cent government berlin silesia population west prussian schools rhine provinces
PRUSSIA GEOGRAPHY - Physical Features.1-Fully three-fifths of Prussia belong to the great north European plain and may be generally characterized as lowlands. The plain is much wider on the east, where only the southern margin of Prussia is mountainous, than on the west, where the Hanoverian hills approach to within less than 100 miles of the sea. A line drawn from Diisseldorf through Halle to Breslau would, roughly speaking, divide the flat part of the country from the hilly districts. In the south-east Prussia is separated from Austria and Bohemia by the Sudetic chain, which begins at the valley of the Oder and extends thence towards the north-west. This chain includes the Riesen Gebirge, with the highest mountain in Prussia (Schneekoppe, 5266 feet), and subsides gradually in the hills of Lusatia. The Harz Mountains, however, beyond the Saxon plain, follow the same general direction and may be regarded as a detached continuation of the system. To the south of the Harz the Prussian frontier intersects the northern part of the Thuringian Forest, which is also prolonged towards the north-west by the Weser Hills and the Teutoburgian Forest. The south-west of Prussia is occupied by the plateau of the lower 'Rhine, including on the left bank the Hundsrfick and the Eifel, and on the right the Taunus, the AVesterwald, and the Sauerland. Between the lower Rhenish and Thuringian systems are interposed the Vogelsberg, the Rhon, and other hills belonging to the Triassic system of the upper Rhine. The Silesian mountains are composed chiefly of granite, gneiss, and sehists, while the Harz and the lower Rhenish plateau are mainly of Devonian and Silurian formation. To the north of the Sauerland is the important Carboniferous system of the Ruhr, and there are also extensive coal-fields in Silesia. With the exception of the Danube Prussia is traversed by all the chief rivers of Germany, comprising almost the entire course of the Oder and the Weser. Nearly the whole of the Gennan toast-line belongs to Prussia, and it possesses all the important seaports except the two most important of all, Hamburg and Bremen.
Climate. - The climate of Prussia is rendered more uniform than it would otherwise be by the fact that the average elevation increases from north to south. The greatest extremes of temperature are found between the east and west, the mean annual warmth in the bleak and exposed provinces of the north-east being about 44° Fahr., while that of the sheltered valley of the Rhine is 6° higher. The difference is greatest in winter, when the respective means are 26° and 35° ; in summer the difference is not above 2° to 4°. In Prussia as a whole the thermonfeter ranges from 100° to - 30°, but these extremes are rarely reached. The average annual rainfall is about 21 inches ; it is highest in the hilly district on the west (34 inches) and on the north-west coast (30 to 32 inches), and lowest (16 inches) in the inland parts of the eastern provinces.
Soil. - According to the most recent official returns, about 29 per cent. of the soil of Prussia consists of good loam or clay, 32 per cent. is mediocre or of loam and sand mixed, 31 per cent. is predominantly sandy, and 6 per cent. is occupied by bogs and marshes. The north-eastern provinces contain a high proportion of poor soil, and in the north-west occur large tracts of heath and moor. The reclaimed marshlands in both districts, as well as the soil in the immediate neighbourhood of the rivers, are usually very fertile, and admirable tracts of fruitful ground are found in the valleys of the Rhine and its affluents and in the plain around Magdeburg. Patient and long-continned effort has, however, done much to equalize production, and large crops are now grown in some of the most unpromising parts of the kingdom. Prussia contains a greater proportion of tilled land than any of the countries of south Germany, while it is surpassed in this respect by Saxony, Hesse-Darmstadt, and the Thuringian states. The most fertile Prussian province is Saxony, while the least productive are East and West Prussia. The following table shows the distribution of the cultivable area in the different provinces and in the country as a whole : - Prussia contains a greater proportion of woodland than any other large country in the south or west of Europe (France 17 per cent., Italy 12 per cent., Great Britain 3 per cent.), though not so large a proportion as Russia, Austria, and some of the minor German states. The most extensive forests are in East and West Prussia, Silesia, and Brandenburg, where coniferous trees prevail, and in the Rhenish and Hessian districts, where oaks and beeches are the most prominent growths. The north-west is almost entirely destitute of timber, and peat is there used universally as fueL The Government forests cover about 6,000,000 acres, or upwards of one-fourth of the whole, and are admirably managed, bringing in an annual revenue of millions sterling. The state also controls the management of forests in private possession, and exerts itself to secure the planting of waste lands.
Hanover, while hops are raised chiefly in Posen and Saxony. The cultivation of rape-seed for oil has fallen off since the use of petroleum has become general. The tobacco of Silesia, Brandenburg, Hanover, and the Rhine province is inferior to that of southern Germany ; the annual value of Prussian -grown tobacco is about £500,000, or one-fourth of the total produce of the empire. Only a comparatively small part of the Rhenish wine district falls within Prussia, which does not claim more than a sixth (200,000,000 gallons, value £400,000) of the annual produce of Germany ; but this includes many of the choicest varieties, such as Steinberger, Johannisberger, and Riidesheimer. The best vineyards of the Moselle also belong to Prussia, and inferior kinds of wine are produced in Saxony and Lower Silesia. Great quantities of apples, cherries, and plums are raised on the Rhine, in Saxony, and other districts, while market-gardening on an extensive scale is practised near Erfurt and some other large towns. The hay-meadows of the eastern provinces are the largest, but those in the west bear heavier crops. The richest pasture is afforded by the marshlands along the North Sea and by the plain of the lower Rhine, while the largo moors of Westphalia and Hanover are of comparatively little value in this respect. The accompanying table shows the, yield in tons of the principal crops in 1883;in which year, however, the returns were rather below the average : - About one-half of the cultivable soil is in the possession of owners with properties exceeding 180 acres in extent and averaging 860 acres, while one-half of the total number of owners occupy only one-fortieth of the entire area. The manner of distribution varies greatly in different-parts of the kingdom, large properties prevailing in the less fertile regions in the east and peasant-holdings in the west. In the district of Stralsund the average number of landowners for each German square mile is 100, while in the district of Wiesbaden it is ten times as high. In Silesia and Posen latifundia occupy nearly half the total area, though this disproportion is gradually disappearing there as elsewhere. As a general rule the best crops seem to be raised on the holdings of intermediate size.
Live Stoek. - According to an enumeration made in 1883, Prussia contains 2,417,641 horses, 8,737,367 cattle, 14,752,328 sheep, s 5,819,136 pigs, and 1,680,686 goats. The province of East Prussia, with the principal Government stud of Trakehnen, is the headquarters of horse-rearing, and contains the greatest number of horses both relatively (1 per 5 inhabitants) and absolutely (383,555). The horses bred there are generally suitable for the lighter kind of work only, and are in great request for military purposes. Horses of a stouter type are bred in Schleswig-Holstein and on the Rhine, but heavy draught horses have to be imported from France, Holland, Belgium, and Denmark. The best cattle are reared in the maritime provinces, and the highest proportion (65 per 100 inhabitants) is found in Schleswig-Holstein, whence, as well as from the marshy lowlands of Hanover, large numbers are exported to England. As a rule, however, the south German states arc richer in cattle than Prussia. Prussia is one of the leading sheep-breeding countries of Europe, and much has been done to improve the race and increase the value of the flesh and wool. In Pomerania there are 170 sheep for every 100 inhabitants, and West Prussia and Posen also contain a high proportion. The total number of sheep in Prussia is, however, diminishing owing to the spread of agriculture and the increased importation of wool ; in 1861 it was nearly 21 millions. Swine abound in the central provinces, and hams and sausages are largely exported from 'Westphalia, Hanover, and Saxony. Hugo flocks of geese are reared in Pomerania, and bee-keeping is a profitable industry in Hanover, East and West Prussia, arid the province of the Rhine.
Fisheries. - The fishery on the Baltic Sea and its haft's employs about 15,000 men, and that on the North Sea about 2000 more. In the former the take consists mainly of herrings, flat fish, salmon, mackerel, and eels, while the chief objects of the latter are cod and oysters. Inland fishery has been encouraged by the foundation of numerous piscicultural establishments and by the enactment of close-time laws. Carp, perch; pike, and salmon, the latter especially in the Rhine, are the principal varieties ; sturgeon are taken in the Elbe and Oder, and the lakes of East Prussia swarm with bream and lampreys. Game of various kinds abounds in different parts of Prussia, and the lakes are frequented by large flocks of water-fowl.
Es. Minerals. - Although it is obvious that the recent formations of the north German plain can boast of little or no mineral wealth, Prussia still takes tank among the great mining states. Its produce of coal and iron exceeds that of any country in Europe, except Great Britain ; in the production of zinc it is the foremost country in the world ; and its stores of salt are very considerable. In 1882 the total value of the mineral produce of Prussia was about 17/ millions sterling. About 370,000 persons are employed in its mines, the larger part of whom are engaged in the production of coal. For purposes of administration and supervision the entire country is divided into five mining districts (Oberberganitsbezirke), the headquarters of which are Breslau, Halle, Klausthal (in the Harz), Dortmund, and Bonn.
The two great deposits of coal are in the basin of the Ruhr on the west, where about 20 million tons are raised annually, and in Upper Silesia, where the beds are still more extensive but the coal of a somewhat inferior quality. The greater part of the smaller but valuable coal-field of the Saar also belongs to Prussia, and other important beds occur in Lower Silesia, near Halle, and near Aix-la-Chapelle. In 1882 Prussia produced upwards of 47 million tons of coal, equal to 90 per cent. of the total yield of Germany, and double the output of 1869. Nearly three-fourths of this amount came from the western coal-fields and upwards of one-fourth from the coal-measures of Silesia. The, total value was £11,636,250. Brown coal or lignite is found throughout the whole of Prussia, except in the extreme north-east and north-west, but occurs most plentifully in Saxony, Brandenburg, and north Silesia. In 1882 the produce was nearly 11 million tons, value 1 millions sterling. Peat is cut in large quantities in Hanover, where 15 per cent. of the surface consists of moorland. Iron is found in all parts of Prussia, occurring in the form of bog-iron ore even in the northern lowlands. The richest districts are those of Coblentz in the province of the Rhine, Arnsberg in Westphalia, Oppeln in Silesia, and Wiesbaden. A valuable bed of magnetic-iron ore occurs in the Harz. In 1882 fully 4,000,000 tons of iron ore were raised in Prussia, valued at £1,415,950 and forming 70 per cent. of the total yield of Germany. The quantity of pig-iron smelted from these and from imported ores was 2,467,500 tons and its value £7,490,000. Prussia produces nearly the whole of the zinc of Germany, and Silesia three-fourths of that of Prussia ; in 1882 the amount was 113,300 tons, valued at £1,795,000. The produce of lead in the same year was 88,300 tons, valued at £1,200,000 and found mainly in the valley of the Lahn near Cobleutz, in Silesia, in the Harz, and in Hesse-Nassau. Copper was produced to the extent- of 15,400 tons and the value of £1,025,000 ; five-sevenths were raised in Saxony, which includes some of the productive mines of the Harm Silver and gold are extracted from the copper ore of Mansfeld in Saxony, and silver also from the lead ores of Silesia, Aix-la-Chapelle, Wiesbaden, and Arnsberg. In 1882 the value of the silver smelted out was £1,214,700, of gold only £9050. Salt also ranks high in importance among the mineral treasures of Prussia. In 1852 the total yield included 252,300 tons of boiled salt, 210,100 tons of rock-salt, and 85,400 tons of other salts, with a total value of £719,600. Brine springs occur throughout almost the whole kingdom, but by far the most productive provinces are Saxony and Hanover. Rock-salt is mined at Stassfurt in the province of Saxony, and in Posen. Chloride of potash and potassium salts are also extensively found in Saxony. The other mineral products include manganese, nickel, pyrites, cobalt, quicksilver, alum, gypsum, and sulphuric acid. Good building-stone is common throughout the country, marble is found in Silesia, and roofing slates in the Devonian formations of the Rhine and the Harz. Chalk- pits and cliffs abound in the Island of Riigen. The amber of the Baltic coast is picked up on the beach after a storm, and is also found by digging and dredging. About 3000 persons are employed in the search, and in favourable seasons 3000 to 4000 cwts. are collected. Mineral springs are numerous among the mountains of Silesia, the Taunus, and. the Eifel. The most generally known are those in the district of Wiesbaden, including Wiesbaden itself, Ems, Homburg, Schlangenbad, and Schwalbach.
Industries. - Prussia now takes a high place among the manufacturing states of Europe, though the foundation of its industrial importance cannot bo dated farther back than the reign of the Great Elector (1640-88). As a general rule, apart from a few of the larger towns, the busiest manufacturing centres are found on the lower slopes and outskirts of the mountainous districts, such as the Rhenish valleys, Lusatia, and the vicinity of the Silesian coalfields. About 35 per cent. of the population are supported by industrial pursuits. The district of -Drisseldorf is the busiest in Prussia, and Berlin and Elberfeld-Barmen are among the chief hives of industry on the Continent. The principal manufactured products are woollen, linen, cotton, silk, and iron goods.
The metallic industries, as might be expected, flourish chiefly in the neighbourhood of the coal-fields and have reached their highest development in the district of the Ruhr. Steel is made most extensively in the districts of Arnsberg (Westphalia) and Diisseldorf ; at Essen in the latter is Krupp's celebrated cannon-foundry, with 20,000 workmen. Small iron and steel goods also come chiefly from the Westphalian and Rhenish districts ; and the cutlery of Solingen, the tools of Remscheid, and the needles of Aix-la-Chapelle enjoy a widespread reputation. Berlin is the chief seat of the manufacture of machinery and locomotives. Small arms are made at Suhl, Spandau, Potsdam, and Sommerda (Erfurt). Articles in bronze, brass, and electroplate are largely made at and exported from Berlin, Frankfort-on-the-Main, Iserlohn, and Altena, while gold and silver goods are produced chiefly at Berlin and Hann.
The textile industries of Prussia are also important, employing 400,000 workpeople, though they do not rank in extent with those of Great Britain. Until recently the chief textile manufacture was linen, which was largely made by hand in Silesia, Westphalia, and Saxony. The domestic mode of manufacture has now to a great extent disappeared, but Westphalian and Silesian linens still maintain their reputation. The manufacture covers the home demand, but about one-third of the necessary flax and hemp has to be imported. Jute is made at Bielefeld and Bonn. The manufacture of cotton has of late made great progress, though it is not so important in Prussia as in the kingdom of Saxony and in Alsace. The chief centres of this branch of industry are Diisseldorf, Munster, Elberfeld-Barmen, Hanover, Breslau, and Liegnitz. About 65 per cent. of the woollen yarn of Germany is made in Prussia, and woollen cloth of good quality is produced in the pro- vince of the Rhine, Silesia, Brandenburg, and Saxony. The spinning and weaving of worsted and woollen cloth are also still carried on throughout the country as domestic industries, but not to such an extent as formerly. Wool and worsted yarn are imported from England and other countries, but the cloth manufactured is much in excess of the home demand and forms an important article of export. Carpets are made at Berlin and at Diiren in the Rhine province. Silk is manufactured at Crefeld, Elberfeld-Barmen, and other places near the Rhine. Though hardly reaching the high standard of that of Lyons, Rhenish silk commands a good price, and is exported to England, America, Russia, and Austria.
Tobacco and cigars are largely manufactured at Berlin and numerous other towns, and to some extent wherever the tobacco plant is cultivated. The annual consumption of tobacco amounts to about 4 lb per head of population, or nearly thrice as much as in Great Britain ; but the revenue derived from the tobacco excise, owing to the small impost on home-made tobacco, is not more than 6d. a head as compared with 5s. per head in England. A comparatively modern but very important branch of industry is the manufacture of sugar from the common beet. The great centre of this industry is the province of Saxony, which in 1882-83 contained nearly half the 280 sugar-works in the kingdom, the remainder being chiefly in Hanover and Silesia. Upwards of 600,000 tons of raw sugar and 160,000 tons of molasses are produced annually.' About 320 million gallons of beer are brewed in Prussia per annum and about 35 million more are imported from Bavaria and Bohemia ; the consumption per head, amounting from 65 to 70 quarts, is about half of the English and one-fourth of the Bavarian rate. Wine-making, as already mentioned, is an important industry on the Rhine, and large quantities of spirits are distilled from potatoes in Brandenburg and the eastern provinces. The remaining industrial products of Prussia include chemicals, chiefly made in Saxony, Silesia, and the Rhenish province ; dyes, at Elberfeld-Barmen and Crefeld ; paper, in the districts of Aix-la-Chapelle, Arnsberg, and Liegnitz ; glass (" Bohemian glass "), in Silesia ; pianos, at Berlin, Breslau, Cassel, and Erfurt ; and scientific instruments, at Berlin and Halle. The artistic furniture and porcelain of Berlin are characteristic specialities. In nearly every department there has been in recent years a steady advance both in quantity and quality.
Trade. - The commerce of Prussia isgreatly facilitatedby its central' position, which enables it to carry on a very extensive transit trade ; but, as the returns are not separated from those of the other members of the Zollverein, it is impossible to do more than guess at its annual value. According to the Almanach de Gotha, the total value of the exports and imports of the German Customs Union in 1883 amounted to upwards of £330,000,000 ; and, to judge from the customs receipts, about three-fifths of this amount must be credited to Prussia. The chief imports are tea, coffee, sugar, and other colonial products, grain, wine, textile fabrics, fruit, petroleum, and manufactured articles of various kinds. -Among the principal exports are grain, cattle, wine, potatoes, woollen and linen goods, hides and leather, chemicals, iron and steel wares, lead, and zinc. The export of grain to France and England has fallen off greatly of recent years, owing to the increasing demand at home. The inland trade is fostered by numerous fairs, the most important of which take place at the two Frankforts, Breslau, and Magdeburg. The money-markets of Berlin and Frankfort-on-the-Main are among the most influential in Europe.
In 1883 Prussia possessed upwards of three-fifths of the merchant ships of Germany, including 2586 sailing vessels and 229 steamers, manned by 17,315 men. Their burden however, amounting to 449,391 tons, was little more than one-third of the whole, and was exceeded by that of Bremen and Hamburg taken together. None of the Prussian seaports vies with either Hamburg or Bremen ; • the largest is Stettin, which possesses a fleet of 40 steamers and 280 sailing ships. In 1881 the Prussian harbours were entered by 38,054 vessels of 3,483,545 tons burden, and cleared by 38,005 of 3,518,098 tons burden. The best seamen are furnished by the fishing population of Friesland or Frisia.
Communication. - With most internal means of communication Prussia is well provided. Almost none of its excellent highroads existed in the time of Frederick the Great, and many of them date from the Napoleonic era. ?he first Prussian railway was laid in 1838, but the railway system did not receive its full development until the events of 1866 removed the obstacles placed in the way by Hanover. Most of the lines were easy of construction, and absorbed comparatively little capital. The great majority were laid by private companies, and the Government confined itself to establishing lines in districts not likely to attract private capital. In 1879, however, a measure was passed authorizing the acquisi- tion by the state of the private railways, and in 1884 nine-tenths of the 13,800 miles of railway in Prussia were in the hands of Government. The proportion of railway mileage in Prussia (5 miles per 10,000 inhabitants) is nearly as high as in Great Britain, but the traffic is much less. Thus in 1880-81 the Prussian railways carried only 124 million passengers, while the British lines conveyed 622 millions. The expenses swallowed up 56 per cent. of the gross receipts, or 4 per cent. more than those of England in the same year ; but in the matter of railway accidents the comparison is morn favourable to the Prussian railways, on which only 235 persons lost their lives as compared with about four times as many in Great Britain. The passenger traffic has not increased in _pro- portion to the extension of the railway system and the growth of population, but the goods traffic has steadily advanced. The canal system of Prussia is little beyond its infancy, the total length of all the canals in the kingdom being only 1200 miles, a very small number as compared with either England or France. Among the most important are those uniting the Pregel with the Memel, and the Vistula with the Oder (via the Netze), and those bringing the Spree and Havel into communication with the Elbe on the one side and the Oder on the other. Canals uniting the Ems and the Rhine, the Ems and the Weser, and the Weser and the Elbe are still desiderata. On the other hand, Prussia has a large supply of navigable rivers.
Population. - The last census of Prussia was taken in 1880, and the accompanying table summarizes the principal results then ascertained. The total population amounts to about 60 per cent. of that of the German empire.
The following table shows the growth of the population since the death of Frederick, the first king of Prussia. The first trustworthy census of Prussia was taken in 1816 ; the earlier figures are only more or less reasonable estimates.
Between 1816 and 1831 the increase of the population of Prussia was about 30 per cent., and between 1831 and 1864 it was 46 per cent. Some districts have more than doubled their population since 1816, but the annual increment since 1866 has not exceeded 1 per cent., a fact due to the less rapid multiplication in the new pro vinces and the losses in the Franco-German War. The rate of increase in the latter part of the period 1867-84 has, however, been considerably more rapid than in the first half. The increase is entirely due to the surplus of births over deaths, as emigration is very much in excess of nnmigration. With the. exception of Saxony and some of the smallest states, Prussia is increasing more rapidly in population than any other member of the German empire. Its rate of increase is fully twice that of France and about the same as that of the United kingdom. The highest rate of increase in 1875-80 took place in Berlin (2.92 per annum) and Westphalia (1.39), the lowest in Hohenzollern (0.35) and East Prussia (0.82). The birth-rate, which for the entire country is 40 per 1000, is highest in West Prussia, Posen, and Westphalia and lowest in Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, and Hesse-Nassau. The death-rate for the whole monarchy is about 27 per 1000, considerably higher than that of Great Britain, which is about 20 per 1000. Pomerania is remarkable for its low death-rate, West Prussia and Silesia for a high one. Both the birth-rate and the death-rate show a tendency to diminish. Of the births in 1882 8.11 per cent. were illegitimate, the proportion varying from 2•92 per cent in Westphalia to 11 per cent. in Pomerania, and nearly 15 per cent. in Berlin. Between 1872 and 1880 the number of marriages diminished with almost unvarying steadiness ; since 1880 it has risen again and now amounts to about 8 per 1000 inhabitants. An interesting feature is the large proportion of mixed confessional marriages, amounting as a rule to about 7 per cent. of the whole. Between 1871 and 1881 the annual emigration from Prussia amounted to 1.8 per 1000 inhabitants ; in 1882 no fewer than 129,894, and in 1883 104,167 emigrants ]eft the country by the German ports and Antwerp. The highest proportion of emigrants comes from Pomerania (5.6) and Posen (4.3), the lowest from Silesia, the Rhineland, and Saxony.
A study of the figures in the table given above will show that as a rule the density of population increases from north to south and from east to west. As might be expected, the thickest population is found in the mining and manufacturing district of the Rhine, which is closely followed by the coal-regions of Silesia and parts of Saxony and Westphalia. The proportion for the whole kingdom is about 200 per square mile, but in the district of Diisseldorf this figure rises to 750 and in the moorlands of Hanover it sinks to less than 50. According to the census of 1880, 57'4 per cent. of the population is rural, and 42.6 per cent. urban, i.c., lives in communities of more than 2000 inhabitants. The relative proportions vary greatly in the different provinces, as much as 62 per cent. of the population living in towns in the Rhineland, and as little as 23 or 24 per cent. in East Prussia and Posen. About 17 per cent. of the population is absorbed by towns each with 20,000 inhabitants and upwards, while in Great Britain half the population is massed in the large towns and from 65 to 70 per cent. is urban. In Prussia also there is observable a strong movement towards concentration in towns, the annual rate of increase in the urban population being six times as great as that in the rural communities. In 1880 Prussia contained 24 towns each with upwards of 50,000 inhabitants, and 7 with upwards of 100,000 inhabitants, the corresponding numbers in Great Britain being 59 and 26. The following are the towns with upwards of 100,000 inhabitants each :- Berlin 1,122,330 Konigsberg ....... _140,909 Breslau 272,912 Frankfort-on-the-Main –136,819 Elberfeld and Barmen practically form one town with a population of 189,479 ; and Magdeburg, Dusseldorf, Stettin, and Altona are all above 90,000. The annual rate of suicides in Prussia is 18 to 20 per 100,000 inhabitants, a proportion seldom exceeded among European states. Divided according to nationalities, the present (1885) population of' Prussia consists roughly of 24,000,000 Germans, 2,800,000 Poles in the eastern provinces, 150,000 Lithuanians in the north-east, 180,000 Danes in Schleswig-Holstein, 90,000 Wends in Brandenburg and Silesia, 60,000 Czechs in Silesia, and 12,000 Walloons near the Belgian frontier. In the rural districts of Posen and in parts of Silesia the Poles form the predominant element of the population.
In 1882 a census of occupations was taken in the German empire, the main results of which, so far as they relate to Prussia, are summarized in the following table. The figures include the wives, families, and other dependants of those actually engaged in the several occupations. The actual workers are about 11 millions in number and their dependants 16 millions.
. Religious Statistics. - According to the census returns of 1880 (see table, p. 16), 64.64 per cent. of the population of Prussia were Protestants, 34 per cent. Roman Catholics, and 1.33 Jews. A glance at a confessional map of Prussia shows that the centre of the kingdom is solidly Protestant, the proportion of Roman Catholics increasing as the eye travels east or west and reaching its maximum on the Rhine and in the Slavonic provinces. East Prussia, however, with the exception of Ermland, is Protestant. The Roman Catholics outnumber the Protestants in the provinces of the Rhine (3 to I), Posen, Silesia, and West Prussia. All religious bodies are granted freedom of worship, and civil rights are not conditional upon religious confession.
The Evangelical or Protestant State Church of Prussia consists as it now stands of a union of the Lutherans and Calvinists, effected under royal pressure iin 1817. According to the king this was not a fusion of two faiths but an external union for mutual admission to the Eucharist and for.the convenience of using the same liturgy, prepared under the royal superintendence. Those who were unable from conscientious scruples to join the union became Separatist or Old Lutherans and Old Calvinists, but their numbers were and are insignificant. The king is " sumnms episcopus," or supreme pontiff of the church, and is represented in the exercise of his ecclesiastical functions by the minister of public worship and instruction. The highest authority for the ordinary management of the church is the " Oberkirchenratb," or supreme church council at Berlin, which acts through provincial consistories and superintendents appointed by the crown. Recent legislation has made an effort to encourage self-government and give a congregational character to the church by the granting of a presbyterial constitution, with parish, diocesan, provincial, and general synods. The clergy, of whom there were 9146 in 1880, are appointed by the crown, by the consistories, by private or municipal patronage, or by congregational election.
The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in Prussia consists of two archbishops (Cologne, Gnesen -Posen) and ten bishops. The prince-bishop of Breslau and the bishops of Ermland, Hildesheim, and Osnabriick are directly under the pope, and the bishoprics of Fulda and Limburg are in the archiepiscopal diocese of Freiburg in Baden. The higher ecclesiastics receive payment from the state, and the annual appropriation appearing in the budget for the Roman Catholic Church is as high as that made for the State Church. All the Roman Catholic religious orders in Prussia have been suppressed except those mainly or wholly occupied with attendance on the sick.
The relations of the• state with the dissenting Christian sects, such as the Baptists, Mennonites, and Moravian Brethren, are practically confined to granting them charters of incorporation which ensure them toleration. The Mennonites were formerly allowed to pay an extra tax in lieu of military service, which is inconsistent with their belief, but this privilege has been withdrawn. The Old Catholics number about 30,000, but do not seem to be increasing.
The Jews belong mainly to the urban population and form 20 to 30 per cent. of the inhabitants in some of the towns in the Slavonic provinces. They are especially prominent in commerce, finance, and on the stage, and also exercise great influence on the press. Perhaps the actual majority of newspaper editors and proprietors are of Jewish blood. The wave of social persecution to which they were subjected from 1876 onwards, especially in Berlin and Pomerania, has, to some extent at least, subsided.
Edacation. - In Prussia education is looked upon as the province of the state, and the general level attained is very high. All schools, public and private, are under state supervision, and no one is allowed to exercise the profession of teacher until he has given satisfactory proof of his qualifications. At the head of the administration stands the minister of public instruction, to whom the universities are directly subordinate. The secondary schools are supervised by provincial " Schulcolleg,ia," or school-boards, appointed by Government, while the management of the elementary and private schools falls within the ,jurisdiction of the oi•nary "Regicrungen," or department officials. This they carry out through qualified school-inspectors, frequently chosen from among the clergy. All children must attend school from their sixth to their fourteenth year.
The expenses of the primary schools ( Vo/kasehiden) are borne by the communes (Gemeinden, see infra), aided when necessary by subsidies from the state. The subjects of instruction are theology, reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, the elements of geometry, history, geography, and natural science, singing, drawing, sewing, and gymnastics. The fees are extremely small, amounting in the rural districts to about Id. per week, and in Berlin and some other towns they have been entirely done away with. In 1882 Prussia contained 33,040 primary schools with 59,917 teachers and 4,339,729 pupils. This shows an average of 159 children attending school out of every 1000 inhabitants, the proportion varying from 120 to 130 in the north-eastern provinces to 175 to 180 in Westphalia and Rhenish Prussia. The number of illiterate recruits among those called upon each year to serve in the army affords a good test of the universality of elementary education. In 1882-83 the proportion of " A nalphabwti," or men unable to read or write, among the recruits levied was only 2 per cent., the rate varying from 9.75 per cent. in Posen to 0.03 in Schleswig-Holstein, where there was only one illiterate recruit among 3662. The teachers for the elementary schools are trained in normal seminaries or colleges established and supervised by the state, and much has been done of late years to improve their position. In most of the larger towns the elementary schools are supplemented by middle schools (Biirgerseltulen, Stadtsehulen), which carry on the pupil to a somewhat more advanced stage, and are partly intended to draw off the unsuitable elements from the higher schools.
The secondary schools of Prussia may be roughly divided into classical and modern, though there are comparatively few in which Latin is quite omitted. The classical schools proper consist of Gymnasia and Progymnasia, the latter being simply gymnasia wanting the higher classes. In these boys are prepared for the universities and the learned professions, and the full course lasts for nine years. In the modern schools, which are divided in the same way into Rtalgymnasia and Realprogymnasia, and also have a nine years' course, Latin is taught, but not Greek, and greater stress is laid upon modern languages, mathematics, and natural science. The three lower classes are practically identical with those of the gymnasia, while in the upper classes the thoroughness of training is assimilated as closely as possible to that of the classical schools, though the subjects are somewhat altered. Ranking with the realgymnasia are the Oberrealschulen, which differ only in the fact that Latin is entirely omitted, and the time thus gained devoted to modern languages. The Havre (or upper) Bilrgerschulen, in which the course is six years, rank with the middle schools above mentioned, and are intended mainly for those boys who wish to enter business life immediately on leaving school. All those secondary schools possess the right of granting certificates entitling the holders, who must have attained a certain standing in the school, to serve in the army as one-year volunteers. The gymnasial "certificate of ripeness" (Maturitatszeugniss), indicating that the holder has passed satisfactorily through the highest class, enables a student to enroll himself in any faculty at the university, but that of the realgymnasium qualifies only for the general or "philosophical " faculty, and does not open the way to medicine, the church, or the bar. Considerable efforts are, however, now being made to have the realgymnasium certificate recognized as a sufficient qualification for the study of medicine at least. At any of these schools a thoroughly good education may be obtained at a cost seldom exceeding, in the highest classes, X5 per annum. The teachers are men of scholarship and ability, who have passed stringent Government examinations and been submitted to a year of probation. The great majority of the secondary schools have been established and endowed by municipal corporations. In 1881 Prussia contained 251 gymnasia, 64 progymnasia, 88 realgymnasia, 15 oberrealschulen, 27 realschulen, 47 holiere biirgerschulen, and 276 Haere Tochterschulen, or higher schools for girls. Besides these there are, of course, numerous commercial, technical, industrial, and other special schools.
Prussia possesses ten of the twenty German universities, attended by 12,800 students, or at the rate of one student for 2125 inhabitants. The largest Prussian university is that of Berlin, attended by more than 4000 students, while Breslau, Bonn, Giittingen, and Halle have each upwards of 1000. The oldest is the university of Greifswald, founded in 1456. Like the schools the universities are state institutions, and the professors are appointed and paid by Government, which also makes liberal annual grants for apparatus and equipment. The full obligatory course of study extends over three, and in the case of medicine four years. It is, however, not unusual for nonmedical students also to spend four years at the university, and there is an agitation to make this compulsory. Students qualifying for a Prussian Government appointment are required to spend at least three terms or. half-years (Semester) at a Prussian university.
Ranking with the universities are the large polytechnic colleges at Berlin, Hanover, and Aix-la-Chapelle, the mining academies of Berlin and Klansthal, and the academies of forestry at Eberswalde and Miinden. DepartmentsTor the study of agriculture are attached to many of the universities. Music is taught at several conservatoria, the best known of which are at Berlin and Frankfort-on-the-Main.
The science and art of Prussia find their most conspicuous external expression in the academies of science and art at Berlin, both founded by Frederick I. ; and each town of any size throughout the kingdom has its antiquarian, artistic, and scientific societies. Recognized schools of painting exist at Berlin and Dfisseldo•f, and both these towns, as well as Cassel, contain excellent picture galleries. The scientific and archreological collections of Berlin are also of great importance. Besides the university collections, there are numerous large public libraries, the chief of which is the royal library at Berlin (1,000,000 vols.).
Constitution. - The present form of the government of Prussia, consisting of an hereditary monarchy with two houses of parliament, is based upon a fundamental law promulgated in 1850, and subsequently somewhat modified by various enactments. The constitution affirms the legal equality of all citizens in the eye of the law, provides for universal military service, and guarantees the personal liberty of the subject, the security of property, immunity from domiciliary visits, the inviolability of letters, toleration of religious sects, freedom of the press, the right of association and public meetings, and liberty of migration.
The monarchy is hereditary in the male line of the house of Hohenzollern, and follows the custom of primogeniture. The king alone exercises the executive power, but shares the legislative power with his parliament. He appoints and discharges the ministers and other officials of the crown, summons and dissolves parliament, possesses the right of pardon and mitigation of punishment, declares war and concludes peace, and grants orders and titles. He is held to be irresponsible for his public actions, and his decrees require the countersign of a minister,'.whose responsibility, however, is not very clearly defined. The national tradition and feeling lend the crown considerable power not formulated in the constitution, and the king is permitted to bring his personal influence to bear upon parliament in a way quite at variance with the English conception of a constitutional monarch. The annual civil list of the king of Prussia amounts to £600,000.
The legislative assembly consists of two chambers, which are convoked annually at the same time but meet separately. The right of proposing new measures belongs equally to the king and each of the chambers, but the consent of all three estates is necessary before a measure can pass into law. The chambers have control of the finances and possess the right of voting or refusing taxes. Financial questions are first discussed in the lower house, and the upper house can accept or reject the annual budget only en bloc. All measures are passed by an absolute majority, but those affecting the constitution must be submitted to a second vote after an interval of at least twenty-one days. Members may not be called to account for their parliamentary utterances except by the chamber in which they sit. No one may at the same time be a member of both chambers. The ministers of the crown have access to both chambers and may speak at any time, but they do not vote unless they are actually members. The general scheme of government, though constitutional, is not exactly "parliamentary" in the English sense of the word, as the ministers are independent of party and need not necessarily represent the opinions of the parliamentary majority. The Ilerrenhaus, or house of peers, contains two classes of members, the hereditary and non-hereditary. The former consists of the adult princes of the house of Hohenzollern, the mediatized princes and counts of the old imperial nobility, and the heads of the great territorial nobility. The non-hereditary members comprise life peers chosen by the king from the ranks of the rich landowners, manufacturers, and men of general eminence, and representatives "presented" for the king's approval by the landowners of the nine old provinces, by the larger towns, and by the universities. The Abgeordnetenhaus, or chamber of deputies, consists of 433 members, elected for periods of three years by indirect suffrage, exercised by all male citizens who have reached the age of twenty-five and have not forfeited their communal rights. The original electors are arranged in three classes, according to the rate of taxes paid by them, in such a way that the gross amount of taxation is equal in each class. The country is accordingly divided into electoral districts, with the electors grouped in three categories, each of which selects a Wahlnyinn or electoral proxy, who exercises the direct suffrage. Members of the lower house must be thirty years old and in full possession of their civic rights. They receive a daily allowance (Dititen) during the sitting of the house.
The king exercises his executive functions through an irresponsible Staatsrath, or privy council, revived in 1884 after thirty years of inactivity, and by a nominally responsible cabinet or council of ministers (Staats-Ministerium). The latter consists at present of the minister-president and of the ministers of foreign affairs, war, justice, finance, the interior, public worship and instruction, industry and commerce, public works, agriculture, domains, and forests. Ministers conduct the affairs of their special departments independently, but meet in council for the discussion of general questions. They represent the executive in the houses of parliament and introduce the measures proposed by the crown, but do not need to belong to either chamber. The affairs of the royal household and privy purse are entrusted to a special minister, who is not a member of the cabinet.
The Prussian governmental system is somewhat complicated by its relation to that of the empire. The king of Prussia is at the same time German emperor, and his prime minister is also the imperial chancellor. The ministries of war and foreign affairs practically coincide with those of the empire, and the customs-dues and the postal and telegraph service have also been transferred to the imperial Government. Prussia has only seventeen votes in the federal council, or less than a third of the total number, but its influence is practically assured by the fact that the small northern states almost invariably vote with it. To the reichstag Prussia sends more than half the members. The double parliamentary system works in some respects inconveniently, as the reichstag and Prussian landtag are often in session at the same time and many persons are members of both. Where imperial and Prussian legislation come into conflict the latter must give way.
For administrative purposes Prussia is divided into Proviazen or provinces, Regierungsbezirke or governmental departments, Kreise or circles, and Clemeinden or communes. The city of Berlin and the district of Hohenzollern are not included in any province, and the larger towns usually form at once a commune and a circle (S'Iadtkrcis). Recent legislation has aimed at the encouragement of local government and the decentralization of administrative authority by admitting lay or popularly elected members to a share in the administration alongside of the Government officials. Certain branches of administration, such as the care of roads and the poor, have been handed over entirely to local authorities, while a share is allowed them in all. As a general result it may be stated that the Prussian administrative system intervenes between the strongly centralized government of France and the liberty of local government enjoyed in England. In the province the Government is represented by the Oberpriisiclent, whose jurisdiction extends over all matters affecting more than one department. He is assisted by a council (Provinxialrath), consisting, besides himself as chairman, of one member appointed by Government and five members elected by the provincial committee (Provinzialausschnss). The latter forms the permanent executive of the provincial diet (Provinzial-Landlag), which consists of deputies elected by the kreiso or circles, and forms the chief provincial organ of local government. The regierungsbezirk is solely a Government division and is only indirectly represented in the scheme of local administration. The Government authorities are the Regierungs-Prasident, who is at the head of the general internal administration of the department, and the Regierung, or Government board, which supervises ecclesiastical and educational affairs and exercises the function of the state in regard to the direct taxes and the domains and forests. The departmental president is also assisted by a Bezirlesratli or district council, consisting of one official member and four others selected from inhabitants of the department by the provincial committee. The governmental official in the kreis (county, circle) is the Landratli, an office which existed in the Mark of Brandenburg as early as the 16th century. He is aided by the Kreissausschuss, or executive committee of the Kreistag (the diet of the circle), the members of which are elected by the rural and urban communes. The kreis is the smallest state division ; the communes, divided into urban and rural, are left almost entirely to local government, though the chief officials must obtain the sanction of the central authority. In the rural communes the head magistrate, called a Schulze or Dorfrichter, is elected for six years and is assisted by assessors called Seheen. The regulations for the government of towns still rest in great measure on the liberal reforms effected by Stein at the beginning of the century. The chief power rests in the hands of the Stadtrath, which consists of Stacllverordrieten, or town deputies elected by the citizens for six years. The practical executive is entrusted to the magistracy (illagistrat), which usually consists of a burgomaster, a deputy burgomaster (both paid officials), several unpaid members, and, where necessary, a few other paid members. The unpaid members hold office for six years ; the paid members are elected for twelve years, and their election requires ratification from the state. The administrative system above described applies as yet in its full extent to about three-fourths of the provinces only, but is to be extended to the others in due course. Though in some respects rather cumbrous in its machinery, the system is on the whole found to work well and with economy.
In the seven eastern provinces, Westphalia, and part of the Rhenish province the common law of Prussia (Lawirecht), codified in 1794, is in force, while the common law of the German empire, formed by an amalgamation of Roman, canon, and German law, prevails in the three new provinces and part of Pomerania. The Code Napoleon, however, still exists in the greater part of the Rhine district, and the commercial law has been consolidated in the German commercial code of 1861. A new penal code, promulgated in 1850, did away with the old patrimonial or seigniorial jurisdiction, and the administration of justice is now wholly in the hands of Government. The courts of lowest instance are the Amtsgerichte, in which sits a single judge, accompanied in penal cases by two Scheen or lay assessors (a kind of jurymen, who vote with the judge). Cases of more importance are decided by the Landgeriehte or county courts, in which the usual number of judges is three, while in important criminal cases a jury of twelve persons is generally empanelled. From the landgerichte appeals may be made to the Oberlandesgeriehte or provincial courts. The oberlandesgericht at Berlin is named the Kammergericht and forms the final instance for summary convictions in Prussia, while all other cases may be taken to the supreme imperial court at Leipsic. The judges (Richter) are appointed and paid by the state, and hold office for life. After finishing his university career the student of law who wishes to become a judge or to practise as qualified counsel (Rechtsanmilt, barrister and solicitor in one) passes a Government examination and becomes a Referendarins. He then spends at least four years in the practical work of his profession, after which he passes a second examination, and, if he has chosen the bench instead of the bar, becomes an Assessor and is eligible for the position of judge. A lawyer who has passed the necessary examinations may at any time quit the bar for the bench, and a judge is also at liberty to resign his position and enter upon private practice. In all criminal cases the prosecution is undertaken by Government, which acts through Staatsantetilte, or directors of prosecutions, in the pay of the state.
Finances. - The finances of the Prussian Government are well managed, and a deficit is now a rare occurrence. The expenditure has been considerably relieved by the transference of the cost of the army and navy to the imperial treasury, while on the other hand the customs-dues and several excise duties have been relinquished to the empire and an annual " matricular " contribution paid towards its expenses. The budget is voted annually by the abgeordueteuhaus ; the following table is an abstract of that for 1884-85 :- Revenue. Expenditure.
Direct taxes .. £7,296,286 Expenses of collection and Indirect taxes 4,586,510 management £28,234,532 Domains and forests .... 3,805,857 of public debt 7,877,316 Administrative revenues 1,160,253 to the German empire 2,033,460 Administrative expenditure 12,632,930 Justice 2,017,020 Education 1,644,670 Religion 596,333 ordinary expenses 2,341,881 Total.... £56,680,818 1 Total.... £56,680,818 Perhaps the only item requiring explanation in the above summary is the general financial administration under the head of revenue ; this includes advances from the surplus iu the treasury, Prussia's proportion of the profits of the imperial customs and excises, repayments, interest, and other miscellaneous sources of revenue. The extraordinary expenses included upwards of £450,000 for railways and £750,000 for public works. The total expenditure is rather more than £2 per head of population, while ill the United Kingdom it is about £2, 10s. Between 1821 and 1844 the rate iu Prussia was lls. 6d. per head, and even in 1858 it was only 21s. 8d. The incidence of direct taxation in Prussia is also less than in Great Britain, the respective figures being 5s. 3d. and 7s. per bead. The principal direct imposts are the income-tax, which brings in 40 per cent. of the whole, the land-tax producing 37 per cent., and the house-tax producing 19 per cent. The proceeds of the income-tax amount to about Is. 2d. per head, as compared with 6s. per head in Great Britain (in 1881). The comparative insignificance of the sum raised by indirect taxation is mainly due to the above-noted fact that the customs-dues and the most important excise duties have been made over to the imperial exchequer. In the preliminary estimates for 1885-86 the receipts and expenditure are balanced at £62,886,250.
Local taxation in Prussia is often very high. The state income-tax is limited to 3 per cent. of the assessed income, but the communes and towns are allowed to make an arbitrary addition for local purposes, sometimes amounting to twice or thrice the sum paid to the state. This is chiefly owing to the fact that the state reserved for itself all taxation on real property, while imposing on the communes the principal share in maintaining the expensive system of public schools. Incomes below £45 (900 marks) are not now taxed, but this exemption is of very recent origin. A few facts from the statistics of taxation and allied subjects may be of interest as affording some slight index to Prussia's growth in prosperity. Between 1864 and 1878 the entire capital subject to income-tax increased from 24 to 48 marks per head of population, while the proportionate number of those liable to the tax had increased by about 75 per cent. It has also been computed that the average income per head increased between 1872 and 1881 by 15 marks, equivalent to a rise of 5 per cent. ; that of Great Britain increased in the same period by 88s., or 15 per cent. Of all the payers of income-tax in 1872-81 only 0.10 per cent. had incomes of or above £1000, while 43 per cent. had not more than £25 and 52 per cent. between £25 and £100. Between 1867 and 1880 the proceeds of the house-tax increased by over 100 per cent. It now averages ls. per head, varying from 6d. in country districts up to 5s. or 5s. 6d. in Berlin, Frankfort-on - the-Main and Cologne. In 1875 the number of depositors in savings banks was 86 per 1000 inhabitants, and by 1880 the number had risen to 107. The sum deposited amounted to £79,643,400, equivalent to 58s. per head of population. At the same date Austria alone of European powers had a higher proportion (67s.), while in Great Britain the sum was 44s. and in France 27s.
The public debt of Prussia in 1884 amounted to 3,345,097,438 marks, or £167,254,872. This is equivalent to about £6 per head of population, as compared with three and a half times as much in England. The annual charge for interest on the debt is 5s. 8d. per head in Prussia and 16s. 2d. in England. Between the end of the struggle with Napoleon and 1848 the debt was considerably reduced ; since 1848 it has steadily increased. It is, however, admirably secured, and a great part of it was incurred in the construction and acquisition of railways, the clear income from which covers the annual charges on the entire debt. The various branches of the debt are being gradually united in a consolidated fund, bearing interest at the rate of 4 per cent.
Army and Navy. - The Prussian army now forms about 75 per cent. of that of the German empire, of which it also furnished the model. (See GERMANY.) The first attempt at the foundation of a Prussian navy was made by the Great Elector, who established a small fleet of eight or ten vessels. This, however, was completely neglected by his successors, and the present marine establishment is of quite recent origin. The present imperial navy is simply the Prussian navy under a different name. (See GERMANY. ) Bibliography. - The statistical facts in the foregoing article have been mainly drawn from the Jahrbuch ,tiir die amtliche Statistik des preussischen Stoats, the Statistisches dahrbateh fiir dos deutsche Reich, and other publications of the statistical offices of Prussia and Germany. Good general accounts of the natural, social, and political features of the country are given in Eiselen's Der yreussische Stoat (Berlin, 1862) and in Daniel's Handbuch der Geographic (5th ed., 1881 sq.). The Prussian constitution and administrative system are concisely described in the Handbuch der Verfassung and Verwaltung in Preussen, by Graf Hue de Orals, and are treated at length in Von Ronne's Staatsrecht der preussischen Monarchie (4th ed., 1881.84). For English readers the most interesting introduction to Prussian history is perhaps still to be found in the first part of Carlyle's Frederick the Great, the not invariably unprejudiced views of which may be corrected by Professor Tuttle's History of Prussia to the Accession of Frederick the Great (Boston, 1834). The latter admirable little work is, indeed, almost indispensable to every English student of Prussian constitutional history. Professor Secley's Life of' Stein (London, 1379) contains an excellent account of Prussia in the Napoleonic period, especially with regard to the important internal reforms carried out at the beginning of the present century. Among the numerous German histories of Prussia two of the best are Droysen s Geschichte der preussischen Politik and Banke's Zwolf Biicher preussischer Geschichte; the former is authoritative from the writer's copious use of the Prussian archives, hut the latter is less diffuse and more interesting. Other standard works are those of Stenzel, Pauli, Riede], and Laneizolle, while among shorter histories may be mentioned the manual of F. Voigt. Fix's Territorial-Geschichte des brandenburgisch-premssischen Staates, with ten historical maps, is a convenient sketch of the territorial growth of Prussia. The period since the death of Frederick the Great is treated in Ferster's Neuere send neueste preussische Geschichte and in Reimann's Neuere Geschichte des preussischen Staats (1882 sq.). The history of the present century is perhaps most fullygiven Treitschke's Deutsche Geschichte neunzehnten Jahrhundert (1379 sq.). Until recently the standard work on the history of Prussia proper was that of Johannes Voigt, but this is now being superseded by Lohmeyer's Geschichte von Ost u. West Preussen (1881 sq.). The latter forms one of an admirable series of provincial histories in course of publication by Perthes of Gotha. The development of the Prussian bureaucracy is traced in Isaacsohn's Geschichte des preussischen Beamtenthunts (1870-84). Several points are most satisfactorily handled in the numerous monographs on special periods, the lives of kings and statesmen, and the like. (3. F. 31.)