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Dalberg, Carl Theodor von

Carl Theodor von Dalberg (1744 1817) was first the deputy and then the Archbishop of Mainz (shortly before the dissolution of the old German Empire in 1806). Dalberg's sympathies with the ideas of the Enlightenment were strong enough to interest Napoleon, who made him Primate in 1806 and Grand Duke of Frankfurt in 1810. The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt was created by Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century when he occupied Germany and completely reorganized it, territorially and politically. The Grand Duchy of Frankfurt under Dalberg reached as far north as Fulda.
Dalberg's job was to implement the reforms coming from the French Revolution. Frankfurt, the ancient imperial city, had its administration, political system and legal system extensively modernized. This led to great progress in the drive for emancipation of Frankfurt's Jews. In 1811 they achieved full emancipation under Dalberg, although they had to pay the Grand Duchy 440,000 guilders for this a vast sum in those days. The Jewish community was still repaying the debt and interest fifty years later.The first phase of this newlyachieved freedom only lasted two years: following Napoleon's defeat in 1813 at the Battle of Leipzig, Dalberg also fell. He withdrew to Regensburg, where he died in 1817. In Frankfurt the old city council was restored and reversed many of Dalberg's reforms, including the emancipation of the Jews.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources