1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Moravia
MORAVIA (Ger., Mähren; Czech, Morava), a margraviate and crown land of Austria, bounded E. by Hungary, S. by Lower Austria, W. by Bohemia and N. by Prussian and Austrian Silesia. Area, 8583 sq. m. Physically Moravia may be described as a mountainous plateau sloping from north to south, just in the opposite direction of the adjoining Bohemia plateau, which descends from south to north, and bordered on three sides by mountain ranges. On the north are the Sudetes, namely the Altvater Gebirge, with the highest peaks the Grosser Schneeberg (4664 ft.) and the Altvater (4887 ft.), which sink gradually towards the west, where the valley of the Oder forms a break between the German mountains and the Carpathians. The latter separate Moravia from Hungary. Parallel to the Carpathians are the Marsgebirge (1915 ft.) and its continuation, the Steinitzer Wald (1450 ft.). On the west are the so-called Bohemian-Moravian Mountains, forming the elevated east margin of Bohemia. The principal passes are those at Iglau and Zwittau to Bohemia and the Wlara Pass to Hungary. Almost the whole of Moravia belongs to the basin of the March or Morava, from which it derives its name and which rises within its territory in the Sudetes. It traverses the whole country in a course of 140 m., and enters the Danube near Pressburg. Its principal tributaries are the Thaya, the Hanna, the Iglawa with the Zwittawa and the Schwarzawa, &c. The Oder also rises among the mountains in the north-east of Moravia, but soon turns to the north and quits the country. With the exception of a stretch of the March, none of the rivers are navigable. Amongst the mineral springs worth mentioning are the sulphur springs at Ullersdorf, the saline ones at Luhatschowitz and the alkaline springs at Toplitz.
Owing to the configuration of the soil, the climate of Moravia varies more than might be expected in so small an area, so that, while the vine and maize are cultivated successfully in the southern plains, the Weather in the mountainous districts is somewhat rigorous. The mean annual temperature at Brünn is 48° F. Of the total area 54·8% is occupied by arable land, 7% by meadows, 5·7% by pasturages, 1·2% by gardens, 0·5% by vineyards, while 27·4% are forests. The principal products are corn, oats, barley, potatoes, rye, beetroot, hemp, flax, hay and other fodder. Forestry is greatly developed; the breed of sheep in the Carpathians is of an improved quality, and the horses bred in the plain of the Hanna are highly esteemed. The mineral wealth of Moravia, consisting chiefly of coal and iron, is very considerable. Coals are extracted at Neudorf, Lesitz, Ratiskowitz and Cěič; lignite at Rossitz, Oslavan and Mährisch-Ostrau. Iron-ore is found at Zöptau, Blansko, Adamsthal, Witkowitz, Rossitz and Stefanau. Other minerals found here are graphite, alum, potter's clay and roofing-slate, and, besides, famous silver mines were worked at Iglau during the middle ages. From an industrial point of view Moravia belongs to the foremost provinces of the Austrian Empire. The principal manufactures are woollen, linen, cotton, cast-iron goods, beet-sugar, leather and brandy. The cloth industry was introduced in the 14th century at Iglau, where it soon obtained a great reputation; it developed afterwards at Olmütz, and since the middle of the 18th century it has its principal centre at Brünn. The linen industry is concentrated at Schonberg, Mistek, Wiesenberg and Heidenpiltsch; while the cotton industry has its principal seat at Sternberg. The chief iron-foundries are to be found at Witkowitz, Stefanau, Zöptau and Rossitz; while industrial machines are manufactured at Brünn, Blansko and Adamsthal. Large works of earthenware are established at Znaim and Frain.
Moravia had in 1900 a population of 2,435,081 inhabitants, which is equivalent to 284 inhabitants per sq. m. It belongs to the group of old Slavonic states which have preserved their nationality while losing their political independence. Of the total population 71·36% were Slavs, who were scarcely distinguishable from their Bohemian neighbours. The name of Czech, however, is usually reserved for the Bohemians, while the Slavs of Moravia and West Hungary are called Moravians and Slovacs. The Germans form 27·9% of the population, and are found mostly in the towns and in the border districts. Fully 95% of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the archbishop of Olmütz and the bishop of Brünn; 2·7% Protestants and 2% Jews. In educational matters Moravia compares favourably with most of the Austrian provinces. It is well provided with schools of every description, and the number of illiterates is steadily decreasing. The local diet is composed of 100 members, of which the archbishop of Olmütz and the bishop of Brünn are members ex officio. To the Reichsrat at Vienna Moravia sends 36 members. For administrative purposes Moravia is divided into 34 districts and 6 towns, with autonomous municipalities: Brünn (pop., 108,944), the capital, Iglau (24,387), Olmütz, (21,933), Znaim (16,261), Kremsier (13,991) and Ungarisch-Hradisch (5137). Other principal towns are Königsfeld (11,O22), Göding (10,231), Mährisch-Ostrau (30,125), Witkowitz (19,128), Mährisch-Schönberg (11,636), Zwittau (9063), Neutitschein (11,891), Prerau (16,738), Prossnitz (24,054), Sternberg (15,195) and Trebitsch (10,597).
See Die Länder Oesterreich-Ungarns in Wort und Bild, vol. 8 (Vienna, 1881–1889, 15 vols.); Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild, vol. 17 (Vienna, 1886–1902, 24 vols.); B. Bretholz, Geschichte Mährens (Brünn, 1893, &c.).