FINANCES. The finances of the Empire re semble, in a general way, those of the United States in that they embrace comparatively few items of revenue and expenditure. The Imperial Government cannot levy any taxes except cus toms and excise duties. The bulk of its revenues is, therefore, derived from these two sources. Excise duties are levied on tobacco, beer, liquors, salt, and sugar. The post and telegraph, both of which are owned and operated by the Govern ment, the railways of Alsace-Lorraine, and stamp taxes bring in some additional revenue, which is, however, insufficient to cover the expenditures of the Empire. The deficit is covered by con tributions from the several States called 'Ma tricular Beitrage,' and levied on each State in proportion to its population. Prussia is as sessed more than 60 per cent. of the entire Federal contribution.
The chief items of expenditure are those for the army and navy, which together absorb more than a third of the entire expenditure. The Im
perial treasury spends another third of the budget, and for the service of the debt of the Empire stands the next largest item, exceeding $20,944,000 per annum, or more than 41/2 per cent. of the budget. The growth of the budget of the Empire from its foundation is shown in the following table: The total funded debt of the Empire amounted to $547,043,000 in the closing year of the nine teenth century. Of this, $295,120,000 bears 31/4 per cent. interest, and the remaining portion 3 per cent. The first loan raised by the Imperial Government was for more than $3,808,000 in 1877. The growth of the debt since then has been as fol lows: 1880, $51,897,804; 1890, $266,079,716; 1900, $547,043,000. In addition to the funded debt, there is an interest-bearing debt of $28, 560,000 in the form of treasury bills of denomi nations smaller than 100 marks.