• period: 1750 up to 1800

1750 up to 1800

Ducal coat of arms for Mecklenburg-Schwerin and <br>-Strelitz Ducal coat of arms for Mecklenburg-Schwerin and
-Strelitz

region Mecklenburg

The state inheritance agreement of 1755 (“Landesgrundgesetzlicher Erbvergleich”) established the rights and obligations of the knighthood and towns/cities and their relationship with the territorial lords. During the Seven Years‘ War (1757-1763) foreign troops moved through the state. Merchants and craftsmen came into payment difficulties due to the devaluation of coins.

From 1753 small landowners came to settle on free farmsteads. In 1793 there were 183 lords of the manor through birth, 117 new lords and 111 middle-class property owners. Farmers and merchants exported foodstuffs at high prices. There was a shortage of food in the state. Journeymen revolted. Businesses and warehouses were ransacked. The military ended all uprisings.

In Schwerin Duke Christian Ludwig II. gathered European art and brought leading artists to the court. Duke Frederick built Ludwiglust as a residence. The castle was completed in 1776. He was followed by Frederick Francis I. in 1785. Adolf Frederick IV. ruled in Neustrelitz from 1752-1794.

The number of Jewish families in Mecklenburg was established as 145 in 1755. The last trial against a “witch” was held in 1777.

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Memorial to Gneisenau and Nettelbeck in Kolberg, erected in 1903, demolished after World War II Memorial to Gneisenau and Nettelbeck in Kolberg, erected in 1903, demolished after World War II

region Western Pomerania

In 1751 Adolf Frederick, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf (1710-1771) is crowned King of Sweden. He is followed by his sons Gustav III. (1746-1792) and Charles XIII. (1748-1818).
The childless Prussian King Frederick II. is succeeded on the throne by his nephew Frederick William II. (1744-1797).

Troops again pass through the region during the Seven Years' War (1757-1763), turning it into a combat zone. 72,000 Pomeranians fall. Starving, the rural population flees to the cities. Villages are looted. Merchants and tradesmen have difficulty paying their bills due to currency devaluations. Afterwards the Prussian king introduces a reconstruction programme.

In 1779 agrarian and legal reforms lead to a relaxation in serfdom. Around 1790, Joachim Nettelbeck from Kolberg starts cultivating potatoes as a crop in a farm close to Stargard. But potato and clover farming requires fewer labourers. The port facilities in Swinemünde, Stettin and Kolberg are expanded.

The protection of particularly endangered tree species enters into people's consciousness. The idea of 'Natürlichkeit' (naturalness) is picked up in horticulture. The Swedish Governor General, Count Axel Löwen, donates his art collection to the City of Stralsund in 1761.

While the population in the Swedish part of Pomerania grows, the Prussian side remains the most sparsely populated province.

The faience factory in Stralsund, founded 1755, becomes a paradigm for success. In 1765, a playing-card factory is built.The number of ships berthed in Barth rises to 65 in 1782. Unlike Prussia, Pomerania is allowed to access the Mediterranean during the Seven Years' War.

The farming community now accounts for just 15% of the population in the Swedish part of Pomerania, and by the end of the century it has been virtually wiped out. Two thirds of the rural population subsist in serfdom. Around 40% of the arable land lies fallow.

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