• period: 1850 up to 1900

1850 up to 1900

Kiez near Neustadt-Glewe, ca. 1890 Kiez near Neustadt-Glewe, ca. 1890

region Mecklenburg

The North German Confederation initiated in 1867/68 the end of Mecklenburg’s state independence. Laws regulated choice of domicile, religious freedom and freedom of trade. In 1871 Mecklenburg became part of the German Empire. Conservatives, liberals and social democrats battled it out for Reichstag mandates.

Frederick Francis II. ruled in Schwerin until 1883. His son, Frederick Francis III., spent most of his time living in Cannes, where he died in 1897. Duke John Albert, took over the regency from Frederick Francis IV. until 1901, as he was still a minor. Frederick William II. ruled in Strelitz from 1860-1904 and radically wrote off the country’s debts.

Shipping prospered and the Rostock fleet had doubled its tonnage by 1870. Most imports came via Stettin, Lübeck or Hamburg. By 1893 the land had a public rail network. The machine building and food industries were not only established in seaside towns. Sugar factories epitomised the highest European level

In 1862 the inheritance of leases for rural posts in Mecklenburg-Schwerin became law. Landowners extended their farms, intensified arable farming and created grassland for keeping livestock. Agriculture was dominated by properties with over 100 hectares.

Literature promoted a regional consciousness through Fritz Reuter and John Brinckman.

 

more
Sea bridge at Heringsdorf, <br>1893 Sea bridge at Heringsdorf,
1893

region Western Pomerania

William of Preussen is crowned in 1861, he becomes German Emperor in 1871. He is succeeded by his son Frederick III. (1831-1888), the '99-day Emperor'. Wilhelm II. becomes German Emperor after the premature death of his father. Pomerania receives 14 seats on the Imperial Diet in 1871. Reforms of 1875 introduce a county council with a regional parliament, a county committee and the positions of governor or director in Pomerania. Until 1881, the municipal state parliament of New Western Pomerania met in Stralsund and then united with Old Pomerania in Stettin as provincial parliaments. The rural community ordinance of 1891 enshrines the reforms in law.

The University of Greifswald becomes a modern hub of research in the fields of medicine, law, theology and philology. Szczecin is expanded as a grammar school location.  Catholic schools are established. In 1860, a school for helmsmen is set up in Barth.

The North German Confederation abolishes compulsory membership of guilds. Shipping prospers. The port in Barth is enlarged. Sugar factories are built by the landed gentry. By 1897 ten new foundries are built in Torgelow. Stettin becomes an industrial centre. The railway network is nationalised in 1879. Swinemünde stagnates as a port town after 1880, as ocean-going vessels use the 'Kaiserfahrt' canal to berth directly in Stettin. The Berlin-Swinemünde route and the 'Northern Line' to Stralsund attract tourists. A railway station has been built in each county town by 1897. In Stralsund, Demmin, Greifswald and Pasewalk, barracks are built for the Prussian troops there. 63 brick factories are established on Ueckermünder Heath by 1900. Sassnitz becomes the centre of the chalk industry. 17 mining companies form a cartel in 1899. 

Artists form colonies of plein air painters; the Ahrenshoop colony achieves great importance. The islands of Pomerania became resorts for artists and bathers.

In Pomerania, the number of farms decreases. About 243,000 Pomeranians immigrate to America. The rural population decreases by about 20%. The estate owners intensify agriculture and livestock. The province becomes the largest German potato producer. Its potato cultivation has an international reputation. New Western Pomerania has the richest soil in the province. Foreign seasonal workers compensate the shortfall. The situation for the farmers does not improve until 1879, when protective tariffs are imposed and state subsidies provided. New machinery for mowing and other tasks also helps.

The invalidity and pensions' insurance society is founded 1890 in Stettin. Work on Sundays is outlawed in 1891. Industrial expansion leads to the emergence of a proletariat. Workers, craftsmen and the educated middle-class got together in sports, singing or workers’ educational associations.

The Pomeranian Evangelical Church is divided into 56 districts. Numerous new churches are built. Old Lutherans live in Cammin and Slupsk. The new synagogue with space for 1,700 believers opens 1875 in Stettin. There are Catholic congregations in Stettin, Stralsund, Stargard, Greifswald, Bergen and Pasewalk.

more

Exhibits from the period 1850 up to 1900:

(select exhibit or time)