Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 327
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mountain in a wood, and is called Osterstein.
It is seated on the Elster, 32 m. S. S. W. of
Leipzig.

Gerau, a town of Germany, in Hesse-Darm-
stadt, 8 m. W. N. W. of Darmstadt.

Gerbstadt, a town of Upper Saxony, in the
county of Mansfeld, Thuringia, 7 m. N. E. of
Mansfeld.

Gerdaven, a town of Prussia, defended by two
castles, and seated on the Omet, near a consid-
erable lake, 50 m. S. E. of Konigsberg.

Germain, St. a borough in Cornwall, Eng. It
was once the largest town in the county, and a
bishop’s see, but now consists chiefly of fisher-
men’s cottages: it still returns two members to
parliament. What remains of the cathedral is
used as the parish church ; and near it is the pri-
ory. It stands near the sea, 10 m. W. of Ply-
mouth, and 228 W. by S. of London.

Germain, St. a town of France, in the depart-
ment of Seine and Oise, with a magnificent
palace, in which Louis XIV. was born. Here
James II. found an asylum, when he fled to
France. It is seated on ,the Seine, near a fine
forest, 10 m. N. W. of Paris.

German, p.t. Chenango Co, N. Y. Pop. 884.
Also townships in Fayette Co. Pa., Clarke, Mont-
gomery and Darke Cos. Ohio, and Cape Girar-
deau Co. Missouri.

German Flats, p.t. Herkimer Co. N. Y. Pop.
2.466.

Germanna, p.v. Orange Co. Va. on Rapid Ann
river.

German Ocean, or North Sea, is the sea between
the E. coast of England, from the straits of Do-
ver to the Shetland Isles, and the coasts of Jut-
land and Norway, it comprises about 8 degrees
of latitude and 10 of longitude.

Germano, St. a town of Piedmont, on the river
Naviglio, 9 m. W. of Vercehi, on the line of the
canal to Ivrea.

Germano, St. a town of Naples, in Terra di
Lavoro, at the foot of Monte Cassino, 17 m. S. S.
E. ofSora.

Germantown, p.t. Columbia Co. N. Y. on the
river, 12 m. below the city of Hudson. Pop. 967.
Also a village in Philadelphia Co. Pa. 6 m. N.
of Philadelphia. It contains Mount Airy Acade-
my and is celebrated for a battle fought here
Oct. 4. 1777. Also villages in Fauquier Co. Va.,
Hvde Co. X. C., Bracken Co. Ken.

~(7i i im mi an extensive country of Europe, lying
between the -loth and 54th degree of N. lat., and
and 6. to 19- of E. long.; the mean length, how-
ever. from X. to S. does not exceed 530 British
statKte a. and the mean breadth 460 m., compri-
sing *n area of about 245,000 square m. It is
. bouadeaos the E. by Hungary and Poland, N.
|
bv the Bafrie Se/and Denmark, VV. by the Neth-
> eriands sad France, and S. by Switzerland and
■} Italv. The extreme S. point jets into the gulf

Jof Venice. Prfor to the French revolutionary
war. wtarh eoamtenced in 1793, Germany had
j geographieaaiy been divided into 9 circles, politi-
’ cally subdivided into 296 archbishopricks, bishop-
ricks. n iiu iff'V i r1 irrdom~ marquisates, lord-
ships. provinces.
Sex. under the government of
nearly as nuar screreign potentates; but the
whole of them famed
a great confederacy, gov-
erned by political
laws, at the head of which was
an emperor, whose power in the collective body,
or diet, was not directive bat executive. The
western Roman empire, which had terminated in
the year 475, in the person of Augustulus, the last

Roman emperor, and which was succeeded by the
reign of the Huns, the Ostrogoths, and the
Lombards, was revived by Charlemagne, king
of France, on Christmas day, in the year 800.
This prince being then at Rome, pope Leo
III.
crowned him emperor, in St. Peter’s church ; and
Nicephorus, who was then emperor of the east,
consented to this coronation. The French kept
the empire’ under eight emperors, till the year
912, when Louis III., the last prince of the line
of Charlemagne, died without issue male. Con-
rad, count of Franconia, the son-in-law of Louis,
was then elected emperor. Thus the empire
went to the Germans, and became elective, having
been hereditary under the French emperors.
The emperor was chosen by the princes, the lords,
and the’ deputies of cities, till the year 1239, when
the number of the electors was reduced to seven;
one more was added in 1649, and another in 1692,
these nine electors continued to the year 1798,
when, in consequence ofthe alterations made in
the constitution of the empire, under the influ-
ence of France and Russia, they became ten in
number; namely, the elector and archbishop of
Ratisbon, the elector and king of Bohemia, (the
then emperor) the elector of Bavaria, the elector
of Saxony, the elector of Brandenburg (king of
Prussia) the elector of Hanover (king of England)
the elector of Wurtzburg (late grand duke of
Tuscany) the elector of Wurtemburg, the elector
of Baden, and the elector of Hesse. On'the death
of Charles VI. of Austria, in 1740, an emperor
was chosen from the house of Bavaria, by the
name of Charles VII. On the death of this
prince, in 1745, Francis, grand duke of Tuscany,
was elected emperor; whose grandson, Francis

II., enjoyed the dignity of emperor of Germany
till 1806, when he formally resigned the title and
office, transferring his title of emperor to his he-
reditary dominions of Austria.

At the close of the Saxon race, in 1024, the
prerogatives of the emperor were very considera-
ble ; but, in 1437, they were reduced to the right
of conferring all dignities and titles, except' the
privilege of being a state of the empire; of grant-
ing dispensations with respect to the age ot ma-
jority, of erecting cities, and conferring the priv-
ilege of coining money ; of calling the meetings
of the diet, and presiding in them. But, after all,
there was not a foot of land annexed to this title ;
for ever since the reign of Charles IV., the em-
perors depended entirely on their hereditary do-
minions, as the only source of their power, and
even of their subsistence. To prevent the ca-
lamities of a contested election, a king of the
Romans was often chosen in the lifetime of the
emperor, on whose death he succeeded to the im-
perial dignity of course. The emperor (always
elected and crowned at Frankfort on the Maine)
assumed the title of august, and pretended to be
successor to the emperors of Rome. Although
he was chief of the empire, the supreme authori-
ty resided in the diet, which was composed of
three colleges; the college of electors, the col-
lege of princes, and the college of imperial towns.
The diet had the power of making peace or war
of settling general impositions, and of regulating
all the important affairs of the empire; but the
decisions had not the force of law till the empe-
ror gave his consent. When a war was deter-
mined on, every prince contributed his quota of
men and money, as valued in the matriculation
roll; though as an elector or prince he might
espouse a different side from that of the diet All







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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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