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


Prussia (German, Preussen), a kingdom of Europe, and the chief state of the German Empire, is bounded N. by the Baltic, Denmark, and the North Sea, S. by Austria and Saxony, Bavaria, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Alsace-Lorraine, E. by Russia, and W. by Belgium and the Netherlands. It has an area of 137,066 square miles, being for the most part level except in the neighbourhood of the Rhine and the Moselle, the central district of the Harz Mountains, and the Saxon border-land. Besides the two rivers above-named, which drain with their tributaries the western portion of the kingdom, there are also the Elbe, the Oder, and the Niemen, whilst the Vistula receives some of the waters in the extreme east, where lakes are numerous. The coast-line of 500 miles affords few good harbours - KSnigsberg, Dantzic, Stettin, Swinemiinde, Kiel, and Hamburg, with the river port of Bremen, being the most important. The soil on the whole is fertile, though there are large sandy tracts in the north, and vast forests scattered over the central and eastern regions. Owing to the diversity of climates, the agricultural products are varied, the vine, maize, hops, and fruits of all kinds being abundant in the south and west, whilst the colder districts yield cereals, potatoes, linseed, iemp, and flax. Coal and iron are worked successully, and almost all metals except gold and silver ixist in considerable quantity, whilst mineral springs ire a large source of wealth. Manufactures of inen, cotton, woollen, and silk goods flourish at various industrial centres, and the iron and steel vorks rival, if they do not surpass, those of England. )f late years, too,. artistic industries have made jreat strides. The government is a constitutional monarchy, with two legislative chambers - viz. the Herrenhaus, answering to our House of Lords (but aot wholly hereditary), and the Abgeordnetenhaus, Dr Chamber of Deputies, elected by a system of indirect suffrage so devised as to give great weight to property, while the present distribution of seats tells strongly in favour of the landed interest. The sovereign, however, exercises very wide prerogatives. To the Bundesrath of the Empire Prussia sends seventeen members out of fifty-nine, and contributes two-thirds of the constituents of the Reichstag. The kingdom is divided for administrative purposes into thirteen provinces. Berlin is the capital, and among other important cities are Cologne, Frankfort-on-the-Main, Magdeburg, Breslau, Hanover, Blberfeld, and Aachen. Primary education is compulsory and is carefully enforced. There are ten universities, most of which enjoy high repute. Religious liberty prevails in the main, though legislation has occasionally been directed against Roman Catholics, who constitute a third of the population, the rest being Protestants, with a large Jewish element. The railway system is well developed, and about half the lines are owned by the State.