Schlosser, Friedrich Christoph

Schlosser, Friedrich Christoph

 

Born Nov. 17,1776, in Jever; died Sept. 23,1861, in Heidelberg. German historian.

Schlosser became a professor at the University of Heidelberg in 1817. His world view developed under the influence of the Enlightenment and of German classical philosophy. Moralistic Enlightenment attitudes dominate his works The History of the 18th Century (vols. 1–2, 1823; 5th ed., vols. 1–8, 1864–66; Russian translation by N. G. Chernyshevskii, vols. 1–8, 1858–60) and World History (vols. 1–19,1844–57; Russian translation edited by N. G. Chernyshevskii and V. A. Zaitsev, vols. 1–18,1861–69). In these works Schlosser opposed the reactionary romantic apologia for the Middle Ages and feudal despotism and defended the ideals of the Enlightenment and the bourgeois revolutions of the 16th to 18th centuries.

Schlosser attempted to produce a history of mankind as a unified whole, with particular attention being paid to the popular masses. His treatment of the democratic movements of the past, however, was not consistent. Schlosser took a generally negative view of the peasant and plebeian movements of the bourgeois revolution in Germany in the 16th century and in France in the 18th century, but he was sympathetic to the Leveler movement in the English revolution of the 17th century. Although he opposed all manifestations of reaction, he remained a supporter of enlightened absolutism, even after the Revolution of 1848–49 in Germany, whose significance in the history of the German people he did not understand. Karl Marx used Schlosser’s World History as the basis for his Chronological Extracts (see Arkhiv K. Marksa i F. Engel’sa, vols. 5–8, Moscow, 1938–46).

REFERENCES

Istoriografiia novogo vremeni stran Evropy i Ameriki. [Moscow], 1967.
Gavrilichev, V. A. “Teoretiko-metodologicheskie osnovy geidel’bergskoi shkoly istorikov (20–40-e gg. XIX v.).” In Metodologicheskie i istoriograficheskie voprosy istoricheskoi nauki, fasc. 4. Tomsk, 1966.
Shilfert, G. “F. C. Schlosser.” In Studien über die deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft, 2nd ed., vol. 1. Berlin, 1969.