United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg

United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg
Vereinigte Herzogtümer Jülich-Kleve-Berg (de)
Verenigde Hertogdommen Gulik-Kleef-Berg (nl)
State of the Holy Roman Empire
1521–1614
 

Coat of arms

Map of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle around 1560,
United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg highlighted in red
Capital Düsseldorf
Language(s) South Guelderish, Limburgish
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Cleves and Mark
    inherited by
    Duke of Jülich-Berg


1521
 - Partitioned at Xanten 12 November 1614
Preceded by Succeeded by
Duchy of Berg
Duchy of Cleves
Duchy of Jülich
County of Mark
County of Ravensberg
Margraviate of Brandenburg
Palatinate-Neuburg
Today part of  Germany
 Netherlands
map of Jülich-Cleves-Berg including the province of Gelderland (around 1540)

Jülich-Cleves-Berg was the name of two former territories across the modern German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the modern Dutch province of Gelderland. From 1521 to 1666, the territory was a combination of states in personal union, all reichsfrei territories of the Holy Roman Empire. The name was resurrected after the Congress of Vienna for a short-lived province of the Kingdom of Prussia between 1815 and 1822.

Contents

History

The United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg was a combination of states of the Holy Roman Empire. The duchies of Jülich and Berg united in 1423. Nearly a century later, in 1521, these two duchies, along with the county of Ravensberg, fell extinct, with only the last duke's daughter Maria von Geldern left to inherit; under Salic law, women could only hold property through a husband or guardian, so the territories passed to her husband — and distant relative — John III, Duke of Cleves and Mark as a result of their strategic marriage in 1509. These united duchies controlled most of the present-day North Rhine-Westphalia that was not within the ecclesiastical territories of Electoral Cologne and Münster.

Only a century after John III's marriage, however, the united ducal line fell extinct, prompting a war over the succession to the territories after the death of John III's grandson, duke John-William, without issue. Whilst the dukes, inspired by the humanism of Desiderius Erasmus, had managed to bear a "via media" between the confessional disputes ensuing from the Protestant Reformation, the heirs of the last duke's two eldest sisters were on opposite sides of the divide. The situation was further complicated by acquisitive desires of Emperor Rudolph II and the Wettin dukes of Saxony — the former particularly worrying to Henry IV of France and the Dutch Republic, who feared any strengthening of the Habsburg Netherlands.

The Lutheran Anna of Prussia was married to John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, whereas Roman Catholic Anna of Cleves was married to Philip Louis, Count Palatine of Neuburg. As a result, after the War of the Jülich Succession (one of the precursors to the Thirty Years' War) was settled at Xanten, the Protestant territories (Cleves, Mark and Ravensburg) passed to Brandenburg-Prussia with the Catholic lands (Jülich and Berge) being awarded to the Palatinate-Neuburg. Unfortunately, years of being trampled by armies had destroyed much of the lands' wealth that had been so renowned under John William's father, William the Rich.

Philip Louis' grandson Philip William became Elector Palatine in 1685, with the Bergish capital becoming the seat of the Electoral Palatinate, until the line inherited Bavaria in 1777. In 1701, the Margrave-Electors of Brandenburg became Kings in Prussia; with Cleves-Mark as their first possession in western Germany, it was the seed of the future Prussian Rhineland.

Dukes of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, House of La Marck

See also

References

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jülich-Cleves-Berg — can refer to one of two historical territories: United Duchies of Jülich Cleves Berg (1521–1614), a state of the Holy Roman Empire. Province of Jülich Cleves Berg (1815–22), a province of the Kingdom of Prussia. This disambiguation page lists… …   Wikipedia

  • Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg — Infobox Former Subdivision native name = Jülich Kleve Berg common name =Jülich Cleves Berg conventional long name =Jülich Cleves Berg subdivision = Province nation=Prussia year start =1815 year end = 1822 previous states = following states = s1 …   Wikipedia

  • Berg (state) — (County) Duchy of Berg (Grafschaft) Herzogtum Berg (de) (Graafschap) Hertogdom Berg (nl) State of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806) …   Wikipedia

  • Jülich — ▪ town and historical duchy, Germany French  Juliers,         former duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, centred on the town of Jülich, located now in the Aachen district of the Land (state) of North Rhine Westphalia, Germany.       The counts of… …   Universalium

  • Duchy of Jülich — Gulik redirects here. For the surname, see Gulik (surname). Duchy of Jülich Herzogtum Jülich (de) Hertogdom Gulik (nl) State of the Holy Roman Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Dietrich VII, Count of Cleves — Dietrich VII was Count of Cleves from 1275 through 1305. The County of Cleves (German: Grafschaft Kleve; Dutch: Graafschap Kleef) was a comital polity of the Holy Roman Empire in present Germany (part of North Rhine Westphalia) and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Dietrich VIII, Count of Cleves — Dietrich VIII was Count of Cleves from 1310 through 1347. The County of Cleves (German: Grafschaft Kleve; Dutch: Graafschap Kleef) was a comital polity of the Holy Roman Empire in present Germany (part of North Rhine Westphalia) and the… …   Wikipedia

  • John III, Duke of Cleves — John III the Peaceful John III the Peaceful, Duke of Cleves and Count of Mark (John III, Duke of Cleves; John I, Duke of Jülich Berg; German: Johann III der Friedfertige, Herzog von Jülich Kleve Berg; 10 November 1490 – 6 February 1538/9) was a… …   Wikipedia

  • Maria of Jülich-Berg — (3 August 1491 – 29 August 1543) was born in Jülich, the daughter of Wilhelm IV, Duke of Jülich Berg and Sibylle of Brandenburg.[1] Maria came from the line of German princesses that stretched back to Sybille of Brandenberg, Sophia of Saxony, and …   Wikipedia

  • Dietrich II, Count of Cleves — Dietrich II was Count of Cleves from 1147 through 1172. The County of Cleves (German: Grafschaft Kleve; Dutch: Graafschap Kleef) was a comital polity of the Holy Roman Empire in present Germany (part of North Rhine Westphalia) and the Netherlands …   Wikipedia


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