Otto Michaelis (politician)

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Otto Michaelis (graphic by Hermann Scherenberg , 1862)

Otto Michaelis (born September 12, 1826 in Lübbecke , † December 9, 1890 in Berlin ) was a German lawyer and journalist. As a politician, he was a staunch advocate of economic liberalism .


From 1844 Michaelis studied law at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität zu Berlin . In 1847 he became an auscultator at the Paderborn Court of Appeal . Because of his participation in the German Revolution of 1848/49 he had to quit civil service. From 1849 he was a full-time journalist. From 1856 he was editor-in-chief of the economic section of the National-Zeitung . Michaelis was a leading member of the Congress of German Economists .

In 1862 he became a member of the Prussian House of Representatives for the German Progressive Party , to which he belonged until 1867. In 1866 he left the Progressive Party and joined the National Liberal Party , which he represented in the Reichstag of the North German Confederation in 1867 . In 1867 he was appointed by Rudolph von Delbrück as a lecturer in the Federal Chancellery , whereby his mandate in the Reichstag expired. Michaelis was decisive for the economic, legislative and institutional unification in the North German Confederation and extremely important for the later German Empire . In 1880 Michaelis became president of the Reichsinvalidenfonds .

Michaelis was seen as economically liberal, but not as a free trader, Manchester man and also not as dogmatic, but as very pragmatic. He was the first prominent member of the Progress Party to resign from this party for pragmatic reasons, thus paving the way for the establishment of a national liberal party.

In 1868 he was accepted as a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg .

Otto Michaelis died in Berlin in 1890 at the age of 64. He found his final resting place in the Old Twelve Apostles Cemetery in Schöneberg near Berlin. The grave has not been preserved.


  • Economic Writings. two volumes. Berlin 1873.


Web links

Wikisource: Otto Michaelis  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Short biography and picture in: Horst Conrad, Bernd Haunfelder : Prussian Parliamentarians. A photo album 1859–1867. (= Photo documents on the history of parliamentarism and political parties ). Preface by Lothar Gall. Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 1986, p. 94; see also Bernd Haunfelder , Klaus Erich Pollmann : Reichstag of the North German Confederation 1867–1870. Historical photographs and biographical handbook (= photo documents on the history of parliamentarism and political parties. Volume 2). Droste, Düsseldorf 1989, ISBN 3-7700-5151-3 , photo p. 226, short biography p. 438.
  2. ^ Fritz Specht, Paul Schwabe: The Reichstag elections from 1867 to 1903. Statistics of the Reichstag elections together with the programs of the parties and a list of the elected representatives. 2nd Edition. Verlag Carl Heymann, Berlin 1904, p. 46; see. also A. Phillips (Ed.): The Reichstag elections from 1867 to 1883. Statistics of the elections for the constituent and North German Reichstag, for the customs parliament, as well as for the first five legislative periods of the German Reichstag. Publishing house Louis Gerschel, Berlin 1883, p. 29.
  3. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724. Otto Michaelis. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed February 20, 2016 (Russian).
  4. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende: Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 754.