Moravia (Slav. Morawa; Ger. Mahren), a margraviate and crown land of Austria, situated between lat. 48° 40' and 50° 15' N., and Ion. 15° 10' and 18° 28' E., bounded N. and N. E. by Prussian and Austrian Silesia, E. and S. E. by Hungary, S. by Lower Austria, and W. and N. W. by Bohemia; area, 8,585 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 2,030,975. The country is mostly mountainous, the principal ranges being the Moravian mountains, the Sudetic range with its eastern continuation the Gesenke, and the Carpathians, which respectively separate it from Bohemia, Silesia, and Hungary. The val-levs and the southern districts, which are most-ly level, are fertile. The principal rivers are the March or Morawa, which rises in the northern corner of the country, flows S. S. E. and S. S. W. through its entire breadth, receiving almost all other watercourses, and after forming a part of the Hungarian boundaryfalls into the Danube; the Beczwa, E. of the March, and the Hanna, Zwittawa, Schwarza, Iglawa, and Thaya, W. of it. The Oder, which flows N. E. into Silesia, has its head waters S. of the Gesenke range. The climate is comparatively mild.
Moravia yields excellent grains and fruits, hemp, flax, and wine, and vast quantities of timber, iron, coal, marble, alum, vitriol, sulphur, lead, and pipe clay, and some silver. Some of the mines have been known since the 8th century. Gold and silver were formerly extracted, 'but little attention has been paid to these ores since the 16th century, and the iron and coal mines are not worked to their full extent. Pasturage covers a considerable extent of the country, and large numbers of cattle, sheep, and horses are reared. Woollen, linen, cotton, thread, leather, arms, needles, domestic utensils, porcelain, pottery, glass, paper, beet sugar, and chemical products are manufactured. Railways intersect the country, connecting it with Austria proper, Bohemia, Silesia, and Galicia. The inhabitants are mainly of Slavic origin (about 72 per cent.), including Slovaks on the confines of Hungary, Hannaks in the fertile central region watered by the Hanna, and the Czecho-Moravians in the districts adjoining Bohemia. The Germans (26 per cent.) and Jews (2 per cent.) mostly inhabit the towns, the former being most numerous in the regions adjacent to Silesia and Austria. The bulk of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, the number of the Protestants amounting to 57,000, and that of the Jews to 42,000. Previous to 1848 the latter were subject to the most oppressive obligations and restrictions.
The Roman Catholics are under the archbishop of Olmtitz and the bishop of Brunn; the Lutherans and Reformed have each one superintendent. Educational institutions of a high grade are numerous, and about 99 per cent, of the children of proper age attend school. The university of Olmutz has been abolished. The provincial diet is composed of the Landeshawptmann, the archbishop of Olmtitz, the bishop of Brunn, and 97 deputies. Next to Bohemia and Lower Austria, Moravia has the largest number of manufactories of any Austrian province, the aggregate annual value of the manufactures being estimated at about $74,000,000. In politics and literature the Moravians, mainly according to national lines of division, partake in the movements of the Czechs in Bohemia or of the Germans in Austria. - Before the close of the 6th century the country was successively occupied by the Qua-di, Rugii, Heruli, and Longobardi, and in the following period by Slavic tribes, who, after the decline of the kingdom of the Avars, founded the empire of Great Moravia, the name being derived from the river Morawa (March). Charlemagne conquered it, and he and his successors exacted tribute and the adoption of Christianity, of which St. Cyril became the great apostle among the Moravians. Swato-pluk, who rebelled against the German emperor toward the close of the 9th century, made Moravia a powerful state; but it soon after succumbed to the combined attacks of the Hungarians and Germans. Moravia was now often invaded by Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, and Germans. In the 11th century it was attached to Bohemia, and about the end of the following century constituted a margraviate of the empire, though dependent as a fief upon the Bohemian crown.
After numerous divisions, it came with Bohemia into the possession of the house of Hapsburg by the death of King Louis II. of Hungary and Bohemia in the battle of Mohacs (1526), his crowns being inherited by Ferdinand I. of Austria. The Austrian constitution of 1849 made it a separate crown land, as well as Austrian Silesia, which was formerly united with it. (See Austria, and Bohemia.) In 1866 Moravia was invaded by the Prussians. - See Dudik, Mdhren's allge-meine Geschichte (4 vols., Brunn, 1860-65).