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Foto der Grenzöffnung in Dömitz: Ein Soldat öffnet gerade ein Tor im Zaun, auf der anderen Seite wartet eine Menschenmenge
Opening of the border at Dömitz, November 1989

The deprivation of the rights of Slavic clans and the seizure of land by the Mecklenburg territorial rulers around 1200 led to the start of a rivalry for power. Hanseatic cities, lower nobility and the clergy wrestled with the rulers for influence. The Reformation, Thirty Years‘ War (1618-1648) and the end of the Hanseatic League strengthened the landowning nobility. This led in 1523 to the Country Estates Union and was fixed in 1755 in the state inheritance agreement (“Landesgrundgesetzlicher Erbvergleich”).

This power relationship remained until 1918. Democracy in the free states of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz lasted until 1933. Then an imperial governor ruled and united the two states. In 1945, after the occupation by the Red Army, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) assumed political rule until 1989. The peaceful revolution led to the creation in 1990 of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and a democratically elected state parliament formed the governments.

Zeitgenössische Karte der Belagerung Stralsunds im Dreißigjährigen Krieg 1628
Siege of Stralsund by troops loyal to Wallenstein, 1628

Power struggles flares up after the subjugation of the Slavic tribes and the establishment of provincial rulers. Hanse cities, minor noblemen and the clergy vie with the counts for influence. The dukes of Pomerania rise to become territorial lords, but weaken their own power through dynastic separation. The Reformation, the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) and the demise of the Hanseatic League strengthen the hand of the landed gentry. The Griffin line comes to an end in 1637, and the region falls to Brandenburg and Sweden. Sweden cedes all of its Pomeranian territories to Prussia in 1815. The land becomes a province of Prussia.

The SED Party governs the country till 1989 following occupation by the Red Army in 1945. The State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern emerges from the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, and governments are formed in the democratically elected state parliament.