Friday, March 29, 2013

german Houses: The Ducal House of Anhalt

The Ducal House of Anhalt

House of Askania

Since 1863 the member of the Ducal Family bear the Title Prince/Princess of Anhalt with the style of Highness.  The male members further bear the titles Duke of Saxony and Count zu Ascania.

The first known ancestor of the Family is the swabian Count Esico of Ballenstädt in the 11th Century   The principal source for the genealogy of the early Ascanians is the  Anna Lista Saxo, which was written in the in the middle of the 12th Century. However, the data are not supported by any contemporary evidence. Accordingly Esico was a maternal grandson of Margrave Hodo (993) and inherited after the death of his uncle Siegfried († 1030) several allodial estates in Swabia and SerimuntgauThe name of Esico's father is unknown, until in much later written genealogies the name Adalbert was added  because of the around the year 1080 murdered Count Adalbert was called a son of Esico. Count Adalbert had 2 sons Otto the riche and Siegfried. Otto was the father of Albrecht the Bear  who was the first imporant representative of the Family. He was a  contemporary and rival of Heinrich the Lion (Guelph) and Conrad the Great (Wettin). On 1157 he founded the Mark Brandenburg and was the first Margrave of it.  Albrecht drove the German Ostsiedlung forward decisively, through him the previous  Nordmark which was lost in the Great Slavic came as   Brandenburg back to the Holy Roman Empire. He established the position of power to his family home in the Saxon Ostmark
Like it was ommon among many of the german noble Familes  also Allbrecht the the Bear divided his  his extensive territorial possessions among his sons, from which the four main lines of Ascania are descending:
  • His eldest son, Otto I († 1184) was awarded the Mark of Brandenburg, whose descendants ruled it until 1320, and turned the country from an expansionist territorial Ostpolitik
  • Hermann I († 1176) established the younger branch of the counts of Weimar-independent town, although it was of little importance, and in the late 15th Century went out.
  • The youngest son Bernhard († 1212) was given the master  land of the the Ascanians around Ballenstedt,  Aschersleben and Anhalt who  summarized later formed the Principality of Anhalt. In 1180 he was awarded as "Bernhard III." with the Gelnhäuser certificate of Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa as Duke the Duchy of Saxony which had  previisouly been occupied by the Guelphs. From the Old Saxon territory he received only its eastern territories to Wittenberg and Lauenburg.

After the death of Duke Bernhard 1212 his territory was divived among his sons. His son Albrecht was given the Duchy of Saxony which was later split in the lines Saxe-Witteberg (extinct 1422) and Saxe-Lauenburg (extinct (1689) and Heinrich who was given the master territories around Ballenstedt etc. 
So in 1212 it came to the Principality of Anhalt. Fürst Heinrich  I.  of Anhalt had chosen this name for his line to distinguish it from other Ascanian lines. The name goes back to the Ascanian family castle, Burg Anhalt near Harzgerode and the name of Ascania refers to their residence Ascanians at Aschersleben. The Principality thus developed from the Schwabengau and Gau Serimunt as owned by the family of Ascania and was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German NationThe sons of Fürst Heinrich partitioned the lands after his death in 1251: 
  • Bernhard received Bernburg and Ballenstädt (line extinct in 1468), 
  • Siegfried received Köthen, Zerbst, Koswigk and Dessau. In this line the lands where repeatedly divided or ruled jointly by brothers. but by chance always reunited.
  • Heinrich II received Ascherleben, Wegeleben and Gernrode (extinct 1315, at which point the county of Ascherleben was given to the Bishops of Halberstedt). Together with it it went to the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1648.
Early in the 16th century, however, owing to the death or abdication of several Princes, the family had become narrowed down to the two branches of Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau (Issued both from Anhalt-Dessau in 1471). Wolfgang, who became Fürst of Anhalt-Köthen in 1508, was a stalwart adherent of the Reformation, and after the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547 was placed under the ban and deprived of his lands by Emperor Karl V.. After the peace of Passau in 1552 he bought back his principality, but as he was childless he surrendered it in 1562 to his kinsmen the Princes of Anhalt-Dessau. Fürst Ernest I who died in 1516 left three sons, Johan V, Georg III, and Joachim I, who ruled their lands together for many years, and who, like Fürst Wolfgang, favoured the reformed doctrines, which thus became dominant in Anhalt. About 1546 the three brothers divided their Principality and founded the lines of Zerbst, Plötzkau and Dessau. This division, however, was only temporary, as the acquisition of Köthen, and a series of deaths among the Princes, enabled Joachim Ernest, a son of Johann II., to unite the whole of Anhalt under his rule in 1570.
 In 1570 all the Family posessions where reunited in the person of Fürst Joachim Ernst. Fürst Joachim Ernst died in 1586 and left 7 sons. At first the eldest Fürst Johann Georg I. ruled for the others but in 1603 it was the brothers decided to divide the lands amiong. 2 brothers had already died and another August received a lump sum payment for his share. So the remaining four brothers founded 4 brances:

  • Johann Georg got Dessau and was the founder of the branch Anhalt-Dessau
  • Christian got Bernburg and was the founder of branch Anhalt-Bernburg
  • Ludwig got Köthen and was the founder of the branch Anhalt-Köthen 
  • Rudolf got Zerbst and was the founder of the branch Anhalt-Zerbs

Later also August asked for a piece of land and his brother gave him Plötzkau therefore Augst founded the branch of Anhalt-Plötzkau. The Principality was ravaged during the Thirty Years' War, and in the earlier part of this struggle Fürst Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg took an important part. In 1635 an arrangement was made by the various Princes of Anhalt, which gave a certain authority to the eldest member of the family, who was thus able to represent the Principality as a whole. This proceeding was probably due to the necessity of maintaining an appearance of unity in view of the disturbed state of European politics.
In 1665 the line of Anhalt-Köthen beame extinct and the line of Anhalt-Plötzkau then got Köthen. In the same year an agreement was made between the remaning Princes that if any of the other lines would die out the lands should be divided equally among the remnaing branches.

The Principality from 1807 Duchy of Anhalt-Dessau

The founder of the new branch of Anhalt-Dessau was Fürst Johann Georg. In 1618 he was succeeded by his son Johann Casimir wo after his accession devoted himself almost exlusvely on hunting and his repsentatives duties at the Court of Dessau. After a hunting accident in 1662 he was confined to his bed for many years. In 1660 he died and his sons Johan Georg became the new Fürst. Fürst Johann Georg mantained the   claims of his house on Aschersleben that was left to Brandenburg in 1648 and   continued by also that his candidature to it was granted it, but this was of no practical significance. He entered military service in Brandenburg, the Great Elector in 1670 was promoted to Field Marshal and graduated in June 1672 from the alliance between Emperor Leopold I. in Vienna and Brandenburg. It undertook both to set up each 12,000 men under the command of the elector to maintain the Peace of Westphalia. 1674 gave him the Great Elector the governorship in the marks, but it was missing him at troops to prevent the invasion of Sweden. He then participated in the campaign of 1675 against Sweden in 1679 he took over the Brandenburg Regiment Fargell walk. In 1683 he became the emperor sent to Passau to provide assistance Brandenburg against the Turks in view, but not recommended by a war against France. In general, he has sought to strengthen the alliance between the Emperor and Brandenburg. When he died in 1693 his son and successor Fürst Leopld I. was not yet of age and so Johann Casimir's widow, Fürstin Henriette Catharina acted as Regent until 1695. In 1603 Fürst Leopold I. became colonel of a Prussian regiment in 1693, and in the same year inherited his own principality; for the remainder of his long life, he performed the duties of a sovereign prince and a Prussian officer simultaneously.
Leopold's career as a soldier in important commands began with the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701. He had many improvements made in the Prussian army, notably the introduction of the iron ramrod about 1700, and he now took the field at the head of a Prussian corps on the Rhine, serving at the sieges of Kaiserswerth and Venlo in 1702. In the following year, having obtained the rank of lieutenant-general, Leopold took part in the siege of Bonnand fought as part of the Battle of Hochstadt, in which the Austrians and their Prussian allies were defeated by the French under Marshal Claude-Louis-Hector de Villars on 20 September 1703. In the campaign of 1704 the Prussian contingent served first under Margrave  Ludwig Wilhelm  of Baden-Baden, then Prince Eugene of Savoy, and fought at Blenheim. In 1705 Leopold was sent with a Prussian corps to join Prince Eugene in Italy, and on 6 August fought at the Battle of Cassano. In the Battle of Turin, he was the first to enter the hostile entrenchments (7 September 1706). He served in one more campaign in Italy, and then served under Eugene to join Marlborough in the Netherlands, being present in 1709 at the siege of Tournai and the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1710 Leopold succeeded to the command of the entire Prussian contingent at the French front, and in 1712, he was made a field marshal at the particular request of the prussian Crown Prince  Friedrich Wilhelm, who had served with him as a volunteer. Shortly before this he had executed a coup de main on the castle of Mors, which had been held by the Dutch in defiance of the claims of the king of Prussia to its possession. The operation was effected with absolute precision and the castle was seized without a shot being fired. In the earlier part of the reign of King Friedrich Wilhelm I. the Fürst  of Anhalt-Dessau was one of the most influential members of the Prussian governing circle. Although Prussia was hostile to Sweden, the Prussians were reluctant to participate in the Great Northern War. Only after the Russians destroyed most of the Swedish army did Prussia enter the war in 1715. Leopold accompanied the King to the front, commanded an army of 40,000 men, and defeated the much smaller force of Charles XII of Sweden in a hard-fought battle on the island of Rügen on 16 November in alliance with the Danish army of Stralsund. In peacetime, and especially after a court quarrel and duel with General Friedrich Wilhelm von Grumbkow in 1725, he devoted himself to the training of the Prussian army. Although the reputation gained by the Prussian army in the wars fought between 1675 to 1715 was a good one, it was still considered one of the minor military forces in Europe by 1740, when the War of the Austrian Succession broke out. Leopold's outstanding achievement just before this time was his training of the Prussian infantry. The "Old Dessauer" was one of the sternest disciplinarians in an age of stern discipline, and the technical training of the infantry under his hand made the Prussian infantry into a formidable fighting force whose effectiveness had not yet been demonstrated.  With the death of Frederick William in 1740, Frederick the Great succeeded to the Prussian throne, and a few months later initiated the invasion and conquest of Silesia, the first action in the long Silesian Wars and the test of Leopold's lifelong efforts to improve the effectiveness of the Prussian army. The Fürst himself was not often employed in the king's own army, though his sons held high commands under Frederick. The King, indeed, found Leopold somewhat difficult to manage, and the prince spent most of the campaigning years up to 1745 in command of an army of observation on the Saxon frontier.
Early in that year his wife died. Leopold was now over seventy, but his last campaign was destined to be the most successful of his long career. A combined effort of the Austrians and Saxons to retrieve the disasters of the summer by a winter campaign towards Berlin itself led to a hurried concentration of the Prussians. Friedrich II. from Silesia checked the Austrian main army and hastened towards Dresden. But before he arrived, Leopold had decided the war by means of his overwhelming victory over Saxons at Kesselsdorf on 14 December 1745. It was his habit to pray before battle, for he was a devout Lutheran. On this last field his words were, "O Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old days. Or if Thou wilt not help me, do not help these scoundrels, but leave us to try it ourselves." Leopold's career ended with this great victory. He retired from active service, and the short remainder of his life was spent at Dessau.
In his Principaltiy he began from 1706  with the acquisition of almost all Anhalt goods that were previously owned by the landed gentry. As a side effect, the law to approve taxes on these goods went to Leopold over as ruler. Here he also practiced more or less strong pressure on the owners. He used his power as a state and Lehnsherr as legal ways to shrink back even before the use of police or military force. Not always took the landed gentry and peasant protest this arbitrary way. Thus Gröbziger complained after acquiring the rule of goods and Gröbzig Werder Hausen in connection with the morganatic marriage of highly indebted Fürst Karl Friedrich of Anhalt-Bernburg before the Imperial Court of Appeal in Vienna, to a hearing, it never came. The plaintiffs gave - worn down by country magnificent delaying tactic - on and sold to Leopold.
In 1701 Fürst Leopold I. had married an apocethary's daughter Anna Louise Föhse. On 29.12.1701 Emperor Leopold I. created her an Reichsfürstin (Princess of the Empire) and also declared that her children should be Prince/Princess of Anhalt and have the same rights that other Pricnes of the Empire enjoy. On 12.03.1701 King Friedrich I. in Prussia gave his personal guarantee, promising to recognize the rights of the issue of this marriage. The agnates of all the branches of Anhalt also gave their agreement a few days later, on 21 March. As his oldest son Prince Wilhelm Gustav had already died 10 years before him he was in 1747 succeeded by his second son Fürst Leopold II. who also became successor of his father as Head of the Regiment Anhalt on foot. When he took pover the reign he fand over a high debt which he tried to mitigate by limitations in the Court. He began the construction of Dessau Castle by Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff but died already in 1751. As his successor the new Fürst Leopold III. was not yet of age his uncle, Prince Dietrich acted as Regent. In the tradition of his grandfather and father Fürst Leopold III.  initially served in the Prussian army in the regiment  Anhalt on foot at  Halle. In 1752 he became regimental commander. After the outbreak of the Seven Years' War he followed his uncle Leopold Moritz. Under the impact of the battle of Kolin in 1757 he leftthe  Prussian army. In 1758 he was declared of age  with the approval of the Emperor and took over the  Government in Anhalt-Dessau. Later in the Seven Years War, Leopold kept his principality neutral, but had to endure as a punitive action imposed by Prussia indemnities in the amount of 180,000 dollars. This he paid from his personal fortune. In 1758 Fürst Leopold III. married his cousin Princess Luise of Brandenburg-Schwedt at Carlottenburg. through mediation of the prussian King Friedrich II who apponited appointed him as a Knight of the Black Eagle in 1769. In 1782, he tried by the League of Princes to build up a counterbalance to the Prussian hegemony build. In 1806 Napoleon I.  tried to use its reputation by inviting him to Paris. Leopold III. had to be one of the last German princes by agreement dated 18 April 1807 to join the Confederation of the Rhine. In the same year he ewas raised to the rank of a Duke by french Emperor Napoleon I.  The only son of Duke Lepold III. was Hereditary Prince Friedrich who received from the legacy of his mother the brandenburgian goods Stolzenberg, Worms and field Zantoch that came so to the House of Anhalt-Dessau. Herediary Princ Friedrich died already in 1814. From his marriage to Princess Amlie of Hesse-Homburg he had among others the following children:
  • Amalie, married to Fürst Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • Leopold IV., who succeeded his grandfather as Duke
  • Georg, married first to Princess Caroline of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and after her early death to Theese Emma von Erdmannsdorf, who was created Countess of Reina.One of his daughters Helene, was adopted by her uncle, prince Friedrich in order to alllow her to marry Fürst Friedrich Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadtm, the widower of her aunt Amalie
  • Luise, married to Landgrave Gustasv of Hesse-Homburg
  • Friedrich August, married to Princess Marie of Hesse, They had 3 daughters
  • Adelheid Marie, she married Duke Adolphe of Nassau, who became in 1890 Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • Bathilidis, married to Prince Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Hilda
  •  Wilhelm, who conducted a morganatic marriage with Emilie Klausnitzer, she was created Baroness of Stolzenberg
Duke Leopold III. died in 1817 after a riding accident and was succeeded by his grandson Leopold IV. By the storms of 1848, Duke Leopold IV. was obliged to give his land a constitution on  29 10.1848 to give a constitution, which, however, already at the 04.11.1849 has been canceled and replaced in October 1859 by a new landscape order. After the extinction of the line of Anhalt-Köthen (1847) Leopold took over as senior of the House of Anhalt on 23.11.1847, the Government of Anhalt-Köthen. On 1 May 1853, the two remaining Duchies Anhalt-Dessau  and Anhalt-Köthen where united to the Duchy of Anhalt. With the death of Duke Carl Alexander of Anhalt-Bernburg on 19.08.1863, he also inherited Anhalt-Bernburg

The  Principality from 1806 Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg

In 1603 when the Principaltiy of Anhalt-Bernburg was recreated the new Fürst was Fürst Christian the second son of Fürst Johann Georg who had held all Anhalt-territories. As young man he had lived at the Court at Dresden where he became a friend of the Elector Christian which whom he shared his calivinist symphaties. When in  1592, the Strasbourg diocese dispute broke out  he supported Brandenburg against Lorraine. In 1595 he went as governor of the Upper Palatinate in the service of Elector Friedrich IV. of the Palatinate and resided in Amberg. In 1605 he admitted publicly to be be a calvinist and founded in 1608 the Protestant Union  under the leadership of Elector Friedrich  V. of the Palatinate, an anti-Catholic, anti-imperial union, which should serve to stabilize the Reformation. When in 1610 the  18-year-old Friedrich V. became Elctor the Palatinate,  Christian's influence grew at the Heidelberg court. As fatherly advisor of the young and inexperienced electors he was on his elevation as King of Bohemia ("Winter King") involved. Besides the possibility of creating a new central European power, there were also economic considerations, which is why he wanted his employer to get the crown. In the Battle of White Mountain (8 November 1620) the bohemian army  run by Christian I. lost against the army of the Catholic League. Christian was outlawed and fled into exile in Sweden and from there into the danish Flensburg. The Union dissolved itself on the 1621. His brother Fürst  Ludwig of Anhalt-Köthen sent Diederich von dem Werder to the Emperor in Vienna in order to obtain the annulment of the imperial ban, which was granted on  19.07.1624 and Christian I. was  allowed to return to Bernburg Castle where he levied until 1630 when his son Christian became new Fürst. The war had been hard for the ill-fated Fürst and his country. During the first year of his term conquered and plundered the infamous "Holk'schen horsemen" of the city. A plague epidemic were 1700 residents of the small town to the victim. 1636 the castle Bernburg was sacked. In 1656 Fürst Christian II. died and followed by Victor Amadeus I. The new Fürst tried after the Thirty Years' War severely drawn affected land to build through reforms in police and law again. With the other Fürsten of Anhalt he gave in 1666 Anhalt a  renewed country, process and Gesindeordnung. Victor Amadeus ordered the finance new and he scored after the extinction of the line of Anhalt-Bernburg-Harzgerode 1709 territorial gains. Despite the introduction of primogeniture in 1677, he left in 1709 the office Hoym,  Zeiz and Belleben without sovereignty to his younger son. 
  • The junior line of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym was fonded by Fürst Victor Ameadeus younger son lebrecht who as a younger son received the Office Lebrecht Hoym as Paragium, after he had already receiving the goods Zeitz and Belleben and, in addition, he was resigned to a sum of money. After acquiring the dominions Schaumburg and Holzapfel this line was called called  Anhallt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym. With his elder brother Karl Friedrich, who invoked the Primogeniturordnung in the country, it always came back to arguments that even resulted in military conflicts and the occupation Hoyms. The dispute was settled in 1709, but broke again and again again and continued even after the death of the two brothers. With Lebrechts greatr-grandson, Fürst Victor II. thie line became extinct in the male line in 1812.
In the main land Fürst Victor Amadeus was after his death in 1712 succeeded by his older son
Karl Friedrich. Fürst Karl Friedrich had after the death of his first wife he married in 1715 in a morganatic marriage, the maid Wilhelmine Charlotte Nüssler who had im already born a    son in 1712. After she had given birth in 1717 to another boy, she was raised in 1719 to the Countess of Ballenstedt. The two sons, who were not entitled to the succession, were legitimized and given the title Count of Bährnfeld. Fürst Karl Friedrich died already in 1721 and was succeeded by his oldest son Viktor II. Friedrich who s
howed particular interest in mining and metallurgy, he often visited the mines in the Harz Mountains. From 1724 he was in sole possession of the resin mines and silver mining erlang importance. The prince bought many goods. In 1752 it was because of the oppression of the people by the royal hunting in the country to revolt. At his residence Bernburg he build in 1745, the Government House and in 1752  the church on the hill. He promoted the infrastructure and tried unsuccessfully with the planting of mulberry trees for sericulture. Through financial pressure following the outbreak of the Seven Years War, the country fell into considerable debt. After his death in 1765 his oldest son Friedrich Albrecht took over the government who  moved the residence from  Bernburg to Ballenstedt. There Duke Friedrich Albrecht  built a small neoclassical 1788 Court Theatre. He was considered a "milder" father of his country as his father  and decreed that women could perform legally binding acts. In Bernburg, he allowed the establishment of a deposit and lending house. On 22.12.1785 he signed to join the league of princes. DukeFriedrich Albrecht is the founder of the Anhalt mineral collection. He died on 09.04.1796 but it is not clear if he was killed in a hunting accident or committed suicide. His successor was his oldest son Fürst Alexius. In 1797 the territory of Anhalt-Bernburg enlarged  by one-third of the extinct Zerbst line, the  offices Coswig and Mühlingen,  in 1809 by the collection of German medals Upcoming office (Deutschordenkommende) Buro and in 1812 after the extinction of Anhalt-Bernburg-Hoym line  by the Office Hoym and some in Prussia lying enclaves.. In 1806 Fürst Alexius got from Emperor Franz II. the right to call himself Duke. After the end of the Holy Roman Empire, he  as  his cousins ​​in Dessau and Köthen joined  the Rhine Confederation in 1807. A contingent of his troops fought for Napoleon in Tyrol, Spain, Russia, and Danzig and near Kulm. On 01.12.1813 he resigned from the Confederation of the Rhine, and sent his troops with the allies in 1814 and 1815 to Belgium and France. On 08.06.1815, he joined the German Confederation. Duke  Alexius was responsible for the improvement of the education system, expanded and enlarged many churches and schools. He showed a particular interest for the expansion of the road network, especially in the newly acquired parts of the country. Mining and metallurgy, he turned also to a lot of attention. He had run several major construction projects, such as the later destroyed Saalebrücke in Bernburg (Saale), and 1826/27 today Bernburger Carl Maria von Weber Theatre. Next he founded in 1810 in the Alexisbad in the Selketal and later at the bath Bernrode near Gernrode lying on Prussian territory.   Beringer Bath. He was religiously tolerant and enlightened, and reached in his country in 1820, the union of two Protestant denominations. In 1826 came his country in the German Customs Union. In 1828 he began the separations and basic relief, and in 1829 he established a general officer, widows and orphans fund. After his death in 1834 his son Duke Alexander Carl took over the reign. During his government Bernburg 1846 finally got over Köthen delayed access to the German railway network after the Duke had been six years earlier refused the connection. Because of his progressive mental illness Duke Alexander Carl  retired in November 1855 to  Hoym Castle . He spent the years until his death under medical care and in the company of his chamberlain, the painter Wilhelm von Kügelgen. His wife Friederike, nee Princess  of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg had been appointed as co-regent. Duke Alexander Carl died in 1863 without issue, so therefore the line of Anhalt-Bernburg died and the country was united to the Duchy of Anhalt government headquarters in Dessau 

The Principality from 1807 Duchy of Anhalt-Köthen

First Fürst of Anhalt-Köthen became after the divison of the Anhalt territories in 1603Ludwig the, youngest son of Fürst Joachim Ernst. Militarily and politically, Fürst Ludwig I. remained cautious, but he vehemently supported agriculture, planted a still existing Lustgarten and designed the newly built castle and courtyard in italian style. With his financial support began in 1619 Wolfgang Ratke Köthen a big school project. Because of personal, but also sectarian problems that led to the arrest Wolfgang Ratkes 1619, Prince Ludwig operating the project on his own. This included, among other things, a encyclopedic scale Schulbuchprogamm with a specially set up for this purpose printing. During The Thirty Years War King Gustav Adolph of Sweden transferred to Fürst Ludwig the governorship of the pins Magdeburg and Halberstadt. From this office Count Axel Oxenstierna wanted to removehim again. When FürstLudwig I. died in 1760 he was succeeded by his only son Wilhelm Ludwig. As he only 12 years old his unlde, Fürst Augst of Anhalt-Plötzkau and after his death in 1653 his sons Lebrecht and Enmanuel reigned the Prinipality untuil he came of age in 1659. Fürst Ludwig Wilhelm died already in 1665 without leaving Issue he was succeeded by his cousin Prince Lebrecht of Anhalt-Plötzkau who reigned the Prinicioplaty together with his brother Emanuel. The brothers ruled peacefully, where Leberecht was regarded as especially pious and charitable, he build  a hospital  in Köthen with associated graveyard. Fürst Lebrcht died in 1669 and Fürst Emanuel in 1770 but when he died his young wife Anna Eleonore, née Countess zu Stolberg was pregnant and gave 6 months later birth to a son Emanuel Lebrecht. For the next 19 years Dowager Fürstin  Anna Eleonore and directed the affairs of the country until her death. With his majority in 1692 Emanuel Lebrecht he took over the government. As a young man, Fürst Emanuel Lebrecht fell in love with Gisela Agnes of Rath who came from an old Lutheran Anhalt gentry family. His mother, Fürstin Anna Eleonore tried at first to prevent these not equal  relationship and send Gisela Agnes to her sister in Hagen. Immediately after assuming the government Emanuel Lebrecht brought her  and married her "quietly" on 30th September 1692. The secretly consummated morganatic marriage of the Reformed Lutheran Fürst with a woman from the lower nobility sparked vehement protests from the Reformed Church and the Princely House. Not until 1698 was the official recognition of all male descendants of the couple by the Princes of Anhalt, the imperial confirmation followed the in 1699. The entire princely, later ducal line of Anhalt-Köthen decends from this "not equal" love match. In 1694 Giesela Anges was raised by Emperor Leopold I. to the rank of Countess of the Empire as Countess of Nienburg  1699 Emanuel Lebrecht gave to her  city, country and the castle Nienburg (Saale)  as a personal possession for life. With the accession of her son, Fürst Leopold, in 1715  therefore she withdrew to Nienburg, from where she  still took active until her death in 1740, the concerns of their Lutheran coreligionists against the Reformed Protestantism views of her sons. Emanuel Lebrecht's independent reign lasted only twelve years. At the age of 33, he died. As a special legacy he left in his will of 1702, the introduction of primogeniture in Anhalt-Köthen, which should evolve dispute between his two sons. The guardianship of his successor  Leopold who was still a minor took over from 1704 to 1715, his widow Füstin Gisela Agnes. In 1715 Fürt Leopold came of age and took overthe governemnt of the Principality. . The first problems were waiting already for the young Fürst. Because of the since 1702 introduced Promogenitur in Anhalt-Köthen  he had to resign his younger brother August Ludwig. He got the Castle and country Warmsdorf, an exclave located near Güsten,  with all income and other concessions. On 17.11.1728, Fürst Leopold played violin for the last time and died two days later at the age of 34 years. Because of lack of a male heir his brother August Ludwig succeeded him. He soon faced serious problems. Two "unhappy runny" disputes with the widow of Leopold, Charlotte Friederike, née Princess of Nassau, who had sued their Wittumsgelder, and the daughter of Leopold from his first marriage, Gisela Agnes, who had demanded  the  inheritance of her father,  bestowed the Principalityhuge national debt. For Charlotte Friederike had, despite remarriage, the Princely House and the Rentkammer pay until her death in 1785 a total of 200,000 thalers. The net present value of all applied for Gisela Agnes benefits was 335,000 thalers. The debt service for the loans taken and their consequences, however, grew faster than the state budget, so that the mountain of debt in a few years grew at three times the annual income of the Principality. Both lawsuits are the reasons for the high national debt of Köthener country, who moved like a red thread through the history of this principality, whose repayment is sought, but never reached. Fürst August Ludwig died in 1755 and was followed by his son Karl from his second marriage. At the beginning of Fürst Karl's reign the Prinicipality  suffered significantly from the effects of the Seven Years' War. At the end of the war, Karl tried the country revive the vitality of agriculture and animal husbandry and increased resettlement through tax relief to again economically. Karl distinguished itself by religious tolerance and promotion of schools. From 1750 to 1751 he stood as a captain of the Guards on horseback first in Danish service and was from 18.11.1751 hired at the request of his father, as a captain and company commander in Leibkürassierregiment No. 3 of the Prussian Army. He  participated in the War of Bavarian Succession, where he brought it in 1779 to Major General. 1780 was his elevation to the Knight of the Black Eagle Order. After 1787, he took part in the campaign in Holland, he was appointed in 1788 to lieutenant general. Karl took his leave from the beginning of 1789 the Prussian service. In May 1789, he was then Imperial and Royal Field Marshal Lieutenant and as such took part in the wars against the Turks. There, the Fürst died in 1789 in Zemun near Belgrade at a fever. His successor was his oldest son August  who was a Prussian Major-General and from  1803 Austrian Field Marshal LieutenantIn 1807 he was raised to the rank of a Duke by Napoleon I. and in the same year joined  the Rhine Confederation as died the duchies of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Bernburg. On 20.06.1811 Duke August granted the Jews in town and country granted the same rights as Christians thriough a ducal Decree. They must, however, accept not jewish surnames. In 1793 he had married Princess Friederike of Nassau.-Usingen but the marriag was divorced in 1803. As there where no children from that Union he was at his death in 1812 succeeded by his nephew Ludwig who was still a minor. For Duke Ludwig, Duke Leopold III. acted as Regent but Ludwig died already in 1818. His successor was the cousin of his father, Duke Ferdinand . Because as a evidence since the Prussian victory almost entirely surrounded by Prussia saw this led to tariff disputes Ferdinand brought in 1821 for the first time in front of the Federal Assembly. Only in 1828 that could be settled by agreement between Prussia, Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau. Meanwhile, he was trying to expand Nienburg's (Saale) as Anhalt-Köthen's export port  to avoid the Prussian customs on the waterway. On a trip to Paris in 1825 Ferdinand together  with his second wife Julie converted to Catholicism. His non-winning success of to recatolize the country aswell as  his attempts to give the Protestant church in the country  a hierarchical character, aroused discontent of many hand. Ferdinand's interest in agriculture was mainly focused on the sheep, as wool was an important export-Anhalt Köthen. In Grimschleben at Nienburg built the court architect Gottfried Bandhauer an architecturally significant neoclassical sheepfold. Given the shortage of grazing land in Anhalt, Ferdinand in 1828, the sheep breeding colony "Askania Nova" in the southern Ukraine (Taurian steppes north of the Crimea), which still exists under that name as a protected area for plains animals on. After he died without Issue in 1830 he was succeed by his brother Heinrich. Thanks to Heinirch's efforts, the first railroad reached already in 1840, Köthen because of the Bernburg Duke Carl Alexander had refused to transfer the route Magdeburg-Leipzig Bernburg (Saale).  With the death of the childless Duke in 1847  Anhalt-Köthen fell to Anhalt-Bernburg and in 1853 to Anhalt-Dessau. A division was rejected in view of the foreseeable extinction of Anhalt-Bernburg line and then entering the succession of Anhalt-Dessau.

The Principality of Anhalt-Zerbst

When in 1603 the sons of Fürst Joachim Ernst dived the Anhaltterritories his 5th son Rudolf became Fürst of Anhalt-Zerbst with the offices Kernen, Lindau, Roßlau and Coswig. At Zerbst he support the local high school Francisceum, especially through the foundation of a library. Fürst Rudolf  had some building projects in Zerbst and renovated the Residence Castle. In second marriage he was married to Coutness margarete of Oldenbrug, a daughter of Count Johan XVI.. Her brother bequeathed Jever 1667, the rule of the house of Anhalt-Zerbst. When Fürst Rudolf died in in 1621 his only son and sucessor Johann VI. was only a few months old so he was under the guardianship of his uncle, Fürst August of Anhalt-Plötzkau. The prevailing chaos of the Thirty Years' War brought it about that Johan was educated Zerbst, Coswig and Wittenberg. Immediately after the acquisition of the business of government he reformed the Priniciplaity in the Lutheran sense. To force the homage of the Reformed stands the Emperor had to intervene. He was able to prevail over the stands his rule not only, but also through the use of various fiefs significantly enlarging its territory. After the Counts of Barby became extinct he acquired in 1659 Mühlingen, later also Walternienburg, Dornburg and Möckern. In 1667 Fürst Johann VI. died at the children smallpox. As his oldest son Karl Wilhelm was still a minor his mother, Fürstin Sophie Auguste, née Princess on Holstein-Gottorp together with Landgrave Ludwig VI. of Hesse-Darmstadt and Fürst Johann Georg II. of Anhalt-Dessau. Fürst Karl Wilhelm was the founder of the Zerbst Castle (1681) and the Lutheran Church of St. Trinity Church in Zerbst, which were both inaugurated the 1696th The construction of the Trinity Church ended a long-running dispute with the Reformed Church in Zerbst, of the Nicolai church was left. He also buid sholls in Coswig and Zerbst in 1691 and 1701. After his death in 1718 his son Johann August took over the reign who was seen as benevolent and prudent ruler. In the peace of his reign, the country and especially the residence of Zerbst developed extraordinarily. As Fürst Johann Augst 2 marriages with Princess Friederike of Saxe.Gothha-Altenburg and after her early death with Princess Hedwig Friderike of Württemberg-Weiltingen remained childless he was succeeded by his cousin Johann Ludwig Ii. who was unmarried and was in turn in 1746 succeeded by his brother Christian August. Fürst Christian August had been a royal prussian field Marshall from 1729 Commandant of Stettin. In 1742 he moved to Zerbst. He is most known because his oldest daughter Princess Sophie Augste Freiderik was married in 1745 to the russian Grand Duke and Tsarewitch Peter Feodorovitch the nephew and Heir of Empress Elisabeth I. She later became famous as Empress Catharina II. Alexejevna (Catharina the great). In 1747 Fürst Christian August died and his son Friedrich August became new Fürst of Anhalt-Zerbst. Until he came of age in 1752 his mother, Fürstin Johann Eslisabeth, née Princess of Hosltein-Gottorp his mother was Regent. Despite the neutrality of Anhalt at the beginning of the Seven Years War, his mother Johanna Elisabeth hosted the French Marquis de Fraigne (1726 - ca.1791), who was accused of spying, and actually explore on behalf of Cardinal de Bernis, should be whether the  Russia remained faithful in the alliance against Prussia. For Friedrich II. of Prussia, this was the reason to occipy Anhalt mmilitary on22.02.1758 Because of this political dispute with Prussia, it was no longer possible for the Fürst  to reside in his dominions. From there he reigned from exile of his whereabouts on various councilors in Anhalt-Zerbst and Jever  and therefore his term was overshadowed for his subjects of chaos, arbitrariness and despotism. He was very fond of the military system and was built in Jever five barracks, one of which is now used as a school building of St. Mary High School. He also served from 1753 until after 1762 owner of the Austrian cuirassiers Anhalt-Zerbst  and recruited 1761 on an additional battalion of about 500 men and 30 riders for the service in the Austrian army. In 1764 Fürst Friedrich August, who had been widowed since 1759 married in second marriage Princess Friederike Auguste of Anhalt-Bernburg. After living in various spaces the  couple arrived in February 1765 in Base where they they lived in the house on Mitzsche Petersgraben as well as the summer residence Weiher Castle  Gundeldingen. Fürst Friedrich August was one of the the Princes who presented in the American Revolutionary War soldiers for the English side. He sold in 1778 to 1783 two regiments together with 1152 men of his country Jeveraner children as soldiers in England and thus improved its treasury.  In his country, he granted religious tolerance in 1776. In 1780 he left  Basel  because of disputes with the Municipality towards Luxembourg. He died, his home long estranged, without male heirs on 03.03.1793 in Luxembourg. With his death  line Anhalt-Zerbst died out and the country was divided between the other States Anhalt-Bernburg, Anhalt-Köthen and Anhalt-Dessau. The rule Jever, which had been under the suzerainty of the principality of Anhalt-Zerbst, was passed down for its status as Kunkel fief to Catharina II. of Russia  and came under Russian rule.

The Duchy of Anhalt

After the death of Duke Alexander Karl of Anhalt-Bernburg in 19.08.1863 all Anhalt territories where held by Duke Leopold IV of Anhalt from the Anhalt-Dessau line. They where all united to the Duchy of Anhalt with residence at Dessau. Shortly after the prussian/austrian  war in 1866, it the Duchy joined the North German Confederation under Prussian leadership  and in 1871 the German Empire. 
Duke Leopold IV. was married to Princess Friederike of Prussia, a granddaughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm II., and niece of King Fredrich Wilhelm III. 
The had 5  children
  • Auguste
  • Agnes  married to Duke Ernst I. of Saxe-Altenburg
  • Friedrich I., who succeeded his father as Duke
  • Maria Anna, married to Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia
After Duke Leopold IV. died on 22.05.1871 his only son Friedrich I. became the new Duke and reigned until 1904. Duke Fredrich I. was married to Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg. The couple had the following children
  • Leopold, he was the Heir of his father but died already in 1886. He was married to Princess Elisabeth of Hesse
    • Antoinette, who married Prince Friedrich zu Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Friedrich II., who succeeded his father as Duke
  • Elisabeth, married to Grand Duke Adolf Fredrich V. of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Eduard,  who succeeded his childless brother Friedrich as Duke
  • Aribert, he was married from 1891-1900 to Princess Marie Louise zu Schleswig-Holstein, a grandaughter of the british Queen Victoria. In 1918 he became Regent for his nephew Joachim Ernst
  • Alexandra, married to Fürst Sizzo of Schwarzburg
After the death of Duke Friedrich I. on 22.01.1904 he was succeeded by his second but oldest surving son Friedrich. Duke Freidrich II. had became the heir after the early death of his older brother Leopold in 1886 and took his time to make himself familiar with the affairs of the State. In 1889 he married Princess Marie of Baden, a sister of the future Chancellor Prince Max of Baden. Duke Friedrich II. died on 21.04.1918. As his marriage was childless his successor was his younger brother Eduard who reigned only for a few months. Duke Eduard had married in 1895 Princess Luise of Saxe.Altenburg but the marriage was divorced in 1918.
Among their children:
  • Marie Auguste (1898-1983) she married in 1916 Prince Joachim of Prussiam, the youngest son of Emperor Wilhelm II. After the suicide of her husband in 1920, she was married from 1926-1935 Baron Johannes-Michael of Loën. After her divore she took again her birthname. In 1980 she had become very poor and because of this she adopted Robert Lichtenberg the operator of several sauna clubs, which ensured here livelihood and calls shimself  Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt. He is married to Hollywood actress Zsa Zsa Gabor and has himself adopted many persons for money. 
  • Duke Joachim Ernst, who succeeded his father as Duke
  • Prince Eugen (1903--1980), he married Anastasia Jungmeier
    • Anastasia Luise, married to Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony. Margrave of Meißen, the late Head of the Royal House of Saxony
  • Wolfgang
At;fter the death of Duke Eduard in 11.09.1918 his oldest son Joachim Ernst became Duke. As he not of age his uncle, Prince Aribert became Regent. Because of the course of the revolutionary events on 12.11.1918, Prince Aribert had to resign the Throne on behalf of the Duke Joachim Ernst and the entire ducal family Anhalt. After 1918 the Family remained in the posession of Ballenstedt Castle. Duke Joachim Ernst married in 1927 the commoner Elisabeth Stickrodt, but the marriage was already divorced 2 years later in 1929. On 15.10.1929 he made a second marriage to Edditha Stephani, adopted of Marwitz. 
Princess Edda and her
husband Albert Darboven
Together they had 5 children
  • Marie Anoinette, she was married 2 times. First to Karl-Heinz Guttmann, and  after divorcing him to Max Reiderer, from whom she was divorced in 1976
  • Anna Luise, she was married from 1966-1970 to Thomas Birch
  • Friedrich, who succeeded his father as Head of the ducal House
  • Edda, married to Albert Darboven 
  • Eduard, who became Head of the ducal House after the death of his brother Friedrich
Duke Joachim Ernst was arrested in January 1944 and moved to Dachau. Although he had become anti-Nazi already during his incarceration in the Dachau concentration campthe former Duke wa arrested again after the end of the Nazi dictatorship this time by the Soviet occupation forces, who put him it in in the NKVD internment camp Buchenwald, the former Nazi concentration camp near Weimar. Here he died, ill from exhaustion as a result of storage conditions, at the age of 46 years on 18.02.1947.

TH Prince Eduard and Princess Corinna
The successor of Duke Joachim Ernst as Head of the ducal House was his oldest son Fredrich but he died on 09.10.1963 in a car wreck. 
Since then his younger brother Eduard is the head of the ducal House.  After living in the United States for several years  Prince Eduard returned to 1967.  He became known as a society journalist and columnist for several German magazines. In 1980 Prince Edaurd married Corinna Krönlein. As the couple has three daughters but no sons, eduard is the last male member of the House of Anhalt. As head of the House Prince Eduard in Januara 2010 changed  the right of succession in favor of his daughters, so that after him his only daughter and then her son will follow him as head of the House but the amendment of this Constitution now causes at best inheritance consequences in terms of the estate, but not able to change that going back to the Salic needle laws based on the male line principle. 

  • Julia Katharina, she is married to Marc Bernath.
    • Maxime
  • Julia Eilika
  • Julia Felicitas