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Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 47 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANHALT, a duchy of Germany, and a constituent state of the German empire, formed, in 1863, by the amalgamation of the two duchies Anhalt-Dessau-Cothen and Anhalt-Bernburg, and comprising all the various Anhalt territories which were sundered apart in 1603. The country now known as Anhalt consists of two larger portions—Eastern and Western Anhalt, separated by the interposition of a part of Prussian Saxony—and of five enclaves surrounded by Prussian territory, viz. Alsleben, Muhlingen,Dornburg,Godnitz and Tilkerode-Abberode. The eastern and larger portion of the duchy is enclosed by the Prussian government district of Potsdam (in the Prussian province of Brandenburg), and Magdeburg and Merseburg (belonging to the Prussian province of Saxony). The western or smaller portion (the so-called Upper Duchy or Ballenstedt) is also enclosed by the two latter districts and, for a distance of 5 m. on the west, by the duchy of Brunswick. The western portion of the territory is undulating and in the extreme south-west, where it forms part of the Harz range, mountainous, the Ramberg peak attaining a height of 1900 ft. From the Harz the country gently shelves down to the Saale; and between this river and the Elbe there lies a fine tract of fertile country. The portion of the duchy lying east of the Elbe is mostly a flat sandy plain, with extensive pine forests, though interspersed, at intervals, by bog-land and rich pastures. The Elbe is the chief river, and intersecting the eastern portion of the duchy, from east to west, receives at Rosslau the waters of the Mulde. The navigable Saale takes a northerly direction through the western portion of the eastern part of the territory and receives, on the right, the Fuhne and, on the left, the Wipper and the Bode. The climate is on the whole mild, though somewhat inclement in the higher regions to the south-west. The area of the duchy is 906 sq. m., and the population in 1905 amounted to 328,007, a ratio of about 351 to the square mile. The country is divided into the districts of Dessau, Cothen, Zerbst, Bernburg and Ballenstedt, of which that of Bernburg is the most, and that of Ballenstedt the least, populated. Of the towns, four, viz. Dessau, Bernburg, Cothen and Zerbst, have populations exceeding 20,000. The inhabitants of the duchy, who mainly belong to the upper Saxon race, are, with the exception of about 12,000 Roman Catholics and 1700 Jews, members of the Evangelical (Union) Church. The supreme ecclesiastical authority is the consistory in Dessau; while a synod of 39 members, elected for six years, assembles at periods to deliberate on internal matters touching the organization of the church. The Roman Catholics are under the bishop of Paderborn. There are within the duchy four grammar schools (gymnasia), five semi-classical and modern schools, a teachers' seminary and four high-grade girls' schools. Of the whole surface, land under tillage amounts to about 6o, meadowland to 7 and forest to 25 %. The chief crops are corn (especially wheat), fruit, vegetables, potatoes, beet, tobacco, flax, linseed and hops. The land is well cultivated, and the husbandry on the royal domains and the large estates especially so. The pastures on the banks of the Elbe yield cattle of excellent quality. The forests are well stocked with game, such as deer and wild boar, and the open country is well supplied with partridges. The rivers yield abundant fish, salmon (in the Elbe), sturgeon and lampreys. The country is rich in lignite, and salt works are abundant. Of the manufactures of Anhalt, the chief are its sugar factories, distilleries, breweries and chemical works. Commerce is brisk, especially in raw products— corn, cattle, timber or wool. Coal (lignite), guano, oil and bricks are also articles of export. The trade of the country is furthered by its excellent roads, its navigable rivers and its railways (165 m.), which are worked in connexion with the Prussian system. There is a chamber of commerce in Dessau. Constitution.—The duchy, by virtue of a fundamental law, proclaimed on the 17th of September 1859 and subsequently modified by various decrees, is a constitutional monarchy. The duke, who bears the title of " Highness," wields the executive power while sharing the legislation with the estates. The diet (Landtag) is composed of thirty-six members, of whom two are appointed by the duke, eight are representatives of landowners paying the highest taxes, two of the highest assessed members of the commercial and manufacturing classes, fourteen of the other electors of the towns and ten of the rural districts. The representatives are chosen for six years by indirect vote and must have completed their twenty-fifth year. The duke governs through a minister of state, who is the praeses of all the departments—finance, home affairs, education, public worship and statistics. The budget estimates for the financial year 1905–r906 placed the expenditure of the estate at £1,323,437. The public debt amounted on the 3oth of June 1904 to £226,300. By convention with Prussia of 1867 the Anhalt troops form a contingent of the Prussian army. Appeal from the lowercourts of the duchy lies to the appeal court at Naumburg in Prussian Saxony. History.—During the r 1 th century the greater part of Anhalt was included in the duchy of Saxony, and in the 12th century it came under the rule of Albert the Bear, margrave of Brandenburg. Albert was descended from Albert, count of Ballenstedt, whose son Esico (d. 1059 or ro6o) appears to have been the first to bear the title of count of Anhalt. Esico's grandson, Otto the Rich, count of Ballenstedt, was the father of Albert the Bear, by whom Anhalt was united with the mark of Brandenburg. When Albert died in 1170, his son Bernard, who received the title of duke of Saxony in 11 8o, became count of Anhalt. Bernard died in 1212, and Anhalt, separated from Saxony, passed to his son Henry, who in 1218 took the title of prince and was the real founder of the house of Anhalt. On Henry's death in 1252 his three sons partitioned the principality and founded respectively the lines of Aschersleben, Bernburg and Zerbst. The family ruling in Aschersleben became extinct in 1315, and this district was subsequently incorporated with the neighbouring bishopric of Halberstadt. The last prince of the line of Anhalt-Bernburg died in 1468 and his lands were inherited by the princes of the sole remaining line, that of Anhalt-Zerbst. The territory belonging to this branch of the family had been divided in 1396, and after the acquisition of Bernburg Prince George I. made a further partition of Zerbst. Early in the 16th century, however, owing to the death or abdication of several princes, the family had become narrowed down to the two branches of Anhalt-Cothen and Anhalt-Dessau. Wolfgang, who became prince of Anhalt-Cothen in 15o8, was a stalwart adherent of the Reformation, and after the battle of Miihlberg in 1547 was placed under the ban and deprived of his lands by the emperor Charles V. After the peace of Passau in 1552 he bought back his principality, but as he was childless he surrendered it in 1562 to his kinsmen the princes of Anhalt-Dessau. Ernest I. of Anhalt-Dessau (d. 1516) left three sons, John II., George III., and Joachim, who ruled their lands together for many years, and who, like Prince Wolfgang, favoured the reformed doctrines, which thus became dominant in Anhalt. About 1546 the three brothers divided their principality and founded the lines of Zerbst, Plotzkau and Dessau. This division, however, was only temporary, as the acquisition of Cothen, and a series of deaths among the"ruling princes, enabled Joachim Ernest, a son of John II., to unite the whole of Anhalt under his rule in 1570. Joachim Ernest died in 1586 and his five sons ruled the land in common until 1603, when Anhalt was again divided, and the lines of Dessau, Bernburg, Plotzkau, Zerbst and Cothen were refounded. The principality was ravaged during the Thirty Years' War, and in the earlier part of this struggle Christian I. of Anhalt-Bernburg took an important part. In 1635 an arrangement was made by the various princes of Anhalt, which gave a certain authority to the eldest member of the family, who was thus able to represent the principality as a whole. This proceeding was probably due to the necessity of maintaining an appearance of unity in view of the disturbed state of European politics. In 1665 the branch of Anhalt-Cothen became extinct, and according to a family compact this district was inherited by Lebrecht of Anhalt-Plotzkau, who surrendered Plotzkau to Bernburg,and took the title of prince ofAnhalt- Cothen. In the same year the princes of Anhalt decided that if any branch of the family became extinct its lands should be equally divided between the remaining branches. This arrangement was carried out after the death of Frederick Augustus of Anhalt-Zerbst in 1793, and Zerbst was divided between the three remaining princes. During these years the policy of the different princes was marked, perhaps intentionally, by considerable uniformity. Once or twice Calvinism was favoured by a prince, but in general the house was loyal to the doctrines of Luther. The growth of Prussia provided Anhalt with a formidable neighbour, and the establishment and practice of primogeniture by all branches of the family prevented further divisions of the principality. In 18o6 Alexius of Anhalt-Bernburg was created a duke by the emperor Francis II., and after the dissolution of the Empire each of the three princes took this title. Joining the Confederation of the Rhine in 1807, they supported Napoleon until 1813, when they transferred their allegiance to the allies; in 1815 they became members of the Germanic Confederation, and in 1828 joined, somewhat reluctantly, the Prussian Zollverein. Anhalt-Cothen was ruled without division by a succession of princes, prominent among whom was Louis (d. 1650), who was both a soldier and a scholar; and after the death of Prince Charles at the battle of Semlin in 1789 it passed to his son Augustus II. This prince sought to emulate the changes which had recently been made in France by dividing Cothen into two departments and introducing the Code Napoleon. Owing to his extravagance he left a large amount of debt to his nephew and successor, Louis II., and on this account the control of the finances was transferred from the prince to the estates. Under Louis's successor Ferdinand, who was a Roman Catholic and brought the Jesuits into Anhalt, the state of the finances grew worse and led to the interference of the king of Prussia and to the appointment of a Prussian official. When the succeeding prince, Henry, died in 1847, this family became extinct, and according to an arrangement between the lines of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Bernburg, Cothen was added to Dessau. Anhalt-Bernburg had been weakened by partitions, but its princes had added several districts to their lands; and in 1812, on the extinction of a cadet branch, it was again united under a single ruler. The feeble rule of Alexander Charles, who became duke in 1834, and the disturbed state of Europe in the following decade, led to considerable unrest, and in 1849 Bernburg was occupied by Prussian troops. A number of abortive attempts were made to change the government, and as Alexander Charles was unlikely to leave any children, Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau took some part in the affairs of Bernburg. Eventually in 1859 a new constitution was established for Bernburg and Dessau jointly, and when Alexander Charles died in 1863 both were united under the rule of Leopold. Anhalt-Dessau had been divided in 1632, but was quickly reunited; and in 1693 it came under the rule of Leopold I. (see ANHALT-DESSAU, LEOPOLD I., PRINCE OF),the famous soldier who was generally known as the " Old Dessauer." The sons of Leopold's eldest son were excluded from the succession on account of the marriage of their father being morganatic, and the principality passed in 1747 to his second son, Leopold II. The unrest of 1848 spread to Dessau, and led to the interference of the Prussians and to the establishment of the new constitution in 1859. Leopold IV., who reigned from 1817 to 1871, had the satisfaction in 1863 of reuniting the whole of Anhalt under his rule. He took the title of duke of Anhalt, summoned one Landtag for the whole of the duchy, and in 1866 fought for Prussia against Austria. Subsequently a quarrel over the possession of the ducal estates between the duke and the Landtag broke the peace of the duchy, but this was settled in 1872. In 1871 Anhalt became a state of the German Empire. Leopold IV. was followed by his son Frederick I., and on the death of this prince in 1904 his son Frederick II. became duke of Anhalt. ANHALT-DESSAU, LEOPOLD I., PRINCE OF (1676-1747), called the "Old Dessauer" (Alter Dessauer), general field marshal in the Prussian army, was the only surviving son of John George II., prince of Anhalt-Dessau, and was born on the 3rd of July 1676 at Dessau. From his earliest youth he was devoted to the profession of arms, for which he educated himself physically and mentally..He became colonel of a Prussian regiment in 1693, and in the same year his father's death placed him at the head of his own principality; thereafter, during the whole of his long life, he performed the duties of a sovereign prince and a Prussian officer. His first campaign was that of 1695 in the Netherlands, in which he was present at the siege of Namur. He remained in the fieldto the end of the war of 1697, the affairs of the principality being managed chiefly by his mother, Princess Henriette Catherine of Orange. In 1698 he married Anna Luise Fose, an apothecary's daughter of Dessau, in spite of his mother's long and earnest opposition, and subsequently he procured for her the rank of a princess from the emperor (1701). Their married life was long and happy, and the princess acquired an influence over the stern nature of her husband which she never ceased to exert on behalf of his subjects, and after the death of Leopold's mother she performed the duties of regent when he was absent on campaign. Often, too, she accompanied him into the field. Leopold's career as a soldier in important commands begins with the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession. He had made many improvements in the Prussian army, notably the introduction of the iron ramrod about 1700, and he now took the field at the head of a Prussian corps on the Rhine, serving at the sieges of Kaiserswerth and Venlo. In the following year (1703), having obtained the rank of lieutenant-general, Leopold took part in the siege of Bonn and distinguished himself very greatly in the battle of Hochstadt, in which the Austrians and their allies were defeated by the French under Marshal Villars (September 20,1703). In the campaign of 1704 the Prussian contingent served under Prince Louis of Baden and subsequently under Eugene, and Leopold himself won great glory by his conduct at Blenheim. In 1705 he was sent with a Prussian corps to join Prince Eugene in Italy, and on the 16th of August he displayed his bravery at the hard-fought battle of Cassano. In the following year he added to his reputation in the battle of Turin, where he was the first to enter the hostile entrenchments (September 7, 1706). He served in one more campaign in Italy, and then went with Eugene to join Marlborough in the Netherlands, being present in 1709 at the siege of Tournay and the battle of Malplaquet. In 1710 he succeeded to the command of the whole Prussian contingent at the front, and in 1712, at the particular desire of the crown prince, Frederick William, who had served with him as a volunteer, he was made a general field marshal. Shortly before this he had executed a coup de main on the castle of Mors, which was held by the Dutch in defiance of the claims of the king of Prussia to the possession. The operation was effected with absolute precision and the castle was seized without a shot being fired. In the earlier part of the reign of Frederick William I., the prince of Dessau was one of the most influential members of the Prussian governing circle. In the war with Sweden (1715) he accompanied the king to the front, commanded an army of 40,000 men, and met and defeated Charles XII. in a severe battle on the island of Rtfgen (November 16). His conduct of the siege of Stralsund which followed was equally skilful,and the great results of the war to Prussia were largely to be attributed to his leader-ship in the campaign. In the years of peace,and especially after a court quarrel (1725) and duel with General von Grumbkow, he devoted himself to the training of the Prussian army. The reputation it had gained in the wars of 1675 to 1715, though good, gave no hint of its coming glory, and it was even in 1740 accounted one of the minor armies of Europe. That it proved, when put to the test, to be by far the best military force existing, may be taken as the summary result of Leopold's work. The "Old Dessauer" was one of the sternest disciplinarians in an age of stern discipline, and the technical training of the infantry, under his hand, made them superior to all others in the proportion of five to three (see AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, WAR OF THE). He was essentially an infantry soldier; in his time artillery did not decide battles, but he suffered the cavalry service, in which he felt little interest, to be comparatively neglected, with results which appeared at Mollwitz. Frederick the Great formed the cavalry of Hohenfriedberg and Leuthen himself, but had it not been for the incomparable infantry trained by the " Old Dessauer" he would never have had the opportunity of doing so. Thus Leopold, heartily sup-ported by Frederick William, who was himself called the great drill-master of Europe, turned to good account the twenty, years following the peace with Sweden. During this time two incidents in his career call for special mention: first, his intervention in the case of the crown prince Frederick, who was condemned to death for desertion, and his continued and finally successful efforts to secure Frederick's reinstatement in the Prussian army; and secondly, his part in the War of the Polish Succession on the Rhine, where he served under his old chief Eugene and held the office of field marshal of the Empire. With the death of Frederick William in 1740. Frederick succeeded to the Prussian throne, and a few months later took place the invasion and conquest of Silesia, the first act in the long Silesian wars and the test of the work of the "Old Dessauer's" lifetime. The prince himself was not often employed in the king's own army, though his sons held high commands under Frederick. The king, indeed, found Leopold, who was reputed, since the death of Eugene, the greatest of living soldiers, somewhat difficult to manage, and the prince spent most of the campaigning years up to 1745 in command of an army of observation on the Saxon frontier. Early in that year his wife died. He was now over seventy, but his last campaign was destined to be the most brilliant of his long career. A combined effort of the Austrians and Saxons to retrieve the disasters of the summer by a winter campaign towards Berlin itself led to a hurried concentration of the Prussians. Frederick from Silesia checked the Austrian main army and hastened towards Dresden. But before he had arrived, Leopold, no longer in observation, had decided the war by his overwhelming victory of Kesselsdorf (December 14, 1745). It was his habit to pray before battle, for he was a devout Lutheran. On this last field his words were, " 0 Lord God, let me not be disgraced in my old clays. Or if Thou wilt not help me, do not help these scoundrels, but leave us to try it ourselves." With this great victory Leopold's career ended. He retired from active service, and the short remainder of his life was spent at Dessau, where he died on the 7th of April 1747. He was succeeded by his son, LEOPOLD II., MAXIMILIAN, PRINCE OF ANIIALT-DESSAU (1700-1751), who was one of the best of Frederick's subordinate generals, and especially distinguished himself by the capture of Glogau in 1741, and his generalship at Mollwitz, Chotusitz (where he was made general field marshal on the field of battle), Hohenfriedberg and Soor. Another son, PRINCE DIETRICH OF ANHALT-DESSAU (d. 1769), was also a distinguished Prussian general. But the most famous of the sons was PRINCE MORITZ OF ANHALT-DESSAU (1712-1760), who entered the Prussian army in 1725, saw his first service as a volunteer in the War of the Polish Succession (1734-35), and in the latter years of the reign of Frederick William held important commands. In the Silesian wars of Frederick II., Moritz, the ablest of the old Leopold's sons, greatly distinguished himself, especially at the battle of Hohenfriedberg (Striegau), .1745. At Kesselsdorf it was the wing led by the young Prince Moritz that carried the Austrian lines and won the "Old Dessauer's" last fight. In the years of peace preceding the Seven Years' War, Moritz was employed by Frederick the Great in the colonizing of the waste lands of Pomerania and the Oder Valley. When the king took the field again in 1756, Moritz was in command of one of the columns which hemmed in the Saxon army in the lines of Pirna, and he received the surrender of Rutowski's force after the failure of the Austrian attempts at relief. Next year Moritz underwent changes of fortune. At the battle of Kolin he led the left wing, which, through a misunderstanding with the king, was prematurely drawn into action and failed hopelessly. In the disastrous days which followed, Moritz was under the cloud of Frederick's displeasure. But the glorious victory of Leuthen (December 5, 1757) put an end to this. At the close of that day, Frederick rode down the lines and called out to General Prince Moritz, "I congratulate you, Herr Feldmarschall I" At Zorndorf he again distinguished himself, but at the surprise of Hochkirch fell wounded into the hands of the Austrians. Two years later, soon after his release, his wound proved mortal.
End of Article: ANHALT

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