Hesse or Hessia ((ドイツ語:Hessen) (:ˈhɛsn̩), Hessian dialect: ''Hesse'' (:ˈhɛzə)) is a federal state (Land) of the Federal Republic of Germany with just over six million inhabitants. The state capital is Wiesbaden, the largest city is Frankfurt am Main. Until the formation of the German Reich in 1871 Hesse was an independent country ruled by a Grand Duke (Grand Duchy of Hesse). Due to divisions after World War II, the modern federal state doesn't cover the entire cultural region of Hesse which includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse (Rheinhessen) in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
The English name "Hesse" originates in the Hessian dialects. The variant "Hessia" comes from the medieval Latin ''Hassia''. The German term ''Hessen'' is used by the European Commission because their policy is to leave regional names untranslated (paragraphs 1.31 & 1.35).〔European Commission English Style Guide, (http://ec.europa.eu/translation/writing/style_guides/english/style_guide_en.pdf )〕 The term "Hesse" ultimately derives from a Germanic tribe called the Chatti, who settled in the region in the first century B.C. An inhabitant of Hesse is called a Hessian (German: ''Hesse'' (masculine) or ''Hessin'' (feminine)). The synthetic element Hassium, number 108 on the Periodic Table, is named after the state of Hesse.
(詳細はCeltic presence in what is now Hesse is indicated by a mid 5th century BC La Tène style burial uncovered at Glauberg. The region was later settled by the Germanic Chatti tribe in ca. the 1st century BC, and the name ''Hesse'' is a continuation of that tribal name.
The Ancient Romans had a military camp in Dorlar, and in Waldgirmes directly on the eastern outskirts of Wetzlar was a civil settlement under construction. Presumably, the provincial government for the occupied territories of the right bank of Germania was planned at this location. It is likely that the governor of Germania, at least temporarily, had resided here. The settlement appears to have been abandoned by the Romans after the devastating Battle of the Teutoburg Forest failed in the year 9 AD. The Chatti were also involved in the Revolt of the Batavi in the year 69 AD.
In the early Middle Ages, a Frankish ''gau'' comprising an area around Fritzlar and Kassel and a Saxon one further north were known as Hessengau. In the 9th century the Saxon Hessengau also came under the rule of the Franconians. In the 12th century it was passed to Thuringia.
In the War of the Thuringian Succession (1247–64), Hesse gained its independence and became a Landgraviate within the Holy Roman Empire. It shortly rose to primary importance under Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous, who was one of the leaders of German Protestantism. After Philip's death in 1567, the territory was divided up among his four sons from his first marriage (Philip was a bigamist) into four lines: Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Rheinfels and the also previously existing Hesse-Marburg. As the latter two lines died out quite soon (1583 and 1605, respectively), Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Darmstadt were the two core states within the Hessian lands. Several collateral lines split off during the centuries, such as in 1622, when Hesse-Homburg split off from Hesse-Darmstadt. In the late 16th century, Kassel adopted Calvinism, while Darmstadt remained Lutheran and subsequently the two lines often found themselves on different sides of a conflict, most notably in the disputes over Hesse-Marburg and in the Thirty Years' War, when Darmstadt fought on the side of the Emperor, while Kassel sided with Sweden and France.
The Landgrave Frederick II (1720–1785) ruled as a benevolent despot, 1760-1785. He combined Enlightenment ideas with Christian values, cameralist plans for central control of the economy, and a militaristic approach toward diplomacy.〔Charles W. Ingrao, ''The Hessian Mercenary State: Ideas, Institutions, and Reform under Frederick II, 1760-1785'' (2003)〕 He funded the depleted treasury of the poor nation by renting out 19,000 soldiers in complete military formations to Great Britain to fight in North America during the American Revolutionary War, 1776-1783. These soldiers, commonly known as Hessians, fought under the British flag. The British used the Hessians in several conflicts, including in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. For further revenue the soldiers were rented out elsewhere as well. Most were conscripted, with their pay going to the Landgrave.
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