1648-1736 1815-1871

Hessen-Darmstadt, 1736-1815

In 1736 Hessen-Darmstadt acquired the county of LICHTENBERG. Hessen-Darmstadt, heavily indebted, only narrowly avoided state bankruptcy in 1772 and 1779. In 1777 an AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION and a FACULTY FOR ECONOMICS at the University of Giessen were established by minister Friedrich Karl von Moser. Von Moser, minister since 1772, avoided state bankrupcy, in 1775 he separated administration and jurisdiction, took measures to promote agriculture. In contrast to Hessen-Kassel, Hessen-Darmstadt did not make use of subsidy treaties (i.e. leasing her regiments to fight foreign wars).
The court at Darmstadt (Countess Henriette Karoline) attracted composer GLUCK and writers WIELAND, HERDER, GOETHE, KLOPSTOCK (Kreis der Empfindsamen (Circle of the Sensitives)).
The territory was Lutheran; in 1786 Catholics were permitted to hold religious services according to their rite. A SYNAGOGUE had been erected in Darmstadt in 1737. In 1790 Hessen-Darmstadt had c. 240,000 inhabitants.
In 1801/1803/1806 Hessen-Darmstadt lost a few territories, but gained considerably, most notably the DUCHY OF WESTPHALIA, hitherto belonging to the Archbishop of Cologne. In 1806 the Count was promoted GRAND DUKE. Hessen-Darmstadt joined the RHEINBUND and provided her army to Napoleon's various campaigns. They suffered significant losses, most of all in the Russian campaign.

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Hessia (-Kassel). Short info about Hessia, from Franken
Article Hesse, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1910 edition
Vom "populus Hassiorum" zu "Greater Hesse", from Hesseninformationen in German
Geschichte in Stichworten, from Darmstadt Homepage, in German
A Short History of Darmstadt, by Uwe Beilborn
DOCUMENTS List of Grand Dukes, from World Statesmen
Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, from warflags.com
Hessen-Darmstadt Decree on Desertion, 1739, from Documents on German History
REFERENCE Territorien-Ploetz : Geschichte der Deutschen Länder, Vol.1, Würzburg 1964, pp.206-2078
Coins of Hessen-Darmstadt, 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1997, pp.374-378
Karl E. Demandt, Geschichte des Landes Hessen (History of the Land of Hessen), Kassel : Bärenreiter 1959, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on January 15th 2007

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