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Politics 1850 up to 1900

Ständehaus Rostock (left),
built 1893

The incorporation into the North German Confederation in 1867/68 and the customs union signalled the start of the end of Mecklenburg’s state independence. The Law on Freedom from 1868 guaranteed free choice of residence. The Trade Regulation Act ended mandatory guild membership in 1869. In 1871 both Mecklenburgs became part of the German Empire. Civil marriage and religious freedom became law in 1874. Uniform, moderate liberal opposition became established in Mecklenburg. The social democratic party was created. German colonial society was active from 1886. It became very popular in the state when John Albert, Duke of Mecklenburg, became its president in 1895.

Rüdiger Freiherr von der Goltz (1837-1910) Landesdirektor des Provinzialverbandes Pommern 1881
Rüdiger von der Goltz, regional director of the Pomeranian county council, 1881-1893

The 1868 law on freedom of movement allows residents to live where they choose. The small businesses act of 1869 abolishes compulsory membership in guilds. Pomerania receives 14 seats on the Imperial Diet in 1871. Registrar marriage and religious freedom are enshrined in law in 1874. Reforms of 1875 introduce a county council with a regional parliament, a county committee and the positions of governor or director in Pomerania. A budget and municipal freedoms are assigned to governor or director, especially for social and infrastructural matters. The estates meet in the municipal parliament of New Western Pomerania in Stralsund until 1881, which then merges with Old Western Pomerania to create the regional parliament in Stettin. The rural community ordinance of 1891 enshrines the reforms in law.