Fichte : Introduction (3)
The tracts which the French Revolution inspired Fichte to write at this time, and which established the rights of the people on the basis of the inherent moral
freedom of man, increased his fame ; but at the same time they caused moderate and conservative men to regard him as a radical and dangerous teacher.
In spite of this, however, he was called to succeed Reinhold as and other adherents of what is called the romantic school. The sentimental atmosphere and moral laxity
of this school, however, did not suit his austere character and strict principles, and friendship gradually changed to coldness and ultimately to antagonism.
In 1805 he was appointed Professor at Erlangen, but the French victories over the Prussians at Jena and Auerstadt drove him to East Prussia, where he lived at Konigsberg from 1806 to 1807.
During his stay there he studied, amongst other things, the writings of Pestalozzi, whose Leonard and Gertrude he had read and approved of as early as 1788, and whose personality and teaching methods had much impressed him at their first meeting in 1793.
The Peace of Tilsit in July 1807 enabled him to return to Berlin, and during the winter of 1807-1808 he disclosed his views on the only true foundation of national prosperity in the Addresses to the German Nation which he delivered in the Academy building there.
He also drew up an elaborate and minute plan for the proposed new university at Berlin, and helped in its organization, being appointed Professor in 1810 and Rector in 1811.
The latter office, however, he resigned after holding it for only four months, his domineering manner preventing any close co-operation with his colleagues.
In 1814 his wife caught a fever while attending sick and wounded in
Berlin. Thanks to Fichte s devoted care she recovered, but he was himself stricken with the same fever and died on January 27, 1814.