Wurtemberg, Or Wiirttemberg (In English Often Wirtemberg), a kingdom of the German empire, bounded N. E. and E. by Bavaria, S. by Bavaria, the lake of Constance, which separates it from Switzerland, the Prussian province of Hohenzollern, and Baden, and W. and N. W. by Baden. It lies between lat. 47° 35' and 49° 36' N, and Ion. 8° 12' and 10° 30' E.; greatest length from N. to S. 140 m., greatest breadth from E. to W. nearly 100 m. It is divided into four circles, viz.:
Area, sq. miles.
Population in 1871.
The population comprised 1,248,860 Protestants, 553,542 Roman Catholics, and 12,245 Jews. The capital is Stuttgart; the other principal towns, besides the capitals of the circles, are Tubingen, Heilbronn, Esslingen, Canstatt, and Friedrichshafen. - The Black Forest forms part of the western frontier. The Hornisgrinde, 3,855 ft., is the highest summit in Wiirtemberg. The Swabian Alps are almost entirely in this kingdom, entering it from Hohenzollern, and stretching about 80 m. N. E., with a breadth varying from 9 to 18 m. On the S. E. side they sink away in undulating hills; on the N. W. they are steep. They are not so high as the Black Forest, but bleaker. Their prevailing geological formation is limestone, while the characteristic rocks of the other range are sandstone and granite. The valleys between the mountains are very fruitful and picturesque. The Swabian Alps divide the kingdom into the basins of the Neckar on the northwest and of the Danube on the southeast. The Neckar, the principal river, rises E. of the Black Forest on the Baden frontier; its scenery is very fine, and it is navigable to Heilbronn for steamers. Its principal affluents are the Kocher and Jaxt, which join it on the right, and the Enz, from the left. The Danube crosses Wiirtemberg in a N. E. direction.
The elevation of its surface above the sea level at Ulm, the head of steamboat navigation, is about 1,500 ft. Its largest tributary here is the Iller, which joins it on the right near Ulm, and forms part of the eastern boundary. There are many small ponds or lakes, but no large sheets of water except the lake of Constance, only a small part of which belongs to Wiirtemberg. The soil of the mountain regions is comparatively sterile, but affords abundant pasturage and valuable timber. In the valley of the Neckar and on the shore of the lake of Constance the climate is exceedingly mild. Only 4-8 per cent, of the area is unproductive. The arable and garden lands comprise 47'6 per cent.; meadows and pasturages, 17 per cent.; forests, 30-6 per cent. The chief products are grain, particularly spelt and barley, leguminous plants, hemp, flax, rapeseed, hops, tobacco, chiccory, poppy, fruits, sugar beets, wool, timber, salt, iron, and other minerals. There is but little coal. Würtemberg is chiefly an agricultural country, but the lake fisheries are considerable, and there are iron and steel works (some belonging to the government), breweries, and manufactories of linen, cotton, wool, silk, gold and silver ware, paper, musical instruments, particularly organs, beet sugar, and sparkling wine.
The annual customs receipts are about 2,000,000 florins. The book trade is extensive, the publishers of Stuttgart ranking next to those of Leipsic and Berlin. Railways traverse the kingdom in all directions. Their aggregate length in June, 1875, was 773 m., all belonging to the state excepting one line of 7 m. The telegraph lines extended in 1873 over 1,434 m. The prosperity of Würtemberg has been greatly promoted by the large transit trade arising from railway traffic and the increased number of travellers. Emigration to the United States nevertheless continues; in 1872-4 the annual average was 6,000. - Wiirtemberg is a constitutional monarchy, the present constitution bearing date Sept. 25, 1819. The crown is hereditary in the male line, and after its extinction in the female. The executive power is vested in the king, who exercises it through a privy council, consisting of the heads of the six ministerial departments and special councillors. The diet (Stiindeversammlung), which meets every three rears, or oftener if necessary, consists of two chambers.
The upper chamber (Kammer der Standesherren) is composed of the princes of the royal family, the principal nobles, the representatives of domains which possessed a vote in the diet of the old German empire, and life members nominated by the king, not exceeding one third of the whole house. In 1874 the upper chamber had 45 members, of whom 9 'were appointed for life. The second chamber (Kammer der Abgeordneten) in 1874 consisted of 13 chosen representatives of the nobility and landed proprietors, 7 of the large towns, 63 of small towns and rural districts, the 6 superintendents general of the Evangelical church, the Roman Catholic bishop and two other representatives of the Roman Catholic clergy, and the chancellor of the university of Tübingen; total, 93. Members of the upper chamber must be of age; those of the lower chamber must be 30 years old. The latter are chosen for six years. The king appoints the presidents of both chambers, in the upper chamber without restriction, and in the lower from among three members proposed by that body. When not in session the diet is represented by a committee of 12 members, consisting of the presidents of the two chambers, and two members of the upper and eight of the lower chamber.
A court of state (Staatsgerichtshof), composed of a president and 12 members, six of whom are appointed by the king and six elected by the chambers conjointly, watches over the integrity of the constitution. In the federal council of Germany Wurtemberg "has four votes, and to the Reichstag it sends (1876) 17 deputies. Education is compulsory. The school age extends from the 6th to the 14th year, and there must be a public school in every community of 30 families. Illiteracy is almost unknown. After completing the course in the public school, those who do not enter a higher institution are bound to attend on Sundays the reviewing school ( Wiederholungsschule). There are 8 gymnasia, 8 lyceums or other institutions having the rank of a gymnasium, 75 progymnasia and Latin schools, 73 Realschulen, 10 Oberrealschulen, and 523 agricultural, 314 drawing, and 1,441 industrial schools. The university of Tubingen and the polytechnic school of Stuttgart are celebrated institutions, especially the former. The Evangelical Protestant church was formed in 1823, by a union of the Lutheran and Reformed churches. At its head are six superintendents general, who bear the title of prelate. The territory is divided into 49 deaneries and 908 parishes, with 1,008 clergymen.
The Roman Catholics have a bishop at Rottenburg, 655 parishes, and 914 priests. In 1875 there was only one Old Catholic congregation, with 102 members. The revenue for 1875-'6 was estimated at 24,440,736 florins, and the expenditures at 25,883,268. The deficit was covered by a surplus from former years. A balance of 4,771,079 florins remained on hand from the share of Würtemberg in the war indemnity of France, most of which is to be set aside for the exigencies of 1876-'7. The public debt in 1875 was $70,000,000, including about $53,000,000 for railways. The 13th army corps of the German empire consists of Würtemberg troops, including in times of war 62,898 men and 102 pieces of artillery. - Wurtemberg was anciently included in Swabia. (See Swabia.) The founder of the reigning dynasty was Ulric, count of Wurtemberg (died in 1265), whose possessions only included the districts bordering on the Neckar and extending to the Black Forest. His successors Ulric II. and Eberhard made large additions to the county by conquest.
In 1495 Eberhard V. was created duke of Wurtemberg by the emperor Maximilian at the diet of Worms. Protestantism was introduced about 1540 under Ulric VI., who had been expelled by the Swabian league of free cities, but restored by his son Christopher. (See Chbistophee.) The latter more firmly established the new faith. During the wars of the French revolution the country was at different times the theatre of conflict between the contending armies, and in 1801 the last duke of Wurtemberg, Frederick II., was obliged to cede Montbeliard to France. For this he received an extension of territory, including several imperial cities. He was also created an elector of the empire in 1803. Three years later he assumed the title of king of Würtemberg as Frederick I. (see Fredeeick I., vol. vii., p. 463), joining the Rhenish confederation under the protectorate of Napoleon, and established a uniform system of government and perfect religious equality throughout the kingdom. After the battle of Leipsic in 1813, Frederick joined the allies against Napeleon. He died in 1816, and was succeeded by William I., who died in 1864. (See William I., vol. xvi., p. 634.) The present king is Charles I., born in 1823. In 1849, during which year Stuttgart was for a short time the seat of the German rump parliament (see Germany, vol. vii., p. 755), the constitution was liberalized.
After the victory of Prussia over Austria in 1866, Würtemberg, which had sided with the latter, allied itself with the victorious power by a special military treaty. In February, 1867, military conferences were held in Stuttgart to promote a greater conformity of the army organization of the South German states with that of Prussia. During the period preceding the French war, Würtemberg as well as Bavaria was unwilling to make any further concessions on the question of union; but the outbreak of the war finally settled that question. On Nov. 25, 1870, Würtemberg signed the treaty concluded between the North German confederation, Baden, and Hesse, concerning the establishment of a German confederation. It took a conspicuous part in the war, and toward the close of the same year assented to the proposition of the king of Bavaria to make the king of Prussia emperor of Germany. The relations between Würtemberg and the empire have continued friendly, although an opposition is springing up (1876) against the scheme of placing the Würtemberg and other state railways under the control of the empire.