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57° 35' N. The Dwina and the Nieper separated it from Russia, the Niester from Turkey, and the Carpathian mountains from Hungary.
Lithuania, the northeastern part of Poland, was formerly an independent state with the tiile of a Grand Dutchy. In 1569, it was made an integral part of Poland, and the king of Poland was constituted ex-officio the grand duke of Lithuania.
About 1320 Gedimin, grand duke of Lithuania, conquered from Russia, Smolensk, Polotsk, Tver, Witepsk, and Kiow, with the Slobodian Ukraine east of the Nieper. Several of these were reconquered in 1477. About 1600 Russia lost to Poland Smolensk, Mohilew and Tschernigow. Kiow and the Ukraine were reclaim. ed by Russia in 1655 ; at the first dismemberment in 1773, Smolensk, Witepsk, Mohilew and Polish Livonia. In 1793 the second division of this country took place between Russia, Prussia, and Austria ; and in 1795 the kingdom was annihilated.
By the first partition in 1773, Russia gained about 1,500,000 inhabiiants, Austria 2,500,000, and Prussia 860,000. By the final partition, Russia gained 4,592,544, Austria 2,075,686, and Prussia 1,037,742. The whole gain of Russia was therefore about 6,100,000 ; that of Austria 4,600,000; and that of Prussia 1,900,000; making a total of about 12,500,000 inhabitants. The territory acquired by Russia was far the most extensive ; that of Prussia the most commercial,
The Poles were divided into four classes, nobles, clergy, citizens, and peasants. All who possessed freehold estates, and all who were descended from such were nobles. The clergy were numerous and amenable to the civil power. The burghers were the inhabitants of towns; they had no right to vote for the nuntios. The peasants were slaves, transferable like cattle from one master to another.
The Poles are said to be the handsomest nation in Europe. Their law of divorce and various other causes had however before the final dismemberment greatly corrupted their morals.
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THIS kingdom, which only commenced with the eighteenth century, by gradual accessions became so extensive, as deserved. ly to rank till lately among the first powers of Europe. The dominions of Prussia were small and scattered, till the acquisition of Silesia, and afterwards of a third part of Poland, gave a wide basis to the monarchy. But in 1807 it was reduced to the level of a petty German principality.
Extent. The territories of Prussia, before the acquisitions in Poland, were estimated at 56,414 square miles, with a population of 5,62 1,400.
Prussia now reaches from the Elbe, near Magdeburg, to the Niennen. Its seacoast on the Baltic is entire except the district of
from Roy untains is
terly an as 1569, its
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Dantzic. The acquisitions from Poland are all lost. Its present
Divisions. These with the population are stated by Hassel in
Square Miles Population by census. Estimated do
1. PRUSSIA PROPER. | East Prussia
8,964 555,143 2 Lithuania
6,466 397,889 1802 3 West Prussia
ere reche 1773. Sa
and Pos pre LK ,9001 ritoτέλα USSIAL
15,102 2,021,059 in 1805 2,050,000
3. DutchY OF POMERANIA.
} 1803, 501,311
Religion. The religion of Prussia is the protestant, under its two chief divisions of Lutheran and Calvinistic. The universal toleration wisely embraced by the Prussian monarchs, has had its usual effect of abating theological enmity, and the different sects seem to live in perfect concord.
Government, &cPrussia is an absolute government; but the spirit and good sense of the nation unite with the wisdom and mild. ness of successive monarchs, (who have uniformly wished to invite foreign sectlers be views of ease and freedom, instcad of ex.
pelling their own people by rigor,) to render the sovereignty as conciliatory, and perhaps more beneiicent, than if joined with 2 venal senate. The late great monarch reformed many abuses in the laws; but it cannot be disguised that the tenor of his government was too military, a fault inherent in the Prussian system.
Army. The army of Prussia, in 1806, amounted to 239,667 men.
The unfortunate monarch in 1808 had only from 60,000 10 80,000 men, and of these only 20,000 were equipped and ready for service.
Revenues. In 1808, the revenues amounted to 26,300,000 guilders, or about 13,150,000 dollars. Before the peace of Tilsit the revenue was annually from 56 to 58,000,000 guilders. The debt of Prussia is stated by Hassel at 50,000,000 guilders.
Population. The number of inhabitants in Prussia, in 1808 after the peace of Tilsit, was, according to Hassel's tables, 5,030,000. The number of houses was 516,600 ; of cities 431; of market towns 8l; of villages 20,687.
Prussia lost to the kingdom of Westphalia 602,119 inhabitants; to the grand dutchy: of Berg 266,436; to Bavaria 316,141 ; to France about 478,000; to the New Hanse Towns about 84,000; to the kingdom of Saxony about 2,777,000; and to Russia about 183,300. Sotzian, a Gorman writer, estimates the total logs at 4,805,090, which differs but little from the preceding statementand estimates of Hassel.
Manners and Customs. Travellers have remarked that in comparison with the Saxons, who are a lively and contented people, the Prussians appear dull and gloomy; a character which they impute partly to the military government, and partly to the general anxiety which must have been excited by the repeated dangers to which their country was exposed, when contending with the powers of Russia and Austria.
Language. The ruling language of Prussia is the German.
Literature. The literature of Prussia is of recent origin. Dantzic was the native country of Cluverius, an eminent geographer; and Copernicus, a great name in astronomy, was- born at Thorn. Frederic the Great wrote in French, and is classed among the most distinguished authors of his kingdom, as is count Hertsberg, his minister. Among the other names, either natives or who fourished in Prussia, may be mentioned Ramler the poet, Nicolai an original writer of romances, &c. Busching the geographer, Spalding, and Mendelsolin.
Education. Education in this country is much neglected. The number of recruits wanted for the army, and the consequent uncertainly of destination for life, greatly impede the national instruction.
Universities. There are two universities, that of Frankfort ou the (der, and that of Konigsberg, founded in 1544.
Ciiies and Towns. Berlin, the largest of all the Prussian cities, and the second in Germany, is built on the banks of the Spree, in lat. 529.31' 44" N. and lon. 13° 28' E. It is chiefly built on a
barren sandy plain, much exposed to dust. A part of it however stands upon iwo islands in the river. It is 4 miles long and 3 broad, containing, in 1804, 156,664 inhabitants, and 7241 houses. The houses are uncommonly beautiful from without, but the finishing within does not correspond with the elegance of the exterior. The strects are regular and of convenient breadth. There are 14 Lutheran churches, 10 Calvinistic, and i Catholic, all strangely decorated with Mercuries, Apollus, Minervas, and Cupids. The town is surrounded by a wall and palisadoes. The average of temperature for 13 years, from 1769 to 1782, was 49 degrees. There is a free communication by canals, with the Oder and the Elbe.
Konigsberg is well fortified. It stands on the Pregel near its entrance into the Frisch-Haff, and maintains a considerable commerce with the Baltic. It contained 4508 houses in 1802, and 56,410 inhabitants. It is the capital of Prussia Proper.
Breslau, the capital of Silesia, has long been celebrated, as one of the most beautiful cities of Germany. It stands upon the S. bank of the Oder, in lat. 51 3 N. lon. 17 8 45 E. and contained in 1805, 62,923 inhabitants and 3338 bouscs, The town is not less than 8 miles in length. There are 9 Lutheran churches, 1 Calvinistic, 1 Greek, several Catholic, and 2 Jewish synagogues.
Elbing is in West Prussia, on an arm of the Vistula, called the river Elbing, a short distance from the Frisch-Haff, in lat. 54 7 54 N. lon. 10.27 27 E. Houses in 1802, 2159. Population 19,274. Its commerce has always been considerable. In 1803, it owned 7110 tons of shipping, besides 50 coasters and 25 lighters, employed to take cargoes to the large ships at Pillau. Vessels of 100 tons come up to the town.
Stettin stands upon the Oder, in lat. 53 25 36 N. The river here divides into 4 branches. The town carries on an extensive commerce, and contained in 1802, 1594 louses, and 18,463 inhabitants.
Potsdam, a recent city, is built on an island in the'llavel, in lat. 52 24 43 N. and lon. 13 10 31 E. No expense has been spared in its decorations. The inhabitants; in 1802, amounted to 17,992 ; the houses to 1959. It was till lately the favorite residence of the Prussian monarchs. .
Bradenburg is also on the Havel, 31 miles from Berlin. Inhab. itants in 1802, 10,329. Houses 1485.
Frankfort on the Oder, is in Middlemark, 48 miles E. of Berlin. It contained in 1802, 1314 houses, and 10,291 inhabitants.
Manufacturer and Commerce. If we except the linens of Silesia, the manufactures of the Prussian dominions are of small importance. Yet they afford for home consumption, glass, iron, brass, paper, and woollen cloth; and silk. Even the exports of Dantzic consist almost entirely of timber', corn, tallow, and similar articles,
If we except the ancient staple of grain, so abundant in the level plains of Poland, the commerce of Prussia is comparatively oi but Jitle consequence. Amber is by nature constituied a monopoly
of the country, but fashion has rendered this branch of commeret insignificant. Yet among the considerable exports may be named excellent timber of all kinds, skins, leather, flax, and hemp, madder, linseed, pearlash, and every species of grain ; nor must the Jinens of Silesia be passed in silence, many of which are sent into Holland, and sold under the game of Dutch manufacture. In return Prussia receives wine, and other products of more southern and favored coun es.
Climate and Seasons. The climate of the Prussian dominions is, upon the whole, cold and moist. Prussia proper has about 8 months of winter, the autumns being often deluged with rain. The lower parts of Silesia are regarded as the most healthy and fertile provinces of the monarchy; but the southern and western parts of that dutchy, bordering on elevated mountains, long covered with snow, are exposed even in summer 10 severe freezing gales.
Face of the Country. Prussia proper displays superior fertility, a character which may also be extended to Prussian Poland, an immense plain. Silesia displays a picasing diversity, being level and open towards Poland, but separated from Hungary on the S. by the Carpathian mountains, a branch of which proceeding N. W. divides this country from Moravia and Bohemia. It is every where watered by the Oder and its tributary streams: nor is there any deficiency of rivers in the other parts of the Prussian sova ereignty.
Soil and Agriculture. Agricultural improvements are little known. Brandenburg produces buck wheat and turnips, with scanty crops of rye. Prussia proper, and the Polish provinces display every kind of grain, and esculent plant, that can flourish under sạch a latitude ; and among the productions of Silesia must be classed maize, and even vines, but the wine is of inferior quality.
Rivers. Among the chief rivers of the Prussian dominions may be first mentioned the Elbe, which rises in the south of Bohemia, and pervades the dutchy of Magdeburg. The Spree, which passes by Berlin, falls into the Havel, a tributary of the Elbe. The Oder may be regarded as a viver entirely Prussian ; it rises in the mountains of Moravia, and, after watering Silesia, Brandenburg, and Po. merania, joins the Baltic, after a course of about 350 miles. Next appears another noble stream, the Vistula, which, rising in the Carpathian mountains, passes Warsav. and joins the sea near Danizic, after a circuit of about 450 miles. The Pregel, passing by Konigsberg, springs from some lakcs and marshes in Prussian Poland ; and ihe Memel, a superior river, now forms in part the Prussian boundary on the east.
Lakes. The lakes in the Prussian dominions are numerous, especially in the eastern part, where among others may be mentioned the Spelding See, which, with its creeks, extends more alian twenty miles in every direction,
Mountains. The only mountains in the Prussian dominions are those of Silesia. The mountains in the S. and W. of this province