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they had formerly subjected themselves in order to avoid crime, furnishing the clearest evidence, that the crimes which they subsequently committed were the effect of want, not of vicious inclination. 5. The circumstances under which recourse has lately been had to assessments, as they are thought to be inevitable, in various towns in Scotland, particularly Inverness, Stirling, Arbroath, Stranraer, and Girvan, all illustrating the general fact, that the numbers and sufferings of the destitute poor had been rapidly increasing, and their feelings of independence had given way, before the assessments were ordered, so that no part of the increased destitution of those places could be referred to the assessments as its cause. 6. As a contrast to this increasing misery where there have been no assessments, the “sound and comfortable state’” of Berwickshire as to its poor, where assessments have been long general, and the allowances to the poor, and even aid to the able-bodied when thrown out of employment, nearly on the same footing as in England; and where there is no beggary, very little intemperance, much industry, abundance of private charity, and a population almost stationary as to number. 7. Contrasting, again, with this state of Berwickshire, the miserable condition of the poor in the greater part of the highlands and islands, where the Poor Law is a dead letter, and the proprietors, in many instances, contribute nothing to the support of the poor, where the want of all the necessaries of life is most severely felt, and a “parasitical population ” has been gradually formed, engaged during the greater part of the year in no employment, and preying, not indeed on the capital, but on the industry of the country, and which must be removed or employed before any improvement can take place, but in which, nevertheless, early and improvident marriages are more complained of than in any other part of Scotland. These last classes of facts were stated as fully and satisfactorily illustrating the propositions formerly laid down by the author, as to the effect of an adequate provision for the poor in restraining the increase of population, in two distinct ways, 1. By maintaining the standard of comfort among the people; and, 2. By making it the obvious and immediate interest of landed proprietors, to throw obstacles in the way of early marriages and excessive reproduction.
The Statistics of the Free City of Frankfort-on-the-Main. By LIEUT. ColoneL W. H. SYKEs, F.R.S.
[Read before the Statistical Section of the British Association at York,
I AM not aware that the statistics of a German city, more particularly a free city, are before the public. Independently of the novelty of such statistics, I presume they will furnish matters for comparison with statistical facts from England, either confirmatory of apparent physical or moral laws deduced from series of facts, or exhibiting antagonist matters which may render further research necessary, both in our own and other countries; that all doubts may be removed of the quality and bearing of the data with which the legislator may propose to operate in his benevolent attempts to improve the condition and prospects of societv.
I o beg some indulgence for my paper, for I have not any pretensions to the character of a German scholar, and I have laboured under the disadvantage of completing my translations since my return to England without aid; and I may in some instances not have given the perfect sense of my text. My figured statements, however, are I hope free from this drawback, as they are derived from tabulated official or public documents, and cannot be so readily misunderstood as the involved construction of German phraseology. The historical matter, and the notices respecting the public institutions, are derived from a very well got up Manual of Frankfort, by J. H. Ludwig, published in 1843. The statistical tables of educational and literary establishments are taken from the Transactions of the Geographical and Physical Society of Frankfort. The vital statistics are from official sources; and some matters are derived from verbal communications. I should have been glad to have made my acknowledgments publicly to my German friends for their kind aid; but I am not quite satisfied that in the present state of society in Frankfort it would be acceptable to them. I therefore abstain; but they will understand that I am not the less grateful for their kind romotion of my objects.
Although the present paper will embrace the general statistics of Frankfort, yet, as my principal object is the illustration of the vital statistics of the city, I shall treat the other branches in a more cursory manner than their importance and interest would seem to authorise.
Frankfort is seated on the right bank of the Main, in an open sandy plain, about 20 miles above the junction of the Main with the Rhine. Its elevation above the sea is 317 feet only. Like other places with claims to antiquity, little is known of its early history; but it has its fable (and that of Frankfort is quite Oriental) accounting for its foundation. The Franks were in the habit of crossing the river in their excursions, but much higher up. At last they were led to the discovery of the ford near which Frankfort now stands, by observing a white deer pass the river: henceforward they passed the river at the same place, whence resulted the name of Frankfort, or Ford of the Franks. Whether Frankfort-on-the-Oder derived its name in a similar manner, my information does not enable me to say. It was probably a hunting seat of the Frank kings, and may have owed its gradual increase to the usual attractions of a royal residence. On the 20th of July, 794, Charlemagne held a church assembly here, and it is supposed that he had previously built St. Mary’s Chapel. In the same year the suburb of Sachsenhausen, on the opposite bank of the Main, was settled by some Saxons who had accompanied the emperor; and to this day the inhabitants consider themselves as of a distinct race from the people of Frankfort. Louis the German, in 843, made Frankfort the principal city of the eastern part of his dominions; and from this period it appears to have increased, but its prosperity was most probably chiefly owing to many of the German emperors choosing to be elected and crowned here. The portraits of such as were crowned at Frankfort are painted in niches in the building called the Emperors' Hall; and it is a somewhat curious coincidence that the last vacant niche in the hall was filled up by the last German emperor, Francis II., who reigned from 1792 to 1806, when Buonaparte dissolved the German empire. The first was Konrad I., the Frank who reigned from 911 to 918. In all there are 44 portraits. The elections of the emperors took place in the open air on a particular spot; and the armed crowds indicated their assent by clashing (Klappern) their swords and shields against each other, or shield against shield, and sword against sword; and a spot within Frankfort, not yet wholly covered with buildings, is called the Klapperfeld, or “Clashing-field,” to this day. Frankfort has been subjected to numerous vicissitudes of capture and recapture, internal commotions, and disastrous and extensive fires; so that there are few vestiges of buildings above 150 years old. In the first quarter of the 18th century 3 fires destroyed above 1000 houses. In the first, on the 14th of January, 1711, above 500, including the Jews’ quarter. That in 1719 destroyed 432 houses in 24 hours; and that in 1721 destroyed 150 in the Jews’ quarter. A'somewhat curious fire was that of burning the English manufactures stolen from the shops in 1810, in compliance with the Berlin decree of Napoleon. Frankfort, like some other Christian cities and states, has distinguished itself for its barbarous, and cruel, and bloody persecution of the Jews at different times. In 1240, 180 were put to death; and some time afterwards continued persecution drove the Jews to such despair, that they set fire to their dwellings, by which half the city was destroyed. In 1349, at the time of the appearance of the plague in Frankfort, in common with other cities of Germany, the Jews were accused of having poisoned the wells, and a band of fanatic monks, aided by a population they had excited, set fire to the dwellings of the Jews, and threw such of those miserable people as fell into their hands into the flames. Such of them as escaped death were sold, “body and goods, profit, pleasure, and service,” —for such are the terms used,—by the Emperor Charles IV. to the authorities of Frankfort for the sum of 15,000 pounds weight in farthings.” In 1417 these unhappy people were reduced to 2 families; 12 years later they consisted of 6 families: and in 1495 they amounted to 104 souls only. In 1462 they were prevented from building or dwelling near a Christian church; were confined to one narrow locality, which grew into the Juden Gasse, or Jews’ Lane, which was not only closed at both ends by gates every evening, but on Sundays and festivals the inhabitants were interdicted from quitting the lane at all, and could only appear abroad at any time in a prescribed garb. In 1614, in a revolt of some of the tradespeople, the Jews were plundered on the charge of usury. The restrictions on them in subsequent times were gradually relaxed, and when the Prince Primate had the city given to him by Napoleon, he endowed the Jews with the privilege of citizens; which privilege was taken from them, when the city was again declared “free.” This class of inhabitants now amounts to a seventh or an eighth of the population. The buildings of Frankfort have a palatial character, that is to say, they are generally large, lofty, and imposing, being occupied in floors, or parts of floors (there being sometimes a double kitchen on each floor), as was the case in Edinburgh formerly. At Frankfort even some of the ambassadors are only tenants in common with other parties. The defects of Frankfort are, the want of foot pavement in the streets, and the town not being lighted by gas, and the defective drainage, which
renders the atmosphere of some of the princely buildings a perfect pollution; the noisome effluvia from the cesspools having an unimpeded exit into the passages and chambers, from the want of proper water-closets or traps. It boasts, however, one of the most agreeable promenades in Europe; the former ramparts, ditch, and glacis having been levelled, and the ground thus obtained, surrounding three-fourths of the city, planted with shrubs and flowers, through which there are winding walks, together with a continuous carriage drive between fine trees, from the river on the west, round the skirts of the town, to the river on the east.
Government of the City of Frankfort; its Constitution [Staatsverfassung] and Administration [Verwaltung].
Frankfort is called a free city, and great care is taken in all public lists, official documents, the city seals and stamps, that the word Frankfort be preceded by its adjective “free.” In very early periods after its Frankish foundation, the tradespeople and artisans associated themselves in guilds, and made the weight of their associations be felt. Frankfort was not a dependency of any particular prince; and much of municipal matters appear to have been left to the citizens, the oldest being placed at the head of the guilds, and constituting a kind of rath or council. But it was ruled for centuries by an officer of the German emperor, called a Vogt or bailiff, and had to pay a fixed tribute. Henry VII, gave the citizens a charter in 1220. In 1254, William gave them the privilege, confirmed by later emperors, that the city should never be transferred from the protection of the empire (emperor). In 1372, Charles IV. sold the imperial bailiffship over the city to the city authorities, thus leaving the people to their own government, although burthened with a tribute, and therefore not wholly free. From 1408 until the dissolution of the German empire, no essential change took place in the numbers of the council, or forms for governing the city. Matters, however, did not always run smoothly with the governing body, for in 1612 the bulk of the citizens finding that the families of their elders had gradually monopolized all power, and were dissipating the revenues of the city in feasting and banquets, and involving it in heavy debt, combined to force the members of these families who were in the council to resign their seats. This was resisted, and a commotion ensued, headed by three tradespeople—a pastry-cook, a tailor, and a joiner—who seized the gates,
captured the arsenal, and overpowered the guards. This led to an im
perial commission being sent to investigate the affair, but it was only by force that order was ultimately restored in 1614. The emperor Matthias directed the landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt, and the Kurfürst (Elector) of Mayence, to effect this object. The pastry-cook (Fettmilch), and six of his colleagues were beheaded in the horse market, others were whipped and fined, and the guilds and citizens were compelled to pay to the emperor a sum of 50,000 florins as smart money. I have only adverted to this circumstance in proof, that the presumed freedom of the city was illusory—the emperor's commissions running at all times within the walls; and he exercising the right to quell by force of arms all disputes of the citizens respecting municipal government. The power of the guilds, however, was shaken by the outbreak, and some abuses were removed. In the first half of the 18th century, the complaints of the citizens
were again loud against the council. Scrupulously following a legal course, the citizens with difficulty obtained an imperial commission to inquire into the defects of the administration. The result was the formation of the standing Bürgerausschuss, or citizen representation, as a check upon the council. A better understanding between the council and the citizens, was the result of this amelioration. In the French wars, however, Napoleon Buonaparte gave Frankfort to the Prince Primate, Charles of Dalberg, who possessed it from 1806 to 1813. This prince appears to have had some liberal views, for he conferred upon the Jews the right of citizenship, a distinction which had hitherto always been denied to them. The battle of Leipsic released Germany from the dominion of the French, and the allied monarchs permitted Frankfort to resume its former self-government, which was confirmed by the congress of Vienna. Parties, however, were not fully satisfied, and after some struggles, what is now called the “Constitution,” was voted by the citizens at large on the 17th and 18th of July, 1816; on the 19th of July, it was proclaimed by the senate, and on the 18th of October, the constitution was sworn to both by senate and citizens. The old princely families of Limpurg and Frauenstein lost their privilege of having a certain number of seats in the council, the Jews lost the privilege of citizenship conferred upon them by Charles of Dalberg, and were left without political rights, and with some limitation in respect to the number of marriages they might annually contract. I now come to speak of the political constitution (Staatsverfassung) and administration (Verwaltung) of the city. The principle is professedly representative, the constituent body being composed of citizens. who are Christians of any denomination, excluding Jews and others not Christians. The powers of government rest in three distinct bodies, the Senate (der Senat), the representative body of the citizens (der Ständige Bürgerausschuss, or Bürgervertretung), and the legislative body (der Gesetzgebende Körper). The Senate consists of 42 members, and is divided into three benches. The first comprises 14 members, and is called the Schöffen (oldest senators), together with four syndics learned in the law; each of these persons has a salary of 2600 florins per annum. The next bench is called the Senators, comprising 14 members, each of whom receives 2400 florins per annum. The third bench is that of the Councillors (Rathsverwandten), also consisting of 14, each of whom receives 1200 florins per annum. The second bench is composed of jurists and merchants, and the third has 12 members from the guilds of the handicrafts, and two from that body of citizens who do not belong to the guilds. Vacancies in the first bank are supplied from the second by seniority, and vacancies in the second and third by an election consequent upon the ballot. Members of the Senate hold office for life. Not more than four Roman Catholics, nor more than three Calvinists, are admissable into the Senate; the rest of the body consists of members of the Lutheran church. On the lst January every year the Senate appoints two Bürgermeisters, a senior and junior ; the first is taken from the first bench, and the younger from the second bench; both are chosen by ballot by the senators. The superior Bürgermeister presides over the Senate, is at the head of the armed force, and conducts the foreign relations.