Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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PRUSSIA. The kingdom of Prussia was composed, before 1866, of many separate pieces of territory. The largest, situated in the east of Germany, comprised the provinces of Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Posen, Silesia and Saxony; the other, situated in the west, comprised the provinces of Westphalia and of the Rhine. We have embraced in each of these two pieces of territory certain detached domains, but so small in extent that they scarcely deserve mention. The war of 1866 gave to Prussia, with the electorate of Hesse, which was situated between the provinces of the east and the west, as if between the tree and the bark, Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Nassau, Frankfort, and some small districts; so that the Prussian state, including Lauenburg and the two principalities of Hohenzollern, now forms a compact whole, with an area of 137,066 English square miles. The area of Prussia in 1740, when Frederick the Great ascended the throne, was 2,160 geographical square miles; 3,539 geographical square miles at his death, in 1786; 5,551 at the death of Frederick William II., in 1797; 5,725 before, and 2,859 after, the peace of Tilsit; and 5,086 after the peace of 1815. Lastly, in 1865, it has an area of 5,104 square miles.


—In 1865, before the several annexations to it, the population of Prussia was about 19,000,000; it has been 10,402,631 in 1816, 12,308,498 in 1825, 13,556,000 in 1834 and 16,181,185 in 1846. The census of 1871 gave the number of inhabitants as 24,693,066.*59 Prussia forms part of the German empire, and its king is the emperor of Germany.


—1. Constitution Circumstances, which now belong to history, postponed until 1847 the fulfillment of the promises made by the ordinances of Oct. 27, 1810, May 22, 1815, and Jan. 17, 1820. A part of these promises, however, was fulfilled in 1823 (ordinance of June 5), by the creation of the provincial estates, divided into four orders—princes and lords, knights (equestrian order), towns, country. In 1842 (ordinance of Jan. 21), the provincial committees (Provinzial-Aussch&um2l;sse) were established; they were to be elected by the estates, and consulted in certain cases by the government. Finally, a decree of Feb. 5, 1847, established a "united diet," composed of the eight provincial representative bodies. This "united diet" (Vereinigter Landtag) was convoked April 11, 1847, and generally carried on its deliberations in two curiœ, the one composed of princes and lords, and the other of the three other orders. This first session had produced great effects in the country, when the revolution of 1848 broke out. The national assembly, convoked by the royal patent of May 13, 1848, did not succeed in drawing up a constitution. It was dissolved Dec. 5, 1848, and on the same day the king granted a constitution and an electoral law. The two chambers instituted by the new constitution assembled at Berlin, Feb. 26, 1849, recognized in the address to the crown the constitution thus granted, and immediately set about revising it. But the second chamber was dissolved April 27, 1849, and after the promulgation of a new electoral law, dated May 30, 1849, chambers were elected, which assembled Aug. 7, 1849. With the parliament thus reconstituted anew, the revised constitution of Jan. 31, 1850, was deliberated upon; the king and the chambers took the oath to support it, and it was published in the official collection of the laws and ordinances of the kingdom. It is this fundamental act, modified in some of its parts by subsequent laws, which we have here to analyze taking into account, of course, its subsequent modifications. In case of conflict between them, the constitution of the empire controls the Prussian constitution.


Fundamental rights. All Prussians are equal before the law; the nobles have no privileges. Public offices are accessible to all citizens who fulfill the conditions provided by the laws. Personal liberty is guranteed; no citizen can be deprived of it except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by the laws. The domicile is inviolable; domiciliary search, the seizure of papers and letters, can take place only in cases provided by law. No one can be brought under exceptional jurisdiction. Penalties must have been provided for by law (they have no retroactive effect). Property is inviolable ; expropriation can not take place except compensation is made. There is no such thing as civil death or confiscation.


—Freedom of worship is guaranteed. The enjoyment of civil and political rights is independent of the religious belief professed by the citizen (law of July 3, 1869). Religious communities or corporations can not be declared civil persons except by a law. Each religious body administers it own affairs and its own property; it freely enjoys its institutions and endowments; the relations of the faithful with their clergy of all grades are not subject to any restriction, only the publication of religious regulations is subjected to the rules imposed on all kinds of publications.


—Every Prussian has the right freely to express his thoughts by words, writing, printing and drawing. Censure is abolished, and no restriction of the liberty of the press can be established, except by a law. Citizens may assemble freely, and are not obliged to obtain an authorization to so assemble, but without arms and in an inclosed place; they may form associations and societies for any object not contrary to the law. The right of individual petition belongs to every Prussian; authorities or corporations alone have the right of collective petition. The secrecy of letters is in violable; the law determines the exceptions required by criminal procedure and by the circumstances of war. Seigneurial jurisdictions and other privileges connected with the land are suppressed, and can not exist within the limits of the kingdom.


The King. The person of the king is inviolable. All official acts must be countersigned by a minister, who assumes the responsibility of them. The king alone has executive power, appoints and dismisses ministers, causes the laws to be promulgated, and decrees the ordinances (cabinet orders, kabinatoorder) necessary for their execution. He is commander-in-cheif of the army; he has the right to declare war, and to conclude peace or treaties. Only treaties of commerce, and those which impose a burden upon the state, are subject, in order to be valid, to the approval of parliament. We must add that the king of Prussia has now last this right, as it is the emperor who declares war. The king has the right of pardon but can not exercise it in favor of a minister, except at the request of the chamber which impeached him. He convokes and prorogues parliament, and dissolves the second chamber. In the latter case the elections must take place within sixty days, and the convocation of parliament within ninety days.


—Succession to the crown is in the order of primogeniture, in the Hohenzollern family, and in the male line only. The king attains his majority at eighteen. He takes the oath of fidelity to the constitution in the presence of both chambers.


—The funds of the fideicommissum of the crown continue the proprietor of the annual revenue of 9,649,121 francs. drawn from the revenues of the domains and forests under the law of Jan. 17, 1820, an annual revenue which was increased by the law of April 30, 1859, an annual revenue which has a budget appropriation of 1,875,000 francs a year. The royal palaces, with the furniture and works of art contained in them, as well as the diamonds and all property acquired by purchase or inheritance, belong to the royal family in its own right,and not to the nation.


—Since 1871, the king of Prussia is emperor of Germany; this is not a remunerated office, as there is no imperial civil list. The heir apparent alone is entitled his imperial highness; the other princes of the royal house have the title of royal highness.


The ministers. The ministers have the right to participate in the proceedings in the two chambers, and must be heard whenever they demand it. But they do not vote, unless they are members of the chamber. They may be impeached by each chamber for a violation of the constitution, malversation in the administration of the public moneys, or for treason. The supreme tribunal, consisting of the united chambers, are the judges in cases of this kind. Although there is a president of the council, the ministers are not jointly responsible; the king may even retain a minister who has been many times in the minority, the constitution not expressly requiring the king to dismiss him. The king, however, has been obliged more than once to yield to the pressure of public opinion.


—Since the creation of the German empire many ministers find themselves serving two masters: the empire (German) and the state (Prussian). The empire has no minister of war, no minister of the navy, no minister of finance, but those of Prussia. But they have no right to take part in the proceedings of the Reichsrath, except by reason of their being members of the Bundesrath. The chancellor covers them with the mantle of his responsibility.


The parliament. The parliament, called the Landtag, shares the legislative power with the king. Financial laws must be presented in the first place to the chamber of deputies; the chamber of lords must approve the budget, or reject it as a whole. It is only to maintain public security or to organize aid in case of calamity, that the ministry can, on its joint responsibility, proclaim regulations having the force of law, while the chambers are not in session; these regulations must contain nothing contrary to the constitution, and must be submitted for the approval of parliament at its next session. Each chamber has, like the king, the initiative in the making of the laws; that is, the right to introduce bills.


—The king convokes parliament every year in ordinary session (in January), and afterward as often as circumstances require it. Each chamber draws up its own rules and governs itself; it appoints its president and secretary. The sessions are public. No decision can be made if a majority of the members is not present. The members of the two chambers are the representatives of the whole people (and not each of his own district); they vote as their conscience directs, and are not bound by an imperative commission or instructions. They are not bound to give any reason for their vote. No member of the chamber can be prosecuted during the time the chambers are in session, unless he be taken flagrante delictu or immediately after. The consent of the chamber is necessary to continue the prosecution.


The chamber of lords. According to the law of May 7, 1853, and the ordinance of Oct. 12, 1854, modified by the ordinances of Nov. 10, 1865, oct.26 and Nov. 16,1867, the chamber of lords is composed as follows: 1. Princes of the blood who have reached their majority, and upon whom the king confers the right to sit in the chamber. 2. Hereditary members, to wit: the heads of the houses of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen; the heads of eighteen houses formerly sovereign; sixty-seven princes, counts and lords appointed by the king; in all, in 1867, eighty-seven hereditary seats. 3. Members appointed for life: a, the titularies of the four great offices of the province of Prussia; b, the persons appointed by the king upon the presentation of the following corporations: the three foundations (stifter) admitted in 1847 to make part of the curia of the lords, one member for each foundation; the eight colleges (verbände, or unions) of counts possessing equestrian property, one for each college; the representatives of eleven families of great landholders; the colleges of landholders, whose families, have been established for a long time upon their property, to the number of ninety members; the nine universities, one for each university; the forty-three cities upon which the king has conferred the right of presentation (most of them present the burgomaster, who ceases to be a member of the chamber when he loses or abandons his municipal functions—the burgomasters are electged for from six to twelve years, according to the cities); and the persons whom the king calls on to sit in the chamber of lords in 1867 there were sixty, but the number varies).


—The number of the members of the chamber of lords is not limited. They must be thirty years old. They receive no salary or indemnity of any sort.


The chamber of deputies. The chamber of deputies is composed of 432 members. The election is of two degrees. Every Prussian twenty-four years of age, enjoying civil and political rights, not living on alms, and having lived in the commune for at least six months is a primary elector. The electors of each district are divided, according to the amount of direct taxes they pay, into three classes, so that each class represents one-third of the total amount of the taxes of the district. Each of these divisions, or classes, appoints a third of the electors allowed to the district. There is an elector of the second degree for every 250 inhabitants; and the districts must be combined in such a manner as to include a population corresponding to six electors of the second degree. The total number of the latter is about 73,000. The primary elections, as well as the elections of the second degree (nomination of deputies), are made by public vote; the vote of each elector is officially recorded. An absolute majority of votes is necessary to make an election valid. In the hall in which the elections take place, there can be no discussion nor any decision made. The elections for the Reichstag are direct and secret.


—All Prussians thirty years of age, enjoying civil rights, and who have lived in Prussia at least a year (if naturalized) are eligible to the chamber of deputies. The deputies are elected for three years. They receive mileage and compensation during their stay at the seat of government. The deputies to the Reichstag receive no indemnity (gratuitous service being the counterpoise to universal suffrage and universal eligibility). Frequently the same person is both a deputy to the Prussian parliament and a deputy to the German parliament, in which case he is paid in one capacity and serves gratuitously in the other.


—II. Administrative Organization. The administrative organization of Prussia is considered in many respects a model; it is very centralized, and yet self-government has a large part in it. The administration proper is represented by the ministers, who direct the central administrations; by the superior presidents in the provinces; by the governments (whose organization we shall explain further on) of the Regierunga Bezirke, governmental districts or governments, corresponding to the French departments; by the directors of the districts, called Landsräthe, equivalent to the French sub-prefects, but intrusted with much greater power; finally, in a certain measure, by the bailiffs (amtmanns) and the burgomasters, also by the Schulze, or administrators of the commons (Gemeinde-Vorsteher), corresponding to the French mayors. Self-government resides in the provincial estates, corresponding, to a certain extent, to the councils general of the French departments, but embracing the province; also in the district, the canton and the commune, but not in the department (governmental district).


—The treatises on German administrative law and the royal almanacs still speak of the council of state, and tell how it is composed (princes, ministers, certain high functionaries, etc.). But as the constitution of 1850 confides no functions to it, it scarcely functions at all. The king can convoke it and ask its advice, but this advice does not bind the ministers; it has no peculiar privilege or prerogative. The first council of state dates from 1604; its modern reorganization dates from March 20, 1817, when, in the absense of a national representation, it was invested with the preparation of laws. The year 1848 abolished it, but it was re-established by royal ordinance, July 4, 1854.


—We must also speak of the "Secret cabinet" (das geheime Cabinet), of which mention is often made in the journals. Before 1808 this cabinet had an influence which annulled that of the ministers. In 1810, under Chancellor Hardenberg, the powers of the cabinet were diminished; after 1822 the cabinet recovered all its influence, which the constitution of 1850 lessened, but did not succeed in destroying completely. At bottom it is only a secretaryship of the king, a committee of secretaries, whose members are functionaries of a high rank, and who prepare the work for the king.


Administration. The ministers, as we have said, are at the head of the administration; their number is at present nine: of justice, war, the navy, finances, of foreign affairs, the interior, worship and instruction, commerce and industry (including public works), and agriculture. There is, besides, a minister of the king's household, but he does not form a part of the council of ministers, or rather, he is not a political minister or , as they say in Prussia, a "minister of state." Various services are directly subordinate to the ministry of state (council of ministers), such as the official journal, the archives, printing, various others, and notably the commission of examination for future functionaries. To be a functionary it is necessary to have studies three years at the university, to have passed a period of instruction and preparation for the public service, and to undergo a new examination, called the state examination, before the commission. The candidate then obtains the title of assessor, which confers the right of being employed and compensated, but some time elapses before a place with the title of councilor can be had. The functionaries of lower grade and simple employés are likewise obliged to pass an examination, but naturally the requirements here are not so great.


—As to the internal organization of the public services, some are organized into bureaus, that is, they have a chief, a sole functionary, and employés; but most of these services have councils or committees, in which the president often has a great preponderance, but in which each councilor has his powers (decernat) clearly defined.


—At the head of each of the eleven provinces (Prussia, Brandenburg, Posen, Pomerania, Silesia, Saxony, Westphalia. the Rhine, Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Hesse-Nassau) is placed a superior president (Oberpräsident) as an organ of the government, and whose powers are rather political than administrative. In case of urgency he can take any step which the circumstances demand; but ordinarily he has to do chiefly with the relations with the provincial estates, of which we shall speak further on, the affairs which concern many governments (district governments, departments, called sometimes, but wrongly, regencies), the surveillance of the provincial authorities depending on the various ministries; he is, besides, first president of the government which administers the district (Bezirk) in which he resides.


—Each province is divided into several governmental districts (Regierungs-Bezirk); for the six of Hanover, the name of Landrosties has been preserved; their total number is thirty-five or thirty-six, if Berlin is counted as a government district. The Hohenzollern country stands apart. These governments, which correspond to the French prefectures, are composed of a certain number of functionaries, each charged with a service for which he is responsible: these functionaries form a council (often divided into two or three parts), which meets several times a week; its decisions are signed by the president of the council and the directors of the divisions. The three divisions are: 1. interior (police, communal affairs); 2. worship and instruction; 3, finances. These are collective administrations (German Collegial). The powers of the governments differ little from those of the French prefecturers. It should be remarked, however, that the council of schools, which forms a part of the government (Regierung) and renders useless the academy inspector, the council of construction, and others, fulfills the duties of certain functionaries of the French departments, such as engineer-in-chief, director of direct taxes, and those of the chiefs of division and of the bureau of prefectures.


—The circle (kreis) corresponds to the French arrondissement, and the representative of the administration is called the Landrath (literally, country councilor) corresponding to the French sous-préfet. However, it would be more exact to call him, the mayor of the arrodissement, for he is appointed by the king from a list of candidates presented by the estates of the circle (conseil d'arrondissement); he must be a landed proprietor; he represents the circle vis-a-vis of the government and the government vis-a-vis of the circle. He is, however, paid from the funds of the state.


—The bailiffs of the cantons should also be considered as having part in the administration, because they are appointed by the superior president, and have administrative powers; the burgomasters, or mayors, who are appointed by the king, upon the presentation of the municipal council, should perhaps be ranked here also; but practice is not always conformable to the rigorous classifications of abstract science. We shall now describe the organs of self-government in Prussia, remarking that the most important of these is the Landtag(the parliament), of which we have already treated above. And first of the provincial organs, of those of the circles and communes.


Self-government. The organs of self-government in Prussia are: 1, the provincial estates; 2, the communal diets (Communal-Landtag); 3. the districts; 4, the cantons, or bailiwicks; 5, the communes. The administrative organization has not the character of symmetry and unity that it has in France; it preserves the traditional peculiarities of the provinces and localities, so that it is difficult to give an exposition of it in broad outline.


—The provincial estates were created by the law of June 5, 1823. In each of the eight provinces then existing, a diet was established, made up of the lords on whom the king had conferred an individual (viril) vote, of the deputies of the great landed proprietors or of the possessors of equestrian property, of the deputies of the cities, and of the deputies of the country. The number of members varies in the different provinces; but everywhere the cities and the country have the majority. The provincial diets meet every two years; they sit in the chief town of their respective provinces. The government submits to them such laws of general interest as it deems proper, and most of the laws of local interest. The diet elects its president, who bears the title of Marschall, and the government is represented by a commissioner. These powers were extended after 1866, in consequence of the annexations which took place at the time. The old electorate of Hesse was put in possession of the treasury of the ex-elector, whose revenues amounted to 300,000 thalers; the diet of the province of Hanover received in 1868 a grant of 500,000 thalers a year, and the old duchy of Nassau an income of 142,000 thalers and a capital of 46,380 thalers, provided by the funds formerly belonging to Nassau; finally, the law of April 30, 1873, gave to the old provinces, as well as to Schleswig-Holstein and to the city of Frankfort, a grant provided for in the budget of the state, amounting altogether to the sum of two millions. Various acts have extended the powers of the provincial diet, which has the right to acquire and to manage all provincial property; it is specially charged with public assistance in so far as it is incumbent upon the state (asylums for the insane, for deaf mutes, subsidies to poor communes, etc.); it superintends the construction and maintenance of highways and roads, and can, if needs be, levy additional taxes for this purpose. It is the organ of the province.


—The "communal diets" are representative assemblies for territories less than a province; in this only do they differ from the provincial estates. Thus Hesse, Nassau and Frankfort together form a province, but each of these territories has its communal diet (the word communal is not synonymous here with municipal, but means of common interest). Brandenburg is divided into several Landschaflen; it is detached from other provinces. This division of territory is based on historical souvenirs.


—The pivot of the system of self-government is the arrondissement. The Landrath (sub-perfect), who represents the government, and who is charged with the administration proper, presides over the council, or better, the diet of the arrondissement. This diet is composed of at least twenty-five members, but most frequently of thirty; the number depends on the number of the population. Election takes place by estates or orders, that is, the cities, the large landed proprietors and the rural communes, constitute so many electoral colleges (Wahloerbände), and each college appoints its representatives. The great landed proprietors and the rural communes elect each the same number of representatives. The vote of the representatives of the country is divided by the deputies of the cities, who are almost everywhere smaller in number. The arrondissement diets or councils have extensive powers; they administer the arrondissement, which is charged with the powers or prestations incumbent, in France, in part upon the department and in part upon the commune, and which are too numerous to be enumerated here. Of course, a certain number of the decisions of the district council must be confirmed by the superior authority.


—Below, and in certain respects it must be said in, the arrondissement, is the canton, or bailiwick (Amtsbezirk). The bailiwick has existed for a long time in the provinces of Hanover and Westphalia (and, if we are not mistaken, in Nassau). It was established, in 1873, in the provinces of Brandenburg, Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Saxony and Posen. A royal ordinance of 1867 (Sept. 22) had continued the provosts who existed in Schleswig-Holstein. The bailiffs, provosts or heads of the canton are a sort of cantonal mayor, presented by the diet of the district, and appointed by the president of the province. They are paid from the funds of the bailiwick, and their powers have to do with the police, which is exercised in the name of the king, with the maintenance of means of communication, and, in general, with the execution of the laws and of the administrative regulations. They are aided by a council, in which each commune is represented.


—As to its municipal organization, Prussian legislation distinguishes between the cities and communes which constitute an arrondissement themselves, cities which form part of an arrondissement, and the rural communes; moreover, the municipal laws differ according to province. There are nine legislative groups, and in each group a distinction is made between the city municipalities and the rural municipalities: 1, the six provinces of the east; 2, a certain part of Pomerania; 3, Westphalia; 4, the Rhenish province; 5, Schleswig-Holstein; 6, Hanover; 7, Hesse; 8, Nassau; 9, Frankfort. Perhaps there are also peculiarities in the old landgraviate of Hesse, in the Bavarian communes annexed in 1866, Prussia professing a greater regard for tradition than for uniformity. We may add, that, everywhere, the autonomy of the cities is greater than that of the rural communes.


—The administration of cities is regulated in the six eastern provinces, not including the government of Stralsund (Pomerania), by the organic law (Stadte-Ordnung) of May 30, 1853; in Stralsund by the law of May 31, 1853; in Westphalia, by the organic law of March 19, 1856; in the Rhenish province, by the organic law of May 15, 1856. These laws apply only to the cities of more than 2,500 inhabitants. They have some principles in common, and notably the following: the city commune forms a corporation, which freely administers its own affairs by the organ of an executive committee called the town magistracy, assisted by a city of municipal council (Stadivsrordneton-Vertammlung). In the Rhenish province a burgomaster (mayor) and two or three deputies take the place of the magistracy. The magistracy is always composed of a burgomaster, as president, and several councilors, some of whom, as well as the burgomaster, receive a compensation. They are elected by the municipal council, but in cities of 10,000 inhabitants and more, their election must be confirmed by the king; in the others, by the governments. The burgomaster and the paid councilors are elected for twelve years, the others for six years. The number of the members of the municipal council is in proportion to the size of the city; they are appointed by the municipal electors, divided into three classes each of which chooses a third of the members of the council, one-half of whom must be landed proprietors. The term of office is six years, but the council is renewed one-third every two years.


—Every Prussian twenty-four years of age, who has lived in the city for at least a year, punctually and fully paid his taxes, who has a house within the territory of the commune, or carries on an industry of a certain importance, and is inscribed for at least fifteen francs upon the register of the class taxes or the revenue register, is a burgher, and has the right to vote at municipal elections.


—The powers of the magistrate and of the municipal council somewhat resemble those of the mayor and municipal council in France. The surveillance of the state is exercised, in the large cities, by the governments, and in the small, by the Landraths. Both may annul illegal municipal decisions, those which involve an exceeding of power, or which cause prejudice to the state; they may also, if they see fit, insert in the budgets the obligatory expenses which the municipal council has refused to insert in them. A municipal council can be dissolved by royal ordinance, but in this case another council must be elected within six months. The approval of the superior authority is necessary: 1, to validate the alienation of urban real estate, or of objects having a particular historical artistic or scientific interests; 2, to contract a loan; 3, to levy communal taxes; 4, to change the mode of the enjoyment of a communal right.


—The ordinance of Sept. 22, 1867, for Hanover, and that of March 25, 1867, for Frankfort, differ in some details from the preceding.


—We now come to the rural communes. In the six eastern provinces, to which the law of 1873, concerning the arrondissements, of which we have given a brief analysis, applies, the rural communes consist, on the one hand, of villages, and in part of great landed properties. In 1872 these six provinces included 25,446 communes, 14,152 landed estates enjoying municipal rights, and 82 localities which did not form part of any municipality; in all, 39,680 communes and localities. Most of the communes are small, as the following figures show: Rural communes with less than 100 individuals, 5,305; with from 100 to 500 15,676; with from 500 to 1,000, 3,498. Landed estates with less than 100 individuals, 7,682; with from 100 to 500, 6,260; with from 500 to 1,000, 186. Localities with less than 100 individuals, 78; with from 100 to 500, 4; with from 500 to 1,000, 186. The rest of the communes and landed estates have more than 1,000 inhabitants.


—The rural communes are administered by a head called the schulze (mayor), assisted by two deputies or aldermen; they are elected by the inhabitants of the commune, and confirmed by the Landrath on the recommendation of the bailiff. The schulze may have a salary allowed him from the municipal funds. He administers the affairs of the commune. convokes the communal assembly, directs its deliberations, and executes the decrees. He must aid the bailiff in the exercise of police duties, and provide the proper means in case of urgent necessity; he is, according to the expression of the law, the local authority.


—In the landed estates which constitute a commune, the proprietor represents the local authority. He exercises authority in person, or by a substitute approved by the Landrath. On the other hand, he is liable for all the expenses which are incumbent on a commune.


—In the province of Westphalia, baillwicks have been established composed of many rural communes. Each commune preserves its own particular interests: it is administered by a chief, assisted by landed proprietors paying a certain amount of taxes (the amount required is rather large) whose decisions must be approved by the bailiff, often by the superior authority, in order to be valid. The bailiff, as well as the chief of the commune, exercises his functions gratuitously. The bailiff is appointed by the king, upon the presentation of the Landrath, from among the inhabitants of the district; if there is no person in the neighbourhood capable of properly exercising this function, a paid bailiff not belonging to the locality may be appointed.


—In the Rhenish Province there are paid burgomasters at the head of the cantons, which form large communes, having their municipal council, without prejudice to the individuality of each village, which has its chief, and the inhabitants of which assemble to deliberate upon their particular interests. The burgomasters are assisted by a council. III. Finances. The good administration of the finances of Prussia is proverbial. During many centuries it had princes who took care of its pennies; the immediate successor of Frederick the Great, Frederick William II., alone, made a break in the series. Fortunately, his reign was short(1786-97), and his son, Frederick William III., devoted himself to paying off the debts, by practicing the strictest economy for many years. The oldest accounts preserved are on the civil list of Joachim Frederick for the year 1606. This prince had only 40,000 thalers revenue, which did not prevent him from undertaking the construction of a canal. Under George William the domain revenues of the elector reached, in 1622, 211,527 thalers, but in consequence of the devastations of war they fell (account of 1638) to 23,440 thalers. On the accession of the great elector (1640) the whole of the revenues of the state were valued at 400,000 thalers; on his death (1688) the receipts were valued at 2,500,000 thalers. His son, Frederick III., who became in 1701 the first king of Prussia, under the title of Frederick I., brought the revenues up to 4,000,000 thalers. He died in 1713. Frederick William I. (1713-40) reached the sum of 6,917,192 thalers (he introduced various taxes), and the amount in the treasury was 8,700,000 thalers. Frederick the Great (1740-86) had, in the last year of his reign, 20,000,000 thalers revenue, and at his death, the treasury, despite the wars and public works which he had undertaken, was found to contain 55,000,000 thalers. This money Frederick William II. set himself to work to dissipate; he reduced certain taxes, so that Frederick William III. (who died in 1840) had, in 1797, a revenue of only 20,499,383 thalers. We know the vicissitudes through which the Prussian monarchy passed, during the period which terminated with the year 1815. In 1821 the receipts rose again to 50,000,000 thalers net (costs of collection deducted); in 1844, to 57,677,194 thalers net, and 74,981,330 thalers gross. From this year (1844) onward, the budget gave the gross product of the taxes, but in the case of the postoffice and other revenues, only the net revenue of the postoffice was inserted. In 1854 it exceeded 100,000,000 the account balancing at 107,990,069 thalers; in 1866, the last year preceding the increase of territory, it was 168,929,873 thalers. The annexations brought the figures up to 210,620,043 thalers (budget of 1867), of which 168,929,873 were for the old provinces, 22,589,700 for Hanover, 5,749,000 for the electorate of Hesse, 4,882,303 for Nassau, and 7,671,303 for Schleswig-Holstein; the rest for the small additions to the frontiers. From 1868 to 1873 we have the following figures: 1868, 159,757,064 thalers; 1869,167,536,494; 1870, 168,251,372; 1871, 172,918,937; 1872, 197,059,940; and 1873, 206,802,643 thalers.


—When, from 210,000,000 in 1867, the total of the budget fell suddenly, in 1868, to 159,000,000, it was because the establishment of the Norddeutsche Bund, which became in 1871 the German empire, has exacted a great alteration, a part of the revenues and expenses of the kingdom of Prussia being transferred to the confederation. The total of the Prussian revenues thus transferred to the federal German budget was (budget of 1868) 62,173,346 thalers in receipts (customs and indirect taxes, sugar, brandy, 29,616,401; salt, 9,547,737; postoffice, 15,783,899; telegraphs, 1,594,275, etc., etc.), and 100,254,789 thalers in expenses (salt, 2,866,344; postoffice, 13,945,500; telegraphs, 1,737,230; army,72,994,740; navy, 8,428,975; consulates, 102,000; civil pensions, 180,000). These changes are due to the fact that the German empire has charge of the foreign affairs, of the army, of the navy, and of the postoffice and telegraphs, and that its own revenues consist of customs duties, duties on salt, the postoffice, and some sources less productive; finally, that the federated states have to cover the deficit by a matriculate contingent, an obligation which is incumbent also upon Prussia. The following is the Prussian budget, as it has been presented since 1868; we shall analyze that of 1878, passed March 24, 1873 (a little later than usual):

Receipts collected by the ministry of finance:
Domains (9,475,100) and forests (14,540,000), the trust fund of the crown (2,573,099) subtracted...   21,442,001
Product of the redemption of rents and sale of domains...   830,000
Direct taxes:
Land tax... 13,055,000
House tax... 4,867,000
Tax upon incomes of more than 1,000 thalers... 7,000,000
Tax upon incomes of less than 1,000 thalers... 13,264,000
Industrial tax (patents)... 5,402,000
Railway dues... 2,343,000
Miscellaneous... 125,000
Indirect taxes:
1. Imperial taxes:
Customs 19,577,900, of which there were turned into the treasury of the empire 17,759,900, leaving for the Prussian treasury (the equivalent of its expenses)... 1,818,000
Sugar (gross 10,475,380), remains to Prussia... 419,000
Salt (gross 6,058,250), remains to Prussia... 36,390
Tobacco (gross 120,020), remains to Prussia... 18,000
Brandy (gross 12,840,910), remains to Prussia... 1,926,140
Beer (gross 2,876,640), remains to Prussia... 431,500
Total imperial taxes... 4,649,080
2. Taxes collected for Prussia alone:
Tax on the grinding of corn... 1,750,000
Slaughter-house tax... 2,526,400
Stamps (the taxes were reduced in 1872)... 10,000,000
Prussia's share in the German stamps... 265,240
Tolls on roads... 1,525,880
Tolls on bridges and canals... 600,000
Miscellaneous... 678,450
Total taxes collected for Prussia alone... 17,345,970
Total indirect taxes...   21,995,000
Lottery...   1,340,300
Naval commercial institution (See handlung)...   2,500,000
Bank of Prussia...   2,002,000
The mint...   344,000
Printing of the state...   328,000
General administration of the finances (the principal items of which are revenue of the old treasury, 5,250,000; excess of the receipts 1871, 9,273,920)...   20,169,630
Total of the collections of the ministry of finance...117,006,951
Receipts collected by the ministry of commerce (of which the principal items are mines, manufactories, salt works, 29,958,548; state railways, 46,265,100)...   76,835,823
Collections of the ministry:
Of state (sale of the bulletin of the laws)...   41,750
Of justice (costs, fines, etc.)...   14,005,000
Of the interior (work in the prisons, collections of the ordinances of the authorities, etc.)...   931,879
Of agriculture (product of the schools, of the stud, etc.)...   1,055,480
Of worship, instruction and public health...   166,284
Total receipts...   210,048,767


Domains and forests. The state is proprietor of 1,148 farms of rural domains, comprising a productive surface of 354,819 hectares, not including a quantity of small properties or parts of properties, the area of which is not known, but which, to judge from the provinces from which we have returns, must surpass in extent 200,000 hectares, and yield about 4,000,000 francs of farm rents, and besides a sum of 10,000,000 francs of perpetual rents, due by cultivators for lands which were formerly abandoned to them. There are, besides, about 3,000,000 hectares of state forests. With the exception of a revenue of 9,649,121 francs, drawn from the whole of the domains in favor of the crown, these latter were declared, in 1820, the property of the state, and pledged at the same time as a mortgage to its creditors. What remains of the revenues of the domains and forests, after the payment of the income of the crown, is devoted to the payment of the interest of the public debt. The rural domains are farmed out by adjudication, ordinarily for eighteen years, and produce a farm rent, the amount of which rises with the price of commodities. In 1849 an average obtained was 1 thaler 5 sgr. 7 pf. per morgen, or 17 fr. 76 c. per hectare; in 1856, 20 fr. 40 c.; in 1869, 34 fr. 56 c. From 1869 to 1873 the average was still higher. The rents fixed upon the portions of land, and which we have qualified as perpetual, must, however, be discharged by amortizement in forty or fifty-six years; they are also redeemable, entirely or in part, at the choice of the debtors. The amount of these redemptions may be estimated at 3,000,000 francs a year. The expenses of administration and other expenses absorb about 15 per cent, of the gross revenue of the domains, and about 47 per cent. of the product of the forests. The expenses of the administration of the forests are so high, because they include the expenses of cultivation, of the cutting and transporting of the wood to the markets.


Direct taxes. The land tax is levied in the different provinces in accordance with old traditions. It thus weighs very unequally upon immovable property. To effect an equalization of the burden, the laws of May 21, 1861, prescribed a new assessment upon general principles, applied everywhere in the same manner. This distribution of the burden was finished at the ascribed time, but it operated only in the old provinces. The tax is levied upon the net product of immovable property. Landed estates not built on, in these provinces, yield the treasury a sum of 10,000,000 thalers, or 37,500,000 francs; by adding to this the product of real estate built on, which is 7,000,000 francs, the land tax rose in 1865 from 38,000,000 to 45,000,000 francs.


—The tax upon classified income and the class taxes (law of May 1, 1851) are personal taxes levied upon the income. For this purpose tax payers are divided, according to their incomes, into several classes, the amount of income for each class being fixed by law. The classification is made by commissions of tax payers appointed by the communal authorities, so that, in fact, the tax payers classify themselves. The tax upon classified revenue is paid only by persons with an income of more than 1,000 thalers a year, while the class tax is due from all tax payers who do not live in cities subject to the tax on the grinding of corn and the tax on the slaughtering of animals (tax on flour and meat). There is in Prussia an income tax, but this tax has a different name, according as the tax payer has more or less than 1,000 thalers income. The rate of the tax also differs; it is about 2 per cent, for the class tax, and 3 per cent, for the tax on classified income. The term class has the following signification: instead of demanding so much percent of income, a poll tax is demanded, graduated according to the wealth of the tax payer; tax payers are, therefore, grouped into classes, according to the amount of their income (for example, 1,000 to 1,100, 1,100 to 1,200, etc.), and poll taxes are demanded proportionate to the income. The result is, that for 1,150 thalers income, as much is required as for 1,101 or 1,199.


—The industrial or license tax (law of May 30, 1820) is levied upon the exercise of the industrial and commercial professions. The different localities are, for this purpose, divided into four categories, of which the first three embrace the cities of a certain importance, while the fourth comprises all the other communes. The first three categories are determined by the number of the population; the localities belonging to the fourth category are joined together in unions corresponding to the circle (kreis). The license is always a distributed tax. The contingent is fixed in a lump for a city or circle; it is then divided among those engaged in industry according to the importance of their business.


—The tax upon railways (law of May 30, 1853) is levied upon their net proceeds. The tariff is all follows: when the income from shares is 4 per cent. net or less, the tax is one-fortieth of the income; when the dividend exceeds 4 per cent., the tax is one-twenty-fourth for the excess between 4 and 5 per cent., one-tenth for what exceeds 5 per cent, and up to 6 per cent., and two-tenths for the part of the dividend which exceeds 6 per cent.


—The land, class and patent taxes are collected by collectors, who receive allowances for collection, while the tax upon classified incomes is collected by the pay offices of the circle (the receivers of finances), and the tax upon railways by the provincial pay-offices of the government (receivers general).


Indirect taxes. The customs duties, the tax upon salt, brandy, malt, native sugar and tobacco, coming with the jurisdiction of the empire, we have nothing to do with here. We shall speak here only of taxes purely Prussian.


—The stamp duties (law and tariff of March 7, 1822, modified in 1869 and 1873) are in part fixed and in part proportional. To the first are subject all instruments submitted for registration, or which are presented to the public authority, such as passports, playing cards, periodicals, so long as stamps had to be affixed to them; to them latter, unilateral instruments concerning objects of a value of at least 187 fr. 50c., as well as inheritances, judicial acts, etc.


—To the taxes on the grinding of corn and slaughtering of animals (law of May 30, 1820) are subject eighty-three cities (the number is diminishing) of a certain importance, designated by the law of May 1, 1854, and exempted, for this reason, from the class tax, but not from the tax on classified income. It is a tax on consumption collected at the gates of the cities, and levied upon flour and meat, whatever may be the form under which these commodities enter the city. The tariff is 5 francs per 100 kilogrammes of wheat, 1 fr. 25 c. per 100 kilogrammes of other cereals, and 7 fr. 50 c. per 100 kilogrammes of meat. The tax upon meat may be replaced by a tax per head upon the cattle which enter the cities. A third of the tax upon the grinding of corn is given to the respective municipal funds. The share of the state amounts to a total sum of 12,000,000 francs. A great number of these cities have also been authorized by the state to add additional taxes to these.


—The tax upon the cultivation of the vine (law of Sept. 25, 1820) is not important. Wine is subject to a duty of from 90 c. to 4 fr. 38 c. (according to the quality) per eimer (70 litres) of wine produced. It is charged to the producer, and is, so to speak, a supplementary land tax; it is therefore wrong to include it among indirect taxes.


—The tolls of roads and bridges have been strongly attacked for some time, but they do not lack defenders.


Other resources of the department of finance. We group under this designation the lottery, the bank, the naval commercial institution, the mint, and the general administration of the finances. The first three, established by Frederick the Great, have undergone many changes since.


—The lottery (law of May 28, 1810, and regulation of May 1, 1841) is divided into four classes; it is renewed twice a year, so that there are eight drawings in the year. The number of chances in each lottery, at 195 francs a chance, is 95,000, and the number of prizes, 34,000. The state collects from this gain 15 5-6 per cent.; and besides 2 per cent. is accorded to the collectors charged with the sale of the tickets and the payment of the prizes.


—The naval commercial institution (See handlung), instituted in 1772 to encourage maritime commerce (law of Jan. 17, 1820), is but an institution of credit and of commerce, intended principally to effect the purchase of salt abroad, and to take charge of certain public affairs which require commercial operations. This institution has been often and many times justly attacked; some demand more publicity, while others do not wish a banking house carrying on business with the funds of the state. The Seehandlung having many times controlled the issue of laws, it has been said that it made a profit at the expense of the state. Bergins, author of a "Treatise of Finances", echoes this singular reproach (pp. 388. 389). Would people have preferred to see a banker making this profit? For, what the Seehandlung gains, the state receives; and in this case it performs the office of a public service, as if it were a section of the ministry of finance. We do not wish to defend the Seehandlung; we are only trying to do justice to the value of an argument. Let us add, that the Seehandlung turns only a fixed sum into the treasury of the state, and figures only in the receipts, and not in the expenditures. Certain deputies have demanded that the Seehandlung should turn in, every year, the whole of its gains, instead of increasing its capital by the surplus; but it would be perhaps better to abolish that institution than to enfeeble it.


—The gross proceeds of the mint, from the coinage, are an item in the receipts, and are absorbed by the expenses of manufacture and administration.


Collections of the department of commerce, of industry and of public works. These comprise the mines, manufactories and salt works, the state railways and the royal manufactory of porcelain. The mines, manufactories and salt works of the state are so numerous and so important that their gross product amounted, in 1873, to: mines, 20,309,680 thalers; manufactories, 6,702,950; and salt works, 1,674,660. There are also various products which reached a total of 1,200,000 thalers; in all, about thirty millions; but about 80 per cent, was absorbed for the expenses of exploitation and administration. The state collects, besides, a tax of 6 per cent. on the gross product of the mines of individuals (law of May 12, 1854), which has been for a series of years about 2,000,000 thalers. The manufacture of porcelain is a right of the state.


—In the railway system of Prussia the following destinction must be made: 1. the railways of the state; 2. the lines which have been subsidized by the state, which, besides, assumed certain obligations, 3, the lines to which the state guarantees a minimum of interest; 4, the lines acquired by the annexation of Hanover and other territory; however, the budgets confine themselves to an enumeration of the lines, indicating separately the proceeds of each of them. The net product of the railways, augmented by a sum of about 5,000,000 francs, is applied to the payment of the interest and the liquidation of the public debt contracted for the construction and acquisition of railways.


Collections of the other ministerial departments. The collections of the ministry of the justice are the most considerable. They consist of the costs of trials and of judicial acts, and reach a figure large enough almost to cover the expenses of the administration of justice. The receipts of the department of agriculture are made up from redemption of servitudes and of other real estate burdens (consolidation of estates), and of the revenues of the public studs; they cover, except about 2,500,000 francs, the expenses of the ministry. The receipts of the department of the interior comprise fines, taxes on passports, and the products of workhouses and houses of correction.


Expenditure of the state. The expenditures of the state are divided into ordinary and extraordinary, or, to use the Prussian phraseology, into permanent and accidental (einmalige). The following is the table of the expenditures of 1873, corresponding to the table of receipts given above:

A. Cost of collection and exploitation. Thalers.
Ministry of finance...   19,451,025
To wit:
Domains... 2,136,750
Forests... 7,562,000
Direct taxes... 2,351,000
Indirect taxes... 6,883,500
Lottery... 24,875
Mint... 278,200
State printing... 214,700
Ministry of commerce...   53,456,068
Manufacture of porcelain... 148,000
Mines... 14,805,423
Manufactories... 6,243,004
Salt works... 1,155,730
Other industries... 656,096
Total... 23,008,253
Railways... 30,447,815
Ministry of state...   48,870
Total costs...   72,955,463
B. Complements to the civil list...   1,500,000
Public debt (comprising therein 11,939,134) for the debt of the railways...  25,828,800
Expenses of the chambers...  307,800
Ministry of state...  547,611
Ministry of foreign affairs...  135,600
Ministry of finance...  31,566,005
Ministry of commerce (of industry and public works)...  11,508,981
Ministry of justice...  19,459,530
Ministry of the interior...  9,766,396
Ministry of agriculture...  2,796,043
Ministry of worship, education and health...  10,022,017
Extraordinary expenses, divided among the different ministries...   23,450,239
Grand total...  209,844,485


The absence of the ministries of war and of the navy, in the above table, will be noticed: this is because their services depend now upon the empire, and figure in the latter's budget. The council of Prussian ministers includes, however, the ministers who direct these services.


—The dotation of the crown includes the deduction from the product of domains and forests already mentioned, and which amounts to 2,573,099 thalers with the premium upon gold. This deduction was decreed to the civil list, when the king abandoned the domains of the crown to the state, as a hypothecation in favor of the creditors of the state (law of Dec. 17, 1808, law of 1810, and law of Jan. 17, 1820). This civil list was increased 500,000 thalers by the law of April 30, 1859, and by that of Jan. 27, 1868, by a million, so that the whole of the dotation of the royal crown is 4,073,099 thalers, or 12,219,297 marks, in the new German money.


—We speak, a little further on, of the public debt. The extraordinary expenditures are applied chiefly to public works of all kinds, to improvements, to the redemption of servitudes with which the domains and forests of the state are charged, to the improvement or extension of useful institutions, etc.


Public debt. The events of the first fifteen years of this century imposed upon Prussia a rather heavy debt; it amounted in 1820, when peace allowed liquidation to be begun, and regulation to be undertaken, to 206,733,171 thalers bearing interest, and 11,242,347 thalers of paper money. A sinking fund was created; economy reigned in the administration, and in 1848 the debt was reduced to 122,942,765 thalers. The events of the times, on the one hand, and the construction of numerous railroads, on the other, increased the debt, in 1858, to 225,776,838 thalers, and in 1867 to 270,661,195. At the end of 1868, after the addition of the debts of the annexed provinces, the figures were as follows (the railway debt being included in the total debt):

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


To this must be added 18,250,000 thalers of debt not bearing interest, or of paper money. We have seen above that this debt was 11,242,347 in 1820; it remained at that figure till 1850. At that time an issue of 9,600,000 thalers was made, which brought the circulation up to 20,842,347 thalers. In 1851 ten millions more were issued, but in 1856 the circulation was reduced five millions, and in 1857 ten millions more, and it remained 15,842,347 thalers until 1867.


—The debt of 1868 required an expenditure of 25,704,930 thalers, of which 10,002,486 was for the railway debt. The sinking fund in these twenty-five millions comprised the amount of 8,178,433 thalers. As the construction of railroads continued, and as, with every loan, the dotation of the sinking fund was increased; and as, besides, the interest of the redeemed debts continued for ten years to increase this fund, the burden was found rather heavy, or, as was also said, the amortizement was too rapid. Perhaps this state of things would have continued, but, the year 1869 showing a deficit, the minister of finance decided to propose a bill for the consolidation of the debt. This bill, a little modified, became a law Dec. 19, 1869 ("Prussian Official Journal," of Dec. 24). To understand this law, we must keep in mind that all the Prussian debt, which was composed of 115 different titles, was subject to obligatory amortizement. There were annually redeemed at the Bourse, as far as the funds intended for that purpose would allow, the funds (or rather, the capitals) the market price of which was below par. As for other titles, they were drawn by lot as obligations (the coupons were numbered and payable to the bearer). The consolidation consisted in the exchange of nineteen kinds of titles, twelve at 4½ per cent., and seven at 4 per cent., for new titles at 4½ per cent., the obligatory amortizement of which was suspended till 1885, and is to be optional with the state after that date. That is to say, until 1885 the titles of the consolidated debt can be redeemed only at the Bourse, at the market price of the day, and only by means of the budget surplus which is especially intended for that purpose. From Jan. 1, 1885, the government may resume the amortizement by means of drawing by lot and at par. To attract the holders of titles at 4 per cent. a premium of 1 per cent. was offered them. The operation was applied to a sum total of 223,436,175 thalers, which became reduced to 217,551,000 thalers, since 800 thalers of capital at 4½ per cent. were given in exchange for 900 thalers at 4 per cent. The rest of the debt was maintained under the former system. The operation, by reducing the liquidation funds from 8,666,140 to 5,243,285 thalers, set free for other purposes the sum of 3,422,855 thalers. The consolidation, which transformed the capital debt into an interest debt, was so successful, that, disposing of the great surplus of receipts, six million thalers for 1870 and more than nine million thalers for 1871, and the 4½ having passed par, the minister of finance could ask of the chambers the authority to resume, as far as this remainder was concerned, the former mode of amortizement.


—We shall now sum up the situation of the debt on Jan. 1, 1872, according to the report of the commission of surveillance, established by the law of Feb. 24, 1850:

Debt bearing interest.Thalers.
Debt of Prussia, before 1866... 354,793,184
Debt of the states annexed in 1866... 61,164,001
Total... 415,957,185
From these figures must be deducted the amount proceeding (except 9,286,200 thalers) from railway loans, the proceeds of which cover the interest and liquidation of the capital employed 196,858,145
Left to the charge of the state... 219,099,040
Debt not bearing interest.
Paper money (Cassenscheine)... 18,250,000


—In 1873 Prussia contracted a loan of 120 millions of thalers for the construction of new railroads.*60


—IV. Army and Navy. Whatever may be the interest which is attached to the organization of the Prussian army, we can only relate its history from the accession of King Frederick William III. In the first year of his reign, in 1797, he laid down in a law, the principle of obligatory personal military service; but this law contained at the same time such a great number of exemptions and privileges, that the service was exclusively confined to the lower classes. The misfortunes which Prussia suffered in 1806 were the cause of great modifications in its internal organization. It was necessary to supply the material strength which it had lost by the creation of new moral strength, so that the reform extended to all public services. Napoleon, having restricted the effective force of the Prussian army in active service to 42,000 men, certain illustrious generals, like Scharnnorst and Gneissenau, and an eminent statesman, the baron von Stein, consulted as to the means of giving to Prussia the power and authority which she had enjoyed before the war of 1806. To accomplish this aim, it was necessary to increase, as much as possible, without awakening suspicions, the number of soldiers, and to thus prepare to be ready at the first signal given by circumstances. The royal ordinance of Aug. 6, 1808, established a system, according to the terms of which the regiments in active service should discharge from time to time a certain number of well-drilled soldiers, and replace them by as many more, whom they should instruct, and discharge again at the end of a given time, to receive an equal number of new recruits. In this way, little by little, a drilled reserve was formed, amounting to a total of 150,000 men. In 1811 dépoˆts of instruction, so-called, were organized, whose real purpose was to increase the number of active officers, in view of an imminent war. These preparation allowed, in 1813, an army of 200,000 men of troops of the line to be placed in the field, and the provinces organized an auxiliary army, composed of able-bodied men who had not served, called the landwehr, and which the provinces equipped and armed at their own expense.


—The landwehr, springing almost spontaneously from the patriotic ardor of the people, was pro-claimed the fundamental principle of the future military organization of Prussia. On Feb. 9, 1813, the king abolished all exemption from conscription, and, Sept. 3, 1814, a royal ordinance established the new organization of the army as follows. The land force comprised: 1, the active army; 2, the first ban of the landwehr; 3, the second ban of the landwehr; 4, the arrière-ban, or landsturm. The active army is the practical military school of the nation; it comprises: 1, individuals who wish to embrace a military career and to pass the examinations for ensign and officer; 2, those who present themselves voluntarily to satisfy the law; 3, able-bodied-young men, aged from twenty to twenty-five years, without exception. (There are, however, some cases of exemption.) The length of service is three years under the flag; then the soldier, sent to his home on renewable leave of absence, passes into the reserve, of which he forms a part for two years. The first ban of the landwehr, destined to maintain the standing army, comprise the soldiers who leave the reserve after having completed their five years of service; they form a part of it for seven years, and are obliged to present themselves at the musters and at the periodical exercises in their cantons. The second ban, who are charged with going to the defense of fortified places, are likewise subjected to a service of seven years, but are not bound to take part in the cantonal exercises, they are only reviewed from time to time by the military authority of the district. The arriére ban, finally, are simply a home guard. Thus was the army constituted by the law of Sept. 3, 1814. A supplementary law, published April 21, 1815, assigned to each division of the landwehr its territorial circumscription, and regulated its division into (three) battalion, and its general administration.


—Such was the primitive organization of the Prussian army. Later, it was resolved to place the landwehr in a more intimate connection with the line, by forming bridges composed of a regiment of the line and a regiment of landwehr. The line and the landwehr had the same equipment, the same armament, and officers of the line were detached to serve in the ranks of the landwehr, and vice versa. But this fusion, instead of creating a strong and rational whole, produced a system which was in contradiction with the spirit of modern times and with the exigencies of practice. The line would often be despoiled, at a decisive moment, of its best officers and under officers, and besides be obliged to share its supplies with the landwehr. In assembling the latter, the country was suddenly deprived of a great number of workmen; the mechanic, the workman, and the cultivator of the land, were snatched from their customary occupations. Becoming soldiers again after an absence from the corps of from three to six years, these men formed a body of troops to whom the experience which arms of precision and modern tactics demand, was lacking.


—These military arguments found their corollary in reasons of equity and of public economy. "Personal conscription," that is to say, the obligation of every Prussian to serve in the regular army, could never be applied in all its rigor, and had become an illusion altogether. Just as in 1848, when the population of the kingdom amounted to 11,000,000, the annual contingent remained fixed at 40,000 men at a time when the census gave a population of 18,500,000; it was afterward raised to 63,000 men. A drawing of lots, introduced in 1820, liberated annually almost 74 per cent. of the male population: a very considerable advantage, if we remember that those to whom fortune had not been favorable (about 26 per cent.) were subjected to nineteen years' service, while also remaining subject to all civil charges. Cramped in their movements by the obligation to join the army, they could only with hesitancy enter upon certain careers, and could, consequently, contribute only in a measure relatively restricted to the increase of the nation's fortune. On the other hand, the support of the families, whose heads were called to active service, was charged to the cantons and communes, which involved them in debt in an almost insupportable manner. Finally, the division of the army into eight corps, corresponding to the eight provinces of the kingdom, might have had as an effect the distribution in an unequal manner, and therefore unjust, of the burdens of all kinds which a partial mobilization of the army imposes on a country. In such cases, the province had to furnish all that it could in men, in horses, in provisions, while the others were freed from all payments, and scarcely perceived the agitation which reigned among their fellow-citizens. Such a military system could no longer be maintained. It was necessary to change the very long duration of service of a limited number of the inhabitants to a shorter service supported by a larger part of the population. In other words, it was necessary to increase the annual contingent, and to diminish the obligations of the landwehr, of which the year 1859 had shown the weak side.


—In this year, the king of Prussia, while maintaining the officers and under officers of the infantry, and of some regiments of cavalry of the landwehr, sent back the oldest classes to their homes, and ordered a supplementary levy. In 1860 the government finished the new organization; it at the same time presented to the chambers a bill, which the ministry withdraw at the end of the session without its having been discussed. The principal features of that bill may be summed up as follows: Every Prussian owes military service from the age of seventeen. The land force comprises the standing army and the landwehr. The navy is composed of the permanent navy and of the naval militia. The permanent army and navy are always bound to be ready to enter on a campaign. The obligatory time of active service on land and sea is fixed at eight years. Of these eight years, the soldiers of the cavalry pass the first four years in the regular army, those of the other branches and of the navy the first three years, and those in the train of the army the first six months. The rest of the time they are on renewable leave of absence. The landwehr and the maritime militia are intended to sustain the army and navy. After the eight years of service are ended, the men enter the landwehr or the naval militia; one figures upon the lists of these for eleven years, but in no case beyond one's thirty-ninth year, and he can be called to active service only in time of war. Young men, fulfilling certain conditions of capacity, who enlist voluntarily and equip themselves at their own expense, serve for one year only, after which they pass to the landwehr. This provision was sustained by the law proposed in 1860, and which was adopted despite the chamber. As for the present organization, it will be found in the article GERMAN EMPIRE, the Prussian army and the German army being now subject to the same law.




—V. Judicial Organization. Offenses against police regulations are judged by police tribunals, composed of a single judge, who can inflict a penalty as high as six weeks' imprisonment and 187 francs 50 centimes fine; misdemeanors are within the jurisdiction of the correctional tribunal, composed of three judges; crimes are tried by a jury.


—The left bank of the Rhine and some localities of the right bank have preserved the French civil legislation, while almost all the rest of the monarchy is subjected to the Prussian code. From this, differences in the judicial organization of the various provinces result. These differences may be thus summed up: 1. While the jurisdiction of the Rhenish tribunals is restricted to the cognizance of litigated cases, and while extra-judicial acts, such as wills, etc., are reserved to ministerial officers, notaries, sheriffs, etc., these acts are placed among the prerogatives of a special chamber of the tribunals, which unites with the judicial chamber only to judge important cases. 2. The Rhenish tribunals can pronounce judgment only in case the matter in controversy has been brought before them by the parties to the suit or by the public ministry; the other Prussian tribunals can act officially and without the matter in contraversy being so brought before them. 3. While in the Rhenish districts the public ministry extends its surveillance over the whole of the administration of justice, including the ministerial, their jurisdiction is limited, in the rest of Prussia, to affairs pending before to tribunal and to matrimonial affairs. 4. In the Rhenish province the execution of judgments is made by the agency of a sheriff; elsewhere in Prussia, directly by the tribunals.


—A distinction is drawn between the ordinary tribunals and special tribunals. The former are tribunals of the first resort; there are forty-six in the province of Prussia, twenty-nine in Brandenburg, twenty in Pomerania, fifty-three in Silesia, twenty-six in Posen, thirty-one in Saxony, twenty-nine in Westphalia, nine in the Rhenish province, etc. The jurisdiction of most of these tribunals comprises a circle (district, or arrondissement), the others are established in cities of more than 50,000 inhabitants. Moreover, the tribunals of the Rhenish province extend their jurisdiction over about a whole governmental district. But the judicial jurisdictions do not always correspond with the administrative division of the country. The tribunals of the first resort form twenty-six jurisdictions of courts of appeal, from which the Rhenish province, which has only two resorts (like France), can appeal to Berlin, where the supreme court sits, forming a third, for the rest of the kingdom. In the Rhenish province there are 125 justices of the peace. It is the supreme tribunal which settles the conflicts of jurisdiction which may arise between the tribunals; the conflicts between the tribunals and the administration are regulated by the tribunal of conflicts, composed of the president of the council of ministers, of some councilors of the supreme tribunal, and of some functionaries of the administration.


—The special tribunals are: the tribunals of commerce, the judges of which are elected by the chief merchants, and the conseils de prud'hommes elected by employers and workmen; the university tribunals, which extend their jurisdiction over students, and which can inflict a penalty as high as four weeks' incarceration; the customs or fiscal tribunals; the military tribunals (courts-martial); finally, the tribunals charged with the regulation of compensation due for the purchase of servitudes.


—To be a judge, it is necessary to have studied law for three years, to have passed a first examination, then to go through a stage of trial, and pass a second examination both theoretical and practical. Conditions of capacity less rigorous are imposed upon prothonotaries and ministerial officers. The latter are appointed by the ministers; the presidents appoint the inferior agents. The judges are appointed by the king; they are irremovable, or at least, their salary can not be taken away from them, except in case of crime or misdemeanor. Each tribunal has its posts more or less well endowed; a person begins with the lowest salary, and rises, by seniority and in proportion as vacancies occur, to a higher salary.


—VI. Church and state. The liberty of Christian religions has been established in Prussia since the last century. Frederick the Great wished every one to work out his salvation in his own way. The code of 1794 recognized this principle in a solemn manner, and the constitution of 1850 confirmed it, and even applied it in a broader way by extending it to Israelities. This act expressly permits the establishment of reunions for the exercise of worship in common. These reunions (or parishes) from the time they are established, possess the rights of a recognized private society, but acquire the rights of a corporation only by a law. Each religion administers its institutions as it wishes.


—The 24,500,000 inhabitants of Prussia were in 1874 about thus divided among the principal religions: Protestants, 16,000,000; Catholics, 8,000,000; Israelites, 320,000. The rest are divided among many less numerous sects. The Catholics form the majority of the population in the Rhenish province, in Posen and in Silesia; in the other provinces the Protestants are the more numerous.*61


—The king is the supreme bishop of the Protestant religion in Prussia. In principle the constitution of 1850 gave worship its independence, but the complete application of the principle of independence was not attained until 1873. It was limited, in 1850, to the separation of internal matters from external matters. The former were confided to a superior evangelical council (olerkirchenrath) independent of the minister of workship, that is to say, functioning side by side with him. Within the jurisdiction of the superior council are eight provincial consistories, which operate under its authority, and which are presided over by the superior presidents; they include among their members a general superintendent, who represents the minister of worship. The external matters are administered, as formerly, by the minister of worship and by the governments of the districts (the prefects). In matters of a mixed nature the ecclesiastical and the administrative authorities deliberate in common.


—The internal matters include dogma, the liturgy, discipline, the synods, and theological instruction. The candidates for the evangelical ministry must have studied theology for three years in the a university; they must pass an examination, and are appointed by the patron (the state or the possessor of the seigniory), or elected by the parish. The provincial consistories and the superior evangelical council are appointed by the king.


—The external affairs consist in the surveillance over the property, the establishments and the institutions of the various churches, in the exercise of the patronate of the state, which confers upon it besides a direct influence over the administration of these establishments, over the appointment of the administrators of the church lands, and over all that relates to the material interests of the parishes.


—The internal organization of the Protestant, or Evangelical, religion, promised by the constitution, has its foundation in the communal and synodal regulation of Sept. 10, 1873, which established councils of ancients, and district and provincial synods, as well as a general synod. These regulations enter into all possible details, even to prescribing that they shall commence their meeting with a prayer.


—The Catholic religion is much more independent of the state than the evangelical religion. There is not even a concordat. The bull De salute animarum, dated July 16, 1821, and accepted by royal ordinance of Aug. 23, 1821, is not a treaty, althought it was preceded by negotiations. It settles the boundaries of the diocess, it regulates what relates to the election of archbishops and bishops by the chapters of the cathedrals (with papal approval), and treats of the endowment of the sees, by right of indemnity for the secularization of the property of the church effected in 1810. The state had reserved its rights, and notably that of acting as intermediary in the relations between the bishops and the holy see. In 1840 the state abandoned this right. Article sixteen of the constitution of 1850 abolished it, and allowed the bishops to correspond directly with their superior.


—The bishops enjoyed in Prussia very extended rights, and the government favored them in a very special manner. But, although the reason is not very clear, a conflict arose between them and the government in 1870, after the proclamation of the infallibility of the pope, which was about coincident with the Franco-German war. The conflict threatened to become more and more envenomed, the government demanding that the clergy should recognize the supremacy of the state, while the priests, and, above all, the bishops, professed that the orders of the sovereign pontiff took precedence of the laws of the country. To combat the ultramontane spirit without meddling with the internal matters of religion, the government proposed and the chambers passed many laws, of which the following is a very brief analysis.


Law of May 11, 1873. This law applies to Catholic priests as well as to Protestant pastors or ministers; it exacts that every ecclesiastic appointed to a parish shall be German, and that he shall have studied theology regularly, either in a university or in a higher ecclesiastical seminary furnishing an equivalent instrument, and whose plan of studies shall have been approved by the minister. Before entering the seminary, or being enrolled in the university, the pupil has to pass an examination to prove that he has made his humanities. The professors of a small or of a large seminary, although priests, must show their capacity by an examination. In case of transgression, the state can refuse the subsidies or endowments. The ecclesiastical superiors (bishops, for example), before proceeding to an appointment, must present (make known the name of) the candidate to the superior president of the province, and wait thirty days; if there is no objection, the appointment may be made. Objection may be taken: 1, if the candidate has not passed through the required course of study; 2, if he has committed any crime or misdemeanor; and 3, if his previous conduct authorizes the government to think that he will not submit to the laws of the country. The nominations made contrary to these provisions are null and void; the state can keep back the salary of bishops (the German text says only, "of those who appoint"), and inflict fines upon them, as high as 1,000 thalers, if they have the places vacant. The above provisions have no retroactive effect, only a delay of a certain time is fixed for foreign priests to be naturalized.


Law of May 12, 1873. This law regulates what concerns the discipline of the various Christian churches. No disciplinary punishment can be inflicted, except by a German authority. It may consist of fines, of imprisonment (detention in a house of demeritants), or even of recall; but when it exceeds a maximum fixed by law, it must be approved by the superior authority, to whom a written decision giving the reasons therefor must be submitted. An appeal may be taken, in certain cases mentioned, to a superior ecclesiastical tribunal, whose members, to the number of eleven, are irremovable.


Law of May 13, 1873. This law applies equally "to all churches and all religions," and forbids the publication of internal disciplinary measures (excommunication, etc.). These measures must not be dishonoring, under penalty of a fine of from 200 to 500 thalers, and of imprisonment for not over a year. There is question here of measures taken against laymen; the disciplinary penalties against ecclesiastics are regulated by the law of May 12, 1873.


Law of May 14, 1873. This tells how one may leave a religion (the law does not say change a religion; its language is broader), and regulates the civil consequences which may be attached to this change. This law frees also an Israelite landholder from contributing to the expenses of the Christian religion.


—A law of February, 1874, established civil marriage in Prussia, and various decisions recognized as Catholic the ecclesiastics who do not accept the infallibility of the pope. A decree of the superior tribunal (July, 1873) declared that it did not belong to a tribunal to distinguish between dogmas, and to decide which are characteristic; it was sufficient for the "Old Catholics" to declare themselves Catholic, to be considered as such.


—The liberal régime which existed before 1870 in regard to convents and religious bodies caused these institutions to multiply in Prussia, so that certain inconveniences resulted. However, petitions were addressed to the chamber of deputies of Prussia, and the question was thoroughly treated in a report of the eminent professor Gneist, of the university of Berlin (session of 1869, document No. 221). We are obliged to refer to that for the explanation and discussion of principles, limiting ourselves here to giving some statistical information borrowed from that document.


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Ample detail will be found in the above mentioned report. By a decision of June 15, 1872, the minister of public instruction excluded, for the future, the members of religious orders from all participation in the instruction in public schools. The order of Jesuits was, moreover, completely banished from Germany by the law of July 4, 1872. For the continuation of this subject see GERMAN EMPIRE.


—The Israelite religion is not subject to any surveillance on the part of the state, which has also not granted it any subsidy. It administers its affairs with perfect freedom. The communities form generally recognized private societies; some, however, have received corporate rights.


—VII. Public Education. The importance of education has been recognized for a long time in Prussia, and in the seventeenth century the government took measures to extend its benefits. The code of 1791 declared that schools and universities were public establishments, which could be opened without the authorization of the state charged with their surveillance. This code was the point of departure for quite a liberal legislation, which the constitution of 1850 developed. "Science and instruction," it said, "are free; education for the young shall be furnished by public schools. Parents can not deprive their children of the decree of instruction which the public primary school is charged with conferring. All persons who can prove before the authorities their morality, their capacity and their knowledge, may teach or open schools. All public or private establishments, whose purpose is instruction, are subject to the surveillance of the state. In establishing public primary schools, the difference of religion must be taken into consideration as much as possible. Religious instruction is given in them under the direction of the churches or religious associations (dissenting parish). The direction of the external interests of the public primary schools, in which instruction must be gratuitous, belongs to the communes, which must also sustain the expenses of their establishment and maintenance. The state intervenes only when the commune is unable to fulfill this duty, and within the limit of the want. A law shall regulate all that concerns public instruction, and, meanwhile, the existing organization will be preserved."


—Such are the principles put forward by the constitution of 1850; the new law promised by the constitution was presented Nov. 2, 1869, but it was not adopted. Till it shall be otherwise arranged, the primary (or elementary) school is placed under the local authority, and its support is in charge of the members of the school commune, including all the heads of households, while the political commune includes only the inhabitants possessing a property or a revenue sufficient to entitle them to be municipal electors. The heads of households are required to contribute to the support of the school in proportion to their means,*62 not including the school fee due from the parents. The expenses of building a school house are charged to the municipal funds, with subsidies from the lords or proprietors of noble properties, if there are any, and finally of the state.


—But if instruction is not yet entirely gratuitous, despite article twenty-five of the constitution, it has for a long time been obligatory. All children who do not receive at home the prescribed instruction must attend the primary school, under penalty of a fine and even of imprisonment for the parents.


—The number of schools, of teachers and of pupils in Prussia, for the dates mentioned may be gathered from the following table:

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According to a table published in 1869 by the Zeitschrift of the bureau of statistics, there were, in the primary schools: 12.8 per cent.; in 1825, 13.5 per cent.; in 1828, 14.6 per cent.; in 1831, 15.2 per cent. of the male population. It remained the same in 1861; in 1864 we find 16.9 per cent. For the year 1872, Brachelli estimated the number of primary schools at 34,700, and that of scholars at 3,650,000. In 1870 there were in Prussia seventy-six normal schools, fifty-six of which were Protestant and twenty Catholic. Since 1860, eleven normal schools belonging to the former religion, and five belonging to the latter, have been established.


—Secondary instruction is represented by schools of different natures and different degrees. The 204 gymnasiums (lyceums) were attended in the winter of 1870-71 by 52,657 pupils, not including the 5,835 pupils of the preparatory schools, which makes one pupil in 468 inhabitants (the elementary classes not included). The thirty-three progymnasiums (colleges) had 3,443 pupils, besides 335 pupils of elementary classes. The seventy-six realschulen (schools of exact sciences) of the first rank had 20,026 and 2,620 pupils; those of the second rank had 2,950 and 1,002 pupils; the higher city schools, fifty-nine in number, final examination in which entitled the pupil to enter the military service a year earlier than provided by law, were attended by 7,093 pupils, not including 1,818 pupils in the elementary classes; the twenty which did not enjoy this right had 1,317, and seventy-four pupils. The total number of pupils receiving secondary instruction was 89,275 (the elementary classes included); that is, one pupil in 276 inhabitants. These numbers indicate those who remainded till the close, but, in reality, the attendance was 99,102 and 15,584; that is, 114,686 pupils, one in 215 inhabitants.


—Superior instruction belongs to the universities of Berlin, Königsberg, Greifswald, Breslau, Halle, Bonn, Göttingen, Kiel, and Marburg. Munster may be added, although three faculties only are represented there. Paderborn and Braunsberg have faculties of Catholic theology (besides those which are annexed to many universities). Berlin, Königsberg and Düsseldorf have academies of the fine arts, and there are, in addition , agricultural academies, military and naval schools, and other institutions which it would be tedious to enumerate. The universities had, in 1873, about 8,000 matriculated students, and 1,600 to 1,800 young men who are simply authorized to follow the courses. In 1873 these universities had 404 professors in ordinary (incumbents), 166 extraordinary professors, and 241 privat-docenten (free professors); 50 masters taught the language, etc.


—The surveillance of the state over education is exercised by the minister of public instruction, and the different authorities dependent upon him. Such are the provincial colleges (committees), the district governments (prefects), and the school inspectors. The inspection is generally exercised by the priest or pastor. In consequence of the strife between the state and the church (chiefly, but not entirely, the Catholic church), by the law of March 11, 1872, which accentuates the right of the state to the surveillance of instruction, laymen have been appointed, but they still constitute the minority. In execution of the same law, a royal ordinance of April 18, 1873, made the opening of schools or boarding schools depend upon an administrative authorization. It is not probable that this authorization will be granted to religious congregations. (See ministerial decree of June 15, 1872.)


—The number of professors, students, etc., at the Prussian universities, during 1882-3, was as follows:

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—VIII. Resources. Agriculture is very much advanced in Prussia. There is a rivalry between the government, the agricultural associations, and even simple individuals, to forward the progress of agriculture and the raising of stock. Many of the most illustrious German agriculturists, Albert Block, Thaer, Koppe, are Prussians. The flourishing condition of agriculture in Prussia, despite a rather ungrateful soil and a relatively cold climate, is due to various causes; but, among those which have exercised the greatest influence, we must mention the abolition of serfdom in 1807, and the regulation, by the edicts of September, 1811, of the relations between the former lords and their freed serfs. The point was to give to these latter their share of the land, which they had cultivated from father to son, and at the same time take into account the rights of the lords. The division had to be made amicably; and in those cases where there was a disagreement, the peasants, having the hereditary usufruct of an agricultural property, gave up a third to the lord, while the peasants who cultivated on other conditions gave up a half. These provisions could be fulfilled either by actually giving up a half or third of the land, or by preserving that portion, and paying an annual rent in corn or in silver. Special agents were appointed to put these arrangements into execution according to the views of the government ("consolidation of property"). The effects of this agrarian law were then completed by a series of measures, which bore their fruits. We will cite but one proof among many. In 1858 there were 762,157 agriculturists working their own properties, against 33,218 farmers, métayers and stewards. To this number must be added 421,544 heads of families, who carried on agriculture as an accessory industry.


—The area of the kingdom is divided as follows, among the different branches of cultivation: arable lands and gardens, 50.1 per cent.; meadows and pastures. 18.3; forests, 23.1; total, 91.5 per cent.; lands not cultivated, 8.5 per cent.


—The territory prior to 1866 (102,000,000 hectares) was divided into 1,099,333 properties, of less than five morgens (in all, 2,227,812 morgens); 617,420 properties, of five to thirty morgens (8,428,751 morgens); 391,596, of 30 to 300 morgens (35,918,017 morgens); 15,079, of 300 to 600 morgens (6,048,222morgens); 18,302, of more than 600 morgens (41,117,312morgens in all). The morgen is equal to 8897 acres. The produce of the land does not appear to be so high as might be supposed from the advanced state of agricultural processes. The average yield of wheat is estimated at 9 scheffels per morgen; of rye, at 8.60; of barley, at 10.73; of oats, at 13.25; of buckwheat, at 7.17; of pease, at 6.50; and of colza, at 8.60. The average production is 19 million hectolitres of wheat, 69 of rye, 12 of barley, 55 of oats, and 176 of potatoes.


—The Rhenish province is superior in fertility to all the others. It produces the greatest quantity of wine; out of 500,000 to 600,000 eimers, 450,000 to 550,000 are produced in the Rhenish province. On the other hand, this province is much less rich in live stock; the provinces of Prussia, Pomerania and Posen are the richest in cattle. According to the census of 1873, there were in Prussia 2,274,053 horses, 926 mules, 8,751 asses, 8,600,672 horned cattle, 19,589,624 wool-bearing animals, 4,272,901 hogs, and 1,474,586 goats.


—Prussia is rich in mines. The total value of production was estimated at 59,312,950 thalers in 1867 (the new provinces included); at 62,221,708 thalers in 1868, and at 66,473,517 in 1869. By the aid of 110,168 workmen, 480,690,512 quintals (50 kilogrammes) of coal were extracted in 1869; also 119,551,211 quintals of anthracite (by 14,912 workmen), and considerable quantities of minerals (57,911,389 quintals), of stones, and other mineral materials. The total number of miners was 188,606, having to support 331,476 women and children. In 1869, four kilogrammes of gold and 1,633 kilogrammes of silver were extracted. In 1871 Prussia produced 23,874,263 quintals of unwrought cast iron, 5,689,944 quintals of merchandise in cast iron, 1,840,159 quintals of sheet iron, 157,443 quintals of tin, 1,091,042 quintals of iron wire, 3,664,064 quintals of steel, and a proportionate quantity of bar iron. The importation of unwrought iron, amounted, in the same year, to 11,849,410 quintals, and that of wrought iron to 5,664,747 quintals; the exportation amounted to 4,137,844 quintals of unwrought iron, and to 6,357,001 quintals of wrought iron.


—The production of zinc amounted to more than 1,200,000 quintals of unwrought zinc, to 350,000 quintals of carbonate of zinc, and 350,000 quintals of sheet zinc; that of lead to 365,000 quintals; that of copper to 50,000 quintals. Nickel, arsenic and some other metals in less extent are also found.


—The textile industries are quite important, especially in the western part of the kingdom. There were in 1861, 651,145 spindles of carded wool. 47,153 spindles of combed wool, 398,071 spindles of cotton, 106,508 spindles of flax. The number of looms was in all 190,715, of which 30,392 were for tissues of silk and half silk, 76,993 for tissues of cotton, 42,667 for tissues of flax, 31,880 for tissues of wool or half wool, 2,315 for hosiery, 4,244 for ribbons, and the rest for various things. In these figures are not included 276,266 looms which are in operation only during the intervals between other labors, and principally for domestic wants. These figures (which were the most recent in 1873) have much increased since; and if we take into account the annexations, they may be considered as having doubled.


—Among other important industries we will cite the 254 sugar manufactories, which transform into sugar twenty-five metric quintals of beet root (1873), producing about 8 per cent. of brown sugar; the 8,638 distilleries, which used (1872) 5,800,000 scheffels (55 litres) of grain, and more than thirty-one million scheffels of potatoes; the 8,326 breweries, great and small, which produce beer, a part of which is exported. It is proper also to mention the tanneries, paper factories, bushel making, and other like industries.


—Transportation by land in 1873 was facilitated by 13,680 kilometres of railway, and by an excellent net work of highways and roads; the rivers and canals are also numerous and well kept.


—The commerce of Prussia embraces, for exportation, agricultural products (cereals, brandy, wool, etc.), minerals, tissues, and some other merchandise; for importation, above all, colonial commodities, cotton and other materials and objects of luxury. Besides, almost all raw or manufactured products figure upon the tables of commerce. It is not possible, however, to give the amount of exports and imports, nor the total value of the commerce of Prussia, because its territory is confounded with that of the Zollverein. (See this word.) We can only know what has entered by the frontiers or the bureaus of Prussia. The institution of the Zollverein has been eminently useful to Prussian commerce, as well as to German commerce in general, and a part of its progress is due to it. This progress, very perceptible already, can only increase by the suppression of the last vestiges of the guilds (zünfte), by the multiplication of associations of credit, and the advancement of chemistry and mechanics. (Compare GERMAN EMPIRE.)*63


Notes for this chapter

The census returns of Dec. 1, 1875, showed that at that date there were in Prussia 12,692,370 males and 13,059,084 females, being an excess of only 357,684 females, less than in most other European states; in 1880 there were 13,414,846 males and 13,865,245 females. During the nine years from Dec. 1, 1871, to Dec. 1, 1880, the ratio of increase amounted to 1.13 per cent, per annum. The census of 1880 gives the average density of the population at 199 per English square mile. The variation, however, is considerable, the density being highest in the manufacturing districts of Disseldorf, in the Rhine province, where it is nearly four times the average, and smallest in the district of Köslin, Pomerania, where it amounts to but three-fifths of the average. There are a greater number of towns (1,289) officially enrolled as "Städte," most of them of very limited population, spread all over the kingdom. As in nearly all other states of Europe, so in Prussia, there is a strong movement toward concentration of the population in the towns. At the census of Dec. 1, 1871, the total population of the 1,289 towns of the kingdom was 7,968,545, and that of the rural communes (Landgemeinden), 87,987 in number, 16,637,652. Compared with the preceding census of Dec. 3, 1867, the increase in the towns amounted to 466,909, or 6.22 per cent., and that in the rural communes to but 167,951, or 1.02 per cent. Thus, while the town population increased at the rate of rather more than 1½ per cent, per annum, the rural population grew but at the rate of ¼ per cent, per annum.—S. M.
The estimates of public revenue and expenditure submitted by the government to the chambers are always prepared to show an even balance, without surplus or deficit; but in recent years the former has been constant, as a rule, and the latter an exception. The surplus of the five years from 1870 to 1874 varied from £1,425,000 in 1870, to £4,158,000 in 1872, reaching its maximum in the latter year. But there were deficits in 1875, in 1876 and in 1877.

—Up to the end of 1876 the finance estimates were for the calendar year, but it was then decided that henceforth they should be, as in Great Britain, for financial years ending March 31. The first financial year under the new arrangement commenced April 1, 1877, so that the preceding accounts were for a period of fifteen months, commencing Jan. 1, 1876, and ending March 31, 1877.

—The budget estimates of revenue and expenditure of Prussia were as follows, during each of the seven years, 1874-81:

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—The revenue in the financial estimates of Prussia, is divided under seven heads, representing the various ministerial departments. Receipts from state railways form the chief source of revenue, and, next to them, the direct taxes. In recent years the income from railways and other state undertakings, such as mines, has been largely increasing showing a tendency to become a far more fruitful source of revenue than all taxation, direct or indirect.

—In the budget estimates for the year ending March, 1883, the sources of revenue were given as follows:

Sources of Revenue.
1. Ministry of agriculture, domains and forests:Mark.
Income from domains and forests... 73,128,214
Various... 7,000,340
Total... 80,128,554
2. Ministry of finance:
Direct taxes:
Land tax (Grundsteuer)... 40,188,000
House tax... 28,056,000
Income tax... 28,827,600
Class tax (Klassenstener)... 25,146,100
Trade tax (Gewerbestener)... 18,662,000
Railway dues... 2,986,000
Miscellaneous... 588,000
Total... 144,453,700
Indirect taxes:
Share of imperial customs and taxes... 19,089,690
Succession tax (Erbschaftstener)... 5,200,000
Stamps... 16,500,000
Bills of exchange... 70,440
Bridge, harbor, river, or canal dues... 2,200,000
Fines, etc.... 53,500,000
Miscellaneous... 2,051,870
Total... 98,562,000
State lottery... 4,043,800
Naval commercial institution (See handlung)... 3,000,000
The mint... 236,820
Miscellaneous... 127,863,384
Total receipts of ministry of finance... 378,159,204
3. Ministry of public works:
Mines, produce of... 60,160,148
Furnaces, iron mills, forges, produce of... 19,172,536
Salines, produce of... 5,461,970
State railways... 369,150,347
Miscellaneous... 8,841,682
Total receipts of ministry of public works... 462,786,883
4. Ministry of justice... 6,596,000
5. Ministry of the interior... 8,592,383
6. Ministry of commerce and industry... 298,603
7. Ministry of public instruction and ecclesiastical affairs... 2,233,813
8. Ministry of state... 689,310
9. Ministry of foreign affairs... 4,500
10. Ministry of war... 667
Total estimated revenue... 934,589,917

—The expenditure in the financial estimates of Prussia is divided into ordinary (fortdauernde) and extraordinary (einmalige and ausserordentliche) disbursements. The ordinary is subdivided into current expenditure (Betriels-Ausgaben), administrative expenditure (Staatsverwaltungs-Ausgaben), and charges on the consolidated fund (Dotationen). In the estimates for the financial year ending March 31, 1883, the branches of expenditure were as follows:

Branches of Expenditure.
Current expenditure:Mark.
1. Ministry of agriculture, domains and forests 37,080,230
2. Ministry of Finance... 37,759,535
3. Ministry of Public works... 344,915,267
Total current expenditure... 419,755,032
Administrative expenditure:
1. Ministry of Finance... 36,738,613
2. Ministry of Public works... 16,569,612
2a. Ministry of Commerce and industry... 1,515,075
3. Ministry of Justice... 78,762,100
4. Ministry of The interior... 40,402,367
5. Ministry of Agriculture, domains and forests- 11,314,550
6. Ministry of Public instruction and ecclesiastical affairs... 50,628,067
7. Ministry of State... 2,967,792
8. Ministry of Foreign affairs... 500,570
9. Ministry of War... 107,472
10. Ministry of General administration of finance 127,074,410
Total administrative expenditure... 366,575,628
Charges on consolidated fund:
Addition to the "Krondotation" of the king... 4,500,000
Interest of public debt, inclusive railway debt... 87,094,613
Sinking fund of debt... 20,480,094
Annnities and management... 1,914,641
Chamber of lords... 171,360
Chamber of deputies... 1,200,520
Total charges on consolidated fund... 115,361,228
Total ordinary expenditure... 901,691,888
Extraordinary expenditure... 32,898,029
Total expenditure... 934,589,917

—In the budget for 1883-4 the revenue and expenditure were expected to balance at 1,089,583,000 mark. The expenditure for the army and navy is not entered into the budget of Prussia, but forms part of the budget of the empire.

—The public debt of the kingdom, inclusive of the provinces annexed in 1866, was, according to the budget of 1882-3, as follows:

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The charges for interest and management of the debt amounted to 87,620,651 mark in the financial year 1882-3. For the budget year 1883-4 it was reported that a loan of thirty-two million mark would be required. The interest on the debt would have to be increased by eighteen million mark; and it was expected, that on April 1, 1883, the total debt would be 2,640 million mark, to which would be added 1,860 million, to be issued in treasury bonds, in consequence of the nationalization of the railways. The total debt of Prussia would thus amount to 4,500 million mark, or £225,000,000.—S. M.

At the last census, taken Dec. 1, 1889, the Protestants in Prussia numbered 17,645,868, being 64.69 per cent. of the total population of the kingdom, and the Roman Catholics 9,206,283, or 33.24 per cent. The number of Jews was 363,790, or 1.334 per cent. of the population at the date of the census. There were, at the census of Dec. 3, 1867 (the last in which religious statistics were ascertained in the fullest manner) 9,317 Protestant ministers, and 7,690 Roman Catholic priests, including chaplains. The protestants at the same date and 11,365 churches, and 1,594 other religious meeting places, while the Roman Catholics had 6,164 churches, and 2,833 chapels, besides 259 convents and monasteries. The higher Catholic clergy are paid by the state, the archbishop of Breslan receiving £1,700 a year, and the other bishops about £1,135. The incomes of the parochial clergy mostly arise from endowments.—S. M.
What is called gratuitous, is the abolishment of the school payment, and its replacement by a school tax. Actually there is a mixed combination, which seems to answer the purpose. Therefore the government has demanded, but in vain, the repeal of article twenty-five, which prescribes gratuitous education.
The following table shows the quantities and value of coal and of lignite (Braunkohle), the quantities in 1,000 tons, and the values in 1,000 mark, in the various provinces of Prussia during the year 1880:

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The following table shows the quantities and value, in 1,000 tons and 1,000 mark, of the iron and copper ore produced in Prussia in the year 1880:

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Not included in the tabular statements given above are zinc and tin ores, salines, and other mineral produce. Gold and silver ores are likewise found in Prussia, the quantities amounting to 206,000 tons, and the value to 3,812,000 mark, in 1880. The total mining produce of the kingdom amounted to 577,304,000 tons, and the value to 314,936,000 mark, or £15,746,800, in the year 1880.

—The production of the most important mineral, coal, in Prussia, after vastly increasing for about thirty years, from 1840 to 1871, reached its limit at the latter date, when there came to be an apparent exhaustion of the fields. But the years 1875 and 1876 again showed a large increase in production. The following statement gives, after official returns, the quantities of coal, exclusive of lignite (Braunkohle), raised in the kingdom during the period from 1838 to 1880:

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The coal mines in the Ruhr-Düsseldorf district, which extend over more than ten miles in length, contribute nearly one-half of the total produce, while the coal pits of the river Saar, situated in the southwestern angle of the Rhenish province, and which extend their strata into Bavarian and French territory , furnish about the sixth part of the coal produce of Prussia. The coal raised in Prussia amounts to 93 per cent. of the total coal production of Germany.

—Prussia has a very large and complete system of railways. On May 15, 1882, the length of the system open for traffic was as follows:

 Length, in kilometers.
Railways owned by the state... 14,843
Owned by private companies:
Under state administration... 2,394
Under private administration... 3,745
Total... 20,982
English miles... 13,048

In 1878 the lines owned by the state had a length of only 4,989 kilometers, while those owned by private companies extended to 12,880 kilometers.

—All the lines of the former territories of Hanover, Hease, and Nassan are owned by the state, and the whole of the railways of Prussia will in time become national property.—S. M.


End of Notes

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