1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bukovina

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

Bukovina, a duchy and crownland of Austria, bounded E. by Russia and Rumania, S. by Rumania, W. by Transylvania and Hungary, and N. by Galicia. Area, 4035 sq. m. The country, especially in its southern parts, is occupied by the offshoots of the Carpathians, which attain in the Giumaleu an altitude of 6100 ft. The principal passes are the Radna Pass and the Borgo Pass. With the exception of the Dniester, which skirts its northern border, Bukovina belongs to the watershed of the Danube. The principal rivers are the Pruth, and the Sereth with its affluents the Suczawa, the Moldava and the Bistritza. The climate of Bukovina is healthy but severe, especially in winter; but it is generally milder than that of Galicia, the mean annual temperature at Czernowitz being 46.9° F. No less than 43.17% of the total area is occupied by woodland, and the very name of the country is derived from the abundance of beech trees. Of the remainder 27.59% is occupied by arable land, 12.68% by meadows, 10.09% by pastures and 0.78% by gardens. The soil of Bukovina is fertile, and agriculture has made great progress, the principal products being wheat, maize, rye, oats, barley, potatoes, flax and hemp. Cattle-rearing constitutes another important source of revenue. The principal mineral is salt, which is extracted at the mine of Kaczyka, belonging to the government. Brewing, distilling and milling are the chief industries. Commerce is mostly in the hands of the Jews and Armenians, and chiefly confined to raw products, such as agricultural produce, cattle, wool and wood. Bukovina had in 1900 a population of 729,921, which is equivalent to 181 inhabitants per sq. m. According to nationality, over 40% were Ruthenians, 35% Rumanians, 13% Jews, and the remainder was composed of Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Russians and Armenians. The official language of the administration, of the law-courts, and of instruction in the university is German. Nearly 70% of the population belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, and stand under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the archbishop or metropolitan of Czernowitz. To the Roman Catholic Church belong 11%, to the Greek United Church 3.25%, while 2.5% are Protestants. Elementary education is improving, but, after Dalmatia, Bukovina still shows the largest number of illiterates in Austria. The local diet, of which the archbishop of Czernowitz and the rector of the university are members ex officio, is composed of 31 members, and Bukovina sends 14 deputies to the Reichsrat at Vienna. For administrative purposes, the country is divided into 9 districts and an autonomous municipality, Czernowitz (pop. 69,619), the capital. Other towns are Radautz (14,343), Suczawa (10,946), Kuczurmare (9417), Kimpolung (8024) and Sereth (7610).

Bukovina was originally a part of the principality of Moldavia, whose ancient capital Suczawa was situated in this province. It was occupied by the Russians in 1769, and by the Austrians in 1774. In 1777 the Porte, under whose suzerainty Moldavia was, ceded this province to Austria. It was incorporated with Galicia in a single province in 1786, but was separated from it in 1849, and made a separate crownland.

See Bidermann, Die Bukowina unter der osterreichischen Verwaltung, 1775–1875 (Lemberg, 1876).