|Emperor Joseph's decree (©Sandra Haas)|
|Four waves of "die-off" of universities in Germany (©Sandra Haas)|
|German universities in 1797 (©Sandra Haas)|
In the same year Hercules III of Modena took possession of the Breisgau that Napoleon had imposed on him in the Treaty of Campo Formio compensating the duke for his territories lost in Northern Italy. As the Freiburg university officials feared the closing of the Austrian Albertina they sent a letter to Emperor Franz II begging for the preservation of the university. When the Freiburgers learned that the senile Hercules had appointed his heir and son-in-law, the Austrian Erzherzog Ferdinand, as regent of the Breisgau the letter fortunately became obsolete.
A third mortality wave swept over German universities during the years of Napoleonic rule, i.e., the time between 1806 and 1813. Only two new universities were founded during that period both at the expense of closing existing ones. When the University of Berlin, later Humboldt University, was founded in 1810 Frankfurt on the Oder was closed. Likewise, the foundation of the University of Landshut in 1801 was nothing else than a shift from Ingolstadt on the River Danube to the city on the River Lech. However, Landshut's university did not last long. Already in 1826 King Ludwig I moved the university to the Bavarian capital Munich.
|German universities in 1818 (©Sandra Haas)|
The Congress of Vienna also confirmed the existence of the Grand Duchy of Baden that was suddenly faced with two existing universities: The Calvinist Ruperto Carola in Heidelberg of 1368 and the Catholic Albertina in Freiburg of 1457. In fact, Baden was in a difficult political situation with a Protestant population in the north while the acquired Breisgau was mostly Catholic. As Freiburg's professor and poet Johann Georg Jacobi wrote, it became more urgent to "marry" Baden's Protestant North with its Catholic South than to worry about universities.
Already in 1806 Elector Karl-Friedrich was asked to close one of the two universities but he answered: By no means, they do not belong to Baden alone, they belong to mankind. The following year, as a precaution and preventively, Freiburg's university officials offered the title rector magnificentissimus to their sovereign.
Now, following the Congress of Vienna in 1816, Baden's financial constraints were even greater. The government in Karlsruhe told a delegation from Freiburg that one university in Baden was sufficient. Being compensated by a Catholic bishop and the permanent stationing of a garrison Freiburg should not complain.
|Titlepage of Karl von Rotteck's Promemoria (©Sandra Haas)|
On January 23, 1818, the relieving message arrived in Freiburg: an explicit ducal order guaranteed the existence of the university. When in 1820 Grand-Duke Ludwig granted the Albertina a yearly government subsidy of 15,000 guilders the thankful university officials asked their sovereign for his gracious permission to rename Freiburg's university: Albertina-Ludoviciana, vivat, crescat, floreat ad multos annos.