Treitschke, Heinrich von

Treitschke, Heinrich von hīnˈrĭkh fən trīchˈkə [key], 1834–96, German historian. A fervid partisan of Prussia, he left Baden at the outbreak of the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and became professor of history at Kiel (1866), Heidelberg (1867), and Berlin (1874). He edited (1866–89) the monthly Preussische Jahrbücher and became (1886) Prussian state historiographer. As a young man, he was strongly nationalistic and liberal; as he grew older his political views became more nationalistic and less liberal. Although a member of the Reichstag, he was not especially successful as a practical politician. His writings, however, reflected his political views, his deep hope for the unity and greatness of Germany under Prussian leadership, and his admiration of Bismarck and the Hohenzollerns. They also reflected his strong anti-Semitism. His theories had great impact on the new generation and in academic circles. Treitschke's histories, stirring and graphic and excellent in workmanship, are nevertheless distorted by his fanatic nationalism and his pernicious biases. His masterpiece is his History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century (tr., 7 vol., 1915–19). Among his other works are Politics (tr. 1916) and Origins of Prussianism (tr. 1942).

See biography by A. Dorpalen (1957); study by H. W. Davis (1915, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Historians, European: Biographies