1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marschall von Bieberstein, Baron Adolf von

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1922 Encyclopædia Britannica
Marschall von Bieberstein, Baron Adolf von

MARSCHALL VON BIEBERSTEIN, BARON ADOLF VON (1842-1912), German diplomatist, was born at Carlsruhe Oct. 12 1842, his father — Augustus, Baron Marschall von Bieberstein — being chamberlain to the Grand Duke of Baden, and his mother before her marriage Baroness von Falkenstein. He was educated at the Gymnasium of Frankfort-on-Main and at the universities of Heidelberg and Berlin. He studied law and from 1871 to 1882 held various administrative offices in the Grand Duchy of Baden. From 1875 to 1883 he sat in the Upper Chamber of the Baden Diet. In 1883 he was sent to Berlin as minister for Baden in the Federal Council and from 1884 to 1890 he represented the Council in the Imperial Insurance Office. In 1890 he succeeded Count Herbert Bismarck as Secretary for Foreign Affairs under the Caprivi chancellorship and continued to hold that office under Prince von Hohenlohe; but he had incurred the enmity of Prince Bismarck by refusing his advice when he first assumed office, and the result was a fierce press campaign against him which finally obliged him to speak out when he appeared as a witness at the trial of certain journalists in 1896 for lèse-majesté. He was also violently opposed by the Agrarians because he advocated the reduction of corn duties, and in 1897 he resigned office, and a few months later was appointed German ambassador in Constantinople. There he remained for nearly 15 years, creating a commanding position for himself and a growing ascendancy in Turkish affairs for his Government. To him was largely due the promotion of the Bagdad railway. In general European politics Baron Marschall had taken during his Foreign Secretaryship a strongly imperialist attitude. After the Jameson raid and the Emperor's telegram to President Krüger, in the drafting of which Baron Marschall, according to the later testimony now available, bore a leading part, it was he who declared in the Reichstag that the maintenance of the independence of the Boer republics was a “German interest.” He was also an advocate of a strong naval policy for Germany. In 1907 he was principal German delegate in the Hague Conference, and was the exponent of Germany's resolute and successful opposition to any practical discussion of the question of restriction of armaments. In May 1912 he was appointed to succeed Count Wolff-Metternich as ambassador to Great Britain, but he had only been in London a short time when his health finally broke down. He died at Badenweiler Sept. 24 1912.