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German History in Documents and Images
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Erecting a Liberty Pole in Speyer (1798)
In the fall of 1792, French occupied portions of the German Rhineland, including the cities of Mainz and Speyer, where pro-French Jacobin clubs built and erected “liberty poles” to signal the political change. A 1797 peace settlement allowed France to annex the left bank of the Rhine, including Speyer. This view from the cathedral in Speyer shows a “liberty pole” being erected in commemoration of the French occupation of 1792. Copperplate engraving by Johannes Ruland (1744-1830), 1798