History of Württemberg

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Württemberg developed as a political entity in south-west Germany, with the core established around Stuttgart by Count Conrad (d.1110). His descendants managed to expand Württemberg, surviving Germany's religious wars, changes in imperial policy, and invasions from France. The state had a basic parliamentary system that changed to absolutism in the 18th century. The state was recognised as a kingdom in 1806-1918 and is now a part of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Württemberg was often spelt Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg in English.

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Origins

The origin of the name Württemberg remains obscure: scholars having universally rejected the once popular derivation from "Wirth am Berg". Some authorities derive it from a proper name: Wiruto or Wirtino; others from a Celtic place-name, Virolunum or Verdunum. At all events, from serving as the name of a castle near the Stuttgart city district of Rotenberg it extended over the surrounding country, and as the lords of this district increased their possessions so the name covered an ever-widening area, until it reached its present denotation. Early forms of it include Wirtenberg, Wirtembenc and Wirtenberc. Wirtemberg was long current, and in the latter part of the 16th century Würtemberg and Wurttemberg appeared. In 1806 Württemberg became the official spelling, though Wurtemberg also appears frequently and occurs sometimes in official documents and even on coins issued after that date.

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