Province of Silesia ( ; ) was a province of the Kingdom of
Prussia from 1815 to 1919; the territory had been conquered
from Habsburg Austria during the
18th century Silesian Wars.
provincial capital was Breslau.
Republic, in 1919,
Silesia was divided into the separate provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.
provinces were reunited into a single province from 1938-41.
King Frederick II (the
Great) of Prussia annexed most of Silesia as
part of the War of the
Austrian Succession (1740-1748). By war's end, the
Kingdom of Prussia had conquered almost all of Silesia, while some
parts of Silesia in the extreme southeast, like the Duchy of Teschen and Duchy of Troppau, remained possessions of
the Habsburg Monarchy as Austrian
The Seven Years' War
confirmed Prussian control over most of Silesia, and it became one
of the most loyal territories of Prussia. The territories of
Prussia were reorganized in 1815 following the Napoleonic Wars
. The Province of
Silesia was created out of the Silesian territories acquired by
Prussia in the Silesian Wars, as well as Upper Lusatia near Görlitz, which was
formerly part of the Kingdom of Saxony.
Prussian province, Silesia became part of the German Empire during the Prussian-led unification of Germany in
There was considerable industrialization
in Silesia, and many
people moved there at that time. According to the census of 1905,
three-quarters of the inhabitants were Germans
, while the bulk of the population to the
east of the Oder River
World War I, some parts of the Province
of Silesia were transferred to the Second Polish
Republic and Czechoslovakia (Czech
Silesia). In 1919, the parts remaining in Weimar Germany were reorganized into the two provinces of Lower Silesia
(Niederschlesien) and Upper Silesia
Between 1938 and 1941, Upper and
Lower Silesia were merged to a single province, the Province of
Silesia. After the Nazi
Germany conquest of Poland in late 1939, the Province of Silesia was extended
when a part of former Poland was merged into that province.
In 1941, the
Province was divided again, to the provinces of Upper
and Lower Silesia
Silesia is now within Poland, though the
majority of people with German heritage were expelled following
World War II.
Small parts of the
former Province of Silesia lie within modern Germany (Niederschlesischer