Joseph Maria Von Radowitz, a Prussian statesman, born at Blankenburg, Brunswick, Feb. 6, 1797, died in Berlin, Dec. 25, 1853. His ancestors had emigrated from Hungary. He was instructed by his mother as a Protestant, and subsequently by his father as a Catholic. He entered the army in 1813, and was wounded and captured at the battle of Leipsic. In 1815, after the restoration of peace, he settled in Cassel as a teacher of mathematics and military science at the school of cadets, and was attached in the same capacity to the household of Prince Frederick William, the future elector. In 1823 he returned to the Prussian army with the rank of colonel, and in 1845 he became general. His great influence over the crown prince, the future king Frederick William IV., gave him a prominent position, and after holding various diplomatic offices and prompting the king in 1847 to make important organic changes in the government, he retired from the army in 1848, and went to Frankfort as leader of the ultra conservatives in the German parliament.
His views, however, underwent a gradual change, and he became an advocate of a constitutional monarchy and of the union of North Germany under the king of Prussia. In 1849-'50 he was foremost in Berlin and Erfurt in the general direction of affairs, and from Sept. 27 to Nov. 29,. 1850, he was minister of foreign relations. He retired from this office in consequence of the opposition to his plan of a rupture with Austria. His principal works are: Gespräche aus der Gegenwart über Staat und Kirche (1846); Deutschland und Friedrich Wilhelm IV. (1848); and Neue Gespräche aus der Gegenwart (2 vols., 1851). His Gesammelte Schriften comprise 5 vols. (1852-'3).