SCHWARZBURG-SONDERSHAUSEN, a principality of Germany, and constituent state of the German empire. It shares the old Schwarzburg lands with Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. In general it may be said that while Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt forms the southern, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen occupies the northern portion of the lands once divided between them. The total area of the principality is 333 sq. m., of which 133 are in the upper and 200 in the lower barony. The chief towns are Arnstadt (pop. 16,275 in I 95) ) which at one time gave name to a line of counts, in the southern, and Sondershausen (7425), the capital, in the northern (or upper) barony. The general description of the nature and resources of Schwarzburg- Rudolstadt applies also to this principality, except that 62% of the whole is devoted to agriculture and pasture and 30% to forests, only about two-fifths of which are coniferous trees. The chief crops are oats, barley, wheat and rye, but by far the most land is planted with potatoes. About 15% of the population are supported by agriculture and forestry, and about 18% by mining and cognate industries. The industries are varied, and in some branches, notably gloves (at Arnstadt), glass, sausages and sugarrefining, considerable. In 1905 the population was 85,152, or about 245 to the square mile. Almost all of these were Protestants.
Schwarzburg-Sondershausen is a limited hereditary monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1857. The diet consists of five representatives elected by the highest taxpayers, five by general election, and five nominated for life by the prince. The first ten members are elected for four years, which is also the financial period. There is a ministry with five departments for the prince's -household, domestic affairs, finance, churches and schools, and justice. The budget for the years 1908-1911 estimates the income at 164,440 and the expenditure at the same. The state debt in 1909 was 167,970. The troops of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen have been incorporated with the Prussian army by convention since 1867. The principality has one vote in the Reichstag and one in the federal council.
The house of Schwarzburg is one of the oldest and noblest in Germany; and tradition traces its descent from Widukind and the kings of the Franks. Its historical ancestors were the counts of Kafernburg, from whom the counts of Schwarzburg sprang about the beginning of the 13th century. The name Günther became the distinctive name for the members of this house (corresponding to Heinrich in the Reuss family), the various Giinthers being at first distinguished by numbers and afterwards by prefixed names. Various subdivisions and collateral lines were formed, but by 1599 all were extinct but the present two. Count Günther XL., who died in 1552, was the last common ancestor of both lines. Schwarzburg-Sondershausen is the senior line, although its possessions are the smaller. In 1697 the count was raised to the dignity of imperial prince by the emperor Leopold I. The prince had to pay 7000 thalers to the elector of Saxony and 3500 to the duke of Saxe- Weimar, and numerous disputes arose in connexion with the superiorities thus indicated. In 1807 Schwarzburg-Sondershausen entered the Confederation of the Rhine and became a sovereign state. In 1816 it joined the German League, and redeemed with portions of its territory all rights of superiority claimed by Prussia. Its domestic government has gradually, though not very quickly, improved since that time the oppressive game-laws in particular having been abolished. A treaty of mutual succession was made between the two families in 1713. Prince Charles Günther succeeded on the 17th of July 1880, his father having on account of eye disease renounced the throne in favour of his son. By a law, promulgated in 1896, Sizzo, prince of Leutenberg, was recognized as the heirpresumptive to this principality and, by treaty with Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, to that principality also.
See Apfelstedt, Heimatskunde des Furstentums SchwarzburgSondershausen (Sondersh., 1854-1857); Irmisch, Beitrdge zur schwarzburgischen Heimatskunde (Sondersh., 1905-1906). , SCHWARZENBERG, a princely family of Franconian origin, established in Bavaria and Austria, and carrying its present name since 1437. It was raised to princely rank in 1670. Besides Karl Philipp (see below) and Johann (1463-1528), a moralist and reformer who, as judge of the episcopal court at Bamberg, introduced a new code of evidence which amended the procedure then prevalent in Europe by securing for the accused a more impartial hearing, its best-known representative is Felix (1800- 1852), Karl Philipp's nephew, an important Austrian statesman.
After six years' service in the Austrian army Felix espoused a diplomatic career' at the instance of MetterniCh, and underwent a period of probation (1824-1848) at various European courts, in the course of which he confirmed his aristocratic aversion to popular government, but was led to acknowledge that absolutism needs to be justified by efficiency of administration. In 1848 he took an active part in the war against Piedmont and the insurgents in Vienna. .On Nov. 21st of the same year he was appointed head of a reactionary ministry. Himself a soldier, he aimed at the ultimate restoration of the absolute monarchy by means of the army. At first he temporized, and on the 27th of November a proclamation was issued stating the intention of the government to uphold constitutional principles, but at the same time maintaining its intention to keep the empire intact even at the cost of a separation from Germany. The removal of the Austrian parliament to Kremsier followed the abdication of the emperor Ferdinand, and on March 7th 1849 the proclamation of a centralized constitution for the whole Austro-Hungarian monarchy, after the Austrian victory at Kopolna had seemed to Schwarzenberg to have crushed the Magyar power of resistance. This was followed by the declaration of Hungarian independence; and Schwarzenberg did not hesitate ultimately to cal 1 in the aid of Russia to put an end to the insurrection (November). This done, he was free to turn his whole attention to Germany. His refusal to incorporate only the German provinces of the monarchy in the proposed new German Empire had thrown the German parliament into the arms of Prussia. His object now was to restore the status quo ante of the Confederation, with the old predominance of Austria. His success in this respect was partly due to exterior circumstances, notably the mistimed exaggerations of the German revolutionists, but largely to his diplomatic skill, unscrupulousness and iron tenacity of purpose with which the weakness of Frederick William IV. and his ministers was unable to cope. His triumph came with the restoration of the old federal diet in May 1850 and the signature of the convention of Olmiitz on the 29th of November of the same year (see GERMANY: History).
See Berger, Felix, Fiirst zu Schwarzenberg (Leipzig, 1853); A. ' Beer, Fiirst Schwarzenberg' s Deutsche Politik bis zu den Dresdener Konferenzen (Historisches Taschenbuch, Leipzig, 1891). For Johann see W. Scheel, Johann, Freiherr von S. (Berlin, 1905).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)