Saturday, 12 April 2014

saargebiet oder neutral moresnet

Prior to the treaties and terms that were drawn up at the conclusion of the World Wars, the German state of Saarland had no cohesive identity and did not exist as an administrative division, until after WWI, French forces governed the area as a protectorate, the resource-rich region having historic connections to both countries and, like neighbouring Alsace, dominated by each power at different times over the centuries. The goal of long term occupation was that France could recover from the industrial ravages of the Great War and prevent Germany's rearmament through the coal and mineral deposits in this land. With the end of the following war, Saarland once again became a French protectorate with the surrender and when German territory was divided amongst the Allied Forces, which was not reunited with the rest of Western Germany until 1957 with what is referred to as die Kleine Wiedervereinigung. The French also had designs on another region, to the north, the heavily industrial and more resource-rich lands of the Ruhr Valley (Ruhrgebiet) of North-Rhine Westphalia.
French negotiators felt that the Ruhrgebiet should either be managed like the Saar Protectorate or be created as a separate condominium state—like the singular case of Andorra, ruled by two co-princes, the president of France and the Spanish bishop of Urgell, or the strange compromise reached a century earlier in the sliver of land called Neutral Moresnet (Esperanto was also the official language of this tiny country), which was a shared responsibility between the Kingdoms of Prussia and Belgium. A zinc mine, the region's only significant source, was located here and the committee that redrew the map after the last spate of warring wanted to ensure that no one country could monopolise the supply. American and British representatives, however, felt that France's demands went too far and taking away the country's industrial-base would make rebuilding the war-torn land impossible. Concessions were arrived at, however, and in exchange for being able to re-establish itself as an independent federal republic, West Germany agreed to pool its coal and steel resources with the rest of Europe and impose quotas on how much it could use domestically.