Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Anhalt

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From volume II of the work.
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ANHALT, a duchy of Germany, lying between lat 51 33 and 52 7 N., and long. 11 and 12 36 E., and com prising an area of about 896 square miles. Except for a short distance on the west, and for a longer distance on the north-east, where it is bounded respectively by Bruns wick and the Prussian province of Brandenburg, Anhalt is entirely surrounded by Prussian Saxony, which also intersects it, breaking it up into two large and several small portions. The Hartz mountains extend into the western of the large divisions, but the rest of the country is very flat, and even in the mountainous part no eleva tions rise to any great height. Most of the plain, which is watered by the Elbe and its tributaries, the Mulde and the Saale, is very fertile, producing large quantities of grain, tobacco, flax, hops, and fruits, especially grapes ; cattle and sheep are reared in considerable numbers on the rich pasture lands; game and fish are abundant; while the mines in the Hartz mountains yield iron, lead, silver, and other minerals. The chief manufactures of Anhalt are linen, cotton, and woollen goods, metallic and earthen wares, beer, brandy, and sugar; but the principal export trade is in the raw products. Internally, Anhalt is governed by a constitutional and hereditary monarchy, the legislative body being a diet of 36 members, of whom 10 represent the nobility; 14, the principal towns; 10, the rural districts; and 2 are nominated by the duke, who has the entire executive power in his own hands ; while, as a member of the German empire, the duchy has one vote in the Bundesrath, or Federal Council, and two in the Reich stag. Its income and expenditure for the year 1872 exactly balanced, being each 2,231,000 thalers, or 334,650; the public debt at the end of 1871 was 4,073,026 thalers, or 610,954. Anhalt contained 203,354 inhabitants in 1871, most of whom are Protes tants. Its capital is Dessau, and the other chief towns are Bernburg, Kothen, and Zerbst. Railways connect these towns with one another, and also with Berlin and the principal cities of Germany. Bernard, son of Albert the Bear, margrave of Brandenburg, was the first upon whom the title of count of Anhalt was conferred. He died in 1212, and was succeeded in the principality of Anhalt by his son Henry L ; while Albert, a younger son, received his large possessions in Saxony. On the death of Henry in 1252, Anhalt was divided among his family into three parts, Ascania, Bernburg, and Zerbst, which were afterwards united under Joachim Ernest, who reigned from about 1570 to 1586. In 1603, however, the terri tory was again broken up, on this occasion into four parts, Dessau, Bernburg, Kothen, and Zerbst, four of Joachim Ernest s sons inheriting one of these divisions each, while the ^fifth, Augustus, who was the third in point of age, received a considerable sum of money, and the promise that, in the event of any one of the other lines becoming extinct, he or his descendants should succeed to the princi pality ; his brother Christian, of Anhalt Bernburg, also gave him the small property of Plotzkau, from which he took his title. This promise was fulfilled in 1665, when William Louis of Anhalt Kothen died without direct heirs, and was succeeded by Lcbrecht of Anhalt Plotzkau, oho thereafter laid aside his own title. The Zerbst line becom ing extinct in 1793, the principality, in accordance with a compact made in 1665, was divided among the three remaining families ; next, by the death of Henry duke of Anhalt Kothen in 1847, that duchy was a second time left without direct heirs, but was ultimately incorporated with Dessau; and lastly, the Anhalt Bernburg family died out in 1863, leaving the whole of Auhalt under a single ruler. The present duke, the title of duke was conferred upon the counts of Anhalt in 1807, Frederick, succeeded his father Leopold in 1871, being at that time about forty years old. Several of the rulers of Anhalt have borne a conspicuous part in the affairs of Europe, and not a few of them have been noted for their zeal in the cause of Protestantism. Wolfgang, a prince of the earlier Zerbst line, was present at the diet of Augsburg in 1530, and was one of those who presented the confession to the emperor. Leopold I., of Anhalt Dessau, was one of the most distinguished soldiers of his time.