Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg

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Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg
Signature Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg.PNG

Moritz August Bethmann-Hollweg , from 1840 from Bethmann-Hollweg , (also Bethmann Hollweg ; born April 8, 1795 in Frankfurt am Main , † July 14, 1877 at Rheineck Castle near Niederbreisig ) was a German lawyer and Prussian politician .


Bethmann-Hollweg was the son of one of the richest men in the Old Kingdom , the banker Johann Jakob Bethmann-Hollweg . His mother was Susanne Elisabeth Bethmann (1763–1831), daughter of Johann Philipp Bethmann .


He had no financial worries in his life. Carl Ritter and Georg Friedrich Grotefend trained him. He later studied in Göttingen and then at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, where he was mainly influenced by Friedrich Karl von Savigny . While still a student, he took part in the deciphering of the Veronese Gaius discovered by Niebuhr .

On the night of New Year 1817 he experienced his revival to become a believing Christian . In the Christian-German table company Adolf von Thadden-Trieglaffs he met the brothers Leopold , Ernst Ludwig and Otto von Gerlach and also Ernst Senfft von Pilsach and associated with the crown prince , who later elevated him to the nobility as king. In 1819 he completed his habilitation in Berlin and in 1823 became a full professor with no salary. On Savigny's advice, he had included civil trial as a subject. This marked the beginning of a new era for civil process science. Bethmann-Hollweg stayed away from politics. The reaction with their persecution of demagogues , their police overseers and inquirers pushed him back. In the years 1827/28 he was the rector of the university.

In 1829 he moved to the University of Bonn . The active life of the small Bonn congregation, which was shaped by its members, did not fail to have an impact on Bethmann-Hollweg, to which the reformed presbyteral constitution particularly appealed. His earlier difficulty, which had not been overcome even in his Berlin encyclopedic lectures, of reconciling the appearance of the legal order with his religious and moral worldview, was now behind him. “As one of the most important rhine. Big landowner ”in 1840 the Prussian king raised him to hereditary nobility . In the summer of 1842 he took over the office of curator and extraordinary government representative at the University of Bonn. In 1845 he joined the State Council . Bethmann-Hollweg now turned his attention more to political and church developments.

In 1848 he founded the German Evangelical Church Congress , of which he remained President (at times together with Friedrich Julius Stahl ) until 1872. He also became President of the Central Committee for Inner Mission, founded by Johann Hinrich Wichern . In the vicinity of the Frankfurt National Assembly , he became friends with Dietrich Wilhelm Landfermann . Like the latter, Bethmann-Hollweg tried to represent a position of the center politically: His position, published in the Wochenblatt from 1852 together with Graf von der Goltz, consisted in the demand for the controlled expansion of a constitutional state in a conservative-liberal sense. In the 1850s he was the head of the weekly newspaper party .

From 1849 to 1855 he was a member of the first and second Prussian chambers with a brief interruption . He was considered the head of his parliamentary group, which, despite the small number of members, stood out for its intellectual importance and political sentiment.

Four weeks after the reign of Wilhelm I began , Bethmann-Hollweg was appointed Prussian Minister of Education on November 6, 1858 . After the end of the New Era in March 1862, Heinrich von Mühler took over the Ministry of Culture for ten years . Otto von Bismarck's ministry began in October 1862. The ministry of culture had its seat on Unter den Linden  4. In 1862 he was elected an honorary member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences .

As a privateer, he wrote his main work The Civil Process of Common Law in Historical Development at Rheineck Castle from 1863 to 1874 . The son of his second son Felix von Bethmann Hollweg was Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg , Chancellor of the Reich from 1909 to 1917 .


He married Auguste Gebser (1794–1882) in Berlin in 1820 , a daughter of the chief bailiff Johann August Theodor Gebser . The couple had two sons and three daughters, including:

  • Theodor (born December 29, 1821; † June 7, 1886) ⚭ 1870 Freda Anna Karoline von Arnim (1842–1916), daughter of the Prussian Interior Minister Adolf Heinrich von Arnim-Boitzenburg
  • Felix (December 21, 1824 - February 20, 1900) ⚭ Isabella von Rougemont (September 3, 1833 - June 3, 1908)
  • Anna Frederike Cäcilie Ida Theodora (1827–1892) ⚭ Albert von Pourtalès (1812–1861)
  • Gerte Emilie Eleonore (* August 14, 1831) ⚭ Hans von Mutius (* August 15, 1825 - March 26, 1883), royal Prussian cavalry master, parents of Gerhard von Mutius
  • Elisabeth Agathe (April 20, 1834 - June 14, 1877) ⚭ Baron Robert von Dorbenck (October 19, 1830 - November 11, 1908)


  • Ground plan for lectures on the common civil process. Nicolai, Berlin 1821; 3rd, increased edition: Outline of lectures on the common and Prussian civil process. Adolph Marcus, Bonn 1832 ( digitized version ).
  • Attempt on individual parts of the theory of the civil process. Nicolai, Berlin / Stettin 1827 ( digitized version ).
  • Judgment and Trial of the Falling Roman Empire: A Contribution to the History of Roman Law up to Justinia. Adolph Marcus, Bonn 1834 ( digitized version ).
  • Origins of Lombard Urban Freedom: A Historical Study. Adolph Marcus, Bonn 1846 ( digitized version ).
  • The reactivation of the Prussian provincial parliaments. Wilhelm Hertz , Berlin 1851 ( digitized version ).
  • To the history of freedom. In: Protestant monthly sheets for internal contemporary history. Vol. 9 u. 10, 1857/58.
  • The civil process of common law in historical development. 6 volumes. Adolph Marcus, Bonn 1863-74 (digital copies: Vol. 1 , Vol. 2 , Vol. 3 , Vol. 4.1 ).
  • Family message. 2 parts. Carl Georgi, Bonn 1876/1878 ( digital copies ).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Inquirent . Explanation of the word on (last accessed on June 28, 2019).
  2. Der Große Brockhaus , 15th edition 1929 and earlier editions, sv Bethmann-Hollweg.
  3. See GStA PK I. HA Rep. 90 A No. 2350.
  4. Unter den Linden 4 . In: Allgemeine Wohnungs-Anzeiger together with address and business manual for Berlin , 1861, part 2, p. 93. “Ministry of ecclesiastical etc. Affairs. by Bethmann Hollweg, Minister of State ”.
  5. ^ Members of the previous academies. Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg. Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities , accessed on February 22, 2015 .
  6. Tomb of Hans von Mutius on (last accessed June 28, 2019).