the 12th and 13th centuries. In addition to the building of castles and monasteries, the founding of towns played an important role in the reclamation of the newly acquired areas and the expansion of Ascanian sovereignty. The starting point for the founding of cities were mostly Slavic villages, fishermen and castle settlements. Only a few cities emerged freely and without an existing settlement structure. The construction of new settlement centers and the privileging of existing ones took place according to territorial planning aspects, for example along a systematic road network. The administrative basis of the new municipalities was the Magdeburg city law , from which the Brandenburg city law , which was later applied to most cities, was derived. In Brandenburg there was the type of media city , which was subordinate to its own landlord, and the larger immediate cities , which were directly subject to the sovereign.

City councils were formed in the largest cities in the 13th century and functioned as a self-governing body for the city's citizens, with the upper commercial class dominating. This has been documented for Stendal in the Altmark since 1215, for Brandenburg an der Havel since 1263 and for Spandau since 1282. In addition to these three cities, Prenzlau as the trading town and Berlin-Cölln were two further urban centers in Brandenburg from 1261 onwards, the royal seat of the Askanian margraves . External dangers such as war and robber barons, the power imbalance between guilds and patriciariats who were able to advise them , which repeatedly led to inner-city conflicts, plague epidemics and fires characterized the Brandenburg urban development in the Middle Ages. In 1308, the Brandenburg cities of Stendal, Spandau, Cölln , Berlin and Frankfurt (Oder) joined forces to form the Märkisches Städtebund . Until 1438 the cities of Brandenburg allied themselves again and again in different compositions. The Hanseatic League had members in Brandenburg, but they were not very influential in the federal government. In the 14th century the cities experienced their first economic and political climax. In the course of the interregnum after 1319, the cities succeeded in loosening the influence of national rule. The cities received extensive political rights from the sovereign. These included the tax authority over services provided by the citizens, the right to tax permits, the high level of jurisdiction and the right of alliances. The representative fortifications, stately town halls and churches that are still visible in many places, which were built at this time, bear witness to the civil autonomy and cultural prosperity of the Brandenburg cities. There is no reliable information about the population of Brandenburg cities in the Middle Ages, as there are no suitable records such as tax lists or the like. A hardly verifiable estimate, for example, assumes that the town of Salzwedel in the Altmark had 6,800 inhabitants before the Thirty Years' War. Other large Brandenburg cities of this time were Stendal and Frankfurt (Oder) with around 7,000 inhabitants. Frankfurt (Oder) became a humanistic center during the Reformation when the Brandenburg University Viadrina was founded in 1506 .

The largest cities formed long-distance trading centers and enabled them to take up a politically important position in competition with the landed gentry , the church and the sovereign . Since the 15th century, the politically relatively independent position of the cities weakened again due to the pressure of the Hohenzollern electors and political powers were again limited. The reason for this was the breaking of Berlin's indignation in 1447/1448, which ushered in the end of urban self-autonomy. Council autonomy was increasingly restricted in the 17th century in favor of central princely rule. The Thirty Years' War led to a drastic decline in the number of inhabitants in the cities.

1625, just before the war-related population declines were in Brandenburg following by region divided cities: in the Neumark had 36 settlements received the municipal law (see. List of cities Neumark ) in the Altmark there were 10 cities in Prignitz There were 13 cities, in the Ruppiner Land five places had city rights, the Cottbuser Kreis had two urban settlements, the Uckermark had 11 cities and the remaining Mittelmark with Havelland, Zauche , Teltow , Land Lebus , Barnim and Oderbruch 39 cities. At that time, the Margraviate of Brandenburg consisted of 117 cities. Of these, 28 cities had more than 1500 inhabitants and only a few more than 4000 inhabitants. 32 cities had fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Märkische cities by population class over time
year <500 inhabitants 500–1499 inhabitants 1500–3999 inhabitants > 4000 inhabitants
1625 32 57 24 04th
1750 05 65 38 09
1800 04th 44 69 18th

The effects of the Thirty Years' War on the cities, such as the destruction of the war, population decline and economic stagnation, were only completely overcome in the course of the 18th century. For a long time, deserted houses were to be found in the cityscapes. In the 18th century, the size of the city increased again significantly. The median city had 1750 1204 inhabitants and 1800 1727 inhabitants. If Berlin is excluded from the list as an extraordinary influence, the remaining 116 Brandenburg cities had an average size of 1750: 1684 inhabitants and 1800: 2546 inhabitants.

The constitutional and administrative integration of the cities into the expansive princely central state, which was promoted from 1650 to 1750, took place even in smaller cities through the establishment of garrisons , the supervision of police violence, financial administration, jurisdiction, medical affairs and, above all, with the introduction of excises , their receipt and Supervision was carried out by government officials deployed in the cities. This process of enclosing the former autonomous cities in the state brought about an expansion of the social structure in the middle and upper areas of society in the cities through the establishment of central state institutions. In 1719 a Kurmärkische town order was enacted. This reorganized the local self-government . Despite the sovereign claim to omnipotence, Gravamina of the Brandenburg cities came about under the leadership of Brandenburg an der Havel against the presumption of competence of state officials in urban matters. The Brandenburg cities did not bow without contradiction to the absolutist claim to power and developed a perseverance that prevented the city citizens from becoming unfree subjects.

Cöllnischer Fischmarkt , with a view of the Cölln town hall (built 1710-1723) with the Petrikirche in the background, 1784
View of the Spittelmarkt with the Gertraudenkirche , 1783

The cities stagnated economically at the beginning of the 18th century. Problematic for the development of the Brandenburg cities was the fact that their own sales market for local products was too small. There was a lack of affluent buyers, so that trade remained localized. The only relevant exception was Berlin , where towards the end of the 17th century, initiated by the Berliner Hof , a more developed demand market for certain contemporary products in the luxury segment had developed. This led to a strong population growth of Berlin from 1685 to 1711 from around 18,000 to 55,000 inhabitants and by 1719 already 64,000 inhabitants. With this, Berlin overtook all other cities in Brandenburg. Between 1564 and 1590, Spandau was developed into the most important fortress town in the Brandenburg region under the direction of Rochus zu Lynar . Since the 16th century, the former Brandenburg capital of Brandenburg an der Havel, which had the highest court of law ( appellate authority ), lost its former top position. The warehouse in Frankfurt (Oder) lost its central position in the Oder trade to Stettin . The fair in Frankfurt an der Oder could not prevail nationally against the Leipzig fair. Potsdam developed into the second political and cultural center of Brandenburg since the 17th century. In 1740 around 11,700 civil and military people lived here. Frankfurt (Oder) and Stendal had permanently lost their importance and after the burglaries in the first half of the 17th century no longer achieved their original importance.

Because of the widespread manorial rule in Brandenburg since the 17th century, only a few workers were made redundant. Since otherwise there was no significant supra-local trade in Brandenburg, the purchasing power of the artisanal urban population in the smaller towns remained low, which hampered urban development. Although the cities developed into administrative centers, most cities remained smaller than elsewhere and developed an economic structure that corresponded to that of villages. The economy was dominated by agriculture and the type of town called arable town ( e.g. Rathenow , Angermünde , Königsberg , Kremmen ) became the most widespread type of town in Brandenburg. Such cities, especially if they were left without a city wall, often did not make an urban impression. The arable farmers tilled their fields in the vicinity of their town in a very similar way to the farmers around their villages. A bourgeoisie in the cities that would have developed into a leading political force was hardly developed due to the poorly differentiated economic structure of the Brandenburg cities. With the exception of Berlin and the surrounding area, the cities saw themselves as the center of a rural environment and not as a formative political force like the Free Imperial Cities at the same time .


Creation of the Mark Brandenburg

The Slavs in the Elbe area

Slavic tribes between the Elbe and Vistula before the German colonization in the east
Reconstruction of a Slavic rampart from the 9th / 10th centuries. Century, the Slavic castle Raddusch in Niederlausitz

In the course of the migrations , the Suebi , the Elbe-Germanic branch of the Semnones , left their home on the Havel and Spree in the direction of Upper Rhine and Swabia from the 5th century onwards, with the exception of a few remaining groups . In the late 6th and 7th centuries, Slavs moved into the presumably largely deserted area . The Wilzen tribe , later called Liutitzen , settled in the area of ​​the later Mark Brandenburg . The Abodrites settled in the north and the Sorbs in the south .

The main tribe of the Wilzen-Liutitzen probably had no monarchical or oligarchical leadership for the entire area. The small tribes (including the Heveller, Sprewanen and Zamzizi ) lived under the leadership of long-established families. The focal points were larger wood-earth castles, such as the Brandenburg an der Havel, Spandau, Köpenick or Altfriesack , to which a territory was assigned in the vicinity. The boundaries were drawn based on the course of the river and water. Town-like large settlements like those that existed under the Piasts in Poland at the same time do not seem to have existed. The Slavs seem to have preferred small streets, dead ends and round lanes as a form of settlement . Its trade and industry developed in many ways due to its proximity to the East Franconian Empire and the long-distance trade route from Magdeburg via Spandau to Gnesen . There is evidence of the cultivation of millet and oats, as well as animal husbandry and the use of water (fishing) and forests (hunting, berries, honey, building materials). There were craft workshops in the larger settlements. In addition to the ceramists and the blacksmiths responsible for the weapons and fishing tackle, there were also comb makers and textile workers. There was no writing activity. They minted coins in the form of bracteates . There were no stone buildings. The worship of old Slavic deities like Triglaw died out in the 12th century as a result of Christianization.

The Sprewanen settled east of the Havel and Nuthe , in what is now Barnim and East Teltow . Their main castle was at the confluence of the Dahme and Spree rivers in Köpenick . To the west of the two rivers (in Havelland and Zauche ) lived the Hevellers . The main castle of the Stodorans, as it is called, was the Brandenburg . Up the Havel were two more fortifications not far from each other - the important Spandau castle wall and a small complex on the site of today's Spandau Citadel . The two Elbe Slavic tribes had to defend themselves against the powerful feudal states from the west. Occasionally they waged disputes among themselves and with neighboring Slavic tribes, often in a warlike manner.

First eastward expansion, first brands

After the successful campaigns against the Saxons in 804 , Charlemagne briefly left part of the Saxon land between the Elbe and the Baltic Sea to the Abodrites, allied with him, with Northern Albingia . A relatively quiet period lasted up to the year 928. In the following so-called first phase of the German East Settlement , King Heinrich I conquered Brandenburg in the winter of 928/929 . The tribes as far as the Oder were subject to tribute . Under Otto I , Marken , German border regions in the Slavic region, followed in 936 . From around 965 (the dating is controversial among historians) he established the dioceses of Brandenburg and Havelberg . German rule contented itself with occupying existing castles to collect tributes and building diocese churches. German farmers have not yet settled. The parishes of the dioceses were therefore very small. The daily celebration of the mass was considered to be evidence of the rule of Christ in the Slavic land.

After Gero's death , the Saxon Ostmark was divided into five smaller brands: the Nordmark , which later became the Mark Brandenburg, and south of it into four other brands, especially in the Lausitz region . In the Slavic Uprising of 983 , many Slavic tribes allied and threw the Germans back again. The dioceses of Brandenburg and Havelberg were destroyed. For around 150 years, until the Liutizenbund collapsed in the middle of the 11th century, German expansion stood still.

Crusades and approach of the Heveller prince Pribislaw-Heinrich to the empire

Map of the tribal duchy of Saxony and the property ( house power ) of Henry the Lion shortly before the breakup around 1180
Situation around 1150

In the beginning of the High Middle Ages , the increase in population and the inheritance regulations led to tensions in the old empire, for the relaxation and sewerage of which the “unneeded excess population” was “relocated” to the east by the imperial elite. The flow of movement was described in the 19th century with the programmatic battle term urge to the east . The direction of imperial politics could for a time be determined by the old Saxon dukes, who concentrated the corresponding political power on themselves. As a result, a sustained north-east orientation developed in the empire in the first half of the 12th century, which led to a regrouping movement of resources and attention of the elites to the east, as a result of which the empire extended its eastern border by several hundred kilometers to the east could relocate and a corresponding population movement on a larger scale from west to east began.

Towards the end of the 11th century, the situation for the Saxons on the Slavic border improved, initially in the north. The Obodriten prince Heinrich von Alt-Lübeck won the rule over the Wagrier and was able to subdue a large part of the west Slavic area with Saxon support. Poland, which became weaker under the successors after Boleslaw's death in 1025, also gained strength again. Denmark also put increasing pressure on the frequent raids by Slavic ships on its coasts. In addition to the self-weakening of the Lutizenbund , these external factors contributed to the beginning of the decline of Elbe Slavic independence. If it was previously the German royal power who advanced the eastward expansion course, the East Saxon princes now came to the fore. You and your other counterparts in the empire consistently pushed ahead with the expansion of sovereignty within your territory. In order to increase their own chances against competitors in the empire in the process of expanding the internal structure of rule in the empire, the princes of East Saxony tried to expand their rule out of Elbe Slavic territory. Their territories continued to be claimed by the empire and had not yet been Christianized .

From around 1100 the Magdeburg archbishops and East Saxon princes began again to invade the Slavic territories. The dukes of Saxony acted as margraves of Billunger Mark, the counts of Stade as margraves of Nordmark and the Wettins as margraves of Lausitz and Meißen. Count Otto von Ballenstedt , whose property lay mainly between the Eastern Harz and the mouth of the Mulde , was one of them. He came from the family mentioned for the first time with his grandfather Esico in 1036, which is probably called "Askanier" after the old Askania castle near Aschersleben , and "Anhaltiner" after the Anhalt castle in the Harz region , which first appeared in 1140 . Otto's name stands under the widespread letter with which East Saxon princes and bishops called in 1108 to fight against East Elbe paganism based on the example of the crusade to the Holy Land that began in 1096 . Around 1110 Otto von Ballenstedt increased his influence from Bernburg in the direction of the Heveller border near Görzke in Fläming . In 1115 Otto von Ballenstedt defeated an army from Wenden near Köthen that had crossed the Elbe. Otto used the victory to cross the Elbe and to occupy the area around Roßlau, Coswig, Lindau, Belzig up to the Zauche. The area was called Zerbstgau and remained in the possession of the Anhaltinian people. This acquisition of territory in the East Elbe Slavic country made the Anhaltines neighbors of the Slavic Hevellers in Brandenburg.

After his death in 1123, his son Albrecht, born around 1100, continued the expansive house policy with the second phase of the German East Settlement .

He turned out to be a skilled diplomat and established close contacts with Pribislaw-Heinrich between 1123 and 1125. The Hevellerfürst became the godfather of his first son Otto I and gave him as a godparent gift the teeth that adjoined Ascanian free float. 1128 died the Margrave of the Nordmark , Heinrich II. Von Stade , Albrecht's brother-in-law. Albrecht felt himself to be an heir. However, there was still a cousin, Udo IV von Freckleben, who made claims. Violent clashes broke out between the two of them. Albrecht's followers killed Udo in 1130. The act withdrew Albrecht from the favor of the king. In 1131 to the Reichstag in Liège, Konrad von Plötzkau , a close relative of the Stader family , was appointed Margrave of the Nordmark .

In 1127 Pribislaw came to power as Hevellerfürst on the Brandenburg . He had the German-speaking baptismal name Heinrich, hence the double name Pribislaw-Heinrich, which is usually read. His predecessor Meinfried was already a Christian . Therefore it could be concluded that Pribislaw-Heinrich had received baptism as a child. Later medieval chroniclers idealized the development and relocated the baptism to his princely period. He was closely connected to the German nobility and apparently received the title of sub-king from the emperor in 1134 (later revoked). This allowed the Germans to temporarily loosely tie the Heveller area (on both sides of the Havel between Potsdam and Brandenburg an der Havel ) to the Reich . The disputed eastern border thus ran between the two Elbe Slavic tribes of the Heveller and Sprewanen . Geographically very roughly drawn, it followed the courses of the Nuthe and Havel rivers . Jaxa von Köpenick ( Jaxa de Copnic ) resided east of this line .

In order to regain royal grace, Albrecht took part in King Lothar's Roman procession in 1132/33 and was successful. When Konrad fell in Italy in 1133, Albrecht became the bear of Lothar III. 1134 enfeoffed as Margrave of the Nordmark at the Reichstag in Halberstadt . He took over the imperial power over the eastern Lutizenland from the Peene to the Lausitz.

But the emperor wanted to put a stop to an excessive expansion of power by the Ascanian from the start; therefore, in the same year, Pribislaw-Heinrichs was raised to the royal rank. But as early as 1134 Albrecht was able to wrest a binding promise from the childless prince of Heveller. After Pribislav's death, Albrecht the Bear was to take over the inheritance and successor.

In 1147 a new Christian crusade was started against the Wendish pagans, the so-called Wendenkreuzzug . This took place parallel to the preparations for the 2nd crusade to the Holy Land. Danes and Poles also took part in the crusade. It was not just about religious goals, but about the acquisition of land and sovereign rights. The cross army consisted of two armies. The first army group moved north to the home country of the Abodrites , the second army group gathered in Magdeburg and moved to Havelberg . There they prevailed and the nominal bishop Anselm von Havelberg succeeded in entering his actual bishopric for the first time, which he maintained from then on. While Albrecht was content with taking the Burgwards in Havelberg, German knights advanced in private ventures between Elde , Rhinluch and Rhin and founded their own small domains there, which were, however, given up again a short time later.

The area around Havelberg was finally secured. In the neighboring regions of Prignitz and Ruppin, the first foundations for the subsequent settlement were created. The main army of the crusaders, headed by Albrecht, then moved from Havelberg to the core area of ​​the Lutizen , the Peeneland . The army campaign went via Demmin to Stettin and thus penetrated into the domain of the already Christianized Pomorans , where the advance came to a standstill. The special thing about this crusade and the devastation is that the Havelland was spared, although the Hevellers continued to practice their old pagan beliefs and the landscape bordered directly on German domains. The prince of the Havelland Pribislaw-Heinrich von der Brandenburg demonstrated his Christian faith sustainably and publicly in order to keep any damage caused by Christian crusaders away from his territory. So he removed the image of the three-headed Triglaw venerated in Brandenburg , laid the royal diadem with his wife on the Petrus altar in Leitzkau and brought nine clergymen from Leitzkau to the Brandenburg region and gave them generous gifts. These precautionary measures worked. Furthermore, Heinrich and his wife had chosen Albrecht as their successor (in secret). Due to this succession arrangement, it was of no interest to Albrecht to destroy his later guaranteed property. As a result of the crusade, the Elbe Slavs achieved a military defensive success, but their inner cultural and civilizational strength was broken afterwards. The war-related losses and population decimation were too high. The colonization with German settlers, which had already started in 1143 with Adolf II , could thus take place on a larger scale.

Establishment of a feudal state under the Ascanian margraves (1150 / 1157-1320)

The first margraves:
  1. Albrecht I, "The Bear" , 1150–1170
  2. Otto I. , 1170-1184
  3. Otto II. , 1184-1205
  4. Albrecht II , 1205-1220
  5. Johann I. , 1220-1266
  6. Otto III., "The Pious" , 1220–1267
  7. Otto IV., "With the arrow" , 1267–1308

Conquest of Brandenburg, formation of a contiguous territory, recognition as an imperial principality

Extension of the Mark Brandenburg in red in 1157, in the background around 1600 in yellow.

The successful and permanent formation of a new territory was related to the efforts of his first margrave, who made his various scattered personal possessions, which still did not form a sovereign state on the legal level, and his royal official privileges (as margrave of the non-existent Nordmark, understood as "more offensive Defense area ”of the empire against possible incursions by Elbe Slavs into the old empire west of the Elbe) in a relatively structureless geographical area and in competition with many other medieval“ conquistadors ”ultimately formed a coherent state principality. The formation of the state of Brandenburg was ultimately the result of the work of an ambitious, determined and power-conscious person who was mainly concerned with his own hierarchical advancement process in the personal empire structure in the sphere of activity of the emperor.

Through the inheritance promised to Albrecht, Pribislaw ruled Brandenburg until his death in 1150. In the meantime, Albrecht I occupied the Zauche , the area south of Potsdam that Pribislaw gave to his son Otto as a gift. Albrecht was largely able to take over the Brandenburg without bloodshed. He had Spandau Castle rebuilt as an Ascanic castle. With these events various historians viewed the year 1150 (instead of 1157) as the actual beginning of the history of the Brandenburg region. The Heveller population , who in contrast to their prince still followed the old Slavic deities in part, was rather hostile to Albrecht's takeover. The Sprewanenfürst Jaxa von Köpenick , possibly a relative of Pribislaw-Heinrich, also made claims. With a mixture of betrayal, bribery, cunning and violence, as well as with Polish help, he succeeded in occupying Brandenburg and seizing power in the Hevellerland. On June 11, 1157 Albrecht the Bear was able to finally conquer the Brandenburg in battle. He drove out Jaxa and established a new sovereignty on Slavic soil . After the title had already been assigned to him several times before, Albrecht called himself Margrave in Brandenburg for the first time in a document dated October 3, 1157 ( Adelbertus Dei gratia marchio in Brandenborch ). With the new title "Margrave of Brandenburg", Albrecht signaled his goal of transforming the margraviate of the Nordmark from a royal fiefdom into a state sovereignty. This meant that Albrecht, who as Margrave of the Nordmark was only an official of the empire for its interests in the East Elbe region, established his own territorial rule with the formation of a Brandenburg Mark. The year 1157 is therefore considered to be the traditional founding year of the Mark Brandenburg. The transformation of the margravial office into a state sovereignty corresponded to the current trend. Shortly before that, the Wettin Konrad had obtained a house power in a similar way and thus laid the foundation for his own sovereignty. Perhaps it served Albrecht the Bear as a model for his own title designation that the Wettiner has since called himself Margrave of Meißen . In 1156 the march of Austria had become a duchy . These three territorial rulers (Brandenburg, Saxony and Austria) on the eastern border of the empire, at that time still with a low concentration of power, formed successful focal points for larger states in the empire. While the west of the empire was already permeated by complex rulership structures, there was still leeway in the east and rulership relations were still open and loose. Ultimately, this growth process of the three territories later led to competition between them (especially Brandenburg-Saxony and Prussia-Austria ). At that time, however, all three territories were still overshadowed by the position of power of the Guelph Heinrich the Lion, who united the duchies of Old Saxony and Bavaria in his hands and was looking to expand his power in the east.

Seal of Albrecht I , Margrave of Brandenburg (1150–1170), inscription: Adelbertus Di. gra marchio

The Altmark, the Prignitz and the Havelland now had a territorial center, the Nordmark became the Mark Brandenburg. From here Albrecht and the following margraves gradually penetrated into other regions of the former Northern Mark, which other princes had appropriated in the course of the previous Wendenkreuzzug of 1147. This took place partly in a warlike manner, partly on a contractual basis. Since Albrecht was dependent on noble support in taking possession of the Brandenburg, it is likely that the newly acquired Heveller area was only partially under the control of the Ascanians and that the latter had to transfer lordships to his allies in return. The actual core area of ​​the newly founded Mark Brandenburg initially consisted only of the middle area between Brandenburg / H. and Nauen. Ultimately, it was a relatively small core area, whereby the margrave succeeded in acquiring further property and rule rights in the northeastern Elbe-Havelwinkel around Rathenow and Havelberg . In addition, the Askanians had rights from before 1150 in the northern and eastern Altmark, with Salzwedel and Stendal . Albrecht may have extended his margravial powers in the Nordmark to this area as well. However, Albrecht and Otto I rarely stayed in the Altmark. Nevertheless, Albrecht included his allodial possessions in the Altmark in the state expansion that followed after 1160, with the aim of establishing claims to rule there. His allodial possessions did not yet represent sovereignty , but were one level of rights below that in relation to the empire. Basically, Albrecht strove for the dignity of Duke of Saxony because of his Billunger inheritance , which he only held from 1138 to 1142 and then had to leave it to his cousin Heinrich the Lion .

The city of Brandenburg was further developed into a center of power. However, the Brandenburg was still considered royal property, so that a royal burgrave was installed there.

The ruling system of the margrave was based on a tiered feudal system . Many young aristocrats followed him to Brandenburg. Once there, the margrave rewarded them with land and allowed them to build castles to protect their property. On their estates, the knights of the lower and middle levels had jurisdiction over the inhabitants of their land. They had a complex service and duty relationship with their margrave, who in turn served the German king as bailiff , who was tasked with securing the empire to the east.

Albrecht the Bear had vigorously pushed the process of territorialization forward, but it was not yet over when he died in 1170. The process of becoming a state lasted until 1250. After Albrecht's death in 1170, his son, Otto I, became Margrave of Brandenburg. Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa recognized the title two years later. The mark was thus established as a new imperial principality. Otto I. operated the expansion of the margraviate's independence. Until then, the mark was one of many royal / imperial fiefdoms. With the recognition of the mark as an imperial territory, it now became an imperial intermediate level in the "feudal pyramid", to which all of the aristocrats of the mark were subject to fief. As everywhere in the empire, conflicts arose between secular and often imperial direct spiritual power, which were directly subordinate to the emperor and the highest imperial courts.

Illustration from the Heidelberger Sachsenspiegel , Landrecht fol. 26 verso: Founding of a village from wild roots. The landlord gives the legal representative of the farmers, the "master builder", a sealed document that grants the right of inheritance. In the middle scene, the forest is being cleared and on the right a farmer is building a house

The area was poor in people (a few ten thousand inhabitants) and only sporadically and not systematically populated. The few existing rulers of the margraves consisted of simpler castles. These did not yet form a network with one another, but were isolated from one another. The cultural level of the old resident population was lower than in the areas of the old empire. A state rule with clear borders, laws or regulated income had to be formed on the basis of a planned settlement ( state expansion ) with the limited technical and logistical means of that time. The first wave of settlements from the Altreich took place by 1170, recruited by the margraves. The settlers came in particular from the Altmark , the Harz , Flanders (hence the name Fläming ) and the Rhine regions. The systematic colonization of the country was carried out by enterprising knights, merchants, craftsmen and farmers from the old German tribal areas. Locators were tasked with recruiting people willing to settle in the west of the empire and with founding towns and villages. The existing Slavic population was also included. This led to a merger of the German and Slavic ethnic groups. The Germanization of the country as a result of the numerical superiority of the German immigrants was largely peaceful. The share of the Cistercians in the development of the country remained modest, and research has long overestimated it. In agriculture, the three- field economy replaced the wild field-grass economy . The new settlers retained their personal freedom and were exempt from taxes for a certain period of time, while the merchants were exempt from customs duties. The Zee and Dutch played an important role . After devastating North Sea - storm surges they like moved to new settlements. Her experience in dike construction helped with the drainage work along the Elbe and Havel , which were tackled in the 1160s.

Territorial expansion, Hanseatic League, founding of cities, promotion to the electoral college, formation of the estates

Margraves of Brandenburg-Scheibler22ps.jpg
Brandenburg eagle , coat of arms of the Mark Brandenburg since 1170, from Scheibler's book of arms, 1450–1480
1795 Berlin bear with Brandenburg coat of arms anagoria.JPG
Berlin bear with the Brandenburg coat of arms; 1795; Märkisches Museum Berlin

From Brandenburg / H. the Ascanian margraves expanded their rule further east. The territorial expansion of the early period did not yet correspond to the dimensions of the high medieval Mark Brandenburg. Only the Ascanian homeland, the Zauche and parts of the Havelland were included. Only in the following 150 years did the margraves gradually expand the territory. The three Hochstifte , which were founded as separate clerical principalities, were not part of their dominion .

At the same time as the Ascanian efforts, efforts by other princes began to establish their own rulership districts in the area between the Elbe and Oder with the help of the country's expansion . The dukes of Pomerania were able to occupy large parts of the later Margraviate of Brandenburg. The Wettins advanced from the south, while the Piasts asserted property rights in the east . The Ascanian margraves grew their most important competitors in the Magdeburg archbishops, who tried to expand their territory further to the east. Archbishop Wichmann , in particular , was responsible for developing the country by founding cities, for example by awarding city rights to Jüterbog in the south of the Mark.

After the Havel- Nuthe line had formed the eastern border of the Ascanian domain for a long time , the Ascanians prevailed against their neighboring competitors at the beginning of the 13th century as a result of the continued expansion policy to the east and northeast. The newly acquired area was the landscapes of Barnim and Teltow to the east of the Nuthe, north and south of the Spree. Since the place Spandau was now in a favorable geographical location of the territory acquired by then, the Ascanian margraves Johann I and Otto III. (1220 to 1267) the longest period of their rule there.

The expansion to the east also continued. This became possible because the Guelph Duke Heinrich the Lion had lost control of his duchies of Saxony and Bavaria piece by piece in the second third of the 12th century and thus left a power-political vacuum in the north of the Holy Roman Empire. The neighboring princes also pursued their own expansion goals in this environment that was politically insecure, which led to numerous armed conflicts. The Ascanian interest was aimed at a connection to the Baltic Sea , at the expense of the Duchy of Pomerania , at that time one of the most important international trading markets, while Pomerania expanded its influence into the Uckermark. Pomerania sought additional protection by drawing on Denmark. This bilateral expansion policy led to conflicts between the rival interested parties ( kings of Denmark , dukes of Silesia and Pomerania including Henry the Lion as the temporary liege lord of the Pomerania). The Battle of Bornhöved in 1227 secured the Brandenburg claim to Pomerania. Emperor Friedrich II formalized this in 1231 when Pomerania was enfeoffed to the Margraves of Brandenburg, which was confirmed in the Treaty of Kremmen between the Princes of Brandenburg and Pomerania in 1236 , including the cession of the Stargard, Beseritz and Wustrow lands to the Ascanians in Brandenburg. With the Treaty of Landin between the Griffin and Ascanian princes in 1250, today's Uckermark (1250) finally came to the mark.

Conflicts also broke out with the Archbishops of Magdeburg . These raised sovereign claims to the places they founded in the Mark. After the Margraves of Meißen tried to expand their influence to the north, the six-year Teltow War and the Magdeburg War broke out , which the Ascanians from Brandenburg won and thus gained the last parts of the Barnim and Teltow. In the middle of the 13th century, the Ascanians had finally gained the upper hand over their competitors. They had continuously expanded their territory and dominated a large territorially contiguous area.

Urban settlements emerged especially in the middle of the 13th century, often along the course of long-distance trade routes and rivers. The Havel, which partially runs from east to west, and the confluent Spree formed the inner center of the Brandenburg chain of cities. Berlin received city rights in 1246 and Frankfurt (Oder) in 1253 . Long-distance trade developed. Intensive trade relations developed particularly between the cities of the Mark and the Hanseatic League . The feudal constitution gradually began to transform itself into a rural one. Knights and municipal patricians were granted written rights by the margrave in the field of jurisdiction and taxation. The first provable Brandenburg state parliament with parts of the knighthood took place in Berlin in 1280. The interior blooming country gained more and more political weight in the Reichsverband. In 1252 Margrave Johann I participated in the election of the emperor for the first time . Brandenburg began to rise into the ranks of the politically exclusive electoral principalities. The country extended its border further east of the Oder . In 1260 the Neumark was conquered.

Albrecht III. After the death of his sons Otto and Johann (around 1299) he gave his son-in-law Heinrich II. von Mecklenburg - by buying it in pretense - the rule of Stargard . With the Treaty of Vietmannsdorf in 1304, the transfer was finalized after Albrecht's death. An alliance with the Swenzonen brought the hoped-for access to the sea. The Pomeranian princes had fallen out with the nominal lord of the Duchy of Pomerania from 1306 , Władysław I. Ellenlang . In 1307 the margraves won the lands of Schlawe , Stolp and Rügenwalde . The Teutonic Order opposed their expansion into the Pomeranian heartland with Danzig (conquered in 1308 up to the city castle) under Margrave Waldemar and his brother Otto IV . Władysław Ellenlang had called on the order of knights for help. In the North German Margrave War , the Teutonic Order expelled the Brandenburgers from Danzig and bought their claims to Pomeranian in the Treaty of Soldin 1309. The knights of the order then acted as sovereigns of their own accord and overruled Polish claims.

After the death of the daughter of Albrecht III, Beatrix , there was an inheritance dispute between the Brandenburgers and Heinrich II from Mecklenburg over the rule of Stargard in 1314. In 1315 Margrave Waldemar occupied the land of Stargard. Heinrich II was able to defeat Waldemar near Gransee and in the Peace of Templin on November 25, 1317, he was finally granted the rule of Stargard. This sealed Waldemar's defeat against a coalition of north German princes led by the Danish king. Access to the Baltic Sea with the lands of Schlawe, Stolp and Rügenwalde was lost to Duke Wartislaw IV of Pommern-Wolgast. With the deaths of Waldemar (1319) and his underage cousin Heinrich II (1320), the Brandenburg line of the Ascanians became extinct in the male line.

Time of turmoil and weakening of the central sovereignty

In the 14th century the mark fell into a serious crisis. After the Ascanian dynasty died out, the country had no central rule. The internal conditions became more and more disordered and were mainly shaped by the law of the thumb. Neighbors attacked the Mark from all sides and claimed parts of the country.

Brandenburg Interregnum (1319 / 1320-1323)

The Brandenburg Interregnum lasted from 1319/1320 to 1323. Initially, the best chances to emerge from the turmoil as the new elector lay with Wartislaw IV , Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast (1309-1326) and Rudolf I , Duke of Saxony-Wittenberg (1298 -1356). In the end, Ludwig IV , Duke of Upper Bavaria (1294-1340) seized the opportunity to expand his domestic power . The Wittelbacher first prevailed in the battle of Mühldorf on September 28, 1322 against his Habsburg rival for the throne . Then belehnte it in April 1323 as his son Ludwig I with Mark. The power play around Brandenburg did not end that, it had only just begun.

Under the Wittelsbacher (1323-1373)

The compensation of the murder of Nicholas, Ar-chi-dia-kon of Ber-Nau included the establishment of a Sueh-ne-kreu-zes . It was probably implemented in front of the St. Maria Church in Berlin in 1721 .

The people's expectations that the Wittelsbach would create order in the country were not fulfilled. The political interests of the new masters were directed to other territories. The nobility and cities became increasingly independent from the margrave. The noble families exercised their own power in their domains. They held margravial castles whose income they claimed and from where they threatened trade routes with raids. Abandoned by the sovereign, the cities themselves took measures to protect them. In 1323 22 cities had signed a union for the maintenance of the peace. Many Brandenburg cities joined the Hanseatic League.

Berlin - Citizens of Cölln killed Nikolaus, Archdeacon of Bernau, in 1324 . The latter appeared as a party member of the Pope against the emperor . The Pope then imposed the interdict on the twin cities . A Pomeranian-Brandenburg War arose with the Duchy of Pomerania .

After the death of Emperor Ludwig IV. In 1347, Ludwig I was confronted with the false Waldemar , who pretended to be the last surviving Ascanian. This was initially recognized by the new Roman-German King Charles IV of Luxembourg , who was enemies with the Wittelsbachers. Despite the certainty that he was a con man, almost all cities paid homage to him. After heavy fighting against the "false Waldemar", the Wittelsbachers reached an agreement in 1350 at the cost of considerable territorial losses. In 1351, Ludwig gave the mark to his younger half-brothers Ludwig II and Otto V in the Luckau Treaty in order to be able to rule Upper Bavaria alone in return . Ludwig II finally forced the false Waldemar to renounce his margrave dignity.

The plague , which was rampant in Europe at the time, spread to Brandenburg and claimed many victims. Jews were held responsible for this and by 1354 a wave of persecution of the Jews began.

Despite the desperate internal conditions, Charles IV confirmed the right to vote when the king was elected with the Golden Bull of 1356, which made the mark attractive to other princes. When Ludwig II died in 1364/1365, Otto V took over the government, which he soon neglected. In 1367 he sold the Lausitz mark , which had previously been pledged to the Wettins , to Charles IV. A year later he lost the town of Deutsch Krone to the Polish King Casimir III.

Under the Luxembourgers (1373-1415)

From the middle of the 14th century, Charles IV made several attempts to acquire the mark for his house in Luxembourg . For him, it was primarily about Brandenburg's voting voice ( he already had the Bohemian one ). With their help the elections of a Luxembourg emperor should be secured. In 1373 the emperor was finally successful against payment of 500,000  guilders to Otto V ( Treaty of Fürstenwalde ). At the Landtag in Guben in 1374, the Margraviate of Brandenburg was included in the states of the Bohemian Crown . This was constitutionally questionable because it violated the Golden Bull issued by Charles IV himself . Significant measures taken by the regent included: the creation of the land register of Emperor Charles IV and the expansion of Tangermünde Castle into an imperial second or Brandenburg residence. Even under his nephew Jobst von Moravia , the power of the Luxembourgers in Brandenburg declined against the rural nobility. Under the Wittelsbach and Luxembourg margraves, the sovereign power declined and the importance of the aristocratic estates increased.

The important Neumark was pledged to the Teutonic Order.

Combating feuds and establishing peace in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Friedrich I receives the Mark Brandenburg as a fief

Robber Baron War

The stronger aristocratic families had taken over. Everyone fought against everyone for power, resources and influence, for example for illegal customs revenue (highwaymen), for tribute money that was not lawful (mafia-like "protection money"). Traveling merchants and their escorts were attacked by the soldiers of the Quitzows, who were particularly violent in this civil war. The country was close to collapse. The aristocratic Quitzow family with their most famous representatives, the brothers Dietrich and Johann , led their disputes partly on behalf of the cities, but also against their clients. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Quitzows owned 16 castles and palaces in the Mark, including in Köpenick, Plaue and Friesack.

The feuding was not only in the market, but in other parts of the empire often a practice of enforcing one's own rights. Until then, the settlement of disputes through the involvement of courts with legally trained councilors was only common up to the level of the princely territories within the framework of the Reichslandfrieden . As a result, self-help and vigilante justice remained structurally required. Since the princely power was almost completely absent in Brandenburg, agreements to maintain the peace had to be organized by oneself - for example among the cities as a league of cities . Together they fought the peace breakers and, in addition to their own mobilization, brought in mercenaries. Whether the situation in the Mark corresponded to the typical conditions in the empire or was particularly negative remains a matter of dispute. A fundamental change in the power relations in the Mark was not sought by either side.

The attempts of the cities to defend themselves with mercenaries and to form protective alliances had failed. A Brandenburg delegation headed by Berlin-Cölln dignitaries traveled to the court camp of King Sigismund to pay homage in the spring of 1411 to ask for help against the marauding landed gentry. In 1411, at the insistence of the Brandenburg embassy, Frederick VI. , Burgrave of Nuremberg from the House of Hohenzollern , as hereditary captain in the Mark Brandenburg and gave him sovereign powers. This was done in recognition of his previous support in the election of the king on September 20, 1410 in Frankfurt am Main .

From a tactical point of view, Friedrich sent a confidante who arrived in the Margraviate of Brandenburg in June 1412. This was confronted with the anarchic conditions in the Mark and an opposition of the Brandenburg noble families. He demanded the surrender of the margravial castles and the income associated with them, which the local nobility had appropriated over the past hundred years. Thereupon the confidante Wend von Ileburg was ridiculed by the nobles as "trinkets from Nuremberg", which one could already deal with. The most dangerous robber barons the brothers Quitzow and Gans zu Putlitz from Altmark led the opponents of the new margrave. When Friedrich received homage after his arrival, a significant proportion of the nobility refused to do so - in contrast to the cities. This was the trial of strength between state law and princely law. Friedrich had a meeting of the estates convened. At the meeting of the estates on July 10, 1412 in Brandenburg an der Havel, he announced his program, in which "the law should be strengthened and the injustice insulted" and order in the Mark Brandenburg should be restored. He allied himself with the cities, but also outside Brandenburg he found an effective ally in the Saxon Ascanian Rudolf , who lent him a larger artillery, the Faule Grete . The Archbishop of Magdeburg also supported the Hohenzollern. Both of the Mark's neighbors were interested in a safe country to pass through. With persuasion and armed force, Frederick I prevailed in the Mark between 1412 and 1414. Both sides prepared well for the dispute, the Quitzows reinforced their castles, while Friedrich had cannons poured. In several campaigns against the Quitzows, their power was broken until in February 1414 he conquered the castles Friesack , Plaue , Golzow and Beuthen with the help of Faulen Grete . Dietrich von Quitzow fled in time, but Hans von Rochow appeared in a penitent's garb and threw himself at Friedrich's feet, the rope already around his neck, he pleaded for sparing, just as the merchants used to do before him. Friedrich treated the rebellious nobles with moderation. The Gardelegen castle of the Alvensleben and the Beuthen castle were only routine matters for Frederick's troops. The campaign against the castles, known as the robber baron war, was successful across the board for Friedrich. The conflict was ended on March 20, 1414 by the Diet convened by Friedrich in Tangermünde . On this he proclaimed a state peace order, which obliged the estates to provide joint assistance and decreed the end of the lawless state through the general binding force of the ordinary courts. This marked the beginning of the long process of regaining the lands and rights that the Ascani had won.

Transfer of the electoral dignity to the Hohenzollern, defense against external attacks, consolidation inside

Friedrich I as Elector of Brandenburg
Margravial coat of arms of Frederick I of Brandenburg

Tangermünde, the city on the Elbe, became the first Brandenburg residence of the Hohenzollern family. By successfully cleaning up under the landed gentry, Frederick I had qualified as ruler over the nobility. But the cities were also autonomous due to the weakness of the central power, which Frederick I could not change.

Friedrich, the strong man who had brought order into chaos, had fulfilled the king's expectations. Four years later, on April 30, 1415, at the Council of Constance , the latter granted him the dignity of Margrave of Brandenburg, arch chamberlain and elector of the empire. The tribute to the Brandenburg estates took place in the same year on October 21 in Berlin in the hall of the Franciscan monastery . The formal enfeoffment with the Kurmark was carried out by King Sigismund, again at the Council of Constance, on April 18, 1417. Friedrich VI was elector. Nuremberg referred to as Friedrich I of Brandenburg in the following .

With varying success and equally changing allies, Elector Friedrich I asserted himself against internal and external adversaries in the period that followed. The Pomeranian Griffin Duke Swantibor had been governor of the Mittelmark, part of the Mark Brandenburg, since 1409. When Frederick I was appointed "Supreme Captain and Administrator of the Brands", Swantibor held on to his office as governor of the Mittelmark. This led to armed conflicts between the two sides, including the battle at Kremmer Damm . The sons of Swantibor continued the warlike course against Brandenburg. In the spring of 1420, Elector Friedrich I had to advance in Brandenburg against the Pomeranian dukes Casimir and Otto of Pomerania-Stettin , who threatened his lands. He defeated the dukes at the Battle of Angermünde in March 1420.

Due to the growing estrangement from the emperor, he could not avoid the transfer of the Middle Elbian electorate of Saxony to the margraves of Meissen in 1423 . The hoped-for unification of the Saxon and Brandenburg electoral titles for the Hohenzollern failed. The Wettins moved up as a new powerful neighbor on the direct border with Brandenburg. An intense and rival history of relations between the two states about dominance in Central and Eastern Germany began, which stretched over centuries. The mutual dynastic relationships in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries were primarily geared towards cooperation and primarily meant the mutual transfer of cultural assets, experts and knowledge carriers and a lively exchange in intellectual and economic life.

Frederick I had not been in Brandenburg since 1416, except for military campaigns. From the Cadolzburg in Franconia, Friedrich could not properly conduct the affairs of Brandenburg. In addition to diplomatic defeats, there was also mockery about the military defeat in front of Vierraden. The feud between Brandenburgers and Pomeranians, which was almost constantly fought in the Middle Ages , had ignited again and again. Friedrich had to break off the siege of the castle Vierraden in the Uckermark region in the war against Pomerania-Stettin in 1425 because his nobility refused to obey him and he had to abandon the borrowed artillery. That was probably the last impetus for him to assemble the estates in Rathenow and transfer the governorship to his first-born son Johann . In 1426, Friedrich I withdrew into his Frankish possessions in a disgruntled manner. As a merit, the gain of the support of the land nobility for the sovereignty remained. Since then there have been no more dominant feuds between the sovereign and the influential landed gentry. The large families of the country from then on became more and more closely connected with the sovereign, entered his service and behaved loyally.

As governor, Johann was primarily concerned with the cities. In 1429 alone there were two open conflicts, in the Stendal uprising and in the unrest in Salzwedel . In the same year, Margrave Johann lost a showdown with Frankfurt / Oder. The conflict with the cities in 1431 led to an alliance between Berlin, Cölln, Brandenburg an der Havel and Frankfurt (Oder) . John's power in Brandenburg was weakened by these conflicts, making the Mark an interesting target for the Hussites . These were possibly on revenge against Friedrich I and the bishop of Lebus Christoph von Rotenhan , who had led the imperial army in the Fifth Crusade against them in 1431 . In the middle of March 1432, four Hussite detachments with a total strength of 7,000 to 8,000 men set out from Bohemia. A first foray into the Mark Brandenburg took place around April 6th and 7th, 1432 by a Hussite reconnaissance contingent. On April 7, 1432, the Hussite detachment attacked the area around Seelow and from there moved south again towards Frankfurt (Oder). A contingent from Frankfurt attacked the reconnaissance department of the Hussites in Müllrose around April 10, 1432 . The actual main Hussite army moved northwards from Guben around April 11, 1432 and reached Frankfurt (Oder) on April 13, 1432 and then moved on to Lebus . On April 17, 1432 the Hussites overran Müncheberg . Buckow and Strausberg followed on their train . The campaign was likely to go on to Eberswalde and on to the Cistercian monastery of Chorin , since monasteries of this order had previously been targets of Hussite looting. On April 23, 1432, the field army stood before Bernau . The “ Battle of Bernau ” ultimately ran like the previous city storms. After the suburbs were burned down, several attempts at storming began, which could be repulsed. The Hussites are said to have left on the same day. The Hussites left the Mark Brandenburg from Bernau. The victory at Bernau became a legend over the next few centuries.

In 1437 Friedrich I transferred the government of the Mark Brandenburg to his second son, Friedrich II. He ruled the Mark directly. From 1437 to 1440 Friedrich II succeeded in further strengthening the sovereign authority, while at the same time a high level of predatory crime and a pronounced legal mentality in the country continued. In order to improve the manners of the nobility, Frederick II founded the Swan Order in 1443 , whose bearers were obliged to behave respectably according to knightly principles. This amounted to an honorable submission and at the same time a peace agreement.

Restriction of urban autonomy, relocation of the residence to Berlin

The Berlin City Palace, which served as the main residence of the margraves from the middle of the 15th century, marks the beginning of the prevailing rule of the Hohenzollerns

The sovereignty began to restrict the autonomy of the cities with increasing success. The trading and Hanseatic city of Berlin had developed into a center of the state during the weak state rule. In Berlin city ​​federations were closed in which this city acted as the head and thus acquired a political leadership role among the cities. There the estates came together, either requested by the margrave or against his will.

In 1440 a power struggle that lasted several years began between the sovereign and the citizens of Berlin and Cölln. This began when a dispute broke out between the patrician-dominated council and the craft guilds, in which Friedrich II, who was currently residing in the High House in Berlin, intervened as an uninvited arbitrator. The city initially refused to receive the elector and his entourage in the town hall. As a result, the elector overthrew the patrician rulership of the city in 1442. He canceled the previous merger of the two cities of Berlin and Cölln and forbade them to enter into alliances and participate in the Hanseatic Days . Since he entered the twin cities in August 1442 with 600 armed knights, the council had no choice but to agree under pressure. The changes provided that the elected councilors and the mayor require his approval. When he abdicated, the old council gave the elector the keys to the town hall. The elector handed these over to the newly appointed councilors, with the indication that these had to be handed over to him, the sovereign, upon request. He dictated a treaty to the council on August 29, 1442. In it he withdrew from the city the court and staple rights that had been acquired since 1391 . As a sign of the new legal situation, the Roland , the sign of market law and its own jurisdiction , has been removed. He forced the city leaders to give him land to build a castle. He was personally present when the foundation stone was laid for the castle. He made it clear that he intended to establish himself in the city in the long term. An electoral judge has now moved into the joint town hall.

Elector Friedrich II tried to bring about an alliance of princes against the cities in northern Germany. In February 1443, in addition to the Elector, the King of Denmark, the Dukes of Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Saxony and Braunschweig, who were particularly committed in this regard, gathered in Wilsnack in the Prignitz to discuss ways and means of breaking urban autonomy in their countries. Neither the Mittelmärkische Städtebund nor the Hanseatic League reacted to the violation of Berlin's autonomy.

The citizens of Berlin and Cölln now resisted the abolition of urban privileges, and their inner-city conflicts were no longer relevant. The renewal of the Hanseatic Tohopesate in May 1447, tensions between the Duke of Lauenburg and Friedrich II, his involvement in war with Pomerania and his own reinsurance with other Brandenburg cities may have encouraged the two cities to do so.

The dispute between the Elector and Berlin-Cölln began with rebellious speeches in wine cellars and other places. Customs officers, judges and other officials were forced to stop their work, then the court chancellery in the high house was looted in search of files that could be used against the citizens, and finally the weir on the side arm of the Spree was opened and the building site of the Berlin City Palace was flooded. The council had secured the support of other cities in the march, so they locked up one of Friedrich's ambassadors, court judge Balthasar Hake , who was supposed to summon the leaders of the uprising to the court in Spandau. Frederick II assessed the resistance so strongly that he did not dare to suppress it militarily. Above all, he relied on time, negotiated with the other cities, and the alliance dissolved, Berlin and Cölln remained isolated. At the end of May 1448 the councils had to give in meekly and accept the treaty of 1442. The submission of Berlin-Cölln (1442–1448) marked a decisive break in urban autonomy. It was the first complete victory of the principality over the bourgeoisie and in other countries of the empire also led to the fact that the princes consistently took action against urban autonomy in their territories.

With the construction of the Berlin Palace , the electors created a modern and permanent residence as the center of the market alongside Tangermünde and the Spandau fortress . In 1447 the elector won the right to appoint his bishops to elect his regional dioceses. The elector tried to make this serviceable for himself. The larger cities had to terminate their membership in the Hanseatic League . The increased political influence in the Hohenzollern Mark was followed by further foreign policy successes. The Archdiocese of Magdeburg now renounced its old feudal claims from 1196 to the mark and the weakened Teutonic Order gave the Neumark back to the Hohenzollern in 1454/55. In 1462 the central area around Cottbus, Peitz, Teupitz and Bärwalde came to the Mark in 1462 from Niederlausitz, which was formerly part of the Mark.

In the Uckermark, the areas of Schwedt, Vierraden and Löcknitz came back to Brandenburg. This happened when the Pomeranian griffin duke Otto III. von Pomerania-Stettin had died in 1464 and Elector Friedrich II raised a claim to this part of the country due to the Brandenburg suffrage, which had never been clarified. On January 21, 1466, the Griffins Erich II and Wartislaw X. took their duchies in the Treaty of Soldin from the Brandenburg Elector as a fief. However, since the feudal contract was not fulfilled, the War of the Szczecin Succession broke out , in the course of which the Brandenburgers conquered several cities on both sides of the Oder in 1468. Finally, in 1469, after the unsuccessful siege of Ueckermünde, there was an armistice. Its extension was the only result of the negotiations held in Petrikau at the beginning of 1470. While Erich II raided Neumark in May 1470, the Brandenburgers secured themselves with Emperor Friedrich III. the recognition of their claims to Pomerania. This finally enfeoffed the Brandenburgers with the state of Stettin in December 1471 and ordered Erich II and Wartislaw X to recognize the feudal sovereignty of Brandenburg. Through the mediation of Duke Heinrich von Mecklenburg , the Peace of Prenzlau was concluded at the end of May 1472 . The Pomeranian dukes and estates had to pay homage to the elector who retained the conquered territories.

In 1470, after more than thirty years of reign, Friedrich II, exhausted, handed over the office to his self-confident brother Albrecht Achilles , who ruled the Mark until 1486. Achilles played a prominent role in imperial politics and consequently regarded Brandenburg as a neighboring country.

Elector Albrecht Achilles, a war hero, drove Pomerania out of the Uckermark in 1478/79. Since 1479 Achilles stayed outside of the Mark because of the imperial politics and his son Johann led the government from the Berlin Palace with Franconian officials. Securing the unity of the country was of great importance for the consolidation of electoral power. With the Dispositio Achillea in 1473 Albrecht Achilles divided the Franconian and Brandenburg lands of the Hohenzollern among his sons and forbade the dynastic division of the entire Brandenburg lands including future acquisitions. In this way, the same thing did not take place in Brandenburg that happened so often in the other territories of the empire: the territorial fragmentation through the division of inheritance. Securing territorial integrity was one of the prerequisites for the later rise of Brandenburg-Prussia to a great power. The mark was now separated from the Frankish principalities. Johann Cicero became margrave and elector, while the younger brother Friedrich became the progenitor of the Franconian Hohenzollern family in the 16th century. However, the Hohenzollerns remained aware of their common roots. The family branches worked closely together in the 16th century. Family days were held at which court, house and religious affairs were discussed. 1482 received (who of the two?) The lien over the Duchy of Crossen including Züllichau and Sommerfeld . Since 1479 Albrecht Achilles stayed away from the Mark through his involvement in imperial politics. His son Johann Cicero took over the government from the Berlin Palace with Frankish officials. The peaceable Elector Johann (1486–1499) worked on expanding his territory, lived in the castles of the Mark and cared less about imperial politics, for which he had not been adequately trained. The direction of Brandenburg's foreign policy remained the same. Pomerania recognized the Brandenburg feudal lordship in 1493. In 1490 the rule of Zossen came to the mark.

The imposition of a beer tax led to the beer war with the Altmark towns in 1488 , a conflict that was fought several times and independently of one another in other areas of the empire. In the Middle Ages, beer was the daily main drink for large sections of the population in the Mark Brandenburg and was considered a staple food. The major brewing locations were all in the Altmark and were: Gardelegen - Garley beer, Salzwedel - Soltmann , Tangermünde - Kuhschwanz beer, Stendal - pigeon dance . The exports made the brewers the most powerful and richest guild . The Altmark towns became important Hanseatic towns in northern Germany thanks to the tax revenue from the brewing trade . Due to the expansion of the sovereignty, the electors got into debt and needed additional income to service the expenses. On February 9, 1488, the majority of the elector's estates gave the elector a concession to levy a beer tax as an indirect consumption tax, also known as "beer taint". The opposing votes of the towns in the Altmark could not prevent the law. Although the majority of the Landtag approved the plan of Elector Johann, resistance arose in the towns of the Altmark. The Hanseatic cities feared the loss of privileges and refused to pay the tax. The anger of the angry urban population because of the rise in prices was directed against the council and the nobility, who remained exempt from the tax as producers. The councils were forced to withdraw their approval of the decree. The revolt of the craftsmen led to the plundering of noble estates in the vicinity of Stendal. After the execution of several nobles and electoral toll collectors (including von Borstell and von Gohre ) by the rebellious population, the elector Johann reacted and mobilized troops with which he proceeded against the rebels. On March 25, 1488 Tangermünde had to pledge obedience to him. With a reinforced troop, Johann advanced against Stendal, the center of the uprising. He had three ringleaders executed with the sword. The elector then turned against Osterburg and Salzwedel , where two rebels were also beheaded. This was followed Seehausen and Advertise . At the beginning of May 1488, Elector Johann and his troops reached Gardelegen, where several rebels were executed. The council had to admit its disobedience on May 6, 1488. Elector Johann made an example of the towns in the Altmark. They had to resign from the Hanseatic League and forego important privileges (jurisdiction, right to coin, military service). The height of the Bierziese was doubled and extended to fourteen years. The ruler reserved the final right to appoint new city councilors. In addition, the cities had to pay fines, for example the city of Gardelegen paid 15,000 Rhenish guilders to the elector. The Altmark finally lost its status as the center of the electorate after 1488 and from then on remained only a peripheral area, which, demographically and economically, lost substance compared to the Mittelmark. The residence of the margraves was moved from Tangermünde to Berlin.

Since the 1480s, the rule of the country was generally more stable, financially more resilient and the writing of the administration progressed as a result of the Franconian officials. The economic stagnation of the 15th century had not yet been completely overcome, although signs of improvement were evident. The cities of Frankfurt (Oder) and Stendal were the leading centers of the Mark at that time. Berlin received growth impulses from the Hohenzollern court. In total, only around 220,000 people lived in the Kurmark at the time. Epidemics repeatedly led to heavy losses in the population.

Late feudalism, European agricultural boom and transition phase to manorial rule in the country

At the turn of the 15th to the 16th century, shifts in German trade (decline of the Hanseatic League) and changes in the internal circumstances of the Brandenburg brands began to become more apparent. The sovereignty of the country was stabilized and the autonomy of the cities broken. The part of the knighthood who continued to pursue highway robberies and thereby invoked their right to feud , had to reckon with the Imperial Peace of 1495 and act without any legal basis. A minority of the knighthood could not and did not want to follow this new development and continued their traditional law. This consisted of claiming escort protection for travelers in their respective area. Travelers and traders who did not buy this escort by paying money were attacked and plundered. This group also accommodated foreign robber barons on their castles. These formed something like an organized gang. The robbery of the bush knights at that time caused considerable damage to the trade, which made goods more expensive. In addition to the extortion of protection money , farms, villages and hamlets were attacked and robbed. Those who were out on the streets and did not pay either had to forcibly part with parts of their belongings or were imprisoned as hostages and a ransom was demanded. The conditions in Brandenburg at that time were known across the empire to contemporaries and generated prejudices that show certain parallels to the Polish clichés of the late 20th century that were widespread in Germany, according to which stolen things would reappear in Brandenburg. The criminal nobles were well known. A common prayer among the people was: "Before Köckeritze and Lüderitze , Before Krachten and Before Itzenplitze Protect us, dear Lord!" With reference to the "Eternal Peace" proclaimed in the Reich in 1495, Elector Joachim I took consistent action against the robbery and feuds in the march. Noble peace breakers were persecuted and imprisoned. 146 such punishments alone are documented from the first years of the new elector's reign. In 1506 alone he had 70 men convicted of mugging executed. Among these were 40 nobles. In response to reproaches, Joachim replied that honest nobles were not guilty of any such crimes. After the execution of Herr von Lindenberg, whose deed and conviction was recorded by the writer Willibald Alexis with the story " The Pants of Herr von Bredow ", resistance arose from his immediate surroundings, which made him feel bad about his peers. The elector was threatened with death. Presumably the Junker von Otterstedt auf Dahlewitz wrote on the door of the electoral bedroom (other sources report on the portal of the Berlin Palace): "Joachimken, Joachimken, hyde di, catch wy dy, then hang wy dy." The elector was not deterred by this and justified himself by stating that nobles would not commit such crimes and that he consequently only had criminals executed. In 1502 Otterstedt and a group lay in wait for the prince electors who were on a hunt in the Köpenicker Heide. The alarmed castle guard surrounded the aristocratic band of robbers and led them away. The elector spoke his verdict again in the palace. Those of the gang who received a mild verdict were beheaded, but the ringleaders, including Herr von Otterstedt, were quartered and their heads were placed on the battlements of the city gates as a deterrent. Subsequently, robber baronism in the Mark Brandenburg is said to have decreased and the new legal awareness and the changed conceptions of order of a new era, the Renaissance , prevailed against the medieval desperados .

With the decline of the feudal system, the great majority of chivalry inevitably only had the option of an activity that was not exclusively based on armed service, if they wanted to maintain themselves appropriately and economically secure. Anyway landsässig , offered himself for the landed gentry, the possibility of expanding manorial estate and acquired about rights, coupled with increased yields of farms by production on their own needs out - for the market. The chivalrous land ownership increased, while the taxpayers and free farmers came under pressure and increasingly had to do compulsory labor and became part of the estate economy and were tied to the clod. This development coincided with the time of the pan-European agricultural economy, which was characterized by rising prices and steadily growing demand and which lasted from 1470 to 1570. For Brandenburg, this meant a phase of transformation that culminated in a manor in the country in the 17th century . The laws and privileges granted by the princes and sovereigns in the late 15th and early 16th centuries showed that the common interests between landlords and peasants had significantly diminished and had given way to a conflict of interests. Brandenburg was on the border between two different development spheres in Europe. The western European agricultural relations did not develop any sharpening of the differences between peasants and landlords. The economic exchange relationship between the East Elbe areas and Western Europe increasingly resembled a colonial relationship. Ultimately, the gentlemen's class was concerned with maintaining an outdated social position at any cost, even if the overall economic development of the country suffered. The manor rule established in East Elbe in the 17th century was ultimately the last resort of the feudal lords to stop their decline.

Arrival of the renaissance in the market

Beginning of the rule of law and humanism

Plans to found a state university have been pursued since 1493. These were developed by the Lebuser Bishop Dietrich von Bülow , the Franconian Eitelwolf von Stein in agreement with the patrician families of Frankfurt. The humanism as a spiritual renewal movement began in Brandenburg spread even when Brandenburg was already behind the (invisible) north-south and east-west cultural divide.

In 1506, Joachim I and his younger brother Albrecht redeemed a legacy from their father and founded the first Brandenburg University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). The new foundation flourished. In the first year, 900 students from Germany, Poland and Scandinavia had already registered. The university became a center of attraction, especially for students from Eastern Europe. In addition, Brandenburg now trained its own administrative staff for the Brandenburg judicial and administrative apparatus. In the 16th century, around 50 Brandenburg regional children studied at German universities, 35 of them at the Viadrina.

The jurisprudence in the Mark under Elector Joachim I came to a low point in 1510 with the Berlin host-molester trial. As a result, 38 Jews were burned on Berlin's Neumarkt and two more were beheaded after their baptism. All others had to swear primal feud and leave the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The process was followed by a major persecution of the Jews , as a result of which all Jews were expelled from the Mark Brandenburg. Historians do not rule out that it was the estates who ran the matter because they wanted to get rid of their creditors. Jews were only allowed into the country again in 1543 - because the country needed new money again after a failed Turkish campaign. In 1516 Joachim I founded the Berlin Court of Appeal . The rule of law thus began in Brandenburg. The elector had the tasks of the chamber court redefined in conflict with the estates. The improvement of the judiciary was a fundamental event. From then on, subjects who felt they were being treated unfairly by their authorities were able to take advantage of the Schöppenstuhl in Brandenburg / H. to call the Supreme Court. With the Constitutio Joachimica (1527), the right of inheritance in the electorate was based on Roman law . Concessions to the landlords were compulsory service and the abandonment of the freedom of movement of the village subjects.

An economic boom began in the 16th century. Crafts and trade flourished. Cloth production and the beer brewing industry also recorded growth. Agriculture and animal husbandry developed. Prosperity was distributed very differently locally and socially. There was a balanced and active system of political rule that included various groups of influence in the political process. The three corporate bodies, clergy, knighthood and cities were represented in the state parliament and regulated the approval of state taxes. In 1515 a town order followed.

In the politics of the Reich, Joachim increasingly took independent positions. In 1524, Joachim I , Elector of Brandenburg (1499–1535) withdrew the originally imperial rule of Ruppin as a "reversal" and united it with the Margraviate of Brandenburg. This closed the gap between Prignitz and Uckermark.

Reformation and introduction of Lutheran doctrine, secularization of church property, division of the country, implementation of hegemony on the Middle Elbe

Christ's body and blood.  On November 2, 1539, the councilors of Berlin-Cölln received the Evangelical Last Supper (painting by Hermann Knackfuss 1886, Stadtmuseum Berlin.jpg
Christ's body and blood. On November 2, 1539, the councilors of Berlin-Cölln received the Evangelical Last Supper ( historical painting by Hermann Knackfuss 1886, Stadtmuseum Berlin )
The picture shows the first official evangelical celebration of the Lord's Supper, which probably took place on November 1, 1539 in the St. Nicholas Church in Spandau : At that time, the Brandenburg Bishop Matthias von Jagow was supposed to give the Lord's Supper to the Brandenburg Elector Joachim II and the nobles accompanying him in both forms - with bread and wine - were enough. History painting by Carl Roehling , 1913

After 1500, the reformatory efforts in the Brandenburg area became stronger, which were also fueled by the appearances of the notorious indulgence dealer Tetzel in the area. Strong intellectual impulses emanated from neighboring Wittenberg . Martin Luther began in 1517 within the Archdiocese of Magdeburg and at the same time in the Diocese of Brandenburg , to which Wittenberg belonged, his fundamental criticism of the indulgence trade. The criticism found stronger support from year to year in the empire under Emperor Charles V.

In a long and complicated process, the Reformation took hold in the Kurmark. Despite many Lutheran supporters from the Brandenburg region, the bishops and cathedral chapters resisted the influences of the Reformation . Joachim I. behaved in the same way, although he even received the Wittenberger personally. Joachim's brother, Cardinal Albrecht , had been elector of Mainz since 1514 , an ecclesiastical and thus Catholic principality with great political importance in the empire. Thus two electoral principalities were under the control of the Hohenzollern dynasty, which exerted a great influence on imperial politics. The Elector of Mainz profited from the sale of indulgences . Due to the ties within the family, Joachim resisted the Lutheran doctrine and allowed its followers to be persecuted. To suppress the rebellious peasants, he had a contingent sent to Central Germany in the Peasants' War of 1524/25 . In the Marches of Brandenburg, however, the spread of the intellectual revolution could no longer be stopped and individual cities were already hiring Protestant preachers at the same time. In the aristocracy of Brandenburg, its members supported the introduction of the Reformation. Among them was the Electress Elisabeth , who therefore fled from her husband to Torgau in 1528 .

After his death in 1535 was inheritance of Brandenburg in the two parts of the country Neumark and Kurmark between the two sons of the late elector instead. Between 1535 and 1571 the brothers Joachim II ruled the Kurmark and Johann von Küstrin the Neumark separately. Contrary to initial fears that the country could be divided, the thirty-six years' reign of both brothers showed that they were not far apart. Different in character, they did not pursue a policy directed against one another and generally pursued the Brandenburg house line.

Joachim II, a prototype of a Renaissance prince, entered Berlin like a triumphant at the age of thirty with a military parade, the first in Brandenburg after his participation in the Turkish War . In this context, he was knighted against the Turks by the emperor for his defensive services in 1532 as Reichsfeldhauptmann and leader of the contingent of the Lower Saxony Imperial Circle and was given the nickname Hector , after the Trojan hero, in accordance with his need for recognition.

While Johann implemented the Reformation quickly and consistently, Joachim II showed more restraint. This corresponded to his character as well as family and imperial political considerations. Ultimately, however, he introduced the Reformation according to the Lutheran confession in the Mark Brandenburg . At his pressure, the Diocese of Brandenburg adopted the two main forms of representation - the lay chalice and the priestly marriage . On November 1, 1539, the elderly Matthias von Jagow , Bishop of Brandenburg (1527–1544), gave Joachim Holy Communion with bread and wine. The chalice with the blood of Christ was previously only intended for priests . In 1541 Matthias had to marry Katharina von Rochow at the episcopal residence Burg Ziesar . The elector personally attended the sexual intercourse of the newlyweds and thus the abolition of celibacy . He issued the new church ordinance with an afterword by the Bishop of Brandenburg in 1540. The other two Brandenburg bishops of Havelberg and Lebus continued to reject the new doctrine. The elector was now the protector of the faithful in all his lands, where the sovereign church regiment developed.

A little later the Kurmärkische parliament despite the opposition of most spiritual men took the bodies set up by Joachim new evangelical church order note in the areas, starting with the Neumark, translated church inspections , which had the implementation of the Reformation to the goal.

The Reformation made the sovereign princes the highest church lord in the Mark and thus the elector also had the property of the three Brandenburg bishops of Brandenburg, Havelberg and Lebus. This brought the mark, among other things, the rule of Beeskow and Storkow in the south of the mark. With the secularization (expropriation) of the monasteries and monasteries after the introduction of the Reformation in the Mark (1539), almost the entire spiritual property fell to the sovereign. The process of secularization and the replacement of spiritual supervisory rights took place in a long process. Often the cities granted the monks lifelong residence in the dissolved monasteries. Monasteries fell into disrepair or were forced to give up. Some were not converted into evangelical women's pens without conflict .

Joachim II behaved neutrally in matters of religion in foreign policy and took a cautious and mediating position in terms of imperial politics. He even supported the Catholic Emperor with a contingent in the Schmalkaldic War . In 1550, Elector Joachim II did not hesitate to support the emperor in the siege of Magdeburg . The result was that, with the consent of Duke Moritz von Sachsen, Brandenburg princes were elected archbishops and administrators of the Archdiocese of Magdeburg. As a result, members of the Hohenzollern dynasty ruled the archbishopric on the Middle Elbe from 1513 to 1631, preparing for its incorporation in 1648/1680.

Since the emperor could no longer achieve dominance of his position due to the subsequent setbacks caused by Moritz von Sachsen , a stalemate formed in the empire. Together with Saxony, the Protestant imperial estates secured the results of the Reformation in terms of imperial politics in 1555 with the Augsburg Reichstag , which established the Augsburg religious peace . Only then did Joachim II openly and unreservedly acknowledge the Reformation.

Overall, the Reformation was not a clear turning point, but an unsteady process and those involved acted less straightforwardly, but more multilayered. So the customs of the old church remained in force. Some persisted until 1713.

Government expansion, indebtedness

The map shows the division of 1535 (top, left corner). Brandenburg-Küstrin (the area east of the Oder, plus the lordships of Cottbus and Peitz) is kept in dark blue.

As a result of the expansion of sovereignty and the politics of the empire (acquisition of inheritance rights ), the two margraves, like many princes of that time, got into debt. In particular, the construction work on the Berlin Palace, the Spandau Fortress or the Grunewald hunting lodge, but also the expansion of the Brandenburg court had increased expenditure. The amount of debt is said to have been 4.7 million guilders in 1571. Special taxes were regularly levied on the stands for financing purposes. The sovereign was repeatedly in dispute with these and their approvals for financing had to be obtained through coercion. As a further source of income, the elector allowed the Jews back into the country and demanded appropriate protection money for his protection. One of your Jews, Lippold Ben Chluchim , was made mint master by the elector . This provided him with the necessary funds. The indebtedness forced the sovereigns to leave large parts of the land and their income to their own creditors, especially the large landed gentry, for sale or as a fief. Nevertheless, in the end, the ownership of the sovereign offices increased considerably as a result of the church robbery. Through the spending policy, the sovereigns and estates recognized the benefits of an orderly financial management and issued administrative regulations that heralded the absolutism of the coming period. The development of the cities, the revitalization of trade and commerce, new public buildings in Berlin and Küstrin , the promotion of the school system, the improvement of the administration, the establishment and expansion of a subordinate leadership class consisting of the nobility and bourgeoisie, stand as progress of the joint reign of the brothers . the court regulations of 1537 and 1551, the reform of the regional church and a long-term marriage and inheritance policy.

After the death of Joachim II and shortly afterwards his brother Johann, who left behind no male heirs, the new elector Johann Georg was able to rule the Kurmark and the Neumark together again. For the careless handling of the deceased elector in financial matters, scapegoats were sought and an office adjustment was carried out, which indicated a change of course. First, the elector-designate had the hated mint master Lippold effectively executed in public after the general anger had been directed at him. Unrest broke out in Berlin in the course of which the synagogue on Klosterstrasse was destroyed. Shortly afterwards, the Jews had to leave the Mark Brandenburg again for 100 years.

Johann Georg (1571–1598) issued a new church ordinance in 1572, with which the school system expanded to many parish villages . He completely subordinated the church to the electoral will. From 1577 the priests had to take an oath of service to the ruler. As a result of the influence of Protestant doctrine on the Mark Brandenburg, a Protestant ethic developed , the driving force of which, together with the increased power of the sovereigns due to the appropriation of ecclesiastical property, formed the basis for the rise of Brandenburg-Prussia in the late 17th and 18th centuries . With Luther's writings and his language, the "inner and outer freedom of a Christian" penetrated Brandenburg and changed the state and society.

Manorial rule, class rule, Second Reformation

Elector Johann Sigismund von Brandenburg (around 1610). With his conversion to the Reformed faith in 1613, he introduced the Second Reformation and shaped the Hohenzollern dynasty.

The period around 1600 was characterized by the consolidation of the structures established since 1550 in all social groups. The internal structure of rulership had established itself and the estates and sovereigns, who met for a regional assembly in 1572, agreed on debt relief for the national debts accumulated in the time of Joachim II via the estate-controlled credit system . They only ever made use of the authorization right, the main instrument of the estates in Brandenburg state politics, for short-term and well-limited tax payments, so that the sovereign debt burden in 1618 had reached the enormous amount of two and a half million Reichstaler by the standards of the time. The elector could not count on a fixed annual income from these sources.

The basis of the urban economy, especially the oligarchy, formed the brewing rights ; the other urban types of trade were also able to maintain or expand their protective rights, especially in relation to rural areas, whose residents were prohibited from crafting. The rule of the nobility in the country could be consolidated. The buying out of farm positions made it possible to enlarge the aristocratic estates. Many aristocrats set up lucrative sheep farms and intensified cattle breeding. By increasing the compulsory service of the peasant subjects subject to clods, enough cheap labor was available on the aristocratic estates. However, there were no further commercial activities involving the direct utilization of agricultural products.

A consolidation also took place in the religious area. The regional church received a new consistorial order in 1573, which contained more precise provisions on church service. In 1598 the formally still existing dioceses were dissolved. The Elector Joachim Friedrich already developed an affection for the Reformed supporters of the Protestant Church. At that time, Brandenburg, like most of the north and east German states, was still under the influence of Lutheran orthodoxy . This demarcated itself equally from Catholicism and other Protestant teachings such as those of Ulrich Zwingli or Johannes Calvin . For this purpose, under the strictly Lutheran-thinking Elector Johann Georg, the obligation of the clergy to use the concord formula as a theological foundation was introduced in 1577 . The influence of the Calvinists, on the other hand, was initially limited to a few important personalities, including the elector himself but also some of the highest public servants. These were, for example, the members of the secret council founded in 1604 and close confidants of the elector, the majority of whom were traditionally foreign to the country. The attempt to carry out a Calvinist reform (so-called " Second Reformation ") in Brandenburg with the public confession of the elector at Christmas 1613 failed in the beginning. The elector's denomination change, which had already taken place in 1610, was criticized by the estates in the committee and called for a return to the Augsburg denomination . The estates finally managed to influence the political future of the country once again and put a stop to the elector's further wishes. The result was a religious discrepancy that lasted for centuries between sovereign and subjects, which made a limited religious tolerance necessary. In 1615 the anger of the Lutherans in Berlin erupted in a tumultuous form, leading to the looting of houses by leading Calvinists. The Calvinism remained an elitist minority religion of the dynasty.

Acquisition of new neighboring countries and entry of Brandenburg into European politics, harbingers of the catastrophe

Contemporary (more highly developed) drawings of cities such as these began only later in the Margraviate of Brandenburg than in the cities of the southern and western empires or even Flanders ( Flemish painting ), where since the 15th century graphics of higher quality and culturally advanced graphics provide information on the quality of cities, villages and landscapes (e.g. from Albrecht Dürer ). A rare exception is shown here: The Marienkirche of Brandenburg an der Havel based on a picture by the town clerk Zacharias Garcaeus from 1588

Saxony and Brandenburg formed the territorial basis and a counterweight of the imperial princes against the emperor's strivings for power in the empire due to the imperial political processes and shifts of power in the course of the Reformation in the northeastern northeast. Centralization and unitarianism by a central power were thus once again blocked and prevented in the empire.

The Brandenburg Hohenzollern pursued a policy of expanding their influence. As early as the 16th century, the electors had initiated the succession in the Duchy of Prussia through leanings and a marriage policy . In fact, long before the death of the last Franconian Hohenzollern Duke in Prussia in 1618, this country was ruled by the electors. The claims to the duchy, which was under Polish suzerainty, were linked to further inheritance rights, namely those in the areas of Jülich-Berg on the Lower Rhine and the territories belonging to it. These claims were made after the death of the last Duke of Jülich-Kleve-Berg in 1609. In the north they stood between Denmark and Sweden in particular , had to act cautiously towards Poland due to their Prussian status and found themselves in conflict with France in the west . In this environment, Johann Sigismund , Elector of Brandenburg (1608–1619) succeeded in asserting his claim to the Duchy of Kleve , the County of Mark and the County of Ravensberg in the course of the Jülich-Klevian succession dispute in 1614 . The newly won western provinces, however, remained spatially isolated from the core state. This resulted in a significant impediment to trade through tariffs . The new parts of the country were ruled as secondary countries of the elector, initially only as a personal union. Each part of the country had its own constitutions, traditions and structures, but also its own national and regional elites. From then on, Brandenburg politics no longer only concerned Brandenburg. The step into European politics was not without consequences for the heartland of Brandenburg. It was initially influences from the West that took effect in Brandenburg at the beginning of the 17th century. In addition to Calvinism, these included the Dutch-late-humanist- neo-neoist movements. With the expansion of Brandenburg politics beyond its own geographical radius of action, there was an internal structural change in the sovereign government apparatus. The organization of the authorities continued to develop. The Secret Council, founded in 1604, now also included the other territories. The move only meant a delayed follow-up and an adjustment to the German administrative development. Foreign elites now pressed into the Kurbrandenburg authorities. One of these was, for example, Ottheinrich von Rheydt, who came from the west .

Brandenburg's increasingly extensive politics slowly assumed European dimensions. For a long time, this remained suspect, especially in the actual Märkers. These advocated peacekeeping, renouncing dynastic ambitions, and had little interest in the interests of other states such as the Duchy of Prussia. As a result, the estates refused any rearmament in the prewar period, when major conflicts were already foreseeable. The estates could not be induced to correct course during the course of the year either, and this led to the fact that Brandenburg had arrived in Europe’s foreign policy, but was poorly prepared for the coming crisis.

In the field of military organization, the Margraviate of Brandenburg clearly lagged behind the others. For example, with the creation of land militias , which showed that internal potentials did not even come close to keeping up with foreign policy ambitions. Around 1600 the Brandenburg war contingent consisted of the compulsory horse service feudal men and the infantry of the cities. Both were of little military value. Even if Brandenburg, when it joined one of the religious alliances, the Protestant Union , in 1610 undertook the obligation to create a defensive constitution , as it did in the other German states at the same time, efforts in this direction failed due to the resistance of the estates.

On the threshold from the 16th to the 17th century, the mark was affected by typical crisis phenomena. In Central Europe, the so-called Little Ice Age was accompanied by a deterioration in the climate, which led to persistent crop failures. As a result, food prices rose rapidly and large parts of the population became impoverished. In addition, the tipper and rocker riots , in the course of which a reduction in the value of money took place due to the melting of the coins and the re-minting with lower precious metal content, shook confidence in the currency. In trade, too, especially in the textile industry, the mark was stuck in an economic crisis. The export of wood, wool and grain declined and the landed gentry found themselves in a financial crisis as a result. Problems with rural poverty, beggars and homeless people grew. The sermons typical of the time also expressed apocalyptic expectations.

Personal union of the Mark Brandenburg with the Duchy of Prussia (1618–1701)

Locator Brandenburg within the Holy Roman Empire (1618)
Mark Brandenburg (red) in the Holy Roman Empire on the eve of the Thirty Years War 1618

War destruction

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Georg Wilhelm , Elector of Brandenburg (1619–1640) and wife Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
Gerrit van Honthorst - Portret van Friedrich Wilhelm I, keurvorst van Brandenburg (1620-1688) en zijn real-genote Louise Henriette van Nassau (1627-1667) .jpg
Elector Friedrich Wilhelm with his first wife Luise Henriette von Nassau-Oranien
Painting by Gerrit van Honthorst (1647)

From 1618 the Hohenzollern ruled the Mark Brandenburg in a personal union with the Duchy of Prussia . The Mark remained the most important area of ​​rule, but no longer had the absolute claim to its sovereign , who increasingly devoted himself to his other parts of the country. In 1619 the national debt amounted to 2,142,000  Reichstaler . The Mark lived almost exclusively from agriculture. All of the more upscale goods had to be imported.

When the Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618 , the Margraviate of Brandenburg was spared its effects until 1626. On April 3, 1625 the Danish-Lower Saxon War broke out, in which Denmark, England and Holland allied against the Catholic League . Brandenburg did not want to join either side, so that its situation became more and more threatening, since it was geopolitically between all parties involved in the conflict.

Danish contingents meanwhile moved into the Altmark and the Prignitz . As a result, the imperial generals assumed that the Brandenburg elector was secretly in league with the Danish king. After the Danish army was defeated in the Battle of Dessau , the defeated Danish soldiers streamed back north, devastating the Kurmark. Since the whole of northern Germany was open to the imperial troops, Georg Wilhelm , Elector of Brandenburg (1619–1640) began negotiations with the emperor. As a result, he had to open the country to the imperial troops. These plundered the Mark as they marched through, which collapsed the prosperity that had been built up in the peaceful decades since the Peace of Augsburg . The Kurmark was ruled by the imperial troops during this time, while the elector had fled to Prussia. With the elector's flight, the Kurmark was abandoned to all arbitrariness. There was only temporary relief after the fall of Wallenstein in 1630.

The Imperial Edict of Restitution meant a recatholization of the already Protestant territories. The relations with the southern neighbors Saxony Taking advantage, to Brandenburg resisted along with axes of these policies.

On July 6, 1630, Gustav Adolf II , King of Sweden (1611–1632) landed on Usedom with 13,000 men and conquered the Duchy of Pomerania . This marked the beginning of a new phase in the Thirty Years' War. Since his country was occupied by imperial troops, the elector insisted on maintaining his neutrality so that the march would not become a theater of war. After the Leipzig Convention, which was jointly engineered with Saxony, was unable to stabilize the foreign policy situation, Brandenburg had to enter into an alliance with the Swedes when they moved into Brandenburg in the spring of 1631. After the Swedish troops were defeated in the Battle of Nördlingen on September 6, 1634, the Protestant alliance broke up. Brandenburg entered into a new alliance with the emperor.

When Duke Bogislaw XIV of Pomerania died in 1637 , Emperor Ferdinand III enfeoffed. according to the Treaty of Grimnitz 1638 Georg Wilhelm with the Duchy of Pomerania. Sweden had meanwhile set up its own administration there. In view of the overwhelming power of Sweden, Georg Wilhelm was unable to take possession of the duchy. He had no armed forces worth mentioning and in August 1638 had moved with the entire court to the undestroyed Duchy of Prussia outside the empire. He stayed sick in Königsberg , where he died on December 1, 1640.

His son Friedrich Wilhelm , Elector of Brandenburg (1640–1688) took over the inheritance . The Brandenburg mercenary army consisted of 6,700 men at that time, with Friedrich-Wilhelm not exercising supreme command, as the troops were sworn in primarily to the emperor and only secondarily to the elector. Because of this, the elector dismissed his enlisted army except for a tribe of 300 horsemen and 2,000 garrison soldiers.

The first goal of the electoral policy was to pacify the country. Friedrich Wilhelm tried to achieve this through a settlement with Sweden, which was valid for two years from July 24, 1641. In the period that followed, the Scandinavians were still in the march, but officially no longer an enemy. The armistice agreement stipulated that the electoral government had to pay 10,000 thalers a month to the foreign troops. The contract of May 28, 1643 negotiated with the Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna formally returned the land to the electoral administration. Nevertheless, the contributions of 120,000 thalers remained. Brandenburg remained occupied by the Swedes until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. In the peace treaty, Sweden achieved a partition of Pomerania in 1648, which granted him Stettin , the mouth of the Oder, Rügen and Stralsund , Brandenburg, but only the economically and strategically less important Western Pomerania . Because the elector had received entitlement to the Duchy of Magdeburg and the Principality of Halberstadt in the peace treaty, the Margraviate of Brandenburg became the dominant of the central provinces in the emerging entire Thohenzollern State, which in turn formed the oversized territorial bloc in the whole of Brandenburg-Prussia. The western four small parts of the country on the Rhine and the eastern part of Prussia were oriented towards Berlin.

The many troop movements had triggered famines and epidemics. As a result, the population of the Mark Brandenburg shrank dramatically. The number of inhabited villages and farms halved from around 8,000 to 4,000. The fields that were not cultivated in the spring did not yield any harvests. This also affected the electoral domains . Before the war, the domain income was 260,000 thalers, in 1640 it was only 35,000 thalers.

Urban population declines due to the Thirty Years War
city previous population subsequent population
Old and new town of Brandenburg (anno 1619) 12,000 (anno 1643) 2,500
Beelitz 1,000 50
Berlin - Cölln (anno 1619) 12,000 (anno 1640) <6,000
Osterburg 2,500 125
Potsdam 1,400 600
Prenzlau 9,000 600
Strausberg 2,000 150

Reconstruction and improvement of the state welfare, expansion of the residences, establishment of a state state

In the second half of the 17th century, the elector tried to raise the state welfare and to overcome the war damage caused by the Thirty Years' War. For this, the elector oriented himself primarily towards Holland. In the 17th century, Holland, as the most developed part of the Netherlands , which was also regarded as a model country of economic development, gained a significant influence on the German states in all areas of economy, politics and culture. During the successful war of freedom against Spain in its golden age, Holland had developed rapidly economically and was politically strengthened and attracted representatives of the nobility and bourgeoisie from all over Europe. In particular in Brandenburg-Prussia , Holland developed a special charisma. Brandenburg and the Hohenzollern area of Kleve were the direct neighbors of the Netherlands and Friedrich Wilhelm, as electoral prince from 1634 to 1638, spent his training in the Netherlands with his entourage, where, among other things , he undertook studies at the leading university in Leiden . His economic and political ideas were shaped accordingly. With the marriage of the daughter of the governor Friedrich Heinrich von Oranien , close family contacts were again established with the Dutch elite, which later proved to be beneficial for the initiation of business and projects. Also the next higher Brandenburg statesmen like Georg Friedrich von Waldeck or Johan Georg II. Von Anhalt-Dessau , Otto von Schwerin , Dietrich Sigismund von Buch , Werner Wilhelm von Blaspiel , Matthias Romswinckel , von Pölnitz , Boguslaus Radziwill , the two princes of Courland, von Knesebeck and von Dönhoff had close ties to Holland. The charisma of bourgeois-aristocratic Holland, which was strengthened in this way, also influenced the cultural development in Brandenburg and Prussia and there especially in its residential cities for decades. For the development of the cities that fell in the Thirty Years' War, some of them into fortresses, for the design of the castles to be reconstructed and rebuilt, for the layout of the castle parks and pleasure gardens and for the expansion of the traffic routes, the elector drew specialists from the Netherlands since 1647 approach. His agents or he himself were constantly recruiting engineers, engravers, architects, painters, medalists and other artists, architects or craftsmen in the Hague , Amsterdam or Brussels .

The rebuilding of the mark continued well into the 18th century. This time is characterized by the expansion of the central sovereignty of the now quasi-sovereign princes of the empire in their own small territories and characterized by the strong economic power of the landlords with a simultaneous decrease in the basic rights of the peasantry. The tendency towards peasant disenfranchisement was especially true for the East Elbe areas of the Mark. Early modern research on agricultural history referred to this process as the second serfdom . The bourgeoisie and the cities remained on the defensive and lost influence during the period of the rulers' extensive absolutist power politics. The increasingly traditional guild system was retained, which promoted the process of re- feudalization of socio-economic development in Brandenburg.

The development of the cities was rather hampered with the tendency towards the feudal mode of production in the countryside. Only the cities raised to residences showed a positive development trend during this period. The residences (in Brandenburg, Berlin and Potsdam) became the centers of central government administration. The nobility, who now increasingly moved to the cities, revived the production of goods in the luxury sector. The consumption of the court of Brandenburg-Prussia, who resided in the residential landscape of Berlin, formed the basis for a luxury, fashion and gallantry trade . The circulation and production of goods were promoted through infrastructural measures. In 1649 express mail lines were set up, mainly to Saxony and Hamburg. Artificial waterway projects improved freight traffic to the sales locations. The growing prospect of commercial transactions led to the influx of traders from the Rhineland to Berlin. These included Daniel Enckefort , Johann Weyler , Chambert, Daniel Stephani , Elard Esich . As a result, a wholesaling and capitalist spirit of profit spread steadily in the capital of the Mark, which displaced the still prevailing guild ideas among the locals. The immigration of Huguenots and the settlement of wealthy protective Jews from Austria also brought about a qualitative further development in the Brandenburg problematic sector of trade at the end of the 17th century.

Trade, Commerce and Manufactories

The construction and expansion of the residential districts, palaces and castles as well as the construction of fortresses stimulated the domestic economy. The introduction of the excise ended the elector's dependence on the tax approval of the estates, so that these continued to exist but no longer met after 1653.

The newly created standing army, the Kurbrandenburg Army, secured the elector's claims to power internally against the estates and externally against foreign powers, with whom Brandenburg-Prussia was partially at war for the majority of the years between 1648 and 1688. Above all, the Swedish Empire, but also Poland-Lithuania , the Kingdom of France and the Ottoman Empire belonged to the war opponents of Brandenburg-Prussia. The foreign policy position of the Elector improved through the Treaty of Wehlau of 1657 during the Second Northern War, in which the simultaneous Duke of Prussia received sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia from the Polish king. Brandenburg was again occupied by Swedish troops with the invasion of Sweden in 1674/1675 , but was driven out by a Brandenburg armed force shortly afterwards.

1683 Seizure of Guinea on the Gold Coast of Africa by Kurbrandenburg ships.  Marine painter Alexander Kircher.jpg
1683 Seizure of Guinea on the Gold Coast of Africa by Kurbrandenburg ships. History painting by the marine painter Alexander Kircher
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The battle of Brandenburg and Spanish ships at Cape St. Vincent in 1681. After the painting by Hans Petersen.

According to the contemporary economic doctrine of mercantilism , it was necessary to increase the population, to improve tax revenue and to build up a manufacturing system and to protect it from foreign competition by means of protective tariffs and export bans. Brandenburg had no entrepreneurial bourgeoisie, so the state started the corresponding economic activities for the development of the state by means of lighthouse projects. One such project was the establishment of a Kurbrandenburg navy and participation in the Atlantic triangular trade , for which colonies in West Africa ( Arguin , Groß Friedrichsburg ) and the Caribbean ( St. Thomas ) were established. The Brandenburg-African Company , founded in 1682, sent an expedition to the West African Gold Coast in the same year . The commander, Major Otto Friedrich von der Groeben , was commissioned to set up trading bases there. The Groß Friedrichsburg colony belonged to Brandenburg from 1683. It comprised several branches, protected by fortifications, on an approximately 30-kilometer-long coastal strip in what is now Ghana . Fort Groß Friedrichsburg served as the main base . From there, Brandenburg participated in the triangular trade: slaves to the Caribbean, colonial goods to Europe, Spanish wine to other European countries and cheap goods to Africa. Although the return was sometimes 300 to 400 percent, the expenses exceeded the income. Therefore, Groß Friedrichsburg was sold to the United Netherlands in 1717 . Many of the initiatives petered out because the poor social development did not allow the purchase of higher goods, since the funds for this were simply not available. The factories that were created produced for a very small market and stayed seated on their goods, which meant that after a few years many companies disappeared from the market again. The situation of the state owned domains of the elector, who was the largest landowner in the market, developed better. Economic improvements in agriculture enabled higher domain incomes, which made up a significant portion of the state budget.

The Mark Brandenburg as the core province of the Prussian monarchy (1701–1815)

Zeughaus Berlin 1785, the most important baroque building in the city, built from 1695–1706

Representation and status were the guiding principles of the feudal rulers in the age of absolutism. In keeping with the times, various medium-sized German states, including Brandenburg after 1648, competed for promotion to the ranks of the great powers. For this, the status as sovereign was the basic requirement. Through a clever marriage policy, the Hohenzollern had acquired various other lands since 1600, of which the Duchy of Prussia became the most promising territory for the purpose of raising their rank. It took years of diplomacy to achieve this goal. Favorable moment of foreign policy finally made the coronation of Frederick III possible on January 18, 1701 with the approval of the emperor for this project . from Brandenburg to King Friedrich I in Prussia . This changed the terms for state, administration, army, coin etc. from "Kurmärkisch" or "Kurbrandenburgisch" to "Königlich-Prussisch" and the mark became the central province of the emerging state of Prussia . From then on, the history of the Mark Brandenburg coincides with that of Prussia, although the Prussian kings continued to use the title "Margrave of Brandenburg" on which their electoral dignity was based.

In Fergitz near Gerswalde in the Uckermark , the 15-year-old maid Dorothee Elisabeth Tretschlaff was executed as a witch on February 17, 1701 . She is the last of the victims of the witch hunt in Brandenburg. The circumstances of this witch trial were the subject of an investigation report by the court and district judge of the Uckermark, Thomas Böttcher, commissioned by King Friedrich I. Since December 13, 1714, death sentences or judgments on embarrassing questioning have required the approval of the sovereign. In this mandate it was also ordered that all fire stakes still existing in the country be cleared. This amounted to a ban on witch trials. The most extensive abolition of torture took place by royal order in December 1740, making Prussia an international leader at the time.

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Dutch Quarter Potsdam
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Jagdschloss Stern , clear, neat facade design based on the Dutch model

With the reign of Elector Friedrich III. (1688–1713) began a noticeable cultural flowering in Brandenburg. The first Prussian king developed an appropriate court keeping with the attempt to achieve international recognition, as at the Epiphany Meeting in 1709, whereby the budget was overstrained. In Berlin, stimulated by the demand from the Berlin court, an artistic layer developed that attracted many foreign artists, musicians and builders. During this time, the main residence in Berlin underwent a planned expansion program that was in no way inferior to that of the Dresden residential landscape. Exuberant design in line with the Baroque style shaped the architecture, art and culture of this time. The downsides of this cultural policy were an increase in corruption and a wastefulness during the reign of the three dire woes . During that time, the little ice age reached its climax with the millennium winter of 1708/1709 . The great plague from 1708 to 1714 resulted in high numbers of victims.

Friedrich II inspects potato cultivation on one of his inspection trips (“The King Everywhere”, painting by Robert Warthmüller ).
Adolph von Menzel: Round table of King Frederick the Great in the marble hall of the Sanssouci Palace.

After the next King Friedrich Wilhelm I took office in 1713, the picture turned into the opposite. Everything military was given preference at the expense of civilian, the army became the school of the nation and a rigid austerity policy was implemented, which abruptly interrupted the cultural flowering. The keeping of the court was restricted. Instead of opulent court festivals in the baroque Berlin city palace, the tobacco college staffed with military personnel in the rather barren hunting lodge in Königs Wusterhausen became a symbol of the new, functional and purposeful thinking of that time in Brandenburg and Prussia. There was a rough and masculine tone at the royal court. The still young scientific system in Brandenburg experienced little royal esteem. The corresponding Brandenburg representative at the court Jacob Paul von Gundling played an inglorious role there. Royal "pranks" were mainly on him. So the king's agents put two young bears in his bed, which injured him. Significant advances were made in the Prussian administrative system through administrative reforms and changes to the authorities, which enabled more efficient management of funds. The Dutch quarter in Potsdam, which was built at the time, is an example of the rather puritanical style and aesthetics that were reflected in many places in Brandenburg in the forms and structures of the period from 1713-1740.

The enrollment regulations with extensive leave of absence ended the wild advertising excesses and became a kind of early modern conscription for men. The army was steadily enlarged and a considerable part of the units was stationed in the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The Halle pietism and promoted with the stick to beat the king's social discipline resulted in a sustainable social consolidation of the still completely shattered the mid-17th century social conditions. The Brandenburg landed aristocracy, which was rather poorly educated, had to submit to the will of the king and was increasingly used as a service aristocracy and officer reservoir for the army. An ongoing economic and demographic growth process began that was directed from "above". Social, state and economic institutions that are becoming more and more complex were formed, initiated and supported by the Brandenburg metropolis of Berlin, with effects that spread to the peripheral regions of the Brandenburg region. The Royal Court Opera in Berlin, completed in 1743, was the first opera house in Berlin and testified to the increased social standard. Berlin Enlightenment and enlightened absolutism symbolically located in the Sanssouci Palace of the “Philosopher King” Friedrich II were the ideas represented by the social elite in the middle of the 18th century. Numerous legends from this favorable time for Berlin-Brandenburg experienced a widespread distribution and have still been preserved in general knowledge and are cultivated folklorically in Berlin-Brandenburg. Such an event was, for example, the legend about the dispute between the miller of Sanssouci and the king, which invoked the primacy of the rule of law over personal arbitrariness. The famous round tables of the king in Sanssouci with well-known personalities such as Voltaire remained in the historical memories of posterity.

In 1740 the army was fully armed and one of the largest in Europe, the state treasury was full, the new king was thirsty for action and the foreign policy situation was favorable to dare a royal gamble on the European stage to acquire great power status for the Hohenzollern state. The early victories up to 1744 followed in the Seven Years' War from 1756 considerable dangers for the continued existence of the Prussian state. The Margraviate of Brandenburg was again involved in armed conflicts and Berlin was briefly occupied by enemy armies several times ( Berlin hussar coup ). Even if mainly the southern neighbor Saxony was hit, enemy armies led their trains several times through the Mark. The civil and military losses were high. After the war, a state-driven reconstruction began, which aimed primarily at the development of the country and the Peuplierung . Here, too, the creation of legends has set in which traditional historical images still preserve. For example, "old Fritz", who is now constantly in the Mark on inspection trips, is said to have personally checked the introduction of potato cultivation . The draining of the Oderbruch was stylized as a great achievement, which was valued as the gain of a province through peaceful means. Colonizations in the 18th century led to the establishment of several hundred new places in the Mark Brandenburg. The new settlers were mainly religious refugees from Bohemia and Austria. In the meantime the Prussian state had grown steadily and internally strengthened through the conquest of Silesia and the partitions of Poland . The originally Brandenburg character of Prussia and the importance of Brandenburg for the state structure continued to decline. The strong orientation of the state as a whole towards the military led to increasing militarization in society. Marches, drill exercises and parades in the town squares of the Mark were part of the everyday pictures of this time. At the end of the 18th century, Brandenburg was socially encrusted and had an outdated agrarian constitution that hindered the dynamics of social development, especially the liberation of the productive forces during protoindustrialization . Across Europe, the Third Estate was mobilized by the French Revolution and threatened the Prussian state structure.

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Parade in the Lustgarten, with the Potsdam City Palace on the right, presumably Friedrich the Great is depicted on the gray in the middle, copper engraving around 1806
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Entry of Napoleon at the head of his troops through the Brandenburg Gate, after the victorious battle of Jena and Auerstedt . Berlin, October 27, 1806.

Around 1800, Prussia experienced hubris on all levels. It had expanded rapidly and found itself in a fragile situation in Europe in terms of foreign policy, especially in relation to the expansive Napoleonic Empire . The state of Prussia lost the Fourth Coalition War against France in 1807 . Brandenburg was occupied by French troops. On October 26, 1806, Napoleon had his troops hold a parade in the pleasure garden of the Potsdam City Palace. The victorious French Emperor entered Berlin with his army the following day. For the Prussian part of the state "Mark Brandenburg" the Altmark and the dominion of Cottbus were lost through the Peace of Tilsit to the Napoleonic kingdoms of Westphalia and Saxony . With the following Prussian reforms, a comprehensive modernization process of society as a whole began in Prussia as a whole, which included Brandenburg. The contributions to be made and also the occupation regime were felt to be oppressive and increased the rejection of everything Napoleonic in the population. During the Wars of Liberation , Brandenburg was again the scene of fighting.

When Prussia was divided into ten provinces after the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Altmark did not return to Brandenburg. The Mark Brandenburg went de jure into the newly created Province of Brandenburg , which now also included areas of Saxony. The province was divided into the administrative districts of Potsdam (Prignitz, Uckermark, Mittelmark and the new Saxon areas) and Frankfurt (Lower Lusatia and the areas east of the Oder). Berlin became the provincial capital.

Population and social structure

Landed gentry, manor owners and junkers

The manor house of Groß Fredenwalde is owned by the von Arnim family
Friedersdorf Castle owned by the von Marwitz family

The history of the Brandenburg nobility goes back to the 12th century. A noble upper class had established itself among the Ascanians and family names such as Arnim , Rochow , Bredow , Gans von Putlitz , Ribbeck , Pfuel , Marwitz and Quitzow appeared in the first documents. The Brandenburg aristocratic society was originally founded on knightly property. There was a distinction between castle-sitting and non-castle-sitting nobility. Members of the castle-seated aristocracy were mostly originally allowed to refer to the possession of lordly castles . Since the 16th century, the rulers of Brandenburg have awarded deserved officials with the privilege of being in the castle for individual knight seats , which means that this priority no longer applied at the end of the 17th century. After 1650, deserving bourgeois officials were ennobled or untitled nobles were awarded a baron or count diploma . These formed the post office . Aristocratic inflation occurred since the 18th century as a result of the sovereign class policy. As a result, the social unity of the Brandenburg aristocratic society decreased and the number of landless noble families and families grew steadily. During the early modern period, the number of aristocratic residences in Brandenburg tended to decline. In relation to the area of ​​today's state of Brandenburg, this was around 1600 at 1600 aristocratic seats. In 1800 there were still 1450 aristocratic seats. Around 1500 there were 300 noble families in Brandenburg . Such a family group usually comprised only a few nuclear families. The total number of aristocrats rose continuously in line with general demographic population growth. Due to the increasing social differentiation through the establishment of complex social institutions, such as state administrations, manufactories, highly paid artistic court offices and the like, long-established genders in the wider area of ​​the residence were displaced from the goods market by the mostly financially strong members of the new elite, which displaced the social situation the Brandenburg knighthood tightened. In particular, the fiefs of smaller families served other families to round off their lands. Long-lasting dynastic connections to land and property were therefore rather the exception in Brandenburg and personal-dynastic fluctuations on the aristocratic estates were more frequent.

As in every medieval-early modern feudal system in Europe, the feudal system also determined the social constitution in Brandenburg . After conflicting processes, a functioning balance of power was established between the sovereign and the nobility . Although the estates, in which the aristocracy was the strongest, often took a different political course than the princely central power at state parliaments on questions about the granting of money, the balance of interests worked. Only the nobility in the Altmark were in latent opposition to the king. However, due to the elector's chronic lack of money, due to an unregulated tax system, the feudal relationships shifted in the direction of manor economy and lordship . The originally only borrowed lands and rights were transferred from the 15th century east of the Elbe to the manor owners known as Junkers , who formed a solid and, in the 19th century, strongly conservative-reactionary social class in Brandenburg. The sovereign tolerated the extension of the rights of the landlords and finally recognized them as hereditary. Since then, noble landowners or the landed nobility as well as the Hohenzollern princes have formed the core of the Prussian state. After 1653 the nobility lost political power in state politics because the elector did not convene the estates.

As compensation for the nobility's no longer having a say in state affairs and to prevent the peasants from fleeing the country after the Thirty Years' War, the clod bond was approved by the electorate, also in order to win the nobility over to the approval of permanent taxes.

Linked to this, however, was the change in status of the free peasants to serfs dependent on the estate. Structurally, the number of free farmers became smaller and smaller and compulsory servants , duty to cleave and inheritance were typical characteristics of the relationship between the third estate , the farmers and the Brandenburg landed gentry until the liberation of the farmers in Prussia in 1807 .

The Brandenburg nobility formed a heterogeneous social class. The Brandenburg nobility often farmed their estates, but were also heavily involved in the Prussian military. Larger goods with a value of over 100,000 Reichstaler were only in the possession of the von Arnim family in the Uckermark . Otherwise, the aristocracy of Brandenburg had mostly small and medium-sized goods with a value of 20,000 to 50,000 Reichstalers. The poorer nobility tended to seek proximity to the court and the prince, while state or military service was rather unattractive for richer families. As early as the 1660s, the contours between court aristocracy and land nobility began to grow stronger. Only ten percent of the Brandenburg landed nobility served in the Brandenburg state or the army. Most of the Reformed non-Brandenburgers were on duty there.


The clergy, the first estate , played an independent role neither before nor after the Reformation and placed themselves under the protection of the sovereign, whose possessions were secularized and whose institutions were converted into a regional church .

Farmers, residents and the agricultural constitution

The Mark Brandenburg in the 18th century was a country of goods and at the same time of subject farms. Of the 43,000 households in the Kurmark in 1725, 16,750 were still full or half farmers (including fishermen). The free peasantry thus had a share of 40 percent of the rural population. In 1788 the number of households of the free farmers increased numerically to 18,450 households with a total household number of 74,350 households, whereby their share of the rural population fell to 25 percent in favor of the sub-peasant classes. In addition, landlords, tenants, administrators, foresters, pastors, millers, artisans and shepherds lived in the country.

In 1618 the area ratio between the land of the estates and the subject land, i.e. the land of the free farmers, was four to five. By 1806 it was one to one, so the free farmers slowly lost their share of the area in favor of the estate economy. However, the statistics also include the forest floor. In the 18th century, the proportion of arable and pasture land in the village was only 40 percent, compared to more than half of the area cultivated by free and semi-farmers. Pastors and cottagers also cultivated smaller areas of land. Accordingly, the free and semi-peasants were an economic power of their own. The farmers and cottagers had to co-manage the existing estates in two of the three villages. For this purpose, local service registers were kept, which defined the services per farmer. The labor share was mostly two days a week, but it could also be higher. As a rule, two people per farmer had to indulge. As far as it was economically possible for them to do this, the farmers provided servants on the farm for forced labor.

The elector owned extensive domain estates in Brandenburg. The share of the electoral property in the Mark Brandenburg was 40 percent in the 17th century. For this purpose, the electors set up their own sovereign domain offices (for example the Bernstein office ), 60 offices in the Kurmark and 30 offices in the Neumark.

Urban bourgeoisie and guilds, manufacturing workers

Brandenburg an der Havel in 1791. The Neustadt Mühlentor from 1411 is shown here with its baroque gateway from the east.
Colored etching by Johann Friedrich Nagel .

The urban bourgeoisie was comparatively poor and weak; there was a politically significant urban system in the late Middle Ages, but the development of Brandenburg's urban system stagnated in the period that followed and fell behind in a national comparison with the exception of the only Brandenburg metropolis, Berlin.

The majority of the middle- class bourgeoisie were the craftsmen who, following the example of the old German towns in the Mark, united in guilds , also known as guilds, trades or guilds, to protect their commercial interests . They received their statutes and rights from the sovereign or the city authorities since the 13th century. Most often in the late Middle Ages, the trades of the cooper , cartwright and wheel maker , tanner and white tanner , saddler , belt maker , blacksmith and Riemenschneider organized themselves as guild-like cooperatives. The woolen weavers , sheet and cloth makers formed the guilds with the largest number of members in most Brandenburg cities.

The urban bourgeoisie consisted of people with civil rights in the narrower sense and people in general with commercial activity, commonly craftsmen. Representatives of the bourgeoisie were part of the representation of the cantons through the immediate (immediate) cities and thus exerted influence on state political affairs. Gradually their influence was pushed back in favor of the sovereign. The Brandenburg bourgeoisie was generally not very far-sighted and not very enterprising. In the 17th and 18th centuries, most cities stagnated, and thus also the urban bourgeoisie.

It was not until 1731 that the rights of the craftsmen's guilds were restricted, while the manufacturing workers were in many places an unrecognized minority.

The number of manufacturing workers in all branches of trade in the Kurmark outside the guilds was 31,940 in 1800. and 13,910 manufacturing workers in Neumark. They formed as a separate social class the origin of the 19th century the emergent working class , in the framework of during the industrialization of emerging social issue of the politically organized in and outside Brandenburg raising agent class struggle between the haves and the landless was layers.

Military personnel and garrisons

Since around 1650, the entire Thohenzollern state has had a standing army that has grown steadily. Barracks were not built until the 18th century, so that the majority of soldiers but also their families were quartered with citizens in cities and in the countryside. Some cities thus became garrison towns and were given a military character, for example with daily drill exercises by the army units in the central squares. As an important group of customers for goods of all kinds, the army and its members became an important economic factor in the cities and the country.

Education and Social

Classroom of the Reckahn School Museum , school since 1773

The church has traditionally been responsible for social and educational matters. With the expansion and creation of a public space under the leadership of a central state, the state gradually took over these areas of responsibility.

In the Middle Ages and the early modern period, very few people in Brandenburg were able to read, write or do arithmetic. This formed a structural obstacle to development, since higher social institutions did not function with the classic orally handed down knowledge transfer strategies, comparable to those of the medieval master builders. The written form had increased since the late Middle Ages and a state bureaucracy emerged that required skilled and trained staff. Since there was a lack of this in Brandenburg, many experts came from outside. A momentous change for the state expansion concerned the establishment of the Brandenburg State University in Frankfurt (Oder). 1506, creating qualified lawyers, doctors, teachers and pastors in the country. As a result, structures were initiated that made continuous training and research possible in the first place. This included the settlement of printing works, a functioning bookstore, and the development of a library.

In the early days of book printing , the Margraviate of Brandenburg did poorly in comparison to other German territories. It was not until the founding of the Viadrina, where there has been evidence of printing since 1507, that printing promoted. Book printing, which only slowly expanded, flourished in the middle of the 16th century with the printer Johannes (Heins) Eichhorn (1524–1584) from Nuremberg. Elector Joachim II granted him the privilege for the mark and commissioned him to print all official and other documents. In 1540 the Wittenberg printer Hans Weiß was appointed to Berlin and was given the privilege to print. This printed the new church regulations, official texts and literary products from Berlin at that time. He was also the first print publisher in Berlin. After his death, it was not printed again in Berlin until 1574 with Leonhard Thurneysser , who came from Basel . A number of printers and publishers followed in Berlin.

In the age of absolutism, the promotion of intellectual life was one of the tasks of the rulers. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I recognized that the promotion of science was a prerequisite for the cultural and economic development of Brandenburg. He therefore decided to open his private princely library to a limited reading public, especially court and scholar circles. Since 1661 there was the "Electoral Library", which later became the Berlin State Library and Johann Raue was its first librarian. The electoral royal book collection from 1701 was housed in the pharmacy wing of the Berlin City Palace. At the time there was a stock of books between 5,000-10,000 copies. The inventory grew to 20,000 prints and 1,600 manuscripts by 1688, which were rather modest by European standards. The king wanted to make the literature of the Royal Library, which was previously reserved only for the nobility, ministers, academics and higher civil servants, accessible to the bourgeoisie. In 1784, the 150,000 volumes of the now “Royal” library in Berlin were relocated to the new building opposite the Unter den Linden State Opera . The Royal Library collected the most important works of the Enlightenment.

There were still four specialist libraries in Berlin in the 1770s:

There were also 61 larger private libraries in Berlin.

The book trade only found its way into Berlin relatively late, when this trade had already flourished in southern and western German cities such as Augsburg, Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg and Mainz. In 1750 there were 11 book printers and 13 bookshops in Berlin, including the Berlin publishing house Haude und Spener , which had been in existence since 1614 . These had to meet the needs of the rapidly developing reading public in Berlin.

The founding of several higher schools in the Mark Brandenburg, which were to serve as preparatory institutions for the state university in Frankfurt (Oder), represented important turning points in educational policy. In 1574, Elector Johann Georg founded the municipal grammar school for the Gray Monastery in Berlin, and in 1591 the Saldria became the first higher educational institution in the old town of Brandenburg / H. established, in 1607 the Joachimsthalsche Gymnasium was opened by Elector Joachim Friedrich . This laid the foundations for raising the early modern level of education in Brandenburg. In 1681 the Friedrichswerder Gymnasium was founded in Berlin. The immigration of the Huguenots to Berlin in 1689 led to the establishment of the French Gymnasium in Berlin .

In 1701, as elsewhere, the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin was founded. In 1704 the Knight Academy was founded in Brandenburg an der Havel as a teaching institution for the Brandenburg nobility. In 1705 the knight academy in Berlin followed . In 1696, based on the model of the French and Italian schools for painting, sculpture and architecture, the Academy of Arts and Mechanical Sciences was founded, a predecessor of today's Berlin University of the Arts.

Initiated by the Great Plague from 1708 to 1714 , plague houses were built in Prussia , from which the Charité in Berlin emerged. On October 28, 1717, King Friedrich Wilhelm I issued an edict to introduce compulsory schooling for every child between the ages of five and twelve in the Prussian states and thus also in Brandenburg. The resistance against the school reform was carried by the parents, the landlords, the church up to the general board of directors. The availability of building materials for the school buildings was ensured by funds from the state budget. Royal examiners assessed the implementation of the orders on site, accompanied by ever new royal decrees, which ultimately led to an increase in the number of clip schools in the country and ensured a rudimentary and primitive education system with a certain degree of area coverage. In 1724 the king founded the Great Military Orphanage in Potsdam as a care facility for orphans. Another state pension facility was the Invalidenhaus , for retired veterans of the Prussian army .

With the Edict of Potsdam, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm initiated an ethic of tolerance in the Brandenburg state that worked in a religious sense and that became decisive for the 18th century. The spirit of the Enlightenment, which was fully developed in the 18th century, had an impact above all with the Berlin Enlightenment from Berlin to the Brandenburg area and beyond. Hallesche Pietism, which originated in the Prussian city of Halle , had a spiritual effect on social life and the formation of norms in Brandenburg. In contrast to the rest of the flat country, a higher intellectual life had developed in Berlin and its surrounding area in the 1750s and a metropolitan flair was already emerging, which began to be compared with the largest cities in Europe. There were literary salons and the spirit of enlightened absolutism , initiated by Potsdam and especially by the round tables of Frederick II from Sanssouci Palace , had a lasting effect on contemporaries and also developed an identity-creating effect for the later residents of Brandenburg.

In the second half of the 18th century, the economic strengthening of the bourgeoisie and its emancipation during the Enlightenment gave rise to a non-courtly public. Scholars held public and private lectures in various scientific disciplines and thus ensured the dissemination of the latest ideas and findings in the educated middle class.

Cultural history, personal networks and knowledge transfer

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Brandenburg Cathedral on the Havel : Late Gothic winged altar (Bohemian altar), around 1375, former main altar, the coronation of Mary in the shrine, scenes from the life and martyrdom of Peter and Paul on the predelle wings.
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Prayer on the Mount of Olives: Former high altar of St. Mary's Church in Berlin (winged altar from around 1470, replaced in the 18th century); exhibited in the Märkisches Museum Berlin

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Freyenstein Castle in the north German Renaissance style in northern Prignitz, which has been preserved in fragments , was built by Dominicus Parr for Curdt von Rohr
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Rare evidence of the Renaissance architecture of the Mark Brandenburg: Reckahn Castle , "the old manor house" from 1605 with Renaissance gable before its renovation

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Bronze casting art from the Royal Casthouse by Johann Jacobi : The cast bronze figure of the Great Elector in front of Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin
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Another Jacobi product: bronze cast figure of Friedrich III. in front of the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin

Until the 15th century, the monasteries had the largest share in the artistic development in the Mark Brandenburg. Common to the church furnishings is a Lower Saxon influence. This applies to the works of goldsmithing and to individual works such as various Vasa Sacra , Evangelistar (e), or Lenten cloths , the creation of which was initiated by the artistic center in Magdeburg. Works of art of the clerical initiated medieval art life in the Mark Brandenburg also included wood and stone sculptures, wall, panel and glass painting, baptisms . During the rule of the Luxembourgers, the art of Prague became normative.

Well-known works of this time are:

  • the Havelberg rood screen,
  • the Wilsnacker glass windows,
  • the monumental Bernauer grand piano retable.

The small artisan towns such as Gardelegen, Stendal, Salzwedel, Seehausen, Wittstock, but also the pilgrimage site Werben , Berlin-Cölln and Tangermünde proved to be regional centers of art production . Other places of art production were the episcopal cities of Havelberg and Brandenburg. Overall, medieval Brandenburg was subject to a variety of influences from neighboring regions (Hamburg, Lübeck, Stettin, Silesia, Leipzig, Magdeburg and Braunschweig), which led to a clear mixture of styles at the borders.

In the late Middle Ages, in addition to the sovereign residence of the Hohenzollern Berlin, numerous other cultural centers emerged, which could be episcopal or urban. In the Mark, which became Lutheran during the Reformation, no iconoclasms followed , so that many of the medieval works of art were preserved.

While a state-wide high culture flourished in the southern neighbor Saxony since the Renaissance, the same did not take place in the Mark. In the 16th century, Brandenburg was still in the early stages of artistic and literary activity. During the Renaissance, the builders came from the Electorate of Saxony, for example Caspar Theiss or Hans Schenck . The building activities of the Saxon dukes and electors were the models for the building projects of the Brandenburg sovereigns. The Saxon state master builder Konrad Krebs designed the Berlin Palace, which was very similar to the Torgau Hartenfels Palace in its facade design on the Elbe front . Only a few buildings of the Renaissance in the area of ​​the Mark have survived, as most of them were remodeled in subsequent building eras. The Wittenberg-based painter Lucas Cranach the Elder provided important works for the Berlin Cathedral , as there were no painters of this rank in Brandenburg who could have established a tradition. Between 1571 and 1598, seven larger works on the history of the country and regents were created, which documented the increased historical interest in the country. Most of the works written by theologians such as Christoph Entzelt , Andreas Angelus , the rector Peter Hafftiz , Paul Creusing and the lawyer Zacharias Garcaeus remained simple chronical representations.

Since the possibilities for the sovereigns to develop an appropriate ceremony were limited, they were dependent on the transfer of culture from Western Europe until the end of the 17th century. For centuries, Western European cultural assets came to Brandenburg in varying degrees, but continuously. In this transfer process, Brandenburg is to be characterized as the recipient country. In the 17th century, the impetus came mainly from Holland, then France, later England. In various epochs such as the baroque , rococo or early classicism Brandenburg, these countries served as model regions to be imitated. Under Frederick II, the Frederician Rococo style was the most influential art form, which for the first time had its own regional and characteristic stamping, brought about by the person of the king within the Europe-wide Rococo fashion. The king's great sense of art promoted the development of a higher level of handicrafts in Potsdam and Berlin. Important craftsmen such as Johann Friedrich Spindler or Heinrich Wilhelm Spindler (1738–1799) worked in Brandenburg during this time and left behind a variety of artistic furnishings.

The artistic care of the Hohenzollern was subject to sharp changes in the 17th and 18th centuries. Compared to Saxony, the cultural creativity in the field of painting and printmaking is smaller in Brandenburg. The Brandenburg university and trade fair city of Frankfurt (Oder) lagged far behind its Saxon counterpart Leipzig. In Frankfurt there was no painter who achieved mediocrity. The cultural balance of the charisma of the Brandenburg cities in their surrounding area was modest. In Schwedt an der Oder, the branch line of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Schwedt had its own court painting, but without its own character. Margrave Karl von Brandenburg-Schwedt, who lived there, put together a picture gallery in Friedrichsfelde. Rheinsberg became a cultural center through Prince Heinrich. In contrast to Dresden, the higher nobility in Berlin and Potsdam did not have their own castles painting collections. The only exception was the Count of Schulenburg. In the field of sculpture, thanks to the Schlüterschule, the achievements in Brandenburg are on par with those in Saxony.


Havelberg Cathedral, built in the Romanesque style

Orders were also involved in the development of the country . In particular, the collaboration of the Margrave with the Templar Order (after 1312: Order of St. John ), with the Premonstratensian - and the Cistercian Order, which is particularly robust in settlement work, should be mentioned. The successful settlement of the area east of the Elbe and the establishment of the mark by the margraves was made possible by the Christianization of the Slavic population by the monasteries.

Otto I founded the Lehnin monastery in 1180 , the oldest of the Cistercians in the march, which has been the burial place of the Ascanian margraves since 1184 . It founded three subsidiary branches ( Filiation ). For the monastery in der Zauche , possessions were found in 115 predominantly Brandenburg villages. The Premonstratensian Order, which Albrecht had already brought into the country, had meanwhile developed from a partner to a competitor in the re-conquered and newly conquered areas, so that Albrecht tried to limit its influence. That is why, initiated by Otto I, the Cistercians succeeded the Premonstratensians and henceforth strongly shaped the country.

From the late Middle Ages onwards, self-management hardly played a role for the monasteries, as they received feudal pensions and taxes. The monasteries were not in the wilderness, but in the already populated area at the foundations of streets. The exploitation of the income was in the foreground in the economy of the East Elbe Cistercian monasteries. As a result, the importance of the monasteries for the development of the country was less than was traditionally postulated in older historiography. For territorial donations by the margraves to secure border areas, it was not the Cistercians but religious knightly orders that were particularly drawn upon. The Cistercian monasteries were only centers of scientific education to a limited extent.

In the course of time and within changing boundaries, the Mark Brandenburg housed 96 monasteries, commendants and monasteries (including relocations). Until the Reformation, the centers of ecclesiastical rule in the Mark were the three Mark dioceses of Brandenburg , Havelberg and Lebus . With a few exceptions, all monasteries were secularized during the Reformation.


The agricultural sector was the largest of the three economic sectors in the Brandenburg economy. From the producer's point of view, the agricultural conditions were unfavorable for the peasant class, as a small aristocratic landlord class owned the bulk of the cultivated land and the peasants were obliged to serve them. The secondary sector only gained greater importance for the Brandenburg economy in the 18th century . The bulk of the secondary sector consisted of the members of the guilds, who followed a manual, small-scale and pre-modern mode of production. Standardized mass production only gradually became more widespread in the national economy. Trade and finance in the tertiary sector were among the least developed. It was mainly newcomers who brought the expertise and capital into the market from outside. This included mainly the Jews but also French exiles.


In the Middle Ages, the Mark Brandenburg was integrated into the Hanseatic economic area as an agricultural producer and exporter

With the permanent settlement of the Brandenburg landscapes by German colonists, regular field cultivation came about through the establishment of German farming villages and the creation of arable land . This was based on a hoof constitution and the three-field economy and was the basis of rural economic life until the end of the early modern period.

The country's economic situation had changed dramatically between 1200 and 1250 when it was founded and the first phase of consolidation. The country was entirely geared towards agricultural production. The disadvantage of an overall poor soil quality , which mainly allowed rye and barley but only rarely wheat cultivation , was somewhat offset by the fact that very different soil types can be found in the smallest of spaces, so that in extremely dry or wet years only parts of the Farmlands were affected and total crop failures were rare in contrast to many other territories of the empire. The poor quality of the soil in large parts of the market led to low yields. In some areas the soil depleted so quickly that it was only sown every six, nine or twelve years. In addition, there were whole landscapes with sandy soils and marshland in which nothing could be grown. There were also areas such as the Altmark, which had good growing conditions.

After the establishment of the three-field economy, which between the 8th and 13th centuries brought decisive, but hardly ever-increasing development progress for most areas of Central European agriculture, the possibilities of increasing production in agriculture remained limited to a few regions, which was influenced by the climate until the era of industrial awakening , Soil quality, agricultural constitution, traffic and market conditions were particularly favored. The opportunities for progress also arose almost exclusively for the small circle of clergy, noble and bourgeois landowners, whose agricultural units were of sufficient size, cohesion and proximity to the market.

In addition to their own needs , the farmers produced grain, especially rye , but also oats and barley to settle the rent to the landlords and in addition to supply the large cities of the Mark. In the Middle Ages there were many in the market, but only small manors , which in terms of quantity did not generate market production on their own. The Mark Brandenburg was part of the large Hanseatic economic area through which it exported its grain to Western Europe. Beekeeping and fishing were considered a special form of agricultural production. Wine was produced locally in the Middle Ages.

Brandenburg's agriculture remained dependent on the Europe-wide economic fluctuations as well as corresponding political events and government measures. The country, which is completely geared towards agricultural exports, experienced severe setbacks from the so-called late medieval agricultural crisis that began in the late 13th century and lasted through the entire 14th century . Grain cultivation areas were expanded in view of the ever increasing demand for grain in the rapidly growing economic regions, especially in Western Europe. Population stagnation and other causes, including epidemics and climate change, caused demand, and thus the price, to fall continuously over a long period of time. In addition to the peasant producers, who were now barely able to participate in monetary transactions, also the nobility, who were still primarily dependent on the remuneration of their peasant rearmates , suffered from this . An emigration from the countryside to the city began. Agricultural land was given up, and numerous villages fell into desolation.

The late medieval crisis was followed by the agricultural economy with its " defamation " from the end of the 15th to the beginning of the 17th century. At this time, the Brandenburg nobility began to expand their farms in order to export grain. They increased their areas by making wasteland usable, by buying out or by laying peasants (expropriations), (see main article: Prussian Agrarian Constitution ). Due to the increased land share, the need for forced labor increased . The Brandenburg landed gentry produced grain for export and was able to generate high assets during the long economic boom in Europe in the 16th century. In contrast to the pronounced grain load of the agricultural production structure, hardly any high-quality agricultural products were produced such as wine (still cultivated in the Middle Ages), madder , flax , fachent , wool and silk .

In the Kurmark, 16,700 tons of barley was consumed in 1594/1595 and 16,000 tons of brewing barley in 1620 . However, these quantities were not produced in the Kurmark alone. Gardelegen used between 2500 to 3000 tons of barley a year to manufacture and export its famous Garley beer alone. Large quantities of barley were therefore imported from the Altmarker Börde. Nevertheless, larger amounts of barley were exported from the Kurmark.

Since 1558 the elector was allowed to operate a customs post on the northern Elbe border in Lenzen and levy a new grain tariff with the permission of the emperor . This duty concerned both export and transit and the nobility, otherwise entitled to duty-free export, were subject to it. In 1563/64, 8,900 tons of grain were exported to Hamburg via Lenzen. Most of the grain from the eastern parts of the Mark was exported via Stettin. The annual turnover of Brandenburg grain there was around 3860 to 5150 tons of grain. There was no significant export to Saxony or Mecklenburg in terms of quantity, so that both export locations represent the largest share of the Kurmark's grain exports . Overall, the export volume of grain remained stable at the same level until 1620 and even in good years did not exceed 10,000 to 15,000 tons. In comparison, the Gdansk grain export , which was based on a southern catchment area of ​​around 200,000 km², was between 70,000 and 120,000 tons. The Kurmark was therefore as closely involved in the European grain trade as Poland at the time. The excess amount of grain produced for export was enough to supply around 50,000 people.

The agricultural economy was followed by the crisis that continued into the 18th century due to the losses of the Thirty Years' War. Numerous villages lay desolate, the land had not been cultivated for years, weeded and overgrown with scrub and trees. Harvest yields fell, dams and ditches had fallen into disrepair, and agricultural work on rivers had come to a standstill. Overall, the arable land shrank. If farms were desolate, there were fewer cattle, fewer cattle produced less fertilizer, soil fertility declined and this in turn meant lower yields. Due to the war, the draft cattle were mostly recruited and abducted, and the remaining farmers hitched themselves or their family members to the plow.

The foreign colonists of the 17th and 18th centuries who were newly settled in the Mark Brandenburg led to the diversification and expansion of the existing product portfolio. Presumably, tobacco cultivation was introduced by the Huguenots in the Uckermark and Barnim. Its cultivation was already widespread at the end of the 17th century. Hops and wine were grown, but could not thrive in the climate in the long term. So conditioning of the cultivation areas for new "raw materials" took place, which laid or used the basis for various trades such as tobacco and silk production, further textile production.

There were reform attempts in Brandenburg agriculture, which remained limited mainly because of the rigid agricultural constitution. In 1703 Christian Friedrich Luben presented a reform package to improve agriculture on behalf of the king. He recognized the problems of agricultural production in the traditional system of manor rule. The lordship and the agrarian constitution prevented the release of the rural population, for example as labor for trade and thus limited economic dynamism. Ownership of the goods was widely scattered, and an excessive amount of land lay fallow. Christian Friedrich Luben's attempt to dissolve the domain farms (which belonged to the elector) and sell them in plots failed because of the domain administration and the nobility. Both actors were not ready or able to do without the compulsory labor system and the great goods. The large farms operated with compulsory labor could not be eliminated. Therefore, attempts were made to adjust the variables in a village by means of "equalization" in order to achieve a balance between large and small farms, so that the burden of labor and productivity were brought into a sustainable relationship. In 1749 the "peasant protection" was declared for the first time. The lifting of the compulsory servants in 1763 meant a significant improvement for the subjects.

The first improvements brought the abolition of the mixed situation and thus enabled the more extensive cultivation of the fields. The hooves of the nobility and domains had been in the mix with the farmers and kossaers since the Middle Ages. This field community was dissolved in 1770, with the result that the large estates secured the best soil and were able to link their hooves and combine them into large fields . By 1800 the separation of the peasants had hardly begun. You still had to overcome the three-field economy. The system of compulsory labor as such remained to be abolished and the freedom of goods to be established. Around 1800 rural life and work were still determined by the old agrarian constitution. In 1800 there were 1200 large farms in Brandenburg in 2000 villages on the domains, owned by the nobility, the Order of St. John , other clerical corporations, cities, universities and bourgeois landowners. The October edict of October 9, 1807 finally abolished the inheritance of peasants.

The originating from the Middle Ages principles of agriculture were by three fields , field Community and flurzwang marked. The productivity was impaired by extensive fallow land and a lack of fertilizers. The pastoralism put little dung for fertilising one of the soil, the cattle was not well fed. Great upheavals did not materialize in the 18th century, but innumerable individual improvement measures were implemented in the 18th century for the agricultural sector in need of reform. New agricultural land was gained through amelioration of swamp areas, i.e. draining, for example in the Oderbruch . The traditional three-field economy was improved, the fallow land declined. Since 1770 the "English economy" was introduced on the large domain estates, which provided for a standard sequence of crop rotation every four years. In 1780 some goods were transferred to the Mecklenburg farmhouse . The cultivation of crops such as beet, alfalfa, lupine and clover expanded the product range and contributed directly but also indirectly to improving the soil through feeding cattle. The livestock rose to 1800 by 40 percent compared to 1750, the stall-feeding increased. The resulting increase in manure increased the fertilization of the soil, which increased the average yield per unit area in the 1780s and 1790s. the spread of the merino sheep has been an important innovation among farm animals. The English swing plow and the English harrow were introduced in the 1760s to plow the soil deeper. The introduction of the collar harness increased the horse's pulling power, and the first forms of the seed drill were used on the estates and domains . After the hunger crisis in the Mark at the beginning of the 1770s, potato cultivation increased rapidly. It is estimated that the potato harvest increased from 5,200 tons to 103,000 tons between 1765 and 1801. This fact is also reflected in the poem by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Märkische National Anthem. The cultivated area had expanded and the average yield improved to a limited extent. The spectrum of plant cultivation and animal husbandry had expanded. More people outside of agriculture could be fed by the agricultural producers.

Animal breeding

Livestock breeding extends mainly to horses, cattle and sheep breeding. In 1756 the Kurmark had a population of 322,989 head of cattle , which rose to 454,555 head of cattle by 1801. The city of Berlin alone had a need for cattle (meat, leather, etc.) of 58,000 cattle per year during this period. The sheep was a main industry of Brandenburg, served next to the mutton - and sheep's milk (eg further processing into cheese.) Of wool production , the raw material for cloth production. The commercial demand for wool led to the expansion of sheep farming. In 1797 there were 1,629,296 sheep in the Kurmark. This resulted in an annual wool production of 20,848 quintals or 1,042.4 tons of sheep's wool (the third largest sheep's wool producer in the world New Zealand produced in 2007: 218,000 tons of sheep's wool from around 30 million sheep). Around 1800 the Kurmark had a (recorded) pig population of 287,000 animals. Above all, the nobility benefited from the intensive sheep-breeding spread from England, which could be carried out from manorial farms with low staff and high profits.

Brandenburg was not a designated horse country like Kurhannover ( Hanoverian ) or Holstein ( Holsteiner ) and was also not known for breeding noble horse breeds . For military reasons, today's Brandenburg State Stud Neustadt / Dosse was founded in 1787 . Around 1800 there were 156,000 horses in the Kurmark.

Trade, coal and steel sector, manufactories

The available resources were few, there were no mountains, so that metallurgy was only of minor importance. Brandenburg developed from a classic agricultural state without a processing sector by 1800 to a state with a well-developed proto-industrial business landscape. The commercial center marked the Berlin region. Most of the factories and manufacturing workers were located there. The textile industry had the largest share of the sector. The production of luxury goods was an industrial focus.

Commerce and Finance

Triangular trade and east trade

Kurbrandenburgi Navy.jpg
The Brandenburg Navy on the open sea
Havelberg, Werft.jpg
The Electoral Shipyard Havelberg in a contemporary illustration

Despite limited possibilities, on the advice of the Dutch admiral Arnold Gijsels van Lier , the elector tried in the 1680s to stimulate overseas trade for Brandenburg and to participate in the colonial exploitation of Africa. With the help of foreign experts, but without sufficient internal grounding, the state leadership tried to gain access to the foremost countries and to trigger internal development impulses. Since there was no well-funded and daring bourgeoisie that could carry out such a project - the merchants in the Hohenzollern state were too poor, too conservative and too inexperienced - Dutch shareholders had to step in as organizers through the Brandenburg chief maritime director Benjamin Raule . In its prime, the company sent 20 to 30 ships overseas annually, sold 2,000 to 3,000 slaves a year, made a profit, and maintained several bases in West Africa. Brandenburg was now in competition with the great colonial powers and was fought by them. In such a competitive struggle, the limited company succumbed over time. In addition, there were depreciation losses due to the unpredictability of the business, such as ship losses. The attempts at colonialism by the Brandenburgisch African Compagnie in the time of the Atlantic triangular trade finally failed after Friedrich Wilhelm I took office. It became clear that both the Mark Brandenburg and the entire Real Union of Brandenburg-Prussia did not have the basic requirements for a successful and large-scale colonial trade policy. Successful overseas trade would have required a flourishing trade as a starting point, which would have put pressure on state policy to create sales markets and in turn to promote domestic imports of colonial goods, which would then have been further processed by their own factories. Instead, it was only top Brandenburg officials and the elector himself who drove this project. In addition, the company's own existing small business, which had been in a persistent depression since the 16th century, should have been promoted. Ultimately, for Brandenburg, but also for other places in the Hohenzollern State, the sustainable funding of shipbuilding remained hanging through society. In Havelberg there was a shipbuilding with the Electoral Havelberg shipyard . But this too died again after a few years. The company's trading profits were of no economic relevance due to the small amount.

In the first decades of the 18th century, the merchants of the metropolis of Berlin gradually learned to assert themselves on external markets. The Russian company founded in Berlin in 1724 was of great importance in this regard . The Prussian envoy to the court of the Russian Emperor , Gustav von Mardefeld , succeeded in winning the first major order for Prussia to supply the Imperial Russian Army with cloth in competition with English merchants. On the one hand, this was due to the lower prices, but foreign policy considerations, the very close relationship between Prussia and Russia at the time, which was sealed in the following decades with a series of alliance agreements (including the Prussian-Russian alliance treaty (1726) ), should also play a role have played. In Berlin at that time there was already a consortium of ten merchants and companies with an initial capital of 60,000 Reichstalers. The main shareholders were the banking and trading company Splitgerber & Daum , whose shares rose to 72,500 RT by 1735. The company received a state privilege in 1725 and opened an office in St. Petersburg . A first contract provided for the supply of cloths in a length of 150,000 arsins . The company, which soon accepted merchants from Landsberg and Frankfurt (Oder), made great profits in the period that followed. The volume of trade required the labor of 800 to 1000 laid cloth makers. Up until then there was no publishing company of this size in Brandenburg. Further dye works were set up in Landsberg and Drossen and centralized finishing. The Russian government has not concluded any further contracts with the Russian company since 1738, as Russia was also keen to develop its own cloth industry. Nevertheless, the Russian company continued its trading activities, but its activities subsequently came to a standstill. An economic slump followed, which was accompanied by the closure of hundreds of looms. The slack began as early as 1735 and lasted until 1738.

Stock exchange and bank

In the beginning, the New Lusthaus was used as the Berlin stock exchange

The Berlin Stock Exchange was founded on June 29, 1685 by Elector Friedrich Wilhelm in Berlin as a commodity exchange . From 1696, members of the Berlin stock exchange and foreign traders met in a house on Mühlendamm , which was already known as "Beurse", and discussed their business every morning. On March 27, 1738, Friedrich Wilhelm I transferred the New Lusthaus to the Berlin merchants as the first permanent location for their stock exchange transactions and in the following year issued the first Brandenburg-Prussian stock exchange regulations , through which stock exchange admission and stock exchange transactions (in money and bills of exchange) are regulated became. Brokers were sworn in for the first time in 1776, and in 1779 there were nine brokers, with bills of exchange still in the foreground in addition to trade in goods . In 1785 "Effects" were issued for the first time. The latter were shares in the Emden herring catching company , which Friedrich II had founded in 1769, and the Royal Sea Trade , also a royal foundation, and Pfandbriefe of the Prussian regions.

The economic crisis during the Seven Years' War (1756 to 1763) induced Frederick II in 1765 to found the state-owned Giro- und Lehnbank .

Export and import

In 1800 the Kurmark imported goods to the value of 10,872,224 Reichstaler in roughly equal proportions from the other Prussian parts of the country and the actual foreign countries. The largest trading partners were England, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Italy (Italy only: 1,041,553 RT). A significant proportion of the trade was carried out via Hamburg (2,609,793 Reichstaler) and, to a lesser extent, Stettin (430,373 Reichstaler). The import from Poland was worth 193,282 Reichstaler. Saxony exported a value of 314,074 RT to Kurbrandenburg, Mecklenburg exported a value of 151,660 RT. Imports from Neumark, part of the Mark Brandenburg region, amounted to 3,768,860 RT, which puts the trade deficit into perspective. If the total domestic trade is excluded from the statistics, the adjusted foreign trade deficit is 244,619 RT.

The Kurmark's largest export goods were cotton goods with a value of 743,188 Reichstaler, the second largest export was (sheep) wool (1,918,949 Reichstaler), the third export was grain with a sales value of 312,793 Reichstaler, followed by refined sugar with a value of 274,308 Reichstaler . The total export proceeds for the year of the Kurmark alone amounted to 5,447,229 Reichstaler. By far the largest share of Brandenburg's exports went abroad via the trade fair in Frankfurt (Oder). Goods worth 2,536,578 RT were sold there alone. Goods to the value of 550,021 RT were sold via Hamburg. Saxony imported goods worth 497,390 RT.

The grain trade ran through the larger and medium-sized cities of the country, in which the management class - mostly organized in the " clothing tailors' guild " - dealt with the grain and cloth trade. The grain trade had connected the Brandenburg cities, above all the Altmark Salzwedel, with the Hanseatic trade at an early stage. In 1359, in the Altmark, in addition to Salzwedel, Stendal, Gardelegen, Seehausen and Werben belonged to the Hanseatic League , and in the Mittelmark, in addition to the twin cities of Berlin-Cölln, the comparatively small towns of Havelberg, Kyritz, Perleberg and Pritzwalk also belonged to the Bund and therefore participated in the grain trade.


Bernauer Heerweg Hobrechtsfelde.jpg
The former Bernauer Heerstrasse near Hobrechtsfelde
Heerstrasse near Schoenholz.jpg
The Bernauer Heerstraße near Schönholz (Barnim) in the direction of Eberswalde

The medieval and early modern transport system of the Mark Brandenburg is divided into the areas of country roads, waterways, means of transport, traffic flows, traffic structures, post office and signposting systems. All these elements were gradually developed in order to improve the mobility of the traveler actors over the territory of the Mark Brandenburg. The starting level was close to zero and improved only slightly by 1815 to a level that was still only slightly developed. Mobility remained a problem and represented an obstacle to development for all areas of society. Only in the course of the expansion of the artificial roads in the 19th century, the construction of railway lines, the establishment of central traffic authorities and the dismantling of customs barriers did the transport system improve sustainably.

Land development, internal colonization and population

Hugo Vogel - Reception of the refugies (Huguenots) by the Great Elector in Potsdam Palace, 1685

Since the founding of the Mark, it had been a land of immigration as a borderland poor in people. The medieval land development in the Mark meant extensive settlement planning and implementation and the reclamation of arable land.

Population poverty after the destruction of the war in the Thirty Years' War and economic backwardness in numerous regions prompted Elector Friedrich Wilhelm to pursue a forced policy of peuplication , which his successors continued. Emigrants and religiously persecuted people were welcome, because settlers and colonists were important for Brandenburg's economic growth. The migrants, then called colonists, settled as free farmers or as craftsmen with privileges. For example, they didn't have to join guilds in the first few years.

The first religious refugees who found acceptance in Brandenburg after the Thirty Years' War were Jewish families from Vienna and Lower Austria . They were expelled by Emperor Leopold I in February 1670 . With a protective patent issued on May 21, 1671, the wealthy among them received permission to settle and trade in Brandenburg. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm had great expectations for the reconstruction of the domain offices in the northern regions of Brandenburg, which had been destroyed in the Thirty Years War, in Dutch colonists. He hoped that their settlement would improve the arable land and the dairy industry. The recruitment of Dutch colonists remained limited. Many attempts at reconstruction, such as in Chorin or Gramzow-Seehausen, failed because of settlement entrepreneurs who did not support the recruited colonists with their settlement. Many colonists therefore went back to their old homeland after a few years. The settlements of the Electress Luise Henriette von Oranien in the Amt of Bötzow and that of the Freiherr von Hertefeld with the establishment of New Holland were granted more success . The settlement of Swiss colonists began with similar expectations . The first Swiss villages emerged in 1685 in the immediate vicinity of the electoral residence city of Potsdam, namely Nattwerder , Golm and Neu Töplitz . In the cities, the Swiss only settled in larger associations in Neustadt-Eberswalde (since 1691).

Another characteristic example is the admission of around 15,000 French Reformed religious refugees, the Huguenots, into the Mark Brandenburg, which was made possible with the Edict of Potsdam in 1685. Their recruitment proved to be a resounding success, raising the overall level of agriculture, trade, engineering, architecture, and the arts and sciences. While the Dutch brought with them knowledge of melioration and dairy farming, the Huguenots had knowledge of the cultivation of numerous vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs, of tobacco, potatoes and mulberry trees. Of all the colonists in Brandenburg, the French colonists received the most extensive privileges. They ranged from their own jurisdiction from local lower courts and the French higher court in Berlin. French colonies were characterized by different officials depending on their size: lawyers, pastors, cantors and schoolmasters, doctors. They were paid through their own fund, which was created solely to support the French colonists, the French budget .

The inclusion of the Salzburg and Bohemians also play a role in the history of Brandenburg. The Salzburg exiles were Lutherans expelled from his country by the Archbishop of Salzburg. Although they were supposed to settle in East Prussia, which had been devastated by the plague, their transit in 1732 sparked great sympathy and enthusiasm among the people of the Brandenburg heartland. The Bohemian-Rixdorf (Berlin-Neukölln) founded in 1737 and the Nowawes colony (Potsdam-Babelsberg) founded in 1750 are examples of the settlement of Lutheran and Reformed religious refugees from Bohemia.

Ernst Henseler : The Old Warta (1872)

Between 1740 and 1786 260 villages and farms were founded in Kurmark and 152 villages and farms in Neumark. In the Kurmark the number of immigrant colonists in the same period was 100,000 people, in the Neumark the number of immigrants was 20,000 people.

The settlement often went hand in hand with the improvement of river plains and the development of wasteland for agricultural production. This was a basic feature of the mercantilist economic policy of the Brandenburg rulers. Under Frederick II, the measures were expanded. One example is the amelioration of the Nieder-Oderbruch, where large-scale rebuilding and drainage work turned swamps into meadows, meadows into pastures and pastures into arable land. The fishing industry declined, but long-established fishermen often turned into farmers. Similar measures followed in the Netze and Warthebruch in Neumark. In Brandenburg around 230,000 hectares, the equivalent of 2300 km², were reclaimed in the 18th century.

Construction, building structures and architecture

Friedrich Wilhelm I. visits the construction work in Friedrichstadt

The architectural styles of the Brandenburg settlements merge into one another over time. In general, in addition to a few function-related deviations, most places in Brandenburg have a similar appearance with building structures and construction patterns of the same type. As concise and recurring building types, especially in rural areas, manor houses , castle complexes with castle gardens, churches and, above all, stone churches, farmsteads with farm buildings such as barns and stables, peasant cottages . Larger cities had built circumferential city walls, city gates and defense towers since the Middle Ages. Excise walls have been built since the 18th century . In the larger cities such as Berlin, Potsdam, Frankfurt (Oder) and Brandenburg an der Havel. Stately and massive town houses with three storeys or more have been a more frequent occurrence in the old towns since the 18th century. Thatched houses were not uncommon in the 18th century. The North German brick Gothic left a formative impression on the building design of the Brandenburg towns. In addition to fortifications, there are a number of preserved town halls, a few residential or functional buildings and a larger number of sacred buildings in the Gothic style. Most of the Renaissance buildings from 1500 to 1620 were destroyed or remodeled throughout Brandenburg. It was not until the architectural phase of the baroque from 1620 to 1780 that a permanent architectural stock was created in many places.

Ruling system

The government system of the Mark Brandenburg of the late Middle Ages and the early modern period passed through the epochs of the feudal state to the corporate state to the state state.

The political disputes between the political actors revolved around the achievement of a political monopoly. The conflicts were part of the overall problem of creating a representative constitution and the distribution of power. These conflicts had a decisive influence on the process of state formation in Brandenburg. The disputes culminated in the beginning of the representative assemblies of the meeting of the estates. In the time of the corporate state , the Brandenburg system of government was a “presidential monarchy” in a corporate state . With a representative involvement of land-class actors, new problem areas arose in which cooperation and power struggles alternated between the land rulers and assemblies of the estates. Religious divisions between rulers and estates and shifts in economic power played significant potential for conflict.

See also



  • Friedrich Wilhelm August Bratring : Statistical-topographical description of the entire Mark Brandenburg. For statisticians, businessmen, especially for camera operators . 3 volumes, Friedrich Maurer, Berlin 1804–1809 ( digitized in the University of Cologne , seminar for economic and social history).
  • Adolph Friedrich Riedel (Ed.): Codex diplomaticus Brandenburgensis: Collection of documents, chronicles and other sources for the history of the Mark Brandenburg and its rulers . 40 volumes, Berlin 1838–1868 ( Wikisource ).
  • Johannes Schultze (Hrsg.): The land book of the Mark Brandenburg of 1375 (= Brandenburg land books . Volume 2; publications of the historical commission for the province of Brandenburg and the imperial capital Berlin . Volume VIII, 2). Commission publisher von Gsellius, Berlin 1940 (except accompanying texts in Latin ; digitized version in Potsdam University Library ).
  • Winfried Schich , Jerzy Strzelczyk: Slavs and Germans on the Havel and Spree. To the beginnings of the Mark Brandenburg (= studies on international textbook research. Series of publications by the Georg Eckert Institute 82 / B IV). Hahn, Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-88304-124-6 (compilation of all important sources from beginnings to margrave brothers; Latin / German ).

Overall look


  • Adolph Friedrich Riedel : The Mark Brandenburg in 1250 or historical description of the Brandenburg Lands and their political and ecclesiastical conditions around this time .
    • First part. Description of the individual provinces of the Mark Brandenburg. Berlin 1831.
    • Second part. Description of the political and ecclesiastical conditions in the Mark Brandenburg. Berlin 1832.
  • Ulrich van der Heyden : Red eagles on Africa's coast. The Brandenburg-Prussian colony Großfriedrichsburg on the West African coast . 1st edition, Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-89488-049-X .
  • Frank Göse (Ed.): In the shadow of the crown. The Mark Brandenburg around 1700 (= Brandenburg historical studies . Volume 11). Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2002, ISBN 3-935035-29-2 .
  • Matthias Asche: New settlers in the devastated country. Coping with the aftermath of the war, migration management and denominational politics in the context of the reconstruction of the country. The Mark Brandenburg after the wars of the 17th century . Aschendorf Verlag, Münster 2006, ISBN 3-402-00417-8 .
  • Heinz-Dieter Heimann , Klaus Neitmann , Winfried Schich and others (eds.): Brandenburg monastery book. Handbook of the monasteries, pens and comers to the middle of the 16th century. Volumes I and II (= Klaus Neitmann on behalf of the Brandenburg Historical Commission and in connection with the Brandenburg State Main Archive [Hrsg.]: Brandenburgische Historische Studien . Volume 14). Be.Bra Wissenschaft Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-937233-26-0 .
  • Lutz Partenheimer : The emergence of the Mark Brandenburg. With a Latin - German source appendix . Böhlau Verlag, Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-17106-3 .
  • Joachim Müller, Klaus Neitmann, Franz Schopper (eds.): How the Mark came about. 850 years of the Mark Brandenburg. Symposium from June 20 to 22, 2007 in Brandenburg an der Havel (= research on archeology in the state of Brandenburg . Volume 11; individual publication by the Brandenburg State Main Archives . Volume 9). Brandenburg State Office for Monument Preservation and Brandenburg State Archaeological Museum , Wünsdorf 2009, ISBN 978-3-910011-56-4 .
  • Clemens Bergstedt, Heinz-Dieter Heimann, Knut Kiesant, Peter Knüvener, Mario Müller, Kurt Winkler (eds.): In dialogue with robber barons and beautiful Madonnas. The Mark Brandenburg in the late Middle Ages . Accompanying volume for the exhibition group Raubritter and Schöne Madonnen (= Heinz-Dieter Heimann, Klaus Neitmann on behalf of the Brandenburg Historical Commission and Brandenburg State Main Archive [ed.]: Studies on Brandenburg and Comparative State History . Volume 6). 1st edition, Lukas Verlag für Kunst- und Geistesgeschichte, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86732-118-1 .
  • Jan Winkelmann: The Mark Brandenburg of the 14th century. Margravial rule between spatial “distance” and political “crisis” . Dissertation University of Potsdam 2010 (= Heinz-Dieter Heimann, Klaus Neitmann on behalf of the Brandenburg Historical Commission and Brandenburg State Main Archives [ed.]: Studies on Brandenburg and Comparative State History . Volume 5). 1st edition, Lukas Verlag für Kunst- und Geistesgeschichte, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86732-112-9 .
  • Franz Josef Burghardt : Between Fundamentalism and Tolerance. Calvinist influences on Elector Johann Sigismund von Brandenburg before his conversion ( historical research . Volume 96). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-428-13797-8 (short biography on Johann Sigismund p. 103).
  • Lutz Partenheimer, André Stellmacher: The submission of the Quitzows and the beginning of the Hohenzollern rule over Brandenburg . Klaus-D. Becker Verlag, Potsdam 2014, ISBN 978-3-88372-099-9 .


  • The Mark Brandenburg - magazine for the Mark and the State of Brandenburg . The Mark Brandenburg - publishing house for regional and contemporary history, Berlin
  • Yearbook for Brandenburg State History - State History Association for the Mark Brandenburg, Berlin

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helmut Assing : Brandenburg history . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , The rule of the Ascanians, Wittelsbachers and Luxembourgers (mid-12th to early 15th century). The position of the early margraviate within the German Empire and the share of the Ascanian margraves in imperial politics, pp. 126–127.
  2. ^ Lutz Partenheimer: The emergence of the Mark Brandenburg . Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-17106-3 , The takeover of the Heveller principality by Albrecht the Bear and the "foundation" of the Mark Brandenburg. The reconquest of Brandenburg by Albrecht den Bären 1157, pp. 74–76, here p. 76.
  3. ^ Lew Hohmann: The Brandenburger . Be.Bra Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-930863-47-2 , conquerors, settlers and robber barons 928-1411. The Kurmark Brandenburg, pp. 30–31.
  4. ^ A b Rosemarie Baudisch: Brandenburg history . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , Geographical basics and historical-political structure of Brandenburg. Landscapes, pp. 22–32.
  5. ^ Gerd Heinrich (arrangement), K. Bremer, H.-J. Nitschke, Ch. Tolkmitt (cartography), G. Preuß (cartolithography and reproduction): Die Mark Brandenburg 1319–1575. Territorial development . Scale 1: 650,000. Department III, In: Historical Commission to Berlin at the Friedrich Meinecke Institute of the Free University of Berlin (Ed.): Historical hand atlas of Brandenburg and Berlin . Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin 1971.
  6. ^ Lew Hohmann: The Brandenburger . Be.Bra Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-930863-47-2 , Kings, Soldiers and Officials 1646–1789. The King of Königsberg, pp. 80–82.
  7. Harald Müller : Brandenburg history . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , Brandenburg as a Prussian province. The 19th century to 1871. The newly created province in the Association of the Prussian State (1815–1830), pp. 407–415.
  8. ^ Claudia Schmid-Rathjen: Mark Brandenburg. How it was back then . Bucher Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-7658-1805-9 , LandSchaft - von Wald, Wasser und Weite, pp. 10-16.
  9. ^ Lutz Partenheimer: The emergence of the Mark Brandenburg . Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-17106-3 , foreword: 850 years of Mark Brandenburg - state and local jubilees, pp. 9-16.
  10. Heidelore Böcker : Consolidation of sovereignty by the Hohenzollern electors and the expansion of the march into a princely territorial state during the 15th century . In: Ingo Materna , Wolfgang Ribbe (ed.): Brandenburg history . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , pp. 169-226, here pp. 200-208.
  11. Gerhard Köbler: Historical Lexicon of the German Lands - the German territories from the Middle Ages to the present, CH Beck, 7th edition, Munich 2007, p. 85.
  12. 1 mile before 1811: = 7.414,975 km
  13. (conversion of square miles to km²: 7.414 × 7.414 = factor: 1 square mile = 54.967 km²)
  14. including the lords of Cottbus and Peitz
  15. Johannes Schultze: The Mark Brandenburg. 1st volume. 4th edition, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-428-13480-9 , 15th Johann I. and Otto III. (1220-1267). a) The time of common government, pp. 136–154, Wollgast: pp. 140–143; Bautzen and Görlitz: p. 140.
  16. ^ Gerhard Köbler: Historical Lexicon of the German Lands - the German territories from the Middle Ages to the present , CH Beck, 7th edition, Munich 2007, for Bavaria: p. 50, for Kurhannover: p. 252.
  17. ^ FWA Bratring: Statistical-topographical description of the entire Mark Brandenburg. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1968, p. 79.
  18. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 26.
  19. ^ Otto Büsch, Wolfgang Neugebauer: Modern Prussian History 1648-1947: An anthology (= publications of the Historical Commission in Berlin, Volume 52/1). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1981, p. 291.
  20. Büsch, Neugebauer (1981), p. 291.
  21. Büsch, Neugebauer (1981), p. 291 there: population density Kurmark: 656 people per square meter, Neumark: 505 people per square meter between 1680 and 1700.
  22. Bratring, Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3.
  23. Bratring, Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3.
  24. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 288.
  25. Magnus Friedrich Bassewitz: The Kurmark Brandenburg in connection with the fate of the entire state of Prussia during the years 1809 and 1810. FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1860, p. 221.
  26. ^ FWA Bratring: Statistical-topographical description of the entire Mark Brandenburg. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1968, pp. 63, 79.
  27. Otto Büsch, W. Neugebauer: Modern Prussian History 1648–1947 - An Anthology, Volume 2. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1981, p. 917.
  28. Otto Büsch, W. Neugebauer: Modern Prussian History 1648–1947 - An Anthology, Volume 2, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1981, p. 915.
  29. Georg Hassel: Statistical outline of all European states in terms of their size, population, cultural conditions, action, financial and military constitution and their non-European possessions, Issue 2. Vieweg, Braunschweig 1805, p. 23.
  30. Alwin Hanschmidt: The 18th Century (1702-1803). In: Wilhelm Kohl (Ed.): Geschichte Westfalens, vol. 1, p. 607.
  31. Otto Büsch, W. Neugebauer: Modern Prussian History 1648–1947 - An Anthology, Volume 2. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1981, p. 915.
  32. ^ Gerd-Christian Th. Treutler: Mühlenwesen (Kurmark, flat land). In: Brandenburgikon, Historisches Lexikon Brandenburgs. 2018 ( online ).
  33. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 287.
  34. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 70.
  35. Hans Schubert: Carnival customs in Brandenburg and Berlin - from the beginning to the present. Pro Universitate Verlag in Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag , Berlin 2012, p. 25.
  36. Gerd Heinrich : Kulturatlas Brandenburg - historical maps history of the Mark Brandenburg at a glance. 4th edition. Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, Berlin 2015, p. 23.
  37. ^ Herbert Helbig: Society and economy of the Mark Brandenburg in the Middle Ages. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1973, p. 30.
  38. Gerd Heinrich : Kulturatlas Brandenburg - historical maps history of the Mark Brandenburg at a glance. 4th edition. Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, Berlin 2015, p. 24.
  39. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 158.
  40. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 79.
  41. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 283.
  42. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 72.
  43. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 486.
  44. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 147.
  45. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm August Bratring: Statistical-topographical description of the entire Mark Brandenburg. Third and last volume. Containing the Neumark Brandenburg. Berlin 1809, p. 95.
  46. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm August Bratring: Statistical-topographical description of the entire Mark Brandenburg. Second volume: Containing the Mittelmark and Ukermark. Berlin 1805, p. 25.
  47. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 85.
  48. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 339.
  49. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 326.
  50. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm August Bratring: Statistical-topographical description of the entire Mark Brandenburg. First volume. The general introduction to the Kurmark, containing the Altmark and Prignitz. Berlin 1804, p. 248.
  51. Bratring, Volume 1, p. 355.
  52. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 92.
  53. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 502.
  54. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 299.
  55. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 228.
  56. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 384.
  57. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 232.
  58. Kurmark since 1773, previously Duchy of Magdeburg
  59. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 419.
  60. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 334.
  61. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 236.
  62. ^ Bratring, Volume 1, p. 271.
  63. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 98.
  64. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 88.
  65. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 172.
  66. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 268.
  67. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 493.
  68. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 262.
  69. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 499.
  70. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 196.
  71. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 185.
  72. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 242.
  73. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 506.
  74. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 29.
  75. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 32.
  76. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 264.
  77. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 105.
  78. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 133.
  79. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 174.
  80. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 482.
  81. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 103.
  82. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 132.
  83. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 189.
  84. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 388.
  85. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 239.
  86. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 134.
  87. Bratring, Volume 1, p. 304.
  88. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 38.
  89. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 192.
  90. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 302.
  91. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 101.
  92. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 226.
  93. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 266.
  94. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 177.
  95. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 343.
  96. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 289.
  97. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 223.
  98. Bratring, Volume 1, p. 307.
  99. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 391.
  100. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 228.
  101. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 340.
  102. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 336.
  103. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 341.
  104. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 294.
  105. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 346.
  106. Bratring, Volume 1, p. 253.
  107. ^ Bratring, Volume 3, p. 198.
  108. Bratring, Volume 1, p. 327.
  109. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 97.
  110. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 509.
  111. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 297.
  112. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 34.
  113. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 299.
  114. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 289.
  115. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 496.
  116. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 449.
  117. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 245.
  118. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 202.
  119. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 271.
  120. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 513.
  121. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 108.
  122. ^ Bratring, Volume 2, p. 195.
  123. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 275.
  124. Kurmark since 1773, previously Duchy of Magdeburg
  125. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 422.
  126. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 304.
  127. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 95.
  128. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 109.
  129. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 107.
  130. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 205.
  131. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 42.
  132. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 101.
  133. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 200.
  134. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 302.
  135. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 349.
  136. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 516.
  137. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 511.
  138. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 330.
  139. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 270.
  140. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 40.
  141. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 305.
  142. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 352.
  143. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 393.
  144. Bratring, Volume 3, p. 273.
  145. Ingrid Mittenzwei, Erika Herzfeld: Brandenburg-Prussia 1648–1789 - The Age of Absolutism in Text and Image. 3. Edition. Verlag der Nation, Berlin 1990, p. 28 f. (Own quantitative evaluation of a map display).
  146. ^ Nadja Stulz-Herrnstadt: Berlin bourgeoisie in the 18th and 19th centuries: Entrepreneur careers and migration. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2002, p. 48 f.
  147. ^ Frank Göse: Frederick the Great and the Mark Brandenburg: Domination Practice in the Province, Studies on Brandenburg and Comparative State History, Volume 7, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2012, p. 86.
  148. Gerd Heinrich : Kulturatlas Brandenburg - historical maps history of the Mark Brandenburg at a glance. 4th edition. Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, Berlin 2015, p. 22.
  149. Christopher Clark: Prussia - rise and fall 1600-1947. Pantheon Verlag, 2006, p. 24.
  150. Gerd Heinrich : Kulturatlas Brandenburg - historical maps history of the Mark Brandenburg at a glance. 4th edition. Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, Berlin 2015, p. 26.
  151. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 70.
  152. Gerd Heinrich: Kulturatlas Brandenburg - historical maps history of the Mark Brandenburg at a glance. Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, 4th edition, Berlin 2015, p. 8.
  153. a b Uwe Michas: Slavs and Teutons in the Berlin area . In: Berlin monthly magazine ( Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein ) . Issue 1, 1999, ISSN  0944-5560 , p. 4–10 ( ).
  154. ^ A b Kristine Jaath: Brandenburg: On the way between the Elbe and the Oder. Trescher Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-89794-211-0 .
  155. ^ Lutz Partenheimer: The emergence of the Mark Brandenburg. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne 2007, p. 47f
  156. ^ Lutz Partenheimer: Mark Brandenburg (origin). In: Historical Lexicon of Brandenburg. December 1, 2017 ( ).
  157. ^ Lutz Partenheimer: The emergence of the Mark Brandenburg - With a Latin-German list of sources, Brandenburgische Historische Hefte, Volume 19, Brandenburgische Landeszentrale für Politikbildung, Böhlau Verlag, Cologne-Weimar-Wient 2007, pp. 69–71.
  158. Reinhard Paulsen: Shipping, Hanseatic League and Europe in the Middle Ages: Ships using the example of Hamburg, European lines of development and research in Germany, Böhlau Verlag, Cologne-Weimar-Vienna, pp. 594–596.
  159. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Volk & Welt publishing house, Berlin 1992, p. 12.
  160. Lieselott Enders: The Altmark: History of a Kurmark Landscape in the Early Modern Age, 2nd edition, Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin 2016, p. 32.
  161. Richard Dietrich: Preussen, Epochs and Problems of its History, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin 1964, p. 31.
  162. ^ Richard Dietrich: Prussia, Epochs and Problems of His History, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin 1964, p. 32 f.
  163. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 89.
  164. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 88.
  165. Lieselott Enders: The Altmark: History of a Kurmark Landscape in the Early Modern Age, 2nd edition, Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin 2016, p. 32 f.
  166. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 15.
  167. ^ Herbert Helbig: Society and economy of the Mark Brandenburg in the Middle Ages. Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin-New York 1973, p. 8.
  168. a b c d Werner Künzel, Werner Rellecke: History of the German Lands - Developments and Traditions from the Middle Ages to the Present. Special edition for the Centers for Civic Education in Germany, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2005, p. 124.
  169. Felix Escher : Cistercians in the East Elbe region . In: Oliver H. Schmidt, Dirk Schumann (ed.): Cistercians in Brandenburg (= studies on the history, art and culture of the Cistercians . Volume 1). Lukas Verlag, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-931836-01-0 , pp. 9-21, here p. 12.
  170. ^ Felix Escher, Wolfgang Ribbe: Städtische Siedlungen im Mittelalter, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin-New York 1980, p. 7.
  171. Winfried Schich: Economy and cultural landscape: collected articles 1977 to 1999 on the history of the Cistercians and the "Germanica Slavica", Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin 2007, p. 303.
  172. ^ Helmut Assing: The sovereignty of the Ascanians, Wittelsbachers and Luxembourgers (mid-12th to early 15th century). In: Brandenburg history . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , The end of the Ascanians, the Brandenburg interregnum and the transition of the margraviate to the Wittelsbachers (1308 to 1323/24), pp. 132-136.
  173. Johannes Schultze: The Mark Brandenburg. 2nd volume. The mark under the rule of the Wittelsbachers and Luxembourgers (1319–1415). 4th edition, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-428-13480-9 , I. 1. The dispute over the inheritance (1319-1323), pp. 9-24.
  174. ^ Helmut Assing: The sovereignty of the Ascanians, Wittelsbachers and Luxembourgers (mid-12th to early 15th century). In: Brandenburg history . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , The efforts of the Wittelsbachers to regain the territories of the Mark and to consolidate sovereignty (1323/24 to 1343/44), pp. 136–140.
  175. Detlef Sommer, Karin Sommer, Günter Wetzel: Stone crosses and cross stones in the state of Brandenburg . Catalog for the exhibition Legendary stone crosses . Ed .: Franz Schopper . Brandenburg State Office for Monument Preservation and State Archaeological Museum , Wünsdorf 2016, ISBN 978-3-910011-62-5 , stone crosses and cross stones - catalog. Other federal states. Berlin (1), Mitte district. Steinkreuz, pp. 85-86.
  176. Werner Künzel, Werner Rellecke: History of the German States - Developments and Traditions from the Middle Ages to the Present, special edition for the Centers for Civic Education in Germany, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2005, p. 125.
  177. Werner Künzel, Werner Rellecke: History of the German States - Developments and Traditions from the Middle Ages to the Present, special edition for the Centers for Civic Education in Germany, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2005, p. 126.
  178. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 20.
  179. Peter Knüvener, Dirk Schumann: The Mark Brandenburg under the early Hohenzollern. In: Contributions to history, art and architecture in the 15th century, writings of the Landesgeschichtliche Vereinigung für die Mark Brandenburg. Volume 5, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 2015, p. 24 f.
  180. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 21.
  181. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 22.
  182. Heidelore Böcker: Consolidation of sovereignty by the Hohenzollern electors and the expansion of the Mark into a princely territorial state during the 15th century . In: Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe (ed.): Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-05-002508-5 , pp. 169−226, here pp. 169 ff.
  183. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 29.
  184. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 27.
  185. Stefan Sacharjew: The warlike incursions of the Hussites into the Margraviate of Brandenburg and Lusatia with special consideration of the campaign in April 1432, Berlin 2010, p. 54.
  186. Stefan Sacharjew: The warlike incursions of the Hussites into the Margraviate of Brandenburg and Lusatia with special consideration of the campaign in April 1432, Berlin 2010, p. 56.
  187. Stefan Sacharjew: The warlike incursions of the Hussites into the Margraviate of Brandenburg and Lusatia with special consideration of the campaign in April 1432, Berlin 2010, p. 59.
  188. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 30.
  189. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Volk & Welt publishing house, Berlin 1992, p. 28.
  190. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademieverlag, Berlin 1995, p. 184.
  191. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Volk & Welt publishing house, Berlin 1992, p. 30.
  192. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademieverlag, Berlin 1995, p. 185.
  193. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademieverlag, Berlin 1995, p. 186.
  194. Wolfgang Ribbe, Jürgen Schmädeke: Little Berlin History, Berlin 1994, p. 48.
  195. Article by Christian Zielke, November 2018, the text says: “Stefan Rothen suspects that the Otterstedts were previously up to mischief as robber barons. There were so many of them in the Mark Brandenburg that the reputation of this region was badly affected ”.
  196. ^ Karl Braun-Wiesbaden: From Friedrich the Great to Prince Bismarc, reprint of the original from 1882, European History Publishing House, Paderborn 2015, p. 186.
  197. Article by Jan von Flocken: Joachim von Brandenburg - an elector cleans up, published on November 10, 2007.
  198. ^ Herbert Helbig: Society and economy of the Mark Brandenburg in the Middle Ages. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1973, p. 151.
  199. ^ Heinrich Kaak : Die Gutsherrschaft: Theory-historical studies on agriculture in the East Elbe region, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin-New York 1991, p. 369.
  200. ^ Heinrich Kaak: Die Gutsherrschaft: Theory-historical studies on agriculture in the East Elbe region, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin-New York 1991, p. 370 f.
  201. Article by Ulli Kulke: “When death sentences were still passed in the Berlin Palace”, 2019.
  202. Werner Künzel, Werner Rellecke: History of the German Lands, Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2005, p. 128 f.
  203. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Verlag Volk & Welt, Berlin 1992, p. 70., p. 41
  204. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Volk & Welt publishing house, Berlin 1992, p. 70.
  205. ^ Die Mark Brandenburg, Verlag für Regional- und Zeitgeschichte, Issue 1 - 1991, p. 4.
  206. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 32.
  207. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 285.
  208. ^ Gerd Heinrich: Kulturatlas Brandenburg - Historische Landkarten, Geschichte de rMark at a glance, Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, 4th edition, Berlin 2015, p. 14.
  209. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 296.
  210. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 286.
  211. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, pp. 288-290.
  212. Mario Müller: In dialogue with robber knights and beautiful Madonnas . 1st edition, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86732-118-1 , section Religious life in the late medieval Mark Brandenburg. Reform Movements in the 15th and 16th Centuries, pp. 180–181.
  213. Frank Göse: In dialogue with robber barons and beautiful Madonnas . 1st edition, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86732-118-1 , section The end of the Middle Ages? The Reformation in the Mark Brandenburg, pp. 214–226.
  214. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 295.
  215. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 297f.
  216. Frank Göse, Winfried Müller, Kurt Winkler, Anne-Katrin Ziesak (eds.): Prussia and Saxony - Scenes of a Neighborhood. Sandstein Verlag, 2014, p. 69.
  217. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 298.
  218. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle . Volk & Welt publishing house, Berlin 1992, p. 58.
  219. On the Pomeranian inheritance see Roderich Schmidt : The historic Pommern. People, places, events . Böhlau, Cologne, Weimar, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-412-27805-2 , pp. 664-669.
  220. Ludwig Hüttel: Friedrich-Wilhelm von Brandenburg the Great Elector 1620–1688 . Munich 1981, p. 70.
  221. ^ A b Ludwig Hüttel: Friedrich-Wilhelm von Brandenburg the Great Elector 1620–1688 . Munich 1981, p. 71.
  222. ^ Yearbook for Economic History , Academy of Sciences of the GDR , Institute for Economic History, special volume: On the economic and social history of Berlin from the 17th century to the present, Akademie-Verlag , Berlin 1986, article by Horst Mauter: Zur Geschichte der Berliner Fayencemanufakturen from 1678 until about 1779, pp. 29-37
  223. ^ Yearbook for Economic History , Academy of Sciences of the GDR , Institute for Economic History, special volume: On the economic and social history of Berlin from the 17th century to the present, Akademie-Verlag , Berlin 1986, article by Horst Mauter: Zur Geschichte der Berliner Fayencemanufakturen from 1678 to about 1779, pp. 29-37, pp. 37f
  224. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg e. V., Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 182.
  225. ^ Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 183.
  226. ↑ On -site appointments - stations in Brandenburg-Prussia on the way to the modern world. In: Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg (Ed.): Exhibition catalog of the project "Kulturland Brandenburg 2001". Verlag Henschel, 2001, p. 5.
  227. ^ Ines Elsner: Friedrich III./I. von Brandenburg-Prussia (1688–1713) and the Berlin Residence Landscape: Studies on an Early Modern Court on Travel - A Residence Handbook, Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin 2012, p. 20.
  228. a b Marksteine ​​- A journey of discovery through Brandenburg-Prussia. Catalog for the opening exhibition of the House of Brandenburg History from August 18 to November 11, 2001, published by the House of Brandenburg History at the Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg eV, Henschel Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 292.
  229. Hans Bentzien: Under the Red and Black Eagle. Volk & Welt publishing house, Berlin 1992, p. 69 f.
  230. ^ Herbert Helbig: Society and economy of the Mark Brandenburg in the Middle Ages. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1973, pp. 22-26.
  231. Ingrid Mittenzwei, Erika Herzfeld: Brandenburg-Prussia 1648–1789 - The Age of Absolutism in Text and Image. Verlag der Nation, 3rd edition, Berlin 1990, p. 19 f.
  232. ^ Gerd Heinrich: Kulturatlas Brandenburg - Historische Landkarten - An overview of the history of the Mark, Hendrik Bäßler Verlag, 4th edition, Berlin 2015, p. 23.
  233. Bratring, Volume 2, p. 156 f.
  234. Felicitas Marwinski, Friedhilde Krause, Eberhard Dünninger, Friedhilde Krause, Alwin Müller-Jerina: Handbook of historical book stocks. Berlin. Part 1., Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim 1995, p. 21 f.
  235. Felicitas Marwinski, Friedhilde Krause, Eberhard Dünninger, Friedhilde Krause, Alwin Müller-Jerina: Handbook of historical book stocks. Berlin. Part 1., Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim 1995, p. 23.
  236. ^ Lothar Noack, Jürgen Splett: Bio-Bibliographien - Brandenburg scholars in the early modern period, Mark Brandenburg with Berlin-Cölln 1506–1640, Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2009, foreword
  237. Felicitas Marwinski, Friedhilde Krause, Eberhard Dünninger, Friedhilde Krause, Alwin Müller-Jerina: Handbook of historical book stocks. Berlin. Part 1., Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim 1995, p. 24.
  238. Clemens Bergstedt: In dialogue with robber barons and beautiful Madonnas: the Mark Brandenburg in the late Middle Ages, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 2011, p. 91 f.
  239. Markus Jager: Palaces and Gardens of the Mark: Festgabe for Sibylle Badstübner-Gröger, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 2006, pp. 35–45.
  240. ^ Frank Göse: Friedrich der Grosse and the Mark Brandenburg: Rule Practice in the Province, Studies on Brandenburg and Comparative State History, Volume 7, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 20012, p. 15.
  241. ^ Ingo Materna, Wolfgang Ribbe: Brandenburg history. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1995, p. 287.
  242. Wolfgang Neugebauer: The 17th and 18th Centuries and Great Themes in the History of Prussia, Volume 1, De Gruyter Verlag, Berlin and New York 2009, p. 464 f.
  243. ^ Frank Göse: Friedrich der Grosse and the Mark Brandenburg: Rule Practice in the Province, Studies on Brandenburg and Comparative State History, Volume 7, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 20012, p. 16.
  244. Oliver H. Schmidt, Dirk Schumann: Cistercians in Brandenburg, Studies on the History, Art and Culture of the Cistercians, Volume 1, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 1997, p. 18.
  245. Oliver H. Schmidt, Dirk Schumann: Cistercians in Brandenburg, Studies on the History, Art and Culture of the Cistercians, Volume 1, Lukas Verlag, Berlin 1997, p. 19.
  246. Heinz-Dieter Heimann, Klaus Neitmann, Winfried Schich and others (eds.): Brandenburgisches Klosterbuch. Volume I . Be.Bra Wissenschaft Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-937233-26-0 , content, pp. 5-6 (additional evaluation of the individual chapters).
  247. ^ Peter P. Rohrlach: Historical local dictionary for Brandenburg. Lebus . Hermann Böhlaus successor, Weimar 1983, Gorgast nö Seelow, pp. 148–151, here chapters 6 and 7, p. 149.
  248. ^ Herbert Helbig: Society and economy of the Mark Brandenburg in the Middle Ages. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1973, p. 79.
  249. Peter Knüvener, Dirk Schumann: The Mark Brandenburg under the early Hohenzollern. In: Contributions to history, art and architecture in the 15th century, writings of the Landesgeschichtliche Vereinigung für die Mark Brandenburg. Volume 5, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 2015, p. 20.
  250. Christopher Clark: Prussia - rise and fall 1600-1947. Pantheon Verlag, 2006, p. 22.
  251. Günter Bayerl: History of Land Use in the Barnim-Uckermark Region, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Interdisciplinary Working Group on Future-Oriented Use of Rural Areas. Materials No. 12, Berlin 2006, p. 11.
  252. Peter Knüvener, Dirk Schumann: The Mark Brandenburg under the early Hohenzollern. In: Contributions to history, art and architecture in the 15th century, writings of the Landesgeschichtliche Vereinigung für die Mark Brandenburg. Volume 5, Lukas Verlag, 1st edition, Berlin 2015, p. 24.
  253. Hartmut Harnisch: The manor in Brandenburg - results and problems. In: Yearbook for Economic History. 1969 / IV, p. 121.
  254. Hartmut Harnisch: The manor in Brandenburg - results and problems. In: Yearbook for Economic History. 1969 / IV, p. 122.
  255. Hartmut Harnisch: The manor in Brandenburg - results and problems. In: Yearbook for Economic History. 1969 / IV, p. 124.
  256. ↑ On -site appointments - stations in Brandenburg-Prussia on the way to the modern world. In: Museum Association of the State of Brandenburg (Ed.): Exhibition catalog of the project "Kulturland Brandenburg 2001". Verlag Henschel, 2001, p. 6 f.
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