Akt des persönlichen Regiments

English translation: act of personal authority

23:18 Mar 9, 2018
German to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - History
German term or phrase: Akt des persönlichen Regiments
This is from the minutes of a Reichstagsitzung from 1906.
Der Herr Ablaß hat uns erzählt, "wie man Gouverneur wird": eines Tages stellte sich der Oberst Liebert dem Reichskanlser Fürsten Hohelohe vor, er sei zum deutschen Kanzler in China ernannt. Große Überraschung und Bestürzung! Kein Mensch hatte davon etwas gewußt, und um nun irgendeinen Ausweg zu finden, schickt man dann den Obersten Liebert, um ihn zu entschädigen, als Gouverneur nach Ostafrika. Herr Ablaß bezeichnet das als einen "Akt des persönlichen Regiments"...
Gerhard Wiesinger
United States
Local time: 06:42
English translation:act of personal authority
Here this means that people in high places get to make decisions on a whim rather than follow a process or protocol.
Selected response from:

Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 09:42
Grading comment
Thank you
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Summary of answers provided
3 +1personal intervention [of the monarch(y)]
Björn Vrooman
4act of personal authority
Michael Martin, MA
3act of responsible/good leadership/government
David Hollywood
2act of personal prejudice
Summary of reference entries provided
Taken from Johanna's dbox reference

Discussion entries: 16



1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
act of responsible/good leadership/government


Regiment. Substantiv, Neutrum - 1. Herrschaft, Regierung, verantwortliche Führung,

Note added at 1 hr (2018-03-10 00:43:20 GMT)

meiner Meinung nach, geht es um verantwortliche Führung in diesem Zusammenhang

und ich habe "personal" vergessen, also "an act of good/responsible personal leadership/government"

Note added at 1 hr (2018-03-10 00:44:47 GMT)

if you want to be freer, you might go with "a good move in terms of responsible/good leadership/government"

David Hollywood
Local time: 10:42
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 48

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Lancashireman: The Kaiser + 'responsible leadership'? That would be a first.
20 hrs
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19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
act of personal authority

Here this means that people in high places get to make decisions on a whim rather than follow a process or protocol.

Michael Martin, MA
United States
Local time: 09:42
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 66
Grading comment
Thank you

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Lancashireman: What happened to your 'act of charismatic leadership' version? // Anyway, I agree with your observation that 'an act of personal rule' doesn't get the idea across.
2 hrs
  -> That's more of an explanation rather than a translation. Useful but too detached.
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21 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
act of personal prejudice

or 'personal bias' since the connotation is clearly a negative one

Local time: 07:42
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Lancashireman: Prejudice against or favouritism towards? In the context, it's clearly the latter.
44 mins
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20 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
personal intervention [of the monarch(y)]

"Personal intervention(s)" is used by John C. G. Röhl, Hugh Chisholm, Christopher Clark, Matthew Jefferies, William Marvin Hatch, Stephen Lee and others. All of them have written books about Wilhelm II. Just search the Google Books page for those words.

Please see the discussion box if you're looking for a more detailed explanation.

Phil and writeaway also provided helpful links to explain the term "Persönliches Regiment."

Here's another reference:

See "...Entgleisungen des persönlichen Regiments..." on the left (middle of the page).

Note added at 2 days 11 hrs (2018-03-12 11:08:21 GMT)

I have some options up my sleeve.

Involvement, obviously.

Interference: https://www.nytimes.com/1854/01/11/archives/prince-albert-an...

Usurpation: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/usurp?q=...

I do like “encroachment”:
“The existence of that remarkable sovereign power which under Wilhelm II. has centred itself in his person forms a preponderating factor in the present-day German Empire. All German State institutions are influenced in their working by the fact that the Kaiser has the power to encroach.”
From “The Speaker, the Liberal Review,” 14, p. 606

As said before, I don't believe "act of" fits well. I don't think you need it at all. But regardless, there's something interesting going on here.

Search for "act of"; you'll see that a great number of the collocations have been translated as XYZ+akt or XYZ + Akt

Ex.: act of war = kriegerischer Akt

"Akt der," on the other hand, is typically translated into English as XYZ + act (the other way around).

Also, please have a second look at the document I posted in the d-box, the one from Dec. 1. Ablaß doesn’t say “Akt,” but “ein kleines Bild von dem persönlichen Regiment,” i.e., a glimpse into.

Arendt makes a reference to this speech by Ablaß, but says “Akt,” which should be understood to mean any of the following: Case of, display of, instance of, illustration of, example of, sign of…

To be able to use the above in this context, you’ll need some sort of catchphrase and it’s not personal rule. Here’s an idea:

In context:

Björn Vrooman
Local time: 15:42
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you for all your excellent research

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Lancashireman: Excellent research
1 hr
  -> Thanks! The script is a bit distracting, I must admit, but I guess it's still good enough for speed reading.

neutral  Michael Martin, MA: That's probably too neutral.The German term suggests a leadership style dominated by impulse rather than rational deliberation.
6 hrs
  -> Options: involvement, interference (see NY Times article in d-box) and, my personal favorite, encroachment. The kind of "leadership style" is not part of the equation (see Phil's link in d-box).
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Reference comments

10 hrs peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: Taken from Johanna's dbox reference

Reference information:
Kaiser Wilhelm II - Page vii - Google Books Result
Christopher M. Clark - 2013 - ‎Biography & Autobiography
Was the later Wilhelmine empire governed through a system of 'personal rule' (persönliches Regiment); was it a 'flesh and blood monarchy', in which the character and preferences of the sovereign played a crucial role in shaping political outcomes? Or was power vested in 'traditional oligarchies' and 'anonymous forces' ...
Leadership and Temporality: Calibrating human communities as actors ...
Armin Klesing - 2015 - ‎Business & Economics
... preconstitutional “personal rule” (“Persönliches Regiment”) (11). In our context, it does not matter whether the emperor was smart or dumb, well educated or not, young or experienced. What matters, rather, is that an accelerating society was calibrated by one dominant gauge origin. On a small scale, this resembles, to an ...
Democratic Elitism: New Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives
Heinrich Best, ‎John Higley - 2010 - ‎Political Science
The erratic course of Wilhelm II's personal rule (Persönliches Regiment) and its counter-productive consequences for Germany's external status and internal stability were subject to harsh contemporary criticism. Despite this criticism, there was always some open and much tacit support for monarchical rule – even among ...
The Eulenburg Affair: A Cultural History of Politics in the German ...
Norman Domeier - 2015 - ‎History
... “Persönliches Regiment,” 3–23, particularly 8–9. Compare Huber's view from the early 1950s, in “Das persönliche Regiment Wilhelms II.,” 134–48. There is nothing new in Mombauer and Deist, The Kaiser: New Research. 17Nipperdey, Machtstaat vor der Demokratie, 485. 18 For Eulenburg's stance on a “personal rule,” ...
Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power - Google Books Result
Christopher Clark - 2009 - ‎Biography & Autobiography
New Interpretations (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 1–22; I. V. Hull, ' “Persönliches Regiment” ', in J. C. G. Röhl (ed.), Der Ort Kaiser Wilhelms II. in der deutschen Geschichte (Munich, 1991), pp. 2–23; G. Eley, 'The View from the Throne: the Personal Rule of Kaiser Wilhelm II', Historical Journal, 28 (1985), pp. 469–85; R. J. Evans, ...
Architektur der Diplomatie:

Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Lancashireman: Look at what happened here.
6 days
  -> oh well. so isses. those looking it up in the glossary in the future will have to use their own judgement
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