Grand Duchy of Frankfurt

Grand Duchy of Frankfurt
Großherzogtum Frankfurt (de)
Grand-duché de Francfort (fr)
Client state of the French Empire
Flag Coat of arms
The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt in 1812.
Capital Aschaffenburg
Government Absolute monarchy
Grand Duke
  1810–1813 Karl von Dalberg
  1813 Eugène de Beauharnais
Historical era Napoleonic Wars
   Established 16 February 1810
   Disestablished December 1813
   1810 5,173 km² (1,997 sq mi)
   1810 est. 302,100 
     Density 58.4 /km²  (151.3 /sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Free City of Frankfurt
Principality of Aschaffenburg
Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda
County of Hanau
County of Wetzlar
Free City of Frankfurt
Kingdom of Bavaria
Grand Duchy of Hesse
Electorate of Hesse
Kingdom of Prussia

The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt was a German satellite state of Napoleonic creation. It came into existence in 1810 through the combination of the former territories of the Archbishopric of Mainz along with the Free City of Frankfurt itself.


Battle of the Frankfurt Bridge between Austrian/Bavarian and French troops, 1813. Gouache by an unknown artist, Historical Museum, Frankfurt.

Frankfurt lost its status as a free imperial city in 1806 with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. The city was granted to the previous Archbishop of Mainz, Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg, and became the Principality of Frankfurt. When Dalberg was forced to relinquish his Principality of Regensburg to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1810, he combined his remaining territories of Aschaffenburg, Wetzlar, Fulda, Hanau, and Frankfurt into the new Grand Duchy of Frankfurt.

Although the grand duchy was named after the city of Frankfurt, Dalberg resided in the city of Aschaffenburg. However, the territory was actually ruled by French commissioners. By the constitution of the grand duchy, upon Dalberg's death, the state would be inherited by Napoleon's stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais.

Dalberg abdicated in favour of Eugene on 26 October 1813, following Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig. The grand duchy ceased to exist after December 1813, when the city was occupied by allied troops. While Frankfurt itself once again became a free city, most of the territory of the grand duchy was ultimately annexed by the Kingdom of Bavaria.

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