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

Summary

When the United States announced its independence from Great Britain in 1776, Mecklenburg-Strelitz 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, the duchy was raised to a grand duchy, and the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz joined the German Confederation. Although it was a separate and independently sovereign state from its neighbor, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, both Mecklenburgs shared the same diet and constitution.

The United States and Mecklenburg-Strelitz established mutual recognition in 1853. In the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, Mecklenburg-Strelitz sided with Prussia and subsequently joined the North German Confederation. In 1871, Mecklenburg-Strelitz 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, 1853.

The first known act of mutual recognition between the United States and the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz occurred on December 2, 1853, when the Government of Mecklenburg-Strelitz 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.”

U.S. archival materials suggest that the date of mutual recognition may have been as early as May 13, 1834, when U.S. Secretary of State Louis McLane granted an exequatur to Leon Herckenrath as Consul of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg at Charleston. Unfortunately, this correspondence and others in the Department of State archives does not designate which Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg Herckenrath represented.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations.

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

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 December 2, 1853, the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Sterlitz 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-Sterlitz Joins the North German Confederation, 1867.

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

Mecklenburg-Sterlitz Joins the German Empire, 1871.

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

German Unification.

The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Sterlitz 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).