Germany (from Lat. Germania) is the English name of the country which the natives call Deutschland, and the French L'Allemagne. The word is sometimes used to denote the whole area of the European continent within which the Germanic race and language are dominant. In this broad sense it includes, besides Germany proper, parts of Austria, Switzerland, and perhaps even of the Netherlands ; but in the present article the name is to be understood as denoting the existing Germanic empire, of which Prussia is the head. Germany occupies the central portions of Europe, and is bounded on the N. by the North Sea, the Danish peninsula, the Baltic, Russia, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Its area is 211,168 sq. m., or about 1/16th of that of all Europe - slightly larger than France, but not twice as large as Great Britain and Ireland. Germany is composed of a federation of twenty-five states, with one imperial territory (Reichsland), which vary enormously in area and influence. Thus, while Prussia alone exceeds the British Islands in area, Bavaria is almost as large as Scotland, Wurtem-berg is larger than Wales, and Baden and Saxony are neither of them equal to Yorkshire. Waldeck is about equal to Bedford, and Reuss-Greiz is smaller than Rutland, the smallest English county. The Duke of Sutherland's estates (1838 sq. m.) are larger in area than all Mecklenburg-Strelitz, or than all Brunswick, respectively tenth and ninth in size of the German states. The Duke of Buccleuch's Scottish estates alone (676 sq. m.) exceed in area Saxe-Altenburg or any of the eleven smaller states. In 1901 Berlin, the capital of the empire, had 1,888,848 inhabitants; next come Hamburg, 705,738; Munich, Dresden, Leipzig, and Breslau, with over 400,000; Cologne, 372,529. There are 26 other towns with between 100,000 and 200,000; and 175 towns between 20,000 and 100,000. The population of the German empire at the census of 1871 was 41,058,792; in 1880, 45,234,061; in 1885, 46,855,704; in 1901, 56,367,178.


Area in sq. m.

Pop. In 1901.

Kingdoms -


Prussia ...........................................




Bavaria ..........................................




Saxony ..........................................




Wurtemberg .................................



Grand-duchies -


Baden .............................................




Hesse ..............................................

, 3,000



Mecklenburg- Schwerin .................




Saxe-Weimar ................................




Mecklenburg-Sterlitz .....................




Oldenburg ......................................



Duchies -


Brunswick ......................................




Saxe-Meiningen .............................




Saxe-Altenburg ..............................




Saxe-Coburg -Gotha ......................




Anhalt ...........................................



Principalities -


Schwarzburg-Sondershausen .........




Schwarxburg-Rudolstadt ..............




Waldeck .........................................




Reuss-Greiz ...................................




Reuss-Schleiz .................................




Schaum burg-Lippe ........................




Lippe-Detmold ..............................



Free-Towns -


Lubeck ...........................................




Bremen ...........................................




Hamburg .......................................



Reichsland -


Alsace-Lorraine .............................





Germany presents two very distinct physical formations. (1) A range of high tableland, occupying the centre and southern parts of the country, interspersed with numerous ranges and groups of mountains, the most important of which are the Harz and Teutoburgerwald, in the north; the Taunus, Thuringerwald, Erzgebirge, and Riesengebirge, in the middle ; and the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), Rauhe Alb, and Bavarian Alps in the south (with the Zugspitz, the highest point in Germany, 9665 feet high); and containing an area of 110,000 sq. m. (2) A vast sandy plain, which extends from the centre of the empire north to the German Ocean, and from the Netherlands into Russia, contains an area of about 98,000 sq. m., and is varied by slight terrace-like elevations marked by summits of 500 to 800 feet high. A large portion of the plain is occupied by sandy tracts interspersed with deposits of peat; but other parts are moderately fertile, and admit of successful cultivation.

The surface of Germany may be regarded as belonging to three drainage basins. The Danube (q.v.) from its source in the Black Forest to the borders of Austria belongs to Germany ; and through its channel the waters of the greater part of Bavaria are poured into the Black Sea. By far the greater part of the surface has a northern slope, and belongs partly to the basin of the North Sea, partly to that of the Baltic. The chief German streams flowing into the North Sea are the Rhine (q.v.), with its tributaries the Neckar, Main, Lahn, Sieg, Wupper, Ruhr, and Lippe on the right, and the I11 and Moselle on the left; the Weser and the Elbe. Into the Baltic flow the Oder, Vistula, Memel, and Pregel. The natural and "artificial waterways of Germany are extensive, especially in the northern plain, and connect the rivers flowing into the Baltic and the North Sea with those flowing into the English Channel and the Black Sea. The North Sea and Baltic Ship Canal, from Brunsbuttel at the mouth of the Elbe to Kiel (1887-95), is intended chiefly for war-ships. Numerous lakes occur, but few of them are of any great size. The so-called ' Haffs' of the north coasts are landlocked salt-water lagoons or coast-lakes. Mineral springs occur principally in Nassau, Wurtemberg, Baden, Bavaria, and Rhenish Prussia. The climate of Germany presents less diversity than a first glance at the map might lead one to infer, for the greater heats of the more southern latitudes are considerably modified by the hilly character of the country in those parallels, while the cold of the northern plains is mitigated by their vicinity to the ocean.

The mineral products of Germany are very rich and varied, and their exploitation forms a most important industry. The chief mining and smelting districts are in Silesia, on the Lower Rhine, in the Upper Harz, and in Saxony. Silver is found in the Upper Harz and Saxony. Iron occurs in numerous mountain-ranges, especially in Upper Silesia and in Rhenish Westphalia. Alsace and Lorraine contain a great part of perhaps the largest iron-deposit in Europe, which stretches into France and Luxemburg. The iron of the Thuringerwald is fine, though not abundant. The chief coalfields are in Silesia, Westphalia (on the Ruhr), and Saxony-the first containing the largest coalfield in Europe. Prussia yields nearly one-half of the zinc annually produced in the world. Lead is found in the Harz, in other parts of Prussia, and in Saxony. A little copper is mined at Mansfeld. Tin and tungsten are yielded by the Erzgebirge ; manganese at Wiesbaden; quicksilver in Westphalia ; antimony in Thuringia. Salt is produced at Halle, Stassfurt, and other parts of Prussia. Germany is rich in clays of all kinds, from the finest to the coarsest: the porcelain of Meissen, the pottery of Thuringia, and the glass of Silesia and Bavaria are celebrated. Building-stone is well distributed; marble, alabaster, slates, and lithographic stones also occur; and cobalt, arsenic, sulphur, saltpetre, alum, gypsum, bismuth, pumice-stone, Tripoli slate, kaolin, emery, ochre, and vitriol are all among the exports of Germany. The average value of the total production of the chief minerals is over 65,000,000 a year. All the ordinary cereals are extensively cultivated in the north, and potatoes are exported. Hemp and flax, madder, woad, and saffron grow well in the central districts, and the vine is cultivated in suitable localities as far north as 51°. Tobacco and chicory are largely grown. Magdeburg is the centre of a large beet-root growing industry. About 50 per cent. of the total area is arable ground; 15 per cent. is occupied by heath, meadow, and pasture ; and 26 per cent. is forest, 9 per cent. being unproductive. The most extensive forests are found in central Germany, while the deficiency of wood in the north-west parts of the great plain is in some degree met by the abundance of turf.

The forests of northern and central Germany abound in small game; some still shelter wild boars. The Bavarian Alps shelter the chamois, the red deer and wild goat, the fox and marten. Wolves are still found in Bavaria, eastern Prussia, and Lorraine. In the plains of the north storks, wild geese, and ducks are abundant. Both fresh and salt water fisheries are diligently taken advantage of. Forestry receives almost as much attention in Germany as agriculture. The oldest and most important of the German industrial arts are the manufactures of linen and woollen goods. The chief localities for linen production are the mountain-valleys of Silesia, Lusatia, Westphalia, and Saxony (for thread-laces); while cotton fabrics are principally made in Rhenish Prussia and Saxony. The same districts, together with Pomerania, Bavaria, Alsace, Wurtemberg, and Baden, manufacture the choicest woollen fabrics, including damasks and carpets. The silk industry has its central point in Rhenish Prussia, specially about Dusseldorf. Germany rivals France in the production of satins. Jute-spinning is carried on in Brunswick, at Meissen, and at Bonn ; thread is manufactured in Saxony, Silesia, and the Rhine provinces; and hosiery is most largely produced in Saxony and Thuringia. The making of toys and wooden clocks, and wood-carving, which may be regarded as almost a speciality of German industry, flourish in the hilly districts of Saxony, Bavaria, and the Black Forest. Paper is made chiefly in the districts of Aix-la-Chapelle, Arnsberg, and Lieg-nitz, and in Saxony. Tanning is prominent in the south-west. The best iron and steel manufactures belong to Silesia, Hanover, and Saxony. Silesia probably possesses the finest glass-manufactories, but those of Bavaria are also important; while Saxony and Prussia stand pre-eminent for the excellence of their china and earthenware. Augsburg and Nuremberg dispute with Munich and Berlin the title to pre-eminence in silver, gold, and jewellery work, and in the manufacture of scientific and musical instruments; while Leipzig and Munich claim the first rank for typefounding, printing, and lithography. The trading cities of northern Germany nearly monopolise the preparation of beet-root sugar, tobacco, snuff, etc, and the distillation of spirits from the potato and other roots; while vinegar and oils are prepared in central and southern Germany. Prussia and Bavaria produce most beer.

In 1898-1903 the total annual value of German imports fluctuated from 271,983,800 (in 1898) to 316,057,300 (in 1903). The exports for the same years varied from 200,528,250 (in 1898) to 256,518,550 (in 1903). Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France contributed more of the German imports than any other countries ; Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, and France took more of the exports. In 1893-1903 German exports to Britain varied from 26,364,849 to 34,533,390 a year, according to British Board of Trade returns ; but, as much German produce conies through Holland and Belgium, from 10 millions to 14 millions have to be added to the figures given. The German mercantile fleet is the fourth in the world, being excelled only by those of Great Britain, the United States, and Norway. In her commercial policy Germany has of late years committed herself more and more to protection. The silver mark, superseding guldens and thalers, is almost exactly equal to a shilling in value, and gold is now the monetary standard. Since 1872 the metrical system of weights and measures has been in use. The length of railways in the empire in 1904 was 34,314 miles, of which total all but 3111 belonged to the state. The postal and telegraphic systems of all the German states, except Bavaria and Wurtemberg, are now under a central imperial administration.

The German-speaking inhabitants of the empire number upwards of 51,500,000; but a considerable proportion of these are not of the Germanic stock. Among the peoples retaining their own language (about 4 1/4 millions)'are Poles (exclusively in eastern and north-eastern Prussia), 3,329,000; Wends (in Silesia, Brandenburg, and Saxony), 93,000 ; Czechs (in Silesia), 107,000 ; Lithuanians (in eastern Prussia), 103,000 ; Danes (in Sleswick), 141,000 ; French (in Rhenish Prussia, Alsace, and Lorraine) and Walloons (about Aix-la-Chapelle in Rhenish Prussia), 224,000. The Germans are divided into High and Low Germans; the language of the former is the cultivated language of all the German states ; that of the latter, known as Platt-Deutseh, is spoken in the north and north-west. It is computed that there are about 25,000,000 persons of German race and language beyond the boundary of the empire, of whom 9 millions are in Austria, 2 1/2 in the United States, 2 1/3 in Switzerland, 400,000 in Poland (besides 800,000 German Jews). There are also many in the Volga country, in middle and south Russia, Roumania, and Turkey. The average density of the population of Germany is 269.9 per sq. m. The most densely populated country of the empire is Saxony, with 743.4 per sq. m. ; the most sparsely populated is Mecklenburg-Strelitz, with 90.7 per sq. in. The concentration of the population in large towns has not gone so far in Germany as in some other countries. After 1830 emigration from Germany steadily swelled ; the highest total (220,798) was reached in 1881. Between 1830 and 1892, 4,750,000 emigrants left the country, five-sevenths of whom were bound for the United States of North America. In the succeeding ten years to 1903 the total number of emigrants was 347,618, of whom 303,201 went to the United States. There are about 50,000 persons of German birth in England and Wales. To balance this efflux of native blood there were, in 1900, 778,698 foreigners in the German empire, of whom 371,023 were Austrians, and 16,173 British subjects. In the last decade of the 19th century there were large extensions of German territory abroad. In 1884-99 the following regions became German possessions or came under German protection : In Africa, Togoland, Cameroon, German South-west Africa, and German East Africa; total area, 931,460 sq. m.; total pop. 13,047,000. In Asia, Kiao-chau Bay; area, 200 sq. m. ; pop. 32,000. In the Pacific, German New Guinea (Kaiser Wilhelm Land, Bismarck Archipelago, Caroline Islands, Pelew Islands, Marianne Islands, Solomon Islands), Marshall Islands, etc, Samoan Islands ; total area, 96,160 sq. m. ; total pop. 443,000.

Education is more systematically cultivated in Germany than in any other country of Europe. Besides the Lyceum at Braunsberg, there are 21 universities: Heidelberg, Wurzburg, Leipzig, Rostock, Greifswald, Freiburg, Munich, Tubingen, Marburg, Konigsberg, Jena, Giessen, Kiel, Gottingen, Erlangen, Berlin, Breslau, Halle, Bonn, Strasburg, and Munster. Berlin had 356 professors and teachers and 5371 students in 1891-92. Of the universities, 14 are Protestant in the theological faculty, four are Roman Catholic, and three are mixed. There are also 9 polytechnic institutions; nearly 1400 gymnasia, realschulen, etc.; numerous special schools of technology, agriculture, forestry, mining, commerce, military science, etc. ; seminaries for teachers and preachers; and about 60,000 elementary schools. Among the military recruits only .05 per cent. are illiterate. Public libraries, museums, botanical gardens, art-collections, picture-galleries, schools of music and design, and academies of arts and sciences are to be met with in most of the capitals, and in many of the country towns, upwards of 200 of which possess theatres. The chief centres of the book and publishing trade are Leipzig and Stuttgart. Protestantism predominates in the north and middle, and Roman Catholicism in the south, east, and west, although very few states exhibit exclusively either form of faith. The Protestants belong chiefly to the Lutheran confession, except in Hesse, Anhalt, and the Palatinate, where the Reformed or Calvinistic Church predominates. A union between these two churches has taken place in Prussia. The total number of Protestants in 1900 was 35,231,104, of Catholics 20,321,441, of Jews 586,948, the rest being 'other Christians' or 'unclassified.'

In 1871 the Prussian military system was extended to the whole empire; and alterations have since been introduced, especially (in the way of strengthening the army) in 1893. Every German who is capable of bearing arms must be in the standing army for seven years (generally his twenty-first to his twenty-eighth year). Three (in some cases two) of these years must be spent in active service, and the remainder in the army of reserve. He then spends live years in the first class of the Landwehr, after which he belongs to the second class till his thirty-ninth year. Besides this, every German, from seventeen to twenty-one, and from thirty-nine to forty-five, is a member of the Landsturm, a force only to be called out in the last necessity. Those who pass certain examinations require to serve only one year with the colours. The whole of the land forces of the empire form a united army under the command of the emperor in war and peace. The imperial army, on its peace footing, consisted at the end of 1904 of 24,374 officers, 582,498 rank and file, and 105,885 horses. On its war footing, 3,000,000 trained men would be available. In 1905 the imperial fleet comprised 126 vessels, with a total tonnage of 509,460 tons. Of these 21 were sea-going ironclads, 8 armoured guardships, 12 armoured gunboats, 10 first-class cruisers, 32 smaller cruisers, and over 120 torpedo-boats. This fleet was manned by 37,889 officers and men. The seafaring population of Germany are liable to service in the navy instead of in the army.

The revenue of the German empire is derived (1) from the customs dues on tobacco, salt, and beet-root sugar, which are entirely made over to it by all the states; from those on brandy and malt, which are also assigned by most of the states ; from taxes on playing-cards and stamps, from posts, telegraphs, and railways, the imperial bank, and various miscellaneous sources; (2) from extraordinary sources - as votes for public buildings and loans; and (3) from the proportional contributions of the various states. The chief items of expenditure are the maintenance of the Reichstag and various government offices, the army and navy, posts and telegraphs, railways, justice, pensions, and other miscellaneous claims. The revenue and expenditure in the year 1903-4 balanced at a little over 120,000,000. The public debt of the empire in the year 1905 was just about 150,000,000.

The empire, as reconstituted in 1871, possesses the exclusive right of legislation on all military and naval affairs; on civil and criminal law for general application; on imperial finance and commerce; on posts, telegraphs, and railways in so far as the interests of the national defence and general trade are concerned. In all disputes that arise among the individual states, the imperial jurisdiction is supreme and final. There are two legislative bodies in the empire - the Bundesrath, or Federal Council, the members of which are annually appointed by the governments of the various states; and the Reichstag, the members of which are elected by universal suffrage and ballot for a period of three years. The former deliberates on proposals to be submitted to the latter, and on the resolutions received from it. The Reichstag contains approximately one member for every 131,600 inhabitants; in 1905 there were 397 members. They are unpaid, but enjoy various privileges and immunities. The Reichstag at present falls into no fewer than sixteen parties or groups (conservatives, national liberals, social democrats, &c).

When first in the 4th century B.C. the Romans heard of new peoples of common kin whom they called Germani, the German tribes were living between the Elbe and Rhine and to the north of the Main. In 58 B.C. CAesar drove back the Germans who had crossed the Rhine. Successful Roman incursions were made into Germany under Augustus; but in 6 a.d. the German tribes rose under Arminius (Hermann) and utterly destroyed Varus and his legions. Henceforth the Romans were in the main content to hold a strip of territory from the Lower Rhine to the Upper Danube, arid to guard the frontiers of the empire against German raids. From the 3d century on this became impossible, and in the 4th, the Germans continued to force their way into Roman territory. The settlement of the Franks in the north of Gaul founded the French nation and the German empire, or rather the ' Holy Roman Empire,' or Germany. Charlemagne, who received the imperial crown from the pope in 800, extended his dominions north over the heathen Saxons and as far east as Hungary. Under his successors France and Germany fell apart, and in 911 the national diet of the Germans claimed and secured the right of electing their emperor, who could not assume the imperial title till crowned by the pope. At this period there were in Germany five nations - the Franks, Saxons, Bavarians, Swabians, and Lorrainers. A duke of Franconia was emperor 911-918 ; his rival and successor, Henry, Duke of Saxony, and Henry's son Otho extended the empire over northern Slavs, Magyars, and into Lombardy. Burgundy was added by Conrad II., first of a new Franconian dynasty, in 1030, and his successor temporarily annexed Denmark, Bohemia, and Hungary. Henry IV., of this line, was constantly at feud with Pope Gregory VII. ; but it was under Conrad III., first of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, that the wars of Guelphs and Ghibellines, between pope and emperor, so disastrously weakened the empire. His nephew Barbarossa was more concerned about his interests in Italy and the Crusades than about the internal well-being of Germany. From the accession in 1273 of Rudolf, first of the Hapsburgs, till 1806, the Austrian princes were emperors almost without break, and the imperial crown was all but hereditary (see Austria). The emperor Charles V. was also king of Spain, and lord of the Netherlands and of great part of Italy. The influence of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War was to weaken the imperial power, and cut up the empire into a crowd of petty factions and almost independent states : at one time there were as many as 300 states in the empire. Alsace and Lorraine were lost to the empire in 1648-97. The Napoleonic wars reconstructed the map of Germany. In 1806 the emperor resigned the German crown and contented himself with being Emperor of Austria; and the Confederation of the Rhine was formed under French influence, to be succeeded in 1815 by the German Confederation, which comprised virtually all Germany, including German Austria, in 35 states, with a diet at Frankfort. The political discontents of 1848 and 1849 led to not a few local insurrectionary movements which were swiftly crushed, and followed by a period of severe reaction and repression. The rivalries of Austria and Prussia for pre-eminence in the Confederation, ended at Koniggratz (1866) with the exclusion of Austria from Germany. The great Franco-German war of 1870-71 led to the re-annexation of Alsace-Lorraine and the constitution of the new German empire, with the kings of Prussia as hereditary emperors. German colonial extension began in 1884. Commerce has vastly developed. The alliance of Germany with Austria and Italy (to balance Russia and France), the strengthening of the army (in spite of the Socialists, who polled 3,000,000 votes in 1903), diplomatic energy at Constantinople and Peking, and the great increase of the fleet are keynotes of recent policy.

See books on Germany by Baring-Gould (1881), Whitman (1889), Dawson (1893), ' Veritas'(1902), Schierbrand (1904); histories by Sime (1874) and E. F. Henderson (1904); Bryce's Holy Roman Empire (20th ed. 1905) and Herbert Fisher's Mediœval Empire (1898); and The Franco-German War, by German officers (trans. 1900).