Prussian Council of State

the Prussian Council of State was between 1817 and 1918 a consulting committee of the throne of the Kingdom of Prussia (regulations of 20. March 1817 and 6. January. 1848), between 1920 and 1933 the second chamber of the parliament of the Free State Prussia (kind. 31 Prussian condition).

Table of contents

Kingdom of Prussia

citizen of Berlin city lock (historical opinion), in which the Council of State between 1817 and 1885 (?) in a particularly furnished hall, to the Council of State hall,
the early met and/or. original Council of State was until 1848 an important institution within the Prussian government, whose meaning shrank however with the development of the Konstitutionalismus. Its task was the consultation of the king in all the government, legislation and administration affairs concerned. The Council of State could adopt however only recommendations and appraisals. Exclusive executive body the king and the cabinet remained. The Council of State met in the Council of State hall citizens of Berlin of the city lock designated after it .

Officially the most important Prussian civil servants belonged to it beside the Prussian princes of age: the state chancellor (as a president of the Council of State, if the king did not have the presidency), the field marshals (if they were present in Berlin!), the Prussian Ministers of State, the undersecretary of state of the Ministry of the royal yard (writing-waited as Protokollführer and), the general post office master, the boss of the upper tribunal, the first president of the upper audit office, the royal secret cabinet advice and the military correspondent of the king. Only the military governors and the upper presidents of the provinces the Council of State belonged to strength special appointment. In addition the king could appoint a further, unlimited number at civil servants Councils of State.

The Council of State used specialized committees: 1) For the foreign affairs 2) For the war nature 3) For the law 4) For finances] 5) For the trade and the trades 6) For the thes subject of the Ministries of the inside and the police 7) for the Kultus and the public education.

With the increasing Konstitutionalisierung and the associated demand for non-royal decision makers and/or. Force separation was questioned the Council of State in its existence. The condition of 1850 did not mention the Council of State any longer. Mit dem Erlass vom 12. Januar 1852 wurde eine Wiederbelebung versucht. In the constitutional state the Council of State found however no to right place. Also the 1884 made attempt at revival and the transmission of the presidency on the Crown Prince at that time Friedrich William did not have a considerable success.

Free State Prussia

the Prussian manor-house as seat of the Prussian Council of State from 1920 to 1933.
With the Verabschiedung of the Prussian condition of 30. November 1920 was furnished by the article 31 the Council of State as organ for the participation of the provinces during the legislation. As 2. Chamber of the Prussian parliament met the Council of State in the former Prussian manor-house in the Leipziger road in Berlin.

The Council of State built itself up out from the Provinziallandtagen for members sent. Each citizen over 25 years could be selected. The number of the envoys of a province depended each province on the total population, sent in principle at least 3 representative (exception: Hohenzollern Sigmaringen: 1 representative), otherwise was allotted to 500.000 inhabitants per a voice, and on a remainder of at least 250,000 inhabitants a further full voice was void. Just like the “large brother”, the German realm Reich, had the Council of State opposite the federal state parliament only a right of veto (with 2/3-Mehrheit of the federal state parliament outvotable), as well as a indirect Initiativrecht (suggestions went to the Department of State and had to be passed on by it to the federal state parliament). All household expenses, which went beyond the determined budget of the Department of State, required likewise the agreement of the Council of State. To all the federal state parliament and thus the legislation affairs concerned the Council of State had an expression right. Opposite the Department of State it had a right to information.

The Council of State of the chairman, the president, when desired all representative of a province , was called up a fifth of all members or the Department of State.

The office of the Council of State president held 1921 and 1933 the Cologne mayors Konrad Adenauer ( center) between.

Council of State against Department of State

of the articles 31 of the Prussian condition meant: “To the agency of the provinces with the legislation and administration of the state a Council of State is formed.” Council of State president, Konrad Adenauer, to who separatist efforts were after-said and who had considerable reserves as a center politician in relation to the Prussian government, represented opposite the Prime Minister Otto brown always the view, handling of the government with the Council of State carry its constitutional position not sufficient calculation. Since brown and the entire Department of State of other opinion were (brown interferences were afraid the remaining Ministers , also those of the center, into its guideline authority than Prime Minister, feared a possible watering of the democratic reforms by the conservative ostelbischen provinces), developed a rivalry between both politicians and their state organs, which led into the early 1930er-Jahre to a blockade attitude of the Council of State. Adenauer already brought his thing 1922 before the Prussian high court of state. This caused finally 1923 a comparison, after Adenauer had back taken a majority of his demands.

The “guerilla war” Adenauer against brown might have weakened the Prussian government at least, if not even did their damage.

political at the end of of 1932 and dissolution 1933

the election of the federal parliament of 24. April 1932, which did not furnish a government majority, took also to a large extent its capability to the Council of State. Law and household resolutions could not be accomplished no more. The “Prussia impact “of 20. July 1932, with which the realm government transferred the executive right to Prussia on arrangement of the realm president (some clear opponent of Otto Brauns politics was), left also hardly still activity space to the Council of State. After the complaint Otto Brauns before the realm court remained this as an Prime Minister in the office, the legislative powers however held the realm commissioner for Prussia (in the office of the realm chancellor).

To 4. February 1933 requested the NSDAP - federal state parliament president Hanns Kerrl from power-politics interest in a preferred election of the federal parliament a self dissolution of the federal state parliament, however which remain-ends of to democratic political representatives (SPD, center , DStP) was refused and for lack of majority not to conditions came. The “Dreimännerkollegium “from federal state parliament, Minister and Council of State president, necessary for the dissolution, seized no such resolution understandably likewise, since a new election brown and also Adenauer with largest probability of their offices would on a long-term basis have robbed and Kerrl therefore no majority for its request accomplished. Kerrl turned thereupon at realm president Hindenburg, that with an emergency decree to 6. February 1933 illegally brown of its remaining authority robbed and by the realm commissioner for Prussia, Franz von Papen, replaced. Adenauer remained in the office. When the Dreimännerkollegium stepped again together, Adenauer left the area before the tuning, probably in the conviction thereby an adoption of resolutions to have made legally impossible. Papen and Kerrl against it interpreted Adenauer action in the interest of their objective as abstention and decided the dissolution of the federal state parliament; the legal standard of this procedure meets considerable doubts. With parallel to the realm tag choice taking place the new election to 5. March reached the NSDAP the necessary majority, in order to pass a Prussian enabling act, which gave jedwede authority to the realm chancellor over the country. Thus its con legislation and its con executive function were finally taken to the Council of State. With the “law for the transformation of the countries” of 7. Octobers 1933 were dissolved Council of State and federal state parliament in their past function. The Council of State existed to formally far with members strength of office and such, which Hermann Göring in its function as a Prussian Prime Minister appointed, in order to distinguish it with the Council of State title.

The Council of State building (called until today still “manor-house”) was used starting from 1934 by the “donation Prussia house “ under Hermann Göring to publicise and teach a historical continuity from Preussentum and national socialism to. Briefly use the neugegründtete people's court the office space. With the use of the Lower House as “house of the fliers “some Referate and authorities subordinated of Görings pulled into the house. In the plenary assembly hall however until never 1999 resolution was seized, when the Upper House of Parliament referred the building.


  • Joachim Lilla: The Prussian Council of State. A biographic manual, number of manuals for the history of the parliamentarism and the political parties, volume 13, Droste publishing house, Duesseldorf, 2005



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