1902 Encyclopedia > Wurtemberg

Wurtemberg




WÜRTEMBEBG, or WÜRTTEMBERG, a European kingdom, forms a tolerably compact mass in the south-west of the German empire, of which it is the third factor in point of area and the fourth in point of population. In the south it is cleft by the long narrow territory of Hohenzollern, belonging to Prussia; and it encloses six small enclaves of Baden and Hohenzollern, while it owns seven small exclaves within the limits of these two states. It lies between 47° 34' 48" and 49° 35' 17" N. lat., and between 8° 15' and 10° 30' E. long. Its greatest length from north to south is 140 miles; its greatest breadth is 100 miles; its boundaries, almost entirely arbitrary, have a circuit of 1116 miles; audits total area is 7531 square miles, or about one twenty-eighth of the entire empire. It is bounded on the E. by Bavaria, and on the other three sides by Baden, with the exception of a short distance on the S., where it touches Hohenzollern and the Lake of Constance. For adminis-trative purposes the country is divided into the four circles ("kreise") of the Neckar in the north-west, the Jagst in the north-east, the Black Forest in the south-west, and the Danube in the south-east.

Würtemberg forms part of the South-German tableland, and is hilly rather than mountainous. In fact the undulating fertile terraces of Upper and Lower Swabia may be taken as the characteristic parts of this agricultural country. The usual estimates return one-fourth of the entire surface as " plain," less than one-third as " mountainous," and nearly one-half as " hilly." The average elevation above the sea-level is 1640 feet; the lowest point is at Böttingen (410 feet), where the Neckar quits the country; the highest is the Katzenkopf (3775 feet), on the Hornisgrinde, on the western border.

The chief mountains are the Black Forest on the west, the Swabian Jura or Bauhe Alb, stretching across the middle of the country from south-west to north-east, and the Adelegg Mountains in the extreme south-east, adjoining the Algau Alps in Bavaria. The Rauhe Alb or Alp slopes gradually down into the plateau on its south side, but on the north it is sometimes rugged and steep, and has its line broken by isolated projecting hills. The highest summits are in the south-west, viz., the Lemberg (3326 feet), Ober-Hohenberg (3312 feet), and Plettenberg (3293 feet). In a narrower sense the name Rauhe Alb is re-served for the eastern portion only of the Swabian Jura, lying between Hohenzollern and Bavaria; in the narrowest sense of all it is applied to a single group near Reutlingen. Most of the isolated summits above referred to (none of which are over 2630 feet) project from this eastern section; among them are the hills of Hohenstaufen, Teck, Mossingen, and Hohenzollern.

The Black Forest (Germ. Schwarzwald), a mountain group or Black system deriving its name from the dark foliage of its pine forests, Forest, lies partly in Wiirtemberg and partly in Baden. Its general shape is that of a triangle, its base resting on the Rhine between the Lake of Constance and Basel, and its apex pointing north. It stretches along the east bank of the Rhine from Basel to Durlaeh, at a distance varying from 4 to 15 miles from the river, and parallel to the Vosges range on the west bank. The south, west, and north faces of the group are rugged and steep, but on the east it loses its mountainous character, and melts so gradually into the bounding plateau that it is difficult to assign it definite limits on that side. The total length of the Black Forest range is 93 miles, its breadth varies from 46 to 13 miles, and its area is 1913 square miles. The average elevation decreases from south to north from 3280 feet to 2296 feet. The hills do not rise in peaks but in rounded summits and plateau-like masses and combs, separated from each other by the deep ravines of the streams.

The south part of the Black Forest was called Mons Abnoba by the Romans, and the whole was known to them from the 3rd century as Silva Marciana. The name Silva Nigra appears in mediaeval Latin. This retired district, always somewhat over-shadowed by the majestic beauties of the neighbouring Swiss Alps, was long unvisited and almost unheard of. Within comparatively recent years, however, it has become a favourite resort for summer visitors and tourists. Though not boasting any very striking mountain scenery, the Black Forest includes romantic and wild vales as well as smiling and picturesque valleys ; and the beauty of its streams and waterfalls, its fragrant and shady forests, the quaintness of its sequestered villages, and the primitive sim-plicity of its inhabitants, who still retain their peculiar costume, are all objects of interest.

About two-thirds of the Black Forest belongs to Baden and the remaining third to Wurtemberg; but it is convenient to disregard the political boundaries, and to consider it as formed of the Southern or Upper and the Northern or Lower Black Forest, separated from each other by the deep and romantic gorge of the Kinzig. The principal rocks are stratified gneiss and eruptive granite, though some of the summits are porphyritic. In the north ami east those rocks are covered with a tolerably thick layer of variegated and red sandstone, which also appears, though not so abundantly, in the south and west. The kernel of the Southern Black Forest is the Feldberg (4803 feet), the highest point in the range, round which the other summits and masses are grouped. Among the chief summits are the Belchen (4640 feet), the Erz-kasten (4218 feet), the Hochkopf (4150 feet), and the Kandelberg (4077 feet). The average height of the crest in this division of the forest is about 3300 feet. The chief streams are the Wutach, Alb, Wehra, Wiese, Neumagen, and Dreisam, all tributaries of the Rhine, and the Brege and Bregach, regarded as the head-waters of the Danube. On the eastern slopes lie the Feldsee, Titisee, Schuchsee, and numerous other small lakes, most of them in bleak and solitary situations among the extensive moors. The waterfall on the Gutach, at Triberg, is 170 feet high. The central height of the Northern Black Forest is the Hornisgrinde (3825 feet), on the border between Wurtemberg and Baden. Other heights are the Hohe Ochenskopf (3460 feet), the Hohloh (3225 feet), and the Kniebishohen (3180 feet), with the Kniebis Pass. The average height of the crest is 2470 feet. The principal streams are the Kinzig and Murg, which join the Rhine, and the Glatt, Enz, and Nagold, which fall into the Neckar. The eastern slopes of this division also are sprinkled with lakes, the chief of which are the gloomy Mummelsee and the Wildesee.

As the name implies, the Schwarzwald is largely covered with forests, chiefly of pines and firs. Oaks, beeches, &c, also flourish, especially in the valleys and towards the west. The timber trade and its cognate industries are thus the chief resources of the in-habitants. The felled timber is floated in the form of rafts down the numerous streams to the Neckar or Rhine, where larger rafts are formed, sometimes requiring a crew of several hundred men, for the voyage to Holland, the principal market. The increase of railways has, however, considerably diminished the quantity of wood thus exported by water ; and numerous sawmills within the limits of the forest are engaged in cutting timber into planks for export by rail. Perhaps, however, the most characteristic industry of the Black Forest is the manufacture of wooden clocks (often spoken of as "Dutch clocks"). This industry has long flourished in the district, and has recently been organized and extended, while considerable factories have been established at Furtwangen, Triberg, and other chief centres. Clocks to the value of about £2,000,000 are said to be annually produced, and 1400 persons are engaged in their manufacture. Musical-boxes are also extensively made here. Straw-plaiting occupies a large number of girls and women, especially in winter ; and glass-blowing, charcoal-burning, and potash-boiling are also carried on. Agriculture is of no great importance, as the soil is poor, and the crops scanty. Cattle are kept in considerable numbers ; they are driven up to the mountains in summer, and return to the valleys in autumn. The mining in-dustry is quite insignificant; coal is worked to a small extent in and near Rotliegenden. In spite of their industrial resources, aided by the wealth introduced by tourists and visitors to the numerous mineral springs, the population of the Black Forest is too numerous to find support at home, and large numbers go abroad as pedlars, merchants, servants, &c.

The climate of the Schwarzwald is severe, but healthy. The forests cease at 4250 feet, and are succeeded by scanty grass and herbs. On many of the summits snow lies for ten months in the year, yet in some of the valleys vines, almonds, and chestnuts ripen. Wild boars, deer, hares, foxes, and various kinds of game are found. The carriage-roads follow the valleys, but innumerable footpaths lead in all directions through the magnificent woods. The Black Forest railway, opened in 1873, ascends the picturesque valleys of the Kinzig and Gutach by means of bridges, viaducts, and tunnels, often of the boldest construction.
To the south of the llauhe Alb the plateau of Upper Swabia stretches to the Lake of Constance and eastwards across the Iller into Bavaria. Between the Alb and the Black Forest in the north-west are the fertile terraces of Lower Swabia, continued on the north-east by those of Franconia.

About 70 per cent, of Wurtemberg belongs to the basin of the Rhine, and about 30 per cent, to that of the Danube. The principal river is the Neckar, which flows northward for 186 miles through the country to join the Rhine, and with its tributaries drains 57 per cent, of the kingdom. On the west it receives the Enz, swelled by the Nagold, and on the east the Fils, Rems, Murr, Kocher, and Jagst. The Danube flows from east to west across the south half of Wurtemberg, a distance of 65 miles, a small section of which is in Hohenzollern. Just above Ulm it is joined by the Iller, which forms the boundary between Bavaria and Wurtemberg for about 35 miles. The Tauber in the north-east joins the Main ; the Argen and Schussen in the south enter the Lake of Constance. The lakes of Wurtemberg, with the exception of those in the Black Forest, all lie south of the Danube. The largest is the Federsee (640 acres) near Buchau. About one-fifth of the Lake of Constance is reckoned to belong to Würtemberg. Mineral springs are abundant; the most famous spa is Wildbad, in the Black Forest.

The climate is temperate,—colder among the mountains climate in the south than in the north. The mean temperature and varies at different points from 43° to 50° F. The soil-abundant forests induce much rain, most of which falls in summer. The soil is on the whole fertile and well-cultivated ; and for many centuries agriculture was almost the only resource of the inhabitants. Middle and Lower Swabia are the most fertile districts. The removal of burdens and restrictions in 1848 and 1849, and intelligent state-aid, combined with the formation of agricultural societies, have encouraged farming, but the practice of parcelling the land in minute patches among the members of the communities still retards progress. According to returns made in 1878, 45'2 per cent, of the land was under agriculture, 30'7 under forest, 19'4 in pasture, 1*2 in vineyards, and the remainder unproductive. Grain is produced in excess of the home demand.





The following table shows the average annual extent (in acr of the chief crops in 1878-1880, and the value :—

== TABLE ==

Pease, maize, rape, hemp, flax, hops, and chicory are also pro-duced in considerable quantity ; tobacco is grown in the valley or the Neckar. Wurtemberg is very rich _in fruit trees of various kinds, and market-gardening flourishes near the larger towns and in the Rcmsthal. In 1880 there were 35,000 acres under veget-ables. The cultivation of the vine is a highly important industry in the valleys of the Neckar and some of the other streams. In the period 1827-1882 the average annual area under vines was 63,327 acres, yielding 5,701,454 gallons of wine, worth £411,700. The best year was 1835, when 22,303,006 gallons were produced, the worst was 1854, with 1,696,376 gallons. Among the best Wurtemberg wines are those known as Rothenberger, Tiirkheimer, Lammler, Brodwasser, Kâsberger, Elpinger, Sehalksteiner, Weins-berger, Markelsheimer, Verrenberger, and Lindelberger. About one-third of the entire country is under forest, the greater propor-tion of which consist of deciduous trees (oaks, beeches, &c. ). Coni-ferous trees are most numerous in the Black Forest, in Upper Swabia, and in the circle of Jagst. Most of the forests belong to the state or to public companies, and are carefully and skilfully managed. Large tracts in the Black Forest are in the hands of the " Schiffergesellschaft," a very ancient guild of timber merchants.

In 1883 Wurtemberg contained 96,885 horses, 904,139 cattle, Live 550.104 sheep. 292,206 swine, and 54,876 goats. The breeding of stock.

horses commands a good deal of attention from Government, which maintains several stud-farms. Cattle, bred for export, are reared mainly in the Jagst and Danube divisions, sheep on and near the Alb.

Salt and iron are the only minerals of industrial importance found in Würtemberg, and both are worked almost entirely by Government. There are live Government salt-works (the chief of _which are Friedrichshall and Wilhelmsglück), employing together 425 hands. In 1879-80 970,084 tons of salt were produced, two-thirds by mining. The salt industry only began to be of import-ance at the beginning of the present century. The iron industry on the other hand is of great antiquity, though it is much hampered by the entire absence of coal mines in Würtemberg. The chief fuel used in smelting the iron is wood or charcoal. Iron is mined at Neuenbürg, Freudenstetten, and, to a very limited extent, in the Black Forest. In 1877-80 15,546 tons of ore were raised by 110 miners, yielding about 33 per cent, of raw metal. Cement, gypsum, grindstones, millstones, building-stones, &c, are also found. The annual value of the minerals of all kinds raised in Würtemberg has been roughly estimated at about £350,000.

Until the close of the Napoleonic wars, Würtemberg was almost exclusively an agricultural and bucolic country ; but since that period it has turned its attention to trade and manufactures, and perhaps now stands second only to Saxony among the German states in commercial and industrial activity. The want of coal is naturally a serious drawback, but it is to a certain extent com-pensated by the abundant water-power. The textile industry is carried on in most of its branches. Wool, from both domestic and foreign sources, is woven at Esslingen, Göppingen, and other towns in Lower Swabia ; cotton is manufactured in Göppingen and Esslingen, and linen in Upper Swabia. Lace-making also nourishes in the last-named district, as a rural house-industry. The silk industry of Würtemberg, which employs about 1100 hands, though not very extensive in itself, is the most important silk industry in Germany. Ravensburg claims to have possessed the earliest paper-mill in Germany ; paper-making is still important in that town and at Heidenheim, Heilbronn, Göppingen, and other places in Lower Swabia. Government owns six iron foundries and puddling works, the most important of which is at Wasseralfingen, where over 1000 hands are employed. The locomotive engines of Esslingen enjoy a wide reputation ; and agricultural and other machinery, boilers, and tools of various kinds are also manufactured and exported by various towns. The organs of Ludwigsburg are well known ; bell-founding is carried on at Stuttgart, Reutlingen, and Cannstatt ; beetroot sugar and beer are considerable items in the list of annual produce ;—wine has been already mentioned. The manufacture of chemicals at Stuttgart, Heilbronn, &c, is important.

Trade has prospered since Würtemberg joined the North German Customs Union in 1834. The leading trading towns are Heilbronn, Stuttgart, Ulm, and Friedrichshafen. Cattle, horses, sheep, agricultural produce, timber, salt, and various manufactured goods are the chief exports ; coal, hops, steel goods of various kinds, eggs, and poultry are among the chief imports. The book-trade of Stuttgart is very extensive ; that town has been called the Leipsio of southern Germany.

In 1887 991 miles of railway were open for traffic in Würtemberg. With the insignificant exception of two private lines, together no more than 31 miles long, all the railways are in the hands of the state. The Neckar, the Schüssen, and the Lake of Constance are all navigable for boats ; the Danube begins to be navigable at Ulm. The roads of Würtemberg are fairly good ; the oldest are Roman. Würtemberg, like Bavaria, retained the control of its own postal and telegraph system on the foundation of the new German empire. In 1885 there were 1750 miles of telegraph wires in the kingdom.

In 1885 the population of Würtemberg was 1,995,168, or one twenty-third of the total population of Germany on one twenty-eighth of its area. The average per square mile is 264'9. The following table shows the distribution of the population among the administrative districts, and their religion. The Neckar divi-sion contains most large towns.

== TABLE ==

The people of the north-west belong to the Alemannic stock, those of the north-east to the Franconian, and those of the centre and south to the Swabian. According to the occupation census of 1S82, the following were the numbers of those (including their families and dependants) engaged in the various departments of work:—in agriculture, forestry, &c, 942,924 ; in mining and industrial pursuits, 674,081 ; in trade and commerce. 143,258 ; in domestic and other service, 11,254 ; in professions, 95,712 ; "no returns," 90,240. In 1886 there were 3717 emigrants; in 1881 there were 11,470.

In 1885 there were 15 towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants, viz., Stuttgart (125,906), Ulm (33,610), Heilbronn (27,758), Ess-lingen (20,864),Cannstatt or Canstatt (18,031), Reutlingen (17,319), Ludwigsburg (16,201), Gmünd (15,321), Tübingen (12,551), Göp-pingen (12,102), and Ravensburg (11,482).





About two-thirds of the population are Protestant. In 1880, when the total population was 1,971,118, there were 1,364,580 Protestants, 590,290 Roman Catholics, 13,331 Jews, 2817 of other Christian sects, and 98 "others." The Protestant church is con-trolled (under the minister of religion and education) by a consis-tory and a synod,—the latter being made up of the consistory anil six general superintendents or "prelates" from six principal towns. But no laws are made or altered without the consent of a repre-sentative council, including both lay and clerical members. The Roman Catholic church is subject to the bishop of Rotte.nburg, in the archdiocese of Freiburg. Politically it is under a Roman Catholic council, appointed by Government. The Jews also since 1828 have been subject to a state-appointed council.

Würtemberg is one of the best educated countries of Europe. School attendance is compulsory on children from seven to fourteen years of age, and young people from fourteen to eighteen must either attend the schools on Sunday or some other educational establishment. Every community of at least 30 families must have a school. The different churches attend to the schools of their own confession. There is a university at Tübingen, and a polytechnic school at Stuttgart. Technical schools of various kinds are estab-lished in many of the towns, in addition to a thorough equipment of gymnasia, commercial schools, seminaries, &c. The conservatory of music at Stuttgart enjoys a high reputation.

Würtemberg is a constitutional monarchy and a member of the German empire, with 4 votes in the federal council and 17 in the imperial diet. The constitution rests on a law of 1819, amended in 1868 and 1874. The crown is hereditary, and conveys the simple title of king of Würtemberg. The king receives a civil list of £90,670, and the "apanages" of the crown amount to £14,900 more. The legislature is bi-cameral. The upper chamber (Standesherren) is composed of adult princes of the blood, heads of noble families from the rank of count (Graf) upwards, representa-tives of territories (Standesherrschaften) which possessed votes in the old German diet, and of life members nominated by the king. The number of this last class must not exceed one-third of the house. The lower house (Abgeordneten-Haus) has 93 members, viz., 13 noble landowners, elected by their peers (Ritterschaft), the 6 Protestant "prelates," the Roman Catholic bishop, and 2 other official Roman Catholic members, the chancellor of the university of Tübingen, 7 representatives from the chief towns, and 63 repre-sentatives from country districts. The king appoints the president of the upper chamber ; since 1874 the lower chamber has elected its own chairman. Members are elected for six years by ballot; the suffrage is enjoyed by all male citizens. With the exception of the royal princes and the life-members of the upper house that reside in Stuttgart, the members of both houses receive a daily payment of 9m. 41pf. (9s. 5d.) each.

The highest executive is in the hands of a ministry of state (Staatsministerium), consisting of six ministers and the privy coun-cil, the members of which are nominated by the king. There are ministers of justice, war, finance, home affairs, religion and education, and foreign affairs, railways, and the royal household. The legal system is framed in imitation of that of the German empire. The judges of the supreme court for impeachments of ministers, &c, named the Staatsgerichtshof, are partly elected by the chambers anil partly appointed by the king. The country is divided into four administrative "circles," subdivided into 64 " Oberämter," each of which is under an "Oberamtmann," assisted by an "Amtsver-sammlung " or local council. At the head of each of the four large divisions is a "Regierung."

The official finance period of Würtemberg embraces two years. Finance. For 1885-87 the budget showed an annual income of £2,811,921, balanced by the expenditure, which included a payment of £2500 to a reserve fund. The chief sources of income were taxes (£1,392,893, including £691,773 of direct taxes), and public domains and monopolies (£1,095,336, including £662,385 from railways and £72,741 from post and telegraphs). The chief expenditure was on the interest (£875,525) and sinking fund (£122,873) of the public debt. This debt amounted in 1887 to £21,202,570, of which by far the greater proportion (£18,966,700) wras incurred for constructing and buying railways. Most of it bears interest at 4 per cent.

In terms of the convention of 1870 the troops of Würtemberg Army, form the 13th army corps in the imperial German army. They include 8 regiments of infantry, 4 of cavalry, and 2 of field artillery, &c. By the army law of March 11, 1887, the peace strength of the army was fixed at 773 officers, 18,815 men, and 64 cannon. The town of Ulm is one of the strongest fortresses in Germany.

The earliest known inhabitants of the country now called Wür-temberg seem to have been Suevi. The Romans, who appeared first about 15 B.C., added the south part of the land to the province of Gaul iu 84 A.D., and defended their positions there by a wall or rampart. About the beginning of the 3d century the Alemania drove the Romans beyond the Rhine and the Danube ; but they in their turn were conquered by the Franks under Clovis (496), and (he land was divided between Rhenish Franconia and the duchy of Alemannia. The latter, however, disappears about 760, and its territories were administered for the Frankish monarchs by " grafs " or counts, until they were finally absorbed in the duchy of Swabia. The last duke of Swabia died in 1268, and a large share of his power and possessions fell into the hands of the "grafs" of Wurtemberg, whose ancestral castle crowned a hill between Esslingen and Cannstatt. Tradition mentions a Conradus de Wirtemberc in 1090, but the earliest authentic count seems to have been Ulrich (1241-1265), who had large possessions in the valleys of the Neckar and the Rems. The power of this family grew steadily under suc-cessive counts ; and in 1482 their possessions were declared indi-visible. This early adoption of the principle of primogeniture saved Wurtemberg from the wasting effects of those family feuds and jealousies which interfered so seriously with the development of some of the other German states. Ebcrhard V., surnamed "im Bart" (1482-1496), was one of the most energetic and illustrious rulers that Wurtemberg ever had, and in 1495 his possessions were raised by the emperor to the dignity of an immediate imperial dícliy. The' reign of Ulrich I. (1498-1550), who succeeded to the duchy while still a child, was a most eventful period for the country, and many stories and traditions cluster round the name of this gifted and vigorous but unscrupulous and ambitious man. The extortions by which he sought to raise money for his extrava-gant pleasures excited a rising known as the '' arme Honrad " (poor Conrad)—not unlike the rising of Wat Tyler in England; and by the treaty of Tubingen in 1514 his people undertook to pay his debts in exchange for various political privileges, which in effect laid the foundation of the constitutional liberties of the country. A few years later, however, Ulrich quarrelled with the Swabian league of imperial towns, and their army headed by the duke of Bavaria, who was incensed by Ulrich's ill-treatment of his wife, a Bavarian princess, invaded Wurtemberg, expelled the duke, and in 1520 sold the duchy to Austria for 220,000 florins. Ulrich, however, found his opportunity in the discontent caused in Wurtemberg by the military and religious oppression of Austria, and in the disturbed state of the empire during the Peasants' War, and the commotions excited by the Reformation. Aided by Philip of Hesse and other Protestant princes, he fought a victorious battle at Lauflen in 1534 ; and by the treaty of Kadan he was recognized once more as duke, though forced to acknowledge his duchy a fief of Austria. One of his first acts was to introduce the Reformation, and to endow Protestant churches and schools throughout his land. His connexion with the Schmalkaldian League once more cost him a temporary expulsion from his throne, but Charles V. reinstated him in 1547, though under severe conditions. Ulrich's son Christopher (1550-1568) introduced systems of law and church government (Grosse Kirchenordnung) which have endured in part to the present day. The establishment in this reign of a kind of stand-ing committee to superintend the finances was the beginning of popular representation in the government, though its members belonged exclusively, of course, to the higher ranks. Frederick I. (1593-1608), an energetic and ambitious prince, induced the em-peror Rudolph II. in 1599 to raise the duchy once more to the dignity of an immediate fief of the empire. In the reign of his successor, John Frederick (1608-1628), Wurtemberg suffered severely from the Thirty Years' War, though the duke took no active share in that struggle. His son and successor, however, Eberhard III. (1628-1674), eagerly joined in it, but with disastrous effects. Wurtemberg was occupied by imperial troops, the duke was driven into exile, and when the peace of Westphalia once, more reinstated him he found but 50,000 subjects where he had left 400,000. In the reign of Eberhard IV. (1677-1733), who was but one year old when his father William died, Wurtemberg made acquaintance with another destructive enemy. In 1688, 1692, 1703, and 1707 the French entered the country with fire and sword, annihilating whole villages in their ruthless brutality, and leaving deserts in their track. The depopulated country eagerly afforded a welcome and a home to the Waldensians, who had been driven from their valleys by the duke of Savoy in 1699. Charles Alexander, who became duke in 1733, had embraced the Roman Catholic faith when an officer in the Austrian service, while his favourite minister was the unscrupulous Jew Suss Oppenheimer. The duke, instigated by his minister, was believed to aim at the suppression of the diet, and at the introduction of the Romish faith, but Charles's sudden death in 1737 put an abrupt end to these plans. Siiss Oppenheimer was hanged by the regent, before the next duke, Charles Eugene (1737-1793) came of age in 1744. The prince was gifted but vicious, and he soon fell into the hands of unworthy favourites. His whole reign was disturbed by dis-sensions betwixt the ruler and the ruled, in which the intervention of foreign powers (Prussia and England) was invoked, though in vain, by the unhappy people. Alarmed by the gathering discontent, Charles made a few concessions in his old age. Frederick Eugene (1795-1797), a brother of Charles Eugene, had been brought up at the court of Frederick the Great, whose niece he married. His children were, through this influence, educated as Protestants, and the royal family of Wurtemberg have been Protestants since his death.

Frederick II. (1797-1816) resembled the first of his name in becoming embroiled with the diet. He declared war against France in defiance of the wishes of his people, and when the French in-vaded the country he retired to Erlangen, till after the peace of Luneville (1801). By a private treaty at the same date, he ex-changed Montbeliard (which had belonged to Wurtemberg since 1418) and his Alsatian possessions for nine imperial towns and other territories, amounting in all to 850 square miles, with 124,000 inhabitants. He accepted also the title of elector from Napoleon. The newly acquired districts were not incorporated with his former possessions, but remained separate under the name "New Wurtem-berg." The new district had no diet. This was the first of a series of transactions with the national enemy, which swelled Frederick's territory, though they added but little to his credit. In 1805 Wurtemberg took up arms on the side of France, and the elector was rewarded at the peace of Pressburg by various Austrian possessions in Swabia, and the title of king. On January 1, 1806, Frederick assumed the royal style, abrogated the constitution, and united old and new Wurtemberg. He subsequently united church and state, and proclaimed religious equality. In 1806 King Frederick I. joined the Confederation of the Rhine, and received fresh territories, with 160,000 inhabitants ; and the peace of Aricnna brought 110,000 new subjects under his sceptre. But he had to perform his part of the bargain by joining Napoleon in his cam-paigns against Prussia, Austria, and Russia. Of 16,000 Wiirteni-bergers who marched to Moscow, only a few hundred returned. When fortune turned, Frederick with ready adroitness changed sides, and managed to preserve his royal title and most of his new-won lands by joining the allies immediately after the battle of Leipsic.
Wurtemberg had been promised a constitution by Frederick before he died in 1816, but a good deal of discussion took place before it was granted in 1819 by William I. (1816-1864). A period of quiet now set in, and the educational condition of the kingdom, its agriculture, and its trade and manufactures began to receive earnest attention. The desire for political freedom had by no means been satisfied by the constitution of 1819, and a "liberal opposition" began to make itself felt about 1830. The agitation of 1848 did not leave Wurtemberg undisturbed, though no scenes of actual violence took place in the kingdom. The conservative ministry granted freedom of the press and other privileges, too late, however, to avert their fall. The king was compelled to call the liberals to power in March 1848, and a new liberal constitution was granted. But as soon as the stress was over the "March ministry " was dismissed, and the reactionary party were again in the ascendant. By a high-handed interference with recently granted popular rights on the part of the king and his ministers a servile diet was assembled in 1851, which yielded up without hesitation all that had been gained since 1848. The constitution of 1819 was reinstituted, and it has remained, with only a few modifications, ever since. In 1864 Charles ascended the throne. In the duel between Prussia and Austria for supremacy in Germany, the sympathies of the rulers of Wurtemberg were always on the side of the latter, although the country entered the Customs Union under Prussia's protection in 1864. In 1866 Wurtemberg took up arms on behalf of Austria; but the Wurtemberg troops were defeated at Tauberbischofsheim, three weeks after Sadowa, and its ministers sued for peace. Prussia exacted an indemnity of 8 million florins, and Wurtemberg struck a secret offensive and defensive treaty with its conqueror. In 1870 this kingdom shared in the national enthusiasm which swept over Germany when France declared war ; and its troops had a creditable share in the memorable campaign of 1870-71. Since the foundation of the present German empire, the separate history of Wurtemberg has been of almost exclusively local interest. The tendency of legislation has been, on the whole, liberal.

A very full and minute description of Wurtemberg, together with copious lists of authorities on all subjects connected with it, wil1 be found in Das König-reich Württemberg, Stuttgart, 1882 sq , officially publi hed by the Königliches Statistisch-Topographisches Bureau. (F. JIU.)


Footnote


The origin of the name is disputed, though the once popular derivation from "Wirth am Berg" is universally rejected. Some authorities derive it from an old proper name Wirnto or Wirtino, others from a Celtic place-name Virodunum or Verdunum. Wirten-berc, Wirtenberg, Wirtemberc are early forms. Wirteniberg was long current, and in the latter half of the 16th century Würtemberg and Württemberg appear. The last was adopted in 1806 as the official spelling, though Würtemberg, the ordinary English spelling, is also common, and occurs sometimes in official documents and even on coins issued after that date.




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