Frederick I of Prussia

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Frederick I
Frederick I of Prussia.jpg
Frederick I, in coronation robes
King in Prussia
Reign18 January 1701 – 25 February 1713
Coronation 18 January 1701, Königsberg
Successor Frederick William I
Duke of Prussia
Reign29 April 1688 – 18 January 1701
Predecessor Frederick William
Born(1657-07-11)11 July 1657
Königsberg, Prussia
Died25 February 1713(1713-02-25) (aged 55)
Berlin, Prussia
Spouse Elizabeth Henrietta of Hesse-Kassel
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
Sophia Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Issue Luise, Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Kassel
Prince Frederick August
Frederick William I
House Hohenzollern
Father Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
Mother Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau
Religion Calvinist
Signature Friedrich I. (Preussen) signature.jpg
Prussian Royalty
House of Hohenzollern
Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia 1873-1918.svg
Frederick I
Children
Luise Dorothea, Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Kassel
Prince Frederick August
Frederick William I

Frederick I (German : Friedrich I.; 11 July 1657 – 25 February 1713), of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was (as Frederick III) Elector of Brandenburg (1688–1713) and Duke of Prussia in personal union (Brandenburg-Prussia). The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia (1701–1713). From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel (German : Fürstentum Neuenburg). He was also the paternal grandfather of Frederick the Great.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

House of Hohenzollern dynasty of former princes, electors, kings, and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania

The House of Hohenzollern is a German dynasty whose members were variously princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle. The first ancestors of the Hohenzollerns were mentioned in 1061.

Prince-elector members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire

The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.

Contents

Biography

Family

Born in Königsberg, he was the third son of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg by his father's first marriage to Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau, eldest daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. His maternal cousin was King William III of England. Upon the death of his father on 29 April 1688, Frederick became Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia. Right after ascending the throne Frederick founded a new city southerly adjacent to Dorotheenstadt and named it after himself, the Friedrichstadt. [1]

Königsberg capital city in Prussia

Königsberg is the name for the historic Prussian city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Originally a Sambian or Old Prussian settlement, it then belonged to the State of the Teutonic Order, the Duchy of Prussia, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, and Nazi Germany. After being largely destroyed in World War II by Allied bombing and the Red Army, it was annexed by the Soviet Union and its surviving inhabitants forcibly expelled. Thereafter, the city was renamed Kaliningrad. Few traces of the former Königsberg remain today.

Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia

Frederick William was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as "the Great Elector" because of his military and political achievements. Frederick William was a staunch pillar of the Calvinist faith, associated with the rising commercial class. He saw the importance of trade and promoted it vigorously. His shrewd domestic reforms gave Prussia a strong position in the post-Westphalian political order of north-central Europe, setting Prussia up for elevation from duchy to kingdom, achieved under his son and successor.

Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of Holland

Frederick Henry, or Frederik Hendrik in Dutch, was the sovereign Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel from 1625 to 1647. He was the grandfather of William III of England.

Military career

Frederick was noted for his opposition to France, in contrast to his father who had sought an alliance with Louis XIV. Frederick took Brandenburg into the League of Augsburg against France and in 1689 led military forces into the field as part of the allied coalition. That year an army under his command besieged and captured Bonn. Despite this opposition to France (a characteristic that was even more prominent in his son and heir) he was fond of French culture, and styled his court in imitation of that of Louis XIV. [2]

Louis XIV of France King of France and Navarra, from 1643 to 1715

Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.

Siege of Bonn (1689)

The Siege of Bonn took place in 1689 during the Nine Years' War when the forces of the Dutch Republic and the Elector of Brandenburg besieged and captured Bonn. It was part of the Rhineland campaign which Brandenburg was fighting as part of the Grand Alliance against Louis XIV of France. Following Louis' incursions into the Rhineland the previous year, a coalition of nations had formed to resist French hegemony.

King in Prussia

Royal Monogram Fredericus Rex.svg
Royal Monogram

The Hohenzollern state was then known as Brandenburg-Prussia. The family's main possessions were the Margraviate of Brandenburg within the Holy Roman Empire and the Duchy of Prussia outside of the Empire, ruled as a personal union. Although he was the Margrave and Prince-elector of Brandenburg and the Duke of Prussia, Frederick desired the more prestigious title of king. However, according to Germanic law at that time, no kingdoms could exist within the Holy Roman Empire, with the exception of the Kingdom of Bohemia which belonged to the Holy Roman Emperor.[ citation needed ]

Brandenburg-Prussia former country

Brandenburg-Prussia is the historiographic denomination for the Early Modern realm of the Brandenburgian Hohenzollerns between 1618 and 1701. Based in the Electorate of Brandenburg, the main branch of the Hohenzollern intermarried with the branch ruling the Duchy of Prussia, and secured succession upon the latter's extinction in the male line in 1618. Another consequence of the intermarriage was the incorporation of the lower Rhenish principalities of Cleves, Mark and Ravensberg after the Treaty of Xanten in 1614.

Margraviate of Brandenburg major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806

The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806 that played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe.

Holy Roman Empire Varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

In the Crown Treaty of 16 November 1700, Frederick persuaded Leopold I, Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor, to allow Prussia to be elevated to a kingdom. This agreement was ostensibly given in exchange for an alliance against King Louis XIV in the War of the Spanish Succession and the provision of 8,000 Prussian troops to Leopold's service. Frederick argued that Prussia had never been part of the Holy Roman Empire, and he ruled over it with full sovereignty. Therefore, he said, there was no legal or political barrier to letting him rule it as a kingdom. Frederick was aided in the negotiations by Charles Ancillon.[ citation needed ]

In the Crown Treaty signed on 16 November 1700, Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, had undertaken to provide a body of 8,000 men for the impending Spanish War of Succession for Emperor Leopold I. In return, the emperor promised that Frederick's future self-coronation as "King in Prussia" would be recognised across Europe and the Holy Roman Empire. The coronation took place on 18 January 1701 in Königsberg ; from April 1701 the now entitled "Royal Prussian Contingent" deployed to the Lower Rhine at Wesel. In April 1702, it took part in hostilities for the first time at the Siege of Kaiserswerth.

Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia and King of Bohemia

Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected in 1658, Leopold ruled the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1705, becoming the longest-ruling Habsburg emperor.

Archduchy of Austria Fief of the Holy Roman Empire

The Archduchy of Austria was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery.

Frederick crowned himself on 18 January 1701 in Königsberg. Although he did so with the Emperor's consent, and also with formal acknowledgement from Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony, who held the title of King of Poland, the Polish-Lithuanian Diet (Sejm) raised objections, and viewed the coronation as illegal. [3] In fact, according to the terms of the Treaty of Wehlau and Bromberg, the House of Hohenzollern's sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia was not absolute but contingent on the continuation of the male line (in the absence of which the duchy would revert to the Polish crown). [3] Therefore, out of deference to the region's historic ties to the Polish crown, Frederick made the symbolic concession of calling himself "King in Prussia" instead of "King of Prussia". [3] [4]

Augustus II the Strong King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and Elector of Saxony

Augustus II the Strong, also known in Saxony as Frederick Augustus I, was Elector of Saxony from 1697, Imperial Vicar and elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in the years 1697–1706 and from 1709 until his death in 1733.

This article discusses the organizational and administrative structure of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Treaty of Bromberg

The Treaty of Bromberg or Treaty of Bydgoszcz was a treaty between John II Casimir of Poland and Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, ratified at Bromberg (Bydgoszcz) on 6 November 1657. The treaty consisted of several agreements, including the Treaty of Wehlau signed on 19 September 1657 by the Brandenburg-Prussian and Polish-Lithuanian envoys in Wehlau. Thus, the treaty of Bromberg is sometimes referred to as treaty of Wehlau-Bromberg or Treaty of Wehlau and Bromberg.

His royalty was, in any case, limited to Prussia and did not reduce the rights of the Emperor in the portions of his domains that were still part of the Holy Roman Empire. In other words, while he was a king in Prussia, he was still only an elector under the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Emperor in Brandenburg. Legally, the Hohenzollern state was still a personal union between Brandenburg and Prussia. However, by the time Frederick crowned himself as king, the emperor's authority over Brandenburg (and the rest of the empire) was only nominal, and in practice it soon came to be treated as part of the Prussian kingdom rather than as a separate entity. His grandson, Frederick the Great, was the first Prussian king to formally style himself "King of Prussia".[ citation needed ]

Frederick I on a coin from 1691 Deux tiers de thaler de Brandebourg a l'effigie de Frederic III, 1691.jpg
Frederick I on a coin from 1691

Frederick was a patron of the arts and learning. The Akademie der Künste in Berlin was founded by Frederick in 1696, as was the Academy of Sciences in 1700, though the latter was closed down by his son as an economic measure; it was reopened in 1740 by his grandson, Frederick II. Frederick also appointed Jacob Paul von Gundling as Professor of History and Law at the Berlin Knights Academy in 1705, and as historian at the Higher Herald's Office in 1706.[ citation needed ]

Frederick died in Berlin in 1713 and is entombed in the Berliner Dom.

His grandson, Frederick the Great, referred to Frederick I as "the mercenary king", due to the fact that he greatly profited from the hiring of his Prussian troops to defend other territories, such as in northern Italy against the French. [5] "All in all," he wrote of his grandfather, "he was great in small matters, and small in great matters." [6]

Marriages and children

Frederick was married three times:

He also had an official mistress, Catharina von Wartenberg, between 1696 and 1711. However, he was never known to make use of her services, being deeply in love with his first wife.

Ancestry

Frederick's ancestors in four generations

8. John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg
4. George William, Elector of Brandenburg
9. Anna of Prussia
2. Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
10. Frederick IV, Elector Palatine
5. Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
11. Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau
1. Frederick I of Prussia
12. William I, Prince of Orange
6. Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
13. Louise de Coligny
3. Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau
14. Johann Albrecht I, Count of Solms-Braunfels
7. Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
15. Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein

Notes

  1. Stenzel (1841), Band 3, Buch VI, 2. Hauptstück, p. 406
  2. Nancy Mitford, "Frederick the Great" (1970) pp. 3.
  3. 1 2 3 Friedrich, Karin (2012). Brandenburg-Prussia, 1466-1806: The Rise of a Composite State . New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 66.
  4. Friedrich, Karin (2006). The Other Prussia: Royal Prussia, Poland and Liberty, 1589-1772 . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 163.
  5. Spencer, Charles, Blenheim , Chapter 22: Vindication, p.316
  6. Williams, Ernest Neville (1970). The Ancien Régime in Europe: Government and Society in the Major States, 1648–1789. The Bodley Head. p.  305.
Frederick I of Prussia
Born: 11 July 1657 Died: 25 February 1713
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Frederick William
Duke of Prussia
1688–1701
Elevation to Kingdom
Elector of Brandenburg
as Frederick III

1688–1713
Succeeded by
Frederick William I
New title King in Prussia
1701–1713
Preceded by
Marie
Prince of Neuchâtel
as Frederick I

1707–1713
Preceded by
William III
Prince of Orange
(disputed)

1702–1713

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