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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 623 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALEKSANDER WIELOPOLSKI, Marquis of Gonzaga-Myszkowski (1803-1877), Polish statesman, was educated in Vienna, Warsaw, Paris and Gottingen. In 183o he was elected a member of the Polish diet on the Conservative side. At the beginning of the Insurrection of 1831 he was sent to London to obtain the assistance, or at least the mediation, of England; but the only result of his mission was the publication of the pamphlet Memoire presente a Lord Palmerston (Warsaw, 1831). On the collapse of the insurrection he emigrated, and on his return to Poland devoted himself exclusively to literature and the cultivation of his estates. On the occasion of the Galician outbreak of 1845, when the Ruthenian peasantry massacred some hundreds of Polish landowners, an outbreak generally attributed to the machinations of the Austrian government, Wielopolski wrote his famous Lettre d'un gentilhomme polonais au prince de Metter-nick (Brussels, 1846), which caused a great sensation at the time, and in which he attempted to prove that the Austrian court was acting in collusion with the Russian in the affair. In 1861, when Alexander II. was benevolently disposed towards the Poles and made certain political and national concessions to them, Wielopolski was appointed president of the commissions of public worship and justice and subsequently president of the council of state. A visit to the Russian capital in November still further established his influence, and in 1862 he was appointed adjutant to the grand-duke Constantine. This office he held till the 12th of September 1863, when finding it impossible to resist the rising current of radicalism and revolution he resigned all his offices, and obtained at his own request unlimited leave of absence. He retired to Dresden, where he died on the 3oth of December 1877. See Henryk Lisicki, Le Marquis Wielopolski, sa vie et son temps (Vienna, 188o) ; Wlodzimieriz Spasowicz, The Life and Policy of the Marquis Wielopolski (Rus.) (St Petersburg, 1882). (R. N. B.) WIENER-NEUSTADT, a town of Austria, in Lower Austria, 31 M. S. of Vienna by rail. Pop. (1900) 28,438. It is situated between the Fischa and the Leitha and is close to the Hungarian frontier. It was almost entirely rebuilt after a destructive fire in 1834, and ranks among the handsomest provincial towns in Austria. Its ancient gates, walls and towers have disappeared, but it still possesses a few medieval edifices, the most important of which is the old castle of the dukes of Babenberg, founded in the 12th century, and converted by Maria Theresa in 1752 into a military academy. The Gothic chapel contains the remains of the emperor Maximilian I., who was born here in 1459. The parish church, with its two lofty towers, is substantially a Romanesque building of the 13th century, but the choir and transepts are Gothic additions of a later date. The late Gothic church of the old Cistercian abbey contains a handsome monument in memory of Leonora of Portugal (d. 1467), consort of the emperor Frederick III., and possesses a rich library and an interesting museum. The town-house is also a noteworthy building and contains large and important archives. The chief industrial establishments are a large ammunition factory and an engine factory; but manufactures of cotton, silk, velvet, pottery and paper, sugar-refining and tanning are also extensively carried on. Trade is also brisk, and is facilitated by a canal connecting the town with Vienna, and used chiefly for the transport of coal and timber. Neustadt was founded in 1192, and was a favourite residence of numerous Austrian sovereigns, acquiring the title of the " ever-faithful town" (die allezeit getreue Stadt) from its unfailing loyalty. In 1246 it was the scene of a victory of the Hungarians over the Austrians; and in 1486 it was taken by Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, who, however, restored it to Maximilian I. four years later. In 1529 and 1683 it was besieged by the Turks. It was at Neustadt that the emperor Rudolf II. granted to the Bohemian Protestants, in 1609, the " Majestatsbrief," or patent of equal rights, the revocation of which helped to precipitate the Thirty Years' War. See Hinner, Wandelbilder aus der Geschichte Wiener-Neustadts (Wiener-Neustadt, 1892).

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