Province Posen - 19th Century Encyclopedia Entries

Anskjaer 1858-1863, Meyer 1885-1892, Nordisk Familjebok 1915

Anskjaer, Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, Article : Posen
Posen. One of the non-German provinces of the Kingdom of Prussia, surrounded by the provinces Prussia, Brandenburg and Silesia, as well as the Kingdom of Polen. 536.2 square miles with 1,417,155 inhabitants (1858), as compared to 1,403,302 inhabitants (1855). Posen is traversed by the Warthe and her tributaries Prosna, border river with Poland, and Obra, both from the left, and the Netze, from the right; the latter, by a canal is connected with the Brahe, which flows into the Vistula, which touches the province in the northeast. The land overall is flat, only on the upper Warthe and on the Silesian border are there any heights of importance. The soil in general is fertile; agriculture the main source of income for the population. There is a considerable surplus of wheat, wool, cattle, tallow and skins for export, there are also large forests which export timber. The most important industry is textile production. Statistical data in this and other respects are to be found in the article on Prussia. The mass of the population are Poles, in the cities many Germans live, also in the border districts to Brandenburg and Silesia. Despite the promise given at the Vienna Congress to respect the Polish language and nationality, the Prussian administration systematically has worked toward the country's Germanification, without much success.
The province is divided in 2 governmental districts, Posen (321 square miles with 918,222 inhabitants) and Bromberg (215 square miles and 498,933 inhabitants).

source in Danish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article : Podolia.
Posen, Prussian province (formerly Grand Duchy), after the dissolution of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw formed from the larger part of the former Departement Posen and parts of the former Departements Bromberg and Kalisch; in the North it borders on the Province of West Prussia, in the East on Poland, in the South on Silesia and in the West on Brandenburg and encompasses an area of 28,958 square km (525,93 square km). The province is located in the Northern German Lowlands, between two ridges of the latter; the North German Ridge approaches the Netze Valley from the north (Lichberge near Netzthal 194 m), while the Märkisch-Silesian Ridge, from Silesia, sends several hilly stretches into Posen; among these the southeastern peak in the district Schildberg rises above 200 m. The province's interior is a plate of an average altitude of 80 to 120 m, which is traversed in a wide valley by the Warthe, and in which the Obrabruch, 40 km long and 8 km wide, the drainage of which had been unsuccessfully atempted in 1850-1860, forms an inclination. Further the plate is crossed by the rivers Obra and Netze; further inclinations worthy to mention are the Konczabruch near Polajewo in the district of Obornik, and the Parchaniebruch near the upper Netze in the district Inowrazlaw. Of greatest importance is an inclination 6-8 km wide which crosses the northern part of the province from east to west, through which long ago the Vistula found an escape westward, and where presently exists a connection of Netze and Brahe (or Oder and Vistula) via the Bromberg or Netze Canal. The main rivers are Warthe, Netze and, as border river with West Prussia, Vistula with the Brahe. The Netze, which feeds into the Warthe outside of the province, receives in Posen the Küddow, and on the border to Brandenburg the Drage. The Warthe on the right receives the Welna and on the left he Prosna (on the Polish border) and the Obra. There are numerous lakes, the largest (the Goplo, Skorzencin and Powidz Lakes) are located on the upper Netze, from here toward the watershed with the Warthe, and toward the Polish border in the delination to the latter. The average annual temperature in Posen itself is 8 degrees Celsius, in Bromberg 7.7 degrees, the winter is rough, the rainfall not very large (annually 50-52 cm). The population in 1885 numbered 1,715,618 souls (59 per square km), among them 531,722 Protestants, 1,131,869 Catholics, 1143 other Christians and 50,866 Jews. Protestants dominate in the northern and western border districts; they are fewest in number in the districts on the upper Warthe. By language there are c.725,000 Germans and 880,000 Poles. The Polish population makes up more than 80 % of the population in the districts Wreschen, Pleschen, Adelnau and Schildberg, less than 20 % in the districts Meseritz and Czarnikau. The larger cities have a predominantly German population (even Gnesen 55 %). In order to increase the German element in the countryside, the law of April 28th 1886 esablished a colonization commission in he city of Posen, he task of which is to purchase estates from Polish owners, to divide them into plots and to sell the latter to German colonists. The area consists to 61.8 % of farmland, to 8 % of meadows, to 5.2 % of pastorage, to 20.5 % of forests. Large estates are represented here almost as much as in Pomerania. If one regards estates larger than 100 ha as falling into this category, 55.3 % of the land belong to large estates; peasants owning 10 to 100 ha own a share of only 32.5 %. Except for the cultivation of grain, legumes and potatos, that of hop is of special importance (1883 grown on 2094 ha), to which large stretches around Neutomischl are dedicated. Wine is cultivated in the southwestern corner near Bomst. The formidable forests, consisting mainly of coniferous trees, are found namely between Warthe and Netze on the westrn border, and in the districts of Bromberg bordering on Tuchel Heath (in West Prussia). According to the livestock count of 1883 in Posen here were 211,291 horses, 625,793 head of cattle, 1,892,336 sheep, 469,073 hogs and 71,353 goats. In order to raise the level of horse breeding a stud farm in Zirke exists, cattle breeding of of greatest importance in the districts bordering Silesia, sheep breeding is conducted on the large estates. Near Inowrazlaw and Wagno mineral salt is produced, gypsum, chalk, lignite, bog iron, turf etc. are also produced. Industry is of importance only a a few places; there are machine factories, textile factories, large brick factories and grinding mills, sugar factories, a salt factory, factories for sniffing tobacco, beer breweries, distilleries etc. Trade is conducted via navigable rivers, roads and railroads. The latter are for the most part state-owned and are under the administration of authorities at Bromberg and Breslau. The most important lines are Berlin-Schneidem?hl, Posen-Neustettin, Posen-Thorn, Breslau-Posen, Frankfurt an der Oder-Posen, Posen-Stargard, Posen-Kreuzburg und Öls-Gnesen. Educational institutions in Posen :14 gymnasia, 2 progymnasia, 4 real gymnasia, a pedagogium, 3 institutes for the deaf-mute, an institution for the blind etc. The province is divided in two governmental districts (Regierungsbezirke), Bromberg and Posen, with combined 28 districts (Kreise); since 1887 42 districts, of which 28 fall on Regierungsbezirk Posen and 14 on Regierungsbezirk Bromberg. In regard to jurisdiction there is a provincial court in Posen, 7 country courts at Bromberg, Gnesen, Lisza, Meseritz, Ostrowo, Posen and Schneidemühl (also respionsible for the district Deutsch-Krone in West Prussia). Militarily, the northern part belongs to the 2nd, the southern part to the 5th army corps. The province sends 15 delegates to the German Reichstag, 29 delegates to the Prussian parliament.The consistory in Posen is responsible for affairs of the Lutheran community, the Archbishop of Gnesen and Posen for those of the Catholic clergy.The commission for the partition of common lands at Bromberg is also responsible for East and West Prussia. The province's coat of arms is a silver eagle in a red field, the country's colours are red and white. Posen used to be part of the Kingdom of Poland. In the First Partition 1772 the Netze region, in 1793 all of Great Poland except for Masovia came to Prussia (under the name SouthernPrussia). In 1807 it was annexed into the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, until in 1815, slightly reduced in size, it returned o Prussia. See Bäck, Die Provinz Posen in geographischer, statistischer und topographischer Beziehung (Berl. 1847); "Statistisches Handbuch der Provinz Posen" (3. Aufl., Posen 1877); "Gemeinde-Lexikon der Provinz Posen" (hrsg. vom k*önigl. Statistischen Büreau, Berlin 1888); Wuttke, Städtebuch des Landes Posen (Leipzig 1864; Nachtrag, das. 1866); Chr. Meyer, Geschichte des Landes Posen (Pos. 1881); Bergmann, Zur Geschichte der Entwickelung deutscher; polnischer und jüdischer Bev?lkerung in der Provinz Posen seit 1824 (Tübingen 1883); "Zeitschrift der Historischen Gesellschaft f?r die Provinz Posen" (Posen 1882 ff.).
source in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek

Nordisk Familjebok 1904-1926, Article : Posen (1915)
Province in Prussia, bordered in the east by Russian Poland, in the north, west and south by the Prussian provinces West Prussia, Brandenburg and Silesia. 28,992 square km. The province is for the most part a plain of 80 to 120 m height, with many swampy, sandy and forested stretches, as well as a number of small lakes and artificial lakes. In the north it meets the rather wide Baltic land ridge declining into the Netze valley; in the south there are several extensions of the Silesian ridge. Proper mountains are lacking, except for Ostra Gora (284 m.) on he Warthe near the eastern border. The larger part of the province belongs to the Oder river system; its tributary the Warthe is the province's main river. Other partially navigable or raftable rivers are Warthe's tributaries the Prosna, Obra, Welna and Netze, Oder's tributary Orla, and the Brahe, a tributary of the Vistula, which itself touches the province in the northeast. Lakes make up an area of 330 square km. Except for the Bromberg canal, established in 1773-1774, of greatest importance as it connects the Oder and Vistula (26 km) and several canalised river stretches there are no navigable canals in the province. The climate is continental; Bromberg has abn average annual temperature of 8.1 degrees Celsius, Posen of 8.2 degrees (in January -2.6 degrees, in July 18.4 degrees). The absence of large heights and the openness toward the Russian plain causes low rainfall figures (Bromberg 514 mm, Posen 505 mm annually). The population in 1910 numbered 2,090,831 (72 inhabitants per square km), of which by confession 31 % were Protestant, 67 % Catholic and 1.26 % Israelitic, by language 38.1 % German and about 61 % Poles (inhabiting the upper Warthe valley), Posen, after the Rhine Province, has Prussia's largest percentage of Catholic population, and it has a larger Polish population than any other province. The strong representation of the Polish national element has caused the Prussian administration to several measures intending to strengthen the position of the German element. A law of April 28 1886 established a colonization commission, which used funds provided by the Empire to purchase Polish property, split it up in lots and sell or rent it to German colonists. This commission, which had its seat in Bromberg and which also was responsible for West Prussia, was dissolved in 1909. Posen has 131 cities, of which only 9 have more than 10,000 inhabitants.
The main source of income is agriculture, in which in 1907 54,2 % of the population were employed, followed by industry and mining 23.4 %, trade and transportation 8.7 %. Of the area 60.8 % is farmland and garden land, In 1912 the largest area was used for the cultivation of rye, followed by oats and potatos. Also sugar beets are cultivated in quantity. Wine is grown in he southwestern corner near Bomst. Large estates dominate. Good and fertile soil is found in the Warhe and Netze valleys and in the areas which had been dyked off and drained, mainly in the central and eastern parts of the province. Sandy and less fertile soil dominates toward the Silesian and Brandenburgian border. Cattle breeding is also of great importance. The province's mineral products are lignite, salt, gypsum, chalk etc. The manufacturing industry (1907 46,338 enterprises, 162,115 workers) is of comparatively little importance; the most important fields are sugar processing (in 1910-1911 20 factories), breweries (110) and distilleries (564), brick production, tobacco industry, and machine workshops and textile factories. By contrast trade is lively, especially with forest products, farm products, and is conducted by navigable rivers and the railroad net, which in 1912 was 2,666 km long.
Administratively the land is divided in two governmental districts, Posen, 17,530 square km, 1,335,884 inhabitants (24.6 % Protestant, 73.9 % Catholic, 1.27 % Jewish) with 28 districts, and Bromberg, 11,462 square km, 763,947 inhabitants (41.5 % protestants, 56.8 % Catholics, 1.25 % Jews) with 14 districts. The province sends 15 delegates to the German Reichstag, 29 to he Prussian Chamber of Deputees. Militarily it belongs to the 5th army corps. Together with the West Prussian district Deutsch-Krone it is under the provincial court in Posen, under which there are 7 country courts and 61 district courts. The Lutheran church is administrated by the consistory in Posen. The Catholics are under the archbishop of Posen and Gnesen; a part of the governmental district of Bromberg is placed under the suffragan bishop in Kulm. The seat of the provincial administraion is Posen. Institutions of learning : 17 gymnasia, 1 real gymnasium, 1 higher and one real school, 2 progymnasia, 1 agricultural school, 10 seminaries for (male) teachers and 2 for female teachers, 3 instittes for the deaf & mute, 1 institute for the blind.
Posen used to form part of the Kingdom of Poland. On the occasion of the first partition (1772), the Netzedistrikt, in 1793 the southern regions of the province, hen called Southern Prussia), came to Prussia. In 1807-1815 Posen belonged to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.

source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg


This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 9th 2009

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz