Anhalt

Anhalt the name of a German duchy. At the beginning of the present century there were three duchies of Anhalt, denominated Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt- Bernburg, and Anhalt-Koethen. The line of the reigning family in Anhalt- Koethen became extinct in 1847, and that of Anhalt-Bernburg in 1863, and thus the whole of Anhalt was united under one prince. The area of Anhalt is 1017 square miles. The population amounted, in 1864, to 193,046, of whom about 2000 are Roman Catholics and an equal number Jews; the remainder belong to the Protestant State Church, which has superintendents at Dessau and Bernburg, and about 150 ministers. Anhalt was one of the first German states which joined the Reformation, and several dukes distinguished themselves in the defense of German Protestantism. Until 1590 Lutheranism prevailed in the whole country, but in that year the controversies arising from the Formula of Concord (q.v.) induced the princes, with a large number of the clergy, to go over to the Reformed Church. How large a proportion of the people followed this example has not yet been established. The "Union" (between the Lutherans and Reformed) was introduced into Bernburg in 1820, into Dessau and Koethen in 1827. Since 1855 the governments of the duchies issued several decrees, which again bind thi clergymen more strictly to the symbolical books of the two denominations. SEE GERMANY.

 
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