1568-1648 1736-1815

Hessen-Kassel, 1648-1736

The TREATY OF WESTPHALIA brought several territorial acquisitions for the County of Hessen-Kassel : the Hessian half of SCHAUMBURG (including the university town of RINTELN), HERSFELD. Foreign troops departed the territory of Hessen-Kassel in 1649. In 1650, the Regent Countess (since 1637) handed over rule to her son, Wilhelm VI. In 1653 the University of Kassel (est. 1633, defunct since 1635) formally was restored to Marburg.
In 1655 Landgrave Wilhelm VI. confirmed the privileges of the Estates and achieved the establishment of a standing army of 15 regiments. The Estates consisted of prelates, nobles (knights), cities; their authority was rather limited. In 1652, H.-K. joined the Hildesheim Alliance with Brandenburg and Sweden. In 1662/1663, the Hessian postal service was established (previously, Hessen-Kassel had been served by the Imperial postal service, held bu the Thurn und Taxis family). In 1657-1672, Rheinfels was fortified.
In 1658 Hessen-Kassel joined the first Confederation of the Rhine, and gained French subsidies. In the 1670es, Hessen-Kassel opposed a French move to expand into the Empire. In 1677-1678, Hessian troops fought in/for Denmark, against Sweden. In 1688, Hessian troops in Venetian pay fought for Venice, against the Ottoman Empire, on Morea.
Hessen-Kassel was to support the Emperor in the wars against France, including the WAR OF SPANISH SUCCESSION (1700-1714).
In the later part of the 17th century, c. 4,000 HUGUENOTS and a number of Waldensians were settled, f.i. in KARLSHAFEN and in Kassel. Count Karl's son FRIEDRICH in 1720 was crowned King of Sweden. In 1730 he inherited Hessen-Kassel, which was administrated by his brother Wilhelm, who functioned as stadholder.
An alliance with England signed in 1688 was turned into a perpetual alliance in 1714. In 1733, Hessen-Kassel allied with Austria (War of Polish Succession).
Especially Count Karl (1670-1730) did much to ornate his capital by buildings, statues, gardens.

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Hessia (-Kassel). Short info about Hessia, from Franken
Vom "populus Hassiorum" zu "Greater Hesse", from Hesseninformationen in German
Geschichte der Stadt Kassel, from kassel.de, in German
Article Hesse, from Catholic Encyclopedia 1910 edition
REFERENCE Territorien-Ploetz : Geschichte der Deutschen Länder, Vol.1, Würzburg 1964, pp.207-208
Coins of Hessen-Kassel, 1601-1700, in Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Seventeenth Century 1601-1700, 2nd ed., 2000, pp.496-508
Coins of Hessen-Kassel, 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1997, pp.367-374
Karl E. Demandt, Geschichte des Landes Hessen (History of the Land of Hessen), Kassel : Bärenreiter 1959, in German
Hugo Brunner, Geschichte der Stadt Cassel (History of Kassel), Kassel : Pillardy & Augustin 1913; 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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