Karl August Von Hardenberg
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Hardenberg, Karl August Von
Born May 31, 1750, in Essenrode; died Nov. 26, 1822, in Genoa. Prince. Prussian statesman.
From 1791 to 1798 (as a Prussian minister) Hardenberg administered the margravates of Ansbach and Bayreuth. He was minister of foreign affairs from 1804 until early 1806 and again in 1807, and he served as state chancellor from 1810 to 1822. Continuing the reforms of H. F. K. Stein, who was head of the Prussian government from 1807 to 1808, the Hardenberg government in 1811 abolished the guilds, introduced freedom of industrial activity, and allowed the peasants to buy off their feudal obligations. The government decreed the civil equality of Jews in the so-called Stein-Hardenberg reforms of 1812. After the Congress of Vienna of 1814-15 (at which Hardenberg was a participant) and the establishment of the Holy Alliance, the Hardenberg government carried out a policy of cooperation with the conservative circles of the Prussian junkers and the international monarchist reaction.