Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia - Frederick William, — , Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from until his death in Frederick William The Myth of Prussia. As a result of the Thirty Years'War, Brandenburg-Prussia was badly depopulated and the territory faced a desperate labour shortage during the second half of the seventeenth century.
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It encouraged Protestants to relocate to Brandenburg. This policy escalated the harassment of religious minorities since the dragonnades created in in order to intimidate Huguenots into converting to Catholicism. Across the Rhine it has been estimated that the Holy Roman empire had lost a third of its population through slaughter, famine and plague during the Thirty Years' War A shelter found, freedom of [religious] belief, And refuge from oppression of the conscience.
A courageous prince, free and devout, Received us here, as he prince of the country Received us as his own people. No envy was awakened, No jealousy, - People opened their doors And welcomed us as Brothers in Christ Theodor Fontane, , ' . Large number of religious refugees had arrived by ship at Cadzand and other coastal ports in the Netherlands. The edict expressly ruled out any customs duties or other taxes on assets that the migrants had been able to bring with them.
Any former proprietors would be compensated for the transfer value of properties allocated to the migrants, and the new settlers would enjoy a six-year tax holiday in respect of any property taxes though they would remain subject to the same taxes on consumption as other citizens. In some of the many places where tracts of abandoned cultivable land had been identified, the elector's edict provided for the perpetual freehold of these to be allocated to his "French Protestant Comrades in Belief" "Evangelisch-Reformirten Glaubens-Genossen" , free of mortgages or other encumbrances.
Materials would be provided for refugee farmers to bring their land into cultivation and construct homes. A ten-year tax holiday was included in the package.
The edict also recorded that in affected localities officials had been mandated to hire town houses where Huguenot refugees might be received and accommodated with their families rent free for up to four years while arrangements for them to create their own farms were put in place, although this generous provision was expressly conditional on beneficiaries subsequently bringing their farms into production.
It was spelled out that as soon as a French Protestant migrant family had settled in a town or village they should enjoy full legal and civic equality with the elector's existing subjects. The elector moved fast. It is estimated that approximately 20, Huguenot refugees relocated to Brandenburg-Prussia in response to the Edict of Potsdam. Thus, the immigrants to the Electorate of Brandenburg stabilized and greatly improved the country's economy following the destructive wars that had swept through Europe in the seventeenth-century.
The Edict of Potsdam was not a product of mere altruism or publicity-seeking on the part of an ambitious German prince. A large immigrant community personally linked to the ruler by their religious beliefs also strengthened the ruler's own position in relation to the landed nobility and the powerful Lutheran interests.
A particularly well documented case is that of the farmer Jean Harlan, based in Calais and barely 20 years old when the Edict of Fontainbleau was proclaimed in With others, he escaped in a boat along the English Channel , surviving as far as Cadzand on the Dutch coast.
In one of the several "transit" points set up by Prussian officials in the Netherlands, he was provided with financial support and documentation, before moving on to Uckermark , close to the Oder River. Here he met and in February married Marie Le Jeune, another Huguenot refugee who had managed to escape from France with her three children.
In Uckermark they were allocated an empty farmstead, together with building material, seed corn, two horses, a cow, and 50 Thalers. Uckermark was a particular focus of Huguenot resettlement. The farmstead was one of 2, available for settlement in the area, where the package including "two horses, a cow, and 50 Thalers " was apparently the standard one. The Harlans were able to benefit from the grants and tax privileges provided by the Edict of Potsdam, and Jean Harlan later went on to build a business as a tobacco merchant.
His son, Jakob Harlan, subsequently founded a commercial dynasty of upwardly mobile business people. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The novelist Theodor Fontane was descended from French religious refugees who had relocated to Brandenburg-Prussia in response to the Edicts of Fontainbleau and Potsdam.
Two hundred years later, he wrote a lengthy and resounding "Prologue to the two hundredth anniversary celebration of the French colony" : A shelter found, freedom of [religious] belief, And refuge from oppression of the conscience. Das Reich der Deuschen Eine Nation entsteht. Der Spiegel : — Retrieved 2 June Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung.
It encouraged Protestants to relocate to Brandenburg. This policy escalated the harassment of religious minorities since the dragonnades created in in order to intimidate Huguenots into converting to Catholicism. Across the Rhine it has been estimated that the Holy Roman empire had lost a third of its population through slaughter, famine and plague during the Thirty Years' War A shelter found, freedom of [religious] belief, And refuge from oppression of the conscience. A courageous prince, free and devout, Received us here, as he prince of the country Received us as his own people.
Edict of Potsdam
Category:Edict of Potsdam