naturalization of aliens in prussia.

In Prussia the foreigner acquires the right of citizenship by his nomination to a public office. Thus the law of the 31st of December, 1842, gives to the superior administrative authorities (régences) the power to accord naturalization to a foreigner who justifies it by good conduct and the means of livelihood. The law excepts only Jews, the subject of a state forming part of the Germanic Confederation, minors and other persons incapable of acting for themselves; with respect to the latter it contains special provisions. An alien woman acquires the right of a Prussian subject by her marriage with a Prussian.

Provision was made by the constitution of the Germanic Confederation for the reciprocal admission of the subjects of one state to the privileges of citizenship in the other states.

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Extract from the laws of Prussia, of December 31, 1842, concerning the loss of the quality of a Prussian subject.

§ 15.
The quality of a Prussian subject is lost—
By discharge upon the subject’s request.
By sentence of the competent authority.
By living ten years in a foreign country.
By the marriage of a female Prussian subject with a foreigner.
§ 16.
The discharge has to be asked for from the police authority of the province in which the subject’s domicile is situated, and is effected by a document made out by the same authority.
§ 17.
The discharge cannot be granted—
To male subjects who are between seventeen and twenty-five years of age, until they have got a certificate of the military commission of recruitment of their district, proving that their application for discharge is not made merely to avoid the fulfilling of their military duty in the standing army.
To actual soldiers, belonging either to the standing army or to the reserve; to officers of the militia and to public functionaries, before their being discharged from service.
To subjects having formerly served as officers in the standing army or the militia, or having been appointed military employés, with the rank of officers, or civil functionaries, before they have got the consent of their former chief.
To the persons belonging to the militia, not being officers, after their having been convoked for actual service.
§ 18.
To subjects wishing to emigrate into a state of the German Confederacy, the discharge may be refused if they cannot prove that the said state is willing to receive them. (See act of the German Confederation, art. 18, No. 2, lit. A.)
§ 19.
For other reasons than those specified in § § 17 and 18, the discharge cannot be refused in time of peace. For the time of war, special regulations will be made.
§ 20.
The document of discharge effects, at the moment of its delivery, the loss of the quality as Prussian subject.
§ 21.
If there is no special exception, the discharge comprehends also the wife and the minor children that are still under their father’s authority.
§ 22.
Subjects living in a foreign country may lose their quality as Prussians by a declaration of the police authority of Prussia, if they do not obey, within the time fixed to them, the express summons for returning to their country.
§ 23.
Subjects who either—
Leave our states without permission, and do not return within ten years, or—
Leave our states with permission, but do not return within ten years after the expiration of the term granted by the said permission, lose their quality as Prussian subjects.
§ 24.
Entering into public service in a foreign state.
The entering of a subject into public service in a foreign state is allowed only after his discharge (see § 20) has been granted to him. Anybody who has obtained it is permitted to do so without restriction.
§ 25.
A subject who—
Either takes public service in a foreign state with our immediate permission—
Or is appointed in our states by a foreign power, in an office established with our permission, as, for instance, that of consul, commercial agent, &c, remaining in his quality as a Prussian.
§ 26.
General disposition.
Subjects who emigrate without having obtained their discharge, or violate, by their entering into public service in a foreign state, the disposition of § 24, are to be punished according to the laws existing in that respect.


Extract from the Constitution of Prussia, 1850.

Tit. I. Rights of the Prussians.

Art. 1. The right to emigrate cannot be restricted by the state, except with respect to the duty of military service.

See also a memorandum furnished to the United States minister at Berlin by the Prussian government in 1859. (Appendix G.)