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Definition: the Palatinate
, prop. n.
Either of two regions in Germany, formerly divisions of the
Holy Roman Empire; the Lower Palatinate or Rhine Palatinate
is now within the Rhineland-Palatinate; the Upper Palatinate
is now within Bavaria. It is usually referred to as the Palatinate
Note: Palatinate The (p[a^]*l[a^]t"[i^]*n[asl]t). [F.
Palatinat, G. Pfalz, ML. Palatinatus, the province of
count palatine, from palatinatus, palatine.] A former
German State. Its territories were originally in the
region of the Rhine, and from the 14th century to 1620
embraced two separate regions, the Rhine (or Lower)
Palatinate (distinctively the Palatinate), and the
Upper Palatinate (see below). The palsgraves on the
Rhine, whose original seat was at Aix-la-Chapelle, were
important princes of the empire as early as the 11th
century. Early in the 13th century the Palatinate
passed to the Bavarian dynasty of Wittelsbach, which
soon after branched off into the Bavarian and palatine
lines. The Palatinate was enlarged early in the 14th
Century with a part of Bavaria (the Upper Palatinate).
The Golden Bull of 1356 designated the Palatinate as
one of the seven electorates. In the 16th century
Heidelberg, the capital of the electors palatine,
became a great center of Calvinism. The elector
Frederick V., having accepted the Bohemian crown in
1619, and having been overthrown in 1620, was stripped
of his dominions. The electoral dignity was transferred
to Bavaria in 1623, and the Upper Palatinate was
annexed to it. By the treaty of 1648 the Rhine
Palatinate was restored to its former rulers, and an
eighth electorate created for it, the Upper Palatinate
being confirmed to Bavaria. The Rhine palatinate was
terribly ravaged by the French in 1674 and 1689. The
Palatinate and the Bavarian lands were united in 1777.
In 1801 the Rhine Palatinate was divided: all west of
the Rhine was ceded to France; Baden received
Heidelberg, Mannheim, etc.; and the rest fell to
Hesse-Darmstadt, Nassau, etc. By the treaties of
1814-15 the French portion west of the Rhine was
restored to Germany: Prussia and Hesse-Darmstadt
received portions, but the greater portion fell to
Bavaria. This part is the present Rhine Palatinate, or
Lower Palatinate (G. Rheinpfalz or Unterpfalz): it is
bounded by the Rhine on the east, and borders on Hesse,
Prussia, and Alsace-Lorraine. It forms a
of Bavaria, with Spires as Capital.
It is traversed by the Hardt Mountains, and produces
grain, wine, coal, etc. Area, 2,289 square miles.
Population (1890), 728,339. The Upper Palatinate (9.
Oberpfalz) forms a “Regierungs-bezirk”
of Bavaria under
the title Upper Palatinate and Ratisbon (Regensburg).
It borders on Bohemia. Capital, Ratisbon. It has
extensive forests and flourishing industries. Area,
3,729 square miles. Population (1890), 537,954.
[Century Dict., 1906]