Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

end to the war, and the new emperor of Russia recalled his armies. His Prussian majesty was, notwithstanding, so very much reduced by his losses, that the empress-queen, probably, would have completed his destruction, had it not been for the prudent reluctance of the other German princes to annihilate the House of Brandenburg. At first the empressqueen rejected all terms proposed to her, and ordered 30,000 men to be added to her armies. The visible unwillingness of her generals to execute her orders, and the successes obtained by his Prussian majesty, at last prevailed upon her to agree to an armistice, which was soon followed by the treaty of Hubertsburg, February 15, 1763, which again secured to his Prussian majesty the possession of Silesia.

Upon the death of the emperor, her husband, in 1765, her son Joseph, who had been crowned king of the Romans in 1764, succeeded him in the empire. Soon after his accession he discovered grtat activity and ambition. He joined in the dismemberment of Poland with Russia and Prussia. He paid a visit incognito, and with moderate attendants, to Rome, and the principal courts of Italy; and had a personal interview with his Prussian majesty, though this did not prevent hostilities from being commenced between Austria and Prussia, on account of the succession to the electorate of Bavaria. The Austrian claims on this occasion were very unjust; but, in the support of them, while the contest continued, the emperor displayed great military skill. Though vast armies were brought into the field on both sides, no action happened of much importance, and an accommodation at length took place. The emperor afterwards demanded of the Dutch the free navigation of the Scheldt, but in this he likewise failed. lle endeavoured, however, to promote the happiness of his subjects, granted a most liberal religious toleration, and suppressed most of the religious orders of both sexes, as being urterly useless, and even pernicious to society; and in 1789, by an edict, abolished the remains of servitude and villanage, and fixed also the fees of the lawyers at a moderate amount, granting them a pension in lieu. He also abolished the use of torture in his hereditary dominions, and removed many of the grievances under which the peasants and common people laboured. He was a prince that mixed with his subjects with an ease and affability that are very uncommon in persons of his rank. He loved the conversation of ingenious men, and'appeared solicitous to cultivate knowledge.

Peter Leopold, grand duke of Tuscany, succeeded his brother Joseph II. and engaged the public praise by repeated instances of moderation and sulid principles. His former management of his Italian sovereignty, which was prudent and beneficent, showed that he aspired to truer reputation than can be acquired by the mere splendors of royalty. One of the bishops of Hungary having refused his licence to a á catholic subject to marry a protestant woman, the emperor dismissed him froin his see ; but pardoued him afterwards upon concession, and desired the bishop to exhort his brethren to comply with the imperial ordinances, else no favour should be shewn.

The Frerch revolution now attracted the attention of the powers of Europe. A conference was held at Pilnitz, between the emperor, the king of Prussia, and the elector of Saxony, at which the plan of attacking France was proposed and discussed. Leopold for some time was very irresolute, but at last seemed to be resolved on war, when he died of a pleuritic fever, on the first of March, 1792, after an illness of four days.

[graphic]
[graphic]

SECULAR ELECTORS.) 1. Francis-Joseph-Charles, emperor of Germany, king of Hungary, Bohemia, &c. born Feb. 3, 1768.

2. Frederic-Augustus IV. elector and Duke of Saxony, born Dec. 23, 1750; married, Jan. 17, 1769, to the princess Amelia-Augusta of Deus Ponts.

3. Charles-Frederic, elector and Marquis of Brandenburg.
4. The prince of Deux Ponts, elector Palatine, &c.
5. George III. king of Great Britain, elector of Hanover, &c.

SAXE-GOTIA.] · Ernest Lewis, duke of, nephew to the late princess dowager of Wales, -born Jan. 30, 1745; married, May 21, 1769, to Maria-Charlotte of Saxe-Meningen, by whom he has,

1. Ernest, born 27, 1770.
2. Emilius Leopold, born Nov. 24, 1772.
3. His brother Augustus, born Aug. 14, 1747.

MECKLENBURG.) The house of Mecklenburg is divided into two branches, viz.

1. Mecklenburg Schwerin.-Frederic, reigning duke, born Nov. 9, 1717 ; married, in 1746, Louisa-Frederica, daughter of Frederic-Louis, hereditary prince of Wurtemburg Stutgard, born Feb. 3, 1722; they have no issue.--Issue of the late prince Louis, by the princess Charlotte-Sophia, of Saxe-Coburg-Staelfield.

Frederic-Francis, born Dec. 10, 1757.

Princess Ulrica-Sophia, sister to the reigning duke, born July 1, 1723, governess of the convent of Ruhne.

II. Mecklenburg Strelitz.--Adolphus Frederic, reigning duke (knight of the garter), born May 5, 1738. --His brothers and sisters are,

1. Charles-Louis-Frederic, a lieuto-general in the Hanoverian service, born Oct. 10, 1741 ; married, Sept. 18, 1768, to Frederica-CharlotteLouisa, of Hesse Darmstadt, by whom he had issue,

1. Carolina Georgina-Louisa-Frederica, born Nov. 17, 1769. 2. Theresa Matilda-Amelia, born April 5, 1778.

3. Ernest-Gotleb-Albert, major-general in the Hanoverian service, and governor of Zell, born Aug. 7, 1742.

4. Christiana Sophia-Albertina, born Dec. 6, 1735.

5. Charlotte, queen consort of Great-Britain, born May 19, 1744 ; married Sept. 8, 1761; crowned Sept. 22, 1761.

THE KINGDOM OF PRUSSIA, FORMERLY DUCAL

PRUSSIA.

Lat. 52° 40'—to 55° 50' N.

Long. 1000-to 23° 23' E. Containing 22,144 square miles, with 67 inhabitants in each. The whole dominions 60,000 square miles, with 104 inhabitants to cąch.

SITUATION, BOUNDARIES, 2. This country is bounded to the AND EXTENT.

North, by part of Samogitia; to the South, by Poland Proper, and Masovia ; to the East, by part of Lithuania; and to the West, by Polish Prussia and the Baltic. Its grcatest

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]

The inhabitants of this kingdom alone were, by Dr. Busching, computed to amount to 635,998 persons capable of bearing arms. Since the year 1719, it is computed that about 34,000 colonists have removed thither from France, Switzerland, and Germany ; of which number 17,000 were Saltzburgers. These emigrants have built 400 sinall villages, 11 lowns, 86 seats, and 50 new churches; and have founded 1000 village schools, chiefly in that part of the country named Little Lithuania.

The manners of the inhabitants differ but little from those of the other inhabitants of Germany. The same may be said of their customs and diversions. RELIGION, SCHOOLS,} The religion of Prussia is very tolerant.

AND ACADEMIES. $ The established religions are those of the Lutherans and Calvinists, but chiefly the former ; but papists, antipædobaptists, and almost all other sects, are here tolerated. The country, as well as the towns, abounds in schools. An university was founded at Koningsberg in 1544 ; but we know of no very remarkable learned men that it has produced.

@itis$.] The kingdom of Prussia is divided into the German and Lithuanian departments; the former of which contains 280 parishes, and the latter 105.

Koningsberg, the capital of the whole kingdom, seated on the river Pregel, over which it has seven bridges, is about S4 miles from Dantzic. According to Dr. Busching, this city is seven miles in circumference, and contains 3,800 houses, and about 60,000 inhabitants. This computation is perhaps a little exaggerated, because it supposes, at an average, near sixteen persons in every house. Köningsberg has ever made a considerable figure in commerce and shipping, its river being navigable for ships ; of which 493 foreign oues arrived here in the year 1752, besides 298 coasters; and 373 foats of timber were, in the course of that year, brought down the Pregel. This city, besides its college or university, which contains 38 professors, has magnificent palaces, a townhouse, and exchange ; not to mention gardens and other embellishments. It has a good harbour and a citadel, which is called•Fredericsburg, and is a regular square. ANTIQUITIES AND CURIOSITIES,

See Germany. XATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL. COMMERCE AND MANUFACTURES.) The Prussian manufactures are not inconsiderable : they consist of glass, iron-work, paper, gunpowder, copper, and brass mills; manufactures of cloth, camlet, linen, silk stockings, and other articles. The inhabitants export variety of Haval stores, amber, linseed, and hempseed, oatmeal, fish, mead, tallow, and caviar; and it is said that 500 ships are loaded every year with those commoditites chiefly from Köningsberg.

CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT.] His Prussian majesty is absolute through all his dominions, and he avails bimself to the full of his power. The government of this kingdom is by a regency of four chancellors of state ; viz. 1. The great master; 2. The great burgrave; 3. "The great chancellor ; and, 4. The great marshal. There are also some other councils, and 37 bailiwicks. The states consist, 1. Of counsellors of state ; 2. Of deputies from the nobility; and, 3. From the commons. Besides these institutions, Frederic II. erected a bgard for commerce and navigation.

REVENUES.] His Prussian majesty, by means of the happy situation

« PreviousContinue »