See also:Holland, bounded S. by Belgium, W. and N.W. by the
See also:Scheldt, the Eendracht, the Volkerak and the Hollandsch Diep, which
See also:separate it from Zealand and South Holland, N. and N . E. by the Merwede and
See also:Maas, which separate it from South Holland and Gelderland, and E. by the province of Limburg . It has an
See also:area of 231 sq.m. and a pop . (1900) of 553,842 . The
See also:surface of the province is a gentle slope from the south-east (where it ranges between 8o and 16o ft. in height) towards the
See also:north and north-west, and the
See also:soil is composed of diluvial sand, here and there mixed with
See also:gravel, but giving place to
See also:clay along the western boundary and
See also:river-clay along the
See also:banks of the Maas and smaller
See also:rivers . The
See also:watershed is formed by the north-eastern edge of the Belgian
See also:plateau of Campine, and follows a curved
See also:drawn through
See also:Turnhout and
See also:Maastricht . The landscape consists for the most
See also:part of waste stretches of heath, occasionally slightly overlaid with high fen . Between the valleys of the Aa and the Maas lies the long stretch of heavy high-fen called the Peel (" marshy
See also:land ") . Deurne, a few
See also:miles east of
See also:Helmond, the site of a prehistoric
See also:burial-ground, was an early fen colony . The
See also:work of reclamation was removed farther eastwards to Helenaveen in the second
See also:half of the 19th century .
See also:Agriculture (potatoes,
See also:rye) is the
See also:industry, generally combined with
See also:cattle-raising . On the clay lands wheat and
See also:barley are the
See also:principal products, and in the western corner of the province beetroot is largely cultivated for the
See also:sugar industry, factories being found at Bergen-op-Zoom, Steenbergen and Oudenbosch .
There is a
See also:special cultivation of hops in the
See also:district north-west of 's Hertogenbosch . The large majority of the population is
See also:Roman Catholic . The earliest development of towns and villages took place along the river Maas and its tributaries, and the fortified Roman camps which were the origin of maw such afterwards
See also:developed in the hands of feudal lords . The chief
See also:town of the province, 's Hertogenbosch, may be cited as an interesting
See also:historical example . Geertruidenberg, Heusden, Ravestein and
See also:Grave are all similarly situated .
See also:Breda is the next town in importance to the capital . Bergen-op-Zoom had originally a more maritime importance . Rozendaal,
See also:Eindhoven and Bokstel (or Boxtel) are important railway junctions . Bokstel was formerly the seat of an
See also:barony which came into the possession of
See also:Philip the
See also:Good in 1439 . The
See also:castle was restored in
See also:modern times . The
See also:precarious position of the province on the
See also:borders of the
See also:country doubtless militated against an earlier
See also:industrial development, but since the separation from Belgium and the construction of roads,
See also:railways and canals there has been a general improvement,
See also:Tilburg, Eindhoven and Helmond all having risen into prominence in modern times as industrial centres .
See also:Leather-tanning and
See also:shoe-making are especially associated with the district called Langstraat, which is situated between Geertruidenberg and 's Hertogenbosch, and consists of a series of industrial villages along the course of the Old Maas .
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