When Grantville arrived in 1631, Ernst, along with his brothers, was one of the four dukes of Saxe-Weimar. He was the third youngest of the four, and the youngest who remained loyal to Gustavus Adolphus. His talents were primarily those of a civil administrator, not a military officer; he was not with Gustavus when Grantville arrived or when the New United States was forming in Thuringia. It is implied that, like his older brothers, he acquiesced to having the duchy "slid" out from under him.
In 1633, Gustavus Adolphus appointed him as administrator of the Upper Palatinate. He served in that capacity until September of 1635, when he was sent to Saxony following the death of Elector John George. He was considered a competent and fair-minded administrator, and became popular in the province.
He was an advocate of educational reform, and was remembered as such in Grantville's histories. In August of 1634, he agreed to fund a normal school for teacher training, so long as it was located in Amberg.
While one of the tasks he was originally given was to turn the Upper Palatinate back to Lutheranism, he quickly realized that it could not be done without employing the ruthlessly repressive measures the Bavarians had used to impose Catholicism, something he was unwilling to do. In September of 1634, he announced a sweeping religious toleration policy. While it only extended full public toleration to Lutherans, Calvinists, and Catholics, it effectively covered everyone, even Jews, Anabaptists, Socinians and Brethren, and Mormons.
- ↑ Indications are that he will eventually marry Elisabeth Sophie, as he did in the OTL, but that he has not yet done so.
|Regnal titles (OTL)|
Frederick Wilhelm III
|Duke of Saxe-Altenburg|
| Succeeded by|
Frederick of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Albrecht of Saxe-Coburg
Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen
Heinrich of Saxe-Römhild
Christian of Saxe-Eisenberg
Ernst of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Johann Ernst of Saxe-Saalfeld
Johann of Saxe-Weimar
|Duke of Saxe-Gotha|