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Electoral Saxony: Report of the Official Thomas Baron von Fritsch to Saxon Prime Minister Heinrich von Brühl on Administrative Reforms and Appointments (April 4, 1762)
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It is and remains a highly detrimental problem [Übel] for the lord and the land that too many people study and, whether they turn out well or not, are eager for offices.

Because their parents, and even more so, their preconceptions, fail to set any realistic bounds, there is nothing left to do but be so tough in granting offices that people voluntarily go into the lower offices or remain without an office for their entire lives.

Supernumeraries, in the heretofore customary form, meaning that one cannot ever be rid of them, are a real plague. No directive aimed at only promoting the competent helps, no matter how well intentioned, because their patrons support them.

If the untimely ambition, which is largely based on the deep-rooted love of profligacy in the nation, were regulated, then no one would be ashamed, regardless of his social rank, to serve for a couple years, without compensation, as a secretary to an experienced minister or another councilor and to learn something from him, because then he, with experience or talent, could later be further tested with greater confidence.

When the circle and office leadership are correctly and usefully established, then the nobles who come from the university could be used by them, to become acquainted with the government in all of its branches, to comprehend the economy; and all of this without special expense. It would soon become evident which particular type of legal, police, or finance work suited one especially well, and [it would be clear] how he could be useful to the lord and his interests; or if he is suited to nothing, then he could avoid it all, without his honor suffering.

In a well staffed government, everything must be connected, and in addition to ensuring good servants, their successors must also be guaranteed.

If luxury and a poorly understood sense of honor — or better said, an empty sense of title — could be removed from their heads, and if one could impress upon them and remember well what a fatherland is, in which the lord is the first member and directs and demands cohesion, then everyone would be able to mind his own matters in more peace and better conscience.



Source: Die Staatsreformen in Kursachsen 1762-1763. Quellen zum kursächsischen Rétablissement nach dem Siebenjährigen Kriege [State Reform in Electoral Saxony, 1762-1763. Sources on the Restoration of Electoral Saxony after the Seven Years War]. Edited and introduced by Horst Schlechte. Berlin: Rütten & Loening, 1958, pp. 198-203.

Reprinted in Helmut Neuhaus, ed., Zeitalter des Absolutismus 1648-1789 [The Era of Absolutism, 1648-1789]. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, volume 5. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1997, pp. 405-11.

Translation: Benjamin Marschke

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