| 1, Modena Villas, Maitland Park.
26 Sept. 1866

My Dear Sir,

Consequent upon my absence from London, I received  Siehe C. D. Collet an Marx, 15.9.1866. Marx beantwortet im Folgenden Collets Fragen.
your letter d.d. Sept. 15
only to-day.

1) The members of the Prussian Lower House are paid, but the members of the electoral colleges are not.

2) The costs of election are defrayed out of the provincial (resp. communal) Exchequers. From the nature of the proceeding, they cannot amount to much. The limits of the electoral ditricts are prescribed by law, each electoral district is again divided into numerous smaller districts. Aliquot parts of the population choose each one member for Parliament.

3) There is no qualification required for a man to become either a member of Parliament (Lower House) or to // a member of the electoral colleges. 

| 4) The primary voters include all men from the age of 25 years who pay any direct tax. Certain direct taxes are paid by almost everybody, even servants. All primary voters are divided into three classes, formed in this way:

The direct taxes paid by the primary voters say of one electoral district are summed together. This total sum of direct taxes is divided into 3 equal parts. The first part is composed made up of by individuals who pay most direct taxes, the second by those who stand next in on the scale of taxation, and the third by the remainder of the primary voters. The respective contributors to every part form one electoral class. Each of the three electoral classes so formed elects the same number of secondary electors who form the electoral body that finally nominates the members of Parliament.

5) The middle body or electoral fulfils no other function.

6) I do not exactly rember // remember for what number of years the deputies are elected. If I am not greatly mistaken,  Für das Preußische Abgeordnetenhaus betrug die Wahlperiode damals 3 Jahre.
the English “7 years”  | were introduced under the reactionnary Government of Manteuffel.

7) The modes of election in Germany // throughout Germany are far from uniform. Generally. However, the system of double elections prevails.

In Bavaria f.i. every man, having reached the age of 25 years, and paying any direct tax, is an elector. Every district is subdivided into smaller ones, and each of them chooses a certain member of electors, but without the Prussian division of classes. For every 31,500 primary voters, there is one member of Parliament. The communal elections in Bavaria are regulated by the same laws law as the parliamentary ones.

8) Cases of electoral bribery are absolutely unknown in all German states.

9) The daily attendance of members of Parliament is rigorously enforced. No member  | can stay away without the permission of the President of the Lower House, and he can give no leave of absence except in such cases forever(?) // as malady etc. There exists no such thing as a “count out”.

10) The ministers, or other public functionaries, m(?) // are eligible as members of the Lower House, but they can assist (in person or by official remplaçants), and take part in, in the debates, without being members. In the latter case they are, of course, excluded from voting

Yours very truly
Karl Marx

Zeugenbeschreibung und Überlieferung

Dieser Brief wird hier erstmals veröffentlicht.


Der Brief besteht aus einem Bogen festem, weißem Papier im Format 225 × 176 mm. Marx hat die ersten drei Seiten vollständig beschrieben, die vierte zu zwei Dritteln. Schreibmaterial: schwarze Tinte.

Anmerkungen zum Brief

Marx beantwortet den Brief Collets vom 15. September 1866 (C. Dobson Collet an Marx, 15.9.1866), Collet antwortete ihm am 27. September 1866 (C. Dobson Collet an Marx, 27.9.1866).



Karl Marx an Collet Dobson Collet in London. London, Samstag, 26. September 1866. In: Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe digital. Hg. von der Internationalen Marx-Engels-Stiftung. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin. URL: http://megadigital.bbaw.de/briefe/detail.xql?id=M0000175. Abgerufen am 23.04.2024.