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nature of the soil, it has been necessary to build almost the whole city on oaken piles driven into the ground. The streets are broad and well lighted and several of them lined with trees; and a great number of canals intersect the city in every direction. On the land side it is defended by a wall and regular bastions, with a broad and deep ditch, and by means of sluices the whole adjoining country can be laid under water at very short notice. Towards the sea it is provided with no fortifications; bat the entrance to the harbor is guarded by two rows of piles, having openings at intervals for the admission of vessels; these are always shut at night. 'Che most elegant and splendid edifice, not only in Amsterdam, but perhaps in the whole of Holland, is the stadthouse. It stands nearly in the Centre of the town, on an open square, and is 282 feet long, 235 broad, and without reckoning the tower, 116 high, built principally of freestone, on a foundation of 13,659 piles, at an expense of £300,000. The commerce of Amsterdam suffered severely during the late war in Europe, and it is doubtful whether it will ever again attain its former prosperity. The population in 1817 was 380,000.
Brussels, the largest city in the Belgic provinces, and one of the most splendid in Europe, is situated in Brabant, 23 miles south of Antwerp, partly in a plain and partly on a hill, at the foot of which flows the river Senne, a branch of the Dyle. It has many elegant buildings and squares, but the chief ornament of Brussels is its public walks, no city in Europe possessing one superior to that which is called the "Green Alley,'* or to the great interior square called the " Park," which is a kind of public garden intersected by beautiful alleys bordered with trees and ornamented with a number of statues of white marble. The public fountains are 20 in Dumber, and are all embellished with sculptures.
The manufactures of Brussels are celebrated throughout Europe, particularly its lace, camlets and carpels; the first alcoe employs nearly 10,000 individuals. Brussels is also celebrated for its manufacture of carriages, which, for cheapness and elegance, surpass those of London and Paris. The city carries on considerable trade, not only with the interior of the Netherlands, but with foreign countries, by means of the canals which bring it into communication with the Scheldt. Brussels has of late become a favorite place of resort for the English and other travellers, from its vicinity to the field of Waterloo. The population, according to a census taken in 13IG, was 80,000.
Antwerp, a lar^e and vrell Jjuilt city of Brabant, is situated on the Scheldt, which is here 1,600 feet broad and very deep, affording a commodious haven for more than 1,000 vessel*. By means of numerous canals these vessels can penetrate into the very heart of the town and there deposit their cargoes, la the sixteenth century Antwerp was the greatest place of trade in Europe, and contained 200.000 inhabitants, but flic commerce i>f the city was destroyed in 1C48, when, by a stipulation in (lie treaty of Ue«tplialia, between Spain itml Holland, tlie navigation ol the Scheldt was c Wired, the design of the Dutch being to turn the trade towards AmMerdam. Antwerp and Amsterdam are now under the same government, and the navigation of the river being open, commerce has begun to revive. The population of the town is 6 ,')00, and tit on the increase.
The Hague, a larg<- and beautiful town, 30 miles S. W. of Amsterdam, and nearly 3 from the sea coast, was formerly the residence of the sud I holder of the Dutch provinces, and is now along with lirussels, the alternate residence of the king and his court It is an open town, being surrounded only by a moat with drawbridge*, but in the beauty of its streets, the statelinessof its buildings, and the pleasantness of its situation, it yields to few cities in Europe. The Hague was never a place of trade ; and the inhabitants have consequently little of the mercantile character of their countrymen, but more of the easy manners of fashionable life. The population in 1817 was 42,000.
Rotterdam, the most commercial city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam, is 14 miles S. E. of the Hague, on the N. bank of the Maese, which here resembles an arm of the sea, although nearly 20 miles from its mouth. It is intersected, even more lhau other towns in Holland, by canals, almost all of which are bordered with trees and admit vessels of large burden into the centre of the city. The population is about 50,000.
Ghent is situated 30 miles S. W. of Antwerp in a beautiful plnia on the Scheldt, where that river is joined by the Lys. These rivers, with two smaller streams (the Lievre and the More) and a number of navigable canals, divide the town into no less than SO Islands, which are joined togettier by upwards of 300 small wooden bridges. The city contains many beautiful churches and public buildings, a university, a botanical garden and 61,000 inhabitants. The manufactures consist of fine lace, linen, and in a more limited degree, of silk and woollens, but the great branch is cotton goods, which employs 20,000 persons. Considerable, commerce is carried on, which is much promoted by a canal on a large scale connecting Ghent with Bruges. The treaty of peace: between Great Britain and the United States of America was signed here Dec. 24, 1814.
Liege is sitnated in a plcsant valley on the Maese at its continence with the Ourthc, in the midst of a country abounding with coal and iron. It is extensively engaged in the manufacture of hardware articles, and is particularly famous for its fire-arms, both cannon and muskets. The manufacture of nails employs from 10,000 to 14.0(H) workmen in the town and nighborhood. The population is 46,000.
Dorr, in South Holland, 11 miles S. E. of Rotterdam, is on an island formed by the Maese and the Bieshoch. It carries on considerable trade particularly in wood, which is brought down the Rhine in immense floats from Germany- and sold here. It is al«n famous for the synod of Protestant divines which met her* in 1G18 and 1619 and condemned the tenets of Arminius. Population 19,400.
O.itf.nd, the principal port on the coast of Flanders, carries on considerable trade, and is the station whence the post office packets sail-regularly twice a week for Dover in England- The population is 10,500. Bruges, 12 miles E. of Ostend, was in the l*tk century one of the greatest commercial towns in Europe, and still carries on considerable trade, for which it is finely situated, 'ir-ing the central point in which all the canals in Flanders meet. The population in 1816 was 45,000. JVamur, 30 miles S. W. of Liege, at the confluence of the Sambre and the Maese, has extensive manufactures of fire arms, swords, knives, scissors, am) other articles of iron, copper and brass. Population 15,000. Lcvraiav, Celebrated for its university, is on the Dyle, 20 miles S- EL of Antwerp, and contains 25,000 inhabitants. Leyden, faineus for its university, is on the Rhine, 10 miles N. E. of 'he Hague and contains 31,000 inhabitants. Utrecht, on the Rbioe, 18 miles S. S. E. of Amsterdam, has also an university, and is famous for two important treaties of peace signed here. It contains 35.000 inhabitants. Luxemburg, the capital of the grand dochy of Luxemburg, on the small river Alzeete, near the S. E. corner of the kingdom, is one of the strongest places in Europe and contains 9000 inhabitants.
Helvoetsluyt, in South Holland, on the south side of the island of Voorn, has an excellent harbor and extensive magazines and dockyards for the construction and repair of ships of war. It is also the regular station for packets t«« England. Flushing, an important seaport in the island of Walcheren, on the north side of tke West Scheldt, at the entrance of that river into the North sea, has a fine harbor with two basins, one of which is sufficiently deep and capacious to contain a fleet of men of war. It is a noted resort of English smugglers both in peace and war. AfidtUebvrg, near the centre of the island of Walcheren, 4 miles north of Flushing, has an artificial harbor, communicating with the sea by a canal 4 miles long.
Spa, 20 miles S. E. of Leige is famous for its medicinal springs, which are resorted to by the opulent from Germany, France and England. The village of Waterloo, faraons for the battle of the 18th of June 1815, between the allied British, Belgian, and German troops under the duke of Wellington and the French under Bonaparte, is 12 miles south of Brussels.
Education.] The university at Leyden, established in 1575, has 21 professors and 300 students, a valuable botanic garden, a cabinet of natural history, an anatomical theatre, an observatory, and a library of 40,000 volumes. There are al»o universities ot several centuries standing at Louvain, Utrecht, and Groningen; and? in 1816 two new ones were established by a royal edict, one at Ghent and the, other at Liege.
The mean« of education are very generally diffused throughout tht Netherlands. In the Dutch provinces there is a regular establishment of parish or primary schools under the protection of government; and in Belgium, almost every village has a school of the same kind. The learned languages and math: ematics are taught at the seminaries called royal schools, of which there is one in each large town. ** Population.] The population, including the grand duchy of Luxemburg, is 5,285,000, of whom about 2,000,000 are in the northern provinces, and 3,000,000 in the southern. The Netherlands is one of the most thickly settled countries in the world, especially the southern provinces which contain on an everage 262 to a square mile. Religion.] The established religion of the northern provinces is the Calvinistic; but toleration has been so long prevalent. that religious sects of every description are to be found there. In the Belgic provinces the inhabitants are principally Catholics, and as toleration is of recent introduction there are very few of any other sect. Taking the whole kingdom together, more than two thirds of the population are Catholics. Government.] The Dutch and Belgic provinces were formerly under separate governments, but soon after the French revolu: tion the whole country was conquered by France and finally incorporated with her empire. In 1814 the 17 provinces were erected by the Congress of Vienna into one kingdom, with a constitution bearing a close resemblance to that of Great Britain, The royal power is vested in the family of Nassau-Orange. The title is “king of the Netherlands, prince of Orange, and grand duke of Luxemburg; in the last capacity, he is a mem§er of the Germanic confederation. the king possesses the whole executive power. but shares the legislative with the States general or parliament, which consists of two houses: the upper house,composed of not more than 60 nor less than 40 members, all of whom are appointed by the king and hold their seats for life; and the lower house, consisting of 110 members chosen by the different provinces. Each province has its separate legislature, charged with a variety of important local duties, such as the care of the roads and bridges, of religious worship, of charitable institutions, and in particular with the election of the members of the lower house of the States general or parliament of the kingdom. The liberty of the press exists nearly as in England; and there are no political disqualifications on account of religious tenets. The judges are appointed by the king, and hold their places for life. Character.] The character of the inhabitants of the Netherlands differs considerably in the northern and southern provinces. The Dutch have always been noted for their cool phlegmatic temperament, and for persevering industry. This character is owing in some measure to their natural situation, which requires continued exertion not only to obtain the means of support, but to keep the country from being swallowed up by the sea. Remarkable neatness and cleanliness in their towns, villages and houses are also characteristic of the Dutch. They have been
reproached for an avaricious calculating character, growing oql \ of their mercantile habits, but the charge is. much exaggerated. There are among them thousands of families as unconnected with trade as the aristocracy of France or England; and their mercantile men are no more strangers to the pleasures of societj, than the merchants of ojher conntries. The Belgians, in the provinces bordering on Holland, are hardly to be distinguished from the Dutch, while in the provinces to the south, the dress, language and habits of the French are prevalent.
Revenue, Debt, fyc] The annual revenue is nearly £7,000,000 and the expenditure about the same- The navy costs only £500,000 a year; the army £2,500,000; but the largest item of expenditure is the interest of the national debt That debt amounts to £140,000,000, but the interest being in general as low as 2 or t\ per cent, does not much exceed £3,000,000. Army and JVatiy.] The army on the peace establishment amounts to above 60,000 regular troops, a large force for so small a stale, but required by its exposed frontier. The navy consists of 12 ships of the line, and twice as many frigates, and a number of smaller vessels.
Manufactures.] In the 13th and following centuries the Netherlands took the lead of all the neighboring states both in trade and manufactures. The linen of Holland, the lace of Brussels, the leather of Liege, the woollens of Leyden and Utrecht, and the silks of Amsterdam and Antwerp were known several centuries ago throughout Europe. Many of these branches an- ftiti flourishing, and maintain their ancient reputation. The cot too manufactures of Ghent and the bard-ware manufactures of Liege rival those of England.
Commerce.] The commerce of this country, both internal and external, is greatly promoted by its natural situation, and was formerly more extensive than that of any other country in Europe. Being at the mouth of so many large rivers its merchants supplied the west of Germany with fish, colonial produce and manufactures, and received in return principally timber, which wiis floated down the Rhine in immense rafts. The carrying trade extended to almost every part of Europe; io several countries, as in Ireland, Dutch merchantmen sailing from port to port and performing all the coasting trade, at the same time from the central situation of the country, wine, brandy, fruit, and wool were brought in vast quantities from the south of Europe to supply the wants of the north, and corn, hemp, flax, iron and timber were brought from the north to supply the wants of the south. These articles were generally purchased as cheap and almost always in more convenient portions in Holland than in the countries of their growth. In the fisheries, particularly the herring fishery, the number of vessels employed by the Dutch is said to have exceeded that of all the rest of Europe. At the same time, from the possession of valuable colonies in the East and West Indies, the foreign trade extended to the most distant parts of the world. The wars in which the Dutch were successively engaged with,