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Mecklenburg

From Academic Kids

Mecklenburg, located in Northern Germany, was a duchy within the Holy Roman Empire, then divided, and after 1815 two Grand Duchies, then a state, and now part of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Its borders are the Baltic Sea to the north, the rivers of Recknitz and Trebel to the east, the Elbe river to the southwest. On the west Mecklenburg borders Lower Saxony and Holstein. Mecklenburg is in the low-lying coastal plain, full of small rivers, canals and lakes, its sandy Baltic shoreline protected by dunes.

Contents

History

Early History

Mecklenburg was formerly the site of many prehistoric dolmen tombs. The area was occupied by the Obotrites and other tribes that Frankish sources referred to a "Wends".

The name derives from a castle named "Mikilenburg" (Old German: "big castle"), located between the cities of Schwerin and Wismar. The 11th century founder of the Mecklenburgian dynasty of Dukes and later Grand Dukes, which lasted until 1918, was Niklot of the Obotrites. In later 12th century Henry the Lion as Duke of Saxons conquered the region, subjugated its local lords, and Christianized its people, in a precursor to the Northern Crusades.

Over the centuries the territory has remained relatively stable, being conquered neither by Danish (except some overlordship during the line of first Valdemars), Sweden (except for Wismar) nor Prussia. Mecklenburg, besides Bavaria and a few others, is among the few German territories that remained pretty much the same and relatively independent since the end of the Middle Ages.

In the 14th century Albert, Duke of Mecklenburg ruled as king of Sweden, from 1363 until he was deposed in 1389.

From 17th century till 1990

Like many German territories, Mecklenburg was sometimes partitioned and repartitioned among different members of the dynasty. In 1621 it was divided into the two duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Güstrow. With the extinction of the Güstrow line in 1701, the Güstrow lands were redivided, part going to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and part going to the new line of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Missing image
Flag_Mecklenburg.png
Flag of Mecklenburg

In 1815, the two Mecklenburgian duchies were raised to Grand Duchies, and subsequently existed separately as such in Germany under enlightened but absolute feudal rule (constitutions being granted on the eve of World War I) until the revolution of 1918. From 1918 to 1933 they were free states in the Weimar Republic. Adolf Hitler united them in 1933; the East German government "erased" the name Mecklenburg and created serveral large districts instead.

Since 1990

During German reunification in 1990, the smaller neighbouring region of Western Pomerania (German Vorpommern) was added to form the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Mecklenburg contributed about two thirds of the geograpical size of the new state, and also the majority of the population.

People from Mecklenburg

Ethnically, people from Mecklenburg are a mix of early settlers from Westphalia, the Rhineland and Saxony on the one hand and West Slavic people on the other. Also, a considerable number of Scandinavians have settled over the centuries, particularly in the Hanseatic towns like Wismar and Rostock.

Famous people from Mecklenburg include:

The Last Name Mecklenburg was often changed to Meckler when moved to America.

External Links

See also:

de:Mecklenburg es:Mecklemburgo eo:Meklenburgo fr:Mecklembourg nl:Mecklenburg nds:Mekelnborg pl:Meklemburgia sv:Mecklenburg

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