An E. Province Of Prussia, bounded E. by Russian Poland, and bordering on the provinces of West Prussia, Brandenburg, and Silesia; area, 11,178 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 1,583,843, including 1,009,491 Catholics, 511,-292 Protestants, and 61,982 Jews. It is divided into the districts of Posen and Bromberg. The German element in the population is gaining ground, the Poles in the former district being in 1871 reduced to 59 per cent, and in the latter to 47 per cent. The country is level and has many lakes and marshes. The main rivers are the Vistula, Warthe or Warta, Netze, and Brahe. Posen is one of the most important agricultural regions of Prussia, and also exports much timber. There are manufactories of linens, woollens, and other goods. - The first partition of Poland (1772) gave to Prussia the Netze district of Great Poland, including all the territory of Posen N. of the Netze. The further spoliation of Poland gave to Prussia the rest of the province, which formed a part of what was then named South Prussia. In 1807 Napoleon annexed Posen to the duchy of Warsaw. The treaty of Vienna in 1815 restored it to Prussia as a grand duchy.
A Polish outbreak in 1846 was easily suppressed, and in 1848 the insurgents under Mieroslawski were disarmed after a severe struggle.
A City (Pol. Posnatt), capital of the province and of the district of Posen, on the Warthe, in a sandy region, 145 m. E. of Berlin; pop. in 1871, 56,374. The fortifications, begun in 1827, are very strong, and consist of outer works and three forts, one a citadel. The principal public buildings are the fine old town hall, the church of St. Stanislas, the cathedral with a rich chapel containing statues by Rauch, and the palace of the archbishop of Gnesen and Posen. There are a Catholic and a Protestant gymnasium and several seminaries, and the city is one of the centres of Polish literature. Grain, timber, wool, cloth, and linen are the chief articles of trade. Furniture and other articles are manufactured. - Posen is of great antiquity. The see dates from the 10th century. The monarchs of Poland resided here till the end of the 13th century. In the middle ages it belonged to the Hanseatic league. Subsequently it declined until the present century, when the Prussians considerably enlarged and embellished the town.