Möser, Justus

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Möser, Justus

 

Born Dec. 14, 1720, in Osnabruck; died there Jan. 8, 1794. German publicist; historian. A high official of the German principality of Osnabruck.

MÖser’s publicistic works, published in the collection Patriotic Fantasies (vols. 1-4, 1774-78), which were filled with patriotic ideas, played a considerable role in the struggle for the affirmation of a German national culture and contributed to the awakening of the national consciousness of the German people. Moser considered the main force of history to be the common people, especially the peasantry. In his historical works he expressed productive ideas on the need to consider the history of society in the organic interrelationship of all its institutions. On the whole, however, his historical views were extremely conservative. He idealized the old Germanic and early medieval society in Germany.

Although MÖser was the first in German historiography to pose the problem of the original forms of settlement of the old Germanic tribes (in his main historical work, History of Osnabruck, 1768), he developed the thesis that the Germanic tribes settled from the very beginning in individual farmsteads and were full owners of their land; he thus denied the communal social order and communal land tenure in the old Germanic and early medieval society. K. Marx sharply criticized Moser’s reactionary views (see K. Marx and F. Engels, Sock, 2nd ed., vol. 32, p. 36).

REFERENCES

Kosminskii, E. A. Istoriografiia srednikh vekov. Moscow, 1963.
Streisand, J. Geschichtliches Denken von der deutschen Frühaufkldrung bis zur Klassik. Berlin, 1964.