Germany, and containing brown coal and amber, has been met with only in Poland, Courland and Lithuania.
Isolated black-earth islands, though less fertile, occur also in Courland and Kovno, in the OkaVolga-Kama depression, on the slopes of the Urals, and in a few patches in the N.
They first entered Poland from Germany during the era of the crusades, and soon spread through Lithuania, Courland, the Ukraine, and, in the 18th century, Bessarabia.
The Lithuanians prevail in Kovno, Vilna and Suwalki; and the Letts, who are, however, more scattered, are chiefly concentrated in Vitebsk, Courland and Livonia.
In the Baltic provinces (Esthonia, Livonia and Courland) the prevailing population is Esthonian, Kuronian or Lettish, the Germans being respectively only 3.8, 7.6 and 8.2% of the population.
The first step westwards was taken in Courland, which lay between Russian territory and the Baltic coast.
For this unfriendly act he was deposed and replaced by Biren, who had previously been duke of Courland (1737-40) and had since been an exile in Siberia and Yarosla y.
Under Biren (1763-69) and his son and successor (1769-95), as nominees of Catherine, Courland was completely under Russian influence until 1795, when it was formally incorporated with the empire.
By assenting to the Pragmatic Sanction, and that of the czarina Anne by recognizing the claim of Russia to Courland, he was elected king of Poland in October 1733.
But in 1561 another master followed the example of Albert, and received Courland as an hereditary fief from Poland.
First, however, Charles cleared Livonia of the invader (July 1701), subsequently occupying the duchy of Courland and converting it into a Swedish governor-generalship. In January 1702 Charles established himself at Bielowice in Lithuania, and, after issuing a proclamation declaring that "the elector of Saxony" had forfeited the Polish crown, set out for Warsaw, which he reached on the 14th of May.
He also set on foot a postal system between Muscovy, Courland and Poland, and introduced gazettes and bills of exchange into Russia.
Population.-According to the census of June 15 1920 the population of Latvia was less numerous and homogeneous than was anticipated in 1918, amounting in all to 1,515,815 inhabitants, of whom 1,146,554 were Letts and 355,518 belonged to other nationalities (Livonia, 477,839 Letts and 104,091 non-Letts; Courland, 404,- 159 Letts and 71,524 non-Letts; Latgalia, 264,556 Letts and 179,103 non-Letts), the non-Letts thus forming about 25% of the total population.
The losses of the Letts were due to: (a) the evacuation of the factories by the Russian Government; (b) the partly forced removal of the population of Courland before the German advance; (c) the wars.
Compulsory and gratuitous schooling for the Protestants had been enforced in Livonia since 1860, and in Courland since 1875.
The organization of the Protestant Church was formerly connected with the corporation of the nobles of Livonia and Courland, but the rights of presentation pertaining to the manorial estates of the knights and to the Government estates have been abolished by the introduction of a democratic free church.
16 1920); (b) about 40,000 owners of small holdings, averaging from 26 to 150 ac., formed the backbone of the Lettish middle class, and the liberal professions (nicknamed the " grey barons ") were partly supported by about 10,000 tenants of small farms; (c) the owners of very small holdings in Latgalia and Courland numbered some 10,600.
Courland during the advance of the German army lost two-thirds of the population, which began to return after the Brest Litovsk Peace in 1918.
Brown coal has been discovered in Courland, while peat is already a valuable fuel.
Libau was taken on May 7 1915 by the Germans; the rest of Courland, with one-third of its former population left, was occupied, and German preponderance materialized.
The German mercenaries evacuated Courland by Jan.
BIREN (or BtHREN), Ernst Johann (1690-1772), duke of Courland, was the grandson of a groom in the service of Duke Standard Wing Bird of Paradise (Semioptera wallacei).
Of Courland, who bestowed upon him a small estate, which Biren's father inherited and where Biren himself was born.
The climax of this wondrous elevation was reached when, on the extinction of the line of Kettler, the estates of Courland, in June 1737, elected him their reigning duke.
He was almost as much loathed in Courland as in Russia; but the will of the empress was the law of the land, and large sums of money, smuggled into Courland in the shape of bills payable in Amsterdam to bearer, speedily convinced the electors.
On his return to Russia he served for two years without any salary as chief gentleman of the Bedchamber at the court of Anne of Courland, and in 1721 succeeded Vasily Dolgoruki as Russian minister at Copenhagen.
From 1709 to 1714 he served during the Courland, Holstein and Pomeranian campaigns, but then, as governor-general of Ingria, 'with almost unlimited powers, was entrusted with a leading part in the civil administration.
And 655,800 inhabitants) (5) Parts of the former province of Courland between the old German frontier and the Holy Aa river, as also part of the district of Illuxt.
CHARLES ALBERT [CARLO ALBERTO] (1798-1849), king of Sardinia (Piedmont), son of Prince Charles of Savoy-Carignano and Princess Albertine of Saxe-Courland, was born on the 2nd of October 1798, a few days before the French occupied Piedmont and forced his cousin King Charles Emmanuel to take refuge in Sardinia.
On the death of Anne (October 17th) he was proclaimed emperor, and on the following day Ernest Johann Biren, duke of Courland, was appointed regent.
There was, for instance, Mendovg (1240-1263), who submitted to baptism for purely political reasons, checkmated the Teutonic Knights by adroitly seeking the protection of the Holy See, and annexed the principality of Plock to his ever-widening grand duchy, which already included Black Russia, and formed a huge wedge extending southwards from Courland, thus separating Poland from Russia.
The Teutonic Order, which had just been expelled from Hungary by Andrew II., joyfully accepted this new domicile, and its position in the north was definitely established by the compact of Kruschwitz in 1230, whereby it obtained absolute possession of the maritime district between Pomerania and Courland, and southwards as far as Thorn.
In the middle of the 16th century the ancient order of the I(nights of the Sword, whose territory embraced Esthonia, Livonia, Courland, Semgallen and the islands of Dagii and Oesel, was tottering to its fall.
Ketteler, who had adopted Lutheranism during a visit to Germany in 1553, now professed the Augsburg Confession, and became the first duke of a new Protestant duchy, which he was to hold as a fief of the Polish crown, with local autonomy and absolute freedom of worship. The southern provinces of the ancient territory of the Order, Courland and Semgallen, had first been ceded on the 24th of June 1559 to Lithuania on similar conditions, the matter being finally adjusted by the compact of March 1562.
Augustus attempted to indemnify himself for his failure to obtain Livonia, his covenanted share of the Swedish plunder, by offering Frederick William of Prussia Courland, Polish Prussia and even part of Great Poland, provided that he were allowed a free hand in the disposal of the rest of the country.
In 1730 he declared openly in favour of Anne, duchess of Courland, in opposition to the aristocratic Dolgorukis and Golitsuins, and his determined attitude on behalf of autocracy was the chief cause of the failure of the proposed constitution, which would have converted Russia into a limited monarchy.
He drew up a form of constitution which Anne of Courland, the newly elected Russian empress, was forced to sign at Mittau before being permitted to proceed to St Petersburg.
Courland and Livonia were brought into subjection, and into these lands also Christian institutions were introduced and German settlers brought the arts of peace.
A similar situation in Courland he also resigned after about a year.
A few days after this proclamation the empress died, leaving directions regarding the succession, and appointing her favourite Ernest Biren, duke of Courland, as regent.
Peace was concluded at the river Polyankova on the 28th of May 1634, the Poles conceding the title of tsar to Michael Romanov, who renounced all his claims upon Livonia, Esthonia and Courland, besides paying a war indemnity of 200,000 rubles.
The fibre is cultivated in the Russian provinces of Archangel, Courland, Esthonia, Kostroma, Livonia, Novgorod, Pskov, Smolensk, Tver, Vyatka, Vitebsk, Vologda and Yaroslav or Jaroslav, while the bulk of the material is exported through the Baltic ports.
The following names amongst others are given to the fibre: - Archangel, Bajetsky, Courish, Dorpat, Drogobusher, Dunaberg, Fabrichnoi, Fellin, Gjatsk, Glazoff, Griazourtz, Iwashkower, Jaransk, Janowitz, Jaropol, Jaroslav, Kama, Kashin, Konigsberg, Kostroma, Kotelnitch, Kowns, Krasnoholm, Kurland (Courland), Latischki, Livonian Crowns, Malmuish, Marienberg, Mochenetz, Mologin, Newel, Nikolsky, Nolinsk, Novgorod, Opotchka, Ostroff, Ostrow, Otbornoy, Ouglitch, Pernau, Pskoff, Revel, Riga, Rjeff, St Petersburg, Seretz, Slanitz, Slobodskoi, Smolensk, Sytcheffka, Taroslav, Tchesna, Totma, Twer, Ustjuga, Viatka, Vishni, Vologda, Werro, Wiasma, Witebsk.
COURLAND, or Kurland, one of the Baltic provinces of Russia, lying between 55° 45' and 57° 45' N.
Courland is drained by nearly one hundred rivers, of which only three, the Dvina, the Aa and the Windau, are navigable.
Anciently Courland was inhabited by the Cours or Kurs, a Lettish tribe, who were subdued and converted to Christianity by the Brethren of the Sword, a German military order, in the first quarter of the 13th century.
At that time it comprised the two duchies of Courland and Semgallen.
1711), to the princess Anne, niece of Peter the Great and afterwards empress of Russia, Courland came into close relation with the latter state, Anne being duchess of Courland from 1711 to 1730.
The last Kettler, William, titular duke of Courland, died in 1737, and the empress Anne now bestowed the dignity on her favourite Biren, who held it from 1737 to 1740 and again from 1763 till his death in 1772.
During nearly the whole of the 18th century Courland, devastated by continual wars, was a shuttlecock between Russia and Poland; until eventually in 1795 the assembly of the nobles placed it under the Russian sceptre.