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Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
|Order:||3rd Chancellor of Germany|
|Term of Office:||1894–October 17, 1900|
|Predecessor:||Leo von Caprivi|
|Successor:||Bernhard von Bülow|
|Date of Birth:||31 March 1819|
|Date of Death:||6 July 1901|
He was born at Schillingsfürst, in Bavaria. His father, Prince Franz Joseph (1787–1841), was a Catholic, his mother, Princess Konstanze of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a Protestant. In accordance with the compromise customary at the time, Prince Chlodwig and his brothers were brought up in the religion of their father, while his sisters followed that of their mother. He entered the Prussian diplomatic service. He became a Referendar in September 1843, and after some months of travel in France, Switzerland and Italy went to Potsdam as a civil servant (May 13, 1844). These early years were invaluable, not only as giving him experience of practical affairs but as affording him an insight into the strength and weakness of the Prussian system. The immediate result was to confirm his Liberalism. The Prussian principle of propagating enlightenment with a stick did not appeal to him; he recognized the confusion and want of clear ideas in the highest circles, the tendency to make agreement with the views of the government the test of loyalty to the state; and he noted in his journal (June 25, 1844) four years before the revolution of 48,
In 1845 Prince Chlodwig became Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, completely changing his career. To be a reigning prince and hereditary member of the Bavarian Upper House was incompatible with a career of a Prussian official. On April 18, 1846 he took his seat as a member of the Bavarian Reichsrat, and on the June 26 received his formal discharge from the Prussian service.
Save for the interlude of 1848 the political life of Prince Hohenlohe was for the next eighteen years not eventful. During the revolutionary years his sympathies were with the Liberal idea of a united Germany, and he compromised his chances of favor from the King of Bavaria by accepting the task of announcing to the courts of Rome, Florence and Athens the accession to office of the Archduke John of Austria as regent of Germany. In general this period of Hohenlohe's life was occupied in the management of his estates, in the sessions of the Bavarian Reichsrat and in travels. In 1856 he visited Rome, during which he noted the baneful influence of the Jesuits. In 1859 he was studying the political situation at Berlin, and in the same year he paid a visit to England. The marriage of his brcther Konstantin in 1859 to another princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg led also to frequent visits to Vienna. Thus Prince Hohenlohe was brought into close touch with all the most notable people in Europe.
After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 he advocated a closer union with Prussia. King Louis II of Bavaria was opposed to any dilution of his power, but was eventually brought around by, of all people, Richard Wagner. On the December 31, 1866 the prince was duly appointed minister of the royal house and of foreign affairs and president of the council of ministers.
As head of the Bavarian government Hohenlohe's principal task was to discover some basis for an effective union of the South German states with the North German Confederation, and during the three critical years of his tenure of office he was, next to Bismarck, the most important statesman in Germany. He carried out the reorganization of the Bavarian army on the Prussian model, brought about the military union of the southern states, and took a leading share in the creation of the customs parliament (Zoilparlament), of which on the 28th of April 1868 he was elected a vice-president. A combination of ultra-Catholics and anti-Prussian nationalists forced him to resign in early 1870.
Though out of office, his personal influence continued very great both at Munich and Berlin and had not a little to do with favorable terms of the treaty of the North German Confederation with Bavaria, which embodied his views, and with its acceptance by the Bavarian parliament. Elected a member of the German Reichstag, he was on the March 23, 1871 chosen one of its vice-presidents, and was instrumental in founding the new groups which took the name of the Liberal Imperial party (Liberale Reichspartei), the objects of which were to support the new empire, to secure its internal development on Liberal lines, and to oppose clerical aggression as represented by the Catholic Centre. Like the Duke of Ratibor, Hohenlohe was from the first a strenuous supporter of Bismarck's anti-papal policy, the main lines of which (prohibition of the Society of Jesus, etc.) he himself suggested. Though sympathizing with the motives of the Old Catholics, however, he realized that they were doomed to sink into a powerless sect, and did not join them, believing that the only hope for a reform of the Church lay in those who desired it remaining in her communion. In 1872 Bismarck proposed to appoint Cardinal Hohenlohe Prussian envoy at the Vatican, but his views were too much in harmony with those of his family, and the pope refused to receive him in this capacity.
In 1873 Bismarck chose Prince Hohenlohe to succeed Count Harry Arnim as ambassador in Paris, where he remained for seven years. In 1878 he attended the congress of Berlin as third German representative, and in 1880, on the death of Bernhardt Ernst von Bulow (October 20), secretary of state for foreign affairs, he was called to Berlin as temporary head of the Foreign Office and representative of Bismarck during his absence through illness. In 1885 he was chosen to succeed Manteuffel as governor of Alsace-Lorraine. In this capacity he had to carry out the coercive measures introduced by the chancellor in 1887-f 888, though he largely disapproved of them;i his conciliatory disposition, however, did much to reconcile the Alsace-Lorrainers to German rule. He remained at Strassburg till October 1894, when, at the urgent request of the emperor, he consented, in spite of his advanced years, to accept the chancellorship in succession to Caprivi. The events of his chancellorship belong to the general history of Germany (q.v.); as regards the inner history of this time the editor of his memoirs has very properly suppressed the greater part of the detailed comments which the prince left behind him. In general, during his term of office, the personality of the chancellor was less conspicuous in public affairs than in the case of either of his predecessors. His appearances in the Prussian and German parliaments were rare, and great independence was left to the secretaries of state. Prince Hohenlohe resigned the chancellorship on the 17th of October 1900, and died at Ragaz on the 6th of July 1901.
Leo von Caprivi
|Chancellor of Germany|
|Prime Minister of Prussia|
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