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Karl August Baron von Hardenberg, "On the Reorganization of the Prussian State" (September 12, 1807)

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7. Means to an end.

I am in full agreement that one must not do any violence to the provincial character, and that one must not, out of an overwhelming urge to force everything into one form, especially a form that is unsuitable, set up all institutions and implement all regulations in the same way everywhere. But it strikes me as wise to imprint a single national character upon the whole, and to gradually work, those maxims notwithstanding, toward that goal, which can also be done without coercion. Accordingly, I would not maintain the administration of the provinces; I would divide and name the administrative departments in accordance with natural conditions and place a chamber at the head of each. Henceforth, the entire state shall be called Prussia. [ . . . ]

IV. Military system

[ . . . ] 1. Number and composition of the army. a) Regular troops, b) Land regiments or reserves c) rural contingents, volunteer corps.

It is entirely necessary to immediately assemble as many forces as possible by whatever means, since a situation in which a new war becomes unavoidable can arise again very easily and quickly. [ . . . ] In terms of regular troops, one would have to add perhaps 45,000 infantrymen and 25,000 cavalrymen, and in addition the necessary artillerymen, engineers, tunnelers, sappers, pontoon-builders, etc. In addition, however, I would propose 80,000 men as infantry reserve troops or land regiments, and in order to make our defense all the more secure, I would let the entire body of the population participate, and I would endeavor to get them more interested in it. To that end, the cities and the countryside – here meaning primarily estate owners and officials – shall be called upon to set up voluntary corps, not for external use, but merely to serve for the protection of their own property. [ . . . ]

2. Obligatory military service.

Military conscription would be entirely changed. All previous exemptions would be abolished, without exception. Everyone who is not employed in service to the state in some other way would have to be obligated to real military service in the regular and reserve forces.

Every dishonorable form of punishment, caning, running the gantlet etc., is eliminated [ . . . ]

11. Education and training to the soldier’s estate

Given the great importance of the soldier’s estate, attention to the upbringing of the state citizen must in general already be aimed at giving everyone an education directed at this as well as a sense of patriotism and a sense of obligation to defend the fatherland. Special educational institutions for the military, both for the lower and higher sciences and the individual branches of the same, are important and necessary. [ . . . ]

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