Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Baden, The Grand Duchy of

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BADEN, The Grand Duchy of, is situated in the S.W. of Germany, between 47° 32' and 49° 52' N. lat., and between 7° 27' and 9° 50' E. long. It is bounded on the N. by Bavaria and Hesse Darmstadt; W. by Rhenish Bavaria, Alsace, and Lorraine; S. by Switzerland; and E. by Würtemberg and part of Bavaria. At the commencement of the present century Baden was only a margraviate, with an area little exceeding 1300 square miles, and a population of 210,000. Since then it has from time to time acquired additional territory, so that its area now amounts to upwards of 5800 square miles, and its population to nearly a million and a half.

It consists of a considerable portion of the eastern half of the fertile valley of the Rhine, and of the mountains which form its boundary. The mountainous part is by far the most extensive, forming, indeed, nearly 80 per cent. of the whole area. From the Lake of Constance in the south to the River Neckar is a portion of the so-called Black Forest or Schwarzwald, which is divided by the valley of the Kinzig into two districts of different elevation. To the south of the Kinzig the mean height is 3100 feet, and the loftiest summit, the Feldbarg, reaches about 4780 feet; while to the north the mean height is only 2100 feet, and the Belchen, the culminating point of the whole, does not exceed 4480. To the north of the Neckar is the Odenwald range, with a mean of 1440 feet, and, in the Katzenbuckel, an extreme of 1980. Lying between the Rhine and the Dreisam is the Kaiserstuhl, an independent volcanic group, nearly 10 miles in length and 5 in breadth, the highest point of which is 1760 feet.


Britannica Baden The Grand Duchy of - Sketch Map.jpg

Sketch Map of the Grand Duchy of Baden.


The greater part of Baden belongs to the basin of the Rhine, which receives upwards of twenty tributaries from the highlands of the duchy alone; a portion of the territory is also watered by the Main and the Neckar. A part, however, of the eastern slope of the Black Forest belongs to the basin of the Danube, which there takes its rise in a number of mountain streams. Among the numerous lakes which belong to the duchy are the Mummel, Wilder, Nonnenmattweiher, Titti, Eichener, Schluch, &c., but none of them are of any size. The Lake of Constance, or Boden See, belongs partly to Bavaria and Switzerland.

From 1819 to 1832 Baden was divided into six circles, which were reduced in the latter year to the four following: — The Lake Circle or Constance, the Upper Rhine or Freiburg, the Middle Rhine or Carlsruhe, and the Lower Rhine or Manheim. This division, though still employed, has been legally supplanted by one into the eleven circles of Constance, Villingen, Waldshut, Freiburg, Lörrach, Offenburg, Baden, Carslruhe, Manheim, Heidelberg, and Mosbach. The capital of the duchy is Carlsruhe, which in 1871 had a population of 36,582; the other principal towns are Manheim (39,614), Freiburg (24,599), Heidelberg (19,988), Pforzheim (19,801), Rastadt (11,559), Baden (10,083), Constance (10,052), Bruchsal (9786), and Lahr (6710). The population is most thickly clustered in the north and in the neighbourhood of the Swiss town of Basel.

The mineral wealth of Baden is not very great; but the mines of Oberwert, Kandern, &c., produce excellent iron; there are two zinc mines and one of lead; coal is worked at Diesburg, Zunsweier, Baden, &c.; and silver, copper, gold, cobalt, alum vitriol, and sulphur are also obtained in small quantities. Gold washing, at one time extensively carried on along the Rhine, is now little practised. Peat is found in abundance, as well as gypsum, china-clay, and potter's earth. The duchy was formerly dependent on France for its salt supply, but extensive salt works have for a number of years been maintained by the Government at Dürrheim and Rappenau. In 1874 the amount produced was of the value of £54,880. The mineral springs of Baden are very numerous, and have acquired great celebrity, — those of Baden-Baden, Badenweiler, Antogast, Griesbach, Friersbach, and Petersthal, being the most frequented.

The inhabitants of Baden are of various origin, — those to the N. of the Murg being descended from the Alemanni, and those to the S. from the Franks, while the Swabian plateau derives its name and its population from another race. This distinction is still marked in the manners, the language, and the dress of the different districts. The majority of the people are engaged in agricultural and pastoral pursuits, for which much of the country is well adapted. In the valleys the soil is particularly fertile, yielding luxuriant crops of wheat, maize, barley, spelt, beans, potatoes, flax, hemp, hops, beet-root, and tobacco; and even in the more mountainous parts rye, wheat, and oats are extensively cultivated. There is a considerable extent of pasture land, and the rearing of cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats is largely attended to. The culture of the vine has recently been increasing, and the wines, which are characterised by a mildness of flavour, are in good demand. The gardens and orchards supply abundance of fruits, especially almonds and walnuts; and the keeping of bees is common throughout the country. A greater proportion of Baden than of any other of the South German states is occupied by forests. In these the predominant species are the fir and pine, but many others, such as the chestnut, are well represented. A third, at least, of the annual supply of timber is exported, the chief consumer being Holland, though of late years Paris has derived a considerable supply from this source.

The manufactures of Baden were formerly very insignificant, but have greatly increased since its accession to the Zollverein in 1835. They are, however, chiefly confined to iron and hardware goods, and the spinning and weaving of cotton. The latter industry is principally carried on at Ettlingen, Offenburg, St Blaise, Zell, Schopfheim; Manheim has an extensive manufacture of mirrors, and Carlsruhe of machines; while Pforzheim is famous for its production of jewellery and goldsmiths work. Beet-root sugar is manufactured at Waghäusel more largely than anywhere else in Germany. Paper, leather, and tobacco are also important objects of industry. The inhabitants of the Black Forest have long been celebrated for their dexterity in the manufacture of wooden orna ments and toys, watches, clocks, musical boxes, organs, &c. Of clocks alone about 600,000 are made every year.

The exports of Baden, which coincide largely with the industries just mentioned, are of considerable importance, but the bulk of its trade consists in the transit of goods. The country is well furnished with roads and railways, the greater proportion of the latter being in the hands of the state. A line runs the whole length of the land, for the most part parallel with the Rhine, while branches cross obliquely from east to west.

The educational institutions of Baden are numerous and flourishing, and public instruction is largely subsidised by the Government. There are two universities, the Protestant one at Heidelberg, founded in 1386, and the Catholic one at Freiburg, founded in 1457. The library at Heidelberg numbers 150,000 volumes, and that at Freiburg 100,000, while there is another of almost equal size at Carlsruhe. There are also lyceums at Carlsruhe, Constance, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Manheim, Rastadt, and Wertheim; several gymnasiums; normal schools at Carlsruhe, Ettlingen, and Meersburg, besides upwards of 2000 common schools established throughout the country. There is an institution in Pforzheim for the deaf and dumb, and one in Freiburg for the blind. The polytechnic school at Carlsruhe is among the most efficient institutions of the kind in Germany. The preparatory course extends over three years, and includes French, German, English, special history, mathematics, drawing, modelling, chemistry, mineralogy and geology, mechanics, &c. The special courses are engineering, architecture, forestry, chemistry, mechanics, commerce, and post-office service, and extend over from one to four years. The ducal family of Baden belong to the Protestant section of the Church, but the majority of the population are Roman Catholics. The returns of the census of 1871 are as follows: — Catholics, 942,560; Protestants, 491,008; other sects, 2265; and Jews, 25,703. The district where the Roman Catholic preponderance was greatest was Constance, while the Protestants were slightly more numerous in the district of Manheim.

The government of Baden is an hereditary monarchy, with the executive power vested in the grand duke, and the legislative authority in a Parliament consisting of two Chambers. The upper Chamber is composed of all the princes of the reigning line who are of age, the chiefs of ten noble families, the possessors of hereditary landed estates worth £25,000, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Freiburg, the president of the Protestant Church, a deputy from each of the universities, and eight nominees of the duke. The lower Chamber consists of 63 representatives, of whom 22 are elected by the burgesses of certain towns, and 41 by the inhabitants of the bailiwicks. The parliamentary candidate must possess tax-paying property of the value of 10,000 florins (£833), or derive a salary of at least £125 from a public office. Every citizen, if neither criminal nor pauper, has the right of voting, but only in the choice of deputy-electors, by whom the real election of the representatives is decided. The members of the lower House are elected for eight years, and meetings of Parliament must take place every two years.

The budgets are granted by Parliament for a term of two years. In 1875 the ordinary expenses were rated at £1,572,959, and the ordinary receipts at £1,557,108. The total public debt on the 1st of January 1874 was £12,985,067.

Since the organisation of 1864 courts are held at Constance, Freiburg, Offenburg, Carlsruhe, and Manheim, the supreme court being in the city last named. Manheim is also the seat of the central commission for the navigation of the Rhine.

The ducal family of Baden traces its descent from the counts of Zähringen, who flourished in the 11th century, and derived their title from what is now a little town to the north of Freiburg. Hermann I., the second son of Count Berthold I., took the title of margrave of Hochberg in Breisgau, and was succeeded in 1074 by his son Hermann II., who was the first to style himself margrave of Baden. On the death of the Margrave Christopher in 1527, his estates were divided among his three sons, but one of them having died soon after, the two survivors became the sole inheritors, and founded the two lines of Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach. The former of these, which produced one of the most famous generals of the 17th century, became extinct by the death of Augustus George in 1771, and its possessions were united with Baden-Durlach under Charles Frederick. By the treaty of Lunéville in 1801, Baden acquired a considerable addition of territory; in 1803 the margrave received the title of Elector; and by the treaty of Presburg in 1805 his domains were still further increased by the accession of Breisgau. On the dissolution of the empire in 1806, the elector joined the Confederation of the Rhine, and received the title of Grand Duke, with 1950 square miles of additional territory. Shortly after this extension and consolidation had taken place, Bavaria laid claim to a portion of the duchy, but her demands were indignantly rejected, and in 1818 the grand duke bestowed on the country a political constitution, the fundamental principle of which was the territorial integrity of Baden. In the following year this integrity was guaranteed by the Frankfort Commission. The first session of the Baden parliament fell into disputes and had to be dissolved; but the second, in 1820, commenced the work of reform by the complete abolition of serfdom and the establishment of ministerial responsibility. In 1821 the union of the two Protestant churches in Baden was brought about. Other questions of importance, such as trial by jury, freedom of the press, abolition of tithes, and extension of education, became subjects of interest and debate; but, unfortunately, the influence of the French revolution of 1830 led the democratic party to excesses, which the Government met with acts of ill-advised repression. Matters were beginning to readjust themselves when the revolution of 1848 again aroused the opposing forces. In 1849 the duke was constrained to flee, and Brentano, the democratic leader, took possession of Carlsruhe in the name of the national committee. By the 25th of June, however, the Prussian forces, after several severe engagements with the revolutionists, effected the restoration of the duke, who returned to his capital on 18th August; and it was not long before the country began to recover from the effects of the outbreak. Not, indeed, that it became quiescent; for Baden has had its full share in the political and ecclesiastical disputes that have been so rife throughout Germany during recent years. The Roman Catholic clergy, with the bishop of Freiburg at their head, have maintained an obstinate struggle with the Liberal party, which is now predominant. The separation of church and state has been established; the Jews have been admitted to full civic rights; freedom of trade has been promulgated, and a number of minor reforms successfully carried through. In the German war of 1866 Baden sided against Prussia; but in 1870 it joined in the formation of the new German empire, and its troops are incorporated in the 14th corps of the imperial army.