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Situation and Extent Edit

The empire of Austria is situated in central and southern Europe; and, with the exception of a narrow strip at its southern extremity, projecting along the coast of the Adriatic, its territory forms a very compact mass. It extends from about 42° to 51° north latitude, and from about 8° so' to 26° 30' east long. Its length, from lake Maggiore, in Italy, to the eastern frontier of Transylvania, is about 860 miles, and its breadth (exclusive of Dalmatia) from the southern frontier of Croatia to the most northern point of Bohemia, about 492 miles. The total area is estimated, in the map of the Austrian engineers, at 12,153 sq. German miles or 257,368 sq English miles. On the south, Austria is bounded by Turkey, the Adriatic sea and the independent states of Italy; West, by the states of the King of Sardinia, Switzerland, and Bavaria; North, by Prussia, the free city of Cracow, and Russian Poland; and East, by Russia and Moldavia. The extensive frontier of the empire, upwards of 4,250 miles in length, has the rare advantage of being advantageously defined by natural boundaries; such as mountains, large rivers, lakes, and the sea, offering favourable military positions for defence with the exception of a portion of the frontier with Galacia, towards the Russian provinces, which is open.


Divisions, Population, etc Edit

  The Austrian empire is composed of many states, differing widely in extent and population. As the far greater part of the provinces were united under the imperial sceptre by peaceable means–that, is by inheritance or by treaty–the boundaries of all remain as they existed while they formed independent states; with the exception of the Italian provinces, whose frontiers and divisions date only from 1815.
  The following table shows the area and population of each province. A division, of no less important than the political one, is notices in the margin, showing to what race the mass of the inhabitants of each province belongs. The amount of population down to the close of 1837, has been found, by adding the surplus of the births over the deaths, to the amount found by enumeration in all the provinces, except Hungary, in 1834. The population of Hungary and Transylvania–in which countries the nobles and clergy make no returns of their number, and which are not subject to the military conscription–can only be found by approximation:


Province Dominant Race Area in German Sq. Miles Population in 1838 Population to German Sq Mile
Totals


 In South Hungary the greater part of several countries, besides Croatia and Slavonia, are inhabited by Slavonians. On the North side of the Danube, eleven counties of the provinces, “on this side of the Danube,” and a great part of the provinces “beyond the Theiss.” are Slavonian; the latter province containing the Rusniaks, or Red Russians; the former the Slovaks, or Slavonians of Moravian descent. The total number of Slavonians in Hungary is estimated at 5,800,000 inhabitating 5,789 towns and villages. The Magyars (Hungarians) are 4,500,000 in number, dwelling in 4739 towns and villages; the Wallachians have 1024, and the Germans 921 towns and villages. The various races of the inhabitants may be classed under the following divisions:


Slavonians in the N. prov. Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia, Galicia, and N.E. Part of Hungary .....14,000,000

Ditto, in the S. prov. Illyria, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia and military frontier ......................... 4,500,000

Magyars in the plains of Hungary, on each side of the Danube and the Theiss,

...and in Transylvania ..................................................................................................... 4,500,000

Germans in the Germ. provs. .......................................................................................... 3,500,000

Ditto, scattered through the Empire ................................................................................. 2,500,000

Italians, in Lombardy, Venice and S. Tyrol ....................................................................... 4,400,000

Wallachians in Hungary and Transylvania ........................................................................... 900,000

Armenians, Albanians, Zigener, &c .................................................................................... 150,000

Jews ............................................................................................................................... 600,000


  Nearly every province differs from the others in the density and distribution of its population. In Galicia and Hungary, both agricultural countries with comparatively little trade, the villages are usually very large and populous, but widely scattered. In Lombardy and Venice, the inhabitants are so much scattered over the face of the country, that the inhabitants of towns form but a small proportion; and are almost exclusively the nobility and traders. The German and Slavonic provinces show a medium between the two. Czoernig gives the following calculation respecting the density of the population in 1836;



 Considerable difficulty attends the determination of the precise rate of increase of the population and of mortality in the Austrian empire, owing to the ravages occasioned by the cholera morbus. This disease visited every province twice within the last ten years, and ensured, for the time, a serious decrease of population. From the experience, however, of the years in which this epidemic did not prevail, it seems that the increase in the greater number of provinces is very rapid. The following tables have been calculated, expressly for this work, from the annual official returns published in the Vienna Gazette. No returns are given for Hungary or Transylvania:



Annual Average of five Years, from 1833 to 1837 inclusive, for the undermentioned Provinces
Marriage Legitimate Births Illegitimate Births Deaths Annual Increase of births over deaths


Table, showing the increase of population, &c., calcuated from the returns of each Province for two years, in which there was no Cholera
Province Normal Years Avg. Increase of Pop. Deaths Marriages Births Proportion of legitimate to illegitimate births




Annual average of the five years, from 1833 to 1837 inclusive, for the same province, relating to the causes of the deaths in the previous table
Small-Pox Legitimate Still-born Illegitimate Still-born Hyrdophobia Murdered Suicide Executed



 From the extreme strictness of the Austrian provincial administration, these official returns, extending over a population of upwards of 20,000,000, form a most valuable contribution to the statistics of European population and mortality. It will be observed that, in Galicia, where the cheapness of provisions encourages early marriages, not only the increase of population is greatest, but the number of illegitimate births is remarkably small in proportion. A nearly similar result is given by the Italian provinces, in which an unremitting industry and judicious distribution of labour afford a competence even where the prices of provisions are higher. In the calculation of the proportional longevity in the provinces, the same order does not occur which is shown in the increase of the population. The average of six years for the above named provinces, gives 338 individuals in 10,000 who attain 80 years and upwards; if which number Dalmatia had the most (During the six years 666) and Galicia the fewest (208). Of 100,000 individuals 82 attained 100 years and upwards: here again Dalmatia stands first, with 196 in six years; Galicia and the other Slavonic provinces rank next; Lombardy (21) and Venice (14) show the fewest.


The Church, Clergy, etc Edit

The Austrian clergy are both numerous and powerful, although their wealth has been much diminished by the confiscations and secularization of the Emperor Joseph II. They consist of eleven Roman Catholic archbishops, one Greek united abp., one Greek schismatic abp., one Armenian abp. The Roman Church has, farther, fifty-nine bishops, with chapters and consistories, and forty-three abbots of richly endowed monasteries in Austria, Styria, Illyria, Bohemia, and Moravia. Hungary has twenty-two abbots with endowments, 124 titular abbots, forty-one endowed and twenty-nine titular preheadaries, and three college foundations. Transylvania has three titular abbots, and upward of 150 monasteries are convents. In Galicia seventy monasteries are counted. The Greek United Church has one abp. and one bishop in Galicia, and five bishops in Hungary. The Armenian Catholic Church have an abp. at Lemberg. The Archbishop of Carlowitz is head of the Greek Church, with ten bishops and sixty protopapas (deans). The Protestants, who in the greater part of the empire, are only tolerated (not being allowed to build churches with steeples, to use bells, or keep parish registers independent of the Catholic parish clergy), are placed under ten superintendents for the Lutherans, and nine superintendents for the Calvinists. In Hungary and Transylvania, the Protestants choose their superintendants, who are controlled by the district inspectors. The greater part of the Magyar inhabitants of Hungary are Calvinists, and Protestants enjoy, in that kingdom and its dependent lands, equal rights with the Catholics. The Unitarians are tolerated, or rather, recognised by law, in Transylvania; where they have a superintendent, and form 164 parishes. The Roman Catholic religion is the dominant one throughout the empire; and in case of dispute, the right to tithes assumed to be vested in the parish priest. The church is, however, far from being possessed of the tithes to a large extent; its wealth consists in endowments of land, or revenues charged upon estates; and its hierarchy may be considered richer even than that of Great Britain. The richest see is the primacy of Hungary; the archbishop of Omlutz being next in importance. On the suppression of the convents under Joseph II., a portion of the confiscated lands and revenues was appropriated to form a fund for improving the salaries of the parish clergy; the minimum of whose incomes has been fixed at 300 fl. for a parish priest, and 150 for a chaplain or curate. This fund is nominally under the control of the bishop, as far as concerns his dioceses; yet estates belonging to it are constantly advertised for public sale. The united Greek and Armenian churches are assimilated to the Roman Catholic Church as far as their parishes extend. The schismatic Greeks possess a fund, vested in bonum nationis, in Hungary, which is managed by the Metropolitan and three assistants. The Protestant confessions have no endowed churches or parishes out of Hungary and Transylvania; the clergy elsewhere being chosen and supported by their flocks. The right of presentation to livings is vested, in general, in the landed proprietors and various corporations, as in England. The parishes in the gift of the crown, as heir to the right of the suppressed convents, are numerous. The emperor nominates all the bishops, with the exception of the archbishop of Olmutz, and seeks the sanction of the pope through his medium of the imperial ambassador at Rome. The Hungarian bishops enter upon the exercise of their secular functions as magnates before the papal consent is received. All titular bishops, as well as all abbots and prelates in Hungary, are likewise nominated by the crown. The chapter of Olmutz enjoys the privilege granted by Wrataislaw II. of Bohemia, in 1080, of choosing their archbishop from among their own members.

 The Austrian church property throughout all the provinces, except Hungary and Transylvania, is very highly taxed; and the state inherits a molety of the personal property of every Catholic clergyman; it being, of course, supposed that he has no direct natural heirs. But the line of policy respecting the Church of Rome, of which the Emperor Joseph laid the foundation, has not of late been adhered to, new religious orders having been suffered to establish themselves; and even the Jesuits have been permitted openly to settle in several provincial towns within these few years.
 According to the most recent census, the numbers attached to the different sects are as follow:

 Roman Catholics ....26,990,060
 Greeks...................... 3,040,000
 Protestant ................. 2,850,000
 Jews ............................ 480,000
 Unitarians ..................... 50,000
 Arminians ..................... 13,000
 Mohammedans .................. 500

 These numbers are, however, for the present amount of the population, underrated; especially the estimate of the Protestants, for want of authenticated returns on the population of Hungary.



 

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