Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
ALMANACH DE GOTHA. This publication has acquired a position apart, in the political world. On this account the following data will not be without interest. The first idea of this almanach is due to Wilhelm von Rotberg (died in 1795, minister of state). He had printed under the title: "Almanach, necessary for 1763," a volume on the model of the etrénnes, (Christmas presents), then published in Paris. Beginning with the following year, the almanach grew under the hands of its new editor, Em. Ch Klüpfel, who had lived at Paris from 1747 to 1750, and who died in 1776, vice-president of the superior consistory of Gotha. Klüpfel was the first to insert the names of European sovereigns, much more numerous then than in our day. He also included, though at first only in extracts, the genealogical tables which have been so often consulted. The Almanach of Gotha therefore dates from the year 1764. The centennial anniversary of its first publication was, however, celebrated in 1863. The German edition, Gothaischer Hof Kalendar, did not appear until 1765. In this year the names of all the living members of princely families were given for the first time. Instructive or simply amusing notices on the most varied subjects were inserted in it. Toward the end of the last century events took such a serious turn that the amusing part of the almanach was dropped and the place that it occupied given to historical and statistical information. In 1794, Frederick Schlichtegroll, who died in 1822, director of the academy of sciences, (Munich,) added the chronik In 1802 the names of ambassadors or envoys were added; in 1824 the personnel of ministries and higher departments, and, soon after, the consuls and other functionaries.
—Under Napoleon I. the Almanach of Gotha had to suffer on account of the tenacity with which it adhered to the ancient order of things. Its publication even suffered a temporary suspension.
—The two editions, French and German, are almost identical. The plan followed in the first two parts dates from 1815, that of the third from 1824. In 1768 engravings were added to the text. There was a great variety of them at first, but since the end of the last century only portraits are given.
—Although the Almanach de Gotha is the property of an individual house, (Justus Perthes at Gotha since 1816), it is almost considered as the official almanach of reigning princes and the higher nobility. It enjoys also the reputation of an authority for statistical data. These are always drawn from official or authentic sources. The number and extent of these data so increased from year to year that an enlargement of the volume was found necessary in 1870.
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