The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Stein, Heinrich Friedrich Karl

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STEIN, Heinrich Friedrich Karl, German statesman: b. Nassau, 26 Oct. 1757; d. Kappenberg, Westphalia, 29 June 1831. He studied at Göttingen, entered the mining department of the Prussian government, became head of the mines and manufactures (1784) department in Westphalia, visited the mining districts of England in 1786, became president of the provincial chambers of Westphalia in 1796, and a minister of state in 1804. For the severity of his criticisms on the administration he was dismissed (1807), but in a few months he was recalled, with power to introduce his reforms. Accordingly he abolished serfage by edict, made military service obligatory on all classes, and rearranged the financial and administrative affairs. By means of these reforms he laid the basis of Prussia's future greatness, but in less than a year he was proscribed by Napoleon and dismissed from office. He afterward visited Saint Petersburg, and was instrumental in bringing about the coalition which crushed Napoleon. When the military struggle was over he spent his life in retirement. Consult Pertz, ‘Das Leben des Ministers Freiherrn von Stein’ (1849); Stern, ‘Stein und sein Zeitalter’ (1855); Seeley, ‘Life and Times of Stein’ (1878); Meier, ‘Die Reform der Verwaltungsorganisation unter Stein und Hardenberg’ (1881); and the popular biographies by Neubauer (1894) and Bauer (1895).