Hardenberg, Karl August
frederick treaty time
HARDENBERG, KARL AUGUST (1750-1822), Prussian statesman, was born at Esselroda in Hanover, May 31, 1700. Having studied at Leipsic and Gottingen, he entered the Hanoverian civil service as chamber councillor (Kammerrath) in 1770, and afterwards spent some time in Wetzlar, Ratisbon, Vienna, and Berlin, and travelled in France, Holland, and England. He was made privy chamber councillor (Geheim-Kammerrath) and raised to the rank of count in 1778 ; but a private quarrel with the prince of Wales compelled him four years afterwards to give up his appointments in Hanover and seek a new career. In 1787 he received the office of president of the board of domains (Kamtnercollegium) in Brunswick ; and he was entrusted with the duty of delivering to Frederick William II. of Prussia the will of Frederick the Great, who had del osited it with the duke of Brunswick. Frederick William IL was so impressed by Hardenberg's appearance and character that in 1790 he recommended him as a minister to the margrave of Anspach and Baireuth. These principalities being united to Prussia in 1791, Hardenberg was appointed a Prussian cabinet minister, but continued to perform his duties as chief administrator of the new province. In the war with the French republic he acted as minister of war, and in 1795 signed on behalf of Prussia the treaty of peace concluded at Basel. When Frederick William III. mounted the throne in 1797, Hardenberg was transferred from Anspach-Baireuth to Berlin, where he received high offices in the cabinet, being also soon afterwards nominated chief of the departments for Magdeburg and Halberstadt, for Westphalia, and for Neuchatel. At this time the foreign policy of Prussia was determined by Haugwitz, who was on all occasions subservient to Napoleon. When in 1803 Prussian interests seemed to be threatened by the French occupation of Hanover, Haugwitz fell into disrepute, and in the following year his place at the head of the cabinet was ties ; and on the 15th December 1805 Haugwitz signed a French. Hardenberg then retired, and Haugwitz returned when the treaty of Tilsit was signed he withdrew and watched from a distance the vigorous and enlightened efforts of Stein to restore new life to the fallen and humiliated state. Stein being compelled to retire in 1810, Hardenberg was recognized as the only possible successor evitable struggle with France by carrying out Stein's farished, municipal institutions were fostered, the civil service thusiasm not only of the Prussians but of all Germans ; and so important were his services that on the 3d June 1814, after he had signed the first treaty of Paris, he was raised to the rank of a Fiirst or Prince. He accompanied the allied sovereigns to London, was one of the chief plenipotentiaries at the congress of Vienna, and took a leading part in the negotiations which led to the second treaty of affairs was no longer marked by energy and foresight. He was accused of being too submissive to the papacy, and, although a man of liberal sentiments, he had not the courage to resist his royal master's dislike of constitutional government. He died at Genoa, November 26, Hardenberg wrote memoirs of the time between 1801 and the conclusion of the treaty of Tilsit, and entrusted them before his death to his friend Scholl, a councillor of state. They were sealed by Frederick William III. and placed in the state archives, with directions that they should not be published until after the lapse of fifty years. At the end of this time they were entrusted by Prince Bismarck to Leopold von Ranke, who issued them accompanied by a biography of the author (➢enktelirdigkellon des Stoatsk,anzlers Fiirsten von Hardenberg, 4 vols., 1877). See also Klosc, Leben Karl August's, Fiirsten von Hardenberg, 1851 ; and Seeley, Life a-nil Times of Stein, 1879.