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Grand Duchies of the French Empire (Napoleon's World)

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The Grand Duchies of the French Empire refer to the four Grand Duchies that existed prior to the official reforms of 1950 which established the four grand departements as the chief governing bodies of the four prior Grand Duchies, thus moving France toward a modest democratic reform. From the late 1820's until 1950, the Grand Duchies were the Grand Duchy of France, of which a member of the Carolinian branch of the Bonaparte was always Duke or Duchess; the Grand Duchy of Germany, of which a member of the Jeromian branch of the Bonaparte family was ruler; the Grand Duchy of Russia and the East (most often simply referred to as the East), of which there were many Ducal families over the years; and the small, northern Grand Duchy of Scandinavia, of which a member of the Bernadotte family has always ruled. While the powers of the Dukes was largely removed to be all but ceremonial in nature following the 1950 reforms, Grand Dukes and Duchesses still remain in all four departements as their noble titles have not been revoked. Today, these four former Duchies are referred to (respectively) as the Metropolitan Departement, the Central Departement, the Eastern Departement, and the Northern Departement.

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