Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 263 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
COMTE DE MAURICE SAXE (1696-1750), marshal of France, was the natural son of Augustus II. of Saxony and the countess Aurora Kenigsmark, and was born at Goslar on the 28th of October 1696. In 1698 the countess sent him to Warsaw to his father, who had been elected king of Poland in the previous year, but on account of the unsettled condition of the country the greater part of his youth was spent outside its limits. This separation from his father made him independent of control and had an important effect on his future career. At the age of twelve he was present, with the army of Eugene, at the sieges of Tournay and Mons and the battle of Malplaquet, but the achievements ascribed to. him in this campaign are chiefly fabulous. A proposal to send him at the close of it to a Jesuit college at Brussels was relinquished on account of the protests of his mother; and, returning to the camp of the allies in the beginning of 1710, he displayed a courage so impetuous as to call forth from Eugene the friendly admonition not to confound rashness with valour. He next served under Peter the Great against the Swedes. After receiving in 1711 formal recognition from his father, with the rank of count, he accompanied him to Pomerania, and in 1712 he took part in the siege of Stralsund. In manhood he bore a strong resemblance to his father, both in person and character. His grasp was so powerful that he could bend a horse-shoe with his hand, and to the last his energy and endurance were scarcely subdued by the illnesses resulting from his many excesses.. In 1714 a marriage was arranged between him and one of the richest of his father's subjects, Johanna Victoria, Countess von Loeben, but he dissipated her fortune so rapidly that he was soon heavily in debt, and, having given her more serious grounds of complaint against him, he consented to an annulment of the marriage in 1721. Meantime, after serving in a campaign against the Turks in 1717, he had in 1719 gone to Paris to study mathematics, and in 1720 obtained a commission as marechal de camp. In 1725 negotiations were entered into for his election as duke of' Courland, at the instance of the duchess Anna Ivanovna, who offered him her hand. He was chosen duke in 1726, but declining marriage with the duchess found it impossible to resist her opposition to his claims, although, with the assistance of £30,000 lent him by the French actress Adrienne Lecouvreur, whose story forms the subject of Scribe and Legouve's tragedy, he raised ,a force by which he maintained his authority till 1727, when he withdrew and took up his residence in Paris. On the outbreak of the war in 1734 he served under Marshal Berwick, and for a brilliant exploit at the siege at Philippsburg he was in August named lieutenant-general. On the opening of the Austrian Succession War in 1741, he took command of a division of the army sent to invade Austria, and on the 19th November surprised Prague during the night, and took it by assault before the garrison were aware of the presence of an enemy, a coup de main which made him famous throughout Europe. After capturing the strong fortress of Eger on the 19th April 1742, he received leave of absence, and went to Russia to push his claims on the duchy of Courland, but obtaining no success he returned to his command. His exploits had been the sole redeeming feature in an unsuccessful campaign, and on 26th March 1743 his merits were recognized by his promotion to be marshal of France. From this time he became one of the first generals of the age. In 1744 he was chosen to command the expedition to England in behalf of the Pretender,which assembled at Dunkirk but did not proceed farther. After its abortive issue he received an independent command in the Netherlands, and by dexterous manoeuvring succeeded in continually harassing the superior forces of the enemy without risking a decisive battle. In the following year he besieged Tournai and inflicted a severe defeat on the relieving army of the duke of Cumberland at Fontenoy (q.v.), a battle of which the issue was due entirely to his constancy and cool leadership. During the battle he was unable on account of dropsy to sit on horseback except for a few minutes, and was carried about in a wicker chariot. In recognition of his brilliant achievement the king conferred on him the castle of Chambord for life, and in April 1746 he was naturalized as a French subject. Thenceforward to the end of the war he continued to command in the Netherlands, always with success. Besides Fontenoy he added Rocoux (1746) and Lawfeldt or Val (1747) to the list of French victories, and it was under his orders that Marshal Lowendahl captured Bergen-op-Zoom. He himself won the last success of the war in capturing Maestricht in 1748. In 1747 the title formerly held by Turenne, " Marshal general of the King's camps and armies," was revived for him. But on the 3oth of November 1750 he died at Chambord " of a putrid fever." In 1748 there had been born to him a daughter, one of several illegitimate children, whose great-granddaughter was George Sand. Saxe was the author of a remarkable work on the art of war, Mes Reveries, which though described by Carlyle as "a strange military farrago, dictated, as I should think, under opium," is in fact a classic. It was published posthumously in 1757 (ed. Paris, 1877). His Lettres et memoires choisis appeared in 1794. His letters to his sister, the princess of Holstein, preserved at Strassburg, were destroyed by the bombardment of that place in 1870; thirty copies had, however, been printed from the original. Many previous errors in former biographies were corrected and additional information supplied in Carl von Weber's Moritz, Graf von Sachsen, Marschall von Frankreich, nach archivalischen Quellen (Leipzig, 1863), in St Rene Taillandier's Maurice de Saxe, etude historique d'aprbs les documents des archives de Dresde (1865) and in C. F. Vitzthum's Maurice de Saxe (Leipzig, 1861). See also the military histories of the period, especially Carlyle's Frederick the Great. SAXE-ALTENBURG (Ger. Sachsen-Altenburg), a duchy in Thuringia, forming an independent member of the German Empire and consisting of two detached and almost equal parts, separated from each other by a portion of Reuss, and bounded on the S. and W. by the grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, on the N. by Prussia, and on the E. by the kingdom of Saxony. There are in addition twelve small exclaves. The total area is 511 sq. m., of which 254 are in the east, or Altenburg, division, and 257 in the west, or Saal-Eisenberg, division. The eastern district, traversed by the most westerly offshoots of the Erzgebirge and watered by the Pleisse and its tributaries, forms an undulating and fertile region, containing some of the richest agricultural soil in Germany. The western district, through which the Saale flows, is rendered hilly by the foothills of the Thuringian Forest, and in some measure makes up by its fine woods for its comparatively poor soil. The mineral wealth of Saxe-Altenburg is scanty; lignite, the chief mineral, is worked mainly in the eastern district. Nearly 6o% of the entire duchy is occupied by arable land, and about 26% by forests, mainly consisting of conifers. Oats, rye, wheat and potatoes are the chief crops. Cattle-raising and horse-breeding are of considerable importance. About 35% of the population are directly sup-ported by agriculture. The manufactures of the duchy arevaried, though none is of first-rate importance; woollen goods, gloves, hats, porcelain and earthenware, bricks, sewing-machines, paper, musical instruments, sausages and wooden articles are the chief products. Trade in these, and in horses, cattle and agricultural produce, is brisk. The chief seats of trade and manufacture are Altenburg the capital, Ronneburg, Schmolln, Gossnitz and Meuselwitz in the Altenburg division; and Eisen-berg, Roda and Kahla in the Saal-Eisenberg division. Besides these there are the towns of Lucka, Orlamunde and Russdorf in an exclave. The duchy includes one of the most densely inhabited districts in the Thuringian states. The population in 1905 was 206,508, of whom 200,511 were Protestants and 5449 Roman Catholics. In the west division the population is wholly Teutonic, but in the east there is a strong Wendish or Slavonic element, still to be traced in the peculiar manners and costume of the country-people, though these are gradually disappearing. The Altenburg peasants are industrious and prosperous; they are said to be avaricious, but to love pleasure, and to gamble for high stakes, especially at the card game of Skat (q.v.), which many believe to have been invented here. Their holdings are rarely divided, and a common custom is the inheritance of landed property by the youngest son. They are decreasing in numbers. Saxe-Altenburg is a limited hereditary monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1831, subsequently modified. The diet consists of 32 members, elected for 3 years; of whom 9 are returned by the highest taxpayers, 11 by the towns and 12 by the country districts. The franchise is enjoyed by all males over 25 years of age who pay taxes. The duke has considerable powers of initiative and veto. The executive is divided into four departments, justice, finance, the interior, and foreign and ecclesiastical affairs. The annual revenue and expenditure stand at about 230,000 each. There was a public debt in 1909 of £44,370. Saxe-Altenburg has one vote in the Reichstag and one in the Bundesrat (federal council). History.—The district now forming the duchy of Saxe-Altenburg came into the possession of the margrave of Meissen about 1329, and later with Meissen formed part of the electorate of Saxony. On the division of the lands of the Wettins in 1485 it was assigned to the Albertine branch of the family, but in 1554 it passed by arrangement to the Ernestine branch. In 1603 Saxe-Altenburg was made into a separate duchy, but this only lasted until 1672, when the ruling family became extinct and the greater part of its lands was inherited by the duke of Saxe-Gotha. In 1825 the family ruling the duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg became extinct and another division of the Saxon lands was made. Frederick (d. 1834) exchanged the duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, which he had ruled since 1780, for Saxe-Altenburg, and was the founder of the present reigning house. In answer to popular demands a constitution was granted to Saxe-Altenburg in 1831, and greater concessions were extorted by the more threatening disturbances of 1848. In November of this year Duke Joseph abdicated and was succeeded by his brother George. Under George's son Ernest (1826-1908), who became duke in 1853, a period of reaction began and the result was that the constitution was made less liberal. In 1874 a long dispute over the public domains was settled, two-thirds of these being assigned to the duke in lieu of a civil list. In 1908 Ernest was succeeded by his nephew Ernest (b. 1871). See Frommelt, Sachsen-altenburghische Landeskunde (Leipzig, 1838–1841); L. von Braun, Erinnerungsblatter aus der Geschichte Altenburgs 1525–1826 (Altenburg, 1876); Malzer, Die Landwirtschaft im Herzogtum Altenburg (Stuttgart, 1907) ; Albrecht, Das Domanenwesen im Herzogtum Saxe-Altenburg (Jena, 1905); and E. Lohe, Altenburgica (Altenburg, 1878). SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA (Ger. Sachsen-Koburg-Gotha), a sovereign duchy of Germany, in Thuringia, and a constituent member of the German empire, consisting of the two formerly separate duchies of Coburg and Gotha, which lie at a distance of 14 M. from each other, and of eight small scattered exclaves, the most northerly of which, is 70 M. from the most southerly. The total area is 764 sq. m., of which about 224 are in Coburg and S40 in Gotha. The duchy of Coburg is bounded on the S.E., S., and S.W. by Bavaria, and on the other sides by Saxe- Meiningen, which, with part of Prussia, separates it from Gotha. The considerable exclave of Konigsberg in Bavaria, ro m. south, belongs to Coburg. Lying on the south slope of the Thuringian Forest, and in the Franconian plain, the duchy of Coburg is an undulating and fertile district, reaching its highest point in the Senichshohe (1716 ft.) near Mirsdorf. Its streams, the chief of which are the Itz, Biberach, Steinach and Rodach, all find their way into the Main. The duchy of Gotha, more than twice the size of Coburg, stretches from the south borders of Prussia along the northern slopes of the Thuringian Forest, the highest summits of which (Der grosse Beerberg, 3225 ft.; Schneekopf, 3179 ft.; and Inselsberg, 2957 ft.) rise within its borders. The more open and level district on the north is spoken of as the " open country " (das Land) in contrast to the wooded hills of the " forest " (der Wald). The Gera, Horsel, Unstrut and other streams of this duchy flow to the Werra, or to the Saale. The climate is that of the other central states of Germany, temperate in the valleys and plains and somewhat inclement in the hilly regions. Industries and Population.—In both duchies the chief industry is agriculture, which employs about 30% of the entire population. According to the returns for 1905, about 5o% of the area was occupied by arable land, ro% by meadow-land and pasture and 30% by forest. In the same year the chief crops were oats, barley, rye, wheat, potatoes and hay. A small quantity of hemp and flax is raised, but a considerable quantity of fruit and vegetables is annually produced, and some wine, in the Coburg district of Konigsberg. Cattle-breeding is important, especially in Gotha and the Itz valley in Coburg. Beehives are numerous and produce excellent honey, and poultry is reared in large numbers for export. The mineral wealth of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is insignificant, small quantities of coal, lignite, ironstone and millstone being annually raised. There are also salt-works, and some deposits of potter's clay. The manufactures of the duchies, especially in the mountainous parts less favourable for agriculture, are tolerably brisk, but there is no large industrial centre in the country. Iron goods and machinery, glass, earthenware, chemicals and wooden articles, including large quantities of toys, are produced; and various branches of textile industry are carried on. Coburg (pop. 1905, 24,289) and Gotha (36,893) are the chief towns of the duchies, to which they respectively give name; the latter is the capital of the united duchy. There are nine other small towns, and 320 villages and hamlets. Friedrichroda and Ruhla, the Inselsberg and the Schneekopf and other picturesque points, annually attract an increasing number of summer visitors and tourists. The population in 1905 was 242,432 (117,224 males and 125,208 females), or about 290 to the square mile. Of these 71,512 were in Coburg and 170,920 in Gotha; the relative density in either duchy being about' equal. In Coburg the people belong to the Franconian and in Gotha to the Thuringian branch of the Teutonic family, and, according to religious confessions, almost the entire population is Lutheran, Roman Catholics only numbering some 3000 and Jews about 700. Constitution and Administration.—Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is a limited hereditary monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1852, modified in 1874. For its own immediate affairs each duchy has a separate diet, but in more important and general matters a common diet, formed of the members of the separate diets and meeting at Coburg and Gotha alternately, exercises authority. The members are elected for four years. The Coburg diet consists of eleven members and the Gotha diet of nineteen. The franchise is extended to all male taxpayers of twenty-five years of age and upwards. The ministry has special departments for each duchy, but is under a common president. There is a sub-department for the control of ecclesiastical affairs, which are locally managed by ephories, twelve in number. The united duchy is represented in the imperial Bundesrat by one member and in the Reichstag by two members, one for each duchy. By treaty with Prussia in 1867 the troops of the duchy are incorporated with the Prussian army. The budget is voted in either duchy for four years, a distinction being made between domain revenue and state revenue. Taking both together the receipts into the exchequer on behalf of Coburg were estimated for 1909-1910 at about £roo,000 and those for Gotha at about £200,000, while the common state expenditure amounted to about the same sum. The civil list of the reigning duke is fixed at £15,000 a year, in addition to half the proceeds of the Gotha domains, after £5000 has been deducted and paid into the state exchequer, and half the net revenue of the Coburg domains. Besides the civil list the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha enjoys a very large private fortune, amassed chiefly by Ernest I., who sold the principality of Lichtenberg, which the congress of Vienna had bestowed upon him in recognition of his services in 1813, to Prussia for a large sum of money. History.—The district of Coburg came into the possession of the family of Wettin in the 14th century, and after the Wettins had become electors of Saxony this part of their lands fell at the partition of 1485 to the Ernestine branch of the house. In 1572 Gotha was given to John Casimir, a son of the Saxon duke John Frederick, but when he died childless in 1633 it passed to another branch of the family. In 1680, as Saxe-Coburg, it was formed into a separate duchy for Albert, one of the seven sons of Ernest I., duke of Saxe-Gotha (d. 1675), but he died childless in 1699, when his possessions were the subject of vehement contentions among the collateral branches of the Saxon house. Eventually it was assigned to Albert's youngest brother, John Ernest (d. 1729), who called himself duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and who left two sons, Christian Ernest and Francis Josiah, who ruled the land together, the principle of primogeniture being introduced by the survivor of the two, Francis Josiah. Under this duke and his son and successor, Ernest Frederick, the land was plunged into bankruptcy and a commission was appointed to manage its finances. The measures adopted to redeem the country's credit were successful, but they imposed much hardship on the people and a rising took place which was only quelled by the aid of troops from electoral Saxony. Duke Francis died in December 1806 and was succeeded by his son Ernest, although the country was occupied by the French from 1807 to 1816. Also an early possession of the Wettins, Gotha fell at the partition of 1485 to the Albertine branch of the family, but was transferred to the Ernestine branch by the capitulation of Wittenberg of 1547. In 1554 it became a separate duchy, its line of rulers being founded by Duke John Frederick, a son of the dispossessed elector of Saxony, John Frederick, and becoming extinct in 1638. In r64o Saxe-Gotha came into the possession of Ernest the Pious, and after his death in 1675 its duke was his eldest son Frederick (d. 169,), whose family, having inherited Altenburg, became extinct in February 1825 with the death of Duke Frederick IV. This event was followed in 1826 by a re-distribution of the Saxon lands. Ernest, duke of Saxe-Coburg, Saalfeld, exchanged Saalfeld for Gotha, took the title of duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and became the founder of the present ruling house. Ernest II. (1818-1893) succeeded to the duchy in 1844, and during his long reign various reforms were achieved and the union of the two parts of the duchy was made closer. This duke had no issue, and the succession passed to the children of his brother Albert, the English prince consort. In 1855 his second son, Prince Alfred, had been declared heir to the duchy, and he succeeded his uncle in 1893. When he died without sons in July 1900, the succession having been renounced by his brother, the duke of Connaught and his issue, Saxe-Coburg passed to Charles Edward, duke of Albany (b. 1884), a nephew of the late duke. For many years there had been trouble between the ruler and the people over the ownership of the extensive crown lands, it being evidently feared at one time that an English prince might renounce the throne and yet claim the lands. The matter was settled by a law of 1905, on the lines mentioned in the earlier section of this article. See Fleischmann, Zur Geschichte des Herzogtums Sachsen-Coburg (Hildburghausen, 1880) ; A. Lotz, Koburgische Landesgeschichte (Coburg, 1892). SA%E-MEININGEN (Ger. Sachsen-Meiningen), a duchy in Thuringia, forming an independent member of the German empire and consisting chiefly of an irregular crescent-shaped territory, which, with an average breadth of 10 m., stretches for over 8o m. along the south-west slope of the Thuringian Forest. The convex side rests upon the duchy of Coburg and is in part bounded by Bavaria, while the concave side, turned towards the north, contains portions of four other Thuringian states and Prussia between its horns, which are 46 m. apart. The districts of Kranichfeld, 15 M. N.W., and Kamburg, 22 M. N. of the eastern horn, together with a number of smaller scattered exclaves, comprise 94 of the 953 sq. m. belonging to the duchy. The surface on the whole is hilly and is partly occupied by offshoots of the Thuringian Forest; the highest summits are found in the eastern half, where the Kieferle reaches 2849 ft. and the Blessberg 2835 ft. The chief streams are the Werra, which traverses the south and east of the duchy, and various tributaries of the Main and the Saale, so that Saxe-Meiningen belongs to the basins of the three great rivers Weser, Rhine and Elbe. The soil is not very productive, although agriculture flourishes in the valleys and on the level ground; grain has to be imported to meet the demand. Only 41% of the total area is devoted to agriculture, while meadow-land and pasture occupy 11%. The chief grain crops are oats, rye and wheat, and the cultivation of potatoes is general. Tobacco, in the Werra district, hops and flax are also raised. The Werra valley and the other fertile valleys produce large quantities of fruit. The raising of cattle, pigs and sheep is a fairly important branch of industry throughout the duchy; horses are bred in Kamburg. The extensive and valuable forests, of which 75% consist of coniferous trees, occupy 42% of the entire area. About 42% of the forests belong to the state and about 33 % to public bodies and institutions, leaving only 25% for private owners. The mineral wealth of the duchy is not inconsiderable. Iron, coal and slate are the chief products, and copper and cobalt may be added. There are salt-works at Salzungen and Neusulza, the former the most important in Thuringia; and the mineral water of Friedrichshall is well known. The manufacturing industry of Saxe-Meiningen is active, especially in the districts of Sonneberg, Grafenthal and Saalfeld. Iron goods of various kinds, glass and pottery, school slates, pencils and marbles are produced; the abundant timber fosters the manufacture of all kinds of wooden articles, especially toys; and the textile industry and the manufacture of leather goods, papier mache and sewing-machines are also carried on. The capital of the duchy is Meiningen; the other principal towns are Salzungen, Hildburghausen, Eisfeld, Sonneberg, Saalfeld, Possneck and Kamburg. In 1905 the population was 268,916, of whom 30% live in communities of more than 2000. As in the other Saxon duchies the population is almost exclusively Protestant; in 1905, 262,243 belonged to the Lutheran confession, 4845 were Roman Catholics and 1256 Jews. Saxe-Meiningen is a limited monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1829, subsequently modified. The diet, elected for six years, consists of 24 members, of whom 4 are elected by the largest landowners, 4 by those who pay tax on incomes of £150 or more, and 16 by the other electors. The franchise is enjoyed by all domiciled males over twenty-five years of age who pay taxes. The government is carried on by a ministry of five, with departments for the ducal house and foreign affairs, home affairs, justice, education and public worship and finance. The revenue, £19o,000 of which is drawn from the state domains, stands at about £480,000 a year. The expenditure, including a civil list of £20,000, stands at £445,000. In 1909 the state had a debt of £302,270. Saxe-Meiningen has one vote in the German federal council (Bundesrat) and sends two members to the Reichstag. History.—The duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, or more correctly Saxe-Meiningen-Hildburghausen, was founded in 1681 by Bernard, the third son of Ernest the Pious, duke of Saxe-Gotha, and consisted originally of the western part of the present duchy, the district around Meiningen. Bernard was succeeded in 1706 by his three sons, Ernest Louis, Frederick William and Anton Ulrich, but after 1746 the only survivor was the youngest, Anton Ulrich, who reigned alone from this date until his death in 1763. By this time the duchy had increased considerably in extent, but petty wars with the other Saxon princes combined with the extravagance of the court and the desolation caused by the Seven Years' War to plunge it into distress and bankruptcy. A happier time, however, was experienced under Charlotte Amalie, Anton's widow, who ruled as regent for her sons, Charles (d. 1782) and George (d. 18o6). Under the latter prince the country prospered greatly, and having introduced the principle of primogeniture, he died and was succeeded by his infant son, Bernard Ernest Freund (18o0-1882), whose mother, Eleanora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, governed in his name until 1821. The war with France at the beginning of this reign, with its attendant evils, quartering of troops, conscription and levies of money, joined with cattle disease and scanty harvests in plunging the land again into distress, from which it recovered very slowly. In 1825 the extinction of the family ruling Saxe-Gotha made a rearrangement of the Saxon duchies necessary, and Saxe-Meiningen benefited greatly by the settlement of 1826, its area being more than doubled by the receipt of 530 sq. m. of territory. The additions consisted of the duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, founded in 168o by Ernest, the sixth son of Ernest the Pious; the duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld, founded by john Ernest, the seventh son of Ernest the Pious, which had been united with Saxe-Coburg in 1735; and the districts of Themar, Kranichfeld and Kamburg; In 1823 Bernard had granted a liberal constitution to his duchy, but these additions made further changes inevitable and a new constitution was granted in 1829. Saxe-Meiningen had entered the confederation of the Rhine in 1807, but had joined the allies in 1813 and became a member of the German confederation in 1815. In 1866, unlike the other Saxon duchies, Saxe-Meiningen declared. for Austria in the war with Prussia; at once the land was occupied by Prussian troops, and in September 1866 Duke Bernard abdicated and was succeeded by his son George (b. 1826), who immediately made peace with Prussia and joined the North German Confederation, his land becoming a member of the new German empire in 1871. In 1871 the dispute which had been carried on since 1831 between the duke and the diet about the rights of each to the state domains was settled by a compromise, each party receiving a share of the revenues. The heir-apparent Prince Bernard (b. 1851) has no sons, so by a law of 1896 the succession is settled upon the sons of his half-brother Prince Frederick (b. 1861). See Statistik des Herzogtums Sachsen-Meiningen (Meiningen,1892 fol.); Bruckner, Landeskunde des Herzogtums Sachsen-Meiningen (Meiningen, 1853) ; Goeckel, Das Staatsrecht des Herzogtums Sachsen-Meiningen (Jena, 19o4); Anschiitz, Industrie, Handel and Verkehr im Herzogtum Sachsen-Meiningen (Sonneberg, 1904) ; and the publications of the Verein fur sachsen-meiningische Geschichte and Landeskunde (Hildburghausen, 1888 fol.). SAXE-WEIMAR-EISENACH (Ger. Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach), a grand duchy of Germany and a sovereign and constituent state of the German empire. It is the largest of the Thuringian states, and consists of the three chief detached districts of Weimar, Eisenach and Neustadt, and twenty-four scattered exclaves, of which Allstedt, Oldisleben and Ilmenau belonging to Weimar, and Ostheim belonging to Eisenach, are the chief. The first and last named of these exclaves are • 70 M. apart; and the most easterly of the other exclaves is 100 m. from the most westerly. The total area of the grand-duchy is 1397 sq. m., of which 678 are in Weimar, 465 in Eisenach and 254 in Neustadt. The population in 1905 was 388,095 (189,422 males and 198,673 females), on an average 271 to the square mile, of whom the greatest bulk are Lutherans, the Roman Catholics only numbering about 18,000, and Jews and those of other confessions about 1500 in all. Of the population about 47% live in towns or communes exceeding 2000 inhabitants, and about 53% are rural. The district of Weimar, which is at once the largest division and the geographical and historical kernel of the grand-duchy, is a roughly circular territory, situated on the plateau to the north-east of the Thuringian Forest. It is bounded on the I volume of trade is not very great, although some of the productions N. and E. by Prussia, and on the S. and W. by Schwarzburg aare s exxorted all over Europe, and in some cases to other continents and detached portions of Saxe-Altenburg, and lies 23 M. east of the nearest part of Eisenach, and 7 m. north-west of the nearest part of Neustadt. The exclaves of Allstedt and Oldisleben lie in Prussian territory 10 m. to the north and north-west respectively; Ilmenau as far to the south-west. The surface is undulating and destitute of any striking natural features, although the valleys of the Saale and Pm are picturesque. The Kickelhahn (2825 ft.) and the Hohe Tanne (2641 ft.) rise in Ilmenau; but the Grosser Kalm (1814 ft.) near Remda, in the extreme south, is the highest point in the main part of Weimar. The Saale flows through the east of the district and is joined by the Ilm, the Elster and the Unstrut. The chief towns are Weimar, the capital, on the Ilm; Jena, with the common university of the Thuringian states, on the Saale; Apolda, the " Manchester of Weimar," to the east; and Ilmenau, lying among the hills on the edge of the Thuringian Forest to the S.W. of Weimar. Eisenach, the second district in size, and the first in point of natural beauty, stretches in a narrow strip from north to south on the extreme western boundary of Thuringia, and includes parts of the church lands of Fulda, of Hesse and of the former countship of Henneberg. It is bounded on the N. and W. by Prussia, on the S. by Bavaria (which also surrounds the exclave of Ostheim) and on the E. by Saxe-Meiningen and Saxe-Gotha. The north is occupied by the rounded hills of the Thuringian Forest, while the Rhon mountains extend into the southern part. The chief summits of the former group, which is more remarkable for its fine forests and picturesque scenery than for its height, are the Wartburgberg (1355 ft.), the north-western termination of the system, Ottowald (2103 ft.), the Wachstein (1900 ft.) and the Ringberg (2290 ft). The chief river is the Werra, which flows across the centre of the district from east to west, and then bending suddenly northwards, re-enters from Prussia, and traverses the north-eastern parts in an irregular course. Its chief tributaries in Eisenach are the Horsel and the Ulster. Eisenach is the only town of importance in this division of the grand-duchy. Neustadt, the third of the larger divisions, is distinguished neither by picturesque scenery nor historical interest. It forms an oblong territory, about 24 M. long by 16 broad, and belongs rather to the hilly district of the Vogtland than to Thuringia. It is bounded on the N. by Reuss (junior line) and Saxe-Altenburg, on the W. by Saxe-Meiningen and a Prussian exclave, on the S. by the two Reuss principalities and on the E. by the kingdom of Saxony. The Kesselberg (1310 ft.), near the town of Neustadt, is the chief eminence. This district lies in the basin of the Saale, its chief streams being the White (Weisse) Elster, the Weida and the Orla. Neustadt, Auma and Weida are the principal towns. Agriculture forms the chief occupation of the inhabitants in all parts of the duchy, though in Eisenach and around Ilmenau a large proportion of the area is covered with forests. According to the return for 1900 about 55% of the entire surface was occupied by arable land, 26% by forest and 9% by pasture and meadow-land. Only about 5% was unproductive soil or moorland. In 1900 the chief crops were oats, barley, rye, wheat, potatoes, hay, beet (for sugar), flax and oil-yielding plants. Fruit grows in abundance, especially around Jena, and vines are cultivated with great success on the banks of the Saale. Of the forests, about 38 % are deciduous and 62 % coniferous trees, and the greater part of the former belong to the government. Cattle-raising is carried on to a considerable extent, especially in Eisenach and Neustadt, while the sheep-farming centres in Weimar. Poultry is also reared in considerable quantities. Although iron, copper, coal and lignite are worked, the mineral wealth is trifling. There are salt springs at Berka and Stadtsulza. The manufacturing industries in the grand-duchy are consider-able; they employ 41% of the population. The most important is the textile industry, which centres in Apolda. The production of woollen goods (stockings, cloth, underclothing) forms the leading branch of this industry; but cotton and linen weaving and yarn-spinning are also carried on. Large quantities of earthenware and crockery are made, especially at Ilmenau. The optical instruments of Jena and the scientific instruments of Ilmenau are well known. Leather, paper, glass, cork and tobacco are among the less prominent manufactures. There are numerous breweries in the duchy. The Constitution.—Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach is a limited hereditary monarchy, and was the first state in Germany to receive a liberal constitution. This was granted in 1816 by Charles Augustus, the patron of Goethe, and was revised in 185o and again in 1906. The diet consists of one chamber with thirty-eight members, of whom five are chosen by owners of land worth at least D15o a year, five by those who derive a similar income from other sources, five by the university of Jena and other public bodies, and twenty-three by the rest of the inhabitants. The deputies are elected for six years. The franchise is enjoyed by all domiciled citizens over twenty-one years of age. The government is carried on by a ministry of three, holding the portfolios of finance; of home and foreign affairs; and of religion, education and justice, with which is combined the ducal house-hold. The duchy is represented by one vote in the Bundesrat and by two members in the Reichstag. The Saxe-Weimar family is the oldest branch of the Ernestine line, and hence of the whole Saxon house. By a treaty with Prussia in 1867, which afterwards became the model for similar treaties between Prussia and other Thuringian states, the troops of the grand-duchy were incorporated with the Prussian army. The budget is voted by the chamber for a period of three years. That from 1908 to 1910 estimated an annual income and an annual expenditure of about £620,000. A large income is derived from the state forests. The public debt amounted to £145,000 in 1908, but it is amply secured by real estate and invested funds. Justice is administered by two high courts (Landesgericlzte), at Weimar and Eisenach respectively; the district of Neustadt falling under the jurisdiction of the Landesgericht at Gera; while the supreme court of appeal for the four Saxon duchies, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Reuss, together with portions of Prussia, is the Oberlandesgericht at Jena. History.—In early times Weimar with the surrounding district belonged to the counts of Orlamunde, and from the end of the loth century until 1067 it was the seat of the counts of Weimar. In the 14th century it passed to the elector of Saxony, falling at the partition of 1485 to the Ernestine branch of the Wettin family. Although John Frederick the Magnanimous was deprived of the electorate in 1547 his sons retained Weimar; and one of them, John William (d. 1573), may be regarded as the founder of the present ruling house, but it was not until 1641 that Saxe-Weimar emerged into an independent historical position. In this year, having just inherited Coburg and Eisenach, the three brothers William, Albert and Ernest founded the three principalities of Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Eisenach and Saxe-Gotha. Eisenach fell to Saxe-Weimar in 1644, and although the enlarged principality of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was temporarily split up into the lines Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Eisenach and Saxe-Jena, it was again united under Ernest Augustus, who began to reign in 1728, and the adoption of the principle of primogeniture about this time secured it against further divisions. Ernest Augustus II., who succeeded in 1748, died in 1758, and his young widow, Anna Amelia, was appointed regent of the country and guardian of her infant son Charles Augustus. The reign of this prince, who assumed the government in 1775, is the most brilliant epoch in the history of Saxe-Weimar. An intelligent patron of literature and art, he attracted to his court the leading scholars in Germany; Goethe, Schiller and Herder were members of this illustrious band, and the little state, hitherto obscure, attracted the eyes of all Europe .l The war between France and Prussia in 1806 was fraught with danger to the existence of the principality, and after the battle of Jena it was mainly the skilful conduct of the duchess Louise, the wife of Charles Augustus, that dissuaded Napoleon 1 See Goethe's famous lines, Epigramme (35) : " Klein 1st unter den Fiirsten Germaniens freilich der mein; Kurz and schmal ist rein Land, mascig nur, was er vermag. Aber so wende nach innen, so wende nach aussen die Krafte Jeder; da war' es ein Fest, Deutscher mit Deutschen zu sein. f from removing her husband from his place as a reigning prince. In 1807 Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach entered the Confederation of the Rhine and in the subsequent campaigns it suffered greatly. The Congress of Vienna in 1815 added about 66o sq. m. to its area and gave its ruler the title of grand-duke. Just after the conclusion of peace Charles Augustus gave a liberal constitution to his land; freedom of the press was also granted, but after the festival of the Wartburg on the 18th of October 1817 this was seriously curtailed. The next grand-duke, Charles Frederick, who succeeded in 1828, continued his father's work, but his reforms were not thorough enough nor rapid enough to avert disturbances in 1848, when power was given to a popular ministry and numerous reforms were carried through. Reaction set in under Charles Alexander, who became grand-duke in 1853, and the union of the crown lands and the state lands was undone, although both remained under the same public management. In 1866 the grand-duchy joined Prussia against Austria, although its troops were then garrisoning towns in the interests of the latter power; afterwards it entered the North German Confederation and the new German empire. Charles Alexander died in January 1901 and was succeeded by his grandson William Ernest (b. 1876). See C. Kronfeld, Landeskunde des Grossherzogtums Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (Weimar, 1878—1879) ; and the official Staatshandbuch fur das Grossherzogtum Sachsen (Weimar, 1904).
End of Article: COMTE DE MAURICE SAXE (1696-1750)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.