Brief History of Alsace-Lorraine

Written by GFS Susanne

Alsace-Lorraine is now a region in eastern France on the German and Swiss boarders, and the Rhine River. It had been made from two former provinces, Alsace and Lorraine. The Germans call this area Elsass-Lothringen. France and Germany have been in conflict over control of the region for centuries.

Alsace (Elsass), originally called Alsatia, was part of the Frankish Empire in the 9th century, and then part of Swabia. In 1648 it was made up of many independent cities which were incorporated into the Frence province of Alsatia. In 1790 it was divided into the counties of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. Haut-Rhin was further divided in 1871 into a third county, Belfort. Lorraine became part of France in 1766 and includes the counties of Moselle, Meurtheet-Mosell, Meuse and Vosges.

With the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, Alsace and Lorraine were taken by Germany and called Elsass-Lothringen. The area would stayed under German control until the end of WWI in 1918. Belfort remains part of France.

France once again gained control of the region in 1919, but with German dominance in WWII, it was once again under German occupation in 1939. At the end of the war the two provinces went back to France in 1946.

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