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


Mecklenburg, a district of north Germany upon the Baltic Sea, which was occupied in the 7th century by a Vandal race, whose Slavonic blood is still perpetuated in the ruling families. In 1160 it was annexed by Saxony, and later on passed under Danish supremacy, but was soon restored. Divisions began in 1229, and went on for centuries, resulting in the final partition (1701) into Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the latter having previously been called Mecklenburg-Giistrow.

Mecklenburg-Schwerin lies W. of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Pomerania, E. of Ratzeburg and Lauenburg, N. of Brandenburg and Hanover, and has an area of 5,117 square miles and a considerable coastline. It comprises the duchies of Schwerin and Giistrow, the district of Rostock, the principality of Schwerin, the barony of Wismar, and other minor constituents. The government is in the hands of a Grand Duke, under a constitution which retains much primitive feudalism; but for military purposes both duchies are absolutely subordinate to the Imperial Government, and a contribution of about £100,000 annually is made to the Berlin exchequer. The flat, alluvial soil is fairly productive, the rivers and canals afford easy carriage, the coast and lakes supply abundance of fish, and the shipping interest grows stronger year by year. Industries such as wool-spinning, brewing, tanning, distilling, and cigar-making flourish, whilst mines exist here and there, and the amber gathered on the shore is a valuable export. Mecklenburg-Strelitz consists of two distinct portions, viz. the duchy of Strelitz, lying E. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and the principality of Ratzeburg to the W. The total area is 1,126 square miles. The Grand Duke is closely connected by family ties with the ruler of Mecklenhurg-Schwerin, and both duchies have a common Landes-Union or Parliament, and a common judicial organisation. They are in other respects distinct.