1902 Encyclopedia > Tyrol

Tyrol




TYROL, a province of Austria, with the title of "county," lies between 10° 10' and 13° E. long, and 45° 40' and 47° 45' N. lat., and is conterminous on the north-west with the Austrian province of Vorarlberg, on the north with Bavaria, on the east with Salzburg and Carinthia, on the south-east and south-west with Italy, and on the west with Switzer-land. The last-named country forms in the lower Engadine an angle penetrating deeply into Tyrol. The country is entirely mountainous, being traversed by the main chain of the Alps. It may be roughly divided into the valley systems of the Lech and the Inn to the north of the chain and of the Etsch or Adige (Vintschgau) and the upper Drave (Puster valley) to the south (see ALPS). Its area is 10,316 square miles ; its population in 1880 was 805,176, inclusive of military, showing an increase of nearly 4 per cent, since 1869. Of these 432,062 spoke German, 360,975 Italian or some Bomance dialect, and the re-mainder some form of Slavonic; 565,468 persons were able to read and write, 56,728 to read only, leaving about 22| per cent, of the total population, including children, wholly illiterate. Education is strictly compulsory; but the schools are for the most part closed during the summer months, when all available hands are required in the fields and on the mountain pastures. Agriculture and forestry occupy about two-thirds of the entire population. Every householder owns a piece of cultivable land in the valley, while his goats, sheep, or cattle are driven with those of his neighbours to the mountain pastures (Alpen, Almen) which belong to the commune. Each commune has a president chosen by an elected committee of householders. The man selected cannot decline, but is bound to serve his term of office. The tenure of property is for the most part of the nature of absolute ownership. In 1880 100,393 persons of both sexes were returned as proprietors, 10,283 as tenants. The chief products are milk, butter, and cheese. Of grain-crops maize, which is largely grown in the Inn valley and Vintschgau, holds the first place. Wheat is grown in the lower valleys, barley and rye in the higher, the latter in favourable spots to a height of over 5000 feet. Potatoes are found above 6000 feet. In the Etsch valley, or district about Meran and Botzen, red and white wine of excellent quality is produced (in 1884 about 6,500,000 gallons). Of late years the cultivation of fruit has much developed, especially in south Tyrol. Silk is also produced (in 1885 1268 tons of cocoons). Game is still plentiful in the remoter valleys. In every district there are a certain number of licensed hunters, the prin-cipal game being red deer, chamois, hares, blackcock, ptarmigan, &c. Mining occupies about one-fifth of the population. At Hall near Innsbruck are important salt works, and at Brixlegg in the same valley copper and lead are smelted. Iron is worked at Fulpmes in the Stubai valley and at Prad in the Vintschgau. Zinc is found at the head of the Passeir valley. In the Middle Ages gold and silver were found in sufficient quantities to make it worth while to extract them. About 4340 square miles of the country are covered with forest, chiefly pine, fir, and larch, which, however, is felled in a recklessly wasteful way. The capital of the county is INNSBRUCK (q.v.).
The general average of comfort in Tyrol is high, and the cost of living is very moderate. The peasant and his family are clothed in stuffs spun and woven at home, from the wool and flax produced in their own neighbourhood. The people are for the most part somewhat reserved in manner, but courteous and hospitable. The savage fights which used to be a favourite pastime among the younger men are now almost, or quite, a thing of the past. In some valleys there is a good deal of musical talent; and companies of Tyrolese singers, particularly from the Ziller valley, travel about all over Germany. The zither is a favourite instrument, especially in the southern valleys ; in the northern the guitar is more fre-quent. The religion is almost exclusively Roman Catholic; but in Innsbruck there are some hundreds of Protestants. The priests belong chiefly to the peasant class, and receive their education at Brixen and the university of Innsbruck. This contains about 600 students in the various faculties and possesses a library of some 60,000 volumes. There is a diet, or landtag, with its seat at Inns-bruck, consisting of thirty-four representatives of the peasants, thirteen of the citizens, four of the prelates, ten of the nobles, three of the chambers of commerce at Innsbruck, Botzen, and Roveredo, and one of the university of Innsbruck. To the imperial reichs-rath Tyrol sends eighteen members. Tyrol is garrisoned by troops recruited exclusively in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, and never, except in time of war, employed outside these provinces. Besides this there are the landwehr and the landsturm or militia.
History.—The country corresponding to modern Tyrol first appears in history when the Rhsetians were subdued by Drusus and Tiberius. This nation, by some held to have been cognate with the Etruscans, occupied the valleys from the source of the Rhine to that of the Drave. To the north of them were the Vindeliei, and to the east the Norici; the former were apparently separated

from thein by the ridges north of the Inn, the latter by the water-shed between the Etsch and the Drave. Pliny (V. iii. 24) gives the names of all the tribes. After their subjection by Rome these races became Romanized and shared the fortunes of the empire. Their position on and about the roads by which the central Alps are most easily crossed laid them especially open to inroads, and before the end of the 3d century the Alemanni had traversed the country. In the course of the next three centuries this people settled in the north-western valleys. But the peopling of the greater part of the province by Teutons was effected by the Baiu-varii, who were by the year 600 established throughout nearly the entire remainder of German Tyrol, some of the Romanized Rhaetians probably being left, mixed with a few Alemannic stragglers, in the upper Vintschgau, while the Lombards pressed up from the southward and took possession of the district around Trent. The Alemanni and Baiuvarii, governed immediately by their own dukes, owned a kind of allegiance to the kings of the Franks, and ulti-mately became in the time of Pippin and Charles incorporated in the Frankish monarchy. The country was then divided for ad-ministrative purposes into counties (comitatus, Grafschaften), under counts, whose rank, at first merely official, in course of time became, with their office, hereditary. The most powerful among them appear to have been those of the Vintschgau, where a fertile soil and a climate less rigorous than that of the northern valleys allowed more development of wealth. In the 12th century the counts of Tirol begin to be conspicuous. This was a small district near Meran, taking its name from the ancient castle of Tirol, known in the later Roman time as Teriolis. These, in the course of the next century, acquired the lordship over nearly all the territory now contained in the province of Tyrol south of the main chain of the Alps, besides the advocacy (Schirmvogtei) of the wealthy sees of Brixen and Trent. Meantime the valley of the Inn and those adjoining it had come under the dominion of the counts of Andechs, a Bavarian family, who were also titular counts of Meran. The last of these died without issue in 1248. His wdfe's sister, Adelaide, married to Meinhard, count of Görz, was left in sole possession of nearly the whole of the province. Their son Meinhard II. (1257-1295) was connected with some of the most powerful houses in Germany ; and, being a man of great ability and equal un-scrupulousness, he succeeded in acquiring the few outlying portions of territory and castles still belonging to the smaller nobles, and thus consolidated Tyrol within the limits by which it has ever since been bounded. Carinthia and Styria also formed part of his domains ; but their connexion with Tyrol has never been other than a personal one. Meinhard II. was succeeded in turn by his sons Otho and Henry. The latter (1310-1335), a weak and ex-travagant prince, seems to have done much towards organizing the government of the country. His elder daughter Margaret, known in Tyrolese history and legend as Die Maultasche, '' the Pocket-mouth," the heiress of his territories, took as her second husband (in 1342) Louis of Brandenburg. Their son Meinhard III., who succeeded to the county on his father's death in 1361, died in 1363. Margaret thereupon made over all her possessions to the house of Hapsburg, and since that time Tyrol has formed part of the hereditary dominions of the archdukes of Austria (see AUSTRIA). The fidelity of the Tyrolese to their counts has for many centuries been proverbial. The Brenner has more than once offered them a secure line of retreat and the mountains a rampart of defence. Maximilian I. (1493-1519) had an especial affection for Tyrol. He conferred on the province its present title of Die gefürstete Graf-schaft ; he profited on more than one occasion by the refuge it afforded ; he spent much of his time within it; and at his death he directed that a sumptuous monument to himself should be erected in the Franciscans' church at Innsbruck. Tyrol has more than once been the scene of sharp fighting. In 1499 the men of Graubünden or the Grisons (see SWITZERLAND) invaded the country and defeated the Tyrolese in the neighbourhood of Mais. In 1703 Max Emmanuel, elector of Bavaria, penetrated the upper Inn valley, but was driven back. During the wars of the French Revolution French and Austrian armies met more than once within the limits of the province. By the treaty of Pressburg, 1805, the province was transferred to Bavaria. On the renewal of war between Bona-parte and Austria in 1809 the people rose and expelled the Bavari-ans, and afterwards, under the leadership of Andrew Hofer, an innkeeper of the Passeir valley, repeatedly defeated the French, Bavarian, and Saxon forces. Innsbruck was more than once taken and retaken; and on 12th August Hofer, after defeating Marshal Lefebvre, was installed in the capital as commandant. But the ill-success of the Austrian arms elsewhere prevented any support from being sent, and by the treaty of Schönbrunn in October the Tyrolese were again given up to their new rulers. Hofer, being captured through treachery, was shot at Mantua, 20th February 1810. On the fall of Bonaparte, Tyrol reverted to the house of Hapsburg.
See A. Jäger, Die Verfassung Tirols, Innsbruck, 18S1-S5 ; Egger, Die Tiroler
unci Vorarlberger, Innsbruck, 1S72-79; Steub, Drei Sommer in Tirol, Stuttgart,
1871 (2d ed.). (A. J. B.)








Search the Encyclopedia:



About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Sitemaps
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us



© 2005-17 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries