The Elector by Frans Luycx
| Duke of Prussia |
Elector of Brandenburg
|Reign||1 December 1640 – 29 April 1688|
|Born||16 February 1620|
Stadtschloss, Berlin, Brandenburg-Prussia
|Died||29 April 1688 68) (aged|
Stadtschloss, Potsdam, Brandenburg-Prussia
|Spouse|| Luise Henriette of Nassau |
Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
| Charles, Electoral Prince of Brandenburg |
Frederick I of Prussia
Philip William, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt
Marie Amelie, Hereditary Princess of Mecklenburg-Güstrow
Prince Margrave Albert Frederick
Elisabeth Sophie, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen
Prince Christian Ludwig
|Father||George William, Elector of Brandenburg|
|Mother||Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate|
Frederick William (German : Friedrich Wilhelm; 16 February 1620 – 29 April 1688) 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" (der Große Kurfürst) 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.
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 one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to the German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are 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.
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.
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.
Elector Frederick William was born in Berlin to George William, Elector of Brandenburg, and Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate. His inheritance consisted of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Duchy of Cleves, the County of Mark, and the Duchy of Prussia.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
George William, of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was margrave and elector of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia from 1619 until his death. His reign was marked by ineffective governance during the Thirty Years' War. He was the father of Frederick William, the "Great Elector".
The Duchy of Cleves was a State of the Holy Roman Empire which emerged from the mediaeval Hettergau. It was situated in the northern Rhineland on both sides of the Lower Rhine, around its capital Cleves and the towns of Wesel, Kalkar, Xanten, Emmerich, Rees and Duisburg bordering the lands of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster in the east and the Duchy of Brabant in the west. Its history is closely related to that of its southern neighbours: the Duchies of Jülich and Berg, as well as Guelders and the Westphalian county of Mark. The Duchy was archaically known as Cleveland in English.
Following the Thirty Years' War that devastated much of the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick William focused on rebuilding his war-ravaged territories. Brandenburg-Prussia benefited from his policy of religious tolerance and he used French subsidies to build up an army that took part in the 1655 to 1660 Second Northern War. This ended with the treaties of Labiau, Wehlau, Bromberg and Oliva; they removed Swedish control of the Duchy of Prussia, which meant he held it direct from the Holy Roman Emperor.
The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but also from violence, famine, and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. The deadly clashes ravaged Europe; 20 percent of the total population of Germany died during the conflict and there were losses up to 50 percent in a corridor between Pomerania and the Black Forest. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period of January to May 1945 during World War II; one of its enduring results was 19th-century Pan-Germanism, when it served as an example of the dangers of a divided Germany and became a key justification for the 1871 creation of the German Empire.
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 included the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia and Kingdom of Italy, plus numerous other territories, and soon after the Kingdom of Burgundy was added. Its size gradually diminished over time, particularly from 1648 onward, and by the time of its dissolution, it largely contained only German-speaking territories, plus the Kingdom of Bohemia which was bordered by the German lands on three sides.
A subsidy or government incentive is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy. Although commonly extended from government, the term subsidy can relate to any type of support – for example from NGOs or as implicit subsidies. Subsidies come in various forms including: direct and indirect.
In 1672, Frederick William joined the Franco-Dutch War as an ally of the Dutch Republic, led by his nephew William of Orange but made peace with France in the June 1673 Treaty of Vossem. Although he rejoined the anti-French alliance in 1674, this left him diplomatically isolated; despite conquering much of Swedish Pomerania during the Scanian War, he was obliged to return these to Sweden in the 1679 Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
The Franco-Dutch War, often just the Dutch War, was a conflict that lasted from 1672 to 1678 between the Dutch Republic and France, each supported by allies. France had the support of England and Sweden, while the Dutch were supported by Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark.
The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or simply United Provinces, and commonly referred to historiographically as the Dutch Republic, was a confederal republic formally established from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first fully independent Dutch nation state.
William III, also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from the 1670s and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death, co-reigning with his wife, Queen Mary II. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of William and Mary. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known as "King Billy" in Northern Ireland and Scotland, where his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 is still commemorated by Unionists and Ulster loyalists.
Frederick William was a military commander of wide renown, and his standing army would later become the model for the Prussian Army. He is notable for his joint victory with Swedish forces at the Battle of Warsaw, which, according to Hajo Holborn, marked "the beginning of Prussian military history",but the Swedes turned on him at the behest of King Louis XIV and invaded Brandenburg. After marching 250 kilometres in 15 days back to Brandenburg, he caught the Swedes by surprise and managed to defeat them on the field at the Battle of Fehrbellin, destroying the myth of Swedish military invincibility. He later destroyed another Swedish army that invaded the Duchy of Prussia during the Great Sleigh Drive in 1678. He is noted for his use of broad directives and delegation of decision-making to his commanders, which would later become the basis for the German doctrine of Auftragstaktik, and he is noted for using rapid mobility to defeat his foes.
The Royal Prussian Army served as the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It became vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.
The Battle of Warsaw was a battle which took place near Warsaw on July 28–July 30 [O.S. July 18–20] 1656, between the armies of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden and Brandenburg. It was a major battle in the Second Northern War between Poland and Sweden in the period 1655–1660, also known as The Deluge. According to Hajo Holborn, it marked "the beginning of Prussian military history".
Hajo Holborn was a German-American historian and specialist in modern German history.
Frederick William is notable for raising an army of 40,000 soldiers by 1678, through the General War Commissariat presided over by Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal. He was an advocate of mercantilism, monopolies, subsidies, tariffs, and internal improvements. Following Louis XIV's revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Frederick William encouraged skilled French and Walloon Huguenots to emigrate to Brandenburg-Prussia with the Edict of Potsdam, bolstering the country's technical and industrial base. On Blumenthal's advice he agreed to exempt the nobility from taxes and in return they agreed to dissolve the Estates-General. He also simplified travel in Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia by connecting riverways with canals, a system that was expanded by later Prussian architects, such as Georg Steenke; the system is still in use today.
Following the defeats Prussia suffered in the 30 Years' War, Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, set up the General War Commissariat to oversee the army, as well as to levy taxes necessary to support the army. It soon became a bureaucratic machine for civil government as well. Frederick William used it to govern the state. Many members were landed aristocracy known as Junkers, who served in the army as well. The commissariats helped to centralize power.
Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal (1606–1657) was a German nobleman. He was a diplomat and the founder of the Brandenburg-Prussian Army.
Mercantilism is a national economic policy that is designed to maximize the exports, and minimize the imports, of a nation. These policies aim to reduce a possible current account deficit or reach a current account surplus. Mercantilism includes a national economic policy aimed at accumulating monetary reserves through a positive balance of trade, especially of finished goods. Historically, such policies frequently led to war and also motivated colonial expansion. Mercantilist theory varies in sophistication from one writer to another and has evolved over time.
On 7 December 1646 in The Hague, Frederick William entered into a marriage, proposed by Blumenthal as a partial solution to the Jülich-Berg question, with Luise Henriette of Nassau (1627–1667), daughter of Frederick Henry of Orange-Nassau and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels and his 1st cousin once removed through William the Silent. Their children were as follows:
On 13 June 1668 in Gröningen, Frederick William married Sophie Dorothea of Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, daughter of Philip, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Sophie Hedwig of Saxe-Lauenburg. Their children were the following:
|Ancestors of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg|
Frederick I, of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was 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. He was also the paternal grandfather of Frederick the Great.
The Duchy of Prussia or Ducal Prussia was a duchy in the region of Prussia established as a result of secularization of the State of the Teutonic Order during the Protestant Reformation in 1525.
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.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.
The Silesian Wars were a series of three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia and Austria for control of the Central European region of Silesia. The First (1740–1742) and Second (1744–1745) Silesian Wars formed parts of the wider War of the Austrian Succession, in which Prussia acted as one member of a coalition seeking territorial gain at Austria's expense. The Third Silesian War (1756–1763) was one theatre of the global Seven Years' War, in which Austria in turn led a coalition of powers aiming to seize Prussian territory.
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.
Frederick Louis of Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck was a Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck and field marshal of the Prussian Army. He was the son of August Philipp, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck and Countess Marie Sibylle of Nassau-Saarbrücken.
The Duchy of Magdeburg was a province of Margraviate of Brandenburg from 1680 to 1701 and a province of the German Kingdom of Prussia from 1701 to 1807. It replaced the Archbishopric of Magdeburg after its secularization by Brandenburg. The duchy's capitals were Magdeburg and Halle, while Burg was another important town. Dissolved during the Napoleonic Wars in 1807, its territory was made part of the Province of Saxony in 1815.
The Treaty of Labiau was a treaty signed between Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg and Charles X Gustav of Sweden on 10 November (O.S.) / 20 November (N.S.) 1656 in Labiau. With several concessions, the most important being the elevation of Frederick William I from a Swedish vassal to a full sovereign in the Duchy of Prussia and in Ermland, Charles X Gustav strove to "buy Frederick William's support" in the ongoing Second Northern War.
The Battle of Fehrbellin was fought on June 18, 1675, between Swedish and Brandenburg-Prussian troops. The Swedes, under Count Waldemar von Wrangel, had invaded and occupied parts of Brandenburg from their possessions in Pomerania, but were repelled by the forces of Frederick William, the Great Elector, under his Feldmarschall Georg von Derfflinger near the town of Fehrbellin. Along with the Battle of Warsaw (1656), Fehrbellin was crucial in establishing the prestige of Frederick William and Brandenburg-Prussia's army.
Christian Ludwig, a member of the House of Hohenzollern, was a Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt and a military officer of the Prussian Army. The margravial title was given to princes of the Prussian Royal House and did not express a territorial status. He is best known as the recipient of Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg concertos.
The Treaty of Königsberg was concluded on 7 January (O.S.) / 17 January (N.S.) 1656 during the Second Northern War. Frederick William I, the "Great Elector" of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia, was forced to join the Swedish camp and became a Swedish vassal for the Duchy of Prussia and Ermland. In a second treaty, negotiated on 24 February 1656 in Königsberg (Królewiec), Frederick William I concluded a defensive alliance with France.
Princess Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, was Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg by marriage to Christian Louis, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and Electress of Brandenburg by marriage to Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, the "Great Elector".
The Treaty or Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of 19 June (OS) or 29 June (NS) 1679 was a peace treaty between France and the Electorate of Brandenburg. It restored to France's ally Sweden her dominions Bremen-Verden and Swedish Pomerania, lost to Brandenburg in the Scanian War. Sweden ratified the treaty on 28 July 1679.
Philip William, Prince in Prussia was a Prussian Prince, was the first owner of the Prussian secundogeniture of Brandenburg-Schwedt and was governor of Magdeburg from 1692 to 1711.
Duke Augustus of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön-Norburg was Duke of a small part of Schleswig-Holstein around Nordborg Castle on the island of Als. He was the founder of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön-Norburg line.
Prussia and its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, were involved in numerous conflicts during their existence as nation-states. During their military engagements they often fulfilled the role of a supporting power, especially in the 17th century. In the 18th century Prussia began to adopt an independent role in the conflicts of that time; at the latest by the time of the Silesian Wars.
Frederick William, Elector of BrandenburgBorn: 16 February 1620 Died: 29 April 1688
| Elector of Brandenburg |
Duke of Prussia