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REGISTER OF IMPORTANT EVENTS
OF THE YEAR
EMBRACING POLITICAL, CIVIL, MILITARY, AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS; PUBLIC DOCU-
SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE, AND MECIIANICAL INDUSTRY.
649 & 651 BROADWAY,
1875 presented generally throughout the world a peaceful aspect, although conflicts of principles were continued and hostilities commenced in some localities, which may yet involve the destinies of vast populations. The most extensive of these conflicts between some of the Governments of Europe and the Roman Catholic Church still continued, and in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, the supremacy of the state was asserted and maintained without relaxation. The measures of each party to the contest and the documents issued are herein fully presented. In Spain, the heir of the late Queen has become established on the throne, and the Carlist forces have been defeated and have disappeared. In France, a constitutional republic has been established, and is in peaceful and successful operation. In the provinces of Turkey hostilities have broken out which have attracted the attention of the leading Governments of Europe. Incessant efforts have been made to suppress them without success, lest they should lead to the downfall of Turkey in Europe, and a general war over her remains. All these extensive subjects, and the important questions inrolved in them, and thə circulars expressive of the views and measures of the Governments, are fully set forth in these pages.
In the United States peace has everywhere prevailed. The difficulties in Louisiana, in Arkansas, and in Mississippi, were soon adjusted, and the public attention has been engrossed by the embarrassed state of commercial affairs, with preparations for a Centennial Exhibition, and the numerous other measures appearing at the entrance upon a new career.
The details of American affairs embrace the finances of the Federal Government; the results of its systems of revenue and taxation; the banking system; the currency, and the effects of irredeemable paper money; the commerce, manufactures, and general state of the country; the finances of the States; their debts and resources; their educational, charitable, and reformatory institutions ; the various political conventions assembled during the year, with their nominations and platforms; the results of elections; also, commercial and financial conventions and their proceedings; the important questions before Congress, such as specie payments, expansion or contraction, presidential elections, etc., with debates and decisions of that body; the proceedings of State Legislatures on the various local matters of importance—the extension of railroads and telegraphs, and all those improvements involved in the rapid progress of the country. These are contained, with ample details, in these pages.
A special article is devoted to the affairs of every foreign country, which
contains a brief sketch of its history during the year, and all official or trustworthy information later than that given in the preceding volumes, on area, population, religion, education, finances, army, navy, commerce, industry, etc. Great efforts are made to secure the completest material from all parts of the world, and the succeeding volumes of this Annual not only show, from year to year, a greater abundance of information, but its superiority over all other publications of a similar scope is more generally appreciated and recognized. It is felt that in this, as in other departments, the work may be safely consulted as the completest and most reliable book of reference; and many of its figures, like those on the area and population of the several countries, have passed into the geographical text-books used in American schools.
In order to make this information still more useful, a comparative article has this
year been introduced, under the head of THE EARTH, which gives the summaries of the area and population of the large divisions of the globe, as well as the latest statistical aspects of the great creeds of mankind. It is intended to continue this comparative article in subsequent volumes, and to extend the summaries to other subjects.
The special articles on the great religious denominations constitute in their entirety a brief religious history of the year, probably the only one now accessible in the English language. The extensive use which is made of these pages of the CYCLOPÆDIA in the religious press and contemporaneous literature proves its value, and is a spur to making it, from year to year, more comprehensive without increasing its bulk.
The biographical department comprises articles or brief notices of deceased persons of distinction in state, church, society, and literature. The department will this year be found to be very complete, and to include the last owners of several names of great lustre in history (see Cavour, SCHARNHORST, and StuART, in FOREIGN OBITUARIES). The space devoted to living men is gradually enlarged, as it is intended to embrace within its scope the plan of a dictionary of men of the times. Men will be noted when they rise to eminence or fill prominent positions. Among the biographical notices given in the present volume are the new Ministers of several European States, the Presidents of Legislatures and large religious assemblies, and brief notices of each of the seventyfive French Senators elected by the National Assembly.
The advance in the various branches of astronomical and chemical science, with new and valuable applications to various purposes, is extensively described.
The narrative of geographical discoveries in the different parts of the earth, with their results, is very complete.
The record of literature and literary progress in the United States, and in each of the countries of Europe, is as full and important as during preceding years.
All important documents, messages, orders, and letters from officials, have been inserted entire.
A General Index of all the volumes, in one volume, is not only completed, but will soon be issued.
ABYSSINIA, a country in Eastern Africa, Turkish hands since Egypt occupied the Soarea about 158,000 square miles; population mali coast in 1874. All these facts are well variously estimated at from 3,000,000 to 4,- known to the Abyssinians, and are not calcu000,000.*
lated to give rise to a friendly feeling toward The successor of Theodore II. as King of Egypt. Unfortunately, they are quite conAbyssinia, Prince Kassa, who assumed the title vinced that they are the first nation in the of Johannes, King of the Kings of Ethiopia," world, and eve Abyssinian Christian firmly has been entirely unsuccessful in his efforts to believes that his country will, at some future subject the whole of Abyssinia to his rule. day, conquer Mecca and Medina, take JerusaThe King of Shoa, Menelek, has always re- lem from the Turks, and cause Mohammedanmained independent. A new expedition was, ism to disappear from the face of the earth. in 1875, undertaken against him by King Jo- European adventurers, who have from time to hannes; but, wbilo the latter was on his way time sought to mend their fortunes in the to Shoa, a nephew of the late King Theodore, country, have encouraged the Abyssinians in Ledj Poie, placed himself at the head of the this belief; and their sovereigns have only numerous malcontents, and by rapid military been prevented by incessant rebellions and operations conquered the wealthiest provinces civil wars from attempting to carry out their of Central and West Abyssinia (Dembea, Koara, supposed mission. Though no open war was Begemeder, Vogara, Sakalt), and took posses- carried on between Egypt and Abyssinia, the sion of the important fortress of Vokhamba. Khedive, without meeting with any serious
Eren more dangerous to Abyssinia than obstacle, took possession of the Bogos country, these civil wars is the irrepressible progress of in the north of Abyssinia, and of some districts the Egyptians. The Abyssinians have looked in the west. In the latter part of 1875 the with alarm and distrust upon their Egyptian Egyptians were reported to be farther advancneighbors ever since the troops of Mehemet ing into Abyssinia. According to dispatches Ali pushed their conquests to the Abyssinian received in November, the Abyssinians had frontier in pursuing the Mamelukes. Abyssinia surprised and killed a body of 1,200 Egyptians. is now almost powerless to defend herself Later accounts state that the Khedive was against her neighbor, who is gradually draw- sending a force of 15,000 men against the ing in upon her from all sides. All the roads Abyssinians. which connect Abyssinia with the seacoast The English Colonel Kirkham, having repass through Egyptian territory. The road ceived from the King as a present a piece of from the western provinces on the Blue Nile land called Ghenda, on the borders of Hamasia goes partly by Senaar to Khartoom, the capital and Egypt, gave part of it to the Swiss and of the Soudan; the remaining and largest part Swedish missionaries at Massowah. These passes by Gallabat and Kassala to Suakim, on built some houses on the land, and sent a nathe Red Sea. The principal road from Central tive missionary to reside there. The peasants Abyssinia, Amhara, and Tigré, ends at Masso- of Hamasia, however, declared that Ghenda wah, the chief harbor of Abyssinia on the Red belonged to them, and threatened to kill the Sea, which has now for three hundred years missionaries and burn their houses. The misbeen under Turkish rule. From the fertile sionaries then escaped to Eilet; but the Govdistricts of Southern Abyssinia, too, the roads ernment is so weak that it has not yet been leading to the Indian Ocean' have been in able to take any steps in the matter. The
ringleaders were the Abyssinian monks and • Continued from ANNUAL CYCLOPEDIA for 1873. priests, who are strongly opposed to foreign VOL. XV.-1A