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Man sagt oft: Zahlen regieren die Welt.
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THE FIRST EDITION.
THE Statesman's Year-Book is intended to supply a want in English literature—a want noticed and commented upon more than fifteen years ago by the late Sir Robert Peel. All readers of
newspapers, in other words, all educated men of the present day, must have frequently felt the need of a book of reference giving an account, so to speak a portrait, of countries and states, in the same manner as a good biographical dictionary would give a sketch of individuals. In modern political life, states are mentioned and treated very much like individuals. "France,' 'Italy,' 'Russia,''Austria,' and even Germany,' are constantly referred to as living entities, possessed of a certain amount of force, strength, and volition, the quality and quantity of which is supposed to be generally known. most accustomed to deal in these matters, to write and speak on political subjects, or, may be, to take a share in the government of nations, are well aware that the subject is far from being generally known, and, in fact, if not involved in absolute obscurity, is at least environed with a large amount of complexity. The great statesman before mentioned frankly confessed it by saying that he often felt the want of a hand-book presenting, in a compact shape, a picture of the actual condition, political and social, of the various states of the civilised world. A first attempt to supply this want is now made in the publication of the Statesman's Year-Book.
The work contains a full account of all the states of Europe, and
the principal states of Asia, Africa, America, and Australasia, considered under their political, social, and commercial aspects. Each individual state is described in the following particulars—beginning at the apex and ending at the base of the various forms of constituted society.
1. Reigning Sovereign and Family,' in the case of all states with monarchical institutions. The facts under this heading are arranged in such a manner that the dynastical relations, which play so important a part in the modern history of Europe, may be seen at a glance, allowing easy reference respecting questions of succession and family alliance. The genealogical particulars are made more complete by notices of the origin and history of the reigning houses, including lists of the successive sovereigns, the family fortune, actual income of the head of the state, and other matters of interest.
2. Constitution and Government' forms division under which a succinct sketch is given of the constitutional organisation of the different states, and the prescribed action of the legislative and executive authorities. For every state a list is given, in most cases with biographical particulars, of the chief officers in the executive departments, including the presidents and vice-presidents of republics. The most important features of representative forms of government are also fully explained.
3. Church and Education' is treated briefly, in the more important states, under its social aspect, and as a constituent part of the political power of nations.
4. ' Revenue and Expenditure' is fully given, as one of the most important features of the life of states. The increase or decrease of the national income and expenditure, under given conditions and at various periods, is exhibited in all cases, together with the sources of revenue and the objects for which they are applied. The origin, growth, and actual state of the public debt of the various countries forms a necessary appendage of the financial picture.
5. ' Army and Navy' is the heading under which a full account is presented of the aggressive and defensive powers of the great states of Europe, America, and Asia. The constitution, strength, and mode of formation of the armies and navies of the world is