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European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 221–230 | Cite as

A Brief Introduction to Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff (1626–1692)

  • Erik S. Reinert
Article

Abstract

Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff is widely regarded as the ‘founder’ of early economics in Germany, of Cameralism. Having survived the horrors of the Thirty Years’ War and the resulting economic, political, and moral breakdown of society, Seckendorff conceived of a holistic science of public administration fit to reconstruct the more than 300 independent German principalities recognized by the Peace of Westphalia. The science he envisioned was both theoretical and practical, covering all the needs of a small principality. The same union of active and contemplative characterizes Seckendorff’s own life, as he devoted himself both to administrating the Court of Gotha and the University of Halle, both to write an “owner’s handbook” to small principalities and one of the most celebrated defenses of Lutheranism. This introduction will explore how these many facets came together in the figure of Seckendorff, what his main influences were, and how the historical context helped shape his writings.

Keywords

Seckendorff Veit Ludwig von (1626–1692) Germany history of economic thought 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik S. Reinert
    • 1
  1. 1.Tallinn University of TechnologyNorway

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