Cisrhenian Republic

The Mainz Republic, 1792-1793

In 1792, the Austro-Prussian expedition invading France was repelled by French revolutionary forces, which in turn, under General Adam Philippe Comte de Custine, invaded the Rhineland. The princes fled, and in the city of Mainz, with over 20,000 inhabitants, residence of the Princebishop of Mainz (as elector one of the most illustrious princes of the Empire) the REPUBLIC was proclaimed on October 23rd 1792.
A Mainz Jacobin Club was established under the name Gesellschaft der Freunde der Freiheit und Gleichheit (club of the friends of liberty and equality). The club advocated political union with France, the motherland of liberty. The TREE OF LIBERTY was erected on Cathedral Square. Members were mainly recruited from the University of Mainz, from the city's merchants and from officials who used to serve in the princely administration. Soon filial clubs were founded in Worms and Speyer. Delegates of the National Convent, among them G. Forster, went to Paris, where they requested unification with France, which was accepted on March 25th. Circumstances prevented this from happening.
Among the leading figures of the Mainz Republic was GEORG FORSTER, who had accompanied James Cook on his second journey and who was librarian in Mainz. In March 1793 a RHENISH-GERMAN NATIONAL CONVENT was elected. Feudalism was abolished. However, in 1793 Austrian forces retook the Rhineland and the Ancien Regime was restored. On July 23rd, the French garrison of Mainz (the city was under siege since January) surrendered.

After a short period, the French srmies returned (1794/1795); in 1797 the short-lived CISRHENIAN REPUBLIC was established, covering the entire German left bank of the Rhine. In 1797 (1802) it was annexed into France. French reforms were implemented.

Mainzer Republik, from Lassen Sie uns von Kunst reden, in German
Die Mainzer Republik, from, in German
Die Mainzer Republik, from Gymnasium am Schloss, Mainz, in German
Biography of Johannes Ignatz Weitzel, by Reinhard Markner, in German
REFERENCE Coins of Mainz under the Republic, 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1997, pp.412 - inscription Republique Francaise, Siege de Mayence

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 3rd 2002, last revised on November 11th 2004

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