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

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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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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SAXONY. The kingdom of Saxony forms part of the German empire; it has an area of 14,968 square kilometres; its frontiers, with a total length of 1,191 kilometres, border on Prussia to an extent of 306 kilometres, and on Austria to an extent of 644 kilometres; the rest is bounded by various other states of Germany.


—The population of the kingdom of Saxony was 2,225,280 in December, 1861, and 2,556,022 at the end of 1871; in 1880 it was 2,972,805; the country is therefore one of the most densely populated of Europe. In 1815 there were only 1,178,802 inhabitants; the population has therefore more than doubled since that time.


Constitution. The constitutional act of Saxony dates from Sept. 4, 1831, but it has been modified by the laws of May 5, 1851, Nov. 27, 1860, Oct. 19, 1861, Dec. 3, 1868, and Oct. 12, 1874, without, however, being altered in its spirit. The diet is composed of representatives of the various orders. The first chamber comprises the adult princes, five mediatized lords, two deputies of Protestant establishments, one deputy of a Catholic establishment (stift), one deputy of the university of Leipzig, two Protestant prelates, twelve proprietors of equestrian property elected for life by their order, ten equestrian proprietors appointed for life by the king (the first must possess a net income from lands of 2,000 thalers, and the second of 4,000 thalers), eight burgomasters of the principal cities, and five persons chosen by the king. The second chamber consists of twenty deputies of equestrian proprietors (having an income from land of at least 600 thalers), twenty-five deputies of the cities, twenty-five deputies of the peasants, and ten deputies of the merchants and manufacturers. All these deputies must belong to the order or the class or the district which sends them to the chamber. The whole political organization is conceived in a conservative spirit. Thus, the chambers assemble only every three years; the budget is voted for a triennial period; the deputies are elected for nine years. The formation of political parties is hindered by the fact that the deputies can not choose their own places in the hall where the sittings are held, the places being determined by law or distributed by lot. The government alone has the right of initiative. When a bill has been adopted by one chamber, the other can not reject it except by a majority of two-thirds of the votes of the members present. Ministers can not be impeached except by an agreement of the two chambers. The high court of justice, which is the court of last resort, has jurisdiction in such cases as well as of every question as to the interpretation of the constitution. It is composed of twelve members, of whom six are appointed by the king from among the judges of the kingdom, three by the first and three by the second chamber, outside of the diet; the high court is presided over by one of the presidents of the courts of appeal chosen by the king. In Saxony the power of the crown is less limited than in most other constitutional monarchies, which results in part from the antiquity of the dynasty and in part from the moderation and spirit of justice which, for many generations, have animated the princes of the house of Saxony. However, as long as the royal family remains Catholic, it will not be invested with the episcopal power which Protestant sovereigns enjoy; three or four members of the ministry are charged with the exercise of that power.


Administration and Justice. The country is divided into four circles (departments) the smallest of which had (1874) 330,000 inhabitants and the largest 959,000 inhabitants. At the head of each circle is a directory charged with the administrative affairs, with those of worship and instruction. The circles are divided into grand bailiwicks (amtshauptmanuschaft) to the number of fifteen in all, and the grand bailiff may be considered as the subdelegate of the directory. In the inferior hierarchical degree of administration we find in forty-eight cities, city (municipal) councils, and in the country 121 bailiwicks (districts of 4,000 to 86,000 inhabitants), which the large proprietors gratuitously aid as justices of the peace. The city communes possess a certain degree of autonomy. Civil justice includes as of first resort the 121 bailiwicks and (for more important matters) sixteen tribunals, whose jurisdictions extend over 84,000 to 265,000 inhabitants; above these tribunals figure four courts of appeal, one in each circle; and finally, the supreme court of appeal (third resort) sits at Dresden. In criminal cases, the trials are public, the pleadings oral, and there is a public prosecutor. Leipzig is the seat of the supreme court of commerce for all Germany.


Worship and Instruction. There were, in 1874, 1,243 churches, of which 1,211 were Lutheran, distributed among 897 parishes, which form thirty-seven superintendent circumscriptions. There are only 54,000 Catholics in Saxony. Public instruction includes 1,977 primary schools (instruction is obligatory), seventy Sunday schools, eight primary normal schools for male instructors and one for female instructors, eleven gymnasia (lyceums), one university (Leipzig), one academy (school) of mines, two agricultural and forestry institutions, one veterinary school, seven realschulen (schools of the exact sciences), two polytechnic schools (of arts and manufactures), two conservatories of music, two academies of fine arts, five schools of architecture, three commercial schools, etc. There are few countries so rich in institutions of learning, both elementary and superior, in museums, collections, and other means of instruction.


Finances. In the triennial financial period 1861-3, the revenue, net receipts, was 12,356,352 thalers; in the period 1864-6 it was 13,227,924 thalers; in 1872-3, 13,752,919 thalers, not including the extraordinary budget of nearly 26,000,000, intended for the construction of railways, and derived from the disposable funds of the state, principally from loans. The ordinary revenues, the only ones with which we need to occupy ourselves here, proceeded, in 1872, from the following sources:

Forests... 1,727,523
Agricultural domains... 127,074
Mines... 230,000
Royal manufactory of porcelain at Meissen... 48,480
Miscellaneous... 64,813
   Total domains... 2,197,890
Crown rights, net product: 
Railways... 4,909,200
Taxes on the mines... 261,536
Highway and bridge tolls... 225,965
Miscellaneous... 20,600
   Total crown rights... 5,417,301
Special resources (which the Saxon budget wrongly places under the head of "productive capital"): 
Interest of debts... 1,230,000
Lottery... 818,520
Charges of justice... 52,900
Reserve of official salaries... 40,950
Miscellaneous... 5,138
   Total special resources... 2,147,508
Direct taxes: 
Real estate... 1,677,870
Industrial and personal... 1,298,500
   Total direct taxes... 2,976,870
Indirect taxes: 
Customs and consumption... 613,860
Stamps... 400,000
   Total indirect taxes... 1,013,860
   Total direct and indirect taxes... 3,990,230


The total amount of the taxes was reduced by the fact that the postoffice, telegraphs, customs, salt and other direct taxes were given to the German empire, which, in return, charged itself with certain expenses. Let us only remark that the customs are mentioned in the above table because Saxony appoints the customs officers the whole length of its frontiers, and retains out of the receipts which it turns into the coffers of the German empire the necessary sums to pay the agents and for material expenses.


—The following are the principal items of expense of the state, in thalers:

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The public debt amounted, in 1819, to more than 25,000,000 thalers; in 1842, it had decreased to 13,155,000; in 1861, the construction of the railroads raised it to 56,132,333 thalers bearing interest, and to 7,000,000 of paper not bearing interest. Jan. 1, 1873, the debt amounted to 103,003,250 thalers, besides 12,000,000 of paper money. Eighty-four millions of this debt must be charged to the railways. The property of the state is worth nearly one hundred millions, about eighty-four of which are in real estate, and fourteen millions in personal property.


Army. Military service is regulated by the German legislation. (See GERMAN EMPIRE.)


Agricultural and Industrial Resources, etc. The kingdom of Saxony is one of the most advanced countries. Agriculture has been brought to a high degree of perfection. 50.31 per cent. of the total area of the country consists of arable land, 2.85 of gardens, 11.28 of meadows, 0.12 of vineyards, 2.1 of pasture land, 30.95 of forests, and 2.39 of uncultivated lands. The soil is but little parceled out into small properties, for so populous a country. This results in part from the law which permits each rural domain the exploitation of a third only of its extent. The 971 equestrian properties, possessed in part by people who are not nobles, form 13 per cent. of the private estates; 24 per cent. of the remainder of the real estate belongs to inhabitants of the cities, and 63 per cent. to the actual cultivators of the soil. An equestrian property is worth, on an average, 90,000 thalers; six only exceed in value 420,000 thalers. The peasants, free since 1830 from all feudal tax, are in comfortable circumstances; yet, Saxony imports 7.2 per cent. of its consumption of cereals. According to the census of 1873, the country possesses 115,667 horses, 120 asses and mules, 647,074 horned cattle, 206,830 wool-bearing animals, 301,091 hogs, 105,401 goats, and 64,283 hives of bees.


—Saxony is an industrial country, for less than a third of the population lives by agriculture, while more than two-thirds are devoted to industry, commerce and the liberal professions. In 1862 there were in the manufactories 290,108 masters, clerks and workmen. There were employed 303,397 spindles for carding wool, 104,622 for combing wool, 707,387 in the cotton mills, 13,082 in the flax mills, and 520 in the silk manufactories. Small industry gives occupation to 61,129 masters and 101,178 artisans; the corporations did not lose their privileges till 1861. The distribution of steam machines is remarkable: 275 (6,442 horse power) belong to the mines and works; 75 (374 horse power) to agriculture; 32 (630 horse power) to the mills; 247 (30,898 horse power) to the transport establishments; 605 (8,071 horse power) to the manufactories. Progress has been so rapid for some time that in 1874 the number of spindles and that of the machines may be considered to have doubled.


—The value of the commercial movement can not be separately settled, but Saxony must furnish a considerable share to the commerce of the zollverein. The city of Leipzig, notably, is celebrated for its great fairs, where millions of quintals of merchandise are gathered together; this city, besides, is the centre of the German book trade; and it alone has 217 bookstores.


—The length of the state railways in 1874 was 108.8 miles of 7½ kilometres, the cost of constructing which, up to 1871, was 74,479,430 thalers; the length of the private lines is 34.4 miles; the length of the highways is 406 miles, and that of the roads 88½ miles. The postoffice carried, in 1861, 12,083,513 letters and packages, and in 1871, 28,819,176, not including 1,042,381 and 1,841,940 local letters in these years respectively; in 1861, 2,012,433, and, in 1871, 2,902,698 money packages, containing nearly $231,000,000 in 1861, and $279,000,000 in 1871. In 1861 the number of telegraphic dispatches was 4,015 official, and 132,552 private. There are three banks, two of which have the right to issue bank notes.


—Saxony is the country in which saving is carried to the greatest extent. There is a savings bank to every 2.5 square miles (in England to every 9.4, in France to every 24, and in Prussia to every 11); or, one to every 19,400 inhabitants (in England to every 44,300, in France to every 87,000, and in Prussia to every 38,257). There is one depositor out of every 8 inhabitants (in England out of every 18, in France 32, and in Prussia 31). The average amount on each depositor's book has been 59.6 thalers (in England 184, in France 80, and in Prussia 80). Finally, dividing the amount deposited among the whole population, the average is 7.5 thalers to each inhabitant (10.2 in England, 2.5 in France, and 2.6 in Prussia).*103


Notes for this chapter

At the census of Dec. 1, 1880, the population of Saxony was composed of 2,876,138 Lutherans; 72,946 Roman Catholics; 1,467 German Catholics; 10,235 members of other Christian sects; and 6,516 Jews. The clergy are chiefly paid out of local rates and from endowments, the budget contribution of the state to the department of ecclesiastical affairs amounting to but 85,593 thalers, chiefly spent in administrative salaries. The government of the Protestant church is intrusted to the Landes-Consistorium, or national consistory. Public education has reached the highest point in Saxony, every child, without exception, partaking of its benefits. By a law of June 6, 1835, attendance at school, or under properly qualified teachers, was made compulsory. The kingdom has the second largest university in Germany, that of Leipzig, founded in 1409, and attended, on the average of recent years, by nearly three thousand students.

—The financial period extends over a term of two years. In the financial accounts, both the revenue and expenditure are divided into "ordinary" and "extraordinary," the latter representing income from state domains and disbursements for public works. The ordinary revenue for each of the two years 1882-3 was returned at 67,767,236 mark, and was balanced by the expenditure. The extraordinary revenue for each of the two years 1882-3, likewise balanced by the expenditure, was returned at 4,014,905 mark. More than one-half of the total revenue of the years 1881-2 was derived from domains and state railways. The chief branch of expenditure is that of interest and sinking fund of the public debt, amounting to 31,593,138 mark, for the years 1882-3. The debt was incurred almost entirely for the establishment and purchase of a net-work of railways and telegraphs, and the promotion of other works of public utility. The total debt had risen on Jan. 1, 1881, to 669,583,425 mark, and in 1882 to 673,445,475.

—The population of Saxony, by the census of Dec. 1, 1880, was 2,972,805, comprising 1,445,330 males, and 1,527,475 females. The area, in English square miles, and the population, of the Hauptmannschaften, was as follows at each of the two enumerations of Dec. 1, 1875, and Dec. 1, 1880:

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—F. M.

Footnotes for SCOTLAND

End of Notes

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