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

Summary

When the United States announced its independence from Great Britain in 1776, Nassau was a sovereign, independent state. With the 1806 dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, Nassau was enlarged and elevated to duchy status. In 1815 the Duchy of Nassau became part of the German Confederation. The first act of mutual recognition between the Duchy of Nassau and the United States occurred in 1846 when the two states signed a convention to abolish emigration taxes. During the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Duchy of Nassau fought on the side of Austria. On the losing side, the Duchy of Nassau was annexed to Prussia on October 3, 1866, and ceased to be an independent, sovereign state.

Recognition

Mutual Recognition, 1846.

The first known act of mutual recognition between the United States and the Duchy of Nassau was on May 27, 1846 with the signing of a Convention for the Mutual Abolition of the Droit d’Aubaine and Taxes on Emigration. This convention was concluded in Berlin between U.S. Minister to Prussia Henry Wheaton and Nassau’s Minister to Prussia Col. and Chamberlain Otto Wilhelm Carl von Roeder.

Consular Presence

The first U.S. Consul appointed to the Duchy of Nassau was John B. Muller Melchiors on November 1, 1853.

The first U.S. Consul appointed to the Duchy of Nassau was John B. Muller Melchiors on November 1, 1853.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations.

The United States and the Duchy of Nassau never established diplomatic relations.

Treaties and Agreements

Convention Abolishing Droit d’Aubaine and Emigration Taxes, 1846.

On May 27, 1846, U.S. Minister to Prussia Henry Wheaton and Nassau’s Minister to Prussia Col. and Chamberlain Otto Wilhelm Carl von Roeder signed the Convention for the Mutual Abolition of the Droit d’Aubaine and Taxes on Emigration.

Key Diplomatic Events

The Austro-Prussian War of 1866.

In 1866 Prussia and her allies launched a war against Austria and her allied German states. The war, also commonly referred to as the Seven Weeks’ War for the rapidity with which the Prussians triumphed, enabled the Kingdom of Prussia to absorb some of the smaller states that had sided with Austria – in this case, the Duchy of Nassau.

German Unification.

Nassau participated in 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).
  • Elmer Plischke, U.S. Department of State: A Reference Book (Greenport, CT: Westwood Press, 1999).