State domain

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The state domain ( English state domain , French domaine de l'Etat ) is an outdated legal term that encompassed all property belonging to the state . Today we speak of state assets . Today, the state domain or state property is often understood to mean a larger manor owned by the state .


The loan word "domain" originally comes from the word for domination ( Latin dominium ), which became established in France in the 16th century as the French domaine . In the 18th century, the Kingdom of Prussia took it over into German as "Domaine" or "Domain" in legal language . The word state domain is only used today if it is supposed to have a historical connotation .

Development history

In ancient Egypt , according to Diodorus , the land belonged equally to the king , the priesthood, and the warrior caste .

The Roman law knew for the various areas of life which the gods dedicated things ( Latin res divini iuris ), things in public use ( Latin res publica ) as streets , theaters , squares and all commonly owned stuff ( Latin res communes omnium ) as the air , flowing water in rivers or the sea and the beach . The latter two embodied the basis of what is now considered to be state assets ( Latin res publicae ). The res divini iuris, in turn, were divided into the things consecrated to the supernatural deities ( Latin res sacrae ) such as temples and altars and the burial sites occupied by a corpse ( Latin res religiosae ).

All Roman land is a state domain ( Latin ager publicus ) or private property ( Latin ager privatus ), the state could sell ( Latin questo ius ) or lease ( Latin assignatus ) state domains . The state left domain lands to the farmers for a rent ( Latin pensio canon ). In the case of the precarious , the state reserved the right of revocation at any time . After the introduction of Christianity, the imperial domains ( Latin dominici juris ) were available to the senators for long-term lease . In 1091 he derived the right of Constantine X to give away islands such as Corsica from the fact that all islands were legally state domains ( Latin juris publici ).

In France , the Edict of Moulins created in February 1566 under Charles IX. the inalienable property of the king ( French domaine du roi ), which assumed the role of the state domain. The law of the Constituent Assembly of December 1790 transferred the king's property to the state property ( French domaine de l'État ) and created the concept of public property ( French domaine public ). The king was only granted a right of use and the state assets were declared alienable.

"The domains of the Prussian state include the domain goods (domains in the narrower sense), the domain forests and the domain hunts ". The General Prussian Land Law (APL) of June 1794 assigned ownership of domains to the state, but their use to the head of state (II 14, § 11 APL). “Domains” were land , entrances and rights , the special property of which belonged to the state and the exclusive use of the chief. Domains and chamber goods were synonymous, but only in this law. Even country roads , navigable rivers, harbors and seafront were considered domain (II 14, § 21 APL). The statute of limitations for domains was regulated by II 14 § 35–43 APL. While in Prussia , Bavaria , Württemberg and Saxony the chamber property was recognized as a state property since the 18th century and the sovereigns were entitled to a civil list , in Baden it was still considered the chamber property of the ruling families. Sometimes the private domains, like the Kammergut, were also owned by a ruler, for example with Napoleon Bonaparte . The domains were often operated as "model agriculture" in order to spread modern agricultural production methods among the peasantry. They were subject to a hierarchical management structure.

In 1820 the statistician Johann Daniel Georg von Memminger counted the church property , breweries , mills , forests , saltworks , mining and metallurgy , interest on loans , Gesallen and other property among the state domains . The resulting different scope of terms made it clear that church property was sometimes viewed as part of the state domain, which can be explained during secularization, especially in the Napoleonic era, with the nationalization of church property (confiscation of church property). During the French era , secularization took place in the annexed areas on the left bank of the Rhine in 1802, and church property belonged to the state domain. The constitutional lawyer Lorenz von Stein announced in 1860 the entire state assets in state-owned and state domains one. While he understood state property to mean all unprofitable goods, he referred to state domains as the "totality of state goods intended for primary production and agriculture" (ie agriculture and forestry , mining and fishing ).

Between 1896 and 1916 the Prussian government purposefully bought up farms in northern Schleswig and converted them into so-called state domain farms (Danish: Domænegårde ), which were occupied by German tenants. It was a measure in the German-Danish nationality conflict around North Schleswig .

In the 20th century, state goods were widespread in the Eastern Bloc and existed there alongside cooperative enterprises , for example in the GDR as nationally owned goods (VEG) alongside the cooperative agricultural production cooperatives (LPG) or in the Soviet Union as sovkhozes ( Russian Soviet economies ) alongside the cooperative kolkhozes ( Russian Collective farms ).


In the case of state domains, a distinction was made in Germany between two main asset categories, namely the actual state domain and the private domain of the state. The former included state roads, railways, and rivers; the private domains ( French domaine privée de l'Etat ) were owned by the state and were not used by the citizens. This mainly included land for exploitation (state agriculture , forest , mining ).


State domains, chamber property and church property can be clearly distinguished from one another. The property of the state domains was owned by the state. The chamber property, on the other hand, was owned by kings , emperors or princes . If there was chamber property, there was usually a state domain next to it. Church property, in turn, still belongs to the church or the institutions associated with it.

Usage today

Today, state estates are often used as training centers or research institutes for agriculture, sometimes also in connection with agricultural faculties (e.g. in Dürnast or Hohenheim ). In addition, they often offer the possibility of creating or maintaining reserve areas for urban development.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. State property. In: Retrieved May 29, 2020 .
  2. Thomas Herntrich: Thuringia: From the Thuringian small states after the collapse of the Old Empire to the Free State of Thuringia . 2010, p. 46 f., Footnote 280
  3. Ludwig von Rönne: The constitution and administration of the Prussian state . Volume 9, Edition 1, 1854, p. 1, footnote 1
  4. Jürgen Ellenberger . In: Otto Palandt : BGB commentary . 73rd edition. 2014, overview before section 90, no. 8th
  5. Amalie Weidner: Cultural goods as res extra commercium in international property law . 2001, p. 16 ff.
  6. Leipziger Literaturzeitung , Volume 2, Issue 2, 1813, Col. 2573 f.
  7. ^ Ernst Engel (Ed.): France's real estate state property . In: Journal of the Royal Prussian Statistical Bureau , 1876, p. 246 f.
  8. Ludwig von Rönne : The Constitution and Administration of the Prussian State , Volume 9, Edition 1, 1854, p
  9. Income from state domains such as fiefs and leases
  10. August Ferdinand Schering (ed.): General land law for the Prussian states . Volume III, 1876, p. 166 ff.
  11. ^ Robert Achille Friedrich Hermann Hue de Grais: Handbook of the constitution and administration in Prussia and the German Empire . 1906, p. 183
  12. ^ Karl Dietrich Hüllmann : History of the use of domains in Germany . Academic bookstore, Frankfurt an der Oder 1807 ( )
  13. ^ Johann Daniel Georg Memminger, Description: or Geography and Statistics , 1820, p. 416
  14. ^ Wilhelm Janssen , Kleine Rheinische Geschichte , 1997, p. 26
  15. Lorenz von Stein: Textbook of Public Finance: As a basis for lectures and for self-study . 1860, p. 113
  16. Sønderjylland A-Å . Historisk Samfund for Sønderjylland, Aabenraa 2011, pp. 80/81
  17. Tyske domænegårde i Jutland . Vejen municipality
  18. Record of the domain farms in northern Schleswig
  19. ^ JCB Mohr: Handbook of Public Law . Volume 1: The constitutional law of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy , 1892, p. 86
  20. ^ JCB Mohr: Handbook of Public Law . Volume 1: The constitutional law of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy . 1892, p. 87