« AnteriorContinuar »
Situation of the States.] The Austrian part of Germany, which includes Bohemia, Moravia, the 'Tyrol, &c. is in the S. E. and covers nearly one third of the whole territory. The Prussian dominions are in two detached portions ; the eastern, and much the largest division, occupies the N. E. part of Germany, the western division lies on both sides of the Rhine and borders upon the kingdom of the Netherlands. Bavaria, Wirtemberg, and Baden occupy the S. W. quarter of the country. Hanover, Holstein and Mecklenburg are in the N.W. Saxony is in the east, between the Prussian and Austrian dominions. Anhalt is surrounded by the Prussian territories, and Oldenburg by the kingdom of Hanover. Almost all the other states lie between the two divisions of the Prussian dominions.
Mountains.] The most mountainous section of Germany is in the S. E.; the part of Austria which lies south of the Danube being almost entirely covered with numerous branches of the Alps, which traverse the country uuder various names from Switzerland to the borders of Hungary.
The Sudetic chain is a branch of the Carpathian mountains. It commences on the borders of Hungary, and proceeding at first in a N. W. direction separates Silesia from Moravia and Bohemia, and then turning to the S. W. separates Saxony from Bohemia. The part which separates Silesia frorn Bohemia is called also the Riesengebirge or Giant Mountains, and the part which separates Saxony from Bohemia the Erzgebirge or Metallic mountains. The Fichtelgebirge, a continuation of the Sudetic mountains, proceeds for a short distance in a westerly direction along the northern frontier of Bavaria, but soon turning to the N. W. passes through the territories of the house of Saxe and a part of the Prussian dominions under the name of the Thuringerwald. The Hartz mountains, which occupy the southern part of the kingdom of Hanover and the adjacent portion of the Prussian dominions, are the most northerly mountains in Germany, and may be regarded as a continuation of the Thuringerwald. From the Hartz a chain proceeds in a westerly direction, under various names, across the western division of the Prussian dominiops to the Rhine.
From the western termination of the Sudetic chain a branch proceeds in a S. E. direction and separates Bohemia from Bavaria, under the name of the Bohmerwald, after which it turns to the S. W. separating Bavaria from Austria and connects itself with a branch of the Alps at Salzburg.
From the Thuringerwald a branch proceeds in a S.W. direction under various names along the eastern frontiers of Hesse Cassel and Hesse Darmstadt, and through Wirtemberg and Baden to the S. W. corner of Germany. The part which lies in Baden and Wirtemberg is called the Schwarzwald or Black Forest. A branch of the Schwarzwald proceeds along the southern frontiers of Wirtemberg and Bavaria, and is connected with the Alps at Salzburg
The Vosges mountains, which lie principally in France, penefrate for a short distance into that part of Germany lying west of the Rhine. Bohemia is separated from Moravia by a chain of mountains, sometimes called the Moravian mountains. Face of the Country. The northern half of Germany is gen
] erally level, the southern Kalf mountainous. All the country lying north of the chain of mouritains which runs from Hungary to the Rhine under the names of Riesengebirge, Erzgebirge, Fichtelgebirge, Thuringerwald, Hartz, &c. consists of immense plains. This tract includes the great eastern division of the Prussian dominions, Mecklenburg, Holstein and Lauenburg, the kingdom of Hanover, Oldenburg, Brunswick, Anhalt, a part of Saxony and a part of the territories of the house of Saxe. Along the shores of the Baltic and the North sea, the land is so Irw that expensive dikes or mounds are necessary to protect the country from idundation.
In the sonthern half of Germany. Bohemia forms a valley or basin surrounded on all sides by high mountains, having the Erzgebirge on the N. W. the Riesengebirge on the N. E. the mountains of Moravia on the S. E. and the Bohmerwald on the S. W. The only opening is in the north where the Elbe passes into Saxony after having received the waters of all parts of the valley. Bavaria, together with a part of Wirtemberg, forms another basin surrounded by mountains, baving on the N. the Fichtelgebirge, on the N. E. the Bohmerwald, on" the S. W. the Schwarzwald, on the S. and S. E. the chains which proceed from the Bohmerwald and Schwarzwald. and unite at Salzburg, and on the W. the chain which connects the Thuringerwald with the Schwarzwald.
Rivers.] The five principal rivers of Germany are the Oder, the Elbe, the Weser, ihe Rhine and the Danube. 1. The Oder, rises in Morayia in the mountains on its N. E. frontier, a little above Odrau,' and flowing in a N. W. direction through Silesia and several other Prussian provinces, passes by Ratibor, (where it becomes navigable) Oppein, Breslau, Frankfort and Stettin, and discharges itself into the Baltic through three mouths, which inclose between them the two islands of Wollin and Usedom. It is navigable to Breslau for vessels of considerable burden Its principal tributaries are the Oppå, the Neisse, the Bartsch, the Bober, and the Wurthe. 2. The Elbe rises in Bobemia in the Riesengebirge mountains, and after receiving the Iser, the Moldau, and ibe Eger, which bring with them the tribulary waters of the whole valley of Bohemia, pierces through an opening in the Erzgebirge mountains on the northern boundary, and flows in a N. W. direc. tion through Saxony, Prussia and Anhalt, and separating Hanover from Mecklenburg, Lauenburg and Holsteini, discharges itself by a broad mouth into the North sea, after a course of 500 miles. The most important towns on its banks are Dresden, Meissen, Torgau, Wittenburg, Magdeburg, Hamburg, and Glockstadt. It becomes navigable after the junction of the Moldau in Bohemia ; below Hamburg the navigation is difficult on account of the numerous sand-banks. Its principal tributaries after leaving Bc
bemia are the Schwartz Elster, the Mulde, the Saale, and especially the Havel, one of whose tributaries is the Spree. 3. The Weser, which is formed by the union of the Fulda and Werra at Munden, near the southero extremity of the kingdom of Hanover, flows in a direction west of north between Hanover and Hesse Cassel, Brunswick and the Prussian territories, and then through Lippe, the centre of Hanover, the free city of Bremen, and along the eastern boundary of Oldenburg till it discharges itself into the North sea.
Its principal tributaries are the Aller and Hunte. 4. T'he Rhine rises in Switzerland and terminates in the kingdom of the Netherlands, but the intermediate part of its course is ja Germany. At first it forms the boundary between Germany and Switzerland and then between Germany and France, but afterwards it runs wholly in Germany, forming the boundary between Baden and a detached territory of Bavaria, and passing through Hesse Darmstadt and the great westem division of Prussia. The principal tributaries which it receives in Germany are the Neckar, which rises in the Schwarzwald, receives the tributary waters of the northern half of Wirtemberg and falls into the Rbine at Manheim ; the Maine, which rises in the Fichtelgebirge, in the N. E. part of Bavaria, and running west receives the Regnitz from the south, and in its zigzag course passes by Schweinfurt, Wurzburg, Aschaffenburg, Hana, and Frankfort, and discharges itself into the Rhine opposite Mentz; and the Moselle, which rises in France and running through Luxemburg and the Prussian territorries joins the Rhine at Coblentz. The principal towns on the Rhine in Germany are Manheim, Worms, Mentz, Coblentz, Bonn, Cologne, and Dusseldorf. 5. The Danube rises in the Schwarzwald in Baden, near the S.W. corner of Germany, and flowing at first in a N. E. then in a S. E. and afterwards in an easterly direction, passes through Wirtemberg, Bavaria and Austria into Hungary. Among the towns on its banks are Sigmaringen, Ulm, (where it becomes navigable) Ingolstadt, Regensburg or Ratisbon, Passau, (where it passes through the mountains) Lintz, and Vien
Its principal tributaries from the south are the Nler, the Iser, the Inn, and the Ens : from the north the Altmuhl, the Regen, and the Morava or March which brings the tributary waters of nearly the whole of Moravia.
The principal streams which are not tributary to either of the five great rivers are, 1. The Ems, which rises in the Prussian territories, and flowing north through the kingdom of Hanover, discharges itself a little below Emden into the bay of Dollart at the N. W. corner of Germany. 2. The Trave, in Holstein, which passes by Lubeck and discharges itself into the Baltic at Travemunde. 3. The Reckenitz, which forms the boundary between Mecklenburg and Pomerania and discharges itself into a bay of the Baltic.
Climate.] The climate of the different parts of Germany depends not simply on the latitude, but also on the situation in reference to the great mountain ranges which intersect the country;
the tracts on the northern declivities of the mountains being generally much colder than those on the opposite side. The northern division, which lies at the foot of the Sudetic, Thuringerwald and Hartz mountains, and extends to the Baltic and German ocean, has a cold moist climate, unfriendly not only to the vine and southern fruits, but also to many of the more delicate grasses. The country on the south side of these mountains on the other hand, including Bohemia, a large part of Bavaria, the vallies of the Maine, the Neckar, and the Danube, has a mild climate, favorable to the growth of the vine, tobacco, and other plants which require a warm dry air. The valley of the Rhine, from the mouth of the Maine to the kingdom of the Netherlands, has a similar climate. On the other hand, the southern parts of Wirtemberg, Bavaria and Austria, lying on the northern side of the mountains which here extend under various names from Baden to Hungary, have a climate colder than that of the centre of Ger. manv, but much more mild than that of Prussia, Saxony and the other countries in the north of Germany.
Soil and Productions.] The soil is very various : sandy plains and barren heaths abound in the northeast, swamps and marshes in the northwest, but many of the interior and southwest parts are uncommonly fertile. The districts best fitted for pasture are in the N. W. particularly Oldenburg, Mecklenburg, Holstein and some parts of Hanover, and here accordingly,are found fine horses and oren. Sheep are more generally diffused, and in Saxony, where they have been improved by mixture with the Merino breed, the wool is said to be equal to the finest of Spain. Wine, though less generally made in Germany than in France, is very good in particular districts. Vineyards are found all along the banks of the Rhine from Basel to Mentz; in the vallies of the Maine, the Neckar, and the Moselle, in Bohemia and some of the other Austrian provinces. Wheat, barley, oats and other kinds of grain are almost everywhere raised in sufficient quantities for home-consumption, and in many districts there is a superabun dance. Flax, hemp, hops and madder are also extensively cultivated.
Minerals.] Iron, copper, tin, lead, silver, cobalt and bismuth are all supplied by the Erzgebirge chain in Saxony, and by the Hartz mountains in Hanover and Prussia. Fullers' earth and porcelain clay are found in the part of Saxony adjacent to Dresden, and form the basis of extensive manufactures. The mountainous provinces south of the Danube abound in iron. The mines of Idria, in the southern part of Austria, yield annually 5,000 cwt. of quicksilver. There are very rich salt mines in the vicinity of Salzburg. Coal is wrought in Saxony, the western division of Prussia, and in other provinces, but in many parts its place is supplied by peat or turf, and in the south the great majority of the coal mines are not wrought.
Population.] The population of Germany, according to the official return in 1818, was 30,091,849. In respect to rank, the inhabitants are divided into 3 classes ; the nobility of different gradations ; burghers, with various privileges; and peasants, who are generally free, but in some states are still in bondage. In some states also the clergy form a distinct class, and as such are represented in the state diets.
Religion.] In respect to religion the inhabitants are divided into 1. Catholics, more than 15,000,000. 2. Lutherans, more than 12,000,000. 3. Calvinists, 2,200,000. 4. Jews, 182,000. 5. Hernbutters, 25,000. 6. Greeks 14,000. Liberty of conscience has been for some time enjoyed in most of the states, but the Jews are in general under considerable restrictions. The Catholics are found principally in the south of Germany and the Protestants in the north.
Education. There are at present 21 universities in Germany, of which 13 are Protestant, 6 Catholic and 2 partly Catholic and partly Protestant. The most celebrated are those of Gottingen in Hanover, Leipsic in Saxony, Halle in Prussia, and Jepa in Saxe Weimar. The total pomber of students at all the universities is between 8,000 and 9,000. Gottingen is the most numerously attended, having above a tenth of the whole. Saxony is more distinguished for literature than any other part of Germany. The Catholic countries in the south, on the other hand, are remarkably deficient.
Literature.) Germany is the only country in the world where studying with a view to publish is the settled business of a life, and where authorship is considered a source of regular income. The number of new books annually published is far beyond that of any other country in Europe. The character of German literature bas of late been much discussed. It seems to be generally admitted, however, that in every thing which requires indefatigable re. search, and scrupulous accuracy, the Germans excel all other nations. No nation has produced such a number of good statistical works. They can also boast of a greater number of useful discoveries and inventions in the arts and sciences than any other people. We are indebted to them for the art of printing, and the invention of gunpowder and time-pieces.
Government.) Germany was formerly an empire, and contained above 300 secular and ecclesiastical princes, each independent in the administration of his own territory, but subject to the enperor as head of the empire. During the late convulsion in Europe, the empire was dissolved, and most of the lesser princes were deprived of their power, so that the number of independent states is now only 39 including the free cities. In 1815 a new confederation was formed, called the confederation of the sovereigns. and free towns of Germany. It includes the emperor of Austria and the king of Prussia for their German dominions, the king of Denmark for Holstein and Lauenburg, and the king of the Nethe erlands for the grand dutchy of Luxemburg. .
The object of the confederacy is the maintenance of the extera nal and internal security of Germany, and the independence and inviolability of the separate states. The regulation of its con