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Message from the King of Prussia to the Landtag, for their Sanction to the Annexation of Hanover
(Hertslet, iii, No.385)

We, William, by the Grace of God, King of Prussia, &c., hereby declare and make known:
The Governments of the Kingdom of Hanover, of the Electorate of Hesse, and of the Duchy of Nassau, as well as the Free Town of Frankfort, have by their participation in the hostile conduct of the former Diet placed themselves in a state of open War with Prussia. They declined the Neutrality as well as the Alliance repeatedly offered to them by Prussia, even at the last moment, under the promise of a Guarantee of the Integrity of their Territory; they took an active part in the decision of War for themselves and their Countries. This decision, according to God's decree, has been against them. Political necessity obliges us not to restore to them the power of government, of which they have been deprived by the victorious advance of our army.
The aforesaid countries could, in case they maintained their Independence, cause, from their geographical position, difficulties and obstructions, by a hostile or even doubtful attitude of their Governments towards (p.100) Prussian policy and military action, far surpassing the extent of their actual power and importance. Not from a desire of acquiring Territory, but from a feeling of duty to protect our inherited States from a recurrence of the danger, to give a broader and surer foundation to the national reorganization of Germany, the necessity arises for us to unite for ever with our monarchy the Kingdom of Hanover, the Electorate of Hesse, the Duchy of Nassau, and the Free Town of Frankfort.
We know very well that only a part of the people of those States share with us the conviction of this necessity. We respect and honour the feelings of loyalty and devotion which bind the Inhabitants of those Countries to their Princely Houses and to their Independent Political Institutions, but we trust that the lively share in the progressive development of the National Commonweal*, together with an indulgent attention to special legal 
interests, will facilitate the inevitable transition into the new and more extensive community.
We call on the Houses of the Landtag to give their constitutional sanction to the contemplated Union, and for this purpose send them the accompanying draft of law.

* editor's note : obviously, National Commonwealth is meant.


R.B. Mowat, Select Treaties and Documents 1815-1916, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1916, pp.99-100

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