Robert von Patow

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert von Patow. ( Adolph Menzel : Study for the coronation picture of Wilhelm I. Portrait Pencil, watercolors and opaque colors, on gray-brown paper 29.4 × 22.3 cm, 1865)
Robert von Patow
Robert von Patow

Erasmus Robert Freiherr von Patow (born September 10, 1804 in Mallenchen , † January 5, 1890 in Berlin ) was a Prussian civil servant and politician . Especially during the Reaction Era and the New Era in the 1850s and 1860s, he was one of the leading old liberal politicians in Prussia .


His parents were Erasmus Gottfried Bernhard von Patow (1767–1842) and his wife Johanna Friederike, née von Thermo (1766–1847). His father was the heir to Mallenchen, a Prussian chamberlain as well as an electoral councilor of the margraviate of Niederlausitz. He was also appointed imperial baron in 1790. The district administrator Bernhard von Patow was his brother. His brother Hermann von Patow (1801-1884) was a member of the Prussian manor house. His sister Karoline Friederike (1797–1871) married the later Prussian major general Karl von Götz and Schwanenfließ . His nephew Kurt (1836–1902) was married to Marie von Bodelschwingh (1842–1923), the daughter of Minister Carl von Bodelschwingh .

Time of March

After graduating from high school, he himself studied law in Berlin , Heidelberg and Leipzig . In 1826 he became an auscultator at the city court in Frankfurt an der Oder . In the same city he became a trainee lawyer at the Higher Regional Court in 1827 . In 1829 he moved to the Higher Regional Court in Berlin and shortly afterwards worked for the district government in Potsdam. Between 1830 and 1832 von Patow was an "unskilled worker" (a kind of assistant ) in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior. Then he was a government assessor , first again in Potsdam and then in the Prussian Ministry of Finance. There he was involved in the preparation for the foundation of the German customs union . During this time his doctorate from Patow also to Dr. jur.

In 1833 Patow became a member of the Brandenburg provincial parliament . Three years later he was appointed to the government council and in 1837 to the secret finance council and lecturer council in the Ministry of the royal house.

Patow came into close contact with David Hansemann . Ludolf Camphausen called him a good mediator. On the other hand, conservatives like Leopold von Gerlach and Otto von Manteuffel - with whom Patow had been brought up at times in his childhood - were hostile to him. In the pre-March period he was much closer to the conservatives than to the liberals. Patow married Amalie von Endell in 1837. The marriage with the daughter of a patrician from Hamburg also had financial reasons, as Patow was able to rehabilitate his over-indebted property. In 1842 he was able to acquire Zinnitz Castle and had it redesigned in the late classical style.

Patow was appointed to the Secret Finance Council and a member of the State Council in 1840 . A year later he became Lecturer in the Royal Civil Cabinet . In 1844, Patow was promoted to Real Secret Senior Councilor and Ministerial Director in the Ministry of the Interior. In the same year he briefly became district president in Cologne and an honorary citizen of the city of Lübben .

Outside of his official work, Patow was active in the executive committee of the Central Association for the welfare of the working classes .

As early as 1845 Patow was appointed Real Secret Legation Councilor and Ministerial Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this capacity he served as President of the Customs Union Conference in 1846. Patow was free trade , but he was also ready to compromise on protective tariffs . In 1847 he proposed a transnational German changeover order and headed the corresponding changeover conference in Leipzig .

Revolution 1848/49 and the Union of Erfurt

In the same year Patow was elected a member of the United Prussian Landtag . As before on the provincial parliament, he was one of the more conservative members. In 1848, Patow's political position changed significantly towards liberalism . By royal decree of April 17, 1848 to the Ministry of State, the new " Ministry of Trade, Industry and Public Works " was established and determined that it should " preferably also devote its care to the working and commercial classes of the urban and rural population " . “ The direction of the newly formed ministry ” was given by the king “ for the time being to the real secret legation councilor, Dr. von Patow, ”which he held in the Camphausen-Hansemann cabinet until June 25, 1848. During this time he had proposals for agricultural reform drawn up, among other things . His draft was deliberately based on the reform period and aimed, among other things, at the abolition of the last feudal burdens. The bill did not go far enough for the farmers and was not able to dampen the unrest, especially in Silesia . In May 1848, Patow's headquarters were stormed by protesting unemployed people and it was difficult for him to evade violent attacks. Even if it was heavily watered down, Patov's agricultural bill was included in the reform of 1850. In 1849 Patow was provisional chief president of the province of Brandenburg .

In 1850 Patow belonged to the Erfurt Union Parliament . There he played an important role as a proponent of the Union policy of Prussia . Following the ideas of Karl Mathy , as rapporteur for the constitutional committee, he played a key role in drafting the Union constitution.

Opposition politician in the House of Representatives

From 1849 to 1863 and then again from 1866 to 1869 Patow was a member of the Prussian Second Chamber and the House of Representatives . Initially in 1849 he was on the side of the moderate conservatives and, together with Otto von Bismarck, was an opponent of the democrats. Mainly because of his criticism of the imposed Prussian constitution , he went back to the camp of the liberal opposition. This change led to a break with Friedrich Wilhelm IV. , Who publicly challenged Patow. This then resigned from the civil service and then lived as a landowner in Zinnitz.

Since then Patow has remained connected to the liberal camp. In 1850 he ran for the office of mayor of Berlin , but failed because of government obstruction. He was one of the leading old liberals in parliament in the reaction era . Even if he was not particularly talented in rhetoric, he sharply criticized Manteuffel's reaction policy in parliament in the 1850s. From 1852 to 1855 he was the leader of a faction named after him of around 40 members. This united in 1855 with the Georg von Vinckes faction . But even after they merged, their importance shrank and only comprised 32 members.

Finance minister

In the New Era , he was Minister of Finance between 1858 and 1862. The influence of Otto Camphausen and Rudolf von Auerswald played an important role in this appointment . As finance minister he followed a largely free trade course. However, when it came to army reform, he was only partially behind the ideas of Wilhelm I. When the matter came to a head in the Prussian constitutional conflict, the government decided in 1860 to take an unusual approach. She withdrew the original proposal and instead asked parliament for a substantial supplementary budget in the same amount to finance the expansion of the army. The controversial issues were thus initially excluded. Von Patow assured the MPs that there would be no prejudice for the entire bill associated with approval . This calmed down the situation, but at the same time triggered violent protests from the conservatives, who perceived this as a defeat. Renewed from this side, the conflict continued and came to a head. In 1862 the government's liberal ministers, including von Patow, were dismissed.

Time as civil governor and chief president

After the war of 1866 he was from August 11, 1866 civil governor for the Prussian-occupied areas of Nassau , Upper Hesse and Frankfurt am Main . He was also a member of the Reichstag of the North German Confederation from 1867 and of the German Reichstag until 1873 . There, too, he was one of the old liberals.

From 1869 Patow was chairman of the Central Statistical Commission. On the occasion of a pair push he became a member of the Prussian mansion from 1872 . Between 1873 and 1881 von Patow was senior president of the province of Saxony and at the same time regional president in Magdeburg . He was also a member of the Provincial Parliament for the Province of Saxony and a Landtag Marshal .


In 1837 he married Amalie von Endell (1818–1846), a daughter of the manor owner and secret war councilor Ernst Gottlieb von Endell (1781–1856) and Luise Schrör († 1864). The couple had two daughters:

  • Marie (August 13, 1838 - July 23, 1839)
  • Hedwig (December 14, 1842; † April 3, 1882) ∞ Robert von Keudell (1824–1903), Prussian diplomat and imperial envoy to Rome

After the death of his first wife, he married Ida von Günderrode (1817-1896), a daughter of the baron and Frankfurt Senator Friedrich Carl Hector Wilhelm von Günderrode (1786-1862) and the baroness Charlotte Henriette von Closen-Haidenburg (* 1788). Their son Robert (* / † 1855) died a few days after his birth.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler : German history of society. Volume 2: From the reform era to the industrial and political German double revolution 1815–1845 / 49. Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-32262-X , p. 154.
  2. ^ Hermann Beck : The Origins of the Authoritarian Welfare State in Prussia. University of Michigan Press, 1997, ISBN 0472084283 , p. 184. ( digitized version )
  3. ^ Collection of laws for the Royal Prussian States. 1848, p. 109
  4. Wehler, Volume 2, p. 714.
  5. ^ Hans-Ulrich Wehler: German history of society. Volume 3: From the German double revolution to the beginning of the First World War 1849–1914. Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-32263-8 , p. 256, p. 259.