The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Müller, Adam Heinrich

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Edition of 1920. See also Adam Müller on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MULLER, mü'lẽr, Adam Heinrich, German economist: b. Berlin, 1779; d. 1829. In his 19th year he went to the University of Göttingen, where he at first occupied himself with theology and then became a student of jurisprudence, in which he was a pupil of Hugo. He afterward sought to complete his education by the private study of the natural sciences, which he had previously neglected. He early formed a close intimacy with Friedrich Gentz, his elder by 15 years; and this connection exercised an important influence both on his material circumstances and his mental development in after life. The two men differed widely in character and in their fundamental principles, but agreed, at least in their later period, in their practical political aims, and the friendship was only terminated by death. Müller's relations with the Junker party and his co-operation with them in their opposition to Hardenberg's reforms made any public employment in Prussia impossible for him. In 1805 he was in Vienna, where he became a convert to Roman Catholicism, and through Gentz was brought into relations with Metternich, to whom he was useful in the preparation of state papers. In 1806-09 he was in Dresden, being occupied in the political education of Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar. In 1813 he entered the Austrian service, and in 1815 accompanied the Allies to Paris. He was ennobled by the emperor in 1820. In 1827 he settled a second time in Vienna, and was employed in the state chancellery. He was one of the principal literary instruments of the reaction and took part in framing the Carlsbad resolutions. He was distinguished as a writer not only on politics and economics, but on literature and æsthetics. His principal work is his ‘Elemente der Staatskunst’ (1809), which contains the substance of a course of lectures delivered at Dresden to statesmen and diplomatists. In political economy he represents a reaction against the doctrines of Adam Smith, whom, while he highly commends him in certain respects, he censures as presenting a one-sidedly material and individualistic conception of society, and as being too exclusively English in his views. Müller's leading idea is that of the organic unity and continuity of the state and of social institutions in general. Some of his higher tendencies, freed from much of their alloy, are reproduced in the writings of the historical school of German economists. Other works by Müller are ‘Die Theorie der Staatshaushaltung und ihre Fortschritte in Deutschland und England seit Adam Smith’ (1812); ‘Versuch einer neuen Theorie des Geldes’ (1815); ‘Vermischte Schriften über Staat Philosophie und Kunst’ (2 vols., Vienna 1817); and ‘Von der Nothwendigkeit einer theologischen Grundlage der gesammten Staatswissenschaften und der Staatswirthschaft insbesondere’ (1819). Consult biographical notice of Mischler in ‘Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie.’