GHDI logo

Maximilian von Montgelas, "Ansbach Memorandum." Proposal for a Program of State Reforms (September 30, 1796)
page 2 of 5


These principles are developed in the following plan.

The [central] ministry would be divided into five departments: foreign affairs, finances, justice, ecclesiastical affairs, and war.

Each ministry would be composed of a minister and as many referendaries as there are provinces, whose constitutions differ essentially from one another. [ . . . ]

The responsibilities of each department would be laid out in the following manner:


I. The ministry of foreign affairs would be responsible for:

1° correspondence with all ministers, envoys, [diplomatic] agents, chargés d'affaires in all the courts of the Empire and of Europe; [ . . . ]

II. The ministry of finances would include: [ . . . ]

The abolition of the financial prerogatives of the privileged estates in the various provinces, the creation of a carefully drawn-up land registry that establishes a fairer proportion in direct tax levies, the abolition of several levies that impose too great a burden on subjects, and the cessation of the disastrous system of Bavarian customs duties clearly demand the attention of the legislator in the various branches of this vast administration.

III. The ministry of justice would include: [ . . . ]

This part is one of those most in need of fundamental changes. The humiliations bailiffs visit upon those under their jurisdiction, the excessive taxes they draw from them, can hardly be put into words. The poor people would be much relieved by assigning them [the bailiffs] fixed salaries, in which case they could be compelled to render account to the Hofkammer regarding the amount of the taxes. [ . . . ]

Perhaps it would be appropriate to work toward a new political division of the provinces, either by combining several bailiwicks whose jurisdictions are too extensive into one, or by adopting the division into districts already introduced in Prussia, Austria, Saxony, and Hessen. [ . . . ]

First Page < Previous   |   Next > Last Page