Westphalia (Ger. Westfalen, Or Westpjialen), a W. province of Prussia, bordering N. W. on Holland, and on the other sides mainly on the province of Hanover and the Rhine province; area, 7,799 sq. m; pop. in 1871, 1,775,175, including 17,000 Jews and 130 Mennonites, the bulk being half Catholic, half Protestant. In the north and northeast are the Weser mountains. The mountainous region S. of the Ruhr is called Sauerland; its highest point, the Astenberg (about 2,750 ft.), at the sources of the Ruhr and Lenne, connects with the Ederkopf (about 2,350 ft.) at the source of the Eder, and near the N. E. extremity of the Westerwald. The Teutoburg Forest, where Arminius defeated the Roman legions of Varus, is the most celebrated of the mountain ranges which partly traverse Westphalia, though the battle field is not within the province. The chief rivers, the Weser, Ruhr, Lippe, and Ems, have fertile valleys. Coal and iron are extensively mined. Grain, fruit, hops, tobacco, and timber are produced in moderate quantities, and flax, potatoes, hemp, and wool abundantly. Cattle, goats, swine, and horses are numerous. Westphalia hams and the bread called Pumpernickel are celebrated, as are also the manufactories of linen, silk, paper, scythes, and needles. The other manufactures include glass, leather, cotton, and woollens.
The iron and other metal productions are estimated at one fourth of those of all Prussia. The peasantry and small farmers are the principal landed proprietors in the south and west, which are more prosperous than the other regions. Westphalia is divided into the districts of Arnsberg, Minden, and Munster. The most noted towns are Munster, the capital, Minden, Bielefeld, Iserlohn, Dortmund, Paderborn, and Soest. - The name Westphalia was at various periods bestowed upon portions of western Germany differing materially in extent and location and in the form of their government. The territory between the Rhine and the Weser is that to which the name properly belongs, and it is said to be derived from the Westphales, an ancient Saxon tribe who inhabited the territory. The duchy of Westphalia originally comprised chiefly the Sauerland, but was gradually extended over several adjoining districts. It was given in 1179 to the archbishop of Cologne as a fief, and remained in the possession of that see till 1802, when it was ceded to Hesse-Darmstadt, and in 1815-'17 was incorporated with Prussia. The circle of Westphalia comprised the territory between the Rhine and the Weser, including the districts N. of the duchy of Westphalia lying on or near the North sea, and several territories W. of the Rhine. It included the bishoprics of Munster, Paderborn, Osnabruck, and Liege; the principalities of Minden, Mors, Verden, and East Friesland; the duchies of Cleves, Jülich, Berg, and Oldenburg; the counties of Mark, Schaumburg, Ravensberg, Hoya, Pyrmont, Delmenhorst, Lippe, Bentheim, and Diepholz; the abbeys of Corvey, Stablo, and Malrnedy; and the free cities of Cologne, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Dortmund. The elector of Brandenburg as duke of Cleves, and the elector palatine as duke of Julich, were directors of the circle alternately with the bishop of Münster. This circle ceased to exist at the dissolution of the German empire in 1806. The French kingdom of Westphalia, established by Napoleon I., Aug. 18, 1807, for his brother Jerome, was between the Elbe and the Rhine, having an area of about 15,000 sq. m., and a population of 2,000,000. It included Hesse-Cassel (excepting Hanau and Katzenellenbogen), Brunswick-Wolfenbiittel, the portions of the Prussian provinces of Altmark and Magdeburg lying W. of the Elbe, the Hanoverian provinces of Göttingen and Osnabrück, besides Minden, Paderborn, Ravensberg, Hildesheim, Goslar, and other towns and districts taken from Prussia, Hanover, and Saxony. In October, 1813, King Jerome was expelled from Cassel, his capital, and the kingdom was dissolved. (See Bonaparte, Jer6me, vol. iii., p. 26.) The Westphalian treaties, which terminated the thirty years' war, were finally signed on Oct. 24, 1648. (See Thirty Years' War).