صور الصفحة

tion and becomes a Referendarius. He then spends at least four marks, or £167,254,872. This is equivalent to about £6 per head years in the practical work of his profession, after which he passes of population, as compared with three and a half times as much in a second examination, and, if he has chosen the bench instead of England. The annual charge for interest on the debt is 5s. Sd. per the bar, becomes an Assessor and is eligible for the position of judge. head in Prussia, and 16s. 2d. in England. Between the end of A lawyer who has passed the necessary examinations may at any the struggle with Napoleon and 1848 the debt was considerably time quit the bar for the bench, and a judge is also at liberty to reduced ; since 1848 it has steadily increased. It is, however, resign his position and enter upon private practice. In all criminal admirably secured, and a great part of it was incurred in the concases the prosecution is undertaken by Government, which acts struction and acquisition of railways, the clear income from which through Staatsanwälte, or directors of prosecutions, in the pay of covers the annual charges on the entire debt. The various branches

the state. of the debt are being gradually united in a consolidated fund,

Finances Finances. –The finances of the Prussian Government are well bearing interest at the rate of 4 per cent.

o: managed, and a deficit is now a rare occurrence. The expenditure Army and Nary. —The Prussian army now forms about 75 per Army | has been considerably relieved by the transference of the cost of the cent. of that of the German empire, of which it also furnished the and

army and navy to the imperial treasury, while on the other hand model. (See GERMANY.) The first attempt at the foundation of a navy.

the customs-dues and several excise duties have been relinquished to
the empire and an annual “matricular” contribution paid towards
its expenses. The budget is voted annually by the abgeordneten-
haus; the following table is an abstract of that for 1884-85:—

Prussian navy was made by the Great Elector, who established a small fleet of eight or ten vessels. This, however, was completely neglected by his successors, and the present marine .. is of quite recent origin. The present imperial navy is simply the

Rerenne Erpenditure. Prussian navy under a different name. (See GERMANY.)

i Direct taxes .......... ET,200,286 Expenses of collection and Iłibliography—The statistical facts in the foregoing article have been mainly - Indirect taxes .. 4,580,510 Illanagement . . . . . . . . . . £28,234,532 | drawn from the Jahrhugh sir dig anticho Statistik des incussischen Staats, the State lottery .......... 201,700 Civil list................ 225,000 | Statistisches, Jahrbuch fir das deutsche Rich, and other publications of the Marine institute and mint 128,225 Interest and management statistical offices of Prussia and Germany. Good general accounts of the natural, Domains and forests .... 3,805,857 of public debt ........ 7,877,316 sociol, and political features of the country are given in Eiselen's Der preusische Mines anol salt-works 5,120,752 Houses of parliament.... ūšoso | Slaat (Berlin, 1862) and in Daniel's Iloodbuch der Geographie (5th ed., 1881 sq.). |- State railways............ 28,798,807 || Apanages, annuities, and The Prussian constitution and a liministrative system are concisely described in o: General financial adluinis- indemnities . . . . . . . . . . 3.269,017 the Handbuch der Horsosung, und orwaltuna in Prousson, by Graf Hue de Grais, tration .............. 5,582,368 Matricular contribution n and are treated at length in You Ronne's Staatsrecht der proussis hon Monarchie Aduluistrative revenues 1,100,253 to the German empire (4th ed., 1881-84). For English readers the Inost interesting introduction to | Administrative expenditure 12,6 Prussian history is perhaps still to be found in the first port, or Carlyle's Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.017,035 | Frederick the sorrot, the not invariably unprejudiced yiews of which may be Education Ioso | corrected by Professor Tuttle's listory of Prussia to the As ion of Frederick Religion .. y the orrut (Boston, 1884). The latter admirable little work is, indeed, almost Ministry of the in r indispensable, to eyery English, student of Prussian constitutional history, Occasional and extra- Professor Seeley's Life of Stein (London, 1870) contains an excellent account of ordinary expenses 2,311,881 | Trussia in the Napoleonic period, especially with regard to the important in- -----, ternal reforms carried out at the beginning of the present century. Among the Total.... 4:50,680,818 Total.... e56,680,81s numerous German histories of Prussia two of the best are Iroysen's Geschichte - - - - - der preussischen Politik and Ranke's Zwölf I;incher preussischer Geschichte ; the Perhaps the only item requiring explanation in the above sum former is authoritative from the writer's copious use of the Prussian archives, mary is the general financial administration under the head of out the latter is loss dissuse and more interesting other standard works are revenue : this includes advances from the surplus in the treasury those of Stenzel, Pauli, Riedel, and Iancizolle, while among shorter histories P o, , - f th 'of f the i rial - ii may be mentioned the manual of F. Voigt. Fix's Territorial-Gesh ichte des russia's proportion of the profits of the imporial customs and odo, with on historicai'i. is a coni.it excises, repayments, interest, and other miscellaneous sources of sketch of the territorial growth of Prussia. The period since the death of revenue. The extraordinary expenses included upwards of £450,000 o ". o is o in o No unre !!! nue us ste o, o - * - o i., warl- *T*) is a ov, onlii nr., is ht" and in Reimann's Neuer” (Froh ichte des preussischen Stutts (1882 sq. le for railways and £750,000 for public works. The total exp olitur history of the present century is perhaps o fully given in Treitschke's - is rather more than £2 per head of population, while in the United 1)eutsche torschi. ht, in n, unzehnt, m Jahrhund, rt (1879 sq.). Until recently the l Kingdom it is about £2, 10s. IBetween 1821 and 1814 the rate in standard work on the history of Prussia proper was that of Johannes Voigt, - Prussia was 11s. 6d. per head, and even in 1858 it was only 21s. 8d. |}|..."...o.o. o.o.o.o.o.o.o...","....". o The incidene f ii ; : in I’ in is also less ti - Preussen (1881 sq.). The latter forms one of an admirable series of provincial * Inouence of . iroct taxation in 1 russia is also less than in histories in cours of publication by Porths of Gotha. The levelopment of * Great Britain, the respective figures being 5s. 3d, and 7s. per head. the Prussian bureaucracy is traced in Isaacsohn's firschi, ht, is prosis, h, , | "The principal direct imposts are the income-tax, which brings in Ihantenthums (1870-84). Several points most satisfactorily handled in the o o cent of the whole, the land-tax producing 37 or cent, and o on special periods, the lives of kings o No. the house-tax producing 19 " cent. he proceeds of the income. I'RUSSIA, in the original and narrower sense of the

| tax anount to about 1s. 2d. per head, as compared with 6s. per ... ... l ;.. istrict in th occo." . hoal in Great Britain (in 1881). The comparative insignificance ' " ord, is a district in the north-eastern corner of the modern o of the sum raised by indirect taxation is mainly due to the above- kingdom of the same name, stretching along the Baltic * hotel fact that the customs-dues and the most important excise coast for about 220 miles, and occupying an area of up

* . duties have been made over to the imperial exchequer. In the

o estimates for 1885-86 the receipts and expenditure are
lanced at £62,886,250.
Loal taxation in Prussia is often very high. The state income-
tax is limited to 3 per cent of the assessed income, but the com-
monos and towns aro allowed to make an arbitrary addition for local
Porloo, sometimes amounting to twice or thrice the sum paid to
the * This is chiefly owing to the fact that the state reserved
* its if all taxation on real property, while imposing on the com-
nours the Wool share in maintaining the expensive system
of Public -hool" incomes hiow of (900 marks) are not now
taxel, but this exemption is of very recent origin. A few facts
"the statistics of toxation and allied subjects may be of interest
to: some slight index to Prussia's growth in prosperity.
in ...'. and 1878 the entire capital subject to income-tax
o from 21 to is marks or head of population, while the
! o onate number of those liable to the tax had increased by
mon." Pot rent. It has also been computed that the average
rouival per head increased between 1872 and 1881 by 15 marks,
o th. ent to a rise of 5 per cent. : that of Great Britain in reased
one periol by Šss., or 15 per cent. of all the payers of
**-tao in 1872.81 only or 10 per cent, had incomes of or above
*** *hile is or cent had not more than co, and 52 per cent.
tween Elo and £100. Between 1867 and 1SS0 the proceeds of
the hous-tax incroi by or 100 per cent. It now averages 1-.
r hoal. *Wing from fil. in country districts up to 5s. or 5s. 5d.
in Berlin, Fran fort. on-the-Main, and Cologne. In 1875 the
number of depositors in savings banks was 86 per 1000 inhabitants,
and by loso the numbo hairison to 107. the sum depositoi
amounted to £79,643,400, equivalent to 5ss. per head of population.
At the same late Austria afone of European powers had a higher
Fo (67a), while in Great Britain the sum was 44s and in
rance 27s.

The public debt of Prussia in 1884 amounted to 3,345,097.43S

wards of 24,000 square miles. The eastern part of this
territory formed the duchy of Prussia, which was acquired
by the electors of Brandenburg in 1618, and furnished
them with their regal title. The western part, which had
been severed from the eastern half and assigned to Poland
in 1466, was not annexed to Prussia until the partition of
Poland in 1772, while the towns of lantsic and Thorn
remained Polish down to 1793. In spite of the contrast
between the political and social conditions of the two
districts, arising from the difference of their history, they
were united in 1824 to form a single province. But, as
might have been expected, the union did not work well,
and it was dissolved in 157S, giving place to the modern
provinces of East and West Prussia. The early history
of the whole district is related under the kingdom of
Pitt'ssia (above) and TEt-Toxic Orioki, while the former.
article also gives (p. 11) some statistics as to the produce
of the two provinces."
Evst I'itt'ssi v os', 'russr. , the lar or of the two provin' or, has
an area of 1 1,280 square mill s, and is bound d ly ". I}.ilt1. Soon,
Russia, and West Prussia. It shares in the general characteristi, <
of the great north tierman plain, but, though low, its sulfa, e is ly
no means absolutely flat, as the soutlern half is travel-ed by a low
ridge or plateau ". ri:MANY , who hattains a li is:ht of it...,
feet at a point n at the wo stern boundary of the lor. *
plateau, here nam, d the Prussion Soup, otte, is this kly sprinklel
with small lik, -, among which is the Spirolin: S. v. 4.5 squire mi’. >
in ext, nt and the laroost inlan-l lake in th: I’i usini, u, on ar, hy.

[ocr errors]

The coast is lined with low dunes or sandhills, in front of which lie the . littoral lakes or lagoons named the Frische Haff and the Kurische Haff. (See GERMANY.) The first of these receives the waters of the Nogat and the Pregel, and the other those of the Memel or Niemen. East Prussia is the coldest part of Germany, its mean annual temperature being about 44° Fahr., while the mean January temperature of Tilsit is only 25°. The rainfall is 24 inches per annum. About half the province is under cultivation; 18 per cent. is occupied by forests, and 23 per cent. by meadows and pastures. The most fertile soil is found in the valleys of the Pregel and the Memel, but the southern slopes of the Baltic plateau and the district to the north of the Memel consist in great part of sterile moor, sand, and bog. The chief crops are rye, oats, and potatoes, while flax is cultivated in the district of Ermland, between the Passarge and the upper Alle. East Prussia is the headquarters of the horse-breeding of the country and contains the principal Government stud of Trakehnen ; numerous cattle are also fattened on the rich pastures of the river-valleys. The extensive woods in the south part of the province harbour a few wolves and lynxes, and the clk is still preserved in the forest of Ibenhorst, near the Kurische Haff. The fisheries in the lakes and haffs are of some importance; but the only mineral product of note is amber, which is found in the peninsula of Samland in greater abundance than in any other part of the world. Manufactures are almost confined to the principal towns, though linen-weaving is practised as a domestic industry. Commerce is facilitated by canals connecting the Memel and Pregel and also the principal lakes, but is somewhat hampered by the heavy dues exacted at the Russian frontier. A brisk foreign trade is carried on through the seaports of Königsberg (140,909), the capital of the province, and Memel (19,660), the exports consisting mainly of timber and grain. In 1880 the population of East Prussia was 1,933,936, including 1,654,510 Protestants, 250,462 Roman Catholics, and 18,218 Jews. The Roman Catholics are mainly confined to the district of Ermland, in which the ordinary proportions of the confessions are completely reversed. The bulk of the inhabitants are of German blood, but there are 400,000 Protestant Poles (Masurians or Masovians) in the south part of the province, and 150,000 Lithuanians in the north. As in other provinces where the Polish element is strong, East Prussia is below the general average of the kingdom in education ; in 1883 fully 5, per cent. of its recruits were unable to read or write. There is a university at Königsberg. WEST PRUss A (IWestpreussen), with an area of 98.50 square miles, is bounded by the Baltic, East Prussia, Poland, Posen, Brandenburg, and Pomerania. It resembles East Prussia in its physical characteristics, but its fertility is somewhat greater and its climate not quite so harsh. The Baltic plateau traverses the province from east to west, reaching its culminating point in the Thurmberg (1090 feet), near Dantsic. Near the ...]. of the province the range is interrupted by the valley of the Vistula, beyond which it trends to the north and approaches the coast. The lakes of West Prussia are nearly as numerous but not so large as those of the sister province. The natural products are similar, and the manufactures are also almost confined to the large towns. The cultivation of the common beet, for the production of sugar, has been introduced, and several sugar refineries have been erected. The valley of the Vistula, particularly the rich lowlands (JVerder) of the delta, are very fertile, producing good crops of wheat and pasturing large herds of horses, cattle, and sheep. The population in 1880 was 1,405,898, consisting in almost equal proportions of Roman Catholics and Protestants; there were o Jews and 490,000 Poles. The percentage of illiterate recruits in 1882 was still higher than in East Prussia (797), but not so high as in Posen (9.75). The capital and principal town is Dantsic (108,551), while Elbing (35,842) and Thorn (20,617) also carry on a considerable trade.

PRUSSIA, RHENISH (German, Rheinpreussen, Rheinprovinz, Rheinland), the most westerly province of the kingdom of Prussia, is bounded on the N. by Holland, on the E. by Westphalia, Hesse-Nassau, and Hesse-Darmstadt, on the S.E. by the Rhenish Palatinate, on the S. and S.W. by Lorraine, and on the W. by Luxemburg, Belgium, and Holland. The small district of Wetzlar in the midst of the province of Hesse also belongs to Rhenish Prussia, which, on the other hand, surrounds the Oldenburg principality of Birkenfeld. The extent of the province is 10,420 square miles, or nearly twice that of the kingdom of Saxony; its extreme length, from north to south, is nearly 200 miles and its greatest breadth is just under 90. It includes about 200 miles of the course of the Rhine, which forms the eastern frontier of the province from Bingen to Coblentz and then flows through it in a north-westerly direction.

The southern and larger half of Rhenish Prussia, belonging geologically to the Devonian formations of the lower Rhine, is hilly. On the left bank are the elevated plateaus of the Hundsrück and the Eifel, separated from each other by the deep valley of the Moselle, while on the right bank are the spurs of the Westerwald and the Sauerland, the former reaching the river in the picturesque group known as the Seven Mountains. The highest hill in the province is the Walderbeskopf (2670 feet) in the Hochwald, and there are several other summits above 2000 feet on the left bank, while on the right there are few which attain a height of 1600 feet. Most of the hills are covered with trees, but the Eifel is a barren and bleak plateau, with numerous traces of volcanic agency, and is continued towards the north-west by the moorlands of the Hohe Venn. To the north of a line drawn from Aix-la-Chapelle to Bonn the province is flat, and marshy districts occur near the Dutch frontier. The climate varies considerably with the configuration of the surface. That of the northern lowlands and of the sheltered valleys is the mildest and most equable in Prussia, with a mean annual temperature of 50° Fahr., while on the hills of the Eifel the mean does not exceed 44°. The annual rainfall varies in the different districts from 18 to 32 inches. Almost the whole province belongs to the basin of the Rhine, but a small district in the north-west is drained by affluents of the Meuse. Of the numerous tributaries which join the Rhine within the province, the most important are the Nahe, the Moselle, and the Ahr on the left bank, and the Sieg, the Wupper, the Ruhr, and the Lippe on the right. The only lake of any size is the Laacher See, the largest of the “maare" or extinct crater lakes of the Eifel.

Of the total area of the Rhenish province about 46-5 per cent, is occupied by arable land, 17 per cent. by meadows and pastures, and 31 per cent. by forests. Little except oats and potatoes can be raised on the high-lying plateaus in the south of the province, but the river-valleys and the northern lowlands are extremely fertile. The great bulk of the soil is in the hands of small proprietors, and this is alleged to have had the effect of somewhat retarding the progress of scientific agriculture. The usual cereal crops are, however, all grown with success, and tobacco, hops, flax, rape, hemp, and beetroot (for sugar) are cultivated for commercial purposes. Large quantities of fruit are also produced. The vine-culture occupies a space of 30,000 acres, about half of which are in the valley of the Moselle, a third in that of the Rhine itself, and the rest mainly on the Nahe and the Ahr. The choicest varieties of Rhine wine, however, such as Johannisberger. and Steinberger, are produced higher up the river, beyond the limits of the Rhenish province. In the hilly districts more than half the surface is sometimes occupied by forests, and large plantations of oak are formed for the use of the bark in tanning. Considerable herds of cattle are reared on the rich pastures of the lower Rhine, but the number of sheep in the province is comparatively small, and is, indeed, not greatly in excess of that of the goats. The wooded hills are well stocked with deer, and a stray wolf occasionally finds its way from the forests of the Ardennes into those of the Hundsrück. The salmon fishery of the Rhine is very productive and trout abound in the mountain streams. (Compare the agricultural tables under PRUSSIA, p. 14 supra.)

The great mineral wealth of the Rhenish province probably furnishes its most substantial claim to the title of the “richest jewel in the crown of Prussia.” Besides parts of the Carboniferous measures of the Saar and the Ruhr, it also contains important deposits of coal near Aix-la-Chapelle. Iron occurs abundantly near Coblentz, the Bleiberg in the Eifel possesses an apparently inex

haustible supply of lead, and zinc is found near Cologne and Aix-la-Chapelle. The mineral products of the district also include lignite, copper, manganese, vitriol, lime, gypsum, volcanic stones (used for mill-stones), and slates. In 1882 the total value of the minerals raised in the province was £5,460,000, or nearly one-third of the produce of Prussia; by far the most important item is coal, the output of which was upwards of 15,000,000 tons, valued at £4,400,000. Of the numerous mineral springs the best known are those of Aix-la-Chapelle and Kreuznach. The mineral resources of Rhenish Prussia, coupled with its favourable situation and the facilities of transit afforded by its great waterway, have made it the most important manufacturing district in Germany. The industry is mainly concentrated round two chief centres, Aix-la-Chapelle and Düsseldorf (with the valley of the Wupper), while there are naturally few manufactures in the hilly districts of the south or the marshy flats of the north. In the forefront stand the metallic industries, the total produce of which was valued in 1882 at £5,200,000. The foundries produced upwards of a million tons of iron, besides zinc, lead, copper, and other metals. The largest iron and steel works are at Essen (including Krupp's cannon-foundry), Oberhausen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, and Cologne, while cutlery and other small metallic wares are extensively made at Solingen, Remscheid, and Aix-la-Chapelle. The cloth of Aix-la-Chapelle and the silk of Crefeld form important articles of export. The chief industries of Elberfeld-Barmen and the valley of the Wupper are cottonweaving, calico-printing, and the manufacture of turkey red and other dyes. Linen is largely made at Gladbach, leather at Malmedy, glass in the Saar district, and beetroot sugar near Cologne. Though the Rhineland is par errellence the country of the vine, no less than 52,000,000 gallons of beer were brewed in the province in 1882-83, equivalent to an annual consumption of fifty-one quarts per head of population; distilleries are also numerous, and large quantities of sparkling Moselle are made at Collentz, chiefly for exportation to England. ('ommerce * Areatly aided by the navigable rivers, a very extensive network of milways, and the excellent roads constructed during the French régime. The imports consist mainly of * "laterial for working up in the factories of the district, while the principal exports are coal, fruit, wine, dyes, cloth, silk, and other manufactured articles of various descriptions. he population of Rhenish Prussia in 1880 was 4,074,000, "ling 2.94, is; Roman Catholics, 1,077,173 protest. * and 43,634 Jews. The Roman Catholics muster "..."," on the left bank, while on the right bank about half the Population is Protestant. The distribution of the ofesions is, however, somewhat sporadic, owing to the .* histories of the constituent parts of the province. o Soat bulk of the population is of Teutonic stock, o ". * quarter of a million are of Flemish blood. who o o frontier reside about 12,000 Walloons, The i. French or Walloon as their native tongue. !"russi o province is the most thickly populated part of mile o * general average being 390 persons per square while in the government district of Düsseldorf the l"lootion rises to 754. The province contains a greater number of large towns than any other province in Prussia, and 6:5 of th: population is returned as urban. Upwards of half the population are supported by industrial and *ial pursuits, and barely a quarter by agriculture. There is A university of good standing at Bonn, and the * of the elementary education is borne witness to by the fact that in iss; only 0.19 per cent of the Rhenish

oruts were unable to read and write. For purposes of

administration the province is divided into the five districts

of Coblentz, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Treves; Coblentz is the official capital, though Cologne is the largest and most important town. In the greater part of the province the Code Napoléon, introduced under the French régime, is still in force. Being a frontier province the Rhineland is strongly garrisoned, and the IRhine is guarded by the four strong fortresses of Cologne with Deutz, Coblentz with Ehrenbreitstein, Wesel, and Saarlouis. In the Prussian parliament the province of the Rhine is represented by twenty-seven members in the upper house and eighty-two in the lower. History.—The present province of Rhenish Prussia was formed in 1815 out of the duchies of Cleves, Berg, Upper Guelders, and Jülich, the ecclesiastical principalities of Treves and Cologue, the free cities of Aix-la-Chapelle and Cologne, and nearly a hundred small independent lordships, knightships, and abbeys. It is therefore manifestly impracticable to give more than a broad general sketch of the historical development of a region of which the coinponent parts have had so little of their past in common. At the earliest historical period we find the territories between the Ardennes and the Rhine occupied by the Treviri, Eburones, and other Celtic tribes, who, however, were all more or less modified and influenced by their Teutonic neighbours. On the right bank of the Rhine, between the Main and the Lahn, were the settlements of the Mattiaci, a branch of the Germanic Chatti, while farther to the north were the Usipetes and Tencteri. Julius Cæsar conquered the tribes on the left bank and Augustus established numerous fortified posts on the Rhine, but the Romans never succeeded in gaining a firm footing on the right bank. Under the Romans the districts to the west of the Rhine, forming parts of the provinces of Belgica Prima, Germania Superior, and Germania Inferior, enjoyed great prosperity and reached a high degree of civilization. Several Roman emperors resided and issued their edicts at Treves, the capital of Belgica Prima, and the important l'oman remains in this city as well as in other parts of the plovince give an idea of the material benefits the territory derived from their dominion. As the power of the Roman empire declined the Franks pushed forward along both banks of the H. and by the end of the 5th century had regained all the lands that had formerly been under Teutonic influence. The German conquerors of the Rhenish districts were singularly little affected by the culture of the provincials they subdued, and all traces of Roman civilization were submerged in a new flood of paganism. By the Sth century the Frankish dominion was firmly established in central Germany and northern Gaul; and under the Carlovingian monarchs the Rhineland, and especially Aix-la-Chapelle, plays a rôle of considerable prominence. On the division of the Carlovingian realm the part of the Rhenish province to the cast of the river fell to the share of Germany, while that to the west remained with the evanescent middle kingdom of Lotharingia. By the time of Otho l. 936-973, both banks of the Rhine had become German, and the Rhenish territory was divided between the duchies of Upper and Lower Lorraine, the one on the Moselle and the other on the Meuse. Subsequently, as the central power of the German sovereign became weakened, the Rhineland followed the general tendency and split up into numerous small independent principalities, each with its separate vicissitudes and special chronicles. The old Lothalingian livisions passed wholly out of use, and the name of Lorraine became rostricted to the listrict that still bears it. In spite of its dismembered condition, and the sufferings it underwent at the hands of its French neighhours in various periods of warfare, the Rhenish territory prospelled greatly and ...] in the foremost rank of German culture and progress, Aix-la-Chapelle was fixed upon as the pla e of coronation of the German emperors, and the ecclesiastial principalities of the Rhine bulk largely in German history. Prussia first set foot on the Rhine in 1609, when it a quired the duchy of Cleves ; and alout a century later Upper Guelders and Mors also became Piussian. At the peace of 13.asol in 1795 the whole of the left lank of the Rhine was resigned to Franc, and in 1806 the Rhenish princes all joined the ('onfederation of the Rhine. The congress of Vienna assign, il the whole of the lower Rhenish listricts to Prussin, which had the tact to leave them in undisturh d poss ssion of the lioral institutions they had become ar, ustomed to under the r. pullion rule of the French. (Compare Rii is r ) J. F. M.) PRUSSIAN BLUE. See Pitt'ssic Acid (p. 21 infra). l'RUSSI("A(‘II), the familiar name for a dang, rously poisonous, though chemically feelle, acid, known sei, utifically as “hydrocyanic acid," or “cyanide of hydrogen,” i here taken as a convenient heading under which to treat of cyanides generally. This generic term (from a 'u' os, bluo is not meant to hint at any generic property; it is due simply to the fact that all cyanides, in an historical so-o,


are derivatives of a blue pigment which was discovered accidentally by Diesbach, a Berlin colourmaker, about the beginning of the 18th century. The foundations of our present knowledge of cyanides were laid by Scheele (1783), whose discoveries were subsequently (from 1811) confirmed and supplemented, chiefly in the sense of quantitative determinations, by Gay-Lussac. Although we have no space for further historical notes, we must not omit to state that Gay-Lussac, as one result of his work, conceived and introduced into chemistry the notion of the “compound radical,” having shown that prussic acid and its salts are related to the group NC in precisely the same way as chlorides are to chlorine, or sulphides to sulphur. This idea, in his own eyes and in those of his contemporaries, was greatly fortified by his success in even isolating his “cyanogene’’ as a substance. In preparing cyanogen or cyanides in the laboratory the operator now always starts from prussiate of potash, with which, accordingly, we begin.

Prussiate of Potash, (NC). Fe. Ka4-3H,O (syn. ferrocyanide of potassium ; Germ. Blullaugensalz).-This salt is being produced industrially from animal refuse (hide and horn clippings, old shoes, blood solids, &c.), carbonate of potash, and iron filings or borings as raw materials. The carbonate of potash is fused at a red heat in an iron pear-shaped vessel suspended within a furnace, or on the cupel-shaped sole of a reverberatory furnace, and the animal matter, which should be as dry as possible, is then introduced in instalments along with the iron. The fusion is continued as long as inflammable gases are going off; then the still fluid mass is ladled out and allowed to cool, when it hardens into a black stone-like body known to the manufacturer as “metal.” When the brokenup metal is digested with water in an iron vessel prussiate of potash passes into solution, while a black residue of charcoal, metallic iron, sulphide of iron, &c., remains. The clarified solution, after sufficient concentration in the heat, deposits on cooling part of its prussiate in lemon-yellow quadratic crystals (generally truncated octahedra), which are purified by recrystallization. The last mother-liquors furnish an impure green salt, which is added to a fresh fuse and so utilized.

In former times it was believed that the prussiate was produced during the fusion process, and in the subsequent process of lixiviation simply passed into solution, until Liebig showed that this view was untenable. The fuse cannot contain ready-formed prussiate, because this salt at a red heat breaks up with formation of a residue of carbide of iron and cyanide of potassium. The metal in fact when treated with dilute alcohol gives up to it plain cyanide of potassium, and the fully exhausted residue yields no prussiate on treatment with water. The prussiate accordingly must be produced during the process of lixiviation by the action of the cyanide of potassium on some ferrous compound in the metal. Liebig thought that it was partly the metallic iron, partly the sulphide of iron present in the metal, which effected the conversion. According to more recent researches a double sulphide, K.S + Fe..So, which is always produced during the fusion (from the reagents proper and the sulphur of the organic matter and that of the sulphate of potash present in the carbonate as an impurity), plays this important part. The double sulphide by the action of water breaks up into alkaline sulphide, sulphide of iron (FeS), and sulphur. This sulphide of iron is of a peculiar kind; it does what ordinary FeS does not effect, readily at least: it converts the cyanide into prussiate, thus, 6NC. K+ FeS = K,S+ (NC). Fe. K1, while the eliminated sulphur of the original FeS unites with another part of the ol. of potassium into sulphocyanate, S + NCK =SNC. K, which latter salt is thus unavoidably produced as a (rather inconvenient) byeproduct. Pure prussiate of potash has the specific gravity 1 '83; it is permanent in the air. It loses its water, part at 60° C., the rest at 100° C., but very slowly. The anhydrous salt is a white powder. The crystals dissolve in four parts of cold and in two parts of boiling water. It is insoluble in, and not dehydrated by, alcohol.

Prussiate of potash has the composition of a double salt, Fe(NC), +4KNC, but the idea that it contains these two binary cyanides is entirely at variance with its reactions. Cyanide of potassium is readily decomposed by even the feeblest acids, and to some extent even by water, with elimination of hydrocyanic acid, and on this account perhaps is intensely poisonous. A solution of the prussiate remains absolutely unchanged on evaporation, and the action on it even of strong acids in the cold results in the formation of the hydrogen salt, (NC);FeHo, which is decomposed, it is true, but only when the mixture is heated, with evolution of hydrocyanic acid. It is not poisonous. Its solution when mixed with nitrate of silver does not give a precipitate of cyanide of silver, NC. Ag, and a solution of the two nitrates, but yields a unitary pre


cipitate of the composition (NC)3Fe. Ag., which contains all the iron ; only nitrate of potassium passes into solution. Other heavy metallic salts behave similarly. On the strength of these considerations chemists, following the lead of Liebig, view prussiate as a binary compound of potassium, K+, with a complex radical, N6CEFe, “ferrocyanogen.” Hydrocyanic Acid, NC. H. —This acid is prepared most conveniently from prussiate of potash. Wöhler recommends the following method. Ten parts of powdered prussiate are placed in a retort, the neck of which is turned upwards, and a (cooled down) mixture of seven parts of oil of vitriol and fourteen parts of water is then added. If the aqueous acid is wanted, the exit-end of the retort is joined on direct to a Liebig's condenser, which must be kept very cool by a current of cold water. If the anhydrous acid is desired, two wide-necked bottles (or two large U-tubes) charged with fused chloride of calcium and kept at 30° C. by immersion in a water bath of this temperature, must be inserted between the retort and condenser. In this case more particularly it is indispensable to provide for a most efficient condensation of the vapours; the exitend of the condenser should be provided with an adapter going down to near the bottom of the receiver, which must be surrounded by a freezing mixture. The temperature of the latter, of course, must not be allowed to fall to the freezing-point of the distillate. The retort is heated by means of a sand bath and a brisk distillation maintained until the residue begins to dry up. The result of the reaction is in accordance with the assumption that the dilute vitriol, in the first instance, converts the prussiate, one-half into (NC). Fe. III, the other into (NC). Fe. K2H, and that through the effect of the heat these two bodies decompose each other into {(NC). Fe} K.Fe, which remains in the residue as a precipitate, and (NC) Ho-6NCH, which distils over. Real NCH is a colourless liquid of 0.6967 specific gravity at 18°C., which freezes at – 15° C. (Gay-Lussac) into a white fibrous solid. According to Schulz the acid, if really pure, remains liquid at - 37° C. It boils at 26°5 C.; at 4°5 its vapour-tension already amounts to half an atmosphere. The vapour is inflammable and burns into carbonic acid, water, and nitrogen. The acid mixes with water in all proportions, with contraction and yet absorption of heat. The solution behaves on distillation like a mere mechanical mixture of its two components. Prussic acid has a very peculiar powerful smell; more characteristic still is a kind of choking action which even the highly attenuated vapour exerts on the larynx. Prussic acid is fearfully poisonous; a few drops of even the ordinary pharmaceutical preparation (of 2 per cent.) are sufficient to kill a large dog. It acts with characteristic promptitude, especially when inhaled as a vapour. Even a relatively large dose, if it has once found its way into the stomach without producing a fatal effect, is said to do relatively little harm there." Prussic acid is characteristically prone to suster “spontaneous decomposition.” Whether the pure anhydrous acid really is, in the strictest sense of the word, still requires to be found out; the ordinary preparation, when kept in a close bottle, soon turns brown and turbid from “azulmic" acid, a substance of complex constituOther things are formed at the same time. The pure aqueous acid is liable to similar changes; in its case formiate of ammonia always forms the predominant product. This change is easily

understood— NC. H4-2H,O = NH, 4-H. COOH. Ammonia. Formic acid. A strong aqueous prussic acid, when mixed with fuming hydro. chloric acid, is soon converted into a magma of crystals of salammoniac, with formation of formic acid, which remains dissolved. And yet, most singularly, the addition to the preparation of a small proportion of hydrochloric or sulphuric acid is the best means for reventing, or at least greatly retarding, its spontaneous change in the very same direction. Aqueous prussic acid acts only very feebly (if at all) on blue litmus ; it combines with aqueous caustic alkalis but does not decompose their carbonates; nor does it act upon the generality of insoluble basic metallic oxides or hydrates; mercuric oxide and oxide of silver form noteworthy exceptions to this rule. Cyanogen, (NC). —When dry mercuric cyanide is heated it breaks up, below redness, into mercury and cyanogen gas; part of the latter, however, always suffers polymerization into a solid called “paracyanogen,” and presumed to consist of molecules (NC). Cyanogen gas is colourless; it has the specific gravity demanded by its formula. It possesses a peculiar odour and has a characteristic

* The British Pharmacopoeia prescribes for the medicinal acid a strength of 2 per cent. of real NCH. The two medicinal preparations known as aqua amygdalarum amararum and as aqua laurocerasi respectively contain prussic acid in combination with hydride of benzoyl, C6H5, COH. In neither case does the prussic acid pre-exist in the vegetable materials, but is produced during the mashing process which precedes the distillation, by a fermentative decomposition of the amygdalin which they contain. (See FERMENTATION, vol. ix. p. 96.) irritating effect on the eyes and mucous membranes of the nose. It is poisonous. By strong pressure it is condensible into a liquid which freezes at -34°4 C., and has the following vapour-tensions Pat the temperatures t stated— t = -20°-7 – 10° 0° + 10° 4-20°C. P= 1 1-85 2-7 3-8 5 atmos. At ordinary temperatures water dissolves about 4.5 times, alcohol about 23 times its volume of the gas. The solutions are liable to (very complex) spontaneous decomposition. The list of products includes oxalate of ammonia and urea. Cyanogen burns with a characteristically beautiful peach-blossom coloured flame into carbonic acid and nitrogen. This gas cyanogen, as already stated, is to cyanides what chlorine gas Cl2 is to chlorides, but it is well to remember that the analogy, though o: in regard to the corresponding formulae, does not, as a rule, extend to the conditions of formation of the bodies represented. Thus cyanogen does not unite with hydrogen into prussic acid, not does it combine with ordinary metals in §. chlorine fashion. When passed over heated potassium, it is true, it combines with it into cyanide; and caustic potash-ley absorbs, it with formation of cyanide, and cyanate (NCO.K.), just as chlorine yields chloride and hypochlorite KClO; but this is about the sum-total of the analogies in action. Yet metallic cyanides of all kinds can be produced indirectly. Cyanide of Potassium, NC. K.—An aqueous mixture of the quantities NCH and KHO no doubt contains this salt, but it smells of the acid, and on evaporation behaves more like a mixture of the two congeners than in any other way. An exhaustive union can be brought about by passing NCH vapour into an alcoholic solution of KHO ; the salt NC, K then comes down as a crystalline precipitate, which must be washed with alcohol and dried, cold, over vitriol. A more convenient method is to dehydrate yellow prussiate and then decompose it by heating it to redness in an iron crucible. The Fe(NC), part of the salt breaks up into cyanogen and nitrogen, which go off, and a carboniferous finely-divided iron, which remains, with cyanide of potassium, which at that temperature is a thin fluid. Yet the iron sometimes refuses to settle with suslicient promptitude to enable one to decant off the bulk even of the fusel cyanide. According to private information received by the writer a French manufacturer uses a certain kind of very porous fireelay as an efficient filtering medium. The ordinary “cyanide of potassium” of trade is not strictly that at all, but at best a mixture of the real salt with cyanate. It is produced by fusing a mixture of eight parts of anhydrous prussiate and three parts of anhydrous carbonate of potash, allowing the reaction (NC). Fe. K14. K2CO3=CO2+Fe+5NCK+ K. No Cyanate. to complete itself and the iron to settle, and decanting off the clear fuse. The product goes by the name of “Liebig's cyanide," but the process was really invented by Rodgers. Fused cyanide of potassium assumes on cooling the form of a milky white stone-like solid. It fuses readily at a red heat, and at a white heat volatilizes without decomposition, provided that it is under the influence of heat alone ; in the presence of air it gradually passes into cyanate , when heated in steam it is converted into carbonate of potash with evolution of ammonia, arbonic oxide, and hydrogen. When heated to redness with any of the more easily relucible metallic oxides it reduces them to the metallic state, while it passes itself into cyanate. It also reduces the corresponding sulphides with formation of sulphocyanate ; for example, o or 0} + NCK = 1°h 4 NCO or S. K. Hence its frequent application in blowpipe analysis. When heated with chlorates or nitrates it reduces them with violent explosion. The aqueous solution of the salt has a strongly alkaline reaction ; it smells of hydrocyanic acid and is readily decomposed by even such feeble acids as acetic or carbonic. It readily dissolves precipitated chlortile, bromisle, and iolile of silver; this is the basis of its application o photography. Large quantities of the salt are used in electroplating. . Binary Cyanides.—Of these only a few can be noticed here. .1 "yonide of solium is very similar to the potassium salt. The same remark, in a more limited sense, .. for the cyanides of liarium, strontium, and calcium. (2) ('Munide of ammonium No.N.H.) forms crystals volatile at 36°C, and smelling of ammonia and hydrocyanic artil. The solution in water decomposes spontaneously, pretty much like that of the free acid. But the anhy

drous vapour by itself stands a high temperature, as is proved by

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

arts similarly in the cold. It gives no precipitate with nitrate

of silver, nor is it changed visibly by caustic alkalis. It realily

unites not only with other cyanides but also with a multitude of other salts into crystallizable double salts. Mercurous cyanide, Hg (NC), seems to have no existence. When it is attempted to produce it by double decompositions, the mixture Hg 4-(NC).Hg comes forth instead of the compound Hg2(NC). (4) Heavy metallic cyanides are mostly insoluble in water, and the general method for their o is to decompose a solution of the respective sulphate, chloride, &c., with one of cyanide of potassium. The most important general property of these bodies is that they readily dissolve in solution of cyanide of potassium with formation of double cyanides, which in their capacity as double salts all exhibit, in a higher or lower degree, those anomalies which were fully explained above (see “prussiate of potash"). These “metallocyanides,” as we will call them, being all, unlike plain cyanide of potassium, very stable in opposition to water and aqueous alkalis, are readily o from almost any compound of the respective metallic radical—some from the metal itself— by treatment with solution of cyanide of potassium. In all we have said “potassium” may be taken as including sodium and in a limited sense ammonium, but the potassium compounds are best known, and we accordingly in the following section confine ourselves to these. Metallo-cyanides.—(1) Silver.—Cyanide of silver, Ag, NC, is produced as a precipitate by addition of hydrocyanic acid or c oil. of potassium to solution of nitrate of silver. The precipitate is similar in appearance to chloride of silver and, like it, .. in cold dilute mineral acids, but soluble in ammonia. At a red heat it is decom|. with formation of a residue of carboniferous metallic silver. 'recipitated cyanide of silver, though insoluble in hydrocyanic acid, dissolves readily in cyanide of potassium with formation of argentocyanide, Agk. (NC), which is easily obtained in crystals, permament in the air and soluble in eight parts of cold water. ë. of silver dissolves in cyanide of potassium solution as readily as the cyanide does and with formation of the same double salt.— AgCl4-2KNC= KCl + Ag|K(NC). This salt is used very largely in electro-plating. (2) Lead.-From a solution of the acetate cyanide of lead is precipitated by addition of hydrocyanic acid or cyanide of potassium. The precipitate, Pb, NC), has the exceptional property of being insoluble in cyanide of potassium. (3) Zinc.— Cyanide of zinc, Zn(NC), is obtained by addition of hydrocyanic acid to a solution of the acetate, as a white precipitate readily soluble in cyanide of potassium with formation of a double salt, Zn K., NC), which forms well-defined crystals. (4) Nickel. —The cyanide, Ni(NC), is an apple-green precipitate, which is obtained by methods similar to those given under “zine." It readily dissolves in cyanide of potassium with formation of a crystallizable salt, NiK.(NC), + H20, the solution of which is stable in air and not convertible into one of a nickelic (Ni" compound by chlorine (com: pare “cobalt" infra). The potassio-cyanides of silver, zinc, and nickel as solutions are not changed visibly by caustic alkalis, but their heavy metals can be precipitated by sulphuretted hydrogen or sulphide of ammonium, as from solutions of, for instance, the chlorides. Aqueous mineral acids in the heat at least) decompose them exhaustively with elimination of all the NC as NCH. (5) ('opper.—When cyanide of potassium solution is added to one of sulphate of copper, a yellow precipitate of cupric cyanide, Cu(NC), comes down; but on boiling this precipitate loses cyanogen and is converted into a white precipitate of the euplous salt Cu(NC). This white precipitate dissolves in cyanide of potassium with formation chiefly of two crystalline double salts, viz., CuSC + 6NCK. easily soluble in water, and CuSC + NCR. The latter is decom. posed by water with elimination of Cu. NC. The solution of the GNC. K salt is not precipitated by sulphurett d hydrogen. Solutions of potassio-cyanides of cuprosum are used in cle, two-plating. (5' tools. Metallic gold dissolves in cyanide of potassium solution in the presence of air, thus – Au + 2RNC + 0 = K.0 r Auk. No. This auro-cyanide of potassium is used largely for role, two-gilding, for which purpose it is convenintly polated as follows Six parts of gold are dissolved in aqua legia and the solution is precipitated by ammonia. The precipitate an explosive "o known as “fulminating gold" is dissolved in a solution of six parts of cyanide of potassium, when the double salt is formed with volution of ammonia. The salt erystallize s in rhombie on tall dia, solulle in seven parts of cold water. In the following potassio. yanides the heavy metals cannot lo detected by means of their ordinary precipitants; those salts all behave like the potassium salts of , omplex radio also ompos d of the heavy m tal o all the yanogen. 7 ('horit. Cyanide of lootassium who nadded to a solution of a ol, altous salt Cole, & giv. 3 a precipitate soluble in excess of racent. The solution or sumably - halto., yanide, to No. 2. RNC. luit on , x]osuo to air agerly absoil. n with solin ition of , oh ulti-yanide, thus– to No. 1 KNo" - O - K_0 - to No. 1.:KNo. Chlorino Cl inst id of 10 a to moto promptov with a simi, or ess. . . If the alkalino solution is as idified and lossel, the sani. hitiyanilo is pro-lu. Co, NC 2 - RNC + HCl = KC} - : H. r. C., NC

« السابقةمتابعة »