The County of Henneberg, Henneberg, Hennenberg, is a small constitutional monarchy in Central Europe. Almost entirely surrounded by Ducal Saxony it has a short border with Sondershausen. Furthermore it has an exclave (comprising about a third of its territory) to the north which borders Eichsfeld, Erfurt, Electoral Saxony, Ducal Saxony and Hesse-Kassel. It is a member of the Holy Roman Empire. The capital is Schmalkalden and the population around 81,000.
The Head of State is Countess Margrit.
the official language is German.
The currency is the Bohemian Crown (BHC) (as used by Ducal Saxony).
The history of Henneberg exemplifies the vagaries of Imperial politics. The ruling dynasty is extremely old and distinguished; descended fom the Neustrian count Charibert, the House of Henneberg has the same roots as the French Capetians and the early-medieval ruling house of Austria, the Babenburgs. By the 11th century the Henneberg branch had installed themselves in Franconia ruling an area roughly equal with modern Ducal Saxony although they lost the title of 'Duke of Franconia' to the Bishops of Würzburg. Split inheritance and dowries slowly eroded their standing and by the Reformation the family held only a fraction of the original holdings. This included the passing of the current territory of Henneberg (and its capital Schmalkalden, soon to host the declaration of an armed Lutheran League) to the Dukes of Hesse.
What was left of their once extensive territory was lost completely during the 1st Schmalkaldic War. Count William V had made himself incredibly unpopular by firmly maintaining a Catholic line despite the almost complete conversion of his subjects to Lutheranism. As the area was subsumed by the new 'Schmalkaldic Empire' neighbouring Lutheran Sondershausen absorbed the last Henneberg territories.
The family continued however, and William's son Herman fought on Hesse-Darmstadt's side during the First Hessian War (1574-1580) proving himself a gifted commander. In the peace which followed he would be granted Hesse-Kassel's territory in Franconia, resurrecting Henneberg as a state but not actually including Henneberg the town, or castle. Instead it would centred around Schmalkalden, a propaganda blow intended to strike at the heart of the breakaway Lutheran empire. However, whilst he had staunchly fought for Catholic Darmstadt, Herman was not a zealot, and as his new state was firmly Lutheran he proved himself pragmatic and adaptable; renouncing Catholicism, granting his subjects freedom of religion and offering his allegiance to the Schmalkaldic Emperor.
Having insulted Darmstadt, stolen Kassel's territory and understandably feuding with Sondershausen, the Henneberg lands were utterly ruined by the Fifty Years War as invasion and counter-invasion liberally carted off its produce and populace. Count Christian I was a minor throughout much of the latter-half of the war and resided in Copenhagen; petitioning the Danish crown during the war's final stages ensured the state would be reinstated during the Treaty of Copenhagen negotiations.
Slowly repopulated, the state is generally unremarkable economically, though cobalt mining was important during the 18th century and allowed the counts to restore at least some of Schmalkalden's former glory.
It has rejected outright union with Ducal Saxony on two occasions however co-operates with Ducal governmental institutions such as policing. Like its neighbours Henneberg uses the Bohemian Crown and is part of the discussions whether to create their own 'Thuringian Crown'. While Countess Margrit is regnant in Henneberg, her husband Count William IX is regnant in Rudolstadt. The two governments are in discussions whether to be united under the rule of their eldest son Hans, or remain divided between Hans and his brother William.
Henneberg is a constitutional monarchy and is governed by a single chambered Diet. Elections are held every four years. The counts rarely involve themselves directly in politics apart from solving deadlocks in the Diet.
The current Head of State is Countess Margrit and the Chancellor is Karl Heckmann.