Wilhelm Georg Friedrich Roscher - Encyclopedia


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WILHELM GEORG FRIEDRICH ROSCHER (1817-1894), German economist, was born at Hanover on the 21st of October 1817. He studied at Göttingen and Berlin, and Obtained a professorship at Göttingen in 1844 and subsequently at Leipzig in 1848. Omitting preparatory indications and undeveloped germs of doctrine, the origin of the "historical" school of political economy may be traced to Roscher. Its fundamental principles are dated, though with some hesitation, and with an unfortunate contrast of the historical with the philosophical method, in his Grundriss zu Vorlesungen ilber die Staatswirthschaft nach geschichtlicher Methode (1843). This short study was afterwards expanded into his great System der Volkswirthschaft, published in five volumes between 1854 and 1894, and arranged as follows: vol. i., Die Grundlagen der Nationalokonomie, 1854 (trans. by J. J. Lalor, Principles of Political Economy, Chicago, 1878); vol. ii., Die Nationalokonomie des Ackerbaues and der verwandten Urproduktionszweige, 1859; vol. iii., Die Nationalokonomie des Handels and Gewerbfleisses, 1881; vol. iv., System der Finanzwissenschaft, 1886; vol. v., System der Armenpflege and Armenpolitik, 1894. His Geschichte der Nationalokonomie in Deutschland (1874) is a monumental work. He also published in 1842 an excellent commentary on the life and works of Thucydides. He died at Leipzig on the 4th of June 1894.

See T. Roscher, Zur Geschichte der Familie Roscher in Niedersachsen (Hanover, 1892); Brasch, Wilhelm Roscher and die sozialwissenschaftlichen Stromungen der Gegenwart (Leipzig, 1895).

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