1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Radowitz, Joseph Maria von

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RADOWITZ, JOSEPH MARIA VON (1797–1853), Prussian general and statesman, was born at Blankenburg in the Harz Mountains, his family being of Hungarian origin. As a young lieutenant in the Westphalian artillery he was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Leipzig (1813), subsequently entered the Hanoverian service, and in 1823 that of Prussia. His promotion was rapid, and in 1830 he became chief of the general staff of the artillery. In 1836 he went as Prussian military plenipotentiary to the federal diet at Frankfort, and in 1842 was appointed envoy to the courts of Carlsruhe, Darmstadt and Nassau. He had early become an intimate friend of the crown prince (afterwards King Frederick William IV.), and the Prussian constitution of February 1847 was an attempt to realize the ideas put forward by him in his Gespräche aus der Gegenwart über Staat und Kirche, published under the pseudonym “Waldheim” in 1846. In November 1847 and March 1848 Radowitz was sent by King Frederick William to Vienna to attempt to arrange common action for the reconstruction of the German Confederation. In the Frankfort parliament he was leader of the extreme Right; and after its break-up he was zealous in promoting the Unionist policy of Prussia, which he defended both in the Prussian diet and in the Erfurt parliament. He was practically responsible for the foreign policy of Prussia from May 1848 onwards, and on the 27th of September 1850 he was appointed minister of foreign affairs. He resigned, however, on the 2nd of November, owing to the king’s refusal to settle the difficulties with Austria by an appeal to arms. In August 1852 he was appointed director of military education; but the rest of his life was devoted mainly to literary pursuits. He died on the 25th of December 1853.

Radowitz published, in addition to several political treatises, Ikonographie der Heiligen, ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte (Berlin, 1834) and Devisen und Mottos des spätern Mittelalters (ib., 1850). His Gesammelte Schriften were published in 5 vols. at Berlin, 1852–53.

See Hassel, Joseph Maria von Radowitz (Berlin, 1905, &c.).