Strassburg 1681

A.) Prehistory

The Treaty of Nijmegen 1679, concluding the Dutch War of Louis XIV., technically was a victory of the Allies. Yet they were exhausted; the Dutch Republic was tired of paying subsidies; Austria (the Emperor) unable to finance such a war on his own, and had to deal with a rebellious Hungarian population (Kuruc Rebellion, 1679-1684). Moreover, the Elector of Brandenburg, pressurized by the Emperor to return most of the territories she had taken from Sweden during the Swedish-Brandenburgian War 1675-1679 in the peace arrangement, was so angered that he entered into a short-living alliance with France.
Thus the alliance which had checked French expansion during the war, had dissolved. Louis XIV. was free to occupy and annex small territories on the eastern border of France (the infamous REUNIONs).

B.) Strassburg 1681

In 1681 a French army appeared in front of the walls of Strassburg, the cultural and economic center of the ELSASS (Alsace). Without hope for relief, the city surrendered and was annexed into France. In the Treaty of Rijswijk 1697, the French unilateral annexion of Strassburg was internationally recognized.

C.) The Legacy

In 1685 Louis XIV. put pressure on the protestant communities in France; the majority of Strassburg's Lutheran community (the city had been a center of the German protestant reformation) was reintegrated into the Catholic church. This was a blow to the city's German identity.

Article Strasburg, from Catholic Encyclopedia, from Jewish Encyclopedia
Cathedrale Notre Dame, Strasbourg, France, from UQuebec
24 octobre 1681: Louis XIV entre dans Strasbourg , from Herodote
Article Strasbourg, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS La Capitulation de la Ville de Strasbourg en 1681, from Un peu d'histoire, by Philippe Nithard, site in French

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 11th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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