Why didn't Lichtenstein join the German Empire?

notgivenaway

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Jun 2015
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I assume it was part of the Holy Roman Empire, but why didn't it join the German Empire/Second Reich? Was it part of the Confederation of the Rhine, or the German Confederation?
 
Feb 2019
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Serbia
They were part of the Confederation of the Rhine and the German Confederation. They were closely tied to the Austrian Empire until the end of WWI and the Lichtensteiner rulers derived a lot of their wealth from their estates in Austrian territory and spent much of their time in their estates in Vienna. They were also related to many Austrian nobles and always maintained friendly relations with Austria. This closeness to Austria and the fact that they don't border the other German states is the reason they didn't join. They disbanded their army in 1868 and declared neutrality which was respected by their neighbours, this neutrality and their geographical position as a tiny country in the Alps prevented them from being conquered.
 
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Dec 2017
315
Regnum Teutonicum
I think the only reason is that after the German War, they didn't have a border with a german-speaking country, that took part in the formation of Germany. Otherwise they would be part of Germany.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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I think the only reason is that after the German War, they didn't have a border with a german-speaking country, that took part in the formation of Germany. Otherwise they would be part of Germany.
Luxembourg did have such a border and yet never joined Germany, though.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
I think the only reason is that after the German War, they didn't have a border with a german-speaking country, that took part in the formation of Germany. Otherwise they would be part of Germany.
What about Wuttemburg and Bavaria?
 
Dec 2017
315
Regnum Teutonicum
The difference between Luxembourg and Liechtenstein was, that Luxembourg was in a personal union with the Netherlands, Liechtenstein was in no personal union.
Notgivenaway is right that Wuerttemberg and Bavaria, as well as Baden and the southern part of Hesse were not part of Germany after the German War, but joined during the war with France. I think there are three main reasons for this. If Liechtenstein theoretically had a border with say Bavarian-Swabia, I don't see them joining Germany directly after the German War, but like Bavaria after a war with France.
First France made it clear that it would not sit by, when Germany would include the southernmost german states. So a french veto. The results were (secret) defensive alliances. At that time Germany wasn't ready for a war with France.
Second Otto von Bismarck at that time wanted to have a big protestant and conservative majority and except for southern Hesse the rest was essentially full of catholics and some places were full of centrists and liberals.
You can see this very well with Baden. Baden and its population were totally pro-german and wanted to join Germany. In February 1870 there was the "Interpellation Lasker". The nationalliberal congressman Eduard Lasker asked the chancellor (von Bismarck) about the admission of Baden. Lasker: "Baden would apply for membership, if in the debate of the Reichstag the insurance were given, that the request would not be declined". Some people think Baden used Lasker to carry out soundings of the parliamentary opinion. The chancellor reacted unusually sharp on the interpellation.
The third reason is that in Bavaria and Wuerttemberg especially the monarchs didn't want to join Germany, to keep their power.
 
Dec 2017
315
Regnum Teutonicum
What do you mean by "take"? Annex with force? Invite to join? Buy with money? Something else?
Annexing with force was no option, because until 1890 Luxembourg was in personal union with the Netherlands. This would have meant a war with the Netherlands. Do you want to be at war with France and the Netherlands simultaneously or having a war with the Netherlands directly after the big one with France? I think not. Not to mention that other countries might have joined on the side of the Netherlands. Additionally the german population and parliament were trying to stop the wars of germans against germans and would have objected to this and stopped it.
An invitation had again the problem that Luxembourg was in a personal union with the Netherlands. They wouldn't want losing Luxembourg. So even if Luxembourg tried to join, the Netherlands would have prevented it pre-1891.
Buying it from the Netherlands would be in principle an option, as the example of France showed, which nearly had success in it, even tough the luxembourgers didn't want it. Post-Luxembourg Crisis it would not have worked, because if the germans tried the exact thing they prevented the french from doing with them, they would have lost all sympathies in Luxembourg. Pre-Luxembourg Crisis the french would have most likely prevented it.
Additionally there was no need to rush, because economically Luxembourg was more or less already integrated into Germany. Luxembourg was part of the Zollverein and this customs union was only ended in 1919, when the treaty of Versailles forced Luxembourg to end it (after World War 2 the two countries would start new close ties).