Baron Vom Stein

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stein, Baron Vom


(full name, Heinrich Friedrich Karl, Baron vom und zum Stein). Born Oct. 26, 1757, in Nassau; died June 29, 1831, at the estate of Kappenberg, Westphalia. German state figure. Reichsfreiherr (imperial baron).

Beginning in the 1780’s, Stein held a series of important posts in the mining industry of Westphalia. From 1804 to 1807 he was a minister of the Prussian government, in which capacity he proposed sweeping reforms of the government that met with resistance from the king and his circle. Developments following the defeat of the Prussian Army at the battle of Jena-Auerstädt (1806) eventually led to Stein’s appointment as head of the Prussian government in October 1807; despite the objections of the Junkers, who favored reactionary policies, he implemented a number of bourgeois reforms (seeSTEIN-HARDENBERG REFORMS).

In November 1808, under pressure from Napoleon I, who feared a strong Prussia, Stein was dismissed. Forced to leave Prussia, he took up residence in Prague; in May 1812 he arrived in Russia at the invitation of Tsar Alexander I. Stein developed a plan for a general uprising against Napoleonic rule in Germany. He headed the Committee on German Affairs, an organization independent of the German princes that played an important role in the struggle to liberate Germany from the Napoleonic yoke. In 1813 and 1814, Stein headed the council of administration of the liberated German territories.

Stein insisted on the need to create a German state. With the onset of reaction in Germany, he withdrew from politics. In 1827 he became a member of the Prussian Staatsrat (State Council). Stein helped found the series Monumento Germaniae histórica.


Briefe und amtliche Schriften, vols. 1–9. Stuttgart, 1957–72.


Pokhod russkoi armii protiv Napoleona v 1813 i osvobozhdenie Germanii: Sb. dokumentov. Moscow, 1964.
Osvoboditel’naia voina 1813 goda protiv napoleonovskogo gospodstva. Moscow, 1965.
Pertz, G. H. Das Leben des Ministers Freiherrn vom Stein, vols. 1–6. Berlin, 1850–55.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.