The Prussian Bureaucracy in the Eighteenth Century

  • Walter L. Dorn
Part of the World Profiles book series


THE UNIQUENESS, the extraordinary strength, but also the weakness of modern Prussia lay in the fusion of the economic and military power of its nobility with the order, system, and efficiency of its bureaucracy. The combination of these two basic elements of the Prussian state warded off the rising tide of the strongest currents of nineteenth-century liberal thought and ceased to be a decisive factor in Prussian politics only with the Revolution of 1918. Whatever judgment one may eventually pass on the Prussian army as an instrument of social organization and discipline, no one conversant with the evolution of modern Prussia can fail to see that the Prussian bureaucracy was for many decades the most creative force in Prussian history. Established in the first quarter of the eighteenth century by Frederick William I, under Stein and Hardenberg this bureaucracy not merely reformed itself but adapted the Prussian state to the conditions of modern life, and in the first half of the nineteenth century played a leading role in Prussian politics.


Eighteenth Century Civil Servant Bureaucratic System Creative Force Bureaucratic Hierarchy 
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© Peter Paret 1972

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  • Walter L. Dorn

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