Republic January 20th, 1919, was a remarkable day for Elsaß-Lothringen. On that day, the former Reichsland (imperial territory) became a German state with an own constitution that made it a republic. The Landtag, which had been re-elected in parallel with the Reichtstags elections in July 1918, had needed nearly half a year to finish the new constitution. The question of autonomy for the French speaking areas had initially caused a lot of discussions. But these had soon died down when it was established that the German laws of 1872 and 1873 already gave de-facto autonomy to the French speakers, allowing French in office and in school in the French speaking areas. The head of state question had been the next hot topic, that after a time seemed solved, but then revived when the new German states Austria and Tyrolia opted for an arch duke each as head of state. The question of the military proved to be most difficult. Remembering the “Zabern Affaire”, most deputies were of the opinion that no Prussian soldiers should be stationed in Elsaß-Lothringen any more. And the Bavarians had burned down some villages in Upper Elsaß in 1914, they were not welcome either. But from its own population, the new state could not sustain more than one division. That was no sufficient garrison for the border lands to France. Lengthy negotiations with the other states and the war ministry in Berlin finally determined that Austrian, Saxonian, Badenian, Württembergian and Hessian contingents would make up the complement of the two army corps in Elsaß-Lothringen. The Elsaß-Lothringers found it much easier to deal with these southern German countrymen than with the “stiff” and “arrogant” Prussian “Junkers”. So, on January 20th, 1919, the new constitution was eventually put into effect and Eugen Ricklin was elected as first Prime Minister of the Republic of Elsaß-Lothringen.