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Republic of Mainz


Republic of Mainz

Republic of Mainz / Rhenish-German Free State
  • Mainzer Republik / Rheinisch-Deutscher Freistaat  (German)
  • République de Mayence  (French)
Client state of France

Capital Mainz
Government Republic
Historical era French Revolutionary Wars
 •  Occupied by Custine 21 October 1792
 •  Independence proclaimed 18 March 1793
 •  Delegates sent to Paris 23 March 1793
 •  National Convention approved accession to French Republic 30 March 1793
 •  Reconquered by Austro-Prussian forces 22 July 1793
Today part of  Germany
Liberty pole at the Franco-Luxembourgeois border at the Moselle. Similar poles were used also in the Republic of Mainz. The table reads "Passants, cette terre est libre" which translates to "Traveler, this land is free". Watercolour by Goethe.

The Republic of Mainz was the first democratic state on the current German territory[1] and was centered in Mainz. A product of the French Revolutionary Wars, it lasted from March to July 1793.


  • Context 1
  • Jacobin club 2
  • Founding 3
  • End 4
  • Notes 5
  • Further reading 6


During the War of the First Coalition against France, the Prussian and Austrian troops that had invaded France retreated after the Battle of Valmy, allowing the French revolutionary army to counterattack. The troops of General Custine entered the Palatinate in late September, and occupied Mainz on 21 October 1792. The ruler of Mainz, Elector-Archbishop Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal, had fled the city.

Jacobin club

On the next day, 20 citizens of Mainz founded a

Further reading

  1. ^ The shortlived republic is often ignored in identifying the "first German democracy", in favour of the Weimar Republic; e.g. "the failure of the first German democracy after the First World War (the Weimar Republic)..." (Peter J. Burnell, Democracy Assistance: international co-operation for democratization 2000:131), or Ch. 3. 'The First Attempt at Democracy, 1918-1933', in Michael Balfour, West Germany: a contemporary history, 1982:60
  2. ^ a b c (German)


Soon after, Prussian troops retook all the French-occupied territory except for the heavily fortified city of Mainz itself. After a long siege in which much of the city was destroyed, Prussian and Austrian troops conquered the city on 22 July 1793. The republic ended, and the Jacobins were persecuted until 1795, when Mainz came under French control again.


By order of the Adam Lux) to Paris to seek the accession of the Free State to France. The French National Convention granted this request on 30 March.


The Deutschhaus in Mainz.

). Mainz National Newspaper (English: Mainzer Nationalzeitung

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