Open main menu

WESTPHALIA, the name given at different periods to (1) one of the circles of the old German empire, (2) one of Napoleon's kingdoms (1807-1813), conferred on his brother Jerome; and (3) now to a province of Prussia. The latter is bounded by Rhenish Prussia, Holland, Hanover, Brunswick, Hesse, and Nassau. Its area is 7,803 square miles. The surface in the S. and N. E. is generally mountainous; the northwest spreads out into extensive and often marshy plains, and belongs to the basin of the Ems; the northeast and a small part of the east to the basin of the Weser; the remainder, constituting the far larger portion of the whole, belongs to the basin of the Rhine, whose chief tributaries are the Ruhr and Lippe. Besides iron and coal in abundance the minerals include copper, lead, zinc, marble, slate, sulphur, antimony, and salt; and the manufactures are varied and important. The province is divided into the three circuits of Münster, Minden, and Arnsberg. Münster is the capital. Pop. about 4,500,000.