1500-1648 1737-1815

Württemberg 1648-1737

During the 30 YEARS WAR Lutheran Württemberg suffered severe destruction; the population had decreased from over 450,000 in 1618 to 166,000 in 1648. In 1648 forces of occupation left and the count resumed his rule. In 1649, Württemberg was the first German territory to introduce MANDATORY ELEMENTARY EDUCATION. Theologian Johann Valentin Andreae (1586-1654) strove to introduce religious reforms, which inspired the Swabian Pietism (j.A. Bengel, F. Chr. Oetinger).
The Württemberg ESTATES strengthened their position, were regularly called to assemble, gained the right to approve the budget. The Duke was limited in his policy by the estates; the establishment of a standing army was beyond his financial capability. Thus, French invasions in 1688 and 1692/1693 were unopposed. Duke EBERHARD LUDWIG (1693-1733) did not call the Landtag (Estates) after 1699, but ruled via the Landtag commissions; in 1724 he succeeded in the establishment of a STANDING ARMY. Since 1704, construction works on his new residence at LUDWIGSBURG (1704-1733) went on. In 1699, WALDENSIANS (religious refugees from Piemont) were permitted to settle at Maulbronn; Huguenots however, not being Lutherans, were not permitted to settle in the country. Eberhard Ludwig in 1707 married his maitresse WILHELMINE VON GRÄVENITZ, although he was already married; the second marriage was declared invalid in 1708. Wilhelmine von Graevenitz, from 1711 onward, practically dominated policy in Württemberg (until banned in 1731).
Duke KARL ALEXANDER (1733-1737) was Catholic, in contrast to the Lutheran estates. In a treaty guaranteed by Prussia, England and the Dutch Republic, he assured the states not to interfere with the territory's Lutheran confession. Karl Alexander used the services of Jewish banker SÜSS OPPENHEIMER, who introduced MERCANTILIST POLICY and made enemies in the commissions. After the death of Karl Alexander he was arrested, sentenced in a show trial and executed (1738).
In 1723 the sideline of Württemberg-Montbeliard (-Mömpelgard) was extinct and the county of MONTBELIARD was reunified with Württemberg.

Geschichte von Ludwigsburg, from ludwigsburg.de
Joseph Süss Oppenheimer vor 300 Jahren geboren, from hagalil.com
Joseph Süss Oppenheimer in der Geschichte, from Shoa.de, in German
Article Kingdom of Württemberg, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Grafen und Herzöge von Württemberg, from Schlossgarten.de, in German, illustrated
DOCUMENTS List of Dukes, Kings of Württemberg, from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon; scroll down for W.
General Instruction Comcerning Disputes netween Burghers and Soldiers, dated 8 March 1719, from Documents on German History
REFERENCE Territorien-Ploetz : Geschichte der Deutschen Länder, Vol.1, Würzburg 1964, pp.307-309 [G]
Coins of Württemberg, 1601-1700, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Seventeenth Century 1601-1700, 2nd ed., 2000, pp.780-789
Coins of Württemberg, 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1997, pp.546-555
Karl Weller, Württembergische Geschichte (History of W.), Stuttgart : Werner Jäckh 1963, in German
Selma Stern, The Court Jew, A Contribution to the History of Absolutism in Europe, NY (1950) : Transaction Books 1985, especially pp.115-136 (on Süss Oppenheimer) [G]
Peter H. Wilson, Women and Imperial Politics : the Württemberg Consorts, 1674-1757, pp.221-251 in : Clarissa Campbell Orr, Queenship in Europe, 1660-1815. The Role of Consort, Cambridge : UP 2004, KMLA Lib.Sign. 940.09 076q

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First posted on September 17th 2003, last revised on February 22nd 2006

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