Hanover , (Ger. Hannover). I. A N. W. province of Prussia, between lat. 51° 17' and 53° 51' N., and Ion. 6° 40' and 11° 32' E. It is bounded mainly by the North sea, the grand duchy of Oldenburg, the province of Schleswig-Holstein, the grand duchy of Meck-lenburg-Schwerin, the provinces of Brandenburg and Saxony, the duchy of Brunswick, the provinces of Saxony, Hesse-Nassau, and Westphalia, and the kingdom of the Netherlands. Area, 14,856 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 1,963,618, of whom about 230,000 were Roman Catholics, 12,000 Jews, and the remainder Protestants. More than one half the population are engaged in agriculture, and about one fourth in mining and manufactures. The surface is flat, except in the S. part, which is covered by the Hartz mountains, some of the peaks of which reach an elevation of 3,000 ft. The principal rivers are the Elbe, which with its tributaries drains the N. E. boundary, the Ems, traversing the W. portion, and the Weser, with its tributaries draining the E. portion. Among the lakes are the Dummersee, the Steinhudermeer, and the Seeburgersee. The climate generally is mild, except in winter in the high regions of the south.
The greatest heat is 93° F., the greatest cold - 29°, and the mean temperature 45°. About one sixth of the surface is covered with forests, chiefly oak, beech, and fir; the alluvial flats are natural meadows yielding large crops of hay, or are grazing grounds for vast herds of cattle; more than one fourth of the surface is arable, and is carefully cultivated. The moors and heaths of the lowlands in the north have deep peat beds, which provide fuel for nearly the whole population, and $200,000 worth of it is sent yearly to Hamburg and Bremen. The chief agricultural products are barley, rye, oats, buckwheat, flax, hemp, potatoes, chiccory, garden vegetables, and some fruit. The domestic animals, generally of good breeds, in 1809 numbered 212,905 horses, 863,362 cattle. 572,366 hogs, 158,203 goats, and 2,156,920 sheep, of which 244,095 were merinos. Bee keeping is an important industry, and in 1869 there were 213,870 hives. Poultry is plentiful, and immense numbers of geese are reared in the marshes. Game abounds in the Hartz mountains. Of river fish, the sturgeon is the most valuable; the sea fisheries of herring and haddock are extensive.
The mineral wealth of the southern districts is considerable; in 1869 the coal mines yielded about 1,000,000 tons; the value of iron, zinc, copper, silver, and lead ores mined was $1,500,000, but this does not represent the exact value, as the profits of a portion of the Hartz mines are divided by Prussia and Brunswick in the proportion of 4 to 3. The annual yield of asphaltum is about 2,500 tons, and some gold is found. In some localities rock salt is mined in large quantities; and there are also extensive slate and sandstone quarries. There are large smelting works and founderies in the vicinity of the mines. The export of linen goods in 1869 amounted to $7,000,000. The province has more than 1,000 breweries and distilleries, nearly 200 manufactories of woollen goods, several large cotton factories, 20 glass works, besides many manufactories of mirrors, 110 tanneries, 40 paper mills, chemical works which furnish immense quantities of vitriol, sulphuric acid, sal ammoniac, and sugar of lead, India-rubber works, and powder mills. The gun makers of Hanover and Herzberg, and the physical, optical, and mathematical instrument makers of Gottingen, have a European reputation. The province has 95 m. of canals, 050 m. of navigable rivers, and 565 m. of railways.
In 1871 the merchant marine of Hanover consisted of 881 sailing vessels of 112,976 tons, 4 steamships of 828 tons, 563 coasters of 21,120 tons, and 2,246 river vessels of 71,982 tons. The principal ports are Harburg, Gees-temunde, Norden, and Emden. The principal educational institution is the university of Gottingen. The Protestants have 3,200 public schools, with 4,050 teachers and 280,000 pupils; the Roman Catholics, 425 public schools, with 500 teachers and 35,000 pupils; the Jews, 80 schools, with 90 teachers and 1,750 pupils. For administrative purposes the province is divided into 6 Landdrosteien and 37 circles; the head of each of these administrative divisions is appointed by the Prussian government. The province has a local government of 75 elected assemblymen, with 6 hereditary members, under a president appointed by the crown, and this body legislates on all provincial matters. - The early history of the territory now included in the province will be found under Saxony. Charlemagne introduced Christianity with his sway, and his family held the Saxon duchy till 951, when it passed to Hermann Billung, in whose family it remained till the death of Magnus in 1106. It was then bestowed by the emperor Henry V. on Lothaire of Sup-plingenburg, who became his successor in the empire, and died in 1137. His son-in-law Henry, duke of Bavaria, of the house of Guelph, succeeded in Saxony, and by marriage into the house of Bilking acquired the duchy of Luneburg, and subsequently he added Brunswick, Gottingen, and other principalities.
His son, Henry the Lion, made considerable additions to the territory. After his death in 1195, of his three sons who succeeded, only the third, William, left male heirs, through whom were formed in the 13th century the houses of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Brunswick- Luneburg. (See Brunswick, House of.) A prince of the latter house, Ernest Augustus, was created elector of Hanover in 1692. His wife, Sophia, daughter of the elector palatine Frederick V. and of Elizabeth, daughter of James I. of England, was declared next heir to the British crown, after Mary, William III., Anne, and their descendants. His son, George Lewis, succeeded in 1698, and in 1714 became king of Great Britain as George I.; and his successors retained both governments till the accession of Victoria. In 1715 Hanover purchased the principalities of Bremen and Verden. Hanover cooperated with Maria Theresa in the wars of 1740-'45, with England in the seven years' war (1756-63), and was occupied by the French in 1757. In 1801 it was occupied by the Prussians, and in 1803 by the French, who ceded it to Prussia in 1805, retook it in 1806, and annexed part of it to the kingdom of Westphalia in 1810; after the battle of Leipsic in 1813 it was restored to the elector-king. In 1814 the congress of Vienna made it a kingdom and enlarged its territory.
On the accession of Victoria to the throne of Great. Britain in 1837, Hanover by the Salic law was separated from the British crown, and Ernest Augustus, brother of William IV., became king. The fifth and last king of Hanover was his son George V., who succeeded in 1851. In the war of 1866 Hanover sided with Austria, and was occupied by Prussia in June. The Hanoverians defeated the Prussians at Langensalza on June 27, but surrendered on June 29. Hanover was annexed to Prussia in September. (See George V.) II. A city, capital of the province, at the confluence of the Ihme and the Leine, 64 m. S. E. of Bremen and 84 m. S. by W. of Hamburg; pop. in 1871, 87,641. The river Leine divides the old and new towns, which are connected by 11 bridges. The old town was formerly fortified, but the ramparts were demolished in 1780. After the city became the royal residence in 1837, it was greatly improved, and since it fell to Prussia in 1866 the old town is rapidly disappearing, the quaint structures of former years giving place to warehouses and modern residences.
Among the noteworthy public buildings are the Kreuzkirche and the Marktkirche, built in the 14th century, the city hall, built about 1455, and the Aegidienkirche, probably 400 years old, restored in 1827. Some of the finest buildings are in the vicinity of Waterloo square, which contains a column about 170 ft. high, surmounted by a statue of Victory and inscribed with the names of the Hanoverians who fell at Waterloo. On the N. side of the square is the former royal palace, built in 1640, from which the treasures were removed by the ex-king to Vienna in 1866. The city has a public library of 40,000 volumes, a royal library of 150,000 volumes and 2,000 manuscripts, a number of Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, a synagogue, many charitable and educational institutions, and numerous manufactories.