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A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Summary

When the United States announced its independence from Great Britain in 1776, Mecklenburg-Schwerin was a sovereign, independent duchy. Although it joined the Confederation of the Rhine in 1808, it later joined the states allied against Napoleon. Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Mecklenburg-Schwerin was elevated to a grand duchy and joined the German Confederation. Although it was a separate and independently sovereign state from its neighbor, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, both Mecklenburgs shared the same diet and constitution.

The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the United States mutually recognized each other in 1816, but diplomatic relations between the two states were never established. In the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, Mecklenburg-Schwerin sided with Prussia and subsequently joined the North German Confederation. In 1871, Mecklenburg-Schwerin became part of 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 with Imperial Germany were severed when the U.S. declared war in 1917.

Recognition

Mutual Recognition, 1816.

The first known act of mutual recognition between the United States and the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was in 1816, when John M. Forbes established the first U.S. Consul in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Forbes was appointed to the post on January 22, 1816.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations.

The United States and the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin never established diplomatic relations.

Treaties and Agreements

Declaration of Accession to the Stipulations and Provisions of the Treaty with Hanover of June 10, 1846, 1847.

On December 9, 1847, the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin signed the Declaration of Accession to the Stipulations and Provisions of the Treaty with Hanover of June 10, 1846. The agreement was signed in Schwerin by the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Minister, L. de Liitzow, and U.S. Special Agent A. Dudley Mann.

Declaration of Accession to the Convention for the Extradition of Criminals, Fugitive from Justice, of June 16, 1852, between the United States and Prussia and Other States of the Germanic Confederation, 1853.

On November 26, 1853, the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin signed the Declaration of Accession to the Convention for the Extradition of Criminals, Fugitive from Justice, of June 16, 1852 Between the United States and Prussia and Other States of the Germanic Confederation to provide for the “reciprocal extradition of fugitive criminals, in special cases.”

Key Diplomatic Events

Mecklenburg-Schwerin Joins the North German Confederation, 1867.

Following the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin joined the North German Confederation in 1867 when it was created as a federal state.

Mecklenburg-Schwerin Joins the German Empire, 1871.

The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin joined the German Empire, which was proclaimed on January 18, 1871.

German Unification.

The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 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.)

Resources

  • William M. Malloy, Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols, and Agreements Between The United States of American and Other Powers, 1776-1909 (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1910).
  • John Bassett Moore, A Digest of International Law (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1906).
  • John Bassett Moore, Four Phases of American Development (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1912).
  • James J. Sheehan, German History 1770-1866, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989).