Liechtenstein, an independent principality, which until 1866 formed part of the German confederation, bounded N. E. and E. by the Austrian circle of Vorarlberg, S. by the Swiss canton of Grisons, and W. by the Rhine, which separates it from the canton of St. Gall; area, 62 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 8,320. It has a mountainous surface, crossed by branches of the Alps, which however do not rise to any great height. The soil in most parts is fertile and well watered, producing flax, grain, wine, and fruit. Timber is abundant, and there is much excellent pasturage. Capital, Liechtenstein or Vaduz. The prince shares the legislative power with a diet consisting of 15 members, three of whom are appointed by him, the others being elected. The revenues amount to 60,000 florins, 16,000 being derived from the share in customs duties which by a treaty, renewed in 1864, is paid by Austria. - The prince of Liechtenstein belongs to the family of Este, one of the oldest in central Europe; and although his sovereignty is so small, his estates in Austria, Prussia, and Saxony, covering nearly 2,200 sq. m., with a population of more than 600,000, render him one of the richest proprietors in Germany, his income from them being 1,400,000 florins.
The family of Liechtenstein was raised to the rank of sovereign princes in the 17th century. Several of them have distinguished themselves by their public services, especially as soldiers. Johann Joseph (1760-1836) took a conspicuous part in the campaigns on the Rhine and in Italy, and concluded in 1805 the treaty of Pres-burg. His son, Prince Aloys, born May 26, 1796, died Nov. 12, 1858. He was succeeded by his son Johann II., born Oct. 5, 1840, who is sovereign prince of Liechtenstein, duke of Troppau and of Jagerndorf, etc. His cousin, Prince Aloys, married in 1872 Miss Mary Fox, the adopted daughter of the last Lord Holland. She has published "Holland House,'1 an illustrated description of that edifice, with notices of its various residents (2 vols., London, 1874).