- Also known as Saarland or Saar Territory, a region comprising approximately 991 square miles and located in southwestern Germany. It is bordered by France in the south and west and by Luxembourg in the northwest. Control of the Saar was a source of conflict between Germany and France for centuries. Named after the major river running through the region, the Saar’s population is predominately Catholic and German-speaking. Until the late eighteenth century, Saar was divided between France and other German principalities, but in 1797, the Treaty of Campo Formio ceded it to France. The 1815 Treaty of Paris divided the Saar territory between Bavaria and Prussia.In the era before World War I, both nationalism and industrial competition made Saarland and Alsace-Lorraine important regions to both France and Germany. Not only did both territories have historical and cultural ties to both nations, but the iron ore deposits in Lorraine and the extensive coalfields of Saarland enabled the region to serve as a center for heavy industry. After the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, Germany gained Alsace-Lorraine and capitalized on its industrial potential in combination with the Saar territory.See also <
>.FURTHER READING:Cowan, L. Gray. France and the Saar, 1680–1948. New York: Columbia University Press, 1950;Russell, Frank Marion. The Saar: Battleground and Pawn. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1951.ERIC MARTONE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.