The New Student's Reference Work/Bohemia
Bohe'mia, formerly one of the kingdoms of Europe, now the most northern province of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It has an area of 20,060 square miles, or considerably less than West Virginia, and a population of 6,318,697. It contains nearly 400 cities, of which the largest is Prague, the capital of the kingdom and third city of the empire, with a population of 201,589. The country is enclosed on all sides by lofty mountains, which abound in mineral wealth, silver, tin, copper, iron, porcelain, clay, etc., while more coal is mined in the kingdom than in all the other provinces of the Austrian empire. The Elbe and its numerous branches water the soil, and grains and fruits are extensively raised. Its manufactures are important; dyeing and calico printing, linen making and flax spinning, glass works (which afford work to 27,000 persons) being among the principal industries. The Elbe and Moldau, an extensive canal, good roads and a system of railroads of nearly 3,000 miles in extent supply the means of carrying on a large transit trade. The people are mainly Czechs, Germans and Jews. Among them education is much more wide-spread than in any of the other provinces of Austria. The University of Prague has over 3,000 students, and there are a large number of other schools. Bohemia sends 110 members to the lower house of the Austrian reichsrath or parliament of the western part of the empire. It has a provincial diet of 242 members, competent to legislate on all matters not reserved to the reichsrath. The Czechs, a Slavic race, came into the country as early as the 5th century, A. D., driving out the earlier inhabitants. From that time Bohemia came under the power of various nations, and was at one time an elective kingdom; but in 1526 it became a part of Austria, and its history since that time has merged with that of Austria. There has been for some years a continual struggle between the Germans and the Czechs for supremacy. The Czech language is one of the most cultivated of the Slavonic dialects, and recently there has been a revival in its study as well as in Bohemian literature. The martyr John Hus was a Bohemian.