Georg Beseler

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Carl Georg Christoph Beseler
Georg Beseler
Member of the Frankfurt Parliament
Member of the Prussian House of Lords
In office
In office
Member of the Erfurt Union Parliament
In office
Member of the Reichstag
In office
Personal details
Born(1809-11-02)2 November 1809
Rödemis, Schleswig-Holstein
Died28 August 1888(1888-08-28) (aged 78)
Bad Harzburg, German Empire
Alma materUniversity of Kiel
University of Munich

Carl Georg Christoph Beseler (2 November 1809 in Rödemis, now part of Husum – 28 August 1888 in Bad Harzburg) was a Prussian jurist and politician.

Beseler studied law at Kiel and Munich. He was forbidden to teach law in Kiel in 1833 due to his political activity, but he lectured at Göttingen, and Heidelberg. In 1835, he became a professor in Basel, 1837 in Rostock, 1842 in Greifswald and 1859 in Berlin.

A liberal nationalist, Beseler was a member of the Frankfurt Parliament where he participated in writing the failed 1849 German constitution. From 1849 to 1852 and from 1857 to 1887 he was a member of the Prussian House of Lords, 1850 of the Erfurt Union Parliament and 1874 to 1877 of the Reichstag.

As a notable "Germanist" opponent of the "Romanists", led by Friedrich Carl von Savigny, Beseler advocated a "people's law" based on Germanic principles as opposed to the Romanists' "jurists' law". The notions of cooperative law and social law later enunciated by Otto von Gierke originate with Beseler. He was also involved in liberalising the codes of civil and criminal procedure, and in crafting the 1851 Prussian criminal code.

Beseler was the father of Hans Hartwig von Beseler and Max von Beseler.


  • Stolleis, Michael (2001). "Carl Georg Christoph Beseler". In Michael Stolleis (ed.). Juristen: ein biographisches Lexikon; von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert (in German) (2nd ed.). München: Beck. p. 82. ISBN 3-406-45957-9.

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