Bibliographic data

Frankenberg, Hans von: Compêndio de Geographia Elementar. Porto Alegre: Rodolpho José Machado, 1903, 95–96.

"German Empire"



Europe comprises 27 sovereign States, which differ greatly in terms of territory, wealth and military power. The States that exercise the most influence – the so-called Great Powers – are: Germany, Russia, Austria, England, France and Italy .

b) The States of Europe

I. German Empire

In the n. 1 it borders the North Sea, Jutland (Denmark) and the Baltic Sea; in the e. Russia and Austria; in the south the aforementioned country and Switzerland; in the w. France, Belgium and Holland. Within these borders, the Empire has 540 000 square kilometers, with 54 million inhabitants.

The climate is generally quite mild, and only in the region to the far north are there usually very harsh winters. Even if it cannot compete with many other European countries in terms of agricultural fertility, the soil of Germany is perfectly cultivated, as agriculture is the inhabitants’ principal occupation. The country produces excellent grains […]. Today, Germany is at the top

[p. 96]

of the great industrial movement. It produces excellent silk, cotton and linen tissue, machines of all kind, ironware, weapons; paper, clocks etc. This industry and the diverse and rich agricultural products enliven and sustain great commerce, which is served by a vast and well-calculated railway network, by magnificent roads and, most of all, by a powerful merchant fleet.

Germany’s position right in the centre of the European continent is advantageous from the merchant point of view, but it is somewhat exposed to the ever impending advances of the powerful nations around it. No doubt for this reason, Germany pays particular attention to – and must pay particular attention to – its large army, which, due to its size, its exemplary discipline, its brilliant instruction and its organization, currently represents the best army in the world. For the last few years, Germany has emphatically worked to build an extensive war fleet, which it finds itself forced to do because of the enormous scope its overseas trade has reached, and in order to protect its important colonies in Africa and in Oceania.

[1] Translator’s note: Corresponding to the abreviations in the original text.


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