A History of The Kingdom of Württemberg – Germany

The Kingdom of Wurttemberg

The Hummel Family is originally from present-day Baden- Württemberg, Germany. This area of Germany is the former Kingdom of Württemberg.

The Kingdom of Württemberg existed from 1805 to 1918. The Kingdom had four different Kings. Though the Kingdom of Württemberg is now part of present-day Germany, during its existence the alliances of the Kingdom changed. The last King of Württemberg was forced to abdicate in 1918.

Coat of Arms,Kingdom of Wurttemberg (1805-1918)
Coat of Arms,Kingdom of Wurttemberg (1805-1918)

The Kingdom of Württemberg

The Kingdom of Württemberg was the German-speaking Kingdom that existed from 1805 to 1918. It’s located in the area that is now present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

This area of present-day Germany is culturally and linguistically Swabia. Swabia’s name comes from the medieval Duchy of Swabia, where the inhabitants in this part of Germany were called Alemanni or Suebi. The people in this area speak Swabian German.

Many Swabian surnames end with -le, -el, -ehl, and -lin. This is why our name Hummel has a Swabian origin, as it also ends in -el.

Württemberg was also formally spelled Würtemberg and Wirtemberg. It is an area that is located in the southwestern part of Germany. From 1495 to 1806, it was part of the Holy Roman empire.

Crown of Kingdom of Wurttemberg
Crown of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg

King Frederick II – King of Württemberg

Over the years, the Württemberg area has seen a lot of fighting and strife. Frederick II, Duke of Württemberg assume the title of King Frederik in January 1806, essentially taking the Württemberg area away from the Holy Roman Empire.

King Fredrick joined the Confederation of the Rhine, which was the confederation of the German client states of the First French Empire under Napoleon’s rule. In fact, Württemberg was an ally of France from 1802 to 1813. Napoleon rewarded Württemberg with large territory grants, including Hasburge lands in Swabia and other cities and territories. These lands helped double Württemberg’s size by 1810.

In return for this favor, King Frederick joined the French Emperor Napoleon in his campaigns against Prussia, Austria, and Russia. Of the 16,000 King Frederick subjects who marched to Moscow, only a few hundred actually returned to the Kingdom of Württemberg.

By 1813, King Frederick had deserted Napoleon and the French, and in November 1813, he had secured the confirmation for his royal title. By 1815, King Frederick had officially joined the German Confederation.

The German Confederation was an association of 39 predominantly German-speaking sovereign states in Central Europe; the German Confederation replaced the Holy Roman Empire, which had dissolved in 1806.

In 1815 King Frederick outlined for the people in his Kingdom a new constitution, which they rejected. In the midst of all this upheaval and commotion, King Frederick died in 1816.

Flag of Kingdom of Wurttemberg (1805-1918)
Flag of Kingdom of Wurttemberg (1805-1918)

King William I – King of Württemberg

King Frederick II was succeeded by his son William I. After much discussion, King William I presented a new constitution to the people in September 1819. This constitution was ratified (with some modifications) and remained in force until 1918.

During this time, a period of peace set in the Kingdom of Württemberg. The kingdom started to prosper in agriculture, education, and trade.

King William was very frugal; he helped repair the shattered finances of the kingdom’s public and private matters. The Kingdom of Württemberg was included in the Zollverein or German Customs Union. This, plus the construction of the railway, helped to foster trade and economic growth.

The Revolutions of 1848, or the Springtime of the People or Spring of Nations, was a massive political upheaval in Europe during 1848. The disruptions did not leave the Kingdom of Württemberg untouched.

Even though the Kingdom of Württemberg saw no violence as other parts of Europe did, King William I was forced to dismiss many ministers and appoint men who had more liberal ideas about a unified Germany. Eventually, King William got rid of this liberal movement in his government.

Coat of Arms,Kingdom of Wurttemberg , used until 1817
Coat of Arms,Kingdom of Wurttemberg , used until 1817

King Charles I – King of Württemberg

In July 1864, King Charles I succeeded his father, King William I, to the throne. Almost from the onset, King Charles faced difficulties.

There was a competition going on between Prussia and Austria for the supremacy of Germany. King Charles took sides with Austria, just as his father, King William, had.

In 1866, Württemberg took up arms on behalf of Austria for the Austro- Prussian War. Eventually, the Prussians occupied northern Württemberg until a peace deal was negotiated, but Württemberg had to pay indemnity to the victorious Prussians. All of this lead to a renewed enthusiasm and national pride for Germany and unification.

During the Franco-German War of 1870-71, Württemberg sided with Prussia. In 1871. Württemberg became a member of the new German Empire, but they still retained control of their post office, telegraph, and railways. Württemberg also had special privileges for taxation and the army. Over the next 10 years, Württemberg was an enthusiastic supporter of the new German empire.

King William II – King of Württemberg

King Charles suddenly died in October 1891. He was succeeded by his nephew William II. King William continued the policies of his Uncle King Charles I.

King William had no sons, nor did any of his Protestant relatives. So the power of the Kingdom of Württemberg was to pass to the family’s Roman Catholic branch. This presented a lot of difficulties concerning the relationship between the church and states.

On 30 November 1918, after German’s defeat in the First World War and the revolution of November 1918, King William was forced to abdicate the throne. Württemberg became the Free People’s State of Württemberg.

A new constitution was promulgated in 1919, but as now a member state of Germany under the Weimar Constitution, Württemberg lost all its special privileges it has previously had.

Church in Ludwigsburg, .Germany
Church in Ludwigsburg, Germany, (Erdmannhausen, where Johan Gottlieb Hummel lived, is in the present-day District of Ludwigsburg)

Historical Facts About the Kingdom of Württemberg

Here are some fun historical facts about the Kingdom of Württemberg:

  • Member of Confederation of the Rhine – 1806 to 1813
  • Member of German Confederation – 1815 to 1866
  • Member of Federal State of the German Empire – 1871 to 1918
  • Capital of Kingdom of Württemberg – Stuttgart
  • Common Language – Swabian German
  • Religion – Protestant and Roman Catholic
  • Government – Constitutional Monarchy.
  • Total Area – 19,508 square kilometers (7,532 square miles)
  • Population in 1910 – 2,437,574
  • Currency (1806 to 1873) – Württemberg gulden
  • Currency (1873 to 1914) – German Goldmark
  • Currency (1914 to 1918) – German Papiermark
Coat of Arms, Erdmannhausen, Germany
Coat of Arms, Erdmannhausen, Germany

The Hummel Family in Württemberg, Germany

Johan Gottlieb Hummel was born in Erdmannhausen in the Kingdom of Württemberg in 1829. He would have been born under the rule of King William I.

Marie Magdalene (Mary) Strecker, the wife of Johan Gottlieb Hummel, was born in 1828 in Poppenweiler, also in the Kingdom of Württemberg. Mary Strecker and Johan Gottlieb were married in 1856 in Poppenweiler.

We know that Mary and Johan had a son Christian Gottlob Hummel born in Württemberg in March 1848 and lived only 6 months. Sometime after their first son’s death, Mary and Gottlieb traveled to the United States to start a new life.

Coat of Arms, Poppenweiler, Germany
Coat of Arms, Poppenweiler, Germany

This areas of Germany has a very interesting history. Though we consider it a part of Germany, the truth is that the Hummel family that came to America from this part of present-day Germany was actually part of the Kingdom of Württemberg.

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Anita Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Hummel. I live in Hanoi, Vietnam. I love to share with you about my family history and the many parts of the world our ancestors have lived.

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