Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/433

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417
SONSONATE—SOPHIA ALEKSYEEVNA

in 1905. Area, 906 sq. m. Pop. (1901), 169,877, showing a decrease of 13% in the decade, due to the results of famine. Estimated revenue £8000, tribute £600. The chief is a Rajput of the Patna line. Rice and timber are exported, and iron ore is said to abound. The town of Sonpur is on the Mahanadi river just above the point where it enters Orissa. Pop. (1901), 8887.


SONSONATE, the capital of the department of Sonsonate, Salvador; on the river Sensunapan and the railway from San Salvador to the Pacific port of Acajutla, 13 m. south. Pop. (1905), about 17,000. Sonsonate is the centre of a rich agricultural district, and one of the busiest manufacturing towns in the republic. It produces cotton cloth, pottery, mats and baskets, boots and shoes, sugar, starch, cigars and spirits. Through Acajutla it exports coffee and sugar, and imports grain for distribution to all parts of the interior.


SOOT (O. Eng. sot, cf. Icel. sot, Dan. sod; possibly from root sed, to sit), the black substance produced in the process of the combustion of fuel and deposited in finely granulated particles on the interior of chimneys or pipes through which the smoke passes. Soot is a natural nitrogenous manure (q.v.), and its value depends on the ammonia salts contained in it.


SOPHIA (1630-1714), electress of Hanover, twelfth child of Frederick V., elector palatine of the Rhine, by his wife Elizabeth, a daughter of the English king James I., was born at the Hague on the 14th of October 1630. Residing after 1649 at Heidelberg with her brother, the restored elector palatine, Charles Louis, she was betrothed to George William afterwards duke of Lüneburg-Celle; but in 1658 she married his younger brother, Ernest Augustus, who became elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or Hanover, in 1692. Her married life was not a happy one. Her husband was unfaithful; three of her six sons fell in battle; and other family troubles included an abiding hostility between her and Sophia Dorothea, the wife of her eldest son, George Louis. Sophia became a widow in 1698, but before then her name had been mentioned in connexion with the English throne. When considering the Bill of Rights in 1689 the House of Commons refused to place her in the succession, and the matter rested until 1700 when the state of affairs in England was more serious. William III. was ill and childless; William, duke of Gloucester, the only surviving child of the princess Anne, had just died. The strong Protestant feeling in the country, the danger from the Stuarts, and the hostility of France, made it imperative to exclude all Roman Catholics from the throne; and the electress was the nearest heir who was a Protestant. Accordingly by the Act of Settlement of 1701 the English Crown, in default of issue from either William or Anne, was settled upon “the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover” and “the heirs of her body, being Protestant.” Sophia watched affairs in England during the reign of Anne with great interest, although her son, the elector George Louis, objected to any interference in that country, and Anne disliked all mention of her successor. An angry letter from Anne possibly hastened Sophia's death, which took place at Herrenhausen on the 8th of June 1714; less than two months later her son, George Louis, became king of Great Britain and Ireland as George I. on the death of Anne. Sophia, who corresponded with Leibnitz, was a strong woman both mentally and physically, and possessed wide and cultured tastes.

See Memoiren der Kurfürstin Sophie von Hannover, edited by A. Köcher (Leipzig, 1879; Eng. trans., 1888); Briefwechsel der Herzogin Sophie von Hannover mit ihrem Bruder, &c., edited by E. Bodemann (Leipzig, 1885 and 1888); L. von Ranke, Aus den Briefen der Herzogin von Orleans, Elisabeth Charlotte, an die Kurfürstin Sophie von Hannover (Leipzig, 1870); E. Bodemann, Aus den Briefen der Herzogin, Elisabeth Charlotte von Orleans, an die Kurfürstin Sophie von Hannover (Hanover, 1891); R. Fester, Kurfürstin Sophie von Hannover (Hamburg, 1893); A. W. Ward, The Electress Sophia and the Hanoverian Succession (London, 1909); O. Klopp, Der Fall des Hauses Stuart (Vienna, 1875-1888); Correspondance de Leibnitz avec l'électrice Sophie, edited by O. Klopp (Hanover, 1864-1875); and R. S. Rait, Five Stuart Princesses (London, 1902).


SOPHIA ALEKSYEEVNA (1657-1704), tsarevna and regent of Russia, was the third daughter of Tsar Alexius and Maria Miloslavskaya. Educated on semi-ecclesiastical lines by the learned monk of Kiev, Polotsky, she emancipated herself betimes from the traditional tyranny of the terem, or women's quarters. Setting aside court etiquette, she had nursed her brother Tsar Theodore III. in his last illness, and publicly appeared at his obsequies, though it was usual only for the widow of the deceased and his successor to the throne to attend that ceremony. Three days after little Peter, then in his fourth year, had been raised to the throne, she won over the stryeltsy, or musketeers, who at her instigation burst into the Kreml, murdering everyone they met, including Artamon Matvyeev, Peter's chief supporter, and Ivan Naruishkin, the brother of the tsaritsa-regent Natalia, Peter's mother (May 15-17, 1682). When the rebellion was over there was found to be no government. Everyone was panic-stricken and in hiding except Sophia, and to her, as the only visible representative of authority, the court naturally turned for orders. She took it upon herself to pay off and pacify the stryeltsy, and secretly worked upon them to present (May 29) a petition to the council of state to the effect that her half-brother Ivan should be declared senior tsar, while Peter was degraded into the junior tsar. As Ivan was hopelessly infirm and half idiotic, it is plain that the absurd duumvirate was but a stepping-stone to the ambition of Sophia, who thus became the actual ruler of Russia. The stryeltsy were not only pardoned for their atrocities, but petted. A general amnesty in the most absolute terms was granted to them, and at their special request a triumphal column was erected in the Red Square of the Kreml, to commemorate their cowardly massacre of the partisans of Peter. When, however, instigated by their leader Prince Ivan Khovansky, who is suspected to have been aiming at the throne himself, and supported by the reactionary elements of the population, conspicuous among whom were the raskolniks or dissenters, they proceeded on the 5th of July to the great reception-hall of the palace in the Kreml to present a petition against all novelties, Sophia boldly faced them. Supported by her aunts and the patriarch, and secretly assured of the support of the orthodox half of the stryeltsy, she forbade all discussion and browbeat the rebels into submission. A later attempt on the part of Khovansky to overthrow her was anticipated and severely punished. By the 6th of November Sophia's triumph was complete. The conduct of foreign affairs she committed entirely to her paramour, Prince Vasily Golitsuin, while the crafty and experienced clerk of the council, Theodore Shaklovity, looked after domestic affairs and the treasury. Sophia's fondness for Golitsuin induced her to magnify his barely successful campaigns in the Crimea into brilliant triumphs which she richly rewarded, thus disgusting everyone who had the honour of the nation at heart. Most of the malcontents rested their hopes for the future on the young tsar Peter, who was the first to benefit by his sister's growing unpopularity. Sophia was shrewd enough to recognize that her position was becoming very insecure. When Peter reached man's estate she would only be in the way, and she was not the sort of woman who is easily thrust aside. She had crowned her little brothers in order that she might reign in their names. She had added her name to theirs in state documents, boldly subscribing herself “Sovereign Princess of all Russia.” She had officially informed the doge of Venice that she was the co-regent of the tsars. And now the terrible term of her usurped authority was approaching. In her extremity she took council of Shaklovity, and it was agreed (1687) between them that the stryeltsy should be employed to dethrone Peter. The stryeltsy, however, received the whole project so coldly that it had to be abandoned. A second conspiracy to seize him in his bed (August 1689) was betrayed to Peter, and he fled to the fortress-monastery of Troitsa. Here all his friends rallied round him, including the bulk of the magnates, half the stryeltsy, and all the foreign mercenaries. From the 12th of August to the 7th of September Sophia endeavoured to set up a rival camp in the Kreml; but all her professed adherents gradually stole away from her. She was compelled to retire within the Novo-Dyeyichy monastery, but without