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Rhine

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The Upper Rhine has undergone significant human change since the 19th century. While it was slightly modified during the Roman occupation, it was not until the emergence of engineers such as Johann Gottfried Tulla that significant modernization efforts changed the shape of the river. Earlier work under Frederick the Great surrounded efforts to ease shipping and construct dams to serve coal transportation. Tulla is considered to have domesticated the Upper Rhine, domestication that served goals such as reducing stagnant bogs that fostered waterborne diseases, making regions more habitable for human settlement, and reduce high frequency of flooded water. Not long before Tulla went to work on widening and straightening the river heavy floods had brought significant loss of life. Four diplomatic treaties were signed among German state governments and French regions dealing with the changes proposed along the Rhine, one was "the Treaty for the Rectification of the Rhine flow from Neuberg to Dettenheim"(1817), which surrounded states such as Bourbon France and the Bavarian Palatinate. Loops, oxbows, branches and islands were removed along the Upper Rhine so that there would be a present uniformity to the river. The engineering of the Rhine was not without protest, farmers and fishermen had grave concerns about valuable fishing areas and farmland being lost. While some areas lost ground, other areas saw swamps and bogs be drained and turned into arable land. Johann Tulla had the goal of shortening and straightening the Upper Rhine. Early engineering projects the Upper Rhine also had issues, with Tulla's project at one part of the river creating rapids, after the Rhine cut down from erosion to sheer rock. Engineering along the Rhine eased flooding and made transportation along the river less cumbersome. These state projects were part of the advanced and technical progress efforts going on in the country alongside the industrial revolution. For the German state, to make the river more predictable was to ensure development projects could easily commence.

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