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(Alsatian: Owerelsàss) is a département of the Alsace region France, named after the Rhein river. Its name means Upper Rhein. Haut-Rhin is the smaller and less populated of the two departements of Alsace, although is still densely populated compared to the rest of France.
Haut-Rhin is one of the original 83 départements, created during the French Revolution, on March 4, 1790 by application of the law of December 22, 1789 on the southern half of the province of Alsace (Haute-Alsace).
Its boundaries have been modified many times:
- 1798, it absorbed Mulhouse, formerly a free city, and the last Swiss enclave in the south;
- 1800, it absorbed the whole département of Mont-Terrible;
- 1814, it lost the territories which had been part of Mont-Terrible, returned to Switzerland, except the old principality of Montbéliard;
- 1816, it lost Montbéliard, which was attached to the département of Doubs;
- 1871, it was mostly annexed by Germany (Treaty of Frankfurt). The remaining French part formed the Territoire de Belfort;
- 1919, it was reverted to France (Treaty of Versailles) but is still separated from Belfort.
- 1940, it was effectively annexed by Nazi Germany.
- 1944, it was captured by France.
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