The Constitution of Prussia
Prussia had several Constitutions. Most documents about Prussia are not open
for public viewing. The following are excerpts from the Prussian Constitution
of January 31, 1850:
Article 1. All territories of the Monarchy in their present
borders constitute the ground of the Prussian State.
Article 4. All Prussians are equal in the eyes of the law.
No class privileges are permitted.
Article 5. All personal freedoms are guaranteed.
Article 6. All homes are unassailable.
Article 9. Property is sacred.
Article 12. The freedom of religious believes and the formation
of religious organizations is guaranteed.
Article 15. All religious organizations determine and administer
their affairs independently.
Article 19. Special laws regulate civil marriage.
Article 20. Science and its instruction are free.
Article 27. Every Prussian has the right to express free
his thoughts verbally, written, printed and in picture.
Article 33. The secrecy of mail is sacred.
Article 70. Every Prussian has with the age of 25 the right
Article 71. For every 250 Prussians one Representative has to be elected.
Article 72. The elected Representatives will elect the Members
Article 86. All judicial power is executed in the Name of the King by independent only the law following courts.
FREDERICK THE GREAT
King: 1740 - 1786
FREDERICK THE GREAT's answer to an inquiry in 1740, whether
or not a catholic can acquire all citizen rights: All religions are
equal and good, if only the people who teach them would be honest people. And if Turks and Heathen want to live
we want to build them mosques and churches. In Prussia every
one can believe what he wants, if he is only honest.
Catholics, Lutherans, Reformers, Jews and many other Christian
sects live in Prussia peacefully side by side. If a ruler is
guided by wrong eagerness and favors one of these religions, immediately
it will create parties and strong disputes. Gradually persecutions
will start and the members of the persecuted religions will
leave Prussia. Thousands of Prussians would leave the country
and enrich our neighbors with their knowledge, diligence and by population.
I am neutral between Rome and Geneva. Only so I can control the religious hate and remind the parties to
remain peaceful. I try to keep them united by telling
them that they are all Prussians, and that one can love a man in a red robe
as well as one in a gray dress.
FREDERICK THE GREAT addressing the court December 11, 1779
in the process against the miller Arnold: You have to know, that the smallest
farmer just as well as the beggar is a human being as His Majesty The King
of Prussia, and has to obey the law. Because all people are equal in the court of law, may it be a prince or a farmer, regardless of the rank in the
society, justice must prevail. And where in the provinces judges make their own laws, the judges will feel the
power of the
Prussian King. Then judges who practice injustice are more
dangerous and worse than a gang of thieves. One can protect
oneself against thieves. But judges who practice their evil passions under the umbrella of justice leave you
unprotected. They are worse than the biggest rogues in the world
and deserve double punishment. I want that in Prussia, everyone,
may he be of
high rank or unimportant, receives the same and prompt justice.
I want an impartial justice in Prussia.
FREDERICK THE GREAT in letters to Voltaire: I am shocked
by the barbaric custom to torture delinquents before the
death sentence is executed. In Prussia torture is totally
abolished. In Prussia a death sentence cannot be executed
before a higher tribunal of judges has studied the case and confirmed the
conclusion and sentencing of the lower court. It is better
to let a delinquent live than to send an innocent person to
death. The thing is, generally nothing should be destroyed.
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The Governments of Prussia 1848 - 1945
Prussian Prime Ministers (Ministerpraesidenten)
Count Adolf Heinrich v. Arnim-Boitzenburg (March 19 to29,
Ludolf Camphausen (March 29 to June 20, 1848);
Rudolf v. Auerswald (June 25 to September 21, 1848);
v. Pfuel (September 21 to Nov. 1, 1848);
Count v. Brandenburg (Nov. 1, 1848 to Nov. 6, 1850);
Lord Otto v. Manteuffel (Dec. 4, 1850 to Nov. 6, 1858);
Earl Karl Anton von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (Nov. 6, 1858
to March 11, 1862);
Prince Adolf zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen (March 11 to Sep.
Earl Otto v. Bismarck (Sep. 23, 1862 to Dec. 21, 1872);
Count v. Roon (Jan. 1 to Nov. 9, 1873);
Earl Otto v. Bismarck (Nov. 9, 1873 to March 18, 1890);
Count v. Caprivi (March 20, 1890 to March 23, 1892);
Count Botho zu Eulenburg (March 23, 1892 to Oct. 26, 1894);
Earl Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfuerst (Oct. 29, 1894
to Oct. 17, 1900);
Earl Bernhard v. Buelow (Oct. 17, 1900 to July 14, 1909);
Theobald v. Bethmann Hollweg (July 14, 1909 to July 14,
Michaelis (July 14 to Nov. 1, 1917); Earl v. Hertling (Nov.
1, 1917 to Oct. 3, 1918).
After World War I:
Hirsch (Social Democrat) and Stroebel (Independent): Nov.
14, 1918 to March 20, 1919
Hirsch (Social Democrat): March 25, 1919 to March 26, 1920
Otto Braun (Social Democrat): March 29, 1920 to March 10,
Stegerwald (Center Party): April 21 to Nov. 1, 1921
Otto Braun (Social Democrat): Nov. 7, 1921 to Jan. 23,1925
Marx (Center Party): Feb. 18 to Feb. 20, 1925
Otto Braun (Social Democrat): April 4, 1925 to July 20,
After World War I Prussia was the only democratic functioning
state of the dismantled Kaiser Empire. In Germany the leaders could not cope
with the introduced democracy. Some of them considered the
past war period a recovery time for continuing the war with
new strength. The German Reichs-President von Hindenburg
reigned despotic like a king, releasing and appointing chancellors
(Prime Ministers) as he felt. On June 1,
1932, he appointed Franz von
Papen to be the German Reichs-Chancellor. Only
49 days later on
1932 , with the support of
Reichs-President von Hindenburg, Reichs-Chancellor von Papen overthrew
in a coup d'etat the Prussian Government. Von Papen appointed
himself immediately to Reichs-Commissioner for Prussia and
presented Prussia as gift to the Nazis. They promised Hitler an early and
victorious election. Hitler was elected on
January 30, 1933, and
appointed by von Hindenburg to be the Reichs-Chancellor. Hitler
rewarded von Papen with the position of his deputy.
Hermann Goering (Nazi and appointed by Hitler as Prussian
Prime Minister): April 11, 1933 to May 8, 1945
What the Nazis started 1932, the Allied Powers finished
1947: February 25,
1947 (2 years after World War II) the Allied Control
Commission declared by decree Prussia dissolved
Law probably not valid!). The indigenous people of the original
Prussian tribal lands were displaced and Prussia was divided
between Russia, Poland, East Germany (GDR), and the Bundesrepublik
(Federal Republic of Germany) without plebiscite.
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