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Moresnet

MORESNET, a small neutral state lying on the borders of Prussia and Belgium, 4 m. S.W. of Aix-la-Chapelle, and embracing an area of nearly 1400 acres. Its only village is that of Neutral Moresnet, also called Kelmis or Kalmis, with 2800 inhabitants. Just over the Prussian frontier is Prussian Moresnet, with 650 inhabitants, and in Belgium is Belgian Moresnet, with about 1200. Moresnet, strictly MontzenMoresnet, is, as its name implies, a mountain, under which is the extremely valuable zinc mine owned by the " Vieille Montagne Company," which is a Belgian undertaking. The profit of the customs is divided between the two states, but a tendency has been observed to convert it gradually into a German possession. The state of Moresnet owes its origin to the general European settlement of 1815. No agreement could be reached about the ownership of this small district, and it was made a neutral state under the joint government of Prussia and Belgium. This arrangement lasted until 1841, when Moresnet was given an administration of its own, this being composed of a burgomaster and a council of ten members. The inhabitants decide individually whether they will perform military service for Prussia or for Belgium, and also whether they will accept the jurisdiction of the Prussian or of the Belgian courts.

See Hoch, Un Territoire oublie au centre de I'Europe (Bern, 1881); Schroder, Das grenzstreitige Gebiet von Moresnet (Aix-la-Chapelle, 1902); and Spandau, Zur Geschichte von Neutral- Moresnet (Aix- laChapelle, 1904).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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