Wilhelm Beseler

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Wilhelm Beseler

Wilhelm Hartwig Beseler (born March 2, 1806 on Gut Marienhausen, Sande (Friesland) ; † September 2, 1884 in Bonn ) was a German politician. In 1848 he was President of the Provisional Government of Schleswig-Holstein.


Beseler, older brother of Georg Beseler , was a son of the chamber councilor and dike inspector Cay Hartwig Beseler and his wife Sophie Magdalena Jahn (1768-1820). From 1823 to 1827 he studied law at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel , where he joined the Old Kiel Burschenschaft Germania (1824) and the Old Heidelberg Burschenschaft (1825). After the exams he pursued a civil servant career in the Duchy of Schleswig .

Since the 1840s Beseler was involved in the German-minded Schleswig-Holstein movement, which advocated a merger of the two duchies under German suzerainty. From 1844 to 1846 he was a member of the Schleswig assembly of estates . In 1846 he was one of the co-signers of an open letter to Christian VIII (Denmark and Norway) , which is why he was refused further acceptance of his mandate in the meeting of the estates. Thereupon Beseler resigned from the civil service in 1847 and worked as a publicist, including as a reporter for the leading liberal German newspaper .

When the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, the March 24 survey ventured against Denmark, Beseler became president of the provisional government of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel. On behalf of the Frankfurt National Assembly, he became the governor of the provisional imperial government in Schleswig-Holstein . From November 23, 1848 to May 21, 1849 Beseler was Lucius Nergaard von Bruun's successor, like his brother, a member of the Frankfurt National Assembly as a member of Itzehoe . From January to April 1849, Beseler , who belongs to the casino (parliamentary group) , served as first vice-president of parliament. In 1849 he adopted the Paulskirche constitution for Schleswig-Holstein and led the state until 1851.

In 1851 he was charged with “participating in the anti-Danish resistance” and expelled from the country. Until 1858 he lived as a publicist in Braunschweig , then in Heidelberg . During these years he translated the history of England from the accession of Jacob II to the death of Wilhelm III. by Thomas Babington Macaulay (Westermann, Braunschweig 1852–1861, 12 volumes). In 1860 he was appointed government councilor and curator by the University of Bonn .

Beseler died as a university teacher at Bonn University and was buried in Mildstedt .



  • The Gervinus Trial. Negotiations before the Grand Ducal Badisches Oberamt Heidelberg and the Grand Ducal Court Court of the Lower Rhine District in Mannheim, together with the legal opinion of the Jurists' Faculty of the University of Göttingen and the court court ruling of March 8th. Schwetschke u. Sohn, Braunschweig 1853. ( digitized version )


Web links

Wikisource: Wilhelm Beseler  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Wilhelm Beseler  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Herbert Beelte: Beseler, Casy Hartwig . in: Schleswig-Holstein Biographical Lexicon . Volume 2. Karl Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 1971, p. 56
  2. ^ Helge Dvorak: Biographical Lexicon of the German Burschenschaft. Volume I: Politicians. Sub-Volume 1: A-E. Winter, Heidelberg 1996, ISBN 3-8253-0339-X , p. 91.
  3. Horst Grimm, Leo Besser-Walzel: The corporations. Handbook on history, dates, facts, people . Umschau-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-524-69059-9
  4. Frank Lorenz MÜller: The Revolution of 1848-49, Darmstadt 2012, p 43rd