||Political Testament of Frederick William ("the Great Elector") (May 19, 1667)
This extraordinary document displays
Frederick William’s psychology and statecraft with unvarnished....
||King Frederick William I’s Handwritten Instructions to the East Prussian Land-Tax Commission [Generalhufenschoß-Kommission] (April 23, 1716)
In this famous statement, the
Prussian “soldier king”
(r. 1713-40) bluntly expresses his determination....
||Frederick II ("the Great"), "Forms of Government and the Duties of Rulers" (1777)
Here, Frederick presents a version of social contract theory, in which monarchical power is justified....
||The General Law Code for the Prussian States, proclaimed on February 5, 1794, effective June 1, 1794 (1794)
The “rationalization” of public and private law through systematization and codification was an Enlightenment precept that Frederick II aimed to fulfill. The overseer of the project was jurist Carl....
||Karl August Baron von Hardenberg, "On the Reorganization of the Prussian State" (September 12, 1807)
Karl August Baron von Hardenberg (1750-1822), who was influential in the Prussian government before....
||Karl Baron vom und zum Stein, Nassau Memorandum on Administrative Reform in Prussia (June 1807)
In this memorandum, Karl vom und zum Stein (1757-1831), who served briefly (1807-08) as chief minister....
||King Frederick William III and his Ministers Stein and Schrötter, "Ordinance for All Cities of the Prussian Monarchy" (November 19, 1808)
By this edict, urban self-government on the part of property-owning male town-dwellers assumed nineteenth-century liberal form. It broke with earlier conceptions of representation by merchant corporations....
||The Prussian Finance Edict of 1810, signed by State Chancellor Hardenberg and King Frederick William III (October 27, 1810)
Proclaimed together with an edict embodying Hardenberg’s plan to reorganize the Prussian government....
||The Prussian Law on Freedom of Trade, signed by State Chancellor Hardenberg and King Frederick William III (September 7, 1811)
This important law reflected the Prussian state’s urgent need for a broader stream of tax revenue from the commercial-industrial sector, and it followed from Hardenberg’s....
||Frederick William III's Call for National Mobilization, "To My People" (March 17, 1813)
Following Napoleon’s defeat in Russia in 1812, there was growing pressure in Germany for a war to expel the French. This eventually led to the Battle of Leipzig (1813), where Prussia and Austria....
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