Brunswick [key], former state, central Germany, surrounded by the former Prussian provinces of Saxony, Hanover, and Westphalia. The region of Braunschweig is situated on the North German plain and in the northern foothills of the Harz Mts. The land is drained by the Leine and Oker rivers. The duchy of Braunschweig emerged (13th cent.) from the remnants of the domains of Henry the Lion, the duke of Saxony, to whom Emperor Frederick I had left only the territories of Braunschweig and Lüneburg (roughly modern Braunschweig and Hanover). Because the Guelphic house divided frequently, it remained somewhat separated from the German political scene. The duchy was incorporated into the kingdom of Westphalia in 1807 and recovered by Duke Frederick William (1771–1815) in 1813. The line became extinct in 1884, and Braunschweig was ruled by regents until 1913, when Ernest Augustus of Cumberland, grandson of King George V of Hanover, was made duke. A member of the North German Confederation from 1866 and of the German Empire from 1871, Braunschweig became a republic in 1918 and then joined the Weimar Republic. In 1946 it was included (except for several small territories placed in East Germany) in the West German state of Lower Saxony. Braunschweig (the former capital), Goslar, Helmstedt, and Wolfenbüttel were the chief towns.
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