Waldeck (or later Waldeck and Pyrmont) was a sovereign principality in the German Empire and German Confederation and, until 1929, a constituent state of the Weimar Republic. It comprised territories in present-day Hesse and Lower Saxony (Germany).
Waldeck was a county within the Holy Roman Empire from about 1200 - its counts included Adolf II of Waldeck from 1270 to 1276. In 1655, its seat and the chief residence of its rulers shifted from the castle and small town of Waldeck, overlooking the Eder river and first mentioned in 1120, to Arolsen. In 1625 the small county of Pyrmont became part of the county through inheritance. In January 1712, the count of Waldeck and Pyrmont was elevated to prince by Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor. For a brief period, 1805 to 1812, Pyrmont was a separate principality as a result of inheritance and partition after the death of the previous prince, but the two parts were united again in 1812. The independence of the principality was confirmed in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, and Waldeck and Pyrmont became a member of the German Confederation. From 1868 onward, the principality was administered by Prussia, but retained its legislative sovereignty. Prussian administration served to reduce administrative costs for the small state and was based on a 10-year contract that was repeatedly renewed until Waldeck was formally absorbed into Prussia in 1929. In 1871 the principality became a constituent state of the new German Empire.
In 1905, Waldeck and Pyrmont had an area of 1121 km² and a population of 59,000.
At the end of World War I, and during the German Revolution, resulting in the fall of all the German monarchies, the prince abdicated and Waldeck and Pyrmont became a Free State within the Weimar Republic.
Rulers of Waldeck and Pyrmont Edit
Reigning Princes 1712–1918 Edit
- 1712–1728: Friedrich Anton Ulrich; elevated 1712 to hereditary prince by Emperor Charles VI
- 1728–1763: Karl August
- 1763–1812: Friedrich Karl August
- 1812–1813: Georg I
- 1813–1845: Georg II
- 1845–1893: Georg Victor
- 1893–1918: Friedrich; brother of the Dutch Queen consort Emma
Non-reigning princes since 1918 Edit
Waldeck had raised a battalion of infantry in 1681 but for much of the subsequent history leading up to the Napoleonic Wars, Waldeckers generally served as mercenaries in foreign service. Most notably this was with the Dutch and English - the latter using them to suppress rebellions in the colonies. Many Waldeckers thus served during the American War of Independence, where they were known under the 'umbrella term' used during that conflict for all Germans - 'Hessians'.
By the time of Napoleon's conquest of Germany, the Waldeck Battalion was termed 'Fusilier Battalion'. Under Napoleon this was disbanded, and Waldeck was obliged to provide 2 companies to the II Battalion, 6th German Confederation (i.e. Confederation of the Rhine) Regiment (along with 2 companies from Reuß). The soldiers continued to be referred to as Fusiliers. They served mainly in the Peninsula War against the Duke of Wellington. In 1812 the 6th Confederation Regiment was re-formed, with 3 companies from Waldeck and 1 from Reuss again forming the II Battalion. After Napoleon's downfall in 1815, Waldeck supplied 3 Infantry and 1 Jäger Companies to the newly formed German Confederation.
By 1866, the Waldeck contingent was styled 'Fürstlisches Waldecksches Füselier-Bataillon', and in the Austro-Prussian War of that year Waldeck allied with Prussia - however the Battalion saw no action. Joining the North German Confederation after 1867, under Prussian leadership, the Waldeck Fusilier Battalion became the III (Fusilier) Battalion of the Prussian Infantry Regiment von Wittich (3rd Electoral Hessian) No. 83, and as such it remained until 1918.
Unlike Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) retained no distinctions to differentiate them from the Prussian. The Waldeckers however, were permitted the distinction of carrying the Cockade of Waldeck on the Pickelhaube. The Waldeck battalion was garrisoned, at various times, at Arolsen/Mengeringhausen/Helsen, Bad Wildungen, Bad Pyrmont and Warburg.
The regiment saw action in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 (where it acquired the nickname 'Das Eiserne Regiment'), and during the First World War - as part of the 22nd Division - fought mainly on the Eastern Front.
Template:Upper Rhenish Circle Template:States of the Confederation of the Rhine Template:States of the German Confederation Template:States of the North German Confederation Template:States of the German Empireca:Waldeck da:Waldeck-Pyrmont de:Waldeck fr:Principauté de Waldeck-Pyrmont ko:발데크 it:Waldeck e Pyrmont nl:Waldeck-Pyrmont ja:ヴァルデック侯国 no:Waldeck-Pyrmont pl:Waldeck (księstwo) ru:Вальдек zh:瓦尔德克统治者列表