1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ekaterinoslav (government)

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EKATERINOSLAV, a government of south Russia, having the governments of Poltava and Kharkov on the N., the territory of the Don Cossacks on the E., the Sea of Azov and Taurida on the S., and Kherson on the W. Area, 24,478 sq. m. Its surface is undulating steppe, sloping gently south and north, with a few hills reaching 1200 ft. in the N.E., where a slight swelling (the Don Hills) compels the Don to make a great curve eastwards. Another chain of hills, to which the eastward bend of the Dnieper is due, rises in the west. These hills have a crystalline core (granites, syenites and diorites), while the surface strata belong to the Carboniferous, Permian, Cretaceous and Tertiary formations. The government is rich in minerals, especially in coal—the mines lie in the middle of the Donets coalfield—iron ores, fireclay and rock-salt, and every year the mining output increases in quantity, especially of coal and iron. Granite, limestone, grindstone, slate, with graphite, manganese and mercury are found. The government is drained by the Dnieper, the Don and their tributaries (e.g. the Donets and Volchya) and by several affluents (e.g. the Kalmius) of the Sea of Azov. The soil is the fertile black earth, but the crops occasionally suffer from drought, the average annual rainfall being only 15 in. Forests are scarce. Pop. (1860) 1,138,750; (1897) 2,118,946, chiefly Little Russians, with Great Russians, Greeks (48,740), Germans (80,979), Rumanians and a few gypsies. Jews constitute 4.7% of the population. The estimated population in 1906 was 2,708,700.

Wheat and other cereals are extensively grown; other noteworthy crops are potatoes, tobacco and grapes. Nearly 40,000 persons find occupation in factories, the most important being iron-works and agricultural machinery works, though there are also tobacco, glass, soap and candle factories, potteries, tanneries and breweries. In the districts of Mariupol the making of agricultural implements and machinery is carried on extensively as a domestic industry in the villages. Bees are kept in very considerable numbers. Fishing employs many persons in the Don and the Dnieper. Cereals are exported in large quantities via the Dnieper, the Sevastopol railway, and the port of Mariupol. The chief towns of the eight districts, with their populations in 1897, are Ekaterinoslav (135,552 inhabitants in 1900), Alexandrovsk (28,434), Bakhmut (30,585), Mariupol (31,772), Novomoskovsk (12,862), Pavlograd (17,188), Slavyanoserbsk (3120), and Verkhne-dnyeprovsk (11,607).