The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Bitter, Karl Hermann

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BITTER, Karl Hermann, Prussian statesman and writer: b. Schwedt, Brandenburg, 1813; d. 1885. He studied law and politics at the universities of Berlin and Bonn. In 1856-60 he was plenipotentiary of Prussia on the Danube Commission. During the Franco-Prussian War he was prefect of the Vosges. In 1879 he was appointed Minister of Finance and in this office he showed remarkable ability. Through his efforts Hamburg joined the Zollverein or Customs Union, the railroads of Germany were brought under government control, Prussia's finances were placed on a sound basis, a tax was placed on the Börse, and the indirect taxes were increased on tobacco, spirits and malt. Because of differences with Bismarck he resigned in 1882. As a litterateur he confined himself almost exclusively to works on music. His principal work ‘Gesammelte Schriften’ appeared in 1884.