German jurist and publicist; born at Munich Jan. 16, 1802; died at Brückenau Aug. 10, 1861. In his eighteenth year he took the examination for the position of teacher at the Munich gymnasium, but was confronted by the usual difficulty experienced by Jewish youths seeking government positions, and he adopted Christianity Nov. 6, 1819, in Erlangen. He studied jurisprudence at the universities of Würzburg, Heidelberg, and Erlangen, and in 1827 became privat-docent at the University of Munich. In the same year his treatise "Ueber das Aeltere Römische Klagerecht" was published in that city; and he then devoted himself to his great work on the philosophy of law, "Die Philosophie des Rechts nach Geschichtlicher Ansicht," 2 vols., Heidelberg, 1830-37 (5th ed. 1878). In 1832 he was called to the University of Erlangen, as associate professor, and in November of the same year was appointed professor in the University of Würzburg. He published his "Die Kirchenverfassung nach Lehre und Recht der Protestanten" at Erlangen, in 1840 (2d ed. 1862).

In politics, as in philosophy, jurisprudence, and religion, Stahl was an extreme reactionary, in which spirit he issued a number of pamphlets devoted to a vigorous criticism of the revolutionary tendencies, proposals, and proceedings, of that troublous period. He was rewarded by the king with an appointment in 1849 as life member of the First Chamber, afterward known as the "Herrenhaus"; and from 1852 to 1858 he was a member of the "Evangelischer Oberkirchenrat." The downfall of the Manteuffel ministry led to the loss of his influence in the latter body, and in 1858 he resigned. In both assemblages he remained from beginning to end the recognized leader of his party. According to Lord Acton, he had a more predominant influence and showed more political ability than Lord Beaconsfield (Acton, "Letters to Mary Gladstone," p. 103, London, 1904).

The writings which Stahl produced in Berlin during the revolutionary agitation were: "Ueber die Kirchenzucht," 1845 (2d ed. 1858); "Das MonarchischePrinzip," Heidelberg, 1845; "Der Christliche Staat," ib. 1847 (2d ed. 1858); "Die Revolution und die Konstitutionelle Monarchie," 1848 (2d ed. 1849); "Was Ist Revolution?" ib. 1852, of which three editions were issued. His subsequent writings were: "Der Protestantismus als Politisches Prinzip," ib. 1853 (3d ed. 1854); "Die Katholischen Widerlegungen," ib. 1854; "Wider Bunsen," 1856; "Die Lutherische Kirche und die Union," 1859 (2d ed. 1860). After his death there were published "Siebenzehn Parlamentarische Reden," ib. 1862, and "Die Gegenwärtigen Parteien in Staat und Kirche," ib. 1868.

  • Gneis, in Unsere Zeit, vi. 419-449, Berlin, 1862;
  • Bluntschli, in Bluntschli and Brater's Staatslexikon, x. 154-163;
  • idem, in Gesch. des Allg. Staatsrechts, pp. 630-644;
  • Ernst Landsberg, in Allg. Deutsche Biographie, xxxv. 392-400.
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