Province of Silesia

Infobox Former Subdivision
native_name = "Schlesien"
conventional_long_name = Silesia
common_name = Silesia
subdivision = Province
nation = Prussia
subdivision = Province
nation= Prussia
year_start =1815
event_start =
year_end =1919
event_post = Briefly re-established
date_post = 1938 - 1941
p1 = Habsburg Monarchy
flag_p1 = Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg
s1 = Province of Lower Silesia
flag_s1 = Flagge Preußen - Provinz Schlesien.svg
s2 = Province of Upper Silesia
flag_s2 = Flagge Preußen - Provinz Oberschlesien.svg

symbol_type = Coat of arms
symbol_type_article =

image_map_caption = The Province of Silesia (red), within the Kingdom of Prussia, within the German Empire
capital = Breslau
latd=51 |latm=7 |latNS=N |longd=17 |longm=2 |longEW=E
stat_area1 =
stat_year1 =
political_subdiv= Breslau Liegnitz Oppeln
The Province of Silesia ( _de. Provinz Schlesien; _pl. Prowincja Śląsk) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1919; the territory had been conquered from Habsburg Austria during the 18th century Silesian Wars. The provincial capital was Breslau. During the Weimar Republic, in 1919, Silesia was divided into the separate provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. The two provinces were reunited into a single province from 1938-41.


In 1740, King Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia annexed most of Silesia as part of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). By war's end, the Kingdom of Prussia had conquered almost all of Silesia, while some parts of Silesia in the extreme southeast, like the Duchy of Teschen and Duchy of Troppau, remained possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy as Austrian Silesia.

The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) confirmed Prussian control over most of Silesia, and it became one of the most loyal territories of Prussia. The territories of Prussia were reorganized in 1815 following the Napoleonic Wars. The Province of Silesia was created out of the Silesian territories acquired by Prussia in the Silesian Wars, as well as Upper Lusatia near Görlitz, which was formerly part of the Kingdom of Saxony.

As a Prussian province, Silesia became part of the German Empire during the Prussian-led unification of Germany in 1871. There was considerable industrialization in Silesia, and many people moved there at that time. According to the census of 1905, three-quarters of the inhabitants were Germans, while the bulk of the population to the east of the Oder River were Poles.

Following World War I, some parts of the Province of Silesia were transferred to the Second Polish Republic and Czechoslovakia (Czech Silesia). In 1919, the parts remaining in Weimar Germany were reorganized into the two provinces of Lower Silesia ("Niederschlesien") and Upper Silesia ("Oberschlesien"). Between 1938 and 1941 after Nazi Germany annexed Polish part of Upper Silesia, Upper and Lower Silesia were merged to a single province.

Most of Silesia is now within Poland, though the majority of people with German heritage were ethnically cleansed following World War II. Small parts of the former Province of Silesia lie within modern Germany (Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis).

External links

* [ Coats of arms] of Upper Silesian towns while part of the Province of Silesia de icon

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