Meininger Unterland is the historical name of the district of Meiningen in the former Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen . This name comes from the first half of the 19th century and, in contrast to the later acquired “ Meininger Oberland ” (later district of Sonneberg ), describes the core area from which the Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen emerged in 1680. After the end of the independent state of Saxony-Meiningen in 1920, the term disappeared from everyday language.
Origin of the term "Meininger Unterland"
The Ernestine Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen was created in 1680 when the Duchy of Saxony-Gotha- Altenburg was divided under the sons of Duke Ernst I of Saxony-Gotha (1601–1675). The third son of Duke Ernst the Pious, Bernhard I of Saxony-Meiningen , was awarded the former Henneberg offices of Meiningen , Maßfeld , Wasungen , Sand and Frauenbreitungen , as well as the Saxon-Wettin offices of Salzungen and Altenstein with the Liebenstein court . Due to the historical affiliation to different ruling houses, the offices belonged to two different imperial circles after 1500 until its dissolution in 1806. While the two Wettin offices as part of the former Landgraviate of Thuringia and the later Saxon duchies were part of the Upper Saxon Empire , the five Henneberg offices belonged to the Franconian Empire .
With the extinction of the Sachsen-Coburg (1699) and Sachsen-Römhild (1710) lines, the territory of the principality was significantly enlarged after long and sometimes armed conflicts (the Themar War). In the 18th century, the Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen acquired the offices of Neuhaus , Sonneberg and Schalkau with the Rauenstein court , which were separated from the core area of Saxony-Meiningen by the Duchy of Saxony-Hildburghausen and until 1826 as a part of the duchy that was legally separate from Meiningen Saxe-Coburg counted.
For the two parts of the country, the names "Meininger Unterland" for the seven offices of the core area around Meiningen and " Meininger Oberland " for the three offices around Sonneberg have become established.
Administrative history of the Meininger Unterland
For the acquisition of the office of Schalkau in 1723 the four suburban towns of Queienfeld (previously the Meiningen office), Schwickershausen (Meiningen's share), Rentwertshausen and Berkach im Grabfeld (all three previously the Maßfeld office) were transferred to the Duchy of Saxony-Hildburghausen , which gave them the office Affiliated bores.
Until 1720 the Meiningen office was co-administered by the magistrate of the Maßfeld office. The Altenstein office was owned by the Hund von Wenkheim family as a fiefdom of the dukes of Saxony-Meiningen until 1722 . After their extinction, a ducal office was formed from the area in 1723. In 1800 the Liebenstein court was subordinated to the Altenstein office, but the judiciary was handled independently until 1827. Since 1812 the Altenstein bailiff was also responsible for the women's spreads office.
As part of a border adjustment with the Grand Duchy of Würzburg , the former imperial knighthood villages Bibra, Bauerbach, Nordheim and the Hof Ruppers came to the office of Maßfeld in 1808, whereas the sovereign free float in Willmars was abandoned and with the imperial knighthood half of Willmars and the imperial knighthood places Mühlfeld, Neustadt Oberfilke and Unterfilke, Völkershausen and Sands were left to the Grand Duchy of Würzburg. The former imperial knighthood of Walldorf came to the Meiningen office.
In 1825 there was a change in the administrative structure in the Unterland. The joint administration of the Wasungen and Sand offices, which had existed since 1583, was dissolved and the Sand office was given its own bailiff. The offices of Meiningen and Maßfeld were restructured in the same year. While the Meiningen office gave its exclave Vachdorf / Leutersdorf to the Maßfeld office, it received its northern part from the latter.
Through the ordinance of the state government and the higher regional court, the highest ordinance of June 25, 1825, which provided for the separation of administration and justice in the local authorities, was introduced in the Unterland with effect from September 1, 1827. The five subordinate offices of Wasungen, Sand, Frauenbreitungen, Altenstein with Liebenstein and Salzungen were dissolved. A district office with the seat in Frauenbreitungen was established for administration, police, road construction, military affairs and municipal supervision . Its central location spoke in favor of relocating the administrative center to this small town. While an administrative unit was created from the five subordinate offices, in 1827 the jurisdiction was divided between the judicial offices of Salzungen , Glücksbrunn and Wasungen . The offices of Maßfeld and Meiningen still existed as separate authorities in 1827, but were already referred to as the “administrative office” in administrative matters and as the “judicial office” in judicial matters.
As part of the reorganization of the Duchy in 1829, the Frauenbreitungen district office was dissolved and divided into the two administrative offices of Wasungen and Salzungen. The administration of the offices of Meiningen and Maßfeld was now taken over by the Meiningen administrative office. The jurisprudence passed from the judicial offices of Salzungen, Wasungen and Glücksbrunn, as well as the offices of Meiningen and Maßfeld to the district court of Meiningen. The noble lower courts in the area lasted until 1848.
During a structural reorganization of the Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen in 1868, the administrative offices of Meiningen, Wasungen and Salzungen were dissolved and combined to form the district of Meiningen , which thus encompassed the entire Unterland.
End of the "Meininger Unterland"
After the abdication of Duke Bernhard III. on November 10, 1918, the duchy became the Free State of Saxony-Meiningen , which continued until 1920. Then the district of Meiningen came to the newly founded state of Thuringia , but was territorially changed as a result of an administrative structure. Meiningen remained a district town.
Administrative structure of the Meininger Unterland
Administrative structure until 1827
|Office of Maßfeld||Undersize field|
|Office sand||Wasungen, from 1825: Oepfershausen|
|Office women spread||Women spreads|
|Office Salzungen with the exclaves Oberellen and Dietlas||Salting|
|Altenstein office with the Liebenstein court||Schweina|
Administrative structure 1827–1829
|Administrative authority||Associated former offices|
|District Office Frauenbreitungen||Salzungen, Altenstein with Liebenstein, Frauenbreitungen, Wasungen, Sand|
|Administrative office Meiningen||Meiningen Office|
|Administrative office Maßfeld||Office of Maßfeld|
|Judicial authority||Associated former offices|
|Justice Office Salzungen||Salting|
|Glücksbrunn Justice Office||Altenstein with Liebenstein, Frauenbreitungen|
|Wasungen Justice Office||Wasungen, sand|
|Justice Office Meiningen||Meiningen Office|
|Justice Department Maßfeld||Office of Maßfeld|
Administrative structure 1829–1868
|Administrative authority||Associated former offices|
|Administrative office of Salzungen||Salzungen, Altenstein with Liebenstein, Frauenbreitungen|
|Wasungen administrative office||Wasungen, sand|
|Meiningen administrative office||Meiningen, Maßfeld|
|Judicial authority||Associated former judicial authorities|
|District Court Meiningen||Justice offices Salzungen, Glücksbrunn, Wasungen|
|District Court Meiningen||Justice Offices Meiningen and Maßfeld|
Administrative structure 1868–1918
|Administrative authority||Judicial authorities|
|District of Meiningen||District Court Meiningen
- District Courts Meiningen (city and state)
- District Court Salzungen
- District Court Wasungen