Hanover (in German: Hannover), on the Leine river, is the capital city of the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) in Germany. It is also the capital of the surrounding Hanover district and region. Population: 523,100 (1999).
The town was founded in medieval times on the bank of the Leine river (the original name Honovere may be translated to "high bank"). It was a small village of ferrymen and fishermen, which became a comparatively large town in the 13th century. In the 14th century a massive city wall with three town gates was built to secure the city, and the main churches of Hanover were constructed.
In 1636 the Duke of Calenberg decided to move his residence to Hanover. His duchy was afterwards known as the Duchy of Hanover (see: House of Hanover). His descendants would later become kings of England; the first of them was George I, who ascended to the British throne in 1714. Three kings of England were at the same time princes (Electors) of Hanover. George III elevated the title to King of Hanover. The town expanded to the opposite bank of the Leine river and grew considerably.
After Napoleon imposed the Convention of Artlenburg[?] (Convention of the Elbe) on July 5, 1803 about 30,000 French soldiers occupied Hanover. The convention also meant the disbanding of the army of Hanover. George III did not recognize the Convention of the Elbe and made an effort to recruit foreign troops. As a result a great number of soldiers of Hanover eventually emigrated to England leading to the King's German Legion[?] which later played an important role in the Battle of Waterloo.
In 1837 the personal union of Great Britain and Hanover was ended, as William IV's heir in Great Britain was female, and Hanover could be inherited only by males. Hanover continued as a kingdom until 1866, when it was annexed by Prussia. The growth of Hanover continued until World War II, when two thirds of the town was bombed to ashes. After the war Hanover became famous for commercial expos, the Deutsche Messe, where the annual CeBIT is held, the world's greatest computer expo. In 2000 Hanover hosted the EXPO 2000[?].
Note: Hanover is the correct English spelling, even though the German spelling is with double N.
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