« AnteriorContinuar »
Norway. It has been estimated that two-thirds of Sweden are occupied by lakes, mountains, and forests.
CLIMATE. Its latitude renders it a cold country; but its peninsular form makes its winters less severe than in the corresponding latitudes of Russian Siberia, or even than in some parts of Germany. The winter, though rigorous, is pleasant and salubrious; the cold is not felt to be excessive, except when the wind blows over the mountainous regions of Siberia, or from the ice-fields of the north. Winter is the most favourable season for commercial activity and social enterprize; the hard snow and ice affording an easy passage over the rugged country and lakes and rivers. The heat of their short summers is very great, owing to the length of time the sun continues above the horizon, and vegetable life passes through its various stages with astonishing rapidity. At the North Cape the sun, in summer, does not set for upwards of ten weeks; the accumulated heat is such that mosquitoes and other troublesome insects crowd the air. Spring and autumn are both unknown.
COMMERCE. The chief wealth of Sweden arises from its mines. Swedish iron is of very superior quality, and with timber forms the chief article of export. Its timber is inferior to that from the southern parts of the Baltic. In the silver mines at Kongsberg large masses of native metal* have been found. Its imports consist of colonial produce and British manufactured goods. Fish salted or
* By native metal is meant the pure metal found naturally. Most of the metals are met with in the earth in a state of combination with other substances; thus, copper and quicksilver are generally taken from the mine in the form of ores which consist of sulphur and copper, or sulphur and quicksilver, and require to undergo the process of reduction ; when they are found in the pure state they are said to be native.
dried in the open air is the chief export from Norway; it is sent in large quantities to Spain, Italy, and other Roman Catholic countries. The lobster fishery is conducted on a great scale; upwards of 1,200,000 lobsters are sent annually to London. Norway imports colonial produce, manufactured goods, and also corn, the soil and climate being unfavourable to the growth of grain.
PROVINCES. Sweden is divided into Sweden Proper, Gothland, West Norland, Swedish Lapland, and West Bothnia. Finland and East Bothnia are now united to Russia. The provinces of Norway are, Christiansand, Aggerhuus, Bergen, Drontheim, Nordland, and Finmark.
TOWNS. Stockholm, the capital, is situated on Lake Mæler, at its junction with
the Baltic; it is a handsome city, and is built upon several islands : it has an excellent harbour: it possesses half the foreign trade of Sweden, and is the principal manufacturing town of the kingdom,
Pop. 85,000. Christiana, the capital of Norway, at the head of an inlet of the
Skager Rack. Its university is an important one. Gottenburg, Sweden, on the Kattegat; a large and commercial city:
its trade with England is extensive. Upsal, the ancient capital of Sweden, is the only archbishop's see in
the kingdom, and is celebrated for its university, in which Linnæus,
the great naturalist, was once professor. Bergen, situated on the western extremity of the country, is the first
commercial city of Norway. Carlscrona, nearly at the southern extremity of Sweden, is the prin
cipal dépôt of the Swedish navy. Gefle, on the Gulf of Bothnia ; Norkioping, on the Baltic; Malmo,
on the Sound; and Drontheim, on an inlet of the ocean, are seaports of some trade.
COLONIAL POSSESSIONS. St. Bartholomew, in the West Indies.
Though the most extensive empire in Europe, except Russia, its total population is only about five millions.
GOVERNMENT, ETC. Though Sweden and Norway form one geographical region, and are under the same monarch, they possess different constitutions. Both have the form of a free government. In Sweden, the legislative assembly para takes more of an aristocratic, and in Norway of a democratic character. The present king is Oscar II. The religion is Lutheran.
legislative way of a. The
The Swedes and Norwegians are quick of apprehension, lively, frank, and of unflinching fidelity; the higher classes are polished in their manners, the lower are simple, industrious, and hospitable. This is said to be a well-educated country. Linnæus was a Swede.
ANIMALS. The most formidable of its wild animals are the bear and the wolf. The elk is now a rare animal. The eagle and the falcon are frequent in the northern parts. The eider duck abounds on the shores of Norway, whence half of the down that is used is supplied. The domestic animals are small but hardy. The rein-deer constitutes the chief wealth of the inhabitants of Lapland, where it abounds.
ANCIENT NAME. Scandinavia, but it was little known to the ancients.
BOUNDARIES. N. by the Arctic Ocean.-E. by Asia.-S. by the Black Sea and Turkey.-W. by Austria, Prussia, the Baltic and Sweden.
The boundary line between Europe and Asia has been variously laid down, the following is perhaps the most natural. The Ural mountains; the river Ural, throughout its whole course; the Caspian Sea, from the mouth of the river Ural to the mouth of the river Kuma; the river Kuma, and the river Kuban, then complete the line as far as the Black Sea.
The river Dniester was long the boundary between the Russians and the Turks; the Russians have, by their conquests, extended their territories as far as the Pruth and the Danube.
EXTENT. It lies between 44o and 690 N. lat., and 20° and 60°E. long. Its length is 1,700 miles, and its breadth 1,500. It contains 1,600,000 square miles.
Though European Russia occupies the half of the continent of Europe, this is but a small part of the whole Russian empire, which extends to the extreme limits of Asia on the east, and is bounded by Tartary and Mongolia on the south. The Russian is the most extensive empire that was ever comprised under one government; it spreads over nearly three times the space occupied by the dominions of Rome.
COAST LINE AND ISLANDS. Russia has but a small portion of coast line, yet it has ports on the White, Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas.
The islands of Nova Zembla (or New Land) in the Frozen Ocean, and of Osel, Dago, and Aland, in the Baltic, belong to Russia.
MOUNTAINS AND PLAINS. The Ural mountains extend for 1,200 miles between the two continents; but probably do not attain an elevation exceeding 8,000 feet. The mountains of Valdai are in the west, and give rise to the Wolga and other rivers. A distinguishing feature of Russia is its immense plains, called steppes. The most noted are the following. 1. The marshy desert between the Petchora and the Dwina. 2. A sandy plain interspersed with salt lakes, between the Dnieper, the Don, and the Azof. 3. The plain bounded by the Wolga and the Ural, stretching to the Caspian.
RIVERS, Russia is distinguished for its majestic rivers. Next in importance to the Wolga, the prince of European rivers,
is the Don, which rises to the south of Moscow and falls into the Sea of Azof, after a course of 1,080 miles. The Dnieper, the ancient Boristhenes, rises in the government of Smolensk, in the immediate vicinity of the sources of the Wolga, the Baltic Dwina, and the Don, and after a course of 1,000 miles, falls into the Black Sea at Cherson. This river flows through some of the most fertile provinces of the empire, but its navigation is much impeded by cataracts. The Dwina, formed by two branches which rise in the government of Vologda, pursues a course of 400 miles through a cold marshy region to the White Sea at Archangel. The Petchora falls into the Arctic Sea. The Neva connects Lake Ladoga with the Gulf of Finland. The principal lakes are Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe, Onega, the next in size, and Tchudsk or Peypus.
CLIMATE. Russia presents all the various climates in Europe, from that of the frozen regions of Lapland to the mild temperature of Italy.
The northern Dwina is frozen for half the year; the Neva from November to April; the rivers of the central parts are always frozen during winter, whilst the rivers and streams of the south are dried up during the summer. The usual extreme of heat at St. Petersburg, is 90° Fahr., and of cold 20° below zero.
COMMERCE. The commerce and manufactures of Russia have been increasing ever since the time of Peter the Great. Its facilities for commerce are very great. Besides having ports on seas so widely apart, the extent of its internal navigation contributes to its prosperity. By means partly of rivers and partly of canals, St. Petersburg is connected with the Caspian Sea. The iron and furs of Siberia, and the teas of China, are received in the same way,