The Kingdom of Saxony, a German state since 1180, was a member state of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1866. The Wettin dynasty split in 1547 and the junior Albertine line took over Saxony. The senior line took over the Thüringian area.  In the Prussia and Austria war of 1866, Saxony declined Prussia’s offer of neutrality, and, the Saxon army joined the Austrians. The entire kingdom was occupied by the Prussians. On the conclusion of peace Saxony lost no territory, but had to pay a war indemnity of ten million thalers, and was compelled to enter the North German Confederation.  The military, postal and telegraph systems were placed under the control of Prussia. The Saxon military became a contingent of the Prussian army on seven February, 1867.  Almost everybody understands that XII and XIX Corps represented the entire Saxon army.  However, there was a Saxon infantry Regiment number 105 that was stationed in Alsace-Lorraine as part of XV Corps. Saxony became a member state of the German Empire in 1871. Within Imperial Germany, Saxony ranked fifth in area, third in population and first in density of population. In 1914 the population of Saxony was 4,986,000. Saxony was the most densely populated state in the empire, and its population increased at a more rapid rate than any of the larger German states. No kingdom had so large a proportion of urban population, forming 52.97 percent of the whole. The capital city was Dresden the 3rd largest city in the empire. About 94 percent of the inhabitants of Saxony were Protestants; about 12,500 were Jews, and about 4.7 percent, including the royal family, were Roman Catholics.  The Crown Prince Georg of Saxony gave up his succession rights to become a Jesuit priest in 1923. There was a neighboring Prussian province of Saxony that had the same name.

Consuls were maintained for trade with Argentina, Bavaria, Belgium, Libya, Brazil, Bremen, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Greece, Great Britain, Guatemala, Austria-Hungary, Prussia, Russia, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, North America, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rumania, Sweden, nor we, Switzerland, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, Uruguay, and Württemberg.
Saxony was a hereditary constitutional monarchy with four votes in the Bundesrat and twenty-three deputies in the Reichstag.  Saxony became known as the “Red Kingdom", when in 1903 with universal suffrage, 22 of 23 Reichstag deputies were Social Democrats. The parliament of the kingdom had two chambers known as the Standekammer. The upper chamber consisted of princes, certain members of the nobility and prominent men appointed by the King. The lower chamber consists of 43 members from the towns and 48 from the country, elected for six years. All male citizens twenty-five years old and upwards who paid 3 marks per annum in taxes had the vote. The number of Social Democratic delegates in the Kingdom's parliament increased steadily so in 1896 a new electoral law was passed, introducing indirect election and a franchise based on a three-tier system.  This was changed further in 1909 with plural voting of between one and four votes determined by the amount paid in direct taxation. This resulted in 1901 in the complete elimination of the Socialists from the kingdom's parliament but as we have seen by 1903 the Social Democrats were the overwhelming majority in the Imperial Reichstag.

(Kaiserliches Statistisches Amt 1914)

(Hilger 1905) pg. 124-125

(Hewitson 2008) pg. 49

(Krüger 1915) pg. 312

Luise of Tuscany (2 September 1870 Salzburg–23 March 1947) was born in Salzburg under the name Luise Antoinette Maria Theresia Josepha Johanna Leopoldine Caroline Ferdinande Alice Ernestine Habsburg, Princess Imperial and Archduchess of Austria, Princess of Hungary and Bohemia, Princess of Tuscany. She was a daughter of Ferdinand IV of Tuscany and his second wife Alicia of Bourbon-Parma.

King George died on the 15th of October 1904 and was succeeded by his son as King Frederick Augustus III till abdication in 1918. He was the only German royalty that only renounced his own rights for the throne, but not his family's rights. The over 800 year reign of House Wettin ended with his abdication.

The most talked about event of Saxony was the flight in December 1902 of the crown-princess Louise (the wife of Friedrick August) with André Giron, who had been the French tutor to her three children.  She had married Friedrich August when he was the Crown Prince and was pregnant with her fourth child. She was very popular in Saxony as she didn't follow the etiquette at the court which resulted in arguments with her father in law. On 9 December 1902 she left Saxony without her children but pregnant with her youngest daughter. She was divorced 11 February 1903. Her last child with Friedrich August was sent to Dresden to live at the court.  Louise’s Italian father awarded her the title of Countess of Montignoso. On 25 September 1907 she married the musician Enrico Toselli in London. They were divorced five years later. She died in poverty in Brussells in 1947.



Had three children with his wife Luise but she left him during pregnancy number 4. The marriage was terminated in 1903. He succeeded his father in 1904. When he abdicated in 1918 he famously said: "you'll just have to do your dirty business without my help!" He was the only german royalty that only renounced his own rights for the throne, but not his family's rights. The over 800 year lasting reign of House Wettin ended with his abdication.

Prince Georg of Saxony (1893-1943) gave up his succession rights to become a Jesuit priest in 1923. During WWII he helped conceal Jews, and was consequently murdered by the Nazis.

The third largest contingent in the German army behind Prussia and Bavaria.







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Crests and coats of arms courtesy of http://www.heraldique-europeenne.org

Flags courtesy of FOTW Flags Of The World website at http://flagspot.net/flags/

Royalty Phtots from the collection of Mike Dwyer.