1902 Encyclopedia > Hamburg (City), Germany Empire

Hamburg (City), Germany Empire

HAMBURG, one of the most remarkable cities of Germany and indeed of Europe, ranking as it does as the first of all the seats of commerce on the Continent, is situated on the right bank of the northern arm of the Elbe, about 93 miles from the mouth of that river, just where it is joined by the Alster and the Bille. The latitude of the observatory in the western part of the city is 53° 33' 55" N. and the longitude 9° 58' 23-6" E., the latitude of the tower of St Michael's 53° 32' 55-7" N. and the longitude 9° 58' 41-7" E. Were it not for political and municipal boundaries Hamburg might be considered as forming one town with Altona and Ottensen, the three presenting to the river a continuous frontage of nearly 4 miles ; and long lines of suburbs radiate inland in various directions. The city proper lies on both sides of the Alster, which having been dammed up a short distance from its mouth now forms a considerable lake, of which the southern portion within the line of the fortifications bears the name of the Inner Alster (Binnen Alster), and the other and larger portion (2300 metres long and 1200 metres wide at the widest) that of the Outer Alster (Aussett Alster). The fortifications as such were removed in 1815, but they have left their trace in a fine girdle of green round the city, though too many inroads on its completeness have been made by railways and roadways. The oldest portion of the city is that which lies to the east of the Alster; but, though it still retains the name of Altstadt, nearly all trace of its antiquity has disappeared, as it was rebuilt after the great fire of 1842. To the west lies the new town, incorporated in 1678; beyond this and contiguous to Altona is the quondam suburb of St Paul's, incorporated in 1876, and towards the north-east is the quondam suburb of St George, which arose in the 13th century, but was not incorporated till 1868. The old town lies low, and it is traversed by a great number of narrow canals or " fleets" (for the same word which has left its trace in London nomenclature is used in the Low-German city), which add considerably to the picturesqueness of the meaner quarters, and serve as convenient channels for the transport of goods. They generally form what may be called the back streets, and they are bordered by warehouses, cellars, and the lower class of dwelling-houses. As they are subject to the ebb and flow of the Elbe, at certain times they run quite dry, and afford a field of operations for the fleetenkieker, who wanders along the oozy channel to pick up any articles of value, and at other times they are filled 15 to 20 feet above their ordinary level. As soon as the telegram at Cuxhaven announces high tide three shots are fired from the Stintfang at the harbour to warn the inhabitants of the " fleets" ; and if the progress of the tide up the river gives indication of danger, other three shots add emphasis to the warning. Then the dwellers on the lower levels make a rapid escape with their property. At the time of the equinoxes the inundation may be repeated for several days in succession; but when all is over the people (the Lud von de Water-kant) return like rats to their oozy and dripping abodes. In fine contrast to the dull and dismal fleets is the bright and handsome appearance of the Inner Alster, which is enclosed on three sides by handsome rows of buildings, the Alsterdamm in the south-east, the Old Jungfernstieg in the south-west, and the New Jungfernstieg on the north-west, while it is separated from the Outer Alster by part of the rampart gardens traversed by the railway which unites Hamburg with Altona. These streets and especially the Old Jungfernstieg are fashionable promenades. The largest of the public squares of Hamburg is the Hopfen-markt, which contains the church of St Nicholas, and is the principal market for fish, meat, vegetables, and fruit; others of importance are the Gänsemarkt or Goose Market, the Zeughausmarkt, and the Great New Market. The churchyards, of which several are pleasantly laid out, are all to be removed to Ohlsdorf, about 4 miles from the town.

Of the churches actually existing in Hamburg (the old cathedral had to be taken down in 1805), St Peter's, St Nicholas, St Catharine's, St James's, and St Michael's are those that give name to the five old city parishes. The church of St Nicholas is remarkable more especially for its tower, which until the spire of the Cologne cathedral reaches its projected elevation of 511 feet, will probably continue to be the second highest building in the world, rising as it does to a height of 473 feet, about 19 feet lower than St Ouen's at Rouen. The actual church dates from 1845-1874, the former St Nicholas having perished in the great fire. It was opened for public worship in 1863. The architect, the late Sir G. Gilbert Scott, selected the rich Gothic style of the 13th century; and both the exterior and interior are elaborately adorned with sculptures. Sandstone from Osterwald near Hildesheim was used for the outside, and for the inner work a softer variety from Postelwitz near Dresden. The roof is wholly constructed of wood. A large part of the cost, which altogether amounted to ¿£204,220, was defrayed by weekly shilling subscriptions. St Michael's has a tower which almost rivals that of St Nicholas, as with its height of 428 feet it ranks ninth in the list of loftiest buildings in the world. It was erected by Ernst G. Sonnin between 1750 and 1762, on the site of the older building of the 17th century destroyed by light-ning ; and it not only surpasses all the other churches of Hamburg in size, being 229 feet long and 179 feet broad, but produces a fine effect by the colossal proportions of its four principal pillars. St Peter's church, originally con-secrated in 1352, fell a prey to the great conflagration, but it was rebuilt by Chateauneuf in 1844-1849. The ring on the door of the tower (which dates from 1342) is con-sidered the oldest artistic relic in Hamburg; and the granite columns of the old cathedral, the stained glass windows by Kellner of Nuremberg, and Schubert's Entombment of Christ are worthy of notice. St Catharine's and St James's are the only churches of Hamburg that have been preserved from the Middle Ages, but other-wise neither is of special interest. Of the other churches it is sufficient to mention St George's, built in 1743, St Paul's in the suburb of that name, the lesser St Michael's occupied by the Roman Catholics since 1824, and the English Episcopal church dating from 1838. The new synagogue was built by Rosengarten between 1857 and 1859, and to the same architect is due the sepulchral chapel of John Henry Schroder in the churchyard of St Peter's. The beautiful Gertrude's chapel was unfortunately destroyed in 1842.

Though Hamburg has comparatively few secular buildings that, are of high architectural interest, its list of public institutions is one of which any city might be proud, and several of these are accommodated in spacious structures not unworthy of their destina-tion. The exchange is one of the most important. It was erected on the site of the Mary Magdalen convent in 1836-41, and escaped the catastrophe of 1842. At the business hours between 1 and 3 o'clock as many as from 3000 to 5000 merchants and brokers con-gregate within its walls. The commercial library in the new wing added in 1873 has upwards of 40,000 vols. In the same neigh-bourhood are the Hamburg bank and the site of the old rathhaus, which had to be blown up in the great fire. The town-house, buiit by Gortz, minister of finance to Charles XII. of Sweden, was purchased by the town in 1722. The academic gymnasium, founded on 16th August 1610 as a preparatory school for the uni-versities, has since 1873 surrendered its teaching functions, though it still maintains public lectures to which all have access, and is in more or less close connexion with the botanic gardens, the natural history museum, the observatory, the chemical laboratory, and the museum of Culturgeschichtc. The present botanical gardens, which had been preceded by Veit Seharp's (1547-1782) and Flugge's (1810-1813), were laid out by Dr Lehmann on the glacis of the for-tifications, and contain about 11 acres. The natural history museum was founded in 1843, and in 1875 the sum of 1,200,000 marks from the Hamburg share of the French indemnity was assigned for the purpose of supplying better accommodation for its valuable collec-tions, amongst which may be mentioned that from Heligoland and that of Griesbach from South Africa. The observatory, dating from about 1826-1828, is a noteworthy institution. It possesses a great equatorial telescope made by Repsold & Sons in 1860, the object glass of which has an aperture of 9 "6 Paris inches, with a focal dis-tance of only 9 '6 feet ; and among its contributions to science are Helmert's observations on the constellation of Sobieski's Shield (1874), and the determination of all the stars down to 9'5 magnitude in the zone between 80° and 81° of N. declination. In connexion with the observatory a time-ball on the tower of the Kaiserquai is caused to fall at 12 o'clock of Greenwich time ; there is a similar ball at Cuxhaven, ana anotnev at Bremerhaven. The chemical laboratory was built in 1841. It was not till 1866 that the ethnographical collections were put under special curators ; and the name Culturgeschichtliche Museum only dates from 1872. The principal medical institution in the city is the college of surgeons, founded in 1771 as a general school for doctors and midwives ; it received its present constitution in 1833, and was furnished with new buildings in 1861. It was not till 1867, however, that the guild of barbers, with its right of surgical practice, was abolished. The medical union established by H. de Chaufepie about 1815-1816 has published several periodical works, and possesses a library of 12,000 vols. A mathematical society was founded by Heinrich Meissner as early as 1690, the Hamburg-Altona Society for natural science dates from 1837, the Hamburg-Altona branch of the German Antbropologieal Society from 1870, and the Hamburg branch of the German and Austrian Alpine Club from 1875. A geographical society, which publishes ajournal, wasfounded in 1873; and the firm of Godeffroy, which trades so extensively in the Pacific, has instituted a museum, and sent out scientific explorers and collectors,—Dr E. Gräffe, Amalie Dietrich, Johann Kubary, Andrew Garrett, Franz Hübner, &c,— the results of whose labours are registered in the Journal des Museum Godeffroy (1871, &e.). Zoological gardens were founded in 1860-1 by a joint-stock company, and an aquarium has since been added under the superintendence of Alfred Lloyd of the Sydenham Crystal Palace. Two of the old monasteries of the town—the St Johanniskloster and the St Maria Magdalenenkloster are still main-tained as foundations for the daughters and widows of Hamburg citizens, and the former has funds beyond its requirements. The general infirmary (allgemeine Krankenhaus) dates originally from 1606, but the present building was erected in 1825-27, and has since received several additions. The annual number of patients increased between 1825 and 1875 from 2398 to 8206. The subvention from the state rose in the same period from £8400 to £23,182, and the average daily cost of each patient from 9d. to Is. 9d. A lunatic asylum (Friedrichsberg) was founded in 1841 at Barmbeck at a cost of £2540 for the site and £66,086 for the building. Its patients numbered 212 in 1865 and 492 in 1875. Among minor establishments of a similar class are the sailors' infirmary (1863), the St Mary's hospital founded by the Roman Catholic community on the occasion of the Danish war in 1864, but open to patients of every creed, the infirmary of the German Jews built by Solomon Heine in 1840, the infirmary of the freemasons, the children's hospital dating from 1846 -7, the polyclinicum of the patriotic association for the assistance of women (1872), the deaf and dumb institution (1827), and the blind asylum (1830). The orphanage originated in 1600 by Gillis de Greve and Simon von Petkum, admits about 64 children every year. In the beginning of July the orphans, in their bright blue out-door dress, make a procession through the city and the suburb of St George, and the day, known as the Waisengrün, is considered a popular holiday. In the suburban village of Horn is the famous Bauhe Haus, and at Alsterdorf there is a home founded in 1860 for idiots and children suffering from incurable diseases. It had 273 inmates in 1875. The workhouse, which dates from the beginning of the 17th century, has been situated since 1853 in the village of Barmbeck, and since 1869 has had a branch establishment at Fuhlsbüttel. In 1875 it had 1342 inmates, and its revenues were £17,332, besides a state subvention of £20,417. The annual cost per head is £14, 15s. About 200 free dwellings and a number of pensions are provided by the Schröder foundation for respectable families and individuals in reduced circumstances.

Hamburg is well supplied with places of amusements, especially of the more popular kind. Its town theatre, rebuilt in 1874, has room for 1750 spectators ; the Thalia theatre dates from 1841, and con-tains 1700 to 1800 ; and there are some 7 or 8 minor establish-ments. Theatrical performances were introduced into the city in the 17th century, and 1678 is the date of the first opera, which was played in a house in the Gänsemarkt. Under Schröder and Lessing the Hamburg stage rose into importance. Though contributing few names of the highest rank to German literature, the city has been intimately associated with the literary movement. Lappen-berg and Hagedorn were born in Hamburg; and not only Lessing, but Heine and Klopstock lived there for some time. In Schröder and Klotze's Lexicon der Hamburg. Schriftsteller there are no fewer than 3536 names up to Schroff; and the library of the society for the encouragement of art and science contains 5000 volumes deal-ing with Hamburg affairs.

The inhabitants of Hamburg used formerly to have no small variety of distinctive costumes ; but it is only the public officials in their robes of state or the peasantry from the villages that preserve the more grotesque peculiarities.

The oldest water-works of Hamburg were those of the Oberdamm, constructed in 1531 ; the first of the modern system with steam power was the Bieber'sche Elbwasserkunst, opened in 1822. In 1849 the city water-works belonging to the state were set in operation, and they have since incorporated and systematized the older water-works. In 1875 they had 5 steam-engines with 850 horse-power, and raised 876 millions cubic feet of water at a cost of about 8d. per 1000 cubic feet. It was not till after the fire of 1842 that Hamburg began to be properly drained ; but it now possesses an extensive and elaborate system of sewers. In 1853 the upper Old Town, the New Town, and St George's were supplied, and in 1859 the lower Old Town ; and between 1871 and 1875 the system was extended to the aristocratic suburban districts of Uhlenhorst and Eimsbuttel. In 1875 the total length of sewers was 512,226 feet, which had cost £662,850. The largest sewers, of which there were 10,499 feet, have a diameter of nearly 10 feet, and can be traversed by boats ; the second class (8330 feet) have a diameter of 7 feet, and the third class (19,853 feet) of 5f- feet. The mouths of the sewers are pro-tected by automatic doors which prevent the flooding of the lower districts by the back-water from the river.

The harbour of Hamburg as it now exists is a very modern crea-tion. At first the city was at some distance from the main branch of the Elbe, and the mouth of the Alster served as its port, but partly owing to natural changes in the bed of the great river, and more to the vast engineering enterprises of the inhabitants, —such as the cutting of the channels through the Grandeswerder (1550), the Spadenland marshes (1570), aud the Brook,—the principal current was diverted into its present course. To trace the history of the successive labours devoted to the rectification of the stream and the increase of shipping accommodation would be a long and intricate task. Suffice it to say that up to the middle of the present century the vessels in the harbour of Hamburg used to anchor in the open space and fasten themselves to piles called "dukes of Alba, " aud the goods were taken ashore in lighters ; but since the introduction of the railway it has been found necessary to build quays with hydraulic eranes and other modern appliances. For this purpose the greater Grasbrook was first of all selected. A portion of the Sandthor (Sandgate) quay was opened in 1872, and by 1876 the Kaiser or Imperial quay and the Uallmann quay (so named after the engineer) were available. The total length of the three quays was 10,646 feet, and the area of ground covered in by the auxiliary buildings was upwards of 30 acres. Since that date the quays have been largely increased, so that they now extend a distance of about 3 miles from Altona eastwards. The number of ships which took advantage of the quays in 1866-67 was 665, with a burthen of 313,269 tons ; by 1875 they had increased to 1425 ships with 837,568 tons, and by 1878 to 1850, with 1,151,903 tons.

Hamburg is emphatically a commercial city, and though within recent years greatly developed, its manufacturing industries are in comparison unimportant; but only in comparison, for, according to the officiai return of 1875, no fewer than 4931 persons were engaged in metallurgy, 5926 in the manufacture of machinery, instruments, and tools, 940 in chemical works, 1399 in the preparation of heating and lighting materials, 1464 in textile industries, 2687 in the paper and leather manufactures, and 9388 in the wood industries. Ship-building is carried on pretty extensively, the greatest establishment in the department, the Reiherstieg or Godeflroy's yards, which was commenced about 1849, employing on an average 700 workmen. There are several enormous distilleries, and two establishments for the manufacture of artificial manures from the phosphates of guano, each of which employs from 200 to 300 workmen ; as well as breweries, sugar-refineries, rice-mills, and factories for the prepara-tion of saltpetre, sulphuric acid, and other chemical products. The curing of beef and pork forms a large trade. Pianofortes and cigars, railway carriages and artificial flowers, sewing-machines and chocolate are all manufactured in the town, and tile-works and glass-works exist in the neighbourhood.

In the extent of its commerce Hamburg ranks among European ports immediately after London, Liverpool, and Glasgow. Its im-ports and exports are more than those of the whole of Holland, of Belgium, or of Spain. From the year 1836, in which it possessed 146 ships, with a total burthen of 25,722, its marine had increased 770 percent, by 1877.1 In 1875 it had 443 sea-vessels with 219,567 tons burthen ; in 1876 it had 450 with 219,698 tons, and in 1877 468 with 223,910. Of the last number 264 were copper-plated, 6 were zinc-plated, and 147 were built of iron. The steam vessels were 102. The principal line of steamers is that of the Hamburg-American Company, which on 1st January 1876 had 21 first-class British-built vessels, with a total burthen of 60,300 tons. Its voyages are mainly made to New York and the West Indies. On an average of the three years 1874,1875, andl876 it carried 31,930 passengers and 165,465 cubic yards of goods. The Hamburg and South American Company at the same time had six vessels, with a burthen of 8000 tons, trading with Brazil and the river Plate. The German Steamship Company had 8 vessels with a burthen of 6,850 tons trading with China and the Far East; and the Kosmos Company had 7 ships with a burthen of 10,897 tons trading with Chili and Peru. The Sloman or Mediterranean line of six vessels with a burthen of 5276 tons keeps up monthly communication with ports of Spain and Italy.

From the following table a general view of the movement of the port will be obtained. It is to be observed that the increase shown is not so much in the number of the ships as in their average capacity.

== TABLE ==

The average consequently for the years 1866-1875 was—ships entered 5198, tonnage 1,735,242 ; ships cleared, 5202, tonnage 1,731,973.

The following table shows the imports (in centners of 110 lb) into Hamburg in 1878, first from non-European, and secondly from European countries :—

== TABLE ==

Hamburg is an important outlet of emigration, no fewer than 870,000 persons having left Germany by its vessels between 1836 and 1874, or on an average 30,000 every year. In 1874 the numbei was 42,952 ; in 1875, 31,787 ; in 1876, 28,733 ; in 1877, 22,143 ; and in 1878, 24,803.

The monetary transactions of Hamburg have long been main-tained on a very extensive scale. As early as 1619 the great Ham-burg giro-bank was founded on the model ofthat of Amsterdam, and, in spite of the blow struck by the French in 1813, it continued to flourish till in 1876 it was replaced by a chief office of the German Imperial Bank, which includes in its domain the province of Schleswig-Holstein-Lauenburg, the three Hanseatic towns, and the two grand-duchies of Mecklenburg. In 1876 there were, besides, the North German Bank (1856) with a capital of £2,250,000 ; the Union Bank (1856), with £1,500,000 capital; the Commer-cial Bank (1870), with £1,500,000; the International Bank (1870), with £750,000 ; the Anglo-German Bank (1870), with £1,050,000; the Hypothec Bank (1871), with £375,000; the Exchange (Wechsler) Bank (1872), with £187,500 ; the Brokers' Bank (1871), with £150,000; the Industrial Bank (1871), with £150,000; the St Paul's Credit Bank, with £150,000; and the People's Bank (1860). The Imperial Office in 1876 had a total turnover of £336,693,950 ; and in 1875 the North German Bank had 438 millions, the Union Bank 270 millions, and the Commercial 170 millions. There are also 7 savings banks, the total deposits in which rose from £846,070 in 1866 to £1,615,626 in 1874. Few departments are of more extensive development than the marine insurance. In the ten years 1834-43 the average value insured was £17,534,487, at an average premium of 1'50 per cent. ; in the corresponding period 1844-53 it was £24,028,991 at 1"58 per cent.; and in the next period, 1854-63, it reached £45,571,543.

The following table shows the figures from 1864 to 1877 :—

== TABLE ==

It is only within recent years that Hamburg has obtained a fair amount of railway communication. The proposal made about 1840 to construct a line from Hamburg to Lübeck was frustrated by the opposition of the king of Denmark, who feared it would injure the trade between his two towns of Altona and Kiel, which soon afterwards (in 1844) he united by rail. The people of Hamburg were forced to content themselves with a line to Bergedorf (1842), but this was afterwards extended to Schwerin and Berlin, and a branch line was constructed to Lübeck. The Hamburg-Lübeck direct line was opened in 1865, and in the following year a line was constructed between Altona and Hamburg. Direct communication with Paris by way of Harburg, Bremen, Osnabrück, and Venloo was obtained only in 1872. Though as early as 1862 a scheme was set on foot for such a line, the projectors could not come to terms with the Hanoverian j Government, which objected to the duchy of Oldenburg obtaining a share in the advantages of the scheme, and wished to keep to itself the whole authority over the bridges on the Elbe while leaving the cost of their construction wholly to Hambarg. In 1866 the Hano-verian Government was swept away by Prussia, and in 1867 the new rulers formed a treaty for the construction of the line. The two main branches of the Elbe, the north and the south, are crossed by two great bridges on the system named after Lohse, which had never before been employed in Germany. As the soil is unstable, the pillars had to be founded on a bed of concrete 17 or 18 feet thick resting on piles. The Hamburg or north bridge has three spans each 334 feet wide, and the Harburg bridge has four spans. The total weight of iron employed was 84,651 cwts. (36,152 for the one and 48,499 for the other). For internal locomotion the city has a system of tramway lines which run out to Wandsbeck and other neighbour-ing villages, and a still more extensive omnibus system. Small steamers plying on the Outer Alster give easy access to the places along its shores.

In 1811 the population of Hamburg {Stadt and Vorstadt) was 106,983; in 1834 it was 145,418; and by 1861 it had reached 198,214. Its subsequent increase is shown in the following table :—

== TABLE ==

If we include in our survey the suburban hamlets or Vororte, and Altona, Ottensen, and Wandsbeck, we find that there were clustered together 458,585 persons. In 1871 the proportion of males to females in the whole Hamburg territory was 100 to 105, and in 1875 it was 100 to 103. The number of females in pro-portion to the males is much greater among the native than among the immigrant part of the population ; and the proportion of natives to immigrants is a steadily decreasing one,—76 per cent, in 1867, 68 per cent, in 1871, and 65 in 1875. Most of the strangers are from the neighbouring parts of Germany: 43,523 in 1871 were from Holstein, 30,945 from Hanover, and 15,686 from Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The following table shows the occupations of the people in 1871 :—

== TABLE ==

The number of marriages, partly in consequence of the changes in the marriage laws, is rapidly increasing (8 "29 to every thousand inhabitants in 1861, and 12'26 to every thousand in 1875), and a similar increase is observable in the births.

The death rate varied from 26 to 30 per thousand per annum from
1872 to 1875. Consumption and acute diseases of the respiratory organs are the most prevalent causes of death. Between 1831 and 1873 there were 14 visitations of cholera, by far the most violent being those of 1832 and 1848, which carried off respectively 1652 and 1765 of the population.

History. —Hamburg, or, as the older documents have it, Hamma-burg, appears to have taken its rise as a frontier block-house or castle on the Slavonic borders of Germany, which in the 9th century lay thus far to the west. The block-house, which may have been preceded by some insignificant hamlet, was founded by Charles the Great in 808 ; and he was just on the point of making the newdy erected church the seat of a bishopric when he died in 814. His scheme was ultimately carried out by his son Louis the Pious in 831, and three years later a charter was issued at Aix-la-Chapelle and confirmed by Gregory IV. raising the bishopric to the rank of an archbishopric, which was to include not only the surrounding dis-trict of Germany, but Iceland, Greenland, and the whole Scandi-navian territory. Ansgarius, the first occupant of the see, founded a monastery and a school, but in 837 (or 839 according to other accounts) his labours were rudely interrupted by the Norman pirates, who laid the little settlement in ashes. Other disasters followed : a large portion of the original territory of the archbishopric fell away from its allegiance ; and in 847 it was decided at a synod at Mainz under the presidency of Hrabanus Maurus that Hamburg should be attached to the bishopric of Bremen, and the seat of the archbishop be in the latter city. The title of archbishop of Ham-burg remained in use till 1223, though that of archbishop of Bremen appears as early as the 12th century. All through the 10th century Hamburg continued to suffer from the inroads of the Danes and the Slavonians, and the latter indeed were in possession from 983 to 987. In spite of all the settlement advanced : Archbishop Alebrand built a cathedral in 1037, Archbishop Adalbert not long after a castle ; and the havoc wrought by Jarl Kruko of Denmark in 1072 was promptly repaired. In 1110 the counts of Schauenburg got possession of Holstein and Hamburg, an event which bore in many ways fruit for centuries after. In return for a contribution to a crusade, Adolf III. obtained for the town from the emperor Frederick I. in 1189 the right of a separate court and jurisdiction, freedom from toll to the mouth of the Elbe, and right of fishing in the river. Merchants from Flanders now began to visit the place, and its importance as a commercial centre was increased by the destruction of the flourishing town of Bardewijk in 1189 by Henry the Lion. After passing undei the lordship of Waldemar of Schleswig (1201) and Albert of Orlamiinde (1216), it was recovered by the Schauenburg counts, who erected a strong castle over against it (1231). The alliance with Lübeck, commenced in 1241, and consummated by the treaty of 1255, practically laid the basis of the great Hanseatic League, of, which Hamburg continued to be one of the principal members. While its foreign relations were thus improved, its internal organization was also rendered more stable by the new constitution of 1270, and the recognition of the municipal autonomy of the counts of Schauenburg in 1292. The domain of the city was increased in the 14th century by the purchase of Eppendorf, Bitzebüttel, &c. ; in the 15th the Frisian pirates who had harassed the merchants at the mouth of the Elbe were completely defeated. The claims of the Danish crown to the homage of the city were rejected, and the imperial diet of 1510 under Maxi-milian I. declared that it was a city of the empire. Not long after two great changes took place. By the so-called " Long Recess" of 1529 the Reformation was introduced, and disagreements with Lübeck set the city free to follow her own path of progress. Through the troubles of the Thirty Years' War Hamburg escaped almost unscathed ; but it suffered from the effects of its own bigoted Lutherauism, which drove many of its dissentient religionists forth to become the founders of the neighbouring Altona. In 1603 it received a code of exchange, and in 1615 the first imperial post. Its population was not long after increased and its commerce quickened by a number of the Jews who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal. The course of the 17th century was marked by discord and strife between the senate and the lower classes, which ultimately brought about the interference of the empire and the publication of the "Great Recess" of 1712. Though the courts of the empire had decided in 1618 against the claims of the Danish crown, and had confirmed this decision in 1630 and 1643, Christian Y. of Denmark made another attempt to take Hamburg by threat of arms; but he accepted a ransom of 280,000 rixdollars, and at length in 1768 by the treaty of Gottorp the Danish crown renounced all its claims, and in 1770 the delegates of the city took their place in the "Rhenish bench " of the imperial diet. From the Seven Years' War and the war of American independence the commerce of Hamburg drew new life but it suffered terribly during the years of the French ascendency. The town was not only obliged in 1803 to pay 2,125,000 francs to the Hanoverian estates, but in 1806 it had to admit a French garri-son within its walls, and to feel the effects of the British blockade of the Elbe. In 1810 indeed it had the honour of being incorpo-rated in the French empire as the chief town of the department of the " Mouths of the Elbe ;" but the retreat of the French com-mandant Carra Saint-Cyr on 12th March 1813, and the subsequent entrance of the Russian Tenterborn on the 18th, were welcomed by the citizens with joy. But their joy was premature, for by the 30th of May the enemy was again in possession. Davoust, the new general, not only demanded a contribution of 48,000,000 francs, but confiscated the 7,506,956 marks banco (of about Is. 6d.) at that time in the bank, forced the inhabitants to work at the new forti-fications, and drove 20,000 or 30,000 of them out of the city amid the cold of winter. In spite of the attacks of the Russians under Benningsen, Davoust maintained his position till the close of the war. The whole loss of the city from 1806 to 1814 is estimated at £10,500,000 sterling. In 1815 Hamburg became an independent state of the German federation, and formed with Lübeck, Bremen, and Frankfort the curia of the free cities. Its trade rapidly revived, and when in 1842 the great fire destroyed 4219 buifdings and rendered nearty 20,000 persons homeless, its credit was sufficient to secure a loan of 34 million marks banco. The old oligarchical constitution had been restored after the recovery of independence ; and the internal history of the town from 1840 till 1860 is mainly a protracted contest between the conservative and innovative parties. The year 1858 was remarkable for a great commercial crisis, and for the meeting in the town of the commission of the navigation of the Elbe, and of the delegates appointed by the principal German states to consider maritime law. By the new constitution of 1861 industrial freedom was introduced, possession of land permitted to strangers, the conditions of settlement greatly modified, and various improvements made in the taxation and duties. At the outbreak of the contest between Prussia and Austria in 1866, Hamburg sided with the former, and in May 1867 it voted 136 to 1 for the constitution of the North German Confederation. It was allowed to remain a free port, but has to pay an aversum to the Zollverein.

See Zeitschrift für Hamburgische Geschichte, published since 1841 by the local historical society; Lappenberg's Hamburg. Urkundenbuch (vol. i., Hamb , 1842), Hamburg. Chroniken (1861), and Adam Trotzigeres Hamburg. Chronik (1862); Hamhurgisches Münz-und Medaillen-Vergnügen (Hamburg, 1753); Hess, Ham-burg's topogr.,poli,., und histor. Beschreibung (2d ed., 1810-11); Bärmann, Ham-burg. Denkwürdigkeiten (1817-20), and Hamburg's Chronik (1822); Zimmermann, Neue Chronik von Hamburg (1S20); Gallois, Geschichte der Stadt Hamburg 11856-57); Wichmaim, Heimathskunde (Hamb. 1863); Buek, Die Hamburgische Oberalten (1857), and Hamburgische Alterthümer (1859); Hamburgs Neueste Zeit, 1843-60 (anonym., 1866) ; Ave Lallemont, Das Werk- und Armenhaus im Hamburg (1863) ; Koppmann, Kleine Beiträge zur Geschichte Hamburgs (1867-68); Elers, Chronologie der Geschichte Hamburgs (1868); Mayer, Geschichte des Hamb. Con-tingents, 1814-67 (Berlin, 1874); Hamburg, die Stadt, die Vororte, &c. (1875) ; Hamburg in Naturhist. und Medic. Beziehung, with excellent maps showing pro-file and relief of site, water and sewer systems, and density of population, for the Gesellschaft der deutschen Naturforscher und Aerzten (Hamb., 1876) ; Dehio, Geschichte des Erzbisthums Hamburg-Bremen (1877, 2 vols.).


In 1843 pegels or water-gauges were established at Hamburg and Cuxhaven. In 1872 their zeros were lowered respectively 9 '80 and 4'31 ft., so that they both stand 9'6 ft. above the zero of Harburg and 10'7 above that of Kiel.

See Uhde, Das Stadttheater in Hamburg, Stuttgart, 1879.
Details and coloured designs will be found in Suhr and Hubbe's Hamburger Ausruf (which gives 1807 styles) and in Buek's Album Hamburgischen Costume (Hamb, 1843-47). Of the local dialect aknowledge may be obtained from Michael Richey's Idiotikon Hamburgense, oder Wörterbuch zur Erklärung der eigenen in und um Hamburg gebräuchlichen Nieder-Sächsischen Mund-Art (1743 and 1755), and Geffcken, Die Hamburgischen Nieder sachsischen Gesangbücher des 16'«« Jahrh. (Hamb. 1857).

- In 1865 it reached the exceptionally high figures, 580 ships of 178,605 tons burthen.

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-19 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

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