The New International Encyclopædia/Schmerling, Anton

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SCHMERLING, shmĕr'ling, Anton, Ritter von (1805-93). A distinguished Austrian statesman, born in Vienna, where he studied law and in 1829 entered the Government service. As an opponent of Metternich's policy he was sent to represent Austria at the Frankfort Parliament, and presided over it after the retirement of Colloredo. Elected to the National Assembly, he advocated a constitutional monarchy, and was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior by the Viceregent, Archduke John. Prussian influence having prevailed against his efforts to uphold the Austrian hegemony, he retired, and in Vienna entered Schwarzenberg's Cabinet as Minister of Justice, in which capacity he created the trial by jury. At variance with the reactionary policy of Prince Schwarzenberg, he resigned in 1851, soon after became chairman of the Senate of the Supreme Court, and in 1858 President of the Provincial Court of Appeals. The popular opposition to the federal October diploma of 1860 led to the appointment of Schmerling as Minister of State to promote the transformation of Austria into a constitutional monarchy, but his failure to overcome the opposition of the Hungarian Diet to his measures forced him to resign in 1865, whereupon he was appointed President of the Supreme Court. In 1867 he was made a life member of the House of Lords, where he repeatedly acted as first vice-president, and since 1879 led the party in opposition to the policy of Count Taaffe. For his biography, consult Arneth (Vienna, 1895).