The Present State of Germany
Although The Present State of Germany was first made available in English over three centuries ago, it has been virtually unavailable in English since the period of the American Founding. By 1696, Pufendorf was well known in England as a staunch defender of the Protestant cause and as one of the renovators of natural law. His writings were familiar to such luminaries as Locke and figured prominently in James Tyrell’s Patriarcha non Monarcha (1681). The editor of this volume, Michael J. Seidler, describes this work of Pufendorf as “an account of German constitutional law detailing the historical relations between the Emperor and the Estates as well as an examination of the legitimating foundations of Imperial authority, a general analysis of the nature and requirements of political sovereignty, and a reconceptualization of the different forms of political order… . Its central distinction between so-called regular and irregular states, resting on the question of the locus of sovereignty, demotes the traditional political categories into mere administrative possibilities and thereby creates a more general problematic of freedom and authority with which we are still wrestling today. That is, it raises, at a very early stage in the contractarian tradition which we have inherited, the basic question of how effective political unity is compatible with competing values of diversity and individual liberty.”
The Present State of Germany, trans. Edmund Bohun, edited and with an Introduction by Michael J. Seidler (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007).
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Table of Contents
- Background, Political Setting, and Publication Details
- Conceptual Context
- Chapter Synopses
- Edmund Bohun and His Translation
- Significance of the Work
- A NOTE ON THE TEXT
- the present state of germany
- PUFENDORF’S PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION OF 16671
- PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION (1706)1
- A Letter of Monsieur Mézeray Concerning the Manuscript On the State of the German Empire, Written to a Bookseller of Paris.1
- TO THE READEREdition: 1696ed; Page: [v]
- THE CONTENTS1Edition: 1696ed; Page: [v]
- CHAPTER I: Of the Origine of the German Empire.
- CHAPTER II: Of the Members of which the present German Empire is composed.
- CHAPTER III: Of the Origine of the States of the Empire, and by what degrees [stages] they arrived to that Power they now have.
- CHAPTER IV: Of the Head of the German Empire, the Emperor; and of the Election and the Electors.
- CHAPTER V: Of the Power of the Emperor, as it now stands limited by Treaties; and the Laws and Customs of the Empire; and the Rights of the States of Germany.
- CHAPTER VI: Of the Form of the German Empire.1
- chapter vii: Of the Strength and Diseases of the German Empire.
- CHAPTER VIII: [Of the German State-Interest.]a
- Editions of “De Statu Imperii Germanici”
- Translations of “De Statu Imperii Germanici”
- Other Works by Pufendorf