Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Brunswick, a duchy lying between Prussia, Hesse, Hanover, and Saxony, and divided into six administrative circles. The southern part of the state is mountainous, but much of the rest of it is level, and belongs to the basin of the Weser, with its tributaries the Aller, the Fuse, the Leine, and the Ocker. The Harz has a severe climate, and the harvests are a month behind the usual time, but in the other parts the temperature is milder, and the harvest, cattle-breeding, and the work necessary in the forests are the mainstay of the people. The Harz mountains produce gold, silver, lead, copper, iron, zinc, alum, vitriol, and salt, and Halmstadt and Scesen are noted for their mineral springs. The chief industries are spinning, weaving of flax, and brewing; and next come cloths, woollens, chemical products, and glass-work. The capital, Brunswick, is the chief seat of trade, and good roads, a railway line, and navigable rivers contribute to its convenience for commerce.

The government of Brunswick is a hereditary monarchy, and there is a legislative assembly of representatives, and the duchy has two votes in the federal assembly. The railways and a large proportion of the mines and forests belong to the state. Most of the people are of Saxon origin, and the natural dialect of the state is Low German.

The House of Brunswick was founded by Henry the Lion, and his grandson Otho, in 1235, was the first to hold the dukedom of Brunswick as a fief of the Empire. During the general upset of Europe consequent upon Napoleon's actions the duchy of Brunswick formed part of the kingdom of Westphalia till after the battle of Leipsic, when the duchy was restored to Frederick William, son of Duke Charles William, who was killed at Auerstadt, and for whom his troops adopted the mourning uniform which gave them the name of "Black Brunswickers." On the death of Frederick William at Quatre Bras his possessions passed to his son Charles Frederick, who abdicated in 1831, and, after a life notorious for its many eccentricities, died childless in Geneva in 1873. At present the ducal seat is in abeyance, since, after the death, in 1884, of the last Duke William the succession passed to the Duke of Cumberland, son of the dethroned king of Hanover, who refuses to recognise the new German constitution. In 1885 Prince Albrecht was made regent of the duchy.