Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/989

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CONSTITUTION — AREA AND POPULATION 0^3

nearer (ujmUc heir, (is not accepted owing to lii.s relu.sal to give up his English appointments and residence.

The ducal house of IJruuswick-Wolfenbiittel, extiurt on the death of Wilhehn I., was long one of the most ancient and illustrious of the Germanic Confederation. Its ancestor, Henry the Lion, possessed, in the twelfth century, the united duchies of Bavaria and Saxony, with other territories in the North of Germany ; but having refused to aid the Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa in his wars with the Pope, he was, by a decree of the Diet, deprived of the whole of his territories with the sole exception of his allodial domains, the principalities of Brunswick and Liineburg. These possessions were, on the death of Ernest the Confessor, divided between the two sons of the latter, who became the founders of the lines oi Brunswick-Liineburg, Elder Line, and Brunswick-Liineburg, Younger Line, the former of which was represented in the ducal house of Brunswick, while the latter is merged in the royal family of Great Britain.

The Brunswick regency law of February 16, 1879, enacts that in case the legitimate heir to the Brunswick throne be absent or prevented from assuming the government, a Council of Regency, consisting of the IMinisters of State and the Presidents of the Landtag and of the Supreme Court, should carry on the government ; while the German Emperor should assume command of the military forces in the Duchy. If the rightful heir, after the space of a year, is unable to claim the throne, the Bninswick Landtag shall elect a regent from the non-reigning members of German reigning families.

The late Duke of Bninswick was one of the wealthiest of German sovereigns, having been in possession of the principality of Gels, in Silesia, now belonging to the Prussian Crown, and vast private estates and domains in the same district and adjoining, bequeathed to the King of Saxony.

Constitution.

The Constitution of Brunswick bears date October 12, 1832, but was modified by the fundamental law^s of November 22, 1851, and March 26, 1888. The legislative power is vested in one Chamber, consisting, according to the law of 1851, of forty-six members. Of these, twenty-one are elected by those who are highest taxed ; three by the Protestant clergy ; ten by the inhabitants of towns, and twelve by those of rural districts. The Chamber meets, according to the law of 1888, every two years, and the deputies hold their mandate for four years. The executive is represented by a responsible Staatsministerium, or Ministry of State, consisting at present of three depart- ments, namely — of State, Foreign Affairs and Finance, of Justice and Eccle- siastical Afiairs, and of tlie Interior.

Area and Population.

The Duchy has an area of 1,424 English square miles, with a population of 434,213 inhabitants (215,772 males, 218,441 females), according to the census of December 2, 1895. The increase was at the rate of 1 68 per cent, per annum in the five years 1885-90, and 1 "40 in 1890-95. Marriages, 1897, 3,787 ; births, 15,597; deaths, 8,524 ; surplus, 7,073. Included in the births are 532 (3'41 per cent.) .still-born, and 1,701 (10*91 per cent.) illegitimate children. Emigrants 1892, 333; 1893, 331 ; 1894, 195 ; 1895, 198 ; 1S9G, 157 ; 1897, 137. Nearly the whole of the inhabitants of the Duchy are members of the Lutheran Church, there being only 19,508 Catholics in 1895.

The capital, Bninswick (Braunschweig), had 115,138 inhabitants at the Census of December 2, 1895.