The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Beckerath, Hermann von

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BECKERATH, Hermann von, German statesman: b. Krefeld, Prussia, 13 Dec. 1801; d. there, 12 May 1870. His youth was spent in learning the business of banking, after which he became the head of a banking firm which had considerable influence in German financing, especially in the Rhenish provinces. He began his political career by entering the Diet of his native province. In 1847 he served in the Prussian Diet, and the following year went as a deputy to the Frankfort Parliament, where he became one of the firmest advocates of the German confederacy. He became Minister of Finance in the German cabinet organized by the Parliament. When the reactionary Manteuffel Ministry came into power, he continued as a member of the Prussian Second Chamber and ranged himself steadfastly with the opposition. In 1852 he withdrew from politics, but six years later he was again elected to the Second Chamber. His ill-health, however, compelled him to decline the office. Consult Kopstadt's biography, ‘Hermann von Beckerath’ (Brunswick 1875).