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coat of arms flag
Coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Flag of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Situation in the German Reich
Location of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the German Empire
State capital Schwerin
Form of government Monarchy , republic
Head of state 1621–1815: (ruling) Duke, 1815–1918: Grand Duke, 1919–1933: Minister of State
dynasty Obotrites
Consist 1621-1701, 1701-1934
surface 13,127 km²
Residents 639,958 (1910)
Population density 49 inhabitants / km²
Arose from Mecklenburg (as part of the state)
Incorporated into State of Mecklenburg
Votes in the Federal Council 2 votes
License Plate MI

The (partial)  duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was an essential part of the rule in the possession of the Dukes of Mecklenburg (from 1815 Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg ). At the same time, Mecklenburg-Schwerin remained part and administrative unit of the Mecklenburg state until the end of the monarchy .

Colloquially, at different times, Mecklenburg-Schwerin was used to refer to the sum of various partial rulers under the reign of the line of the same name of the Mecklenburg Princely House, most recently the (partial) duchy formed in 1701, from 1815 (partial) grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, which became the Free State of Mecklenburg in 1918 -Schwerin first achieved political independence. 1934, under Nazi pressure, the reunification of the two independent states of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz for Mecklenburg , which is now the main part of the area after minor adjustments state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern forms.

Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1701-1918)


At the end of more than five years of succession to the throne of the Mecklenburg dynasty, the (partial) duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was reorganized again in 1701. The founding document for this last political and territorial structure was a dynastic house contract , which sealed the third main division of Mecklenburg and went down in state history as a Hamburg comparison . While the state part of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was reformed by this contract of March 8, 1701, large parts of the former state part Mecklenburg-Güstrow were added to the former state part Mecklenburg-Schwerin. From now on, both territories in total were again referred to as Mecklenburg-Schwerin, although the territorial statuses were by no means congruent in comparison to the previous situation.

In the interior of the new part of the country, the individual rulers in the hands of the Mecklenburg-Schwerin ruling line of the dynasty continued to exist and did not merge into a new whole. The state calendars of Mecklenburg-Schwerin reflected these persistent territorial structures within the Schwerin part of the country for a long time.

The determinations made in 1701 lasted with minor changes until the end of the monarchy. The continuity was only interrupted by a short interim phase from 1848 to 1850, in which only the Mecklenburg-Schwerin part of the country took the first step towards a modern constitutional state with a constitutional monarchy and thus ultimately failed.


Title: Duke of Mecklenburg (from 1815: Grand Duke of Mecklenburg ), Prince of Wenden, Schwerin and Ratzeburg, also Count of Schwerin, the state of Rostock and Stargard Herr .


The Hamburg settlement of March 8, 1701 attempted to impose a peace obligation on the rulers of both parts of Mecklenburg, not to interfere in the internal affairs of the other part of the country, and to act amicably on all foreign policy issues. However, the practice was different. Especially in the first decades of coexistence, the sovereigns violated the agreements. The political primacy of the (grand) dukes from Mecklenburg-Schwerin, defined in 1701, repeatedly gave rise to differences. Unclear legal conditions, paired with a political trial of strength between sovereigns and united estates for positions of power in the Mecklenburg state, brought Mecklenburg to the brink of fratricidal war again in 1752/53. It was not until the “ Land Constitutional Hereditary Comparison ” of 1755, almost a declaration of surrender of the sovereignty, that the situation calmed down and provided the basis for the rather peaceful coexistence of the two parts of the country until the fall of the Mecklenburg monarchy in 1918.

Constitution, Parliament:

As a limited autonomous part of the entire state of Mecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin did not have its own parliament. The state parliament in Mecklenburg was a joint institution and, as the highest political authority, was equally responsible for both parts of Mecklenburg.

The ordinary parliament of the Mecklenburg state met once a year alternately in Sternberg (for the old Duchy of Schwerin) and Malchin (for the old Duchy of Güstrow ). In order to reach a decision, however, it was customary for the Ritter- und Landschaft von Mecklenburg-Schwerin to hold its own preparatory meetings, called convents, independently of this, but these had no political powers and only served the purpose of representation and opinion-forming.

A modern parliament consisting of elected members only existed in Mecklenburg during the monarchy during a short interim phase in the course of the revolution of 1848/49 . After the state part of Mecklenburg-Strelitz had left the democratic renewal process, the state constitution for Mecklenburg-Schwerin was promulgated in 1849 , with which a constitutional monarchy with a two-chamber parliament was to be initiated. After the failure of the revolution, at the instigation of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and pressure from Prussia, the old legal status was restored with the Freienwalder arbitration award in 1850.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, the Grand Dukes and their ministers of state made efforts to enact a modern constitution for the country. All such attempts regularly failed due to the resistance of the estates.

Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV and his Minister of State Adolf Langfeld had prepared the promulgation of a new constitution for the Landtag to be convened in November 1918 . The legal basis for the introduction should be the medieval right of the sovereign to enact laws in emergencies. Due to the extinction of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz line in the male line capable of following the throne a few months earlier, the situation was favorable. The November Revolution also eliminated the monarchy in Mecklenburg and made these plans superfluous.


A modern administrative structure, as z. B. was introduced in Prussia after the wars of freedom, never existed in the Mecklenburg (grand) duchies.


Seal of the Cabinet of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

As a result of the 1848 revolution, new state administration structures arose in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Since October 15, 1849, the Grand-Ducal Government had a (overall) ministry with its seat in Schwerin, which from 1853 was called the State Ministry . There were four ministries:

1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
2. Ministry of the Interior (Interior Ministry)
3. Ministry of Finance (Ministry of Finance)
4. Ministry of Justice (Ministry of Justice)

Ministers of State (No. 1., 2.) and Councilors of State (No. 3., 4.) presided over the ministries as single heads . The overall ministry was chaired by a minister of state (comparable to a prime minister) who, as specialist ministries in personal union, usually headed the foreign and interior ministries.

The military was under the direction of the Grand Ducal Military Department , whose chief, a general , had a seat and vote in the State Ministry when it came to advising on military matters.

As the highest church authorities of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the upper church council took the place of the consistory based in Schwerin in 1848 . The Oberkirchenrat was under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, Department for Spiritual Affairs, and was directly subordinate to the sovereign in his capacity as Oberbishop.

The so-called court budget or the ministry of the grand ducal house, which performed all the tasks of the court state and marshal office and was not part of the government, did not belong to the state ministry.

Privy Council Presidents, (State) Ministers

Official title (s): until 1837 President of the Privy Council and (first) Minister; 1837–1840: first minister; from 1850: President of the (entire) Ministry of State


Like the state of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Schwerin is divided into ownership structures

In addition there were the three state monasteries Dobbertin , Malchow and Ribnitz , each with extensive property, all of which were in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Since the Reformation , they have been used as women's pens for the knights and the countryside to care for unmarried daughters of the local nobility.

All of these ownership structures produced their own administrative structures: domanial and knightly and monastic offices. The seaside city of Rostock had a special status among the cities . Wismar, the second seaside town in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, only returned to the Mecklenburg regional association from 1803 from Swedish administration. Two of the three old Mecklenburg fore towns were in Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Güstrow, Parchim). They had representative functions for all rural towns in the Mecklenburg state that were eligible for parliament and had a special priority.



Seaside cities:

  • Rostock
  • Wismar

Front cities:

Knightly circles

Until 1918, two of the three knightly circles of the Mecklenburg state existed in Mecklenburg-Schwerin . The district of Wenden (or the Wendish district ) consisted of the knighthood areas in the parts of Mecklenburg-Güstrow that were taken over and the Mecklenburg district was formed from the knighthood areas in the remaining part of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.


(DA = Domanialamt; RA = Knightly Office; KA = Monastery Office)

  1. Office Boizenburg (DA)
  2. Boizenburg Office (RA)
  3. Bukow Office (RA)
  4. Office Bukow (in Neubukow ) (DA)
  5. Office Bützow-Rühn (DA)
  6. Office Crivitz (DA)
  7. Crivitz Office (RA)
  8. Office Dargun-Gnoien-Neukalen (DA)
  9. Office Dobbertin (KA)
  10. Doberan Office (DA)
  11. Office Dömitz (DA)
  12. Office Gadebusch (RA)
  13. Office Gadebusch-Rehna (DA)
  14. Office Gnoien (RA)
  15. Office Goldberg (RA)
  16. Grabow Office (RA)
  17. Grabow-Eldena Office (DA)
  18. Grevesmühlen Office (RA)
  19. Office Grevesmühlen-Plüschow (DA)
  20. Office Güstrow (RA)
  21. Office Güstrow-Rossewitz (DA)
  22. Office Hagenow-Toddin-Bakendorf-Lübenheen (DA)
  23. Office Ivenack (RA)
  24. Office Lübz (RA)
  25. Office Lübz-Marnitz (DA)
  26. Malchow Office (KA)
  27. Mecklenburg Office (RA)
  28. Neukalen Office (RA)
  29. Neustadt Office (DA)
  30. Neustadt Office (RA)
  31. Office Plau (RA)
  32. Ribnitz Office (DA)
  33. Ribnitz Office (KA)
  34. Ribnitz Office (RA)
  35. Office Schwaan (DA)
  36. Office Schwaan (RA)
  37. Schwerin Office (RA)
  38. Office Stavenhagen (DA)
  39. Office Stavenhagen (RA)
  40. Sternberg Office (RA)
  41. Office Toitenwinkel zu Rostock (DA)
  42. Office and Abbey Office Schwerin (DA)
  43. Warin-Neukloster-Sternberg-Tempzin Office (DA)
  44. Wismar-Poel-Mecklenburg-Redentin Office (DA)
  45. Wittenburg Office (RA)
  46. Wittenburg-Walsmühlen-Zarrentin Office (DA)
  47. Wredenhagen Office (RA)
  48. Wredenhagen office (in Röbel ) (DA)

Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1919–1933)

Coat of arms of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin




The state parliament of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin had its seat in Schwerin. The first session of the Constituent Assembly took place on February 21, 1919. The state parliament was constituted after the election in June 1920. The legislative period lasted three years. There was proportional representation , but with closed lists. The calculation methods were carried out using the D'Hondt method . In total, there was only one constituency that encompassed the entire Free State.


The Mecklenburgisch-Schwerinische Ministry consisted of the Prime Minister and the Ministries of appearance, for the Interior, for finance, for justice, for Education, Arts, clergy and medical Alan occasions and for agriculture, domains and forests . As a rule, the Prime Minister took over the Foreign Ministry and another specialist ministry at the same time. The cabinet then consisted of the prime minister and three ministers. Often a minister also headed two ministries, so that the government consisted of the prime minister and only two ministers. During the National Socialist era, the cabinet was further downsized (Prime Minister and a Minister of State).

Minister of State, Prime Minister:

Administrative division


  1. Guestrow
  2. Rostock
  3. Schwerin
  4. Wismar


  1. Boizenburg
  2. Bützow
  3. Dargun
  4. Doberan
  5. Grabow
  6. Grevesmühlen
  7. Guestrow
  8. Hagenow
  9. Luebz
  10. Ludwigslust
  11. Malchin
  12. Neustadt
  13. Parchim
  14. Röbel
  15. Rostock
  16. Schwerin
  17. Stavenhagen
  18. Was in
  19. Were
  20. Wismar Office

See also


Thomas Mann's novel Royal Highness is set, without mentioning it, in the - poetically, of course, 'edited' - Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.


Web links

Wikisource: Mecklenburg  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Mecklenburg-Schwerin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Designations according to the Mecklenburg-Schwerin state calendar 1896.
  2. Helge bei der Wieden: Outline of the German administrative history. Vol. 13: Mecklenburg. Marburg 1976, pp. 57-59.
  3. 1769–1784 Privy Council President of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  4. son of the vg. Carl Friedrich