The New International Encyclopædia/Württemberg
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|Edition of 1905. See also Württemberg on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
WÜRTTEMBERG, vụrt'tĕm-bĕrK. A kingdom of the German Empire in Southwestern Germany, bounded by Bavaria on the northeast, east, and southeast, by Baden on the south, southwest, west, and northwest, and in addition on the south by Lake Constance, which separates it from Switzerland, and by Hohenzollern, which in an oblong form penetrates the country in the southern part (Map: Germany, C 4). Württemberg has small enclaves in Baden and Hohenzollern, and incloses three enclaves of Hesse. The area is 7528 square miles.
Württemberg is in general a region of hills and mountains. It is a western part of the South German upland. A portion of the Black Forest is in the southwest where the loftiest point of the kingdom is found at its extreme western point — 3820 feet. The Swabian Jura or Rauhe Alb crosses the kingdom from southwest to northeast. Its highest elevation is 3327 feet. Southeast is the high Danube plateau, with an elevation of about 2000 feet. The Danube crosses the country from southwest to northeast, leaving it at Ulm. In the north of the kingdom is a fertile lowland country — hills, level valleys, and dales — descending gradually to the north with the Neckar and its numerous tributaries coursing through to the northwest, where the altitude falls as low as 500 feet. About one-quarter of the country is level land. The climate is moderate and agreeable, with a yearly mean of 40° in the mountains and 50°, or a little less, in the Neckar valley. There are nearly 75 mineral springs.
The mining output is not large. Salt and iron are obtained. Württemberg is essentially an agricultural country and about one-half of the population is connected with agriculture. Of the area, 64 per cent, is tilled, and 31 per cent, is in forest (conifers and beech), the forests being thoroughly exploited and forming a prominent part of the wealth. Most of the farms are between 2½ and 25 acres in size. The largest acreages are, in their order, hay, spelt, oats, clover, barley, and potatoes. Fruit-raising and the live-stock interests are prominent. Coöperative dairying is extensivelv carried on. In 1900 there were 1,017,683 cattle, 112,129 horses, 315,965 sheep, and 512,485 swine. The manufactures have in recent years rapidly developed. There is a large output of sugar, iron, and textiles. Other products are gold and silver work, musical and scientific instruments, bells, chemicals, paper, and wood-carving, and the products of celebrated machine shops at Esslingen. The kingdom leads in book-publishing in Southern Germany. Commerce is lively and is being actively fostered and developed. The transit traffic is important. Grain, cattle, wood, salt, fruit, and manufactured articles of many kinds are exported. The Neckar is navigable by steamboats to Heilbronn, and Ulm stands at the head of navigation on the Danube.
Württemberg is a constitutional monarchy. The Constitution dates from 1819. The Landstände, or Parliament, consists of two Houses (‘estates’), which assemble at least every three years. The members of the higher chamber, or House of Standesherren, are the royal princes, persons named by the King, and the representatives of twenty mediatized houses. Its president is appointed by the King. The deputies of the lower chamber consist of 13 nobles, 6 Evangelical and 3 Catholic dignitaries, the head of Tübingen University, 7 representatives from towns, and 63 from rural districts. The deputies are chosen for six years without property qualification. Citizens voting must be above twenty-five. The Ministry of State comprises six departments — Justice, War, Finance, Interior, Religion and Education, Foreign Affairs, and the Royal House. There is a privy or advisory council, composed of the Ministries and councilors. Administratively the kingdom is divided into 4 circles — Neckar, Black Forest (Schwarzwald), Jagst, and Danube. It sends 4 members to the national Bundesrat and 17 to the Reichstag. The expenditures of the kingdom for 1902-03 were about $22,300,000, the revenues $22,800,000. The chief items of expenditure were Imperial contributions, national debt, and religion and education (over 15 per cent.); the chief sources of income were Imperial receipts, railway revenues, direct taxes, and forests, farms, and mines. The public debt amounts to about $125,000,000, mostly bearing 3⅓ per cent. However, the debt, with the exception of a small fraction, is for railways, and is accordingly offset by the railroad property of the kingdom. In 1901 there were 1300 miles of railway, 1100 of which were owned by the Government. Stuttgart is the capital.
The population in 1900 was 2,169,480; density per square mile, 288.2. Württemberg ranks fourth in population among the German States. The annual emigration, mainly to the United States, dropped from 6445 in 1888 to 1061 in 1901. The people are mostly Swabians. About 70 per cent. of the population is Protestant. The King is, under the Constitution, the guardian and director of the Evangelical Church. It is administered by a consistorium composed of a president, 9 councilors, and 6 superintendents. The Catholics are under a bishop, who, however, can only act together with a Catholic council named by the Government. The Jews are under a council appointed by the King. In educational matters Württemberg holds high rank. Instruction is compulsory. Practically every person above ten can read and write. The University of Tübingen stands at the head of the educational system. Among other institutions there are the great Polytechnic Institute at Stuttgart, a famous conservatory of music at the same place, and agricultural, industrial, and special schools of every variety, including a school of viticulture at Weinsberg. Tliere are numerous scientific, art, and literary organizations.
History. The greater part of modern Württemberg was included in the mediaeval Duchy of Swabia. About the beginning of the twelfth century history first speaks of a Count of Württemberg. An uninterrupted line of counts may be traced back to the middle of the thirteenth century, when they ruled a district in the valleys of the Neckar and its affluent, the Rems. The dominions of the house were steadily extended. Count Eberhard IV. (1417-19), through his marriage with the heiress of Montbéliard. united that county with Württemberg. Count Eberhard im Bart (q.v.), an able ruler who founded the University of Tübingen, was raised by the Emperor Maximilian in 1495 to the rank of Duke, with the title of Eberhard I. In 1519 Duke Ulrich, in consequence of arbitrary acts of oppression exercised upon the free Imperial city of Reutlingen, was forcibly ejected from Württemberg by the Swabian League and did not recover his throne till 1534. He adopted the Reformation for his dominions. Duke Frederick, having taken part in the war against the French Republic, was compelled to resign Montbéliard in 1796. In 1800 the French occupied the country, which was restored to Duke Frederick (q.v.) in 1801. In 1803 this ruler received large accessions of territory, including Heilbronn, Peutlingen, and other free cities, and was raised to the dignity of Imperial Elector. He reluctantly joined Napoleon in the war against Austria in 1805, and at the Peace of Pressburg (December 26, 1805) Württemberg was further enlarged and erected into a kingdom. On January 1, 1806, Frederick I. assumed the royal title. He joined the Confederation of the Rhine in the same year and received additional territory, and as an ally of Napoleon in the French-Austrian War of 1809 was rewarded with new possessions, including Ulm. Württemberg was required to furnish a quota of 16,000 men for Napoleon's Russian campaign. On November 2, 1813, the King abandoned the cause of Napoleon, and joined the other German princes in their rising against the French power. King Frederick died October 30, 1816, and was succeeded by his son, William I. (1816-64). William reduced the public expenditure, and in 1819 promulgated a constitution. In the revolutionary movement which swept over Germany in 1848 William yielded at first to the demand of his subjects for political reforms, but ultimately the hopes of the Liberals were disappointed. For nearly 50 years William reigned over a people steadily increasing in prosperity, and died on June 25, 1864. He was succeeded by his son Charles, who sided with Austria in the Seven Weeks' War. The troops of Württemberg were beaten and a war indemnity of $4,000,000 was levied by Prussia upon the kingdom. In 1867 Württemberg formed an alliance with the North German Confederation. She supported Prussia against France in 1870, and in 1871 became part of the new German Empire. King Charles died on October 6, 1891, and was succeeded by his nephew, William II.
Bibliography. Das Königreich Württemberg. Herausgegeben vom Königlich statistischen Landesamt (Stuttgart, 1903 et seq.); Hirschfeld, Württembergs Grossindustrie und Handel (Leipzig, 1889); Gaupp, Das Staatsrecht des Königreichs Württemberg (Freiburg, 1895); Chr. F. von Stälin, Württembergische Geschichte (Stuttgart, 1841-73); Schneider, Württembergische Reformationgeschichte (ib., 1888); Belschner, Geschichte von Württemberg (ib., 1902); Heyd, Bibliographie der württembergischen Geschichte (ib., 1895); Schäfer, Württembergische Geschichtsquellen (ib., 1894-95).