« AnteriorContinuar »
a good harbor and considerable trade. Population, 17,500. 7. Rochefort, on the Charente 5 miles from its mouth, bas a deep and secure harbor and is one of the principal raval stations of the kingdom. 8. Bayonne is situated near the S. W. corner of the kingdom, at the conflux of the Nive and Adour, which here form a commodious harbor two miles from the bay of Biscay. It has considerable commerce with Spain and 12,600 inhabitants.
The following are the principal towns in the interior not already mentioned. 1. Lisle or Lille, the capital of the department of the North, is a large and strongly fortitied city, with an extensive trade and various manufactures. Its citadel, the work of Vauban, is the first in Europe after that of Turin. Population in 1817, 61,500. 2. Cambray. famous for the manufacture of a fine speciés of linen which has received from this place the name of cambric, is on the Scheldt near its source, 100 miles N. N. E. of Paris, and contains 14,000 inhabitants. 3. Amiens, on the Somme, 40 miles from its mouth, contains 10,000 inhabitants, and is famous throughout Europe for its extensive manufactures of serge and other woolled stuffs, and also for the treaty of peace between France and England signed here in 1802. 4. Rheims is in the department of the Marne, on the small river Vesle a branch of the Aisne, 100 miles E. N. E. of Paris, and contains 38,000 inhabitants. The archbishop of this ancient city is the primate of the kingdom. 5. Strasbourg is a strongly fortified town in the department of the Lower Rhine, on the high road from France to Gerinany. It has a Protestant university and 50,000 inhabitants. 6. Versailles, a few miles S. W. of Paris, at the commencement of the last century was a small village in the midst of an extensive forest. Louis XIV. made it the royal residence, and erected here a magnificent palace, with beautiful gardens, adorned with statues, canals, fountains, and a park five miles in circumference. The population is 23,000. 7. Orleans is beautifully situated near the centre of the kingdom, on the N. bank of the Loire, by means of which, and the tributary streams and canals connected with it, a communication is opened with all pars of the interior. It has an extensive trade and 42,000 inhabitants. 8. Toulouse, on the Ga. ronne, at the head of navigation, has a university and 48,000 in. habitants. 9. Montpellier, the capital of the Herault, is 100 miles W.N. W. of Marseilles, and 5 or 6 from the sea, with which it communicates by a canal. It has long been a favorite residence of invalids from England on account of the pure air and mild climate. It has considerable trade, particularly in wine, and 33,000 inhabitants. Cette, its port, is at the eastern termination of the famous canal of Languedoc, 18 miles distant. 10. Nismer. 30 miles N. E. of Montpelier, contains 40,000 inhabitants, of whom 25,000 are Protestants. It is particularly interesting froin its ancient monuments, of which it is said to contain more than any other city in Europe except Rome. The town has suffered severely from the dissensions between the Catholics and Protestants in this part of France.
Population and Religion.] The population, in 1819, was 29,290,370. Of this number it is estimated that more than 25,000,000 are of French origin, 2,300,000 German, 1,000,000 British (in the ancient province of Brittany) 100,000 Biscayan (at the foot of the Pyrenees) 195,000 Italian, about 60,000 Jews and 10,000 gypsies. The established religion is the Roman Catholic, but all others are tolerated, and it is estimated that there are in the kingdom nearly 4,000,000 Protestanis and about 60,000 Jews.
Education.] Before the revolution there were in France 23 universities; in that great convulsion, education, like every thing else, was suspended, but since the commencement of the present century a regular system of schools has been established." In the primary schools reading, writing and arithmetic are taught, and the expense is defrayed in part by a trifling fee from the pupris, and partly by an allowance from the public treasury. The secondary schools or colleges are dependent on government, and the expenses are defrayed in like manner, partly by the pupils and partiy by the public. The lycées, now called royai colleges, are in number 36, and are large provincial schools, where the pupils are taught Latin, Greek, matbematics and rhetoric. Lastly come the universities. The name of university is at present confiued to the institution at Paris, but the provincial establishments bearing the name of academies, are constituted like the universities of other countries. Besides these, there are private schools and separate seminaries for particular branches, among which are the two iheological institutions of the Protestants at Strasbourg and Montauban. The following is the return made in 1815 of the public seminaries and number of pupils.
Pupils. 6,329 9,000 28,000 737,379
It is estimated that more than one half of the population of France are unable to read and write. Many schools on the Laneasterian plan have recently been established.
The principal literary association in France is thc Iostitute, a body composed of nearly 200 memhers, and divided, since 1816, into four academies. It comprises as members or corresponddents, a large portion of the literary and scientific characters of the country
Government.] The constitution of France, since 1314, resembles in its form that of Britain, the king being a limited monarch, and infallible in the eye of the law, the responsibility for public measures resting with his ministers. The royal title is so king of France anıt Navarre ;” and females are still excluded from succession to the crown. The crown prince is cailed Dauphin, and the oldest brother of the king Monsieur. The royal prerogative is nearly the same as in England; but in France the king exclusively has the right of bringing in bills in parliament. The opposition act there as in Britain, except that they are denied that important privilege, a denial founded on the supposed agitation which might be produced by the proposition of popular measures in a country where the constitution is as vet unsettled. The chamber of peers comprises about 200 members, ho possess privileges similar to those of the peerage in England ; their number is unlimited: the grant of titles is vested in the king and the dignity is hereditary. No clerical dignitaries have seats in the legislature. The house of commons or chamber of deputies are elected by the people; the number returned mav in some measure be altered at the will of the king; at present it is only 256, the smallest number allowed by the constitution. The election of the deputies was at first made by an intermediate body, the voters naming a committee of electors, and the latter choosing the members. The election is now vested immediately in the people on a very simple and uniform principle, the only qualification for a voter being the payment of taxes to the amount of £12 annually. For a deputy the requisites are, that he shall be of the age of 40, and pay taxes to the amount of £40 a year. One fifth of the chamber of deputies is re-elected annually, tbe whole being thus changed in five years.
Administration of Justice. The administration of justice has been entirely new-modelled and simplified since the revolution. There is a justice of the peace for each canton, an inferior court for each arrondisement, and a superior court, or provincial court of appeal in 27 of the principal towns. A justice of the peace acts nearly as the same magistrate in England ; his decision is tinal in petty matters, such as cases below 50 francs ; in others an appeal lies from him to the inferior court, which is composed of 3 or 4 judges, making above 1,000 judges of this class for the whole kingdom. Their decisions are final wherever the amount in debate does not exceed £40; in all other cases an appeal lies to the superior court. Besides these courts there are tribunals of police for the punishment of small delinquencies, and tribunals of commerce, composed of merchants who act without salary, and whose decision is final in all commercial disputes below £40. Lastly comes the cour de cassation or highest court in France, which is stationary at Paris, and takes cognizance of all appeals from the 27 provincial courts. The cour de cassation is divided into three chambers, and composed of 48 judges, with a yearly salary of nearly £500 each. There are no circuits in France, the judges being all stationary. Juries are employed in criminal cases only.
Debt, Revenue, &•c.] The national debt amounts to nearly 200 millions sterling; the interest is between 11 and 12 millions. The revenue amounts to about £30,000,000, nearly one third of which is derived from a direct tax on lands and houses. The taxes in general are much lighter in France than in England, but the direct tax on real estate is considerably greater. The produce of the customs on the other hand is much smaller, the amount being scarcely one twentieth part of the whole revenue.
Ariny and Navy.) The French army, which under Bonaparte, was in peace above 400,000, and in war neariy 600,000 effective
men, is now in a very different condition. Many of the old soldiers perished in the disastrous campaigns of 1812, 1813, 1814 and 1815; others received their discharge, in consequence of their attachment to their late commander, and though the army on the peace establishment amounts nominally to 250,000 men, considerable difficulty has been experienced in raising half that number. The navy consists of about 40 ships of the line and 40 frigates, but very few of them are in commission.
Manufactures.] In manufactures the French have long been noted for the fineness and durability of their woollens : linen also is a staple article, particularly in the north of France. In hardware they are greatly deficient; but in silk they support, particularly at Lyons, their former reputation The cotton manufactures are of récent introduction and maintain with difficulty à competition with England. The manufactory of plate glass for mirrors at St. Gobin, in the department of the Aisne, is well known as the first in Europe.
Commerce.] The natural situation of France on two seas, its many navigable rivers and the canals with which they are connected, the fine roads which intersect the country in every direction, the natural riches of the soil and the industry of the inhabitants greatly promote its commerce. The foreign trade extends to every part of Europe, the Levant, the north coast of Africa, the East Indies, China, the United States of America and the West Indies. The principal exports are wine, brandy, woollen and linen goods, and silks. Since the loss of St. Domingo the foreign trade and navigation have declined, but the internal commerce is as active as ever. There is very little paper money in France ; almost all business being transacted by gold and silver. The amount of the precious metals in circulation is estimated at the enormous sum of 80 millions sierling.
Islands. Corsica, one of the largest islands in the MediterraDean, lies between the coasts of France and Italy, and is separated from the island of Sardinia on the south by the strait of Bonifacio. It is 110 miles long and contains 4300 square miles and 174,702 inhabitants. The mountains, with which the island is covered, rise to a great height, and some of the summits are covered with snow during the greater part of the year. The soil is productive in coro, excellent wines, oranges, lemons, figs and other fruits. The principal towns are Bastia, on the N. E. coast of the island, Bonifacio, at the southern extremity, and Ajaccio, the birth-place of Napoleon Bonaparte, on a bay of the same name on the western coast.
There are several small islands on the coast of France, the principal of which are the isle of Oleron, a little north of the mouth of the Gironde ; the isle of Re, a little further north and opposite Rochelle ; Bellisle, opposite the mouth of the Vilaine,
and Ouessant or Ushant, remarkable as the farthest headland of France towards the west, being about 12 miles from the continent.
Situation and Extent.] Switzerland is bounded N. and E. by Germany; S. by Italy and w. by France. It lies between 45° 45' and 47° 48' N. lat. and between 6° 6' and 10° 36' E. lon. The area is estimated at 19,000 square miles.
Divisions.] Switzerland formerly consisted of 13 cantons, with their allies and subjects. In 1803, the constitution underwent a considerable change, and the country was formed into 19 cantons. In 1815, 3 new cantons were added by the Congress of Vienna, making the whole number at present 22, as in the follow
Cantons. Square miles. Population. Pop. on a sq. m. Religion. 1. Schaffhausen, 176 30,000 170 Protestant. 2. Thurgau or
366 76,700 206 Prot. and Cath Thurgovia, 3. Zurich,
990 182,000 184 Protestant. 4. Aargau or
792 143,960 181 Prot. and Cath. Argovia, 5. Bale or Basil, 275
47,200 171 Protestant. 6. Soleure,
286 47,892 167 Cath. and Prot. 7. Lucerne,
792 100,000 126 Catholic 8. Zug,
14,300 118 Catholic. 9. Schweitz,
28,900 59 Catholic. 10. St. Galle,
880 130,300 180 Prot. and Cath, 11. Appenzell, 231 55,000 238 Cath- and Prot. 12. Glarus,
467 24,000 51 Cath. and Prot. 13. Uri,
528 14,000 26 Catholic 14. Underwalden, 286 21,200 74 Catholic. 15. Berne,
3,784 291,200 77 Protestant. 16. Friburg,
506 70,000 138 Catholic. 17. Pays de Vaud
1,540 150,000 97 Protestant. or Leman, 18. Tesino, 1,177 88,793 75 Catholic. 19. Grisons, 3,080 73,200 23 Prot. and Cath 20. Valais,
2,024 63,400 31 Catbolic. 21. Geneva,
132 47,800 362 Protestant. 22. Neufchatel, 330 50,800 154 Protestant