Heinrich von Treitschke, the son of an army officer, was born in Dresden, Germany, on 15th September, 1834. He studied at Bonn, Leipzig, Tubingen and Heildelberg and taught at Freiburg (1863), Kiel (1866), Heidelberg (1867) and Berlin (1874).
As a young man Treitschke held liberal views and wanted to see the introduction of a parliamentary democracy. However, as he grew older he became a strident nationalist. This included the desire for a united Germany under Prussian leadership. In 1871 he was elected to the Reichstag. Treitschke's right wing political opinions was reflected in his history writings and the editing of the monthly journal, Preussische Jahrbucher (1866-1889). Later he became editor of Historische Zeitschrift.
As a strong advocate of colonial expansion Treitschke was also a bitter enemy of Great Britain and was to a large extent responsible for the anti-British feeling in Germany. Treitschke passionately admired Otto von Bismarck. He was also strongly anti-Semitic and influenced German politicians such as Adolf Hitler. He also passionately admired Otto von Bismarck.
Treitschke was a highly patriotic historian. His most important book was the History of Germany in the 19th Century. The first volume was published in 1879. In this book he argued that Germany should develop a powerful empire. He also insisted that war would be necessary to achieve and control this territory. He wrote: "War is elevating, because the individual disappears before the great conception of the state... What a perversion of morality to wish to abolish heroism among men!"
Heinrich von Treitschke died in 1896.