Brandenburg-Schwedt

Brandenburg-Schwedt

Brandenburg-Schwedt was a cadet line of the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg-Prussia who administered territories in the north of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. They owned territories in Schwedt-Vierraden (Uckermark and Neumark) and Wildenbruch (Hinterpommern), but did not have sovereign rights.

Overview

Because of a lack of money after the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, mortgaged the Schwedt region to the Counts of Varrensbach for 25,000 Thaler. Electress Dorothea Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the second wife of the elector, recovered the territory for 26,500 Thaler and granted it to her oldest son, Philip William. The youngest of her sons was Christian Ludwig, the honoree of the Brandenburg Concertos. Through the purchase of more estates, the territory was expanded to include three towns, three castles, 33 villages, and 24 farmsteads.

Dorothea dedicated herself to the reconstruction of Schwedt's castle after the Thirty Years' War, as well as the economic development of the town and its surroundings. Dutch experts and French Huguenots were invited to cultivate tobacco in Spring 1686. By the end of the 18th century, the Uckermark, with an area of 44 km², was the largest coherent tobacco region of Germany. Its three cigar manufactories were the most important economic factors in the region.

Margrave Philip William (ruled 1688-1711), intensively cultivated his dominion and furnished the castle at great expense. The brisk building activity was continued by his successor, Margrave Frederick William (ruled 1731-1771), who began to develop Schwedt into a residential seat for the cadet line.

Philip William's youngest son, Frederick Henry (ruled 1771-1788), the last Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, developed Schwedt into a cultural center. After his death in 1788, the cadet line's territory reverted to the Kingdom of Prussia.

For a few years beginning in 1794, the castle of Schwedt was the residence of King Frederick William II of Prussia's second son, Prince Frederick Louis Charles of Prussia.

References

This article incorporates information from the revision as of November 10, 2007 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

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