1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Camphausen, Otto von

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CAMPHAUSEN, OTTO VON (1812-1896), Prussian statesman, was born at Hünshoven in the Rhine Provinces on the 21st of October 1812. Having studied jurisprudence and political economy at the universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, Munich and Berlin, he entered the legal career at Cologne, and immediately devoted his attention to financial and commercial questions. Nominated assessor in 1837, he acted for five years in this capacity at Magdeburg and Coblenz, became in 1845 counsellor in the ministry of finance, and was in 1849 elected a member of the second chamber of the Prussian diet, joining the Moderate Liberal party. In 1869 he was appointed minister of finance. On taking office, he was confronted with a deficit in the revenue, which he successfully cleared off by effecting a conversion of a greater part of the state loans. The French war indemnity enabled him to redeem a considerable portion of the state debt and to remit certain taxes. He was, however, a too warm adherent of free trade principles to enjoy the confidence either of the Agrarian party or of Prince Bismarck, and his antagonism to the tobacco monopoly and the general economic policy of the latter brought about his retirement. Camphausen's great services to Prussia were recognized by his sovereign in the bestowal of the order of the Black Eagle in 1895, a dignity carrying with it a patent of nobility. He died at Berlin on the 15th of May 1896.