The German Empire, with its 52,280,000 inhabitants and 211,108 square miles, consists of the four kingdoms of Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Wurtemburg, six grand-duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, the three free cities of Lubec, Bremen, and Hamburg, and the territory of Alsace-Lorraine, the latter acquired from France in the settlement of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

On the north Germany is bounded by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea ; on the east by Russia ; on the south by Austria and Switzerland; and on the west by France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Religion - Protestants, 30,450,130; Roman Catholics, 17,236,500; Jews, 586,-200. Government - The twenty-six states which comprise the German Empire are united into a Confederation. The supreme direction of the military and political affairs is vested in the King of Prussia, as Emperor of Germany : controlled by the Bund-esrath, or Federal Council, consisting of sixty-two members appointed by the individual states of the Empire, and the Reichstag, or Diet of the Realm, composed of 397 members elected by universal suf-780 frage. Education - There are twenty-one universities, attended in round numbers by 28,000 students ; 57,000 elementary schools, with 7,300,000 pupils; and 1,484 higher class and technical schools, with 280,000 pupils.

The Germans are intelligent and industrious, and their schools are among the best in the world - education being compulsory. Every German youth is also required to serve from one to three years in the army. It is more necessary for Germany to maintain a large standing army than for any other European nation, because the Empire lies in the very heart of Europe and is poorly protected by nature from its enemies. The Germans are music-loving people, and many of the world's greatest musicians are natives of that country. They are also a remarkably artistic and mechanical people, in almost every house children, men and women, cutting, carving, whittling, gluing, and painting.

Berlin, the capital, with 1,843,000 inhabitants, is by far the largest town in Germany, and for the beauty and size of its buildings, the regularity of its streets, the importance of its institutions of science and art, and its activity, industry, and trade, is one of the finest cities in Europe. Built in a sandy plain on both banks of the Spree, it is ten miles in circumference. The most celebrated street is that called "Unter den Linden," a broad and imposing avenue, planted with four rows of lime trees, ornamented by an equestrian statue of Frederick the Great, and terminated at one end by the Brandenburg Gate - a colossal structure, surmounted by a statue of Victory in a car drawn by four horses, and by the royal palace at the other. Around the principal squares and streets are grouped numerous public buildings, among which are the royal castle and palace, the arsenal, the university, museum, exchange, opera-house, theaters, and palaces of the princes. Berlin is the great centre of instruction and intellectual development in Northern Germany. It is also the first city in Germany for the variety and importance of its manufacturing products, which comprise, among other things, the beautiful cast-iron ornaments known as Berlin jewelry.

William II., the Emperor of Germany, was born in 1859, and succeeded his father on the German throne in 1888.

Germany has colonial possessions in Africa embracing 822,000 square miles, with a population of 5,950,000 inhabitants.