Karl Lamprecht

Karl Lamprecht (* 25. February 1856 in Jessen with joke mountain (Saxonia-Anhalt); † 10. May 1915 in Leipzig) was a professor for history at the University of Leipzig, today above all admits by its role in the method controversy.

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its father was an upper minister Carl Nathael Lamprecht (1804-1878). Its older brother Hugo (* 1845) studied like the father theology and became late Superintendent.

Lamprecht was with Mathilde Mühl (1860- to 1920) married, Marianne Lamprecht, married small Walbeck issued to the marriage (* 1888) and Elizabeth Lamprecht, married rose contactor (1890 - 1978).


studied study after the attendance of the High Schools in joke mountain and Schulpforta starting from 1874 in Goettingen, Leipzig and Munich history. Under the influence of the political economist Wilhelm Ro (1817 - 1894) it employed strengthened with restaurant history and attained a doctorate themselves 1878 it in Leipzig with the political economist Wilhelm Ro and the historian Carl von Noorden (1833-1883) with “contributions to history of theFrench economic life in the 11. Century " at the philosophical faculty of the University of Leipzig.

Since he did not see after the death of his father a chance, without working firm salary (further only on the listener funds dependent) as private lecturers, it put the state examination for the higher teaching profession to 1879off and its Probejahr completed as a candidate of the higher teaching profession. In the same year he became a house teacher with Cologne banker the dyke man. There he became acquainted with the rheinischen Industriellen Gustav of Mevissen (1815-1899), its scholarship it Lamprecht made possible to dedicate itself to studies to rheinischen restaurant history.

1881it created the “society for Rheini historical customer” with Mevissen.

vocational career/development

1880 it habilitierte in Bonn with William masonry crusher over the “historiography of Dietrich Engelhus “and became there private lecturer. The work remained ungedruckt. 1888 one appointed it the extraordinary professor. it received the call to 1890 as a tidy professor to Marburg in the follow-up Varrentrapps. 1891 he already transferred the Leipziger chair for medieval and newer history in the follow-up George Voigts (1827-1891) and became 2. Director of the historical seminar of the University of Leipzig beside William masonry crusher,which it had to owe the penetration of its appointment to Leipzig. After the death of masonry crusher Lamprecht to 1915 held the exclusive management of the seminar. it created 1898 together with the geographer Friedrich Ratzel the historical-geographical seminar. 1910/11 was it as a rector of the University of Leipzigin the study reform actively and among other things the position of the trade association in the university condition embodied.

Lamprecht energized 1906 the establishment of the seminar for national history and settlement customer, which under the line Rudolf Kötzschkes (1867 - 1949), and created 1909 the royal-Saxonian Institut for culture and universal history, which first spirit-scientific Institut in Germany, which was subordinate not to the university, but directly the Ministry. Further ten establishments of institute were planned. Its successor as a director was walter Goetz.

it creates 1896 kgl. Sächs. Commission for history. In additionit was member in the allGerman federation and the society for Hochschulpädagogik (1911 chairmen).

Together with Felix Hettner, the director of the Trierer of Provinzial museum it published 1881 - 1891 the “West German magazine for history and art”.

Close contacts had Lamprecht and. A. to thatPsychologist William Wundt.

scientific development

opposite the Neo Rankeanern stressed Lamprecht the meaning of culture history, the material factors controlling at this time the academic life in Germany and of groups (associations) in history. The sentence, do not comeon to show like it actually was (climb), but like it became, summarizes Lamprechts attitude concisely. The dominant individualism, the faith that “large men” history make (Heinrich of Treitschke), place Lamprecht the meaning of the environment and above all thatagainst economic development, he also assumes that in history Regelhaftigkeiten could be discovered, without therefore the liberty of the individual to denials.
The method controversy in connection with its German history starting from the 1890er years did not catch fire so much from the fact that Lamprecht primarily cultureand restaurant economics operated or to operate wanted. The question, which kind of historiography the new requirements could become fair both from the society and from the natural science, was substantially more important. Lamprecht meant that culture and restaurant economics were secondary primarily and political and person history. The youngerLamprecht, by which Ro affects German political economist Wilhelm, had turned economiceconomics questions. It opposed the genetic to the descriptive view of history, how she climbs Leopold of and all it following schools had up to then represented. Also the states became with it as secondaryregarded. Thus it encountered the resistance of the zünftigen German science of history. Opponents of Lamprecht, to which however to injustice careless quoting way was not accused, were among other thingsGeorge von Below, Max of spring and Felix Rachfahl. More badly still was however the reproach of the positivism and of the Materialism, to which it was exposed, because its first volumes of its German history by the social-democratic historian Franz Mehring was rezensiert in a well-meaning manner. In contrast to its earlier historiography Lamprecht turned in the later years under the influence William Wundts more and more the psychology and the people psychology too. Into its universal historical conception and you the underlying theory of the Psychogenese are unmistakable the people psychology Wundts.


  • Roger Chickering, Karl Lamprecht. A German Academic would run, new jersey 1993.
  • Rudolf Kötzschke, Karl Lamprecht, in: DeutscheGbll 16, 1915, S.159-186.
  • Hans's veil, Karl Lamprecht. Alternative one too climbs. Writings to the historical theory, Leipzig 1988.
  • Luise Schorn container, Karl Lamprecht. Culture historiography between science and politics, Goettingen 1994
  • Matthias Middell, which to Leipziger Institut for culture and universal history 1890-1990, 3 Bde., Leipzig 2004

see: History of the science of history

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| | * Literature of and over Karl Lamprecht in the catalog of the DDB



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