The Prussians on the Rhine? What business did they have here? Well, their King Frederick William III may have asked himself the same question when the Congress of Vienna in 1814/1815 granted him the Rhineland and Westphalia. Yet, the Kingdom of Prussia saved our Drachenfels.
Rhineland history is also a bit German and European history. During the last 2,000 years, people of numerous nationalities have come to the Rhine. Similarly, there are Rhinelanders who fled political or religious persecution and built up a new life in America. One of them was Carl Schurz.
The Rhineland around 1815. At that time, our region was part of the Kingdom of Prussia under Frederick William III (in German Friedrich Wilhelm III., 1797-1840).
Germany, 1848. The news about the February Revolution in France spread quickly. Already in the first days of March, people troughout Germany took the streets, waving black-red-golden flags, demanding unity, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and the right to form armed militias.
Among all the Prussian and then German politicians, Otto von Bismarck from Pomerania stands out. He raised Prussia to a position of hegemony among the German-speaking countries. For almost 30 years, he and his Emperor William I decided about Prussia’s and Germany’s fate.
Germany around 1900. For many people, life was good. It was the time of impressionist and expressionist painting, historism and eclecticism in architecture, and, turning away from old styles, art nouveau. In the “Belle Epoque” people enjoyed their lives – at least those who could afford it.