A duchy is a country, territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. The term is used almost exclusively in Europe, where in the present day there is no sovereign duchy (i.e. with the status of a nation state) left.
The term "duke" (like the corresponding "duchy") should not be confused with the title Grand Duke (or Grand Duchy, such as the present-day Grand Duchy of Luxembourg), as there exists a significant difference of rank between the two.
In common European cultural heritage, a grand duke is the third highest monarchic rank, after emperor and king. Its synonym in many Slavic and Baltic European languages (Russian, Lithuanian, etc.) is translated as Grand Prince, whereas most Germanic and Romance European languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian etc.) use expressions corresponding to Grand Duke. Unlike a duke, the sovereign grand duke is considered royalty (or in German, 'royal nobility', Königsadel). The proper form of address for a grand duke is His Royal Highness (HRH), whereas for a non-royal duke in the United Kingdom it is His Grace.
In contrast to this, the rank of a duke differs from one country to the next. In Germany, for example, a duke is listed in the aristocratic hierarchy below an emperor (Kaiser), king (König), grand duke (Großherzog), and elector (Kurfürst)– in that order – whereas in Britain the duke comes third after king/queen and prince (there are no British grand dukes or electors).
In all countries, there existed an important difference between "sovereign dukes" and dukes subordinate to a king or emperor. Some historic duchies were sovereign in areas that would become part of nation-states only during the modern era, such as Germany (a federal empire) and Italy (a unified kingdom). In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that had unified either partially or completely during the medieval era, such as France, Spain, Sicily, Naples, and the Papal States. In England, the term is used in respect of non-territorial entities.
Traditionally, a grand duchy, such as Luxembourg or Tuscany (1569–1860), was generally independent and sovereign. There were also many sovereign or semi-sovereign duchies in the de facto confederate Holy Roman Empire (961–1806) and German-speaking areas.
The medieval German stem duchies (German: Stammesherzogtum, literally "tribal duchy", the official title of its ruler being Herzog or "duke") were associated with the Frankish Kingdom and corresponded with the areas of settlement of the major Germanic tribes. They formed the nuclei of the major feudal states that comprised the early era of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation (961-1806; in German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation). These were Schwaben (Swabia, mainly the present-day German state of Baden-Württemberg), Bayern (Bavaria), and Sachsen (Saxony) in pre-Carolingian times, to which Franken (Franconia, at present the northern part of the German state of Bavaria) and Lothringen (Lorraine, nowadays mostly part of France) were added in post-Carolingian times. As mentioned above, such a duke was styled Herzog (literally "the one who is leading [the troops]").
In medieval England, duchies associated with the territories of Lancashire and Cornwall were created, with certain powers and estates of land accruing to their dukes. The Duchy of Lancaster was created in 1351 but became merged with the Crown when, in 1399, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, ascended the throne of England as Henry IV. Nowadays the Duchy of Lancaster always belongs to the sovereign and its revenue is the Privy Purse. The Duchy of Cornwall was created in 1337 and held successively by the Dukes of Cornwall, who were also heirs to the throne. Nowadays, the Duchy of Cornwall belongs to the sovereign's heir apparent, if there is one: it reverts to the Crown in the absence of an heir apparent, and is automatically conferred to the heir apparent upon birth. These duchies today have mostly lost any non-ceremonial political role, but generate their holders' private income. During the Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York made a successful entry into the City of York, by merely claiming no harm and that it was his right to possess "his duchy of York". Any and all feudal duchies that made up the patchwork of England have since been absorbed within the Royal Family. Other than Cornwall and Lancaster, British royal dukedoms are titular and do not include land holdings. Non-royal dukedoms are associated with ducal property, but this is meant as the duke's private property, with no other feudal privileges attached.
In more recent times, territorial duchies have become rare; most dukedoms conferred in the last few centuries have been of a purely ceremonial or honorific character (see Duke). At present all independent (i.e., sovereign) duchies have disappeared.
Luxembourg, an independent and sovereign nation with a history dating back as far as the 8th century, is the only remaining independent grand duchy, with the Grand Duke Henri I (dynasty of Luxembourg-Nassau) as its head of state since the year 2000.
In the middle east the concept of beylik can be seen as equivalent to duchy ("bey" being a Turkish title for the head of a house, and similar to "duke" when that person is the highest representative of the state in a principality). For example, the Ottoman Empire, first just the nomadic Kayı tribe among the Ghuzz (Oghuz Turks), settled in Bithynia on the border to the Byzantine Empire, evolved under the Sultanate of Rûm (Seljuks in Anatolia) into a border principality (Uç beyliği /margraviate). It became an independent principality after the Anatolian Seljuk state was shattered by the Mongols. Later it grew further into its own empire by conquering the nearby Anatolian beyliks, also remnants of the Sultanate of Rûm.
The following duchies were part of the medieval Kingdom of Italy (not to be confused with the modern Kingdom of Italy (1860-1945)), which itself was part of the Holy Roman Empire:
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a ministerial office in the Government of the United Kingdom that includes as part of its duties, the administration of the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister.The Chancellor is answerable to Parliament for the governance of the Duchy. However, the involvement of the Chancellor in the running of the day-to-day affairs of the Duchy is slight, and the office is held by a senior politician whose main role is usually quite different. The position is currently held by David Lidington.Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy (; Latin: Ducatus Burgundiae; French: Duché de Bourgogne, Dutch: Hertogdom Bourgondië) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians, which after its conquest in 532 had formed a constituent part of the Frankish Empire. Upon the 9th-century partitions, the French remnants of the Burgundian kingdom were reduced to a ducal rank by King Robert II of France in 1004, and in 1032 were awarded to his younger son Robert per Salic law – other portions had passed to the Imperial Kingdom of Arles and the County of Burgundy (Franche-Comté).
Robert became the ancestor of the ducal House of Burgundy, a cadet branch of the royal Capet dynasty, ruling over a territory which roughly conformed to the borders and territories of the modern region of Burgundy (Bourgogne). Upon the extinction of the line with the death of Duke Philip I in 1361, the duchy fell back to King John II of France and the royal House of Valois. The Burgundian duchy rose to a territorial complex of a European scale after 1363, when King John II ceded the duchy to his younger son Philip. By his marriage with Countess Margaret III of Flanders, he laid the foundation for a Burgundian realm further north in the Low Countries collectively known as the Burgundian Netherlands. Upon further acquisitions of the County of Burgundy, Holland and Luxemburg, the House of Valois-Burgundy came to own considerable possession of numerous French and imperial fiefs stretching from the western Alps to the North Sea, in some ways reminiscent of the Middle Frankish realm of Lotharingia.
The Burgundian sphere, in its own right, was one of the largest ducal territories that existed at the time of the emergence of Early Modern Europe. Including the thriving regions of Flanders and Brabant, it was a major centre of trade and commerce as well as a focal point of courtly culture which set the standards for European royal houses. After just over one hundred years of Valois-Burgundy rule, however, the last duke, Charles the Bold, rushed to the Burgundian Wars and was killed in the 1477 Battle of Nancy. The extinction of the dynasty led to the absorption of the duchy itself into the French crown lands by King Louis XI, while the bulk of the Burgundian possessions in the Low Countries passed to the Habsburg archduke, Maximilian I of Austria, son of Emperor Frederick III, by his marriage with Charles' daughter, Mary.
The partition of the Burgundian heritage marked the beginning of the centuries-long France–Habsburg rivalry and played a pivotal role in European politics long after it lost its role as an independent political identity, due to marriages and wars over the territories between princes who were related to its former rulers. With the abdication of the Emperor Charles V (also King of Spain) in 1556, the imperial fiefs in the Burgundian Netherlands passed to the Spanish Empire of King Philip II. During the Dutch Revolt or Eighty Years War (1568–1648), the northern provinces of the Low Countries gained their independence from Spanish rule and formed the Dutch Republic (today the Netherlands), while the southern provinces remained under Spanish rule until the 18th century and became known as the Spanish Netherlands or Southern Netherlands (corresponding roughly to present day Belgium, Luxembourg, and the areas in France corresponding to the Nord department and part of the Pas-de-Calais department).Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall (Cornish: Duketh Kernow) is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits possession of the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at birth or when his parent succeeds to the throne, but may not sell assets for personal benefit and has limited rights and income as a minor. The current duke is Charles, Prince of Wales. If, and when, the current Prince of Wales accedes the throne, Prince William will become Duke of Cornwall. When the monarch has no male children, the rights and responsibilities of the duchy revert to the Crown and there is no duke. (The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 does not affect the succession to the duchy, so that if the heir apparent is female she cannot succeed to the duchy.)
The Duchy Council, called the Prince's Council, meets twice a year and is chaired by the duke. The Prince's Council is a non-executive body which provides advice to the duke with regard to the management of the Duchy. The duchy also exercises certain legal rights and privileges across Cornwall, including some that elsewhere in England belong to the Crown. The duke appoints a number of officials in the county and acts as the port authority for the main harbour of the Isles of Scilly.
The government considers the duchy to be a crown body and therefore exempt from paying corporation tax. The tax exempt status of the duchy has been challenged; and, since 1993, the Duke of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, has voluntarily paid income tax on the duchy income, less amounts that he considers to be official expenditure.Duchy of Lorraine
The Duchy of Lorraine (French: Lorraine [lɔʁɛn]; German: Lothringen), originally Upper Lorraine, was a duchy now included in the larger present-day region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Its capital was Nancy.
It was founded in 959 following the division of Lotharingia into two separate duchies: Upper and Lower Lorraine, the westernmost parts of the Holy Roman Empire. The Lower duchy was quickly dismantled, while Upper Lorraine came to be known as simply the Duchy of Lorraine. The Duchy of Lorraine was coveted and briefly occupied by the Dukes of Burgundy and the Kings of France.
In 1737, the Duchy was given to Stanisław Leszczyński, the former king of Poland, who had lost his throne as a result of the War of the Polish Succession, with the understanding that it would fall to the French crown on his death. When Stanisław died on 23 February 1766, Lorraine was annexed by France and reorganized as a province.Duchy of Milan
The Duchy of Milan was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Italy. It was created in 1395, when it included twenty-six towns and the wide rural area of the middle Padan Plain east of the hills of Montferrat. During much of its existence, it was wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to Habsburg Austria with the Treaty of Baden (1714), concluding the War of the Spanish Succession. The Duchy remained an Austrian possession until 1796, when a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte conquered it, and it ceased to exist a year later as a result of the Treaty of Campo Formio, when Austria ceded it to the new Cisalpine Republic.
After the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna of 1815 restored many other states which he had destroyed, but not the Duchy of Milan. Instead, its former territory became part of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, with the Emperor of Austria as its king. In 1859, Lombardy was ceded to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, which would become the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.Duchy of Normandy
The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and Rollo, leader of the Vikings. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.
From 1066 until 1204 it was held by the kings of England, except for the brief rule of Robert Curthose (1087–1106), eldest son of William the Conqueror but unsuccessful claimant to the English throne; and Geoffrey Plantagenet (1144–1150), husband of Empress Matilda and father of Henry II.
In 1202, Philip II of France declared Normandy forfeit to him and seized it by force of arms in 1204. It remained disputed territory until the Treaty of Paris of 1259, when the English sovereign ceded his claim except for the Channel Islands; i.e., the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, and their dependencies (including Sark).
In the Kingdom of France, the duchy was occasionally set apart as an appanage to be ruled by a member of the royal family. After 1469, however, it was permanently united to the royal domain, although the title was occasionally conferred as an honorific upon junior members of the royal family. The last French duke of Normandy in this sense was Louis-Charles, duke from 1785 to 1789.Duchy of Savoy
From 1416 to 1860, the Duchy of Savoy (Italian: Ducato di Savoia, French: Duché de Savoie) was a state in Western Europe. It was created when Sigismund, King of the Romans, raised the County of Savoy into a duchy for Amadeus VIII. The duchy was an Imperial fief , subject of the Holy Roman Empire with a vote in the Imperial Diet. From the 16th century, Savoy belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. Throughout its history, it was ruled by the House of Savoy and formed a part of the larger Savoyard state.Duchy of Schleswig
The Duchy of Schleswig (Danish: Hertugdømmet Slesvig; German: Herzogtum Schleswig; Low German: Hartogdom Sleswig; North Frisian: Härtochduum Slaswik) was a duchy in Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) covering the area between about 60 km (35 miles) north and 70 km (45 miles) south of the current border between Germany and Denmark. The territory has been divided between the two countries since 1920, with Northern Schleswig in Denmark and Southern Schleswig in Germany. The region is also called Sleswick in English.
The area's traditional significance lies in the transfer of goods between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, connecting the trade route through Russia with the trade routes along the Rhine and the Atlantic coast (see also Kiel Canal).Duchy of Warsaw
The Duchy of Warsaw (Polish: Księstwo Warszawskie, French: Duché de Varsovie, German: Herzogtum Warschau) was a Polish state established by Napoleon I in 1807 from the Polish lands ceded by the Kingdom of Prussia under the terms of the Treaties of Tilsit. The duchy was held in personal union by one of Napoleon's allies, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony. Following Napoleon's failed invasion of Russia, the duchy was occupied by Prussian and Russian troops until 1815, when it was formally partitioned between the two countries at the Congress of Vienna. It covered the central and eastern part of present Poland and minor parts of present Lithuania and Belarus.Duke
A duke (male) or duchess (female) can either be a monarch ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank (particularly one of Germanic or Celtic origin), and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province.
The title dux survived in the Eastern Roman Empire where it was used in several contexts signifying a rank equivalent to a captain or general. Later on, in the 11th century, the title Megas Doux was introduced for the post of commander-in-chief of the entire navy.
During the Middle Ages the title (as Herzog) signified first among the Germanic monarchies. Dukes were the rulers of the provinces and the superiors of the counts in the cities and later, in the feudal monarchies, the highest-ranking peers of the king. A duke may or may not be, ipso facto, a member of the nation's peerage: in the United Kingdom and Spain all dukes are/were also peers of the realm, in France some were and some were not, while the term is not applicable to dukedoms of other nations, even where an institution similar to the peerage (e.g., Grandeeship, Imperial Diet, Hungarian House of Magnates) existed.
During the 19th century many of the smaller German and Italian states were ruled by Dukes or Grand Dukes. But at present, with the exception of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, there are no dukes ruling as monarchs. Duke remains the highest hereditary title (aside from titles borne by the reigning or formerly reigning dynasty) in Portugal (though now a republic), Spain, and the United Kingdom. In Sweden, members of the Royal Family are given a personal dukedom at birth. The Pope, as a temporal sovereign, has also, though rarely, granted the title of Duke or Duchess to persons for "services" to the Holy See. In some realms the relative status of "duke" and "prince", as titles borne by the nobility rather than by members of reigning dynasties, varied—e.g., in Italy and the Netherlands.
A woman who holds in her own right the title to such duchy or dukedom, or is the wife of a duke, is normally styled duchess. Queen Elizabeth II, however, is known by tradition as Duke of Normandy in the Channel Islands and Duke of Lancaster in Lancashire.Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden (German: Großherzogtum Baden) was a state in the southwest German Empire on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918.It came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into different lines, which were unified in 1771. It then became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden through the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803–1806 and was a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871, remaining a Grand Duchy until 1918 when it became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden. Baden was bordered to the north by the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt; to the west, along most of its length, by the river Rhine, which separated Baden from the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate and Alsace in modern France; to the south by Switzerland; and to the east by the Kingdom of Württemberg, the Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Bavaria.
After World War II, the French military government in 1945 created the state of Baden (originally known as "South Baden") out of the southern half of the former Baden, with Freiburg as its capital. This portion of the former Baden was declared in its 1947 constitution to be the true successor of the old Baden. The northern half of the old Baden was combined with northern Württemberg, becoming part of the American military zone, and formed the state of Württemberg-Baden. Both Baden and Württemberg-Baden became states of West Germany upon its formation in 1949.
In 1952 Baden merged with Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern (southern Württemberg and the former Prussian exclave of Hohenzollern) to form Baden-Württemberg. This is the only merger of states that has taken place in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The unofficial anthem of Baden is called "Badnerlied" (Song of the People of Baden) and consists of four or five traditional verses. However, over the years, many more verses have been added – there are collections with up to 591 verses of the anthem.Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland (Finnish: Suomen suuriruhtinaskunta, Swedish: Storfurstendömet Finland, Russian: Великое княжество Финляндское, Velikoye knyazhestvo Finlyandskoye; literally Grand Principality of Finland) was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed between 1809 and 1917 as an autonomous part of the Russian Empire.
Originating in the 16th century as a titular grand duchy held by the King of Sweden, it became autonomous after the Russian annexation in the Finnish War. The Grand Duke of Finland was the Romanov Emperor of Russia, who was represented by the Governor-General. Due to the governmental structure of the Russian Empire and Finnish initiative, the grand duchy's autonomy expanded until the end of the 19th century. The Senate of Finland was founded in 1809, which became the most important governmental organ and the precursor to the modern Government of Finland, Supreme Court of Finland and the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland.The economic, social and political changes in the Grand Duchy of Finland were closely connected with those in the Russian Empire and the rest of Europe. The economy grew slowly during the first half of the 19th century. The reign of Alexander II after 1855 saw significant cultural, social and intellectual progress and an industrializing economy. Tensions increased after the Russification policies were enacted in 1889, which saw the introduction of limited autonomy and reduction of Finnish cultural expression. The unrest in Russia and Finland during World War I and the subsequent collapse of the Russian Empire resulted in the Finnish Declaration of Independence and the end of the Grand Duchy.Grand Duchy of Hesse
The Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine (German: Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein) was a grand duchy in western Germany that existed from 1806 (the period of German mediatization) to the end of the German Empire in 1918. The grand duchy originally formed on the basis of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1806 as the Grand Duchy of Hesse (German: Großherzogtum Hessen). After the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, it changed its name in 1816 to distinguish itself from the Electorate of Hesse, which had formed from neighboring Hesse-Kassel. Colloquially, the grand duchy continued to be known by its former name of Hesse-Darmstadt. It joined the German Empire in 1871 and became a republic after German defeat in World War I in 1918.Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria. The state was founded by the Lithuanians, a polytheistic Baltic tribe from Aukštaitija.The Grand Duchy expanded to include large portions of the former Kievan Rus' and other Slavic lands, including what is now Belarus and parts of Ukraine, Poland and Russia. At its greatest extent, in the 15th century, it was the largest state in Europe. It was a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, with great diversity in languages, religion and cultural heritage.
Consolidation of the Lithuanian lands began in the late 12th century. Mindaugas, the first ruler of the Grand Duchy, was crowned as Catholic King of Lithuania in 1253. The pagan state was targeted in the religious crusade by the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. The multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state emerged only at the late reign of Gediminas and continued to expand under his son Algirdas. Algirdas's successor Jogaila signed the Union of Krewo in 1386, bringing two major changes in the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: conversion to Catholicism and establishment of a dynastic union between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland.The reign of Vytautas the Great marked both the greatest territorial expansion of the Grand Duchy and the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. It also marked the rise of the Lithuanian nobility. After Vytautas's death, Lithuania's relationship with the Kingdom of Poland greatly deteriorated. Lithuanian noblemen, including the Radvila family (Radziwiłłs), attempted to break the personal union with Poland. However, unsuccessful wars with the Grand Duchy of Moscow forced the union to remain intact.
Eventually, the Union of Lublin of 1569 created a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the federation, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania maintained its political distinctiveness and had separate ministries, laws, army and treasury. The federation was terminated by the passing of the Constitution of 3 May 1791, when there was supposed to be now a single country, the Commonwealth of Poland, under one monarch and one parliament. Shortly afterward, the unitary character of the state was confirmed by adopting the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations.
However, the newly-reformed Commonwealth was invaded by Russia in 1792 and partitioned between the neighbours, with a truncated state (principal cities being Kraków, Warsaw and Vilnius) remaining only nominally independent. After the Kościuszko Uprising, the territory was completely partitioned among the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Austria in 1795.Grand Duchy of Moscow
The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow (Russian: Великое Княжество Московское, Velikoye Knyazhestvo Moskovskoye, also known in English simply as Muscovy from the Latin: Moscoviae) was a Rus' principality of the Late Middle Ages centered around Moscow, and the predecessor state of the Tsardom of Russia in the early modern period.
The state originated with Daniel I, who inherited Moscow in 1283, eclipsing and eventually absorbing its parent duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal by the 1320s. It later annexed the Novgorod Republic in 1478 and the Grand Duchy of Tver in 1485.After the Mongol invasion of Rus', Muscovy was a tributary vassal to the Mongol-ruled Golden Horde (under the "Tatar Yoke") until 1480. Muscovites, Suzdalians and other inhabitants of the Rus' principality were able to maintain their Slavic, Pagan and Orthodox traditions for the most part under the Tatar Yoke. There was also strong contact and cultural exchange with the Byzantine Empire. Ivan III further consolidated the state during his 43-year reign, campaigning against his major remaining rival power, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and by 1503 he had tripled the territory of his realm, adopting the title of tsar and claiming the title of "Ruler of all Rus'". By his marriage to the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, he claimed Muscovy to be the successor state of the Roman Empire, the "Third Rome". The emigration of the Byzantine people influenced and strengthened Moscow's identity as the heir of the Orthodox traditions. Ivan's successor Vasili III also enjoyed military success, gaining Smolensk from Lithuania in 1512, pushing Muscovy's borders to the Dniepr River. Vasili's son Ivan IV (later known as Ivan the Terrible) was an infant at his father's death in 1533. He was crowned in 1547, assuming the title of tsar together with the proclamation of Tsardom of Russia (Russian: Царство Русcкое, Tsarstvo Russkoye).Grand Duchy of Tuscany
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Italian: Granducato di Toscana; Latin: Magnus Ducatus Etruriae) was a central Italian monarchy that existed, with interruptions, from 1569 to 1859, replacing the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy's capital was Florence. Tuscany was nominally a state of the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797.Initially, Tuscany was ruled by the House of Medici until the extinction of its senior branch in 1737. While not as internationally renowned as the old republic, the grand duchy thrived under the Medici and it bore witness to unprecedented economic and military success under Cosimo I and his sons, until the reign of Ferdinando II, which saw the beginning of the state's long economic decline. It peaked under Cosimo III. The Medicis' only advancement in the latter days of their existence was their elevation to royalty, by the Holy Roman Emperor, in 1691.
Francis Stephen of Lorraine, a cognatic descendant of the Medici, succeeded the family and ascended the throne of his Medicean ancestors. Tuscany was governed by a viceroy, Marc de Beauvau-Craon, for his entire rule. His descendants ruled, and resided in, the grand duchy until its end in 1859, barring one interruption, when Napoleon Bonaparte gave Tuscany to the House of Bourbon-Parma. Following the collapse of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the grand duchy was restored. The United Provinces of Central Italy, a client state of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont, annexed Tuscany in 1859. Tuscany was formally annexed to Sardinia in 1860, as a part of the unification of Italy, following a landslide referendum, in which 95% of voters approved.Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples (Latin: Regnum Neapolitanum; Catalan: Regne de Nàpols; Spanish: Reino de Nápoles; French: Royaume de Naples; Italian: Regno di Napoli) comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.Luxembourg
Luxembourg ( (listen); Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuerg [ˈlətsəbuə̯ɕ] (listen); French: Luxembourg; German: Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union (together with Brussels and Strasbourg) and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.With an area of 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi), it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. In 2018, Luxembourg had a population of 602,005, which makes it one of the least-populous countries in Europe, but by far the one with the highest population growth rate. Foreigners account for nearly half of Luxembourg's population. As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by Grand Duke Henri and is the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP (PPP) per capita. The City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city.The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried I acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications known as Lucilinburhuc, ′little castle′, and the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier.
Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage, war and vassal relations. At the end of the 13th century, the Counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory.
In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg became King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor. The House of Luxembourg produced four Holy Roman Emperors during the high Middle Ages. In 1354, Charles IV elevated the County to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Since Sigismund had no male heir, the Duchy became part of the Burgundian Circle and then one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands.
Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories, was gradually built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe. After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the Austria of Maria Theresia, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under Napoleon.The present-day state of Luxembourg first emerged at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Grand-Duchy, with its powerful fortress, became an independent state under the personal possession of William I of the Netherlands with a Prussian garrison to guard the city against another invasion from France. In 1839, following the turmoil of the Belgian Revolution, the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg was ceded to Belgium and the Luxembourgish-speaking part (except the Arelerland, the area around Arlon) became what is the present state of Luxembourg.Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux. The city of Luxembourg, which is the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, which was a first in the country's history. As of 2018, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgish passport 5th in the world, tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th- to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered almost 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million.The Commonwealth was established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had been in a de facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, who was crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 greatly reduced the state's size and the Commonwealth collapsed as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.
The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power. These checks were enacted by a legislature (sejm) controlled by the nobility (szlachta). This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, and federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union.The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573; however, the degree of religious freedom varied over time. The Constitution of 1791 acknowledged Catholicism as the "dominant religion", unlike the Warsaw Confederation, but freedom of religion was still granted with it.After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political, military and economic decline. Its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors (Austria, Prussia and the Russian Empire) during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the May 3 Constitution – the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history (after the United States Constitution).
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities
1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics.