Alsace, 1697-1789

Note : in German, the region is spelled ELSASS

In 1699 the French constructed the fortress of NEU-BREISACH. The Alsace occasionally was war theatre in the WAR OF SPANISH SUCCESSION (1700-1714), the WAR OF POLISH SUCCESSION (1733-1735), the WAR OF AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION (Charles, Duke of Lorraine - which was occupied by the French - fighting for his inheritance); Austrian pandures appeared briefly in the Alsace in 1744. Counterreformation continued, the village of Schleithal being converted to Catholicism in 1709.
In 1702 the episcopal university was moved from Molsheim to Strasbourg.
Battles only occasionally interrupted a long period characterized by political stability and economic prosperity - the Alsace is fertile. The Alsatian cities lost political autonomy, and the French culture had an impact on the Alsace. On the other hand, the Alsace was detached from the cultural development in Germany, where, during the 18th century Hochdeutsch was developed and taught at schools, the medium of the German writers. When Goethe visited the Elsass in 1770, he remarked that the Alsatians learnt French and Latin in school and spoke German at home, mastering none of these languages.
Between 1765 and 1768, Strassburg was transformed into a fortress. The bishops of Strassburg had retained a degree of political autonomy, expressed in their right to mint coins (the last in 1773).

In 1787 the Provincial Assembly of the Alsace met for the first time.
During the French Revolution, all regional privileges were abolished, the area formally annexed into France, the Alsace reorganized in two departements (Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin).

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Das Elsass und seine Geschichte, by Hans Rainer Soppa in German
History of Strasbourg, from strasbourg.com
L'Alsace sous la premiere periode francaise (1648-1870), from elsassnet.com
History of Elsass-Lothringia : 1648-1680 the Reunions, from National Forum of Elsass-Lothringia, detailed chronology
Article Strasbourg, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Reformed Protestantism, from utoronto, scroll down for Strasbourg
History of Belfort, from LISA
Histoire de Strasbourg : Renaissance, from Ville de Strasbourg, in French, click le 18e siecle
DOCUMENTS Coins of Lorraine, 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1997, pp.232
Philippe Dollinger (ed.), Histoire de l'Alsace (History of the Alsace), Toulouse : Edouard Privat, 1970, in French
Medal : Louis XV., Protector of Alsace, Crossing the Rhine, 1744, from Medal Web, Collection Benjamin Weiss

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 3rd 2002, last revised on January 15th 2007

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