Hanover (German Hannover) is a historical territory in today's Germany. It was an independent kingdom from 1814 to 1866 and a province of Prussia from 1866 to 1946. It is named after its capital, Hanover.
In 1636, the capital of the Calenberg line of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg was moved to the city of Hanover, and hence the line was also known as the Hanover line. In 1692, the duke received the additional title of elector (see prince-elector), and was thenceforth normally known as the "Elector of Hanover." In 1714, the Hanoverian electors became kings of Great Britain (see House of Hanover). The Hanoverians also continued to expand their control in Germany. They inherited the territories of the Celle line of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1705, and the formerly Swedish territories of Bremen and Verden in 1719.
In 1803, the Electorate was occupied by the French, who ruled over it in one guise or another for the next ten years. In 1813, the Electorate was restored, and in October of 1814 it became the Kingdom of Hanover at the Congress of Vienna, in order to make George III equal to the upstart King of Württemberg in German affairs. The personal union with the United Kingdom ended in 1837 on the accession of Queen Victoria because the sucession laws in Hanover prevented a female inheriting the title if there was any surviving male heir (in the United Kingdom, a male only took precedence in respect of siblings). In the Prussian-Austrian War of 1866, Hanover was annexed by Prussia and became a province (3.5 million inhabitants in 1939). In 1946, the British military administration made Hanover the main part of the state of Lower Saxony, along with the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, the Duchy of Brunswick and the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
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