1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bucher, Lothar

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BUCHER, LOTHAR (1817-1892), German publicist, was born on the 25th of October 1817 at Neu Stettin, in Pomerania, his father being master at a gymnasium. After studying at the university of Berlin he adopted the legal profession. Elected a member of the National Assembly in Berlin in 1848, he was an active leader of the extreme democratic party. With others of his colleagues he was in 1850 brought to trial for having taken part in organizing a movement for refusal to pay taxes; he was condemned to fifteen months' imprisonment in a fortress, but left the country before the sentence was executed. For ten years he lived in exile, chiefly in London; he acted as special correspondent of the National Zeitung, and gained a great knowledge of English life; and he published a work, Der Parliamentarismus wie er ist, a criticism of parliamentary government, which shows a marked change in his political opinions. In 1860 he returned to Germany, and became intimate with Lassalle, who made him his literary executor. In 1864 he was offered by Bismarck, and accepted, a high position in the Prussian foreign office. The reasons that led him to a step which involved so complete a break with his earlier friends and associations are not clearly known. From this time till his death he acted as Bismarck's secretary, and was the man who probably enjoyed the greatest amount of his confidence. It was he who drew up the text of the constitution of the North German Confederation; in 1870 he was sent on a very confidential mission to Spain in connexion with the Hohenzollern candidature for the Spanish crown; he assisted Bismarck at the final negotiations for the treaty of Frankfort, and was one of the secretaries to the congress of Berlin; he also assisted Bismarck in the composition of his memoirs. Bucher, who was a man of great ability, had considerable influence, which was especially directed against the economic doctrines of the Liberals; in 1881 he published a pamphlet criticizing the influence and principles of the Cobden Club. He identified himself completely with Bismarck's later commercial and colonial policy, and probably had much to do with introducing it, and he did much to encourage anti-British feeling in Germany. He died at Glion, in Switzerland, on the 12th of October 1892.

See[edit]

  • Heinrich v. Poschinger, Ein 48er: Lothar Buchers Leben und Werke (3 vols., Berlin, 1890).
  • Busch, Bismarck: Some Secret Pages of his History (London, 1898).
(J. W. He.)