Electorate of Hesse

The Electorate of Hesse (German: Kurfürstentum Hessen), also known as Hesse-Kassel or Kurhessen, was a landgraviate whose prince was given the right to elect the Emperor by Napoleon.[1] When the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in 1806, its prince, William I, chose to retain the title of Elector, even though there was no longer an Emperor to elect. In 1807, with the Treaties of Tilsit, the area was annexed to the Kingdom of Westphalia, but in 1814, the Congress of Vienna restored the electorate.

Electorate of Hesse
Kurfürstentum Hessen
1803–1807
1814–1866
Flag
Coat of arms (1818)
Hesse-Kassel (red) in 1866, just before the Austro-Prussian War
StatusState of the Holy Roman Empire
State of the German Confederation
CapitalKassel
Common languagesGerman
Northern Hessian dialect
Religion
Protestant (Calvinist), Judaism
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Elector of Hesse 
 1803–1821
William I, Elector of Hesse
 1821–1847
William II, Elector of Hesse
 1847–1866
Frederick William, Elector of Hesse
History 
 Established
1803
 Raised to Electorate
1803
1807
 Reestablished
1814
 Annexed by Kingdom of Prussia
1866
CurrencyHesse-Kassel thaler (to 1858)
Hesse-Kassel vereinsthaler (1858–1873)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel
Kingdom of Westphalia
Kingdom of Westphalia
Province of Hesse-Nassau
Today part ofGermany

The state was the only electorate within the German Confederation. It consisted of several detached territories to the north of Frankfurt, which survived until the state was annexed by Prussia in 1866 following the Austro-Prussian War.

The Elector's formal titles included "Elector of Hesse, Prince of Fulda (Fürst von Fulda), Prince of Hersfeld, Hanau, Fritzlar and Isenburg, Count of Catzenelnbogen, Dietz, Ziegenhain, Nidda, and Schaumburg."[2]


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