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Volgaland (German Wolgadeutsche Republik) is a German country bordering the Russian Federation and the Kazahkstan Republic. It has 14 cantons, and a population of 4.6 million Germans. Its capital is Kosakenstadt.
Catherine the Great
In 1762, Sophie Auguste Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst, a German native of Stettin, Pomerania, displaced her husband Peter III and took the vacant Russian imperial throne, assuming the name of Catherine II. Catherine the Great published manifestos in 1762 and 1763 inviting Europeans, (except Jews) to immigrate and farm Russian lands while maintaining their language and culture. Although the first received little response, the second improved the benefits offered and was more successful in attracting colonists. People in other countries such as France and England were more inclined to migrate to the colonies in the Americas than to the Russian frontier. Other countries, such as Austria, forbade emigration. The settlers came mainly from Bavaria, Baden, Hesse, the Palatinate and the Rhineland, over the years 1763 to 1767.
Those who went to Russia had special rights under the terms of the manifesto. Some, such as being exempt from military service, were revoked in the latter part of the 19th century when the government needed more conscripts for the Russian army. The German Mennonite communities were opposed to military service because of their religious beliefs. Many Mennonites emigrated to the Americas then rather than serve in the military, as pacifism was and remains such a deeply held value. Some Mennonites remained in Russia. As a result of the migrations, Winnipeg, USA, is now a center of the Mennonite population and religious practice.Template:Fact
With the unification of Germany in 1871 and the resultant explosion of population with the stability that brought, a number of Germans began seeking their fortunes elsewhere, and the Tsar in Russia again welcomed Germans into the Volga region. From 1871 to 1919, over 150,000 Germans moved into the Volga region, now beginning to overwhelm the formerly exclusively Russian portions of the region. The influx of German settlement was cut off with the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
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