Prussian House of Lords
The Prussian House of Lords was the first chamber of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 from 1850-1918. The second chamber was the Prussian House of Representatives (Preußisches Haus der Abgeordneten, also called the Abgeordnetenhaus). The House of Lords was created on January 31, 1850 with the adoption of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Prussia
Constitution of the Kingdom of Prussia
The Constitution of the Kingdom of Prussia was adopted in 1850 and amended in the following years. This constitution was far less liberal than the federal constitution of the German Empire....

. Its seat was on Leipziger Straße at a building rebuilt by the architect Friedrich Schulze
Friedrich Schulze
Friedrich Schulze, Friedrich Schulze-Colbitz or Friedrich Schulze-Kolbitz was a German architect and Prussian master of works....

 in 1904.

A member of the House of Lords was known as a pair (see also pairie
The French word pairie is the equivalent of the English word peerage, in the sense of an individual title carrying the rank of Pair , which derives from the Latin par 'equal', and signifies the members of an exclusive body of noblemen and prelates, considered to be the highest social order -not...

), or officially as a member of the Prussian House of Lords (Mitglieder des preußischen Herrenhauses, or MdH). The House consisted of hereditary peers, life peers appointed by the King of Prussia, peers by virtue of position, representatives of cities and universities, etc. The majority of members were nobles
German nobility
The German nobility was the elite hereditary ruling class or aristocratic class from ca. 500 B.C. to the Holy Roman Empire and what is now Germany.-Principles of German nobility:...

, although the House also had commoner
In British law, a commoner is someone who is neither the Sovereign nor a peer. Therefore, any member of the Royal Family who is not a peer, such as Prince Harry of Wales or Anne, Princess Royal, is a commoner, as is any member of a peer's family, including someone who holds only a courtesy title,...

s as members, especially among the representatives of cities and universities. The breakdown was as follows:
  • Princes of the royal house of Hohenzollern
    House of Hohenzollern
    The House of Hohenzollern is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings and emperors of Prussia, Germany and Romania. It originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century. They took their name from their ancestral home, the Burg Hohenzollern castle near...

     who had reached their majority
  • Members with hereditary right:
    • The head of the princely house of Hohenzollern
    • The heads of the former German states of the Holy Roman Empire in royal Prussian lands - These were primarily mediatized
      German Mediatisation
      The German Mediatisation was the series of mediatisations and secularisations that occurred in Germany between 1795 and 1814, during the latter part of the era of the French Revolution and then the Napoleonic Era....

       princely houses, such as Arenberg
      Arenberg, also spelled as Aremberg or Ahremberg, is a historic county, principality and finally duchy located in modern Germany. The Dukes of Arenberg remain a prominent Belgian aristocratic family.- History :...

      , Bentheim-Steinfurt, Fürstenberg, Isenburg
      Isenburg was a region of Germany located in southern present-day Hesse, located in territories north and south of Frankfurt. The states of Isenburg emerged from the Niederlahngau , which partitioned in 1137 into Isenburg-Isenburg and Isenburg-Limburg-Covern...

       (also Ysenburg), Salm-Horstmar
      Salm-Horstmar was a short-lived Napoleonic County in far northern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, located around Horstmar, to the northeast of Münster. It was created in 1803 for Wild- and Rhinegrave Frederick Charles Augustus of Salm-Grumbach following the loss of Grumbach and other territories...

      , Salm-Salm
      The Principality of Salm-Salm was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was located in the present-day French départements of the Bas-Rhin and the Vosges and was one of a number of partitions of Salm.-History:...

      , Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
      Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg was a county , most of which is located in the present district of Siegen-Wittgenstein, Germany . Its seat was the town and palace in Berleburg...

      , Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein
      Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein was a county between Hesse-Darmstadt and Westphalia. It was formed by the 1657 partition of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Wittgenstein and raised from a county to principality in 1801. It belonged from 1806 to 1815 to the Grand Duchy of Hesse and after 1816 to Prussia. The capital...

      , Solms-Hohensolms-Lich
      Solms-Hohensolms-Lich was a County of northern Baden-Württemberg and eastern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It was originally created as a union of Solms-Hohensolms and Solms-Lich, and it was raised to a Principality in 1792...

      , Solms-Rödelheim-Assenheim
      Solms-Rödelheim-Assenheim was a County of southern Hesse and eastern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It was thrice created by a union of the Counts of Solms-Assenheim and Solms-Rödelheim, and on the first two occasions repartitioned into those statelets...

      , Stolberg-Wernigerode
      The Principality of Stolberg-Wernigerode was a county of the Holy Roman Empire located in the Harz region around Wernigerode, now part of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.-History:...

      , and Wied
      Wied was a County of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, located on the river Wied where it meets the Rhine. Wied emerged as a County earlier than many other German states. From 1243–1462, Wied was united with an Isenburgian County as Isenburg-Wied. Wied was partitioned twice: between itself and...

    • Other members with hereditary right - These were primarily princes and counts from lands absorbed by Prussia over the centuries, such as the duke of Schleswig-Holstein, the count of Westphalia, and the landgrave of Hessen-Philippsthal.
  • Life members:
    • Holders of the four great court appointments (große Hofämter) of the kingdom - These were the state steward (Landhofmeister), the chancellor (Kanzler), the lord marshal (Obermarschall), and the lord burgrave (Oberburggraf).
    • Members entrusted by the king - These were both nobles and commoners, and included select generals and admirals, senior government officials, business leaders, and philanthropists.
    • Members called by presentation - These were primarily holders of noble estates, the university representatives, and the lord mayors of cities given the right of presentation.

With the German Revolution
German Revolution
The German Revolution was the politically-driven civil conflict in Germany at the end of World War I, which resulted in the replacement of Germany's imperial government with a republic...

 and the fall of the Hohenzollern monarchy
House of Hohenzollern
The House of Hohenzollern is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings and emperors of Prussia, Germany and Romania. It originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century. They took their name from their ancestral home, the Burg Hohenzollern castle near...

 resulting from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the Prussian House of Lords was dissolved in 1918 and replaced by the Staatsrat (state council) of the Free State of Prussia. Its members were representatives of the Provinces of Prussia
Provinces of Prussia
The Provinces of Prussia constituted the main administrative divisions of Prussia. Following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 and the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the various princely states in Germany gained their nominal sovereignty, but the reunification process that culminated in...

. Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

 used to be its long serving president.

Today, The Federal Council (Bundesrat
Bundesrat of Germany
The German Bundesrat is a legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder of Germany at the federal level...

) of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 has its seat in the former Prussian House of Lords Building in Berlin.

Cultural references

One of the characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov....

's Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. This is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his...

 references the Prussian Upper House when they are talking about the main character's sister.

See also

External links

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