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Hermann von Stengel

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Hermann von Stengel

Hermann Guido Leopold Freiherr von Stengel (19 July 1837 – 1919) was a Bavarian administrator, a German politician and Finance Minister of the empire.

He was born in Speyer, Electorate of the Palatinate, on 19 July 1837, and baptised on 21 July, the son of Carl Albert Leopold von Stengel and Julia Magdalena Catharina Franziska von Mayer. After studying law, he entered into the civil service of the kingdom of Bavaria. In 1874 he became government assessor in Würzburg, and in 1881 he was made ministerial council, and as such and authorized deputy of the Bundesrat in Berlin. He exercised this office until he was appointed State Council sixteen years later.

On 23 August 1903, he was then appointed as a successor to Max Franz Guido von Thielmann as Finance Minister of the empire. In the next years followed a steady deterioration of the finances of the empire, that in the end developed into a constant, structural crisis. The Fleet Acts of 1898 and 1900, employment of German troops during the Boxer Rebellion in China, the expansion of the army in 1893, 1899 and 1905 by as many as 613,000 men, and the increase in military pensions, all had to be financed.

Pressured by the increasing costs of armament, he developed a measure in 1906 that undermined the existing federal system, and instituted a country-wide inheritance tax, in addition to higher excise taxes. Yet the measures were not able to achieve the desired results, so the empire's debt of 3 billion marks in 1904, grew to 4 billion in 1908. On 20 February 1908, he was replaced as Finance Minister by Reinhold Sydow.


  • (German) Die Grundentlastung in Bayern, Würzburg, 1874


  • (German) Biographical data.
Political offices
Preceded by
Max Franz Guido von Thielmann
Finance Minister of Germany
Succeeded by
Reinhold Sydow

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