RHENISH PRUSSIA (Ger. 7?heinprovinz. or Rheinpreussen), the most western and most thickly peopled of the provinces of Prussia, lies the banks of the Rhine, and is bounded on the w. by Belgium and the Netherlands. Area 10,400 sq.m. ; pop. '75, 3,804,381, of whom about 2,500,000 age Catholics, half-a-million are of Flemish blood, and 11,000 are Walloons. 'In the s., the surface is mountainous, the principal ranges being the Hundsrhck, the Effelgebirge, and branches of the Westerwald. The largest river is the Rhine, which flows through the province in a n.n.w.,direction for 200 rn., and receives many affluents from left and right. The surface is everywhere more or less mountainous, except in the extreme n., and the soil of.the higher mountain-tracts barely supports the inhabitants; while that of the valleys of the Rhine, Moselle, and Nahe are very fruitful, and the flat districts in the n. are most productive in grain. Timber and
minerals, including lead, copper, zinc, coal, etc., abound; and the warm and hot sulphur springs of Aix (q.v.) and Burtscheid (q.v.) have a European reputation. Industry and manufactures are here prosecuted with the utmost energy, and with great success. The cotton manufactures of the Wupperthal, the silk manufactures of Krefeld and vicinity, and the woolen cloth and Cashmere manufactures of the district of Aix, are famous. Rhenish Prussia came into the possession of Prussia by the treaty of Vienna in 1815. It consists of the former duchies of Cleves, Gelders, and Berg, of the principalities of 3.Iora. and Lichtenberg, the northern and middle parts of the former archbishopric of Cologne, numerous lordships, portions from the four French departments of Rhein-Mosel, Mosel,. des ForOts, and Saar, etc.