Karl August Fürst von Hardenberg
(31.05.1750 – 26.11.1822)
place of birth:  Schloß Essenrode, Herzogtum Braunschweig
Königreich Preußen:  Leitender Minister


Prussian prince Karl von Hardenberg
was an administrator and diplomat who, after service for Hannover and Brunswick, entered the Prussian service. As Prussian delegate he signed the Treaty of Basel (1795) with France. In 1809 he succeeded Altenstein as Chancellor, restoring state finances so that Prussia would be able to pay the huge indemnity imposed by Napoleon at Tilsit. Von Hardenberg introduced a general tax system, abolished trade monopolies, secularized remaining church property, turned feudal lands into freeholds, and extended legal equality to the Jews. His reforms helped modernize the Prussian state, preparing it for the final struggle against Napoleon I.  In 1813 he persuaded the vacillating Friedrich Wilhelm III to join the coalition against Napoleon. Following Napoleon’s defeat, Hardenberg was delegate to the Congress of Vienna. Although he was a titled Baron (Freiherr), von Hardenberg was elevated into the German nobility as a prince (Fürst) in 1914 for his service. He remained in office until his death in 1822 in Genoa.


Minister  00.10.1807  -  00.11.1808