Science and Silver for the Kammer

in The Disordered Police State

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226870205
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226870229 | DOI:
Science and Silver for the Kammer

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The staggering amounts of gold and silver pillaged and extracted from the Americas between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries have worked to obscure the memory of Europe's indigenous silver mines. By the seventeenth century, a few great mining districts dominated central European silver production. German silver states moved to train cameralist mining officials in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War. Friedrich Anton von Heynitz intervened personally to install cadets from Freiberg in important official positions. Heynitz appointed the young cadet because Saxony's existing officials lacked “knowledge, application, and integrity.” On the other hand, Friedrich Wilhelm von Trebra tried to introduce order and discipline into the daily routines of the mining office, and he tried to establish accountability among the officials there. Three decades later another famous Freiberg professor, Abraham Gottlob Werner, was still justifying the Bergakademie (and its budget) to Dresden's authorities.

Keywords: gold; silver; silver mines; cameralist; mining officials; Friedrich Anton von Heynitz; Friedrich Wilhelm von Trebra; Abraham Gottlob Werner

Chapter.  9005 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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