When the United States announced its independence from Great Britain in 1776, Baden was a sovereign, independent state. The Grand Duchy of Baden emerged from the Napoleonic Wars strengthened and enlarged, and in 1818 became one of the first German states to institute a constitutional monarchy. The first act of mutual recognition between the Grand Duchy of Baden and the United States came in 1832, and relations between the two countries expanded through 1871, when Baden joined the German Empire. From this point forward, foreign policy of the German Empire was made in Berlin, with the German Kaiser (who was also the King of Prussia) accrediting ambassadors of foreign nations. Relations were severed when the U.S. declared war upon Imperial Germany in 1917.
It closed on June 21, 1946. Other consulates in Baden included: Frieburg, which opened on March 5, 1891 and closed on May 11, 1908; Kehl, which opened on April 30, 1872, and closed on February 5, 1915; Carlsruhe (Karlsruhe), which opened on March 3, 1855 and closed on February 18, 1872; and Mannheim on October 26, 1843, and closed on July 8, 1916.
The first Consulate of the Grand Duchy of Baden in the United States was established in New York on December 20, 1833, with C.F. Hoyer as Consul.
The relationship between the United States and the Grand Duchy of Baden continued to expand through the 1860s. On July 19, 1868, specially accredited U.S. Minister to the Grand Duke of Baden George Bancroft and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Baden Rudolph von Freydorf signed a treaty of naturalization between the United States and the Grand Duchy of Baden. At the time, Bancroft was also accredited to Prussia and the North German Confederation and, after 1871, to the German Empire. Yet, although Bancroft was recalled from his position in Berlin in 1874 (at his own request), he was never officially recalled from the court of Baden. For several years after Bancroft’s death in 1891, he remained listed as U.S. Minister to Baden. See entry on German Unification for further details.
On February 3, 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson instructed the Secretary of State to notify the German Ambassador to the United States that all diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the German Empire were severed. As the foreign affairs of Imperial Germany were run out of Berlin and decided upon by the Kaiser, this constituted the severance of relations with Baden, as part of the German Empire. On April 6, 1917, Wilson declared war upon Imperial Germany.
An Extradition Convention was signed on January 30, 1857, by U.S. Minister to Prussia Peter D. Vroom and Baron Marschall de Bieberstein, the Grand Duke of Baden’s Minister at the Court of the King of Prussia.
The Treaty on Naturalization between citizens of the United States and the Grand Duchy of Baden was signed on July 19, 1868, and allowed for the naturalization of American citizens in Baden and that of Baden citizens in the United States.
The Grand Duchy of Baden was one of the founding states of the German Empire, which was proclaimed on January 18, 1871.
Baden was one of the states involved in the process of German unification during the mid-nineteenth century. (See “Unification of German States” for greater detail.)
As with other German states that the United States had treaties with, after Baden joined the Second Reich in 1871 there were questions as to whether U.S. officials abided by treaties concluded with Baden or with Prussia in dealing with issues of trade, citizenship, or extradition with subjects of the Grand Duchy of Baden. It was decided that a variety of different circumstances would guide U.S. foreign policy towards the German states. First, “where a State has lost its separate existence, as in the case of Hanover and Nassau, no questions can arise.” Second, “where no treaty has been negotiated with the Empire, the treaties with the various States which have preserved a separate existence have been resorted to.”
Despite the Constitution of the German Empire of 1871, which stipulated that the Empire was responsible for treaties, alliances, and representing the Empire amongst nations, the smaller states still retained the right of legation. This included the right to legislate, to grant exequaturs to foreign consuls in their territories (though not to send German consuls abroad), and to enter into conventions with foreign nations as long as they did not concern matters already within the jurisdiction of the Empire or the Emperor.