1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Prussia (territory)

PRUSSIA, in the original and narrower sense of the word, a territory of Germany, in the kingdom of Prussia, stretching along the Baltic coast for about 220 m., and occupying an area of 24,083 sq. m. The eastern part of this territory formed the duchy of Prussia, which was conquered and colonized by the Teutonic Order and was acquired by the elector of Brandenburg in 1618, furnishing his successor with his regal title in 1701. 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 Danzig and Thorn remained Polish down to 1793. The two districts 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 1878, its place being taken by the modern provinces of East and West Prussia. (See EAST PRUSSIA and WEST PRUSSIA.)