Area in sq. m.
Pop. in 1871.
Duchy of Oldenburg
Principality of Lubeck...............
Principality of Birkenfeld............
The duchy of Oldenburg is situated W. and S. W. of the river Weser, which forms its N. E. boundary. It is bounded N. by the North sea, a dee]) inlet of which forms the Jade bay, and E., S., and W. by the Prussian province of Hanover. The whole country is a perfect level, watered by the Weser, Hunte, Jade, Vechta, and other rivers, of which only the Weser is navigable. Of a number of lakes the largest and most picturesque is Zwischenahn lake. One seventh of the area consists of the most fertile bottom land, upon which all kinds of grain, fruit, potatoes, beans, peas, etc, thrive luxuriantly; the remainder of fair arable soil and pasture. Oldenburg is almost exclusively an agricultural country, and its manufactures are of little importance. Among the more important towns are Jever and Varel, in the north, the latter on the railroad which connects the capital, Oldenburg, with Bremen and Wilhelmshaven, the Prussian seaport on Jade bay. The principality of Lübeck is enclosed by the Prussian province of Schleswig-Ilolstein and the territory of the free city of Lübeck. It consists of the city of Eutin, and one borough and 82 villages grouped around the banks of the lake of Eutin. Up to 1802 it was an independent bishopric.
The principality of Birkenfeld lies in the southern part of the Prussian province of the Rhine, on the left bank of the Rhine. (See Birkenfeld.) - The grand duchy has a common constitution for its three component parts, and provincial councils for Lübeck and Birkenfeld. The diet of the grand duchy consists of a single chamber, numbering 33 deputies, who are elected for three years by the vote of all citizens paying taxes. The executive is vested, under the grand duke, in a responsible ministry of three departments. The state debt in 1873 was $8,416,000. In the budget of the central government of Oldenburg for 1873, the revenue and the expenses were estimated at $202,000 each. The aggregate revenue of the special budget of the three divisions of the grand duchy was estimated at $1,800,000; the expenditure at $1,420,000. The movement of shipping in 1872 was as follows: vessels entered, 2,007, tonnage 161,480; cleared, 2,134, tonnage 159,570. These figures do not include the coasting trade, in which 4,925 vessels entered, tonnage 186,586, and 4,821 cleared, tonnage 186,048. The merchant shipping of the grand duchy in 1872 embraced 542 vessels, aggregate burden 71,547 tons. The troops of Oldenburg consist of one regiment of infantry, one of cavalry, and two batteries.
It is represented in the German imperial Reichstag by three deputies. - The present territory of Oldenburg proper was originally inhabited by the Chauci, and was afterward overrun by the Saxons. In 1180 the counts of Oldenburg obtained their independence from the dukes of Saxony. In 1448 a son of the late count was elected king of Denmark. The Oldenburg line having become extinct, the country fell to Denmark in 1667. In 1773 Denmark exchanged it for the possessions and claims of the Hol-stein-Gottorp family in Schleswig-Holstein, and it became an independent state once more. Having been annexed to France at the beginning of 1811, it regained its independence in 1813, and obtained some territorial accessions (including the principality of Birkenfeld) from the congress of Vienna, which also raised the prince to the rank of grand duke. In consequence of the revolution of 1848 the people obtained a liberal constitution, which however was curtailed in 1852. The present grand duke, Augustus (born Nov. 16, 1852), succeeded his father Peter Dec. 12, 1874. On Feb. 16, 1864, the bay and territory of Jade were ceded to Prussia. H A city, capital of the grand duchy, 24 m.
W. N. W. of Bremen, on the Hunte. 11 m. above its confluence with the Weser; pop. in 1871, 14,928. The grand-ducal palace contains many works of German art, and a library numbering about 50,000 volumes. The town has three churches, a synagogue, a gymnasium, a normal school, a theatre, a public library numbering more than 100,000 volumes, and a museum of natural sciences which is especially rich in North German and Indian birds. The most important manufactures are refined sugar, soap, and musical instruments; there are also numerous breweries and distilleries. A brisk trade is carried on in wood, wool, and cattle.