Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/538

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523
PRUSSIA


a Prussian government appointment are required, to spend at least three terms or half-years (Semester) at a Prussian university. Ranking with the universities are the large technical high schools at Berlin, Hanover, Aix-la-Chapelle and Danzig, the mining academies of Berlin and Klausthal, and the academies of forestry at Eberswalde and Miinden; the agricultural high schools of Berlin and Poppelsdorf (Bonn) and the two veterinary high schools of Berlin and Hanover. Music is taught at several conservatoria, the best known of which are at Berlin and F rankfort-on-Main. The science and art of Prussia find their most conspicuous external expression in the academies of science and art at Berlin, both founded by Frederick I.; and each town of any s1ze throughout the kingdom has its antiquarian, artistic and scientific societies. Recognized schools of painting exist at Berlin and Dusseldorf, and both these towns, as well as Cassel, contain excellent plcture galleries. The scientific and archaeological collections of Berlin are also of great importance. Besides the university collections, there are numerous large public libraries, the chief- of which is the royal library at Berlin (I,000,000 volumes).

Finance.-As in all civilized countries, the national accounts of Prussia expand by leaps and bounds, and they do this in spite of the advantage which the state derives from the possession of valuable revenue-yielding properties. Of these the most important are the railways. Next in point of revenue come the mines and salines. Then follow the state forests and the landed domains, though the income from this source is rapidly decreasing as agriculture declines. For 1905-1906 the public revenue and expenditure were estimated at £135,914,080. The principal sources of revenue are the railways, £81,268,493; domains and forests, {,5,982,911; state lottery, £4,840,665; mines, &c., £IO,585,875; direct taxes (principally income-tax), £11,505,365; indirect taxes, £4,7&s9,965; administrative receipts, £8,410,684; and from the general financial control, £8,356,636. The chief items of the expenditure consist of payments for religion and education, £8,201,652; for justice, £6,260,330; working expenses, including £50,280,525 for working the state railways, £69,626,542§ interest, &c., on public debt, £12,375,380; the ministry of finance, £6,585,722, and the ministry of the interior, £4,313,780. The public debt grew from £64,363,000 in 1872 to £360,447,654 in 1905. The greater part of this debt has been incurred in the purchase of the state railways.

See Jahrbuch fair die amtliche Statistik des preussischert Staats, the Slalirtisches Jahrburh fur das deutsche Reich, and other publications of the statistical offices of Prussia and Germany. Good general accounts of the natural, social and political features of the country are given in Eiselen's Der preussische Staat (Berlin, 1862) and in Daniel's Handbuch der Geographie (several editions). The Prussian constitution and administrative system are concisely described in the H andbuch der Verfassurtg and Verwaltung in Preussen, by Graf Hue de Grais, and are treated at length in Von R6nne's Staatsrecht der preussischen Monarchie (4th ed., 1881-1884), and in Arndt, Verfassungs-Urkunde fur den preussischeu Staat (Berlin, 1900). In addition, see Landeskunde Preussens (Berlin, 1901), edited by Beuermann. Various volumes of Forschurtgen zur deutsrhen Lander- und Volkskunde, edited by Kirchhofi; British Diplomatic and Consular Reports; and James Baker, Report on T eelmical and Commercial Education in East Prussia, &c. (London, 1900).

History.-The name of Prussia is derived from the dukedom of Prussia (the present province of East Prussia), which was raised into a kingdom by the emperor in favour of Frederick III., elector of Brandenburg, on the 18th of January 1701. The title “king of Prussia ”1 applied at the outset only to Prussia proper, which formed no part of the Empire; in respect of his other dominions the king continued to bear titles (margrave, duke, &c.) which implied feudal subordination to the emperor. The extension of the style “ kingdom of Prussia ” so as to cover the whole of the territories, by whatever title held, of the electors of Brandenburg, was not, however, an empty assumption, but symbolized a new fact of first-class historic importance: the rise in Germany and in Europe of a new great power. The consolidation of this power had been the work of the Great Elector, the work of whose reign (1640-1688) laid the foundations of the modern Prussian state (see FREDERICK “VYILLIAM I., elector of Brandenburg, and BRANDENBURG: History).

The Great Elector's son Elector Frederick III. was an ostentatious and somewhat frivolous prince, who hazarded the acquisitions of his father by looking on his position as assured Strictly speaking, the title assumed was “king in Prussia” (Konigin Preussen), this apparently being meant to indicate that there was still a Prussia (West Prussia) of which he was not king, though it has also been otherwise explained.

and by aiming rather at external tokens of his dignity than at a further consolidation of the basis on which it rested. The Brandenburg troops fought in the war of the Frederick second coalition against Louis XIV. and in that of,688, "3 " the Spanish Succession; but neither the peace of Ryswick (1697) nor that of Utrecht (1713) brought the country any very tangible advantage. Brandenburg soldiers also helped the emperor in his wars with the Turks, and it was Frederick's action in covering the Dutch frontier with 6000 troops which left William of Orange free scope in his expedition to England. The most notable incident in Frederick's reign was, however, his acquisition of the title of king of Prussia, which had long formed the principal ob j ect of his policy. The emperor's consent was finally purchased by the promise of a contingent of 8000 men to aid him in the War of the Spanish Succession, and on the 18th of January 1701 Frederick crowned himself at Konigsberg with accompanying ceremonies of somewhat inflated grandeur. Elector Frederick III. of Brandenburg became henceforth King Frederick I. of Prussia? Superficial as this incident may at first sight appear, it added considerably to the moral and political momentum of the country, if only by giving to the subjects of the Prussian crown a common name, and its advantages were reaped by Frederick's two vigorous successors. About the same time (1697) the elector of Saxony also acquired the kingly dignity by his election to the throne of Poland, but in doing so he had to become a Roman Catholic, and thus left the Hohenzollerns without a rival among the Protestant dynasties of Germany. Frederick was extravagant; but he also did much for the intellectual life of the country, patronizing learned men, and founding the university of Halle (1694) and at'Berlin the Academy of Arts (1699) and the Academy of Sciences (1700). Moreover, even under this improvident king the territory of Prussia increased. From Saxony the king bought the hereditary advocate ship (Erbvogtei) of the Reiehsstift of Quedlinburg, as well as the imperial city of Nordhausen, the bailiwick of Petersberg and the count ship of Tecklenburg, while in 1702 from William III. of Orange he inherited Lingen, Mors and Neunburg.

The court of Vienna consoled itself for the growing power of Prussia under the Great Elector by the refection that it was probably temporary and'due mainly to the vigorous individuality of that prince. The events of Frederick I.'s reign seemed to justify this view. At his accession Prussia might fairly claim to rank as the second state of Germany, but before the death of Frederick, Bavaria, Saxony and Hanover all raised themselves to at least a level with Prussia. F rederick's preoccupation in the western wars had allowed Sweden to reassert her pre-eminence in northern Europe, and it was Russia, and not Prussia, that now impeded her progress. The internal soundness of the country had also suffered: the finances were in a state of complete disorganization, and the burden of taxation was almost insupportable. If Frederick's son and successor had not been a man of vigorous character the downhill progress might have continued until it had removed Prussia altogether from the list of important states.

The accession, on the 25th of February 1713, of Frederick William I. produced at once a complete change of system. The new king, whose literary education had been Frederick neglected, shared none of his father's artistic tastes William I.. and had a complete contempt for. the trappings of '"3'”40 royalty. On the other hand, he possessed administrative talents of no mean order and was singularly painstaking, industrious and determined in carrying out his plans. By carefully husbanding his hnances Frederick William filled his treasury and was able to keep on foot one of the largest and best disciplined armies in Europe, thereby securing for Prussia an influence in European councils altogether disproportionate to its size and population. In internal management he made Prussia the model 2 By the treaty of Utrecht, to which King Frederick William I. acceded on the 15th of May 1713, Prussia received upper Gelderland in exchange for the principality of Orange, and the king's title was acknowledged by the European powers.