From Academic Kids

The Alsace-Moselle is the current legal name of the Alsace-Lorraine territory, the part of France that was part of Germany from 1871 to 1919 (and then from 1940 to 1944-1945), consisting of the départements of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin (both of which make up Alsace), and the département of Moselle (itself being the eastern part of Lorraine). While an integral part of France, it has for historical reasons different customs and laws on certain issues, nobably those where France adopted a standard or principle in the period 1871-1919. The region is also notable for the large number of mother-tongue High German dialect speakers (Alsatian, a dialect of Upper German, in Alsace; and several Frankish dialects of West Middle German in Moselle), although the number of native speakers has dwindled significantly since the Second World War, and French is now paramount in these regions.

The most striking of the legal differences is the absence of separation of Church and State - even though the constitutional right of freedom of religion is guaranteed. Alsace-Moselle is still under the pre-1905 regime established of the Concordat, which provides for the public subsidy of the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Calvinist Church and the Jewish religion as well as public education in those religions (parents may refuse religious education for their children). Priests are paid by the state; Catholic bishops are named by the President on the proposal of the Pope. The public University of Strasbourg has courses in theology.

Those dispositions are unusual in a country where Church and State are more strictly separated than in most other countries. Controversy erupts periodically on the appropriateness of these and other extraordinary legal dispositions of Alsace-Moselle. Periodically, freethinker groups contend that this public funding of certain religions should stop. Others argue that, nowadays, the second largest denomination in France is Islam and that Islam should thus enjoy comparable status with the four official religions. Despite the controversy, the status quo looks like it will persist.

Other legal differences include:

Another difference is that in Alsace-Lorraine, most trains run on the right of the tracks, as in Germany, whereas the normal rule in France is on the left.


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools