If I have remembered it correctly the Hohenzollerns tried several times to annex the electorate/kingdom of Saxony.

From the reign of Frederick II (the great) to the aftermath of Napoleonic wars where Prussia gained part of Saxony, and at the end of Austro-Prussian war where they planned to annex the entirety of Saxony which according to memory was only prevented due to interference from Napoleon III.

The sources are from Wikipedia which usually just consisted of few words:

As for the question itself: what made Saxony so valuable? Was it the natural border with Bohemia, or were there any mining resources like in Silesia, or was it simply because it was the nearest unconquered land?

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    1815 and 1866 might have less to do with territorial ambition and more with Saxony choosing the losing side of a broader war?
    – Jan
    Sep 8, 2021 at 6:36
  • 1
    This source from WP has a very nice overview. Sep 8, 2021 at 16:54
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    I nominate the question for reopening, after having "focused" the title. The OP actually hypothesized three possible explanations in the question, one or more of which is likely to be correct, and asked for an explanation.
    – Tom Au
    Oct 4, 2021 at 4:38
  • re. mining: the Ore Mountains are probably the traditional German mining area. That said, the silver mines were quite exhausted by the 18th century, and uranium was not discovered yet. Elsewhere, the large open-pit coal mines near Leipzig and around Görlitz are mostly from the 20th century. So by the time frame of your question, mining does not seem that important.
    – Jan
    Oct 6, 2021 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


It was nothing personal. The margraves, dukes and later the kings in and of Prussia were always on the lookout for territorial gains. Compare the size of Prussia when it started as a margravate with the kingdom of Prussia in 1918. From almost nothing, on the periphery of Central Europe, to the dominant power in Europe.

(Courtesy of @MAGolding:)

With regard to the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars and the Austro-Prussian war, Saxony supported the wrong side in both conflicts. First Saxony supported France, in the other conflict Austria. In those days, the loser paid in territory.

  • Editing a big map into a small question seems a bit much, so I won't do it myself, but I'd think it would likely work better to actually provide the maps you are merely describing in the first paragraph.
    – T.E.D.
    Sep 8, 2021 at 12:51
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    re "Prussia when it started as a duchy": What year was that? Brandenburg was a Margraviate ruled by a Margrave-Elector (equivalent to an English March ruled by a Marquess-Elector) and not a duchy. Prussia was a subsequent acquisition by the Hohenzollerns, and only became the preferred name for the Hohenzollern possessions when Frederick III, Margrave-Elector of Brandenburg,, became "Frederick I, King in Prussia". Sep 8, 2021 at 23:57

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