The New International Encyclopædia/Moravia

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The New International Encyclopædia
Moravia
Edition of 1905. See also Moravia on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MORA'VIA (Ger. Mähren). A margraviate and crownland of Austria-Hungary, bounded by Prussian Silesia, Austrian Silesia, Hungary, Lower Austria, and Bohemia (Map: Austria, E 2). Area, 8578 square miles. It is traversed along the northern boundary by the Sudetic Mountains, along the eastern boundary by the Carpathians and the White Mountains, and along the western boundary by the Bohemian-Moravian highlands, which descend in terraces toward the valley of the March. Moravia belongs to the basin of the Danube, and is watered by its tributary, the March, which flows through the centre of the country from north to south. The climate is generally mild. The mean annual temperature is 48° at Brünn. The mineral deposits include iron, lignite, coal, graphite, sulphur, lead, and copper. All these are exploited to some extent, the output in 1900 having been valued at $3,242,627. There are a number of sulphur and saline springs.

Agriculture is the principal industry, Moravia being one of the foremost cereal-producing parts of Austria. The principal products are rye, oats, barley, wheat, corn, and flax, sugar beets, clover, hay, and grapes. Stock-raising is carried on extensively. Among manufactures the woolen industry is especially developed. Other manufactures are those of linen, yarn, cotton goods, leather, sugar, spirits, machinery, railway supplies, tobacco products, etc. In 1899 Moravia had over 500,000 persons engaged in manufacturing, of whom nearly 22,000 were employed in the beet-sugar industry. The railways had a total mileage of 1150 miles in 1900.

The Landtag is composed of the Prince-Archbishop of Olmütz, the Bishop of Brünn, 30 representatives of the landed aristocracy, 31 representatives of the towns, 6 representatives of the chambers of commerce and industries of Brünn and Olmütz, and 31 representatives of the rural districts. The representatives of the rural districts are indirectly elected. In the Lower House of the Austrian Reichsrat Moravia is represented by 36 members.

At the head of the administration is the Governor, representing the Crown. The crownland has a system of district courts, and at Brünn a court of second instance, from which appeals can be made to the Supreme Court at Vienna. Moravia is well provided with educational institutions, and over 98 per cent. of its school population attend school. Capital, Brünn (q.v.). The population was 2,276,870 in 1890, and 2,437,706 in 1900. Over 71 per cent. of the population consists of Czechs, Moravians, and Slovaks, and about 28 per cent, of Germans. Over 95 per cent. of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics.

History. Moravia was anciently occupied by the Quadi, who left the country at the time of the great migration of nations. They were succeeded by other Germanic peoples, whose sojourn was temporary, and in the sixth century the region was occupied by Slavs. These peoples took the name of Moravians, from the river Morava. Charles the Great, the ruler of the Franks, brought the people under nominal subjection, and constrained their King, Samoslav, to receive baptism; but Christianity was first formally established in the second half of the ninth century by Cyril and Methodius. The ninth century witnessed repeated wars between the Germans and the Moravians. Svatopluk, who ruled over the Moravians from about 870 to 894, built up an extensive but short-lived realm, which soon after his death was shattered to pieces by the onslaught of the Magyars. From 1029 Moravia was generally united with Bohemia, either as an integral part of that realm or as a fief ruled by margraves. On the death of Louis II., at the battle of Moháes, in 1526, Moravia, with all the other Bohemian lands, passed under the rule of the House of Austria. In 1849 it was formally separated from Bohemia and declared a distinct province and crownland.

Consult: Wolny, Die Markgrafschaft Mähren topographisch, statistisch und historisch geschildert (5 vols., Brünn, 1835-40); Dudik, Mährens allgemeine Geschichte (12 vols., Brünn, 1860-88), for the early history: Smolle, Die Markgrafschaft Mähren (Vienna, 1881); Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild. Mähren und Schlesien, vol. xxii. (Vienna, 1897).