Mayor's office (Prussia)

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The mayor's office was next to the official residence of the mayor in Prussia also one of several communities composite administrative unit .


The mayor's office was a municipal association or administrative unit made up of several municipalities in the Prussian Rhine province (created in 1822 from the provinces of the Grand Duchy of Lower Rhine and Jülich-Kleve-Berg , established in 1815) and in the province of Westphalia (from 1815) . The same was under a mayor appointed by the government, who was honored by the mayor's office and who was assisted by the mayor's assembly as an organ of the association. The communities assigned to the mayor's offices were represented by community leaders.


After the Treaty of Tilsit (February 9, 1807) Prussia had to cede its territories to the left of the Elbe to France. Napoleon I introduced the tightly organized prefectural system that existed in France , which divided the country into departments , arrondissements and cantons . With this division, the communities were also reorganized. Municipal districts were established, which consisted of one or more small towns. At the top was the mayor , who was responsible for the entire local and immediate state administration in the mayy and who was subordinate to the prefect. A municipal council was established for each mairie , the members of which in the Grand Duchy of Berg were appointed by the Minister of the Interior or the Grand Duke. The municipal council met only once a year and had a predominantly advisory role.

After Napoleon's defeat ( Congress of Vienna in 1815), the French administrative system was initially retained in the two Prussian Rhine provinces and in the province of Westphalia below the district level . The municipal district became the mayor's office , the mayor became the mayor and the municipal council became the mayor's council . The mayor offices in these provinces corresponded to the offices in the other Prussian provinces.

Conversion of the mayor's offices into offices

Province of Westphalia

Example of a preserved office building (here old office building Langerfeld , today in Wuppertal)

For the province of Westphalia the Prussian government decreed on October 31, 1841 the "Landgemeinde -ordnung for the province of Westphalia". In § 12 it was determined: "From several communities in addition to the manors that do not belong to the community association, a community district (office) is formed under a bailiff", and: "The office can also consist of a community."

The Upper President of the Province was commissioned to implement the law (Section 126). On June 13, 1842, a “very high cabinet order ” was issued “on the date of application of the new rural community order for Westphalia” , in which the introduction of the new local authorities and their announcement by the respective district governments was regulated. The transformation of the individual mayor's offices into offices including the definition of the associated municipalities took place in the three Westphalian administrative districts in the course of 1843 and 1844. The term mayor's office has not been used in Westphalia since then.

With the new version of the rural community order of March 19, 1856, it was finally stipulated in § 4: “Several communities, in addition to goods equivalent to the communities, form an administrative district (office), which is headed by a bailiff; but the office can also consist of one community. "

Rhine Province

On the other hand, in the municipal regulations for the Rhine Province of July 23, 1845, amended on May 15, 1856, §§ 7 and 8 regulated: “Several municipalities form an administrative district (mayor's office) under one mayor; the mayor's office can also consist of a municipality. At the same time, with regard to matters which have a common interest for all the communities belonging to it, it forms a local authority association with the rights of a community ”. With the municipal code, the municipalities administered by the mayor's office were (re) recognized as limited self-governing bodies with their own head and council .

Local self-government remained restricted, as both community leaders (appointed for six years) and mayors (appointed for life) were appointed by higher-level government agencies. The municipal council was elected according to a graduated census suffrage . According to the municipal code of 1856, the mayor was still the chairman of the individual municipalities, not the head of the municipalities himself. The mayor could gain authority from the municipalities without their consent. With the Rhenish City Code , which came into force in the same year, the legal equality between cities and rural communities was abolished.

Mayor offices that consisted of several municipalities were called rural mayor's offices, and mayor offices that consisted of a single city according to the Rhenish city code were at least informally called “city mayor's offices”. In the Rhine Province, the term mayor's office remained until 1927. The Prussian law on the regulation of various points of the municipal constitutional law of December 27, 1927 stipulated in § 2: "The mayor's office in the Rhine Province will henceforth be called an office ."

Individual evidence

  1. a b Ludwig Moritz Peter von Rönne: The State Law of the Prussian Monarchy, Volume 2, Part 1. 1864, pp. 458, 463.
  2. a b c Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe, State Office for Archive Maintenance: Archive Maintenance in Westphalia and Lippe , p. 4 (PDF; 959 kB)
  3. Manfred van Rey : 100 years of elections and parties in the Rhein-Sieg district. Verlag Schmitt, Siegburg 1978, ISBN 3-87710-082-1 , p. 150.
  4. Landgemeinde -ordnung for the Province of Westphalia from October 31, 1841 (PDF; 1.6 MB)
  5. ^ Highest cabinet order of June 13, 1842 (PDF; 67 kB)
  6. ^ Official Journal of the Minden Government 1843. Accessed February 2, 2014 .
  7. ^ Official Journal of the Minden Government 1844. Retrieved February 2, 2014 .
  8. ^ Official Journal for the administrative district of Arnsberg 1843. Retrieved on February 2, 2014 .
  9. ^ Official Journal for the administrative district of Arnsberg 1844. Retrieved on February 2, 2014 .
  10. Official Gazette for the Münster district in 1843. Retrieved on February 2, 2014 .
  11. Official Gazette for the Münster district in 1844. Retrieved on February 2, 2014 .
  12. ^ Rural community regulations for the province of Westphalia from March 13, 1856 (PDF; 2.6 MB)
  13. Municipal code for the Rhine Province from 1845
  14. Manfred van Rey: 100 years of elections and parties in the Rhein-Sieg district. Verlag Schmitt, Siegburg 1978, ISBN 3-87710-082-1 , p. 152.
  15. ^ Walter Jellinek et al .: The protection of public law. The latest development in municipal constitutional law: Negotiations at the meeting of the Association of German Constitutional Law Teachers in Leipzig on March 10 and 11, 1925. Verlag Walter de Gruyter, 1980, p. 231.
  16. ^ Wilhelm Merk: German administrative law. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1962, p. 693.