Adam Müller

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Adam Müller
AdamMueller.jpg
Adam Müller in his youth
BornAdam Heinrich Müller
(1779-06-30)30 June 1779
Berlin, Brandenburg
Died17 January 1829(1829-01-17) (aged 49)
Vienna, Austria
OccupationCritic, theorist, economist
GenreEconomic romanticism
Counter-Enlightenment
Notable worksElemente der Staatskunst

Adam Heinrich Müller (30 June 1779 – 17 January 1829; after 1827 Ritter von Nitterdorf) was a German publicist, literary critic, political economist, theorist of the state and forerunner of economic romanticism.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Müller was born in Berlin. It was intended that he should study Protestant theology, but from 1798 he devoted himself in Göttingen to the study of law, philosophy, and natural science. He was a student of Gustav Hugo. Returning to Berlin, he was persuaded by his friend Friedrich von Gentz to take up political science. He had early formed a close intimacy with Gentz, his elder by 15 years; and this connection exercised an important influence both on his material circumstances and his mental development in after life. The two men differed widely in character and in their fundamental principles, but agreed, at least in their later period, in their practical political aims, and the friendship was only terminated by death.

University of Göttingen university in the city of Göttingen, Germany

The University of Göttingen is a public research university in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and starting classes in 1737, the Georgia Augusta was conceived to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is the oldest university in the state of Lower Saxony and the largest in student enrollment, which stands at around 31,500.

Gustav Hugo German jurist

Gustav Hugo was a German jurist.

Friedrich von Gentz German politician

Friedrich von Gentz was a German diplomat and writer.

Müller worked for some time as referendary in the Kurmärkische Kammer in Berlin. Müller's relations with the Junker party and his co-operation with them in their opposition to Hardenberg's reforms made any public employment in Prussia impossible for him. He travelled in Sweden and Denmark, spent about two years in Poland, and then went to Vienna, where he was converted to the Catholic faith on 30 April 1805. [1] Through Gentz he became acquainted with Metternich, to whom he was useful in the preparation of state papers.

Junker

Junker is a noble honorific, derived from Middle High German Juncherre, meaning "young nobleman" or otherwise "young lord". The term is traditionally used throughout the German-speaking, Dutch-speaking and Scandinavian-speaking parts of Europe. It also was used in the Russian Empire due to Baltic German influence, up until the Russian Revolution.

Karl August von Hardenberg Chancellor of Prussia

Karl August Fürst von Hardenberg was a Prussian statesman and Prime Minister of Prussia. While during his late career he acquiesced to reactionary policies, earlier in his career he implemented a variety of Liberal reforms. To him and Baron vom Stein, Prussia was indebted for improvements in its army system, the abolition of serfdom and feudal burdens, the throwing open of the civil service to all classes, and the complete reform of the educational system.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

Career

From 1806 to 1809, he lived at Dresden occupied in the political education of Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar and lecturer on German literature, dramatic art, and political science. In 1808 he edited with Heinrich von Kleist the periodical Phoebus. [1] In 1809, he returned to Berlin, and in 1811 to Vienna, where he lived in the house of Archduke Maximilian of Austria-Este and became the friend of Clemens Maria Hofbauer.

Dresden Place in Saxony, Germany

Dresden is the capital city of the German state of Saxony, and with around 550,000 inhabitants, it is the state's second most populous city after Leipzig. It is the 12th most populous city of Germany, the fourth largest by area after Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, as well as the third most populous city in the area of former East Germany, after (East) Berlin and Leipzig. Dresden is contiguous with Freital, Pirna, Radebeul, Meissen and Coswig, and its urban area has around 780,000 inhabitants, making it the largest in Saxony.

Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1792–1862) German nobleman

Prince Carl Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was a distinguished soldier, who, in 1815, after the congress of Vienna, became colonel of a regiment in the service of the king of the Netherlands. He fought at the Battle of Quatre Bras and the Battle of Waterloo where he commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Dutch Division and became a Chief Commander of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army

German literature literature written in the German language

German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German parts of Switzerland and Belgium, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol in Italy and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there are some currents of literature influenced to a greater or lesser degree by dialects.

In 1813, he entered the Austrian service, and was appointed imperial commissioner and major of the rifle corps in Tyrol. He took part in the wars for liberty, and later on, as counsellor of the government, in the reorganization of the country. In 1815 he was called to Vienna, and went to Paris with the imperial staff.

Austrian Empire monarchy in Central Europe between 1804 and 1867


The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it partially overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.

County of Tyrol Former county of Austria

The (Princely) County of Tyrol was an estate of the Holy Roman Empire established about 1140. Originally a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of the Counts of Tyrol, it was inherited by the Counts of Gorizia in 1253 and finally fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg in 1363. In 1804 the Princely County of Tyrol, unified with the secularised Prince-Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen, became a crown land of the Austrian Empire in 1804 and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary.

War of the Sixth Coalition Part of the Napoleonic Wars

In the War of the Sixth Coalition, sometimes known in Germany as the War of Liberation, a coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States defeated France and drove Napoleon into exile on Elba. After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal and the rebels in Spain who were already at war with France.

On the conclusion of peace, he became Austrian consul-general for Saxony at Leipzig, and agent for Anhalt and Schwarzburg. He edited here the periodicals Deutscher Staatsanzeiger (1816–1818) and Unparteiischer Literatur- und Kirchenkorrespondent. He attended the ministerial conferences at Carlsbad and Vienna (1819–1820), where, being one of the principal literary instruments of the reaction, he took part in framing the Carlsbad resolutions. In 1826, at the instance of Prince von Metternich, he was ennobled as Ritter von Nittersdorf, was recalled to Vienna (1827), appointed imperial counsellor, and employed in the service of the chancellery. He died in Vienna in 1829, aged 49.

Saxony State in Germany

Saxony is a landlocked federal state of Germany, bordering the federal states of Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig.

Leipzig Place in Saxony, Germany

Leipzig is the most populous city in the German federal state of Saxony. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017, it is Germany's tenth most populous city as well as the second most populous city in the area of former East Germany after (East) Berlin. Together with Halle (Saale), the largest city of the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt, the city forms the polycentric conurbation of Leipzig-Halle. Between the two cities lies Leipzig/Halle International Airport.

Karlovy Vary Statutory City in Czech Republic

Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad is a spa town situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (81 mi) west of Prague (Praha). It is named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, who founded the city in 1370. It is the site of numerous hot springs, and is the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic.

Positions and theories

Adam Heinrich Muller c. 1810 Adam Heinrich Muller.jpg
Adam Heinrich Müller c. 1810

Müller was distinguished as a writer not only on politics and economics, but on literature and aesthetics. His chief work is the Elemente der Staatskunst (Elements of Statecraft), originating in lectures delivered before Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar and an assembly of politicians and diplomats at Dresden in the winter, 1808-09. It treats in six books of the state, of right, of the spirit of legislation in antiquity and in the Middle Ages, of money and national wealth, of the economical factors of the state and trade, of the relation between the state and religion. Müller endeavoured to comprehend the connexion between political and social science, and, while using the historical method, to base them upon philosophy and religion. (Cf. the preface to the first volume of the Elemente, where he treats exhaustively the differences between his work and Montesquieu's De l'esprit des lois; cf. also the sixth book of this work, and the above-mentioned work of 1820.) With Edmund Burke, Friedrich von Gentz, Joseph de Maistre, and Karl Ludwig von Haller, he must be reckoned among the chief opponents of revolutionary ideas in politics.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Historical method techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past

Historical method is the collection of techniques and guidelines that historians use to research and write histories of the past. Primary sources and other evidence including those from archaeology are used.

Montesquieu French social commentator and political thinker

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French judge, man of letters, and political philosopher.

In his work, Von der Notwendigkeit einer theologischen Grundlage der gesamten Staatswissenschaften (On the necessity of a comprehensive theological foundation for political science, 1820), Müller rejects, like Haller (Restauration der Staatswissenschaften, 1816), the distinction between constitutional and civil law (common law), which rests entirely on the idea of the state's omnipotence. His ideal is medieval feudalism, on which the reorganization of modern political institutions should be modelled.

Romanticist

In the field of literature and aesthetics, Müller belongs to the Romantic school. He is a Romanticist even in his specialty, politics and political economy. As Eichendorff says in his Geschichte der poetischen Literatur Deutschlands (new ed., by W. Kosch, Kempten, 1906, p. 352), Müller "mapped out a domain of his own, the application of Romanticism to the social and political conditions of life." Carl Schmitt presented the view that "it is impossible to judge Müller's theory of the state as anything but a matter of aesthetics and style." [2] Müller himself declares: "The reconciliation of science and art and of their noblest ideas with serious political life was the purpose of my larger works" (Vermischte Schriften, I, p. iii).

Economics

His position in political economy is defined by his strong opposition to Adam Smith's system of materialistic-liberal (so-called classical) political economy, or the so-called industry system. He censures Smith as presenting a one-sidedly material and individualistic conception of society, and as being too exclusively English in his views. Müller is thus also an adversary of free trade. In contrast with the economical individualism of Adam Smith, he emphasizes the ethical element in national economy, the duty of the state toward the individual, and the religious basis which is also necessary in this field. Müller's importance in the history of political economy is acknowledged even by the opponents of his religious and political point of view. His reaction against Adam Smith, says Roscher (Geschichte der National-Ökonomik, p. 763), "is not blind or hostile, but is important, and often truly helpful." Some of his ideas, freed from much of their alloy, are reproduced in the writings of the historical school of German economists.

The reactionary and feudalistic thought in Müller's writings, which agreed so little with the spirit of the times, prevented his political ideas from exerting a more notable and lasting influence on his age, while their religious character prevented them from being justly appreciated. However, Müller's teachings had long-term effects in that they were taken up again by 20th century theorists of corporatism and the corporate state, for example Othmar Spann (Der wahre Staat. Vorlesungen über Abbruch und Neubau der Gesellschaft, Vienna, 1921).

Writings

Müller was a man of great and versatile talents, an excellent orator, and a suggestive writer. Several of his works were based upon his own lectures; the most important (besides the above-mentioned periodicals) are:

A critical pamphlet, which was written in 1817 on the occasion of the Protestant jubilee of the Reformation and entitled, Etwas, das Goethe gesagt hat. Beleuchtet von Adam Müller. Leipzig, den 31 Oktober 1817, was printed but not published (reprinted in Vienna, 1910). Nevertheless, Traugott Krug's reply, entitled Etwas, das Herr Adam Müller gesagt hat über etwas, das Goethe gesagt hat, und noch etwas, das Luther gesagt hat (Leipzig, 1817), appeared in two editions.

Notes

  1. 1 2 Schmitt, Carl (2011). Political Romanticism. tr. Guy Oakes. Transaction. pp. 42–44. ISBN   9781412814720.
  2. Schmitt, Carl (2011). Political Romanticism. tr. Guy Oakes. Transaction. p. 141. ISBN   9781412814720.

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References